Superman nightmare

Zack Snyder has released a new “Batman v Superman – Exclusive Sneak” for the upcoming movie, and it is frightening. The “nightmare” clip begins with Batman trapped in a desert bunker manned by some sort of shock troops loyal to Superman. The Man of Steel arrives at the remote location and approaches his prisoner with a scowl normally seen by the Dark Knight.

Batman nightmare

Yes, it is possible to make Batman wet his pants. Bruce Wayne is righteously terrified (hence, the nightmare). Imagine a man with the power of a god — unaccountable to no one and restricted only by his own definition of right and wrong. Would the world hope and pray that this “superman’s” moral compass had a lifetime warranty, or would they not want to chance it and find a way to destroy him?

Superman scowl nightmare

Nations around the world would only tolerate Superman’s existence as long as there were equal or greater threats out there that he could defend them from. Leaders would jockey to win his allegiance. Wars would be fought because of him, and in the end it is entirely plausible that he would finally succumb to the temptation to end the madness by declaring himself our global king.

Batman v Superman nightmare

Some fans are already bemoaning the movie and its depiction of “nightmare” Superman, even though it won’t even be in theaters for another four months.

Perhaps the most hilarious feedback came from Dan Slott — the guy who “killed” Peter Parker for over a year and then put Doctor Octopus behind the mask.

He said: “I’d rather have a Superman who inspires and gives people hope — and not a dark & gritty alien who inspires fear.”

Dan Slott Superman

The lack of self-awareness is astounding. Replace “Superman” with “Spider-Man” and “alien” with “Doctor Octopus” and then ask him how he has the gall to critique Snyder. But I digress.

Online critics who are oddly upset that Henry Cavill will not become a Christopher Reeve simulacrum are missing the point: Synder has elevated great characters to their well-deserved mythological status. He is exploring big ideas about larger-than-life characters. To do the movie justice (no pun intended), he can’t be beholden to some idealized version of Superman that simply would not work in the cinematic universe Warner Bros. has created.

Whether you’re on Team Snyder or a Team Slott, let me know what you think in the comments section below. I’d love to hear what you think.

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

36 comments

  1. What do I think? I think I really hope life doesn’t imitate art or perhaps that art doesn’t imitate life. Either way, I find Batman vs superman to be a disturbing idea. Call me crazy, but I need my superheros to be good guys with little or no moral ambguity. True, Batman has always been a dark knight, but still… 😉

    1. I’m definitely not a fan of the vast majority of anti-heroes, but I do like when heroes sometimes struggle with complex moral dilemmas. I ultimately want my heroes to make the right decisions, but I think it’s healthy to seem them wrestle with their emotions from time to time.

  2. I’m of the opinion that DC just needs to stick to TV and not bother with movies. If you want better examinations of this stuff, I think Arrow & Flash are doing a better job looking at it than I’d bet Synder will (time will tell if Supergirl does or not, it’s just starting).

    (You know if you get me started I could write whole essays on Supes & DC)

    I mean, you ask me which side I’m on, the sad part is is that my knowledge of the comics colors my answer. I’m not strictly on Synder’s mostly because it seems like lately in the comics we’ve had nothing BUT dark Supes, it’s getting really tiresome. (see here: http://slaymonstrobot.blogspot.com/search/label/Superman or http://comicboxcommentary.blogspot.com/)

    On the other hand… some of the stuff Grant Morrison & other writers have done… really start seeming dangerously close to idolizing Supes. And I mean, IDOL. Like, not seeing him as a “god – that is powerful being” but “God – that is YHWH” and no I’m not making those charges lightly (one could even make parallels of the writing debates in comics right now as treating Supes gnosticly – unhuman – or the opposite).

    Heck I showed you my dream superman script once so you know how I feel about him, Doug. I mean there’s obviously room for both stories, but it strikes me that the positive superman should be the norm, and the negative one the exception.

    Which team am I on? I guess I’m on team Baby.

    1. I’m of the opinion that DC just needs to stick to TV and not bother with movies.

      I can think of billions of reasons why Marvel Studios agrees with you.

      Which team am I on? I guess I’m on team Baby.

