Monday, 13 July 2015

Melee à trois

A particular few minutes of footage from the current Comic Con has left us Black and Blue.

After months and months of very little there is a lot to take in with the recent Comic Con Batman v Superman trailer. These are some thoughts on it from a life-long Superman fan: the Phasmatodea of Tomorrow.  From the perspective of someone who prefers his cape black - read Bat Simian's synced views here:

And here's the trailer itself:

Jeremy Irons as our third Alfred in as many years instantly impresses with his RADA gravitas.
Alfred wisely councils putting Pearl Harbour behind them
Fascinating that he appears to be the voice of reason in the Wayne household, echoing  the wisdom of a particular solo-mother in rural Kansas. I always assumed that a certain Amazon princess would break up the sadly inevitable stoush between the title characters, but maybe Alfred Pennyworth and Martha Kent send them to their rooms (caves/fortresses) instead?

Now the world is ready for you, and the wonders you can do,
Make a hawk a dove, stop a war with love,
make a liar tell it true...
And speaking of Wonder Woman, despite the negative on-line response to Gal Gadot's lack of physicality, she certainly looks the part in the very brief glimpses we're afforded here (wearing, as a workmate has quipped: her "Wondie-Onesie"). Ben Affleck also looks great with convincing smouldering rage. I decided from the start to be a supporter of his casting and I'm already smugly glad that I did.

Mention Jersey Girl one more time, I dare you...
I'm less certain about Jesse Eisenberg's Luthor, perhaps he's meant to be instantly slap-able? I'd have preferred Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston: surely perfect casting? Elsewhere Holly Hunter continues to sound more and more like a mid-western Sean Connery, while Cavill IS Superman, having made the role his own before he even put the costume on in the first film.

Meanwhile, someone else does the heavy lifting, as usual
This is going to be a crowded tale for sure, with more and more characters from the DC universe crammed in with every new announcement. And I really don't need to see yet another enactment of the murder of young Bruce Wayne's parents - oh please no.

I wanted, (quite reasonably, I thought), a Man of Steel sequel about Superman, but instead am not only getting a potentially rushed introduction to the Justice League, but an interpretation of a highly-regarded, but thoroughly nasty, Batman story from the end of the 1980s.

Despite all this I'm very much looking forward to this film. With my interest in the Arrow and Flash TV series wavering around zero, with great surprise I have to come out as more of a Marvel man after all, but also Superman fan first and foremost (so conflicted - maybe I'm MC-DC?) But most of all, I really want to see DC's big three on screen together, and I hope Gal Gadot is as successful at inheriting her mantle from a definitive 1970's interpretation as Cavill was.

Speaking of whom: poor Kal-El looks as if he's really being put through the wringer in this. From carrying the catastrophic consequences of the first film (just remember that he saved the world, everyone!) to a persistent rodent problem and the emergence of his perennial, but usually follically-challenged, arch nemesis.

So I won't blame him if for once he doesn't hold back all the time. Frank Miller's original storyline for The Dark Knight Returns comic concluded with a more thoughtful and realistic confrontation - which I hope Zack Snyder veers more towards in this film.
After all, although this latest hulking Batman drips with menace, as Superman reminds him in The Dark Knight Returns: "Bruce... you're just meat and bone - like all the rest".

On the other hand, as my 'Wondie-Onesie workmate' also reminded me, Superman always has to endure so much suffering because only he can bear it. To extend the already abundant religious analogy: he suffers for our sins, while the other guy in this film title wants us to suffer for them.


  1. Great stuff, Al. I'm thinking (and hoping with a big "S" symbol on my chest) that all Snyder's taken from Millar's graphic novel is the cover art, the Bat armour and the beginning of the fight, because Clark's obviously no government stooge in this one, and I'd set quids we won't see the end of Millar's melee either. And to be frank (ho ho), that's as much as I'd want out of that slice of late 80s grimdark Gotham. Still, we're getting a Killing Joke animated movie next year too, so look out!

    And you know my thoughts on Flash, so I'll just say Jay-Freaking-Garrick!!! And flit my cape off to somewhere else :)

  2. Did I just see a simian-shaped shadow flit across the full moon?
    Who'd have thought we'd be so much in agreement despite coming at this from opposite perspectives?
    And I'm ruefully aware that I haven't given Flash a chance (Flashchance?) and I really should - your enthusiasm for the finale alone is enough to make me reconsider.
    Having covered the boys so many questions about Wonder Woman remain. How exactly is she involved in the film - will we get an origin story - is she emergent or has she been active for a while like Batman? Does she even have much more than a cameo? (I hope so!)

  3. I could see her in some ambassadorial role, hence the entanglement with an influential nocturnal playboy. Plus I saw horses in that thar trailer. Themyscira n horses, maybe? Did Zod's World Engines strike at the Amazonian homeland as well, maybe?

  4. Maybe so... perhaps Paradise Island is in the Indian ocean...