Everything You Need to Know about Batman v Superman
For decades, perhaps even centuries, comic-book fans have gathered around dimly-lit basements to discuss the unanswerable questions. For them, the standard ones like “What is the sound of one-hand clapping,” or “If a tree falls in the forest…” are too easy. They seek only the questions that really matter, the ones that poke at the deep shadowy crevices of the human experience. Questions like the one posed in the new Ben Affleck movie…
Who would win in a fight between Batman and Superman?
(Although the bigger question is, what happened to the S in “vs.”?)
Luckily, this question does have an answer. It’s Batman. Batman would win. Batman has won. They’ve fought each other about a dozen times in the comics, and Batman usually wins. Brains over braun, kids. Hell, even Batman’s feeble, elderly butler Alfred has kicked Superman’s sorry ass.
If you disagree, we can take this to the comments section.
Still, even I’ll admit, there’s enough ambiguity in the question to support an entire movie and possibly birth to a new franchise or two. Hence this year’s big Spring blockbuster, Batman v Superman.
With a release date of March 20*, Batman v Superman is generating a lot of buzz, though not enough to get DC executives to stop biting their nails. Still, in the dry season between Deadpool and Captain America: Civil War, we have to watch something.
So, we present your primer for the 4th-most-anticipated comic book movie of the first half of 2016. Here’s everything you need to know:
Did you see how many people Superman killed at the end of his last movie, Man of Steel? Yeah, me neither, but according to DC fans, it was a lot. Enough, even, to spark a Man of Steel controversy that fuels the beginning of Batman v Superman.
Man of Steel‘s final epic battle between Superman and General Zod took place in downtown Metropolis. What happened was exactly what you’d expect would happen when two near-omnipotent aliens battle unrestrained in a crowded, collateral-filled metropolis.
So here’s the important thing you gotta understand about Superman in general, but particularly before the new movie: The man of steel has a heart of gold. Superman’s defining characteristic isn’t so much his great powers, it’s his great compassion. Like a boy scout with an AK-47, Superman just wants to help people and uses everything in his power to do so.
This is relevant because, as fan theories suggest, the reason Batman v Superman isn’t a one-punch, 15-second movie is because Superman pulls his punches with Batman. He doesn’t want to hurt him.
So, going into Batman v Superman, we have to consider both the ending of Man of Steel, and Superman’s superhuman power of the feels. We’ll probably see a lot of guilt, and maybe some internal conflict over whether or not to literally punch Batman’s nuts off.
You don’t know who Batman is?
Even if you haven’t been following the last ten years of DC vs. Marvel movie wars, the subtitle “Dawn of Justice” is condescendingly blunt enough — this movie sets up the Justice League.
The Justice League is DC’s version of Marvel’s Avengers. In the comics, the Justice League came first, and Avengers was Marvel blatantly and shamelessly copying someone else’s idea to make a few extra bucks off stupid children. Ironically, today’s stupid children will grow up thinking the opposite, thanks to the movies.
You can’t have a Justice League with just Superman and Batman, and no one wants Green Lantern to return. So, DC is bringing in their other A-team member, who they wisely waited to pull out until the D-point in the game.
Wonder Woman is a respectable feminist icon, no less a equal to great men like Batman and Superman, but with a vagina. In Wonder Woman comics, the hapless man gets himself into trouble and she bursts in to save the day (or, if it’s a hapless woman, she empowers them to save themselves).
Wonder Woman is an Amazon, which is a race of women warriors the Greek goddesses created from the souls of all women ever murdered by men… so yeah.
Aside from superhuman strength and tactical prowess, Wonder Woman’s also got some super-cute accessories! Her Aegis of Athena (bulletproof bracelets) can shield her from most blows, while her Lasso of Truth forces those ensnared to tell the truth.
It’ll be interesting to see how Batman v Superman introduces her into the DC universe. But it’ll be even more interesting to see whether or not DC turns its back on 50 years of female empowerment to turn her into a one-dimensional “hot, bad-ass chick.”
Aquaman’s in this movie! If you haven’t seen the film pictures, take a moment to laugh at that.
The thing you to understand about Aquaman is that he’s a huge joke. At least to fans. Again, if you disagree, let’s take it up in the comments.
So, here’s a guy who’s superpower is telepathically talking to fish, and he’s hanging out with Greek goddesses, aliens that shoot lasers from their eyes, and the world’s greatest detective who dresses in all black. Let’s put it this way: when divvying up chores at the Hall of Justice, Aquaman somehow always gets “clean the bathroom.”
But… and this is a big but… in Batman v Superman, Aquaman looks f-ing badass! I never thought I’d say that. Played by Khal Drago, the character has finally been given the makeover he’s needed his entire life. My younger self would be ashamed to know that Aquaman the part I’m looking forward to most.
Smart. Rich. Evil. He’s often referred to as the smartest human in the DC universe. There’s not much about Lex Luthor that a lifetime of cop dramas hasn’t already taught you. Rich businessmen like to kill for money, but they need to be smart about it. Multiply that by 1000, understand that “killing” means destroying entire cities, and you have Lex Luthor.
As for his involvement in Batman v Superman, you know as much as I do from the previews. He’s probably behind pitting Batman and Superman against each other for his own selfish, money-related motives.
If you don’t know who Doomsday is, it means I’m old. In the 90s, Doomsday was a big deal when he first appeared because he killed Superman!! Everyone was like, “You can’t kill Superman. No one can.” But then this alien with his weird piercings came and was like, “Oh yeah? I bet I could probably kill him.”
In the comics, Doomsday is a Kryptonian monster who was killed, reborn, and killed again over and over for thousands of years, each time becoming stronger. When you were a little kid and you imagined the worst, scariest monster of all time, that monster you imagined would have pooped their pants at the sight of Doomsday.
And he freaking killed Superman. Let that sink in.
The Normals Involved in Batman v Superman
Director – Zack Snyder. Snyder made one really successful comic book movie, 300, that undermined the critically-acclaimed comic at every turn, and was homoerotic enough to attract the girlfriends of guys who like to punch things. Snyder continued riding that horse for years, and successfully managed to destroy even more critically-acclaimed comics like Watchmen. But, his movies keep the money flowing in, so Warner Bros. hires him every time they need to ruin a critically-acclaimed comic.
Co-writer – David S. Goyer. Goyer astonished comic fans with his artful scripts for Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, but then pissed us all off by making sexist comments about She-Hulk and calling comic fans all virgins. Way to bite the hand the feeds, Goyer.
Co-writer – Chris Terrio. Not much is known about Terrio, but his resume includes Argo and an adaptation Shakespeare’s Richard II, so there’s hope.