      Watching that scene and the baby’s reaction makes me wonder about the people who hate the film so much… There was so much to like about that movie, and Snyder always makes a visually-strong product.

    2. I can think of billions of reasons why Marvel Studios agrees with you.

      Yeah but as Furious D points out, keep in mind production costs. Profits on those movies might still be razor thin (assuming honest bookkeeping – not even Return of the Jedi has made a profit according to hollywood bookkeeping). Of course the real money is merchandise and I have no doubt Marvel is probably raking it in hand over fist with that. Going just by the creations though, part of me is curious now if the profit margin is wider or thinner for TVs vs movies. But then I was originally speaking from a purely artistic viewpoint, money be damned. 😉

      Though there’s some irony that Marvel films are light & fun with Marvel TV usually dark & grim (Agents… less so) while DCTV seems to be light & fun with its movies going dark & grim.

      Watching that scene and the baby’s reaction makes me wonder about the people who hate the film so much… There was so much to like about that movie, and Snyder always makes a visually-strong product.

      I didn’t hate the movie like some people did. Cecil did a video defending it and I think he made some good points. My problems with MoS are more on the execution & editing bits of it than anything too specifically nerdy.

  3. I really do not like what Slott has done to “Spider-man” over the years, but I will give credit where vredit is due and I did enjoy Superior Spider-man and it was one of the best Spider-man stories written within the last decade.

    About Slott’s twitter comment, I don’t find this hypocrtitical. Slott was talking about Superman and how he prefers Superman to inspire hope than be dark and gritty. He was talking about one character and saying he prefers one interpretation of that character over the other. So you can’t really compare it to Surperior Spider-man which was two different characters (Peter Parker and Doc Ock).

    Also personally I can’t wait for Batman V Superman. Yeah Man of Steel sucked (imo at least) but hey Incredible Hulk sucked and now have the MCU so…

    1. So you can’t really compare it to Superior Spider-man which was two different characters (Peter Parker and Doc Ock).

      I think it’s incredibly rich of Dan Slott to knock Snyder’s version when he essentially says if you don’t read every issue of SSM or ASM, then your critiques are without merit. He’ll spout off negatively about a 50-second “nightmare” scene as if he’s the arbiter of everything “Authentically Superman,” but if you analyze a few panels of ASM then he goes ballistic and puts the Twitter block button into overdrive. Slott is an über-hypocrite.

    2. Ok yes that is hypocritical, but I was referring to your comment comparing Slott’s twitter comment to Surperior Spider-man. Not how Slott criticizes a 50-sec vid when people can’t criticize his comics (cause that is hypocritical)

    3. On the other issue we’ll have to agree to disagree.

      For over one year the main “Spider-Man” was replaced with a version of the character who blew off a guy’s face at point-blank range. That was what kids got to “inspire” them. A megalomaniac literally assumed Peter Parker’s physical body, stole his identity, and as far as all the other characters were concerned he was the legit Peter Parker. In fact, Slott dumbed down everyone’s intelligence so the whole charade could continue for much longer than it should have gone.

      Also, even though no one believed him, Slott went with the Marvel line that Peter was dead and not coming back anytime soon and that Otto was “the” Spider-Man going forward. Heck, Spider-Verse was supposed to be a Doc Ock story, so that would have been two years without the original Spider-Man donning the mask.

      The crux of my argument is that Slott was complaining that Snyder’s Supes is a bastardization of what fans should always get when he bastardized Spider-Man for well over a year to suit his own ends — with a very dark character who almost killed six billion people before assuming a position of prominence.

      Did I like the story? No. Do I agree with you that Slott’s run on SSM was infused with energy and enthusiasm? Yes.

    4. “For over one year the main “Spider-Man” was replaced with a version of the character who blew off a guy’s face at point-blank range. That was what kids got to “inspire” them. A megalomaniac literally assumed Peter Parker’s physical body, stole his identity”

      Well yeah, this is Doc Ock we’re talking about. That was a big part of the story: Doctor Octopus takes over Peter Parker’s body and attempts to surpass Spider-man’s legacy and be superior to the original. Since this is Doc Ock we’re talking about, he thought being “superior” meant being more violent and merciless. It was similar to Batman: Knightfall where Joan Paul Valley (or whatever his name was) took over as Batman but ended up being a really crappy Batman. The whole point of those types of stories is “This is not how Spider-man/Batman/(insert any other superhero name here) should be like”. As for kids to be inspired by them…I think the comic was more aimed at teenagers and adults in the first place but if a kid was reading it and understood that that wasn’t Peter Parker mentally but one of his villains that the kid should be able to understand that that’s not how you should act.

