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Batman was robbed, Wasn’t it bad enough to be an orphan, now he has to play perpetual second fiddle to the boy scout of the DC universe, Superman?
I’m talking about Batman Vs. Superman, of course. There’s been a lot of buzz about the new trailer released this week, and while most of it is good, I can’t help but feel like the whole thing is one big mistake that’s going to get worse before it gets better. While most people who take issue with it cite the changes they’ve made from the Frank Miller graphic novel “The Dark Knight Returns,” which features a climactic battle between the two heroes in a very believable and dark setting, my issues take place before the movie even begins.

I’ll back up to explain a little, since most people don’t even know why the two would have any issue with each other. In “The Dark Knight Returns,” Batman comes out of a ten-year retirement in order to lay some much needed beat-downs on the criminals who have claimed Gotham. However, his return prompts several super-villains to come out of hiding as well, representing a greater threat to the public than had been seen before. The American government, declaring the age of the hero to be over, calls in Superman as their personal attack dog to ‘persuade’ Batman back into retirement. Thus the stage is set for a symbolic battle between Superman representing the power of authority to decide what’s best for us, and Batman representing the will inside of all of us to control our own destinies.

The new Batman Vs Superman film seems to flip the ideals of the two in a way. We see Superman as the ‘outsider’, representing something altogether different from us, alien and untrustworthy. Meanwhile Batman symbolizes an angry and scared humanity, looking at something more powerful than themselves and not understanding its motivation. These are some complicated standpoints, but in the modern age, I think it’s a brilliant choice and potentially the only way to make Superman really interesting to a new audience at this point.

But my problems don’t come from the fact that they’ve changed elements from ‘TDKR’, they come from the fact that Ben Afflec and Jared Leto don’t get their own film establishing them as our new Batman and Joker. Superman got his film, but with the Nolan Batman trilogy still in recent memory, it seems they’ve decided that it’s too soon to give him his own reboot. That would be a logical call, if we were only looking at a Batman Vs Superman movie. But with the subtitle of ‘Birth of Justice’, its clear that this is only a stepping stone to the greater project of a Justice League film, similar to Marvel’s stunning Avengers franchise. And as any nerd can tell you, Batman is the core of the Justice League.

Introducing the character of Batman as an add-on to an established Superman will forever put them on uneven ground. In a perfect world, each member of the Justice League would get their own film before teaming up, but in reality the only ones that matter are Batman and Superman. Marvel’s way of doing things is simply the best; they’ve given their properties time to grow and live in our heads, before combining all of it under one roof and blowing things out of the sky. They may be the competition, but DC could definitely learn something there.

Unless, that is, they’re only interested in pumping one of these ‘group hero’ movies out the door in order to cash in while superheroes are still hot. They can see franchise fatigue on the horizon. The thing is, i don’t think they understand that slapdash decisions and half-assed movies are WHY franchise fatigue happens in the first place.

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