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Debates have lit up the internet this past week over the Comic-Con trailer of Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice. (What a title, let me catch my breath.) Now the debates range from all sorts of topics, Who’s suit was in the Batcave, Is the Joker in this movie, why does nobody realize that Superman is Clark Kent after Lois Lane figured it out in twenty minutes. Most of them valid arguments. But the one that seems to have garnered a lot of talk and debate is how on earth can this regular guy fight a god from another planet. It’s an interesting topic; comic books have a way of making you forgive certain things or look past them. In almost any Justice League story, Batman can feel out of place. They’re either fighting Darkseid; an immortal king of Apocalypse or they are taking on the white Martian army. Scenarios that don’t immediately fit the Dark Knight detective. But great writers can find a way to fit Batman into the perfect role. The smartest man in the room, thinking above everybody else. It’s that kind of character Zack Snyder needs in his upcoming movie and the movies to follow.
My favorite kind of Batman – everybody has one,– is the man standing among’st gods, he’s ‘friends’ with the fastest man on earth, an Amazonian goddess, a guy with a ring that can generate anything his mind can think of, and space Jesus. Sure he protects Gotham and street level people but when it’s called upon, he can step up to the plate and take on anything they can. And this is where Zack Snyder may run into problems with his approach to these characters. Its clear ‘Man of Steel’ had no intentions of setting up a DC cinematic universe; otherwise we would’ve heard that Gotham was a stone throw away from Metropolis as it is in the new movie. But what many people and even Zack Snyder said himself was this will be a more gritty and real world take on Superman, and the ending to that movie is about as horrible as the real world can get. Buildings destroyed people are dead, and there is a giant crater in the center of Metropolis.
You can’t have your cake and eat it too. A real world take on the Justice League is a hard thing to do. No matter how hard I wish or try these aren’t real people dealing with real problems. The fact that Superman and Batman can stand together on a panel is already stretching reality, and that’s why we love it. Sam and Dean are ‘normal’ people, but they do have to kill Demons every now and then. (which are not real.) So If Zack Snyder wants to pull this off to the best of everyone’s intentions there needs to be a little fantastical inside all that gruff exterior. Sure we don’t need to go full ‘Marvel’ with it. Making jokes every second, but treating these larger than life characters as real people can only go so far before people revolt. I mean he found out how bent out of shape people got for Superman and Zod destroying the city. If those are all supposed to be real people dying while Superman plays whack-a-mole then that leaves people with a bad taste in their mouth.
When people say, “Superman would just kill him” when referring to the ‘fight’ they will have. They aren’t wrong if this were real life first off Superman Wouldn’t exist, but beyond that Superman could flick a finger and send the earth off its axis. But because deep down he’s a good person, he would never do that. And for Batman to ‘fight’ back against this Kryptonian sun battery takes a little more than simple reality. It takes a brilliant guy with a chip on his shoulder who watched his parents get gunned down at the age of twelve. And of course, a giant mech suit. But my point in all this is Batman and Superman can’t exist in a solely realistic world. That realism needs to be married to the fact that these characters are larger than life, at least a little larger.
Bruce Timm’s Return to Animation with Justice League Gods and Monsters review in the link below.