      “and as far as all the other characters were concerned he was the legit Peter Parker. In fact, Slott dumbed down everyone’s intelligence so the whole charade could continue for much longer than it should have gone.”

      okay, fair argument and I’ll admit that that did bug me a little. However every story has flaws and realistically those characters had to be dumbed down since Stan Lee was writing them if we are to believe that Peter Parker’s ID is still a secret.

      “Also, even though no one believed him, Slott went with the Marvel line that Peter was dead and not coming back anytime soon and that Otto was “the” Spider-Man going forward. Heck, Spider-Verse was supposed to be a Doc Ock story, so that would have been two years without the original Spider-Man donning the mask.”

      First off, comic book publishers claim things all the time that turns out false later (like I’m pretty sure Marvel claimed Captain America was going to die and stay dead after Civil War…but this is off of memory so don’t quote me on that). So I’m not too ticked about that. Also, I didn’t like Spider-Verse anyways so…

      Have Slott basically been ruining Peter Parker for years? IMO yes and someone needs to fix that damage ASAP. But I still found Superior Spider-man an enjoyable read and Slott did a good job with it imo. If you don’t like it, fair enough; everyone has their own tastes.

    5. Final point on this one: I was never opposed to Doc Ock acquiring Spider-powers and running around NYC in a Spidey mask. My issue was with killing Peter Parker for an extended amount of time. We know for a fact that kids in their formative years who draw inspiration from comics had no Peter Parker for something like 15 months, and that if Slott had his way it would have been around 24. For me at 36 years old, that isn’t very long. For me at 12 years old, that’s an eternity.

      Watch this video. This is why killing Peter Parker for so long bothers me.

    6. Superior Spider-Man is a worse story than OMD.

      I cannot fathom it’s popularity with people. It got virtually nothing right and the ending stunk.

  4. I’m fine with an antihero now and then. But turning Superman dark and brooding doesn’t work. A dark and brooding Superman — a Superman who is no better than an average person — is terrifying, and not the least bit uplifting.

    Christopher Reeves’ Superman (not to knock Cavill’s acting, he did a good job with the role) was a man who we are happy to see with great power, a man the audience could admire. Snyder’s Superman uses his earth-shattering power to wreck a guy’s truck in a fit of pique. If he ever turns that pique to humanity in general he could end the species. It’s no fun having that a guy like that around! It’s like having a like nuke at the breakfast table.

    To quote Chesterton:

    Much has been said, and said truly, of the monkish morbidity, of the hysteria which as often gone with the visions of hermits or nuns. But let us never forget that this visionary religion is, in one sense, necessarily more wholesome than our modern and reasonable morality. It is more wholesome for this reason, that it can contemplate the idea of success or triumph in the hopeless fight towards the ethical ideal…A modern morality, on the other hand, can only point with absolute conviction to the horrors that follow breaches of law; its only certainty is a certainty of ill. It can only point to imperfection. It has no perfection to point to…[The monk meditating on Christ or Buddha] may…go mad; but he is going mad for the love of sanity. But the modern student of ethics, even if he remains sane, remains sane from an insane dread of insanity.

    Now, it is this great gap in modern ethics, the absence of vivid pictures of purity and spiritual triumph, which lies at the back of the real objection felt by so many sane men to the realistic literature of the nineteenth century. If any ordinary man ever said that he was horrified by the subjects discussed in Ibsen or Maupassant, or by the plain language in which they are spoken of, that ordinary man was lying. … But the truth is that the ordinary honest man, whatever vague account he may have given of his feelings, was not either disgusted or even annoyed at the candour of the moderns. What disgusted him, and very justly, was not the presence of a clear realism, but the absence of a clear idealism.

