World's Finest

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World's Finest

MovieBob looks at what we might get out of the Superman/Batman crossover that is Man of Steel's sequel.

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I'm going to go ahead and play devil's advocate here.

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns is, was when it came out, and always will be absolutely fucking terrible. Frank Miller can't write his way out of a shoebox and it's painfully apparent in that story in particular. It's infantile, nihilistic trash for teenagers who want to feel "hardcore". That's all it'll ever be, and pretty much nothing good can come of a movie taking hints from that, especially since Man of Steel completely missed the point of Superman as a character to begin with.

I'd love to see them set on a collision course with one another by circumstance and the machinations of a bad guy so that all this tension builds in the first act until they actually meet face to face for the expected Misunderstanding-Fight... which never happens. They instead size one another up, prove to be excellent judges of character and immediately team up to spend the last two thirds of the movie rooting out and kicking the ass of the bad guy.

--Morology!

Heh,Superman and clones of Hitler. I get the reference.

I think the assumption that they'll fight is because that's what happens in every superhero team up ever. The heroes meet, have some misunderstanding or miscommunication, wail on each other for a bit, get over it, start kicking the right asses. It was the whole second act of The Avengers. Can't really see them going to for something different with this, unless they go way out of left field and make their new Batman a campy Adam West copycat to either counter their grim and gritty Superman or just plain mess with us

The best path would be to do as Cracked says...

http://www.cracked.com/blog/3-superman-vs.-batman-comic-storylines-movie-should-keep/

Batman and Superman dicking around out of boredom and threatening each other for kicks? Stand aside Marvel...

Do we know yet whether it's BaleBat or a new one?

I'm really hoping that having Batman be the grim one acts as a way of bringing out Superman's good side in a way that Man of Steel failed to do. In the comics, Superman is often seen as the closest Batman has to a friend in the Justice League and I hope that the obligatory fight gets done early on to allow that friendship to develop. They really have a much deeper history as friends than anything else and given the vast difference in power, a drawn out fight will probably end up undermining one (or both) characters.

Good work cleaning up the formatting errors, but you missed one of the typos:

MovieBob:
Bats aren't the natural of Kryptonians, for example.

I really don't know what to think about something like this, for this will have all the problems that I am expecting out of a Justice League movie where they have a God-like character and a moral that is just smart and wealthy.

After the bad taste that Man of Steel left with me, I am pretty sure I will be avoiding this no matter what word of mouth has to say.

You know what? I hope they don't fight. At all. I know it's a losing bet, but I'm not interested in seeing 'the whole "who would win?" thing settled up onscreen,' and I don't think a fight between these two would be fun to watch. It only semi-worked in The Dark Knight Returns because Batman went to elaborate lengths to cheat (including calling in outside help) and then apparently died. Besides, they still don't have a Batman suit anyone can move in. Who wants to see another fight with the shit choreography all that stupid rubber forced on everyone?

I want to see a buddy cop movie with super heroes. Superman and Batman going all over the world to try and stop some ambiguous threat, Batman doing actual detective work (something that both movie and comic book writers seem to have completely forgotten the meaning of) and Superman flying in to lift and punch things when shit gets real. The closest I want them to get to fighting is trading jokes at each others' expense or arguing over what to do next. I don't even really need to see a scene where they first meet. I am perfectly happy to watch a movie that begins with Superman and Batman showing up together to stop a robbery or something.

I'm sorry, but the 'unrelentingly dark with a washed-out color palette' thing just doesn't work as the primary mode for telling superhero stories. It's great in small doses, when it's confined to a miniseries or a single film, but it gets dull real fast when it's more than that. What it comes down to is that these stories are inherently not only ridiculous, but fairly simplistic (yes, even everyone's precious Batman), and they can never be grim as well as Dostoevsky, or Lampedusa, or even Dick can be.

The idea of superheroes fighting before they team up is as old as superheroes teaming up. That it's so readily accepted that they would do that may have nothing to do with Batman TDKR and may have to do with their part of comic book culture in the overall cultural zeitgeist. This is such a big deal both Marvel and DC have taken the piss out of it before. Marvel, at least, routinely.

Ace Morologist:
I'd love to see them set on a collision course with one another by circumstance and the machinations of a bad guy so that all this tension builds in the first act until they actually meet face to face for the expected Misunderstanding-Fight... which never happens. They instead size one another up, prove to be excellent judges of character and immediately team up to spend the last two thirds of the movie rooting out and kicking the ass of the bad guy.

