With Batman vs. Superman (aka World's Finest) beginning production, it seems like as good a time as any to go on a fan rant about the movie we will most likely get and the movie we deserve.
No one can deny that The Dark Knight trilogy will be the staple film series of the superhero genre for many, many years. They are an incredible set of movies that recreated an icon for a new generation of moviegoers. However, something else has occurred that few noticed and are willing to admit in light of the combination of the Batman and Superman film franchises.
Batman has become the "every-man" superhero.
Nolan wished to do something with The Dark Knight trilogy that few had been seen to do before: make Batman a symbol. It didn't matter who Batman was (Bruce Wayne or John Blake), only that he was a symbol for justice and fighting for what is right. It was about creating an image for the world to rally behind.
So why is this a problem? Why won't this version of Batman work for BvsS?
Mainly, Batman IS NOT an every-man hero. Yes, he is just a human. Yes, he has no superpowers. Yes, he pales in physical comparison to the likes of Superman, Wonder-Woman, The Flash, and heck, even Aquaman. But the one thing Batman is not is the every-man hero.
This is why I am so concerned. The Nolan Batman pales in comparison to the one that rivals the likes of Superman. This is the Batman vs. Superman movie we deserve. We cannot have a Batman that is the every-man superhero, because that Batman stands no chance at standing toe to toe with the super-powered goliath that is Sups, or leading against the threats of the Justice League.
Here are three important things that Batman NEEDS to have to work in Batman vs. Superman:
1. Batman has become MORE THAN HUMAN
Batman is the pinnacle of humanity. Faced with the death of his parents and the degradation of Gotham, Bruce Wayne does everything he can to become more than human. He trains in every form of combat, he trains to peak physical performance, he reaches the peak of human physicality, he even pushes his body to the limits of human ability (holding breath, injury, etc.).
While Nolan's version show ALOT of the physical side of Batman, he doesn't just decide to be a fighting vigilante, he obsesses with being perfect. He prepares for every situation. He makes everything muscle memory. He gives up a life and any social interaction to become something more than human.
2. Batman has to become the GENIUS DETECTIVE
The thing that makes Batman so intimidating isn't his physical prowess or fighting skills, it is his mind. Batman pushes his mind further than his body. He is a strategist, technical guru, a genius. He is ten steps ahead of everyone, he prepares for every situation, he knows the outcome before it happens (try playing chess with that). Yes, Batman is known for fighting, but it is his intelligence that defeats his enemies. Fighting is no more than a chess piece to be moved. If that doesn't work, there is always something else.
This is the portion of Batman that needs to be explored. The Batman/Superman dynamic is so unique. Superman is raw power and Batman is obsession and intellect. Batman stands as no threat to Superman or most foes with brute force. However, he can asses any situation, determine the problem, and exploit any weakness given to him. How great would it be to see Sherlock type character portrayal in a cowl battling next to Superman? And that Sherlock type intellect also leaves the person with some interesting character scars....
3. Batman is NOT THE MASK
The most compelling portion of Batman's character is that Bruce Wayne isn't the character, Batman is. Bruce Wayne is no more than a mask he puts on to achieve a goal. Batman is his true nature, which is scary. He has become so obsessed with justice that he has become the thing he created. It is a dark, tragic, and slippery slope. He gets so obsessed that there is little that keeps him grounded, keeps him from going from justice to vengeance. It is a slippery slope that he can never risk crossing.
This is why Batman makes such a compelling comparison to Superman. Superman has been given great power that separates him from humanity. Because of his respect for humanity, he feels a responsibility to protect them and fight for them even though he can never truly be one of them. Batman is the opposite. He sees the degraded nature of humanity and fights for what is best for them, for justice. He sees humanity for what it is and even if he is the best of them, he is just as messed up as they are. He is one of them and needs to protect that broken and fragile thing no matter what.
We deserve a great movie and a great movie has something to say about its characters. What kind of story comes from Superman, the pinnacle of all super powered heroes, being compared to an every day human? Nothing. But comparing the hopeful, super powerful Superman versus the dark, war-hardened, "pinnacle of humanity" Batman is something entirely different. Something that could be amazing.
We need the real Batman back.
What do you guys think? Do you think Batman vs. Superman needs the Nolan "every-man" Batman or the "dark, pinnacle of humanity" Batman? Sound off it the comments below.