Though timeless in their respective story arcs, antagonists and love interests, with the recent news at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con that one of DC’s most prominent headliners – Batman – is set to feature in the MAN OF STEEL sequel, the worlds of many are shattering unnecessarily. Screams of “Help us!” can be heard incessantly in the distance, to which Zack Snyder and David S. Goyer both whisper, “No.”
If you are one of these individuals, your concern is understandable. Relax, take a deep breath and open your mind for just a moment. Perhaps you spent your younger days with a cape around your neck. Maybe your childhood was fruitfully wondrous as you saved a fictitious damsel in distress. You strived to be good, just, to be super. Both Batman and Superman have inspired such feelings for decades, so why would anyone take two of the most iconic and most financially beneficial comic-book personas of DC and throw them into a pit with one another? The answer is simple, because it was always meant to be that way.
So what are we to expect when we take the ‘Champion of the Oppressed’ and the ‘World’s Greatest Detective’? Something magical, to say the least. To date, the duo have starred in approximately 560 issues together since the 1930s, (many of which are notably pre-justice league) where they have fought valiantly besides one another, seen each other die a multitude of times (these are comic books, it happens), travelled across time and space together into alternate and parallel worlds (e.g. ‘Infinite Crisis’, ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths’, ‘Final Crisis’ – all fantastic reads, I might add) and even transcended the restrictions of their entire universe (e.g. ‘DC vs. Marvel Comics’). The big news here, however, is that they may not be fighting alongside one another after all… At the WB Panel, Snyder called Harry Lennix (who portrayed General Swannick in MAN OF STEEL) to the stage to read this direct passage from ‘The Dark Knight Returns”:
“I want you to remember, Clark… in all the years to come… in your most private moments… I want you to remember my hand… at your throat… I want you to remember… The one man who beat you.”
Though typically comrades, change, as with almost all things, is inevitable. With the introduction of Frank Miller’s ’The Dark Knight Returns #1′, change was no longer on the horizon, but very much in the present. It was this work, or rather, this universe (Earth-31, for those keeping track) that was the inspiration for Nolan’s prestigious trilogy. It is to be noted that Snyder’s Batman may differ vastly from Nolan’s, depending on the level of content Snyder and Goyer choose to incorporate from The Dark Knight Returns, which will create an entirely different tone and personality for our favourite Caped Crusader, which may likely take the form of an even more bitter Bruce Wayne. One whom is darker and far more antagonistic than we might expect, effectively evolving into an anti-heroic version of the Bat we have come to love.
With Bale not returning as Batman, this is a prime opportunity to reinvent the character, perhaps even more so in the image of Miller’s Dark Knight. This, to many, will be unwelcome change.
There is one prominent issue with the incorporation of these comic book cornerstones into one adaptation, which is that we’re simply not used to seeing the super-friends (whom have almost had a (fast approaching) century long friendship) together. This is the first step in the culmination of decades of inspiration adapted to a modern world, expanding the already broadening horizons of the comic book adaptation and establishing itself as a precursor to what might eventually be an adaptation of The Justice League.
There is quite the journey ahead for all of us.
So, do let us know below your thoughts on the subject – We’re sure you’ve got your views! If you’re still looking to catch-up on Comic Con 2013, we’ve got a plethora of coverage by clicking here.