EDITORIAL: 5 Questions and Concerns BATMAN V SUPERMAN Will Hopefully Address

EDITORIAL: 5 Questions and Concerns BATMAN V SUPERMAN Will Hopefully Address

EDITORIAL: 5 Questions and Concerns BATMAN V SUPERMAN Will Hopefully Address

Warner Bros’ Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is just over four months away and expectations are through the roof. Well, this fan has a few of his own. Hit the jump to read more and discuss.


In case you’ve been locked away in solitary confinement at Belle Reve, Warner Bros. has finally pulled the trigger on a big screen DC Universe. It kicked off to a mixed reaction with 2013’s Man of Steel but really shifts into gear in 2016 with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in March and Suicide Squad in August.

 

And while Marvel Studios has cornered the market on family entertainment, all signs point to Warner Bros. infusing their DC Extended Universe with a more intense and serious tone. We’re getting information bit by bit but questions still remain. Concerns even. Because while some fans will love BvS no matter what, others aren’t as confident about WB’s new cinematic universe.

 

Obviously, I don’t speak for everyone who wasn’t convinced by the San Diego Comic Con Dawn of Justice trailer, nor do I claim to. But here are a few questions and concerns I hope Zack Snyder’s Justice League prequel will address.

 

Just a little background on me before we start - I do some writing and am familiar with the daunting process of crafting a story and the characters who inhabit it. So, I tend to look at movies a little differently than “general audiences” or “fan boys”.
 


For example, while people were debating over whether Clark had a choice in killing Zod or not, I was asking why Snyder and writer David S. Goyer chose to put the characters in the situation in the first place. That said, here are five things on my mind…

 

1. "HI. CLARK KENT, DAILY PLANET”

 

One of the recent rumors is Lex Luthor kidnapping Martha Kent. If you haven’t heard it, it’s one of the theories of why Clark is kneeling before Lex with a scowl on his face in the Comic Con trailer. That’s leading people to ask “how does Lex find out Martha is Clark’s mother?” While that seems like a legitimate question, one could reasonably respond why wouldn’t he figure it out?

 

To this day there’s been an ongoing joke over the effectiveness, or lack thereof, of Clark’s disguise. After all, it’s only a pair of glasses, right? For a while, the biggest gripe amongst fans was why couldn’t Lois Lane see through it all those years. Well, Snyder and Goyer addressed that in Man of Steel pretty early. Lois was able to track Clark down with some old fashioned investigative work and, I’m guessing, Google.



Lex and the government have considerable more resources than she does so it stands to reason they would be able to find out who he is, too. Add the battle in Smallville and Zod’s crew landing directly on the Kent farm and, realistically, it should be a matter of time before General Swanwick and LexCorp are beating down Clark’s door.

 

As an origin story based in “realism”, (smh, that word), this would’ve been the perfect opportunity to give some credibility to Clark’s secret identity.

 

In Richard Donner’s Superman, Christopher Reeve played Clark as a bumbling goof and Superman confident and straightforward. But the point of Clark’s disguise is not to draw attention, so a 6’4” walking accident isn’t the best way to lay low - all due respect to Reeve. Everyone would notice him.

 

Mark Waid’s take in Superman: Birthright is, hands down, the best approach and is actually believable. It’s not just about the glasses, which do serve a purpose btw, it’s the way Clark carries himself. Soft spoken, unassuming. The type of person you forget about right after you meet him.



With MoS, I would’ve included this instead of Lois uncovering Clark’s identity…right away, that is. She’d figure it out later, after a close look at him as Clark then as Superman. 

 

Hopefully, BvS at least addresses the work that goes into the disguise of “Clark, Investigative Reporter”. While this wouldn’t do much to fix the “why can’t anyone else discover Clark Kent is Superman when Lois was able to” problem, it would show there’s more to this persona than just a pair of glasses.

 

2. IT'S A BIRD! IT'S A PLANE! IT'S...

 

Not many people realize this but Superman is as complex a character as Batman. Sure, people will disagree because “he’s too overpowered” or “he always knows what to do” or “he always makes the right choice.” He’s so vanilla and, therefore, boring. He’s the ultimate good guy and that turns some people off.

 

I couldn’t DISAGREE more.

 

While Superman is close to all powerful, the people he protects aren’t. That’s what makes his adventures different from other superheroes’. It’s a sense of irony writers and fans often overlook. Because despite his emmense power he can’t save them all and they’ll always be in danger.



And Superman doesn’t always know what to do. He’s, sometimes, uncertain. It’s why he constantly turns to his parents for guidance. Who can’t identify with that? Jonathan and Martha are an important part of Clark’s life as Superman. Pre New 52, that is.

 

He’s arrogant, self righteous, naive at times and does make mistakes. His blood may be Kryptonian but Clark Kent is very human. Martha and Jonathan saw to that. But not everyone could see this and, unfortunately, the character got stuck with the bland and dull Boy Scout stigma. As a result, Snyder and Goyer were brought in to make the character “more interesting” for the reboot.

