Khal Drogo vs. Batman vs. Superman
One of my favorite new video games this year is Injustice: Gods Among Us, which is a fighting game that pits all of DC Comics’ best superheroes and villains against each other. It’s a solid game, with decent graphics (characters look GREAT but the backgrounds get a little muddy), and slick mechanics and, well, if you’ve ever wanted to watch Batman curb-stomp Superman, this is the game for you.
I liked Man of Steel, but I’ve said since it came out over the summer that its sequel would have a lot of work to do in terms of answering some questions raised by the ending and also accomplishing some world-building in a post-destruction Metropolis—a locale we never really got to know anyway. Man of Steel needs a proper sequel, devoted just to the next step in Superman’s story, which is Clark learning to balance his two identities and deal with the cleanup from his smackdown with Zod in downtown Metropolis.
But we aren’t getting that movie, which was kind of okay because I thought we were getting Injustice: The Movie instead, and I would watch the sh*t out of that, even if it does star #Batfleck. But we aren’t getting that movie, either. What we’re getting is a Justice League movie. And that would be fine, too, except that Warner Brothers/DC has done nothing to earn it. Marvel went through FIVE individual origin stories before attempting The Avengers—WB/DC has done ONE. (Nolan’s Batman movies don’t count—they’ve explicitly stated they’re doing a new take on Batman, separate from The Dark Knight.) But it isn’t about those numbers; it’s just about world-building. And this is a world that has not been built.
With the addition of Wonder Woman and now maybe Martian Manhunter in the form of Jason Momoa, who is the newest cast member, we’ve moved from both acceptable versions of a Man of Steel sequel and onto a team-up narrative that is in no way justified. Or maybe Momoa’s playing the villain Doomsday, we don’t know. We just know that he’s a big beefcakey guy in a franchise that already stars a big beefcakey guy so at some point you know they’re going to start throwing big beefcakey punches at one another.
I’m supposed to care about these possibilities but I don’t know the world in which any of those characters could exist. I don’t know the stakes, I don’t know the potential consequences. All I know is that Superman already single-handedly staved off an alien invasion (albeit with massive loss of life), so the idea of surrounding him with a team at this point seems a little moot. Unless the point of Batman vs. Superman is that Batman rounds up some buddies to put Superman in his place? I mean, again, Injustice: The Movie would be f*cking cool.