I’ve been waiting to hear something interesting about Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice beyond “Batman and Superman on the same screen together! They’ll fight and brood!” and now I finally have it. Speaking with DC All Access [via CS], director Zack Snyder outlined the moral complexities his two superheroes will face, and while I’m not sure if it will pay off, it at least sounds like a somewhat fresh approach.
When it comes to the Man of Steel, Snyder explains:
“Over the last two years he’s basically been Superman as pop culture would know him. He’s been righting wrongs, there have been floods, mines have collapsed, bridges have collapsed, churches have caught on fire. He’s basically been a hero. When we find him, he’s been dealing with the everyday world of being a superhero, but there’s a paradigm shift happening in that the unintended consequences of some of those rescues are starting to come into fruition. He’s starting to see that every action has a reaction. Like, if you’re just taking a cat out of a tree, you can’t touch anything or the arborists will say, ‘He damaged the tree branch when he got the cat down.’ Or, ‘The cat wasn’t neutered, so now there’s thousands of cats.’ There’s no winning anymore for Superman.”
While his analogy might be a bit off (are there really legions of angry arborists who would be upset if a cat was removed from a tree?), I can see where he’s going. In fact, if you’ve seen The Incredibles, you’ve seen the analogy where Mr. Incredible and the rest of the heroes get sued into exile. It’s a bit of a cynical view where we assume that if superheroes existed, society would find a way to reject their altruism. I’m not sure if I agree with that point of view, but I want to see how Snyder will tackle it.
Over on Batman’s side, Snyder explained why Batman is less than taken with Superman:
“It’s interesting to see how Batman perceives Superman, because he doesn’t know who Superman is. All he knows is the public face of Superman. And if you have an idea about someone or if you start to doubt someone’s intentions, you can always read in the media, you can always see the face that you want to see, based on how it’s reported. Batman’s seen the destruction of Metropolis. That’s the thing he knows for a fact. So if thousands die, is that okay? What next? Millions? Is everyone okay with that? Because I’m not. That’s Batman’s point of view.”
This is where things get a little trickier. Batman is the world’s greatest detective, and I would trust Batman to be smarter than to make a snap emotional decision. If anything, his life has been about removing emotions from the equation so that he deals with the criminal element in a calm, collected manner. He preys on their fears, not vice-versa. That being said, it sounds like Batman has taken on the point of view Lex Luthor has in some of the better Superman comics, which is, “Yeah, Superman is great as long as he’s on our side. What’s the cost of that?”
Of course, because Lex is a villain, that’s a fascinating viewpoint. We know that eventually Superman and Batman are going to become pals, so the question is what will change that makes the two superheroes permanent allies? And will that count as a “win” for Superman?
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice opens March 25th. For more of our Batman v Superman coverage, check out our most recent stories below.
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