Volume 4, Issue 50!
“Batman V Superman: Civil War”
Well, it’s certainly been a pretty busy two weeks, hasn’t it? With the Captain America: Civil War trailer and the latest Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer, we’ve had plenty of nerdy cinematic goodness to feast on. Naturally though, we nerds have to decide which trailer was better. Hitting just a week apart (and both premiering on Late Night With Jimmy Kimmel), and featuring two major superheroes battling, it’s almost impossible not to compare Civil War and Batman V Superman’s latest sneak peaks. Right now, it seems like Civil War has the upper hand, but why is that, exactly?
The big difference between Batman taking on Superman and Iron Man fighting Captain America is the sheer fact of familiarity, which is an interesting subject when you compare the plots of both of these movies. In Civil War, we have two characters that weren’t as well known to the general public until they were featured in the Marvel movies going up against one another after years of movies of them being friends. In Batman V Superman, we’ve got two characters that are so iconic that people who’ve never even read a comic book before know who they are, but they’re coming to blows in their first ever appearance on screen together. It’s a weird reversal when you look at the histories of the characters involved, but might also have something to do with the reactions that the internet has been giving these two trailers.
More “normies” have a connection to Captain America and Iron man than Batman and Superman currently. Sure, lots of people love Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, but Man of Steel, while making a lot of money, didn’t do as well as WB was hoping (which is part of the reason why there’s a bigger focus on Batman recently). That’s one hit against Batman V Superman right off the bat. There’s no audience connection like the one that exists for the MCU films. Robert Downey Jr is pretty much synonymous with Tony Stark and Iron Man at this point. If we had a solo Batman film before Dawn of Justice, then it’s possible that maybe it would help solidify Affleck’s Batman in this film, or if more people saw Man of Steel, they’d have a connection to Superman like many modern audiences have towards Chris Evans’ Captain America.
Another thing that hurt Batman V Superman is simply the trailer itself. I’m still excited for the film, but I have to admit that the trailer that played during San Diego Comic Con this past summer was way better than this one. That trailer set the stakes, and explained what was originally thought of as the main conflict: after the events of Man of Steel, Batman doesn’t trust Superman. Pretty simple. However, the new trailer throws in the fact that Lex Luthor’s going to use Zod’s corpse to create a monster (presumably Doomsday if the trailer is to be believed).
Now anyone who thought that Batman and Superman weren’t going to team up at the end of this movie and take down a larger foe has never really seen a superhero team up before. And while we all pretty much assumed that they were going to team up after punching the crap out of each other, we didn’t know why. Revealing Doomsday was, in my opinion, a huge mistake. They essentially threw out every plot point of the movie and created an outline of how the movie is going to play. The SDCC trailer gave us just enough to pique our interests, and it worked wonderfully. Now that I’ve seen this latest trailer, I’m still going to see the movie, but I’m kind of mad that I know about Doomsday.
That’s not to say that Marvel’s Civil War trailer is off the hook either. As awesome as that closing shot of Bucky and Cap wailing on Iron Man is, I wish it was saved for the end film. But at the same time, we all know Spider-Man is showing up in Civil War, but Marvel didn’t throw him into the first trailer for the movie. By showing everything in their second trailer, Batman V Superman has potentially turned off a lot of people by showing the big third act battle; something that judging from twitter and the Internet has pissed off a lot of people.
Despite all of this, 2016 is going to be an insane year for comic fans. We’re getting Batman and Superman and Iron Man and Captain America beating the crap out of each other on the big screen. Plus, Wonder Woman is making her film debut. PLUS Spider-Man entering the MCU. The verdict is still out on Batman V Superman and even Civil War, but at the very least we’ll be seeing some things on the big screen that we’ve all been waiting for.