When I saw the above fan mash-up (via Comic Book Bros) of the three character stills from the upcoming â€œBatman v Supermanâ€ 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 canâ€™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 â€œThe Dark Knight Returnsâ€ back in 1986 — and as Hollywood has relentlessly reminded us — Batman works as a â€œdarkâ€ hero. His parents were murdered in front of him, he dresses like the angel of death, heâ€™s got â€œdarkâ€ 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 Supermanâ€™s stalwart, underpants-on-top reliability, as personified by the late, great, Christopher Reeve, and Wonder Womanâ€™s questionable fashion choices, which in the Lynda Carter TV show consisted of what was basically a Bicentennial bathing suit and a gold lamÃ© 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:
Thatâ€™s what I thought. So get on the stick, Warner Brothers — Disney got rid of the Ant-Man guy, itâ€™s not too late for you to lose Zack â€œThis is Sparta!â€ 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 youâ€™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.