    Dante describes three moral instruments–Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell, the vision of perfection, the vision of improvement, and the vision of failure. Ibsen has only one–Hell. It is often said, and with perfect truth, that no one could read a play like GHOSTS and remain indifferent to the necessity of an ethical self-command. That is quite true, and the same is to be said of the most monstrous and material descriptions of the eternal fire. It is quite certain the realists like Zola do in one sense promote morality–they promote it in the sense in which the hangman
    promotes it, in the sense in which the devil promotes it.

    The whole point of Superman is to represent an ideal, similarly to Spider-Man. A man with tremendous power who uses it benevolently is a tremendous good. But Superman, as depicted in Man of Steel, is hardly any different than Dr. Manhattan — an unstable being who could destroy everything if he chose. Without the idealism, without the vision of what such a being would be like if he was a nearly perfect man, you only have various shades of darkness. Modern artists have lost the capacity, or maybe just the will, to depict goodness. Depicting bleakness and angst is easy; anyone can create a morally ambiguous situation. Depicting idealism requires choosing a side, saying “this is right. This is what a good man is.” And modern art lacks the courage to do that, or the moral compass to do it properly.

    I really enjoyed the Sentry, because it explored issues around Superman in an interesting way. The most interesting was, if you have the power to fix any problem in the world if you choose, how could you justify ever doing anything else? Are you morally responsible for the people who died while you were taking a shower who you could’ve saved? But to do this with Superman I think is a very negative thing. New characters are great for that sort of idea. Superman is supposed to represent an ideal. When you do this with Superman, you’re dragging a character that represented something to aspire to down into the mud, and saying “look, he’s really no better than any of us. We don’t have to be better like him, we’ve brought him down to be no better than the rest.”

    Since I enjoyed the Sentry and other stories like that I can understand why you could appreciate this version of Superman, but to me you ought to use a new character for something like that and let Superman represent something to look up to. It’s not as though there’s an overabundance of characters like that in entertainment at the moment.

    1. You make very strong points, and using Chesterton against me is a stroke of brilliance!

      I guess it all depends on how it is done. I like the way Snyder handles these sorts of tales, but my guess is that I would be downright repulsed by a similar project spearheaded by Garth Ennis.

      I also see these stories as opportunities to not just examine Superman, but to examine human nature. I believe the world would treat Superman, in many ways, just as it did Christ — and I think that is a lesson that should be hammered home on a regular basis.

      To me, every time I read about Superman I think about Christ. Was he the biggest fraud in the history of the world, or was he exactly who he claimed to be? Catholic blogger goes with “real deal.” Shocker. 😉

  5. The DC Cinematic Universe is darker than the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but I actually don’t mind DC’s approach of telling mature orientated stories over Marvel’s lighthearted cinematic romps.

    In terms of Superman as a dark and gritty character, who’s to say that exploring Superman’s moral compass and emotions won’t make for a dynamic cinematic narrative, as long as there’s a positive outcome? The Superman of the 30’s and 40’s wasn’t always the perfect model of an exemplary boy scout. At times he displayed some nasty character traits. From the 50’s onwards, is where the good-natured, ideal character traits, stemmed from, and I guess that is what most people think of when they think of Superman.

    I trust that Zack Snyder will deliver an entertaining thought provoking cinema experience with a plausible storyline, which is something that Dan Slott’s comic book writing will never achieve.

    The link below gives a brief insight into Superman’s history.

    http://www.comicbookmovie.com/superman/news/?a=120964

    1. In terms of Superman as a dark and gritty character, who’s to say that exploring Superman’s moral compass and emotions won’t make for a dynamic cinematic narrative, as long as there’s a positive outcome?

      Boom. Exactly. At the end of the day, I believe Snyder’s Superman will live up to his ideals…so I’m not sure what all the fuss is about. I don’t mean to tear open old wounds with anyone, but I still think there was nothing wrong with killing Zod in Man of Steel. That was the only viable option, Clark took no joy in doing so, and it will forever serve as a reminder of just how much responsibility he must bear with the power that he wields.

  6. Movie’s not out yet.

    Maybe Zack intends to show the ‘gritty/dark’ Superman as a place for Superman to rise from. Who knows, have to see it. I liked Man of Steel…though it seems a lot of people didn’t. Cavill is a fine Superman…and after watching Brandon in Arrow…I’m sure Brandon was bad because Bryan Singer is/was garbage…dofp being slightly bearable notwithstanding. IMO of course.

