As we're getting closer to the possible doom of having to watch the world's two biggest superheroes go head to head, the world has its speculations as to how the movie will be, not to mention the countless fanboys who are going crazy, pulling their hair out until the proverbial Bat-signal lights up in the sky. Personally, I'm not sure I could watch these two in the same movie together, for my own reasons. To begin with, these are my two favorite superheroes, nobody else has come close. And to be totally honest, I can't remember for the life of me which one I read first. I only remember being five or six when I was introduced to them, and my fate was sealed from then on. But only figuratively, mind you. "Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice" has been a project that's been in the talks for years, and I am not talking about a few measly years as far back as 2010. I mean YEARS, people! As in maybe ten, fifteen years, that this idea has been shopped around and called a recipe for disaster, even if anybody COULD cast the two main characters, it was still thought of as financial and fan-base suicide IF it didn't work out well.
But let's not talk about the actors just yet, let's instead go back to before Batman vs Superman was written as a comic book. At the time, DC Comics was in a lot of the same trouble as Marvel Comics, both literary giants were watching their sales plummet down the toilet as newcomers emerging from Kitchen Sink, Top Cow, Image and other comic publishers were doing a great deal more than just stealing their thunder....they were stealing the fans with new characters that were more than gritty and mysterious, they were bigger, badder, and sadly at that point in time...better. Yes, I said it. They were better at the time. I know you're asking yourselves, "You sorry ba****rd! How could you say such things?" The reason I can say these things is because I saw many of the changes happening to comics myself, beginning with the departure of such comics legends as Stan Lee of Marvel Comics, who retired but remained a strong and vital force within the dynasty he helped create. And also the passing of the late, great Jack Kirby, who created such a driving force for comics that if it weren't for him, comics would never have made it passed the infancy stage. But both Marvel and DC were going through so much in those dark, troubled days. Both publishers were constantly in court, having to pacify artists and writers who showed great work but kept making the mistake of wanting more, and when they didn't get exactly what they wanted, then it was time to bring in the scum-sucking lawyers to do battle, as only they could do it.
Sadly, the constant legal contesting between these two and the spiraling sales they both endured forced both to file for bankruptcy more than a couple of times. I remember when it became that the X-Men was almost one of three or four comics you read, but there weren't many others, due to Marvel trying desperately to cut printing and publishing costs. After a while, Marvel Comics meant X-Men and the Avengers, but not much of anything else to read. Marvel Comics made the horrible mistake of turning their issues of the X-Men into Playboy-quality centerfolds, using the pages to try to draw in more readers, but instead costing more by trying to redefine comics at a time when it didn't need redefining, it just needed better work. Better writing, better artwork, and a lot less ego and money being promised and not paid. Unfortunately, DC wasn't in any better shape than Marvel twenty years ago, but they did try to stay the course by keeping the comics looking and reading like comics, not like glorified adult magazines.
Then, all of a sudden, DC Comics had a hit with an idea involving Batman. Why not have the Dark Knight go head to head with one of horror's more revered icons? It was considered a terrible idea at the time, with DC still trying to get some of their fans back with major competitors like Spawn and CyberForce selling so well. But still, the idea of Batman Vs. Predator sparked a lot of interest with the writers at DC, as well as Dark Horse Comics, and so the story was worked out for a possible one-shot story, written by Dave Gibbons, just in case it didn't sell well. In this way DC wouldn't lose that much money, since they didn't have a lot at the time anyway, due to their filing for bankruptcy. But the sales worked out so well, that two more issues were added, still using Gibbons' story to its fullest effect. And so, with its release in 1993, the original Batman Vs. Predator comic became DC's declaration of intent as to what it could still do: tell great stories. Thankfully Gibbons' story proved that original and risky ideas could really pay off for the fans as well as those for provide the stories.
This led to the idea of trying something new---or at least, what might have seemed not exactly new at the time, but more of a revamp of an old idea. Back in the 1970's DC had a Saturday morning animated series, The Super Friends, which was popular, and this might have been given some thought among different writers as to what it would be like to have the two greatest superheroes on the planet having their own comic.(I should know, I watched it when it was on the air in 1978!) What if The World's Greatest Detective (No, not Sherlock Holmes!) and the Man of Steel had their own gig? Well, since DC was beginning to get its fans back and enjoying a kind of resurgence in sales, Superman/Batman became official in 2003, ten years after the major hit that Batman Vs. Predator proved to be, as well as its two sequels.
OK, so now let's move ahead to where we are now, which was started with the story that Frank Miller(of Sin City fame) originated with the idea of superheroes being at odds with each other, not to mention the rest of the world. This would be The Dark Knight Returns, which was originally published in 1986. Can anyone else see the blueprint for what was going to come emerging here? hahaha! Who would have thought that a great, although possibly a radical story such as this would be the engine for what's become one of the most anticipated superhero movies to date? Still, it's four months until the actual movie, Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice will be premiering in theaters nationwide. And that means we now have a chance to ponder exactly how somebody like Ben Affleck got the gig of playing Batman, when he shouldn't even be considered worthy of wearing the cowl and cape? The guy loves nothing more than his face in the papers, and the constant publicity that seems to "plague" him, no matter what he's doing. I could only wish that Christian Bale could have been in this movie instead of Affleck, who has done a superior job of making me so tired of seeing his mug in the movies, that I have serious doubts of ever wanting to see this one Superman/Batman movie. I mean, really! The guy has more ego than James Brown and the Rolling Stones combined! Not kidding, people! :P
I am interested in seeing Henry Cavill play Superman again, since he's done such a great job of it with Man of Steel, which quickly became one of my all-time favorite Superman movies, since the days of Christopher Reeve(God love him!). An interesting addition is the aspect of Wonder Woman being in the movie(Come on, guys! You know you wanna see her do her thing in the tight outfit as much as I do! You KNOW you do!!!) A person can only wonder exactly what her involvement will be when it comes to having to deal with both the Man in Blue and Tall, Dark and Constantly Brooding! This is a bit of an odd idea by itself, but it should be interesting. I guess the only thing that can be done is wait and see what happens, and be ready for the onslaught of what you kids are gonna buy before the movie comes out. I'd like to buy some stuff myself, but hey, man, I'm just too damn broke! lol
-Cody Marmon :)