Published: May 13, 2016 12:00:00 PM

source7.pngYou don't need to see Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. It's bad. It's a bad movie because it's a bad interpretation of pre-existing characters.

It's so bad that people have taken it personally. I've written in the past (yesterday) concerning the lengths people will go to preserve their baby-brains, to remain psychologically childish, rather than develop into a forward-thinking headspace. Batman V Superman is an example of denial that certain comic book fans live and die by.

Fans see their favorite characters alive and human-shaped on the screen in movies like BvS. They take that as gospel. The sight is all they require. I'll stay to my orginal point that BvS was a bad movie because it's a bad interpretation of characters the audience is familar with.

Batman and Superman.

I'm not going to dissect just BvS here though. I'm going to do a spot-check on how well DC is constructing the shared universe for their movies.

What's Even Going On In The DC Shared Universe?

After Bryan Singer directed the faithful, boring Superman Returns in 2006, he took too long to begin work on a follow-up. Batman Begins had already been a success in 2005. Christopher Nolan had shifted his attention to his side-project The Prestige before engaging with the inevitable sequel The Dark Knight.

Everything moved slower then. The concept of the "shared universe" had not been conceived. Until The Avengers changed everything.

Discarding Singer and fast-tracking a new Superman film, Zack Snyder was hired to direct. Even as news of his attachment to the project that would eventually become Man of Steel, Snyder's fumbling anime fanfic Sucker Punch had steamed its way into public cinemas in 2011, three years after Iron Man struck the first spark of interconnectivity for Marvel, along with a few hundred thousand dump trucks of money.

Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises released to a middling response in 2012. The Avengers had already come and gone that summer. The conversation was over.

People Want The Continuity

Man of Steel, like all Zack Snyder films before it, was nihilistic and violent, two things that the Superman character is not.

Superman in Man of Steel is an interpretation of the existing character. It's a poor interpretation. Unlike Nolan's Batman, who was also an interpretation—trained by ninjas, motivated by trauma, faithful in humanity—Snyder's Superman was aimless and unsure. These traits run counter to what Superman traditionally is: Superman is almost always RIGHT.

He knows what to do, he faces an impossible scenario, even with all his strength, and in the reader / viewer's mind, it's spectactular he can manage to solve the problem. Then he does.

The same way Batman inspires fear in those he fights, Superman inspires hope in those he serves.

In the time it took Marvel to release six films between 2013-2016, DC released 1: Batman V Superman.

At this point, DC doesn't have a "shared universe." It has one film in Man of Steel, and it has its sequel, BvS. Suicide Squad, directed by the ultra-sharp David Ayer, releases in August 2016 to add a small pinch of something else to the equation.

These lessons factored into Ghost Little's own original fiction shared universe, in particular how to speak to and respect a widespread audience of varied tastes.

There would be more to discuss if there had been any releases. Let the brevity speak for the situation.

There's the lesson.

-- Alex Crumb
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