    One thing that has impressed me in a way like I never thought it would have….my wife and I have an in-joke, where if we see someone or something very stupid, one of us will open our mouth halfway and give a blank stare…as if intelligence and knowledge need to be inserted into our gaping maw to continue life. The name of the look: The Affleck Look.

    He seems to be consciously holding his mouth closed. I may watch this.

  7. Yeah, Slott a total hypocrite, but then self-awareness has never been his strong suit.

    As for the movie, eh. I wanna be fair, as the movie hasn’t come out yet. And some of my favorite Superman stories do get dark in spaces, like “For the Man Who Has Everything” when Superman takes his rage out on Mongul. But that was an earned moment, y’know? I don’t have a problem with characters getting dark or killing their foes in battle (like with the Zod example in the last movie), but I can think of so many examples of writers making heroes engage in grim-dark wangst just to try to make it look like they’re telling serious stories. Remember the Clone Saga run up? “I am the Spider!” growled Wangsty Spider-Man. DC can be pretty bad about it, too. That’s one of the reasons I gave up on their comics. I’ll try to be cautiously optimistic that the new movie won’t suck (my complaints about Ben Affleck’s casting and how they’re cramming in half the Justice League just to catch up with Marvel’s movies notwithstanding), though I strongly suspect by next summer, we’ll all be seeing a lot of “‘Civil War’ was the movie ‘Dawn of Justice’ should’ve been” type reviews.

  8. I agree that Slott’s opinions on the topic are ironic, at best; given that his post is very much the same thing that people had been saying about his Spider-Man work, but that’s a whole topic of its own (and probably a useless one, given that Slott has made it very clear that he’s sticking with his bizarro version of “Spider-Man” for the foreseeable future and Marvel has no interest in protecting the brand anymore).

    That said, I don’t think Slot is being a complete hypocrite; he’s simply expressing his opinion on a topic that’s unrelated to his job. Is that different from users on this site writing posts saying: “We’d rather have a Spider-Man who’s a blue collar superhero/married to Mary Jane/mature adult/whatever else we miss rather than a Bruce Wayne as Iron Man/bachelor/immature adult/whatever else bugs us”? Scott’s unwillingness to be respectful to people who think he’s the one destroying the superhero he’s working with does make him seem two-faced when he suggests that others are doing the same, but simply stating an opinion is hardly iron-clad evidence for conviction.

    That said, I think Slott actually pointed out the root of the whole debate: Of the two popular views of Superman, which one is the “real” one and which one debases the character? I’m not a Superman fan (the only thing I like in that franchise is the current “Supergirl” TV show), so I’m not sure what the correct answer is, but when I think about the character, I do tend to think of the more hopeful version; the whole idea of Superman being an incorruptible symbol seems pretty wedged in pop culture.

    On the other hand, unlike other superhero characters, Superman doesn’t really seem to have much of a personalty (which is part of the reason I’m surprised he’s as popular as he is; he’s not a very interesting character in and of himself, the way that his biggest popularity rivals — Batman and Spider-Man — are). So, although I don’t think dark and gritty when I think about Superman, I find it hard to argue that making a dark Superman goes against the character, since there’s no set characterization to measure him against.

    I’m not really a big fan of the whole “dark and gritty” superhero setting. I think it has its place and the genre would be well served by having a wide variety of movies, but I don’t tend to find those movies very satisfying. I prefer stuff that’s upbeat, but still has serious stakes. Of course, at the end of the day, we’ll have to wait for the movie to come out and judge whether it works or not, both as a story and as a adaption of it’s source material (for example, the 2009 “Star Trek” film was a decent sci-fi action movie, but an awful “Star Trek” film).

  9. As far as “Superior Spider-Man” being the best Spider-Man story, I disagree. I can’t be completely objective (since I hated the very premise of it) and didn’t read the entire thing, but I don’t think it compares very well to stuff that Brian Michael Bendis did on “Ultimate Spider-Man.” For example, they both killed off Peter Parker to make room for a new “Spider-Man” character, but, despite remaining vehemently opposed to both decisions, I think Bendis did the better job.

