Sunday, 14 December 2008

Could There Be A Batman versus Superman Now?

The latest two "gritty" Batman movies have been pretty well received.  They're obviously part of a wider movement to "grit up" franchises across all genres as opposed to the 70s version of camping them all up.  James Bond, Bourne, Iron Man (was there an earlier movie?  I've never been able to quite forget the cartoons of my childhood which was nothing more than a camera moving across the frames of an open comicbook), Hulk and a slew of others (this saves me from having to name them all).  It's probably a fad but it's producing some pretty great films - there's nothing better than a good superhero movie but grounding them in some sort of reality makes them more believable.  Science and technology is a much better way of being plausible than fantastic or magical explanations. 
Superman - for the most part is not scientific - the scientific explanations of his powers do not hold water at all.  Coming from a really heavy planet with massive gravity would make him evolve into something more like a slug than a man with super strength.  Likewise the yellow sun theories make no sense at all.  His powers which vary from incarnation to incarnation have made him into a veritable god.  The latest version implies that he is God and Lois is his modern Mary Magdelene.  More of a spiritual Superman than a scientific one.  But it must be said that of all the reboots this one seems to really be a continuation of the Christopher Reeve flawed masterpiece (and ultimate fiasco) versin. 
This version of Superman cannot be reconciled with the new Batman but if you've rebooted once you can reboot again.  I think a scientific Superman would be a great addition to the long running cannon.  And it wouldn't necessarily have to be something that hasn't already been done before.  Taking it right back to the beginning his powers were not so supernatural (and occasionally silly).  The original Superman was a really strong, really fast guy with a powerful moral purpose.  But he was "leaping" buildings and not flying into space.  He was stopping locomotives and not the earth's rotation or a roaming asteroid.  And he was outrunning bullets and not the space-time continuum.  A vast reduction of powers would be absolutely essential for Superman to be brought into the "real" world.  Are aliens too far fetched for the new Batman theme?  Well, that depends what kind of alien.  Maybe any variation on Superman would be too far fetched for the direction that Batman has taken but it's feasible if we take it back to where the Last Son of Krypton began. 

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