Off Topic: 2015 Superhero Films Reveal Titanic Matchups

At ComicCon 2013 this week, Warner Bros. and Disney officially declared war of the superheroes. The eventually winner will be us, the viewers, by 2015.

Marvel’s news was primarily some spit shining on the next Avengers movie. It’s official title gives it away for the dedicated comic readers (I’m not one of them nowandays for either universe): The Avengers: Age of Ultron. A quick look up on Ultron’s comic-book history tells me enough: crazy killer robot.

Hm. Sure. I’m pretty familiar with crazy killer robots. Joss Whedon, currently invulnerable with his success with the first Avengers movie, teased the crowd at ComicCon with star appearances from the many satellite movies that will form up before the next Avengers film. My personal love is Captain America as shown on-screen, coming soon in Captain America: The Winter Solder next spring.

So what could Warner Bros., owners of DC Comics, do to match, if not outdo the Disney/Marvel announcements? With the exception of the critically acclaimed Dark Knight Trilogy from Christopher Nolan, the WB’s attempts to launch a counterpart superhero cinematic universe for DC has been lackluster at best. The 2011 Green Lantern movie, intended to be the first of a series of films to kickstart that universe, wasn’t terrible, but was far from well-received. Christopher Nolan stated that his Batman was in a universe where other superheroes didn’t exist. Thankfully, this summer’s Man of Steel film did well enough at the box office for a sequel to be announced.

With the Superman sequel, DC played the one card it could play that would get everyone’s attention.

You don't want to mess with these two. Ever.

You don’t want to mess with these two. Ever.

Zack Snyder, director of the latest Superman film, announced at ComicCon that the Batman would be in the next Superman film.

Wow. It’s a bold risk but one that fans will come out to see. There’s no other iconic superheroes in any comic book universe that’s more compelling than Superman and Batman in a team-up. (There are many Superman/Batman animated films and graphic novels to illustrate this.) However, Snyder notes that this won’t be a pair-up but something more adversarial, perhaps like Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns graphic novel of a older, future Batman.

As if Batman stood a chance in that mode for long, the fan’s love of Batman’s crazy-preparedness notwithstanding. The film must show the two working together in the end, as the comic universes clearly show, for they really are the best of friends over time. Also, as clearly illustrated in the first film, in a fight between human versus Kryptonian, human loses unless very lucky. Not even the non-powered but brilliant Batman can keep up in a prolonged fight with a determined Superman.

If Warner Bros. can pull off this team-up, they’ll get their cinematic universe in a good position. When you think about all the other attempts to get any of their characters to the big screen with any measure of success, a Superman/Batman film was WB’s strongest, and probably the only card they had left.

7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Daniel Haughton
    Jul 21, 2013 @ 13:51:38

    Yeah, I’ve always been firmly on the Superman side in the Superman vs. Batman debate. People (including the writers) seem to forget that virtually every incarnation of the character is super intelligent on top of everything else.

    • teachersyn
      Jul 21, 2013 @ 17:04:52

      Superman’s historically not an idiot, true. But the Batman’s history shows that his intellect was always one step ahead of just about everyone. In a straight-on fight, Batman has no chance. Otherwise, it’s all a matter of prep for him. And Superman, except on rare occasions where some older comic gave “super-intelligence” as a power, thought no faster or better than anyone else–sometimes he wasn’t as sharp.

  2. geoffhanna
    Jul 21, 2013 @ 15:54:51

    This will be an unpopular comment but I do not like Superman. Too all-powerful. In honesty, Batman has no chance. They have to come up with some crazy twists but even then, all Supe has to do is breath one him. Or look at him. And it’s over.

    The guy punches planets out of orbit for crissake. And on top of that, he’s faster than the Flash too.


    The only way that Batman survives the first 100 milliseconds of a fight with Superman is if we all agree to lie to ourselves and pretend it is possible. And I hate that.

    So, I don’t really hate Superman. I just hate how stupidly powerful he is. Really there should be just one Superman comic, his origin, and then be ascends to godhood over everything. The end.

    • teachersyn
      Jul 21, 2013 @ 17:02:09

      Your sentiment is shared with many, really. It’s why that character has been hard to write, causing DC to literally blow up their universes to power-limit him and many others. It’s also why more of us relate to the Batman, whose origin isn’t out of the realm of possibility, although your life expectancy isn’t going to be nearly as good as one would hope (that was why the last Batman series worked because it respected that idea).

  3. Daniel Haughton
    Jul 22, 2013 @ 10:39:04

    I’m at the other end of the curve. I find Batman completely unrelatable. In his own way, he’s as goofily overpowered as Superman, what with being the most brilliant man on the planet, the most physically fit man on the planet, the richest guy on the planet, the most street savvy guy on the planet, the most crazy skilled guy on the planet. He makes MacGuyver and Jarrod the Pretender look like complete wannabes. I’m sure he could waltz into the TARDIS and have her looking like the Batmobile in thirty seconds flat. Oh, and he wouldn’t even NEED a sonic screwdriver or have to reverse the polarity of the neutron flow!

    Too many writers worship at both of their altars while forgetting that other heroes can and should save the day on occasion. My personal super heroic devotion at DC goes to The Big Red Cheese himself, Captain Marvel whose greatest superpower appears to be either directly on par with or always being ever-so-slightly behind Superman no matter how many power-ups Supes has gotten. It’s really, dare I say it, comical, how often that happens. Cap never, ever gets a power-up, but he is always a match for the Big Blue Boyscout.

    Oh yes, do this old comic book fan a favor and don’t mention the Nu52, please.

  4. Kavatch2.0
    Jul 22, 2013 @ 16:27:12

    Funnily enough seeing how in most of Superman’s difficult fights against the “intellectual” villains in the DC universe, they almost always have Kryptonite they got from some Kryptonite spring that pops up whenever the readers need to realize the more human side of superman, I think Bruce would be ok in the fight. Point being these heroes are works of fiction who’s only weaknesses are those written into the script. The whole who would win is pointless. Its entirely dependant on selling a product and If in a fight between Superman and Batman, Batman wins it is only because sales reps and analysts pouring over information on Batman and Superman sales figures decided that a fight where batman wins would be more profitable due to the shock value and larger batman fan base willing to buy the comic. It’s a product guys and they will have whoever they want win.

  5. Kavatch2.0
    Jul 22, 2013 @ 16:32:41

    Hell man mebby they just thought it was a good idea let the underdog win (Like that happens at ALL), keep the 75 year old show fresh.

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