    Slott’s take on Peter’s death was pretty clumsy, since it’s only point was to make Doc Ock Spider-Man. Bendis’ version of Peter’s death was not only a satisfying (if tragic) story, it worked as a bookend to the beginning of the series and a culmination of the themes the series had woven into its storylines. USM could’ve stopped there and the series would’ve been complete.

    (Ironically, I think USM also had better the resurrection story when the time came for Peter’s return. I still don’t understand exactly how and why it happened in Slott’s take, and it really came across as a plot device to wrap the story up. The only fault I have with Bendis’ version is that I think the mystery of how Peter didn’t die should’ve been explained a little further and brining the Green Goblin back again was repetitive. But, Bendis wisely focused on the varied effects Peter’s resurrection had on the cast, letting the emotions of that carry the story.

    And, like the death story, the ending, where Peter and Mary Jan basically elope, not only worked as a satisfactory ending for this specific story, it also worked as the grand finale for Peter’s part in the series, since having the two lovebirds end up together was basically set-up as the only viable ending since issue one.)

    As far as the issues themselves, the “Superior” stuff I read just had a really mean-spirited tone. Yes, it’s about a supervillain pretending to be a good guy, but I really felt dirty afterwards. And much like his other work, Slott really seemed to build the whole thing on a platform of trying to provoke a negative reaction out of his readers.

    Now, to be clear, I think Miles Morales failed as a character. He doesn’t have much of a personalty and never really built that successful a supporting cast beyond the ones that where inherited from the Peter Parker days. (Case in point, in the first issue of the Peter resurrection story, the most interesting scenes are where Miles talks to his friend Ganke and Mary Jane about telling his girlfriend he’s a superhero. The most interesting things about those scenes are what the conversations reveal about Ganke and MJ, not about Miles himself.)

    But the tone of the Miles USM comics is welcoming. It seems to go for a “We did some great stuff in the past and that’s always going to be great, but lets take this new stuff and make it into something that’s also great.” Even in interviews, when taking about the Miles comics, Bendis’ has usually focused on positives.

    Now, to each their own, and I think it’s safe to say that “Superior” found its audience. But I think it’s very telling that a series that is hailed as one of the best of Slott’s work is a deliberate twisting of the source material and has received very mixed reviews. In comparison, USM is a candidate for one of Bendis’ best works, and it not only was hailed for remaining faithful to the source material all while taking a fresh spin on it, but it also kept consistent critical praise during it’s fifteen-year run.

    1. You’ll note that not once in my original post did I pair the words “Slott” and “hypocrite.” I said that his lack of self-awareness when tweeting his opinion on Batman v Superman was “hilarious.” I said in the comments section that it was “rich” that he has the gall to come out swinging against Snyder when his own Spider-Man story was the equivalent of “Superior Superman” with Lex Luthor in Clark’s shoes.

      Superduperawesomeguy responded to an argument that I didn’t make. I replied, but pointed out that it is quite hypocritical for Slott to feel as though his critiques of another man’s work are nothing to get upset over while he goes on on Twitter-block rampage with his own critics on a regular basis.

    2. “You’ll note that not once in my original post did I pair the words “Slott” and “hypocrite.” I said that his lack of self-awareness when tweeting his opinion on Batman v Superman was “hilarious.” “I said in the comments section that it was “rich” that he has the gall to come out swinging against Snyder when his own Spider-Man story was the equivalent of “Superior Superman” with Lex Luthor in Clark’s shoes.”

      I re-checked the article and see you’re right. I think I must’ve accidentally mashed the content of the original article and the comments together. I do agree there’s irony in Slott, of all people, expressing the opinion that a comic book character is not being true to the character.

      But, as far as Superman himself, I actually do kinda agree with Slott. Mostly because dark and gritty comic book movies don’t really appeal to me that much (the “X-Men” movies and “Captain America: The Winter Solider” are the darkest movies in this genre that I like because of the drama). Also, partially because the only strong connection I have to the “Superman” franchise is through the current “Supergirl” TV show, which averts the dark and gritty Superman interpretation.