--Morology!

that would be awesome, but the majority of movie-goers would be piiiiiiiiissed....

Pallindromemordnillap:
Heh,Superman and clones of Hitler. I get the reference.

Superman never met twin clones of Hitler. Bearded Idiot did.

Maybe he can team up with Crazy Steve.

If they're looking for it to be a lead-in to the JLA film and it's NOT going to feature them in constant conflict each other, then a name in the same vein as "Man of Steel" would perhaps be "Men of Justice".

MoS was pretty grim though, fairly sure a good few thousands more civilians must have died in Metropolis compared to NY in Avengers.

Never going to happen, but the Superman/Batman team-up from the Man of Steel miniseries by Byrne would work really well for this.

Superman flying in to arrest Batman >> Bats tricking him into working together to catch the bad guy >> uneasy truce for most of the story >> fix everything >> budding friendship >> end credits

I think it's good that WB cares what we fans think about how Superman, Batman, and everybody else are characterized, and not just about how much money they make from it. They care about their characters and want to do right by us fans, and I can't see Batman and Superman fighting all throughout the movie, but teaming up to fight someone worse, like Lex Luthor.

And the Avengers all being "second stringers"? Really? Even Captain America?

The only think that disappoints me more than the acceptance that MovieBob's draft of a script is guarantied to be the next movie, is the acceptance that Batman will be the unofficial winner of that match up. Sorry, but there is no way Nolan's Batman can beat Snyder's Superman. In the DKR comics he basically had to run a tank through him and join forces with Green Arrow to be able to fight him, in a universe were they haven't introduced kryptonite and magic (and likely never will, given Nolan's approach), Superman would mop the floor with the dark knight's face.

Darth_Payn:
I think it's good that WB cares what we fans think about how Superman, Batman, and everybody else are characterized, and not just about how much money they make from it. They care about their characters and want to do right by us fans, and I can't see Batman and Superman fighting all throughout the movie, but teaming up to fight someone worse, like Lex Luthor.

And the Avengers all being "second stringers"? Really? Even Captain America?

Compared to all of the major Justice League members, the rest of the Bat family, the Hulk, Spider-man, Wolverine, a handful of other X-men, and even the Fantastic Four, yeah even the Captain falls a bit short in terms of how prevalent in media and our collective pop-culture consciousness he is.

Also, I hope DC throws a curve-ball and sets it up as a superhero buddy cop film. It would be glorious to see both of them working together from the beginning with a grudging respect, only to become best friends at the end.

How exactly do you get a two hour film out of THESE two franchises given what we saw in Man of Steel?!?

There has always been this sort of friendly argument amongst comic book fans over who would win in a fight between Bats and the Big Blue boy scout, but almost EVERY single scenario offered in which Batman could conceivably SURVIVE such an encounter (let alone actually WIN it) has been based on the premise of a.) the employment of kryptonite as a weapon and b.) Batman supposedly being willing to go to greater limits to defeat an opponent than Superman.

Scenario A doesn't seem viable since the Man of Steel mythos didn't seem to introduce kryptonite as a weakness, nor does Snyder seem inclined to go back on that as a convention.

Scenario B has never held much weight because Batman is as loathe to cross that "one special line" as Superman is, even when both characters probably share a great deal of responsibility for all the lives lost by NOT taking out final justice to end some of their more psychotic murdering villains.

In fact, Superman has only really crossed that line once in canon, when he slew Doomsday and that was only justified because he was going to die in the process, thus nobody would have been left to stop the creature if he had fallen.
Most of the other heroes were lucky to have escaped with their lives (some of them never really escaped to be honest.. it haunted them to the end of their days.)

I've also never really liked that argument that placed on equal terms Batman had the fighting advantage. Superman may have had super strength but he's still brawled with some of the best fighters in the UNIVERSE. At some point he learned how to stand toe to toe with someone when it comes to fisticuffs, and even minus his powers Clark is an imposing physical specimen of a man. Plus, to have to arbitrarily handicap Superman from the start just to win the argument is pretty much trying to give the win to Batman on easy mode. Oh gee well if Superman can't have his powers that define his character, then Batman doesn't get to have his gadgets or extensive training at the hands of Ninja masters and such. Fair is fair.

I digress.

The movie version of Superman from Man of Steel would flat out kill Batman before Bruce even knew he was coming. Hell, if they go with Nolan's Batman there won't even be much of a fight, since that stiff, slow ass Bat-suit was more a hindrance than anything else. Batman got his rump handed to him TWICE by Bane, who didn't even have his venom. He could barely hold his own against the Joker. In fact if you think about it, Batman pretty much SURVIVED the climax of his films rather than 'won' any of those particular engagements.

