When I saw the above fan mash-up (via Comic Book Bros) of the three character stills from the upcoming “Batman v Superman” movie, it really crystallized the nagging concern I have about the entire project: That these are some of the most depressing sourpusses ever to appear in an action blockbuster. I can’t imagine being stuck at a cocktail party with these three downers, much less pay to see them mope through an entire movie.
As Frank Miller made clear with “The Dark Knight Returns” back in 1986 — and as Hollywood has relentlessly reminded us — Batman works as a “dark” hero. His parents were murdered in front of him, he dresses like the angel of death, he’s got “dark” in his nickname, etc. But do we really have to drag Superman and Wonder Woman down with him? These are supposed to be happy, arms-akimbo-in-the-sun kind of heroes, not getting-rained-on-in-muted-colors types.
Granted, previous versions have occasionally gone a bit over the top in the patriotic goodness department, what with Superman’s stalwart, underpants-on-top reliability, as personified by the late, great, Christopher Reeve, and Wonder Woman’s questionable fashion choices, which in the Lynda Carter TV show consisted of what was basically a Bicentennial bathing suit and a gold lamé rope.
But there was something about their chronically sunny outlook in the face of evil and danger that warmed your inner 10-year-old. OK, I was 10, but I think I would still find it warming. And be honest — for your 12 bucks, would you rather spend 2 1/2 hours (because you know it will be AT LEAST that long) with these three:
Or with these three:
That’s what I thought. So get on the stick, Warner Brothers — Disney got rid of the Ant-Man guy, it’s not too late for you to lose Zack “This is Sparta!” Snyder and replace him with someone who understands that we like our Supermen and Wonder Women zippy and fun and brightly colored. Or at least not morose.
And while you’re at it, you might want to see if you can get Robert Downey Jr. to play all three of them.
Read more Pete at Pete’s Pop Culture, Parenting & Pets Blog.