Last Saturday (July 20) was one of those crazy evenings when you know you’re doing the right thing, you’ve found the niche where you fit in just right - but you’re not in the right place on the globe. Where I really wanted to be was the San Diego Comic Con, but where I actually was, was half a planet away getting the news from the con drip fed by a sporadic broadband feed.
That Saturday, announcement were made that keeps this website in business just from the super hero movie angle alone - not to mention sci-fi, horror, television and everything else that grabs my fancy. Marvel via Tom Hiddleston in character as Loki and Joss Whedon announced that the Avengers sequel ISN’T going to feature Thanos, whom we saw at the end of the credit crawl in Avengers: Assemble last year. (Steve thought it was a Skrull, bless). Nope, in 2015, they’ll tackle the Ultron saga. (Um...for the uninitiated, artificial intelligence gone wrong). Joss Whedon wisely will keep Thanos for the third Avengers movie which as far as I understand will be the last. That makes sense - how would anybody top going against a god? (Which Thanos is)
20th Century Fox, stepped up to the plate and dazzled the audience by had the entire cast of next year’s X-Men: Days of Future Past appear on stage for a Q&A as a surprise - but the day belonged to DC and Warner Brothers.
Bad news is that we have to wait an extra year for the Justice League movie. It’ll be with us in 2016 -17, not ’15 as previously announced. Okay, disappointing - but all in all, I’d rather be disappointed at having to wait an extra year or two for a really great movie than be disappointed at a rushed mess. We all knew the time frame to get the Justice League on the screen the summer after next was way too tight - right?
The good news is FINALLY we can look forward to a Flash movie. Previously only seen on TV in 1990, the Scarlet Speedster is set to be a solo motion blur on screens in 2015 before joining the League.
But that wasn’t the biggest news of the day - nor the biggest slice of geekgasmic delight to hit fans since George Lucas announced more Star Wars films. There WILL be a sequel to Man of Steel and THAT will be a huge release in 2015.
Those of you who’ve read my Man of Steel review will know that there were things in the film, particularly Superman’s actions close to the film’s end that I questioned as being "in character". I pondered whether that particular sequence was a thread that would lead to a resolution in the sequel. I could well have been right - as for the first time in live action, the Last Son of Krypton will meet the Dark Knight himself - Batman. The title being mooted around the world wide web is Batman Vs Superman, or Superman Vs Batman - depends where you look. Warners own both titles. I’m guessing that Superman’s name will really come first if it’s a sequel to his movie.
I’m behind this one ALL the way, but would be remiss in my duty as an obsessive, darkened study dwelling, reality challenged geek if I didn’t have a list of things I do want to see and a list of things I don’t.
Here are some questions I hope to have answered.
Who’s going to play Batman? I believe that Christian Bale has declined, and that’s good. The Nolan trilogy is a resonant and magnificent story - but that particular story has been told. To bring Bale back would be to diminish and cheapen the resoundingly satisfying end to that story with Wayne having retired, his work done. That’s a version of Batman all unto its own with a beginning, a middle and an end.
As Man of Steel showed a young Superman, then so should the sequel feature a Batman just starting out.
I’ve read that the battle between Superman & Batman at the end of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight returns graphic novel will be the inspiration for the battle (come on - there WILL be a battle, whichever version of the title flicks your switch, the middle word is "versus" for crying out loud)... Well, okay - that was a fantastic conclusion to that book - an ageing Batman used it as a means of faking his own death having first beaten the crap out of Superman - but why would they fight in the film?
I have two theories (or preferences, because there’s some wishful thinking going on here) - but beware - if you haven’t seen Man of Steel yet, here be spoilers!
You have been warned........
Spoiler Zone Ahead......
YOU ARE IN THE SPOILER ZONE!!!!!
Okay, just us who’ve seen the film here? Great....
We’ve established Superman as a character in Man of Steel, right? We know that Bruce Wayne exists in that world because we saw some Wayne Enterprises signage around Metropolis during one of the (many) epic battles. It could be that Wayne hasn’t actually become Batman yet, and upon doing so in B Vs S, he’ll attract the attention of Superman who’ll go to Gotham to check out what’s going on. Batman isn’t the most tolerant of people who try and pry into his business - let battle commence.
That’s one scenario but here’s my preference.
Batman heads for Metropolis to bring to justice the man who killed the only other survivor of his race. When Superman killed Zod, he had no official standing, authority or mandate to carry out an execution. Now by having Batman exploring that behaviour, THAT would resolve the disturbing thread of a Superman who’s not above murder. The misunderstanding would definitely bring them to battle. But of course they can’t just battle - they have to be allies at the end, even if only tenuously so because they both have to join the Justice League down the line.
SPOILERS OVER - YOU CAN LOOK NOW
Perhaps the story will be lifted from the pages of the Public Enemies graphic novel, where both become discredited by their enemies - who knows? Batman and Superman have been teaming up in World’s Finest comics since the forties, through the silver age where the Justice League of America title became one of DC’s best selling titles. There have been several incarnations of their crime fighting partnership, from the mutually back slapping buddies for the fifties, sixties and seventies through to the eighties and modern day where they rarely see eye to eye and Batman keeps a piece of kryptonite in his belt just in case he needs to take the Man of Steel down.
As long as we don’t get a live action version of The Super Friends, I think I’ll be happy. Basically, 2015 can’t get here quickly enough.
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