The best I can hope for is that they'll return to more comic book based writing in the next iteration of Batman.. lighten him up a little.. go more towards the Adam West end of things now. We've seen dark batman get darker and darker, let's make him more Brave and the Bold now.

Then we might actually have an interesting film.

Raika:
I'm going to go ahead and play devil's advocate here.

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns is, was when it came out, and always will be absolutely fucking terrible. Frank Miller can't write his way out of a shoebox and it's painfully apparent in that story in particular. It's infantile, nihilistic trash for teenagers who want to feel "hardcore". That's all it'll ever be, and pretty much nothing good can come of a movie taking hints from that, especially since Man of Steel completely missed the point of Superman as a character to begin with.

I don't think you know what devil's advocate means. You're supposed to argue in "defense" for someone or something you don't necessarily agree with. Also, attacking somebody's writing prowess just because it suits your needs is a low blow and completely unnecessary. I for one think that the Dark Knight Returns is a great piece of comic book writing. You use little to no reasons for your "opinions".

If they call it 'Batman of Steel' I am giving up on superheroes.

I agree with most of your sentiments, Bob. But here are some things to consider:

Along with the appeal of seeing the two guys fight, Frank Miller's work (and a lot of other works with story lines that focused on darker ideas and interpretations) have a lot in common with all the stuff we've seen Nolan do thus far. So the fact that such a connection is being made with this whole "versus" logic really does seem like the most logical conclusion for all of this. To suggest otherwise would be ignoring the obvious similarities.

That said, I'm not entirely opposed to the idea of the two characters starting off not getting along (not enemies, but just not being buddy-buddy right away). World's Finest is probably the best example of that. They don't get along at first but neither are planning to destroy one another. Instead, they take time to learn about each other and figure out why they're both working at the same problem that both of them could (in their minds) do alone. This early friction allows the two to overcome that to help further characterize them and their differences. It also would help highlight WHY the two need to work together. For Bruce, it seems obvious that he would want the help of a god-like being when problems get too much for him to handle. But keeping in mind this is a "Man of Steel" movie and we just saw the previous one showing us how Superman really can handle just about anything and isn't afraid to kill if he has to, we need to see why a human in his bat pajamas is important enough for him to pal around with. I'm not sure HOW they plan to do that without going the obvious route of "Batman is smarter and better at strategy," but hopefully we'll be surprised with something else.

I just don't know how they could possibly do it. They STARTED OFF with an Avenger's level crisis in Man of Steel that Superman averted on his own (well, with the help of the military, but that's still impressive considering how useless they tend to be in these types of movies) so what could possibly happen to warrant the help of an eccentric rich guy who uses little gadgets and ninja weapons?

You never know, it could be that in an interesting reversal, Batman comes in to teach a young and full of bluster Superman that even the smallest of crimes is worth his attention, not just the earth shattering stuff.

I see what Bob means by not being natural enemies in this "movie-verse" mainly due to their ideologies. Both with grim outlooks on life an personal oh so tortured souls the only thing I see them doing when they get together is writing dark poetry together while monologuing about the human condition. Maybe they'll end up fighting over whose is better.

Why not bring Lex Luthor in as a catalyst? He's not a bad guy just yet in this universe and could call the two together to take on some sort of threat that requires both of them. He'd serve the role of Nick Fury, recruiting the various supers for his special team. But really he's manipulating them to serve his own ends.

Part of the problem is Superman is inherent to comics, now. So fantastical and colorful and childlike. Batman more easily made the transition to crimefighter and "real world." Batman can fight organized crime, drug dealers, housing gentrification, and other perils from the headlines like law and order. Serious stuff that makes up adult entertainment.

Superman... can't. He can't be in cop drama, war movie, detective flick, or thriller. *shrugs*

So they are opposed and being so over the top but iconic Superman is unignorable. The obstacle to comics and superheroes are serious work gaiz.

For all its faults Byrne's reboot did help. And many aspects of Man of Steel work but in getting Superman to our world they became, like 90s comics, too self conscious and critical without need. At the least the "saving people" should have been more evident and it felt the story ended wrong from the one told.
How can he have a normal life after all that's been revealed and happened. And I'm one of the guys who liked their take on Pa Kent and that he died of something OTHER than a heart attack.
I even didn't mind the concept of Superman killing Zod or the pain and destruction or even him having a righteous temper.

But...still the burning bright happiness and character is missing. So I think this crossover is possible. But...alsonot necessary.