 

The decision was made to “re-imagine” and “modernize” the character. For the record, you can’t modernize a character. You can modernize the world they live in but a character is who they are despite the time period. Characters are driven by the choices they make and those come from their beliefs and values, be it 1915 or 2015. Change their beliefs and you change the character. This is part of the controversy stemming from Man of Steel.

 

I’m sure you’ve heard this before - Batman sees the world as it is. Superman sees the world as it can be. Superman is the ultimate optimist. He chooses to see the best in others because that’s how he was raised. He believes in humanity. It’s that unwavering optimism that draw others to him, both mortal and superhuman. Other heroes look to him as an example, including Batman. The world turns to Superman because of who he is, not what he can do.



The character in MoS wouldn’t, realistically, become Superman. “Heresy”, you scream? Well, forget what you already know about Superman then look at the character Snyder and Goyer created…


He’s spent his life laying low and “covering his tracks”. He’s “not sure mankind can be trusted”. Understandable - people have been dicks to him since he was a kid. He feels alienated and doesn’t really consider Earth his home. “It’s not an S”, he tells Lois. On my world it means hope”.

 

How different would his life have turned out if he hadn’t found the scout ship? Putting on the suit and giving the people of Earth “an ideal to strive towards” was Jor El’s idea. And Clark finding the scout ship is what drew Zod to Earth in the first place. No scout ship, no Zod. No suit and cape.

 

Sure he would’ve continued to help people but there’s so much more to being Superman than that. Clark could’ve found a long career as a firefighter and made a living saving people. Like I said, the world turns to Superman because of who he is, not what he can do.

 

Still not convinced? What separates the character in MoS from other superheroes? Again, forget what you already know about Superman and examine this character on his own merits, based on what’s in the film.

 

The first couple of issues of Birthright sets Clark’s motives up beautifully. He chooses to become Superman on his own. Ideally, MoS would’ve adapted those instead of spending the first twenty minutes or so on Krypton. Jor El later summarizes those twenty minutes in under five on the scout ship, anyway.

 

I’m curious to see how BvS bridges the gap between the man we met in MoS and the one saving a family from a flood - a nod to Kurt Busiek’s Secret Identity? I’m not expecting traditional, Tim Daly Superman, (best ever btw). This is a reimagining which, by definition, is a different take. So, Snyder shouldn’t try to make Clark fit the traditional character.

 

I am hoping Goyer and Chris Terrio give us a believable way this traveling loner would choose to assume such a public and scrutinized role in the world. Otherwise, it’ll feel forced.

 

3. "HOW MANY GOOD GUYS ARE LEFT…”

 

“He has the power to wipe out the entire human race…and we have to destroy him”. Bruce Wayne - Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Trailer



 

This sounds pretty cut and dry. Bruce views Clark as a threat and has taken it upon himself to stop him. My hope with BvS is there’s more to it than that and Clark isn’t the only one drawing heat.

I know it’s called Batman v Superman but, if Bruce’s motivations come down to dealing with threats to humanity, his concerns, realistically, should extend beyond Clark.

Let’s go back to the statement. “…the power to wipe out the entire human race…” Sounds ominous. It’s obviously an exaggeration because…well, it’s not true. Clark’s just one man. The last of his kind, so far.


The trailer shows Kryptonite clearly exists and Bruce creates a suit I’m assuming can do what the World Engine couldn’t - kill Clark. Either way, it’s one guy.

 

An even bigger threat? Diana Prince, aka Wonder Woman. She’s as powerful as Clark, a trained warrior and there’s an entire race of beings like her. Even more dangerous than Diana and the Amazons? Aquaman and the Atlanteans. 70% of Earth is covered by oceans and Aquaman rules them all. If anyone truly had the power to wipe out humanity it would be him and his people.



Bruce is a paranoid person and even though he and Clark will inevitably iron things out, that shouldn’t mean he would be cool with other superpowered beings. We’ve already seen photos of Affleck and Gadot getting up close and personal so I don’t know if Diana’s getting a pass because Bruce is infatuated with her. Recent rumors say Batman is set to cameo in the Wonder Woman movie and that he’s been aware of her existence.

 

Again, this shouldn’t just be about making it “not everyone trusts Clark” so the film comes off as “realistic”. I’m hoping Goyer and Terrio allow Bruce to stay true to his motivations, and he approaches other powerful characters with the same skepticism he has for Clark.

 

4. HIM IS BIZARRO?

 



Earlier I mentioned the theory Clark is kneeling before Lex in the trailer because Lex has Martha. Another theory is that it isn’t Clark at all. It’s a clone. This raises a number of questions and head scratchers but it is an interesting idea.

We see LexCorp has Zod’s corpse in the trailer and word around the campfire is Lex uses his DNA to clone his own Kryptonian. Then, why would it look like Clark? If it’s Zod’s DNA, wouldn’t bringing back Michael Shannon to play a Zod clone make more sense?

