“Day Vs. Night. God Vs. Man. Son of Krypton Vs. Bat of Gotham!” Arguably the most anticipated superhero film of this year, Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice is now only less than a month away from release and I for one couldn’t be more excited for this film.
However, if you are not convinced yet for the reason that you either didn’t perhaps like the polarising Man of Steel or don’t believe that a human could withstand Superman’s megaton punches, then fear not. You may yet be convinced otherwise. To some it may look like DC are trying to throw all their chips into the one bet. While that appears to be true, it seems to be handled with care, precision and a love for the source material.
Now for those who may not know Dawn of Justice is a loose adaptation of Frank Miller’s 1980’s graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns. In this we see an older Bruce Wayne who has been out of the cowl for a good many years. Gotham is over-run and Superheroes other than Superman have been illigitimised by the very right-wing American Government.
Once more, Bruce is forced to dawn the Cape and cowl and take to the streets to protect those who live in fear. Later this all spirals into events that force the Government to pit Superman against Batman if he doesn’t relinquish his criminal punching crusade of justice. The two fight and it becomes one of the most controversial yet memorable comic book scenes from history.
Our older Bruce Wayne in the film is played by none other than hardcore Batman fan, Ben Affleck while Superman is still played by the fantastic choice of British actor Henry Caville. So where do film and novel split off into their own world?
Well for a start Wonder woman does not appear within the graphic novel. However, her role in the film while not currently disclosed will inevitably be the catalyst that brings both Clark and Bruce together to fight the greater evil; both Lex Luthor and Doomsday, both of which are not featured in the graphic novel either. Fear not though, for it makes perfect sense! Albeit a little hesitancy towards Doomsday’s appearance so early on.
Lex, played by Jesse Eisenberg, as most will know, despises Superman. He believes in humanity and its strength, so when an alien with unlimited power helped to wipe out half of his home city, you can be sure he stirs with a dark resentment of our favorite Kryptonian. Lex and Bruce are also businessmen and have been known to have worked together, of course before Bruce realises he is an absolute psychotic sociopath. Lex may push Bruce (presumably knowing he is the Dark Knight) into fighting Superman; already blinded by rage of thousands of his employees dying during the Metropolis fight from Man of Steel as we see from the trailer in which one of his buildings falls over.
So where does Doomsday fit into this all? Quick brush up on him for anyone who isn’t aware. Originally Doomsday was a prehistoric Kryptonian monster, buried deep below Krypton. When it inevitably ended up like popcorn in a microwave, he was awakened and arrived at Earth just like Clark. Superman fights him and well…dies. This all occurred in the 1992 comic storyline The Death of Superman.
So is it too early for Doomsday? Yes. Do I like his design? Not really. He has massive spikes that grow out of him and more of a fantasy creature look to his face. I hate to say it but I agree when people compare our film counterpart of him to one of the Michael Bay Ninja Turtles. The similarities are uncanny.
That being said, I suppose we need villain larger than life for our Holy Trinity to fight; Trinity being Batman, Superman and Wonder woman. You guys and girls, if like me, really just want to see Batman and Superman on screen together for the first time in history. There are few moments like this throughout our life-time. Just be thankful we are all alive to bare witness.
What we really want though is for them to fight. I have waited years for a live action adaptation of The Dark Knight Returns and I couldn’t be happier about how this film is turning out. The casting is fantastic, the fight sequences from what we have seen look incredible, I mean unhinged older Batman that shows no mercy and slams heads off of the bloody floor? Yes please!
As I said earlier, those who hated Man of Steel might not find solace within this next installment. This film is however going to address the destruction in the first film, the implications for Superman who is still becoming the hero he was born to be and the opening up of the DC universe as a whole. So be excited.
Get your Superman or Batman clothing ready. Binge watch The Dark Knight Trilogy and Man of Steel and prepare for the greatest gladiator match of all time, as Lex would say.
Since my bias is towards Batman, I’ll leave you all with some very famous words from when the Bat beat the Man of Steel 30 years ago: “I want you to remember Clark, in all the years to come, in your most private moments, I want you to remember my hand at your throat. I want you to remember the one man who beat you.”