      That said, I don’t see why a dark and gritty Superman wouldn’t work with a good story. Unlike Spider-Man, where the character has been consistently written with a specific range of tones, themes, and characterization that you can make a reasoned argument that the current Spider-Man comics are out of character, I don’t think there’s anything inherent in Superman that forbids a dark and gritty take. Even the “Supergirl” TV show has pointed out that there are people who don’t trust or fear Superman and has suggested that his being an active superhero may have triggered the rise of the supervillian.

      At the end of the day, I think that the “Dawn of Justice” movie will stand or fall on whether it can introduce the Justice League in a single movie and whether the “god vs. man; day vs. night” contest between Superman and Batman delivers rather then on whether Superman spends the movie cheerful or brooding.

  10. Slott wants a Superman that inspires people.

    Certain Spider-Man readers want a Spidey that’s not constantly overshadowed in his own book, that doesn’t come off like a pathetic patsy who sheds a tear for his murderer, and who doesn’t have to be retooled into Iron Man in a massive overcorrection over how bad the character came off in the last volume.

    Wonder what Snyder would do with Spider-Man?

    1. One would hope that Zack Snyder would present a mature grown up Spider-Man as originally and authentically respected by the greater Spider-Man writers, i.e. Lee/Ditko, Conway, Stern, DeFalco, DeMatteis, JMS, Jenkins, Bendis, and David.

    2. I think Snyder has proven that he can be incredibly faithful to source material while still making a movie his own. Watchmen is a great example. It’s an extremely underrated movie, in my opinion. My guess is that he’d do a wonderful job with Spidey.

    3. I thought Watchmen was underrated as well. Snyder got a fair amount of the important story and emotional beats from Moore’s comic. It was touted as the unfilmmable comic for a long time, but he did it. A lot of non-comic reading friends have told me they don’t like it, though.

      I would love to see an adaptation of Spidey where he’s a twenty-something. The recent films and cartoons seem to be perpetually sticking him as a High School student, early grad, or college student. I think an adult take on Spidey could be successful.

  11. DE, I chuckled at your assurances to readers that “yes, Batman can wet himself”. Of course he can — Batman has always been a professional wetter of sorts, a guy whose inner turmoil makes him short-circuit in the face of evil, allowing violent psychopaths to escape from him (or, worse, to be let go by him).

    When I first heard of this ridiculous movie “Batman vs Superman” I couldn’t believe that it wasn’t a joke. Two beloved heroes (actually one hero, and one impotent man who pretends to fight bad guys) pitted against each other. I’m sure you’ll tell me that there is a rich comic book history of such plot twists, but this entire essay and all of the comments center on the fundamental problem with it: there is no narrative in such a movie without one of the “good guys” turning bad, and so of course Snyder was compelled to turn Superman from light to dark.

    If I had the time I’d write the perfect screenplay for this movie. The plot would actually make sense (not too many reasons for these two to oppose each other): Batman would enter the scene of an imminent ISIS terrorist attack — the usual slaughter of innocents — and fail to intervene even though he could have stopped it from happening.

    “If I kill these Islamic terrorists, I will be no better than them….
    “In fact, if I kill them, I will BECOME them…
    “I…
    “Cannot…
    “Let….
    “That…
    “Happen……

    “HEY, IDIOT!!! DO SOMETHING YOU WORTHLESS EXCUSE FOR A HERO!!”

    Batman: “I…..Can’t…..I…..Won’t…..”

    Superman: “WHAT?????? I’m going to smash your face in after I kill these terrorists”

    Superman vs Batman indeed.

    1. Yes, it inspired me more than most other topics, I’ll admit.

      Batman: “Stop killing the terrorists! You become a terrorist yourself when you do that!”

      Superman: “You can’t be serious Batman. These killers want to murder all those who don’t follow their god, enslave our world, destroy sacred artifacts of civilization, throw homosexuals off ten story buildings as punishment for the ‘crime’ of being gay, suppress women in countless ways — you think I’m wrong to wage war against them?”

      Batman: “Of course!”

      Superman: “Let them go free?”

      Batman: “Yes!”

      Superman: “You make me sick. Why do you wear a costume, you spineless jellyfish. I haven’t heard nonsense like this since I read this morning’s paper quoting Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John Kerry. Give me your cape, I need to throw up in something and then throw it away.”

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