 

All that aside, the running theory is Lex’s clone devolves in Bizarro, which I can get behind because 1. I like the Bizarro character and 2. it would explain why Clark is trying to incinerate Batman. You know the scene…



 

Batman narrowly escapes a blast of heat vision. A blast that, had it connected, would’ve ended any talks of the character appearing in more DCEU movies. If that’s a clone, (before turning into Bizzaro), firing at Batman, no big deal. But if it’s indeed Clark, wouldn’t that mean he nearly kills again?

 

MoS supporters, as well as Snyder and Goyer, have vigorously preached that the controversial moment when Clark takes Zod’s life lays the foundation for his aversion to killing. Then again, the filmmakers haven’t said anything about an actual, concrete No-Kill-Rule. So it’s possible Clark is trying to end the Batman.

 

Or…

 

The overwhelming theory is the Big Bad the Trinity are facing in the climax isn’t Bizarro but in fact DOOMSDAY. He’s all but confirmed. Never been a fan of the character but he does fit Snyder's sensibilities as a director. Clark’s heat vision could’ve ricocheted off Doomsday and redirected at Batman. Possible?

 

5. IRON MAN 2 ALL OVER AGAIN

 

Fans have laid into Iron Man 2 seemingly to no end. There are major criticisms to the Iron Man follow up. It’s been called one big trailer for the Avengers. The filmmakers were also accused of being caught up in world building. Now, some fans may not want to admit it but BvS is in position to fall into those very same traps. It is subtitled Dawn of Justice, after all.



It’s well documented Warner Bros. has attempted to bring a DC universe to the big screen on several occasions, be it Wolfgang Peterson’s Batman vs Superman or George Miller’s Justice League: Mortal. But each time plans stalled, leaving fans waiting and wanting. 2008 changed everything when Marvel launched its MCU and a couple billion dollar franchises.

 

With Superman Returns and Green Lantern both striking out, Warner is packing their DC eggs into one huge basket. While MoS was the official start to the DCEU, BvS is where Warner’s universe truly takes shape. The studio opted to ditch the blueprint Marvel followed to build its universe, in favor of offering solo films later. That leaves BvS with the task of…well, world building.

 

Iron Man 2 introduced Black Widow and War Machine. Even though Rhodes was recast the character wasn’t new. By comparison, BvS is introducing a new Batman and Alfred, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Victor Stone, and Lex Luthor, to name a few. Not to mention, rumored characters like Green Lantern and the Flash.

 

Then there’s the news of three possible Batman solo films with Ben Affleck, which might include A Death in the Family and/or Under the Red Hood. And the “You let your family die” note in the trailer suggests BvS could plant the seeds for a new bat trilogy.

 

“Hello. Cameos”. You’re right. Most of these may not be more than cameo appearances. But you have to ask what will be the point of these cameos. To introduce audiences to these characters who will appear in their own movie in a year or two. We could see Themyscira and Atlantis. We already know we’re going to see the murder of Bruce’s parents again. 

 

I doubt anyone would’ve minded if WB had followed Marvel’s blueprint. No one except the people who actually cared if it looked like “Warner Bros is copying Marvel”. Because, regardless of the quality of the films, the formula covered a lot of bases and produced a history making universe.

 

Some might say Marvel had to do it that way - solo films leading to a team up - because Iron Man, Captain America and Thor weren’t well known. True. However, Man of Steel was based off the greatest superhero of all time. A character who transcended comic books and became a global icon. But that recognition couldn’t overcome the product.



MoS became only the fourth non sequel ever to top $100 million in its opening weekend. But after reviews and word got out about the film, it ended up underperforming, falling short of $670 million worldwide.

 

I have no doubt Snyder will deliver on spectacle and intense action in Batman v Superman, it’s the moments in between the spectacle and action that are a concern. Hopefully, they aren’t spent too much on heavy lifting and setting up future films and franchises.

 

IN CLOSING

 

This isn’t a declaration that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is doomed or will “suck”. These are just one fan’s takeaways based on what’s been released so far. Some fans not only have the movie breaking the opening weekend record but also crossing the $2 billion mark. I’m of the opinion it's all wishful thinking but that’s another editorial altogether.


None of the choices Warner Bros. has made have instilled any confidence but I’m still eager to see how they pan out. Some point out the fact BvS should be better because Oscar winner Chris Terrio is handling script duties. Batman and Robin was written by an Oscar winner, too.

And while the “First time Batman and Superman are on screen together” angle sounds like a surefire hit, doesn’t that mean the defunct Justice League: Mortal would have been an equal success?

The thing is, audiences know what to expect going into a Transformers or Fast and Furious movie and I feel the same goes here. Again, not saying this movie will be bad. I’m curious more than anything else about the new DCEU and I hope Dawn of Justice is an improvement over its predecesor.


How about you guys? Do you have any questions or concerns you’re waiting for BvS to answer? Sound off below and, as always, thanks for reading!


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