*sigh*

I would vastly prefer a 'buddy cop' story, a little like Lethal Weapon, rather than a story where they are deliberate antagonists to each other.

There are very good reasons why Batman and Superman have become so iconic and important. Utilize them!

Fuck it, just take all the great stuff from the animated universe and roll with it. They don't always see eye to eye there- but they don't hate each other or even fight each other, at least not in the TDKR manner.

And you know what: Frank Miller's work does have some issues, not the least of them being how he turned Superman into a stooge; a crime that we are still paying for today, in some ways.

That doesn't mean it isn't a brilliant story: it is and it's well executed. But the fact that it's become THE BIBLE of Batman stories and it's impact on Superman, isn't a great thing.

Someone suggested somewhere (I can't remember where) that the movie should go like this:

Superman is called in to help deal with this mysterious vigilante problem that's turned up in Gotham City. When Supes does track this guy down, surprise surprise it's Batman, who is following a lead on some kind of criminal conspiracy. There's a scuffle, but Bats ninjas his way out of there after planting a seed of doubt in Supes' mind about his employers. Batman's explosive attack on whatever villain factory/hideout they go with naturally draws the attention of Superman, who realises he's been conned by whatever crooked cops/officials asked him to take out Batman, then the two team up for the final showdown with the big bad.

Post credits scene where it's revealed Lex was pulling the strings on the whole thing, and the whole "they won't best me again" thing, setting up Justice League.

I liked the animation where Superman is framed by Luthor so he and Batman team up and take on a host of villains trying to collect the bounty.

I'd like to see something like that in movie form. As for them being enemies... I don't tend to read DC comics really (their animation is really good though) as it's out of my generation somewhat so I don't really know about that.

Can't say I find the concept anymore appealing than Bob does though. Especially after seeing that schizo excuse for a Superman movie. Couldn't really figure out what was going on half the time so it was almost like the movie itself was prompting me to ignore it... More time to cram the over the top action in my face I suppose.

Can't complain really but I do hope they'll stop just seeing what they can get away with and go back to you know... Actually thinking about stuff. Instead of going fast as they can hoping no one notices then telling me to deal with it and move on... I'll move on alright.

Raika:
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns is, was when it came out, and always will be absolutely fucking terrible.

No, Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Back is absolutely terrible. As in has zero redeeming qualities whatsoever. I don't know why I still keep it on my bookshelf with the other comics; it's probably infecting them with awful even as we speak.

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns is decent. It's still full of Miller-style crazy, but at least it's restrained crazy, as opposed to the aforementioned sequel in which all pretense of holding back the crazy is removed.

HyenaThePirate:
How exactly do you get a two hour film out of THESE two franchises given what we saw in Man of Steel?!?

There has always been this sort of friendly argument amongst comic book fans over who would win in a fight between Bats and the Big Blue boy scout, but almost EVERY single scenario offered in which Batman could conceivably SURVIVE such an encounter (let alone actually WIN it) has been based on the premise of a.) the employment of kryptonite as a weapon and b.) Batman supposedly being willing to go to greater limits to defeat an opponent than Superman.

Scenario A doesn't seem viable since the Man of Steel mythos didn't seem to introduce kryptonite as a weakness, nor does Snyder seem inclined to go back on that as a convention.

Scenario B has never held much weight because Batman is as loathe to cross that "one special line" as Superman is, even when both characters probably share a great deal of responsibility for all the lives lost by NOT taking out final justice to end some of their more psychotic murdering villains.

In fact, Superman has only really crossed that line once in canon, when he slew Doomsday and that was only justified because he was going to die in the process, thus nobody would have been left to stop the creature if he had fallen.
Most of the other heroes were lucky to have escaped with their lives (some of them never really escaped to be honest.. it haunted them to the end of their days.)

I've also never really liked that argument that placed on equal terms Batman had the fighting advantage. Superman may have had super strength but he's still brawled with some of the best fighters in the UNIVERSE. At some point he learned how to stand toe to toe with someone when it comes to fisticuffs, and even minus his powers Clark is an imposing physical specimen of a man. Plus, to have to arbitrarily handicap Superman from the start just to win the argument is pretty much trying to give the win to Batman on easy mode. Oh gee well if Superman can't have his powers that define his character, then Batman doesn't get to have his gadgets or extensive training at the hands of Ninja masters and such. Fair is fair.

I digress.

