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Superman vs. Batman

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Funny, in the comic book series they portray Superman as the villian more than Batman.

Although Superman isn't a "villian" in the "muahaha" sense, only in his "blind dedication to the existing order," which is somewhat fascist.

Edited by The Baptist Death Ray

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If they're thinking Miller's Dark Knight Returns, then heck yeah, film that puppy!

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Funny, in the comic book series they portray Superman as the villian more than Batman. [spoilers]Although Superman isn't a "villian" in the "muahaha" sense, only in his "blind dedication to the existing order," which is somewhat fascist.[/spoilers]
At least, that's Batman's POV. And of course it's his series, and Miller is more sympathetic to Batman, but still there is room for some ambiguity in DK (as opposed to that atrocity DK2).

In a movie called Superman vs. Batman, it would be necessary to bring more objectivity. Superman may be loyal to the existing order, but he isn't blind, and he isn't a fascist. They are both heroes, just different kinds of heroes, and their disagreements must be no more simplistic than ours. If you can't make them both heroic, both sympathetic, and credibly at odds with one another (as opposed to the contrived "misunderstanding" devices that cropped up regularly in the "hero-vs-hero" comic-book storylines popular ca. the 1970s), you've failed IMO.

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Don't get me wrong, I thought the Dark Knight Returns was pretty unfair to Superman. (It may be shocking to some but Superman and Captain America were always my two favorite comic book heroes.) It's just that if you're basing a Supers v. Batman conflict on the Dark Knight Returns, well, that *is* the slant you're going to be going up against.

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In a way, it reminds me of some of the conflicts in L.A. Confidential (with Guy Pierce embodying the "superman" approach).

Man, you know I always thought--even when I first saw L.A. Confidential--that Guy Pierce would make an interesting Superman. I mean, Lt. Ed Exley even kind of looks like Clark Kent (with the glasses, overly stiff mannerisms, etc.). And if you get Nolan to direct it, I'm sure he could convince Pierce to do it.

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The Baptist Death Ray wrote:

: It's just that if you're basing a Supers v. Batman conflict on the Dark Knight Returns, well, that

: *is* the slant you're going to be going up against.

All the more reason a Superman Vs. Batman movie should NOT be based on that comic (and FWIW, I'm not sure I would call a mini-series a plain-and-simple "series").

For me, the better template would be something like the 1970s comic Superman Vs. Spider-Man, where the two heroes were pitted against each other by their respective arch-nemeses (Lex Luthor and Dr. Octopus), and then eventually the two heroes team up against the super-villains. Anything else requires you to piss off fans of one superhero just to curry favour with fans of the other.

BTW, isn't Frank Miller's Batman kinda "fascist" in his own way, at least on some pseudo-anarchistic Fight Club sort of level?

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I suppose you couldn't consider DKR a series in its own right, but it certainly was/is iconic enough to carry the same weight as a full-blown series.

And yes, I think it would probably be better for the studio to try to take an approach like the Supes v. Spidey scenario you described. Thing is, will they be able to frame it well enough to counter any expectations people have in terms of DKR? Because no matter how much the studio might try to frame it another way, I will bet considerable sums of money that just before the movie was released, DC would re-release DKR in some kind of glossy collector's format in order to capitalize on the hype and make more money off of one of their most famous titles.

I don't know that you could describe Frank Miller's Batman as a fascist, exactly, since fascism is a rather specific ideology, and Batman's willingness to put his ideas of justice on a higher level than the government's runs counter to such a government-centric model. But it's been a while since I've read Batman, so I could be forgetting some important details.

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Fascist or no, the DKR series was, for me, one of the most complex yet simplistic portrayals of 'truth, justice and *beep*' (respects due the new movie, after all) while delving into the underpinnings of functional, grassroots morality--all idealism aside, the "by the book" approach was chucked out the window with the realization that the book-writers were corrupt even though the idealism was solid.

Not to mention I just want to see My man Bogs don't shiv on the big screen.

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The Baptist Death Ray wrote:

: I suppose you couldn't consider DKR a series in its own right, but it certainly was/is iconic enough

: to carry the same weight as a full-blown series.

Hmmm. Possibly. But it is iconic precisely in how it CONTRASTS with the regular comic books.

At any rate, FWIW, I was mainly reacting to your phrase "in the comic book series they portray..." Written like that, it seemed that you were referring to the regular Batman comics. But there is no "they" in TDKR -- it is purely Frank Miller's work, and a stand-alone work at that, and it is not at all part of the continuity of the regular Batman series (unlike, say, Alan Moore's The Killing Joke, which was a stand-alone prestige-format story in its own right, but had significant ramifications for the regular comics -- especially where the crippling of Barbara Gordon, AKA the former Batgirl, was concerned).

: And yes, I think it would probably be better for the studio to try to take an approach like the

: Supes v. Spidey scenario you described. Thing is, will they be able to frame it well enough to

: counter any expectations people have in terms of DKR?

I see no reason why not. There's no denying that TDKR had an impact on later interpretations of those two characters -- look at, e.g., Superman's first meeting with Batman in John Byrne's Man of Steel -- but since TDKR is set in the future and a pure alternate-universe kind of thing, anybody who expects a movie featuring the two characters to follow the TDKR template to a T is expecting the wrong thing.

: Because no matter how much the studio might try to frame it another way, I will bet considerable

: sums of money that just before the movie was released, DC would re-release DKR in some kind

: of glossy collector's format in order to capitalize on the hype and make more money off of one

: of their most famous titles.

Well, yes; they would re-issue TDKR, but they would also re-issue World's Finest and the various Justice League comics, etc., etc., etc.

: I don't know that you could describe Frank Miller's Batman as a fascist, exactly, since fascism is

: a rather specific ideology . . .

Isn't that a little like saying you can't use the word "fundamentalism" because Fundamentalism is a rather specific theology? :)

: . . . and Batman's willingness to put his ideas of justice on a higher level than the government's

: runs counter to such a government-centric model. But it's been a while since I've read Batman,

: so I could be forgetting some important details.

I was referring specifically to TDKR and its sequel, not to the regular Batman comics. But it has been a while since I read them, too -- and FWIW, I think the word "fascist" came to mind when I was reading the sequel, not the original (and mainly because of the Fight Club comparisons).

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I love the Superman/Batman interactions in Gibbons and Rude's World's Finest miniseries. That rocked, and it portrayed both characters as heroic, though at odds with one another in many ways.

I found the scene where Superman offers Batman a Christmas gift to be poignant almost on the level of the scene on the steps of Cirith Ungol where Sam unwittingly snaps Gollum's only tenuous thread towards redemption...

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One of my favorite depictions of the Batman-Superman conflict is in Kingdom Come, another dystopic futureworld story, which I love among other reasons for the epilogue

rapprochement

, in which Superman and Wonder Woman meet Batman incognito at a hero-themed diner to

ask him to be the godfather of their child

. When Batman alludes to the differences in their outlooks and methods, Superman says something like, "

I've always relied on trust, and you've always worked by fear... but despite our differences over the years... I've always trusted you

." The two wordless panels that follow are priceless.

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