ByPeter Flynn, writer at Creators.co
An advocate for understanding the phenomenological wonder of the moving image. Also Tremors is the best. https://twitter.com/TalkingMagnet
Peter Flynn

So the synopsis for [Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice](tag:711870) has finally been leaked and its revealed to all the pining fans that... Batman and Superman have a fight. Okay, so maybe a little than what's included in the very title was given away. The "synopsis" if you can call it that, alluded to "a new threat" that Batman and Superman will likely have to face. I'm almost begrudging of how ambiguous that description is. It's as if Warner Bros knows that the internet will fill those three words with every possible villain in the DC universe.

It's the Mad Hatter. Definitely!
It's the Mad Hatter. Definitely!
Fearing the actions of a god-like super hero left unchecked, Gotham City’s own formidable, forceful vigilante takes on Metropolis’s most revered, modern-day savior, while the world wrestles with what sort of hero it really needs. And with Batman and Superman at war with one another, a new threat quickly arises, putting mankind in greater danger than it’s ever known before.

This description is perfectly written to incite speculation, so rather than getting distracted by the specifics, let's take a moment to wonder exactly what kind of plot this could induce. A conflict is a conflict regardless of what character has been dug up from the archives to instigate it. It seems many people's suspicions of Batman and Superman putting their differences aside to fight a greater threat have been confirmed. From the looks of the trailer, it figures that these two would take a break from punching each other if it gave them a chance to punch something even bigger.

Bigger than this...
Bigger than this...

What will break up the fight?

While I'm already annoyed that we likely won't get a scene of Batman and Superman realizing violence isn't the answer and deciding to hug it out, I'm curious to see what their motivation to do so might be. Characters get less interesting when the thing that spurs them on it literally a device of impending doom. Of course Superman stops Zod's terraforming machine in Man of Steel. In doing so, he's not really saying much more than "yo human extinction isn't cool! Right guys?..."

Right guys?...
Right guys?...

I'm one for holding out hope that this "new threat" in Batman vs Superman is one a little more subtle than a doomsday device/planet-consuming villain. Where could the movie turn to get inspiration for a more subtle conflict.

Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns

Now I'm not for a moment calling Frank Miller, or any of his works, particularly subtle. However, many elements of Batman vs Superman, including Ben Affleck's bat suit, seem to draw inspiration from The Dark Knight Returns, particularly as said comic does include a fight between Batman and Superman. The Dark Knight Returns also has that conflict instigated by the government.

After Superman detonates a nuke out in the desert, Gotham is thrown into chaos in the ensuing fallout. The city is sectioned off, and it very nearly falls under the martial control of Batman. Despite many people's suspicions, it could be Henry Cavill's Superman being sent to take care of the militia that Batman has cultivated. While Batman is shown as a vigilante in this story, he's also painted as a rebel, fighting against an oppressive Government that has cut Gotham off. While this all sounds a bit drastic, it could be a source of conflict in Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Why would a dictatorship work on film?

They love this stuff!
They love this stuff!

Now we all that Frank Miller loves his overthrowing of big scary systems. This is the guy who wrote 300, and small government is generally his jam! That said, I can see why Zack Snyder would want to elaborate on the particular plot detail of Batman rallying against an overbearing government. Movies love this kind of thing. In everything from Star Wars to The Hunger Games, it's really easy to get your audience to like stuff when not doing so would render them fascist monsters. It also makes possible entirely new sets of images. Just look at that statue of Superman and tell me that isn't the most Bioshockey thing you've ever seen!

I'm not sure I get the message here...
I'm not sure I get the message here...

While I'm aware Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice certainly won't be an adaptation of The Dark Knight Returns, there are elements in that trailer which reflect a chaotic imagery that I'm sure a certain comics writer would enjoy. What do you think? Would you like Batman and Superman to put their differences aside upon the realization that authority should lie in the hands of those affected by the decisions of a sovereign state, and that power should always be proven by its instigator, or would you rather they fight a big monster from the sky? Write a post about it, or leave a comment below!

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