The movie version of Superman from Man of Steel would flat out kill Batman before Bruce even knew he was coming. Hell, if they go with Nolan's Batman there won't even be much of a fight, since that stiff, slow ass Bat-suit was more a hindrance than anything else. Batman got his rump handed to him TWICE by Bane, who didn't even have his venom. He could barely hold his own against the Joker. In fact if you think about it, Batman pretty much SURVIVED the climax of his films rather than 'won' any of those particular engagements.

The best I can hope for is that they'll return to more comic book based writing in the next iteration of Batman.. lighten him up a little.. go more towards the Adam West end of things now. We've seen dark batman get darker and darker, let's make him more Brave and the Bold now.

Then we might actually have an interesting film.

Yeah, these arguments can be neatly wrapped up by asking a simple question.

"Which one of them can kill the other from orbit?"

Even when they have fought in the comics, Batman stated that Superman could easily kill him if Superman wasn't holding back. One time Batman sprained his wrist just PUNCHING Superman, and Superman said he was rolling with that punch. Even Returns had to blast Superman with a nuke block out the sun for a week, and make him really unwilling to fight just to make it even possible for Bruce to win.

Spending a movie showing each and every way Batman would be crushed by the demigod of Truth, Justice, and the (insert your country here)an way would not be interesting, and saying it would go any other way would just be LYING.

I actually liked The Dark Knight Returns, as grimdork as it was, and I was even hoping the film with the same name would have mirrored it more than it did, but since the film was a terrible Frankenstienian combination of that book and Knightfall, I ended up wanting to eye-vomit after that travesty. It set up the idea that the lawful good and chaotic good of Supes and the Bat would occasionally have some differences that they might get into a fistfight over (provoked by Bats, of course). Batman would have to be wearing a tank and cheat by using kryptonite (and possibly even other superheroes), and Superman would just be Superman, the supreme boyscout who could bench press a moon. Batman would make his point, Superman would see what he was trying to do, and realize he was being a bit blind about how to deal with the problem, and they'd compromise. They'd make up, match unstoppable force with the wit of the greatest detective, and bam, bob's your uncle, problem would be solved. It showed the strengths and morals of each character, neither wanted to flat out kill the other, and it could give each of them a "next time we do it my way" card.

Honestly, I'm just curious how they intend to do the teamup without the Joker. To my knowledge (which is admittedly a bit sparse in the team up department), most of the reasons the two join forces are because two of the biggest of bads have decided to temporarily work together before they stab each other in the back/face, and while Lex might be holding nascent ideas about bringing down the Man of Steel, there's no driving antagonist to really bring the Bat to his knees left (that can be played onscreen, at any rate. No actor in their right mind would take a Joker role yet). Unless we just cut to the heart of it and say some government entity is trying to put them down to prevent more of these incidents from showing up.

I actually told my co-workers about this... and aside from arguing who the best Batman was, I feel bad for saying that it's called "Batman vs. Superman", even though there was nothing implying that they would fight.

My prediction;

Overall, it will be an o.k movie. In the same way the first X-Men movie was an o.k movie. It will be popular, but not enough to make back it's budget. But in order to deny Marvel money (how exactly that is supposed to work...) they will pump out as many hero movies as they can. We will end up with an easily forgettable saga.

I miss the days before Disney bought Marvel and the two companies were allowed to be friendly rivals.

Its the one thing I never realized would go away. DC and Marvel used to be neighbors they would stare at each others lawns and complain that the other had better grass and then go and have a BBQ together.

Now that they are owned by seperate big companies we'll never get a JLA Avengers movie or even comics crossover again.

I'm seeing this movie being made because I don't think DC/Warner has that much confidence that a straight Superman sequel would do all that well. If they did and wanted to add a character, they could have added someone like Wonder Woman, Flash or maybe even the Martian Manhunter as his backstory could take a week to explain. But they chose Batman, that to me sounds like they wanted to bolster Superman's numbers. Maybe they thought that since people thought Superman in the movie was too dark, they would give them an even darker Batman.

If Cavill's Superman actually fought Batman that fight would last about two seconds. He fought and killed someone within his own power range, a human, even with fancy gadgets would be like a fly to him. Which is one of the many reasons Zod was an extremely bad choice for the villain in the first movie, they needed someone or something to challenge him, but not push him to extremes so fast, but I digress. I don't want to make this about what I think was wrong with the Superman film. I'll just say as an action film it wasn't bad, but as a Superman film it needs a lot of work.

I don't think anyone would call them friends, but they have high respect for each other. That's why Superman always entrusts Batman with some Kryptonite should he go off the ranch, because he knows Batman will do what is necessary.

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