Why ‘Batman V Superman’ is a Bad Title, Part 1


Yes, I think (personally) that ‘Dawn of Justice’ is a cheesy title. It’s all part of the contemporary Hollywood naming system for films where they play MadLibs with the words ‘Dawn’, and ‘Rise’. That being said, I don’t have as much problem with that as I do with the ‘Batman V Superman’ part.

I grew up a DC kid. I still have my Dad’s Batman 80 Page Giants and my Superman bed sheets from 1978 (I was born in ’81. It’s that hardcore). Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman are the pillars of the DCU, representing all that is and should be. Bats and Supes in particular are the two basic sides of that universe’s identity. Kal-El is hope, optimism and the ultimate example of ‘with great power comes great responsibility’. Batman is the other side of that coin. He’s grief, sorrow and flawed determination. Neither, however, are negative.

It’s obvious that Superman is the belief in the power of Good and that Mankind is, by nature, worth that faith. Despite outward appearance, I maintain that Batman is the same. Bruce Wayne doesn’t just fight crime out of some sense of vengeance or fear of someone else living out his tragic childhood. He wouldn’t be on the streets night after night for the rest of his life if he didn’t hold out hope that human beings are capable of being better. If he weren’t an optimist, he arguably wouldn’t maintain what would be a pointless quest. If men were evil by nature, why would he bother with his pledge not to kill?

I believe that in their own way they are both optimists. That’s why I strongly dislike ‘Batman V Superman’. Sure, its a superhero trope to have two characters meet, fight, then learn the error of their ways. And I’m sure that’s going to happen in this film. That, however isn’t the tone being set forth by everything we’ve seen so far. Based on the events of ‘Man of Steel’,  Zack Snyder’s dark tone as a filmmaker and the source material being drawn from Frank MIller’s snarky, pessimistic Dark Knight Returns, the entire project feels misguided.

To me, there can and should be only one title for this film: World’s Finest.

I’ll elaborate more in Part 2.