I’m about to geek-out all over the place. Consider yourself warned.
So a little shindig known as the San Diego Comic-Con International went down last weekend. There was cosplay to be had, updates on movies and all kinds of stuff currently in some phase of “happening” and, of course, some BIG announcements. The biggest of which was (imo) Warner Brothers’ reveal that the follow-up to last month’s Man of Steel would be a Batman/Superman film pitted against The Avengers: The Age of Ultron in 2015! I almost did a back flip when I read the news. Almost.
Why is this so amazing? Story! Story! Story! Apart from Batman (beyond the grasp of Joel Schumacher) being endlessly cool and Man of Steel successfully creating a non-campy/relatable Superman, the oil and water relationship between the two has made for some intense (and legendary) comic storylines and stellar animated film outings over the years. To get down to brass tacks, these two can have major issues even when they’re making an effort to get along.
While both characters are dealt tragedy early on in life (as orphans) and struggle through young adulthood to find their place in the world, the individuals they ultimately become are polar opposites. Superman, being the shining beacon of hope (strengthened by the yellow Sun to boot!), often struggles to understand Batman – a shattered vigilante, consumed by his past and bound to the night, using fear as a weapon for good – and vice versa. This dark and light schism between the two often leads to a simmering tension underlying ANY partnership they undertake; a tension that’s generally amplified by Superman’s presumed authority and Batman’s inherent lone wolf tendencies. So, yeah… Relationship Status: It’s Complicated.
Obviously, WB/DC was scant on the specifics of Bruce and Clark’s get together, but the reveal did mention that Frank Miller’s classic Batman: The Dark Knight Returns would be somewhat influential, though not strictly adapted in the new film. In the climax of The Dark Knight Returns, Superman and Batman go head to head in an epic finale for the ages. Plot detail?! Seeing the influence of DC’s New 52 comics on Man of Steel, I’d also put money on the new Batman/Superman comic title (which just launched last month and follows the first encounter of the two heroes) somehow factoring into the story of the film too.
Ugh! So begins the waiting game. Will Bruce and Clark throwdown? Will they unite to take on a tag team of the Joker and Lex Luthor à la World’s Finest?? Who will be cast as Batman now that Christian Bale is done??? Hollywood, why you so cruel????
Jon : Carrick