How the Superman vs. Batman Movie Changes Batman as We Know


DC Comics and Warner Brothers, and more specifically Zack Snyder, made an explosion at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con when announcing that the Man of Steel sequel will pit Superman against the Dark Knight himself. The crowd went wild, as did the blog-o-sphere universe and if I had been at Comic-Con myself I would have gone nuts too. But how many of you ‘Blinked?’ How many of you had a Malcolm Gladwell moment of doubt or concern in spite of how excited you were, how excited the entire crowd was, the twitter world, the internet, and any child, teenager, and adult that has ever picked up a DC comic? To be fair, I don’t expect everyone to say that they did but I myself as a life-long Batman fan have to say that I am feeling… concerned.

It is clear that this is in direct response to Marvel’s Avengers. Carefully planned each hero had their own movie or set of movies and then united for the epic that is The Avengers and will reunite again on May 1st, 2015. Strategically, Superman vs. Batman will also be released that summer which presumably brings them a step closer to their inevitable Justice League movie. Marvel has been dominating the big screen especially if you include Sony’s Spiderman movies and Fox’s X-Men movies. DC has had huge success with Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy but flopped big time with Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns and Ryan Reynold’s Green Lantern. Man of Steel has been DC’s first successful comic book film outside of the Bat flicks and since Marvel’s characters entered the movie industry with X-Men way back in 2000.

With Christopher Nolan producing Man of Steel it was speculated that it could be an extension of the Dark Knight universe but both Nolan and Christian Bale have been clear and upfront that they are done with their Batman story. Therefore, Bale is a no-go in this upcoming movie which means Batman will have to be re-cast and all viewers will have to disregard the ending of the Dark Knight Trilogy where the Batman baton was passed on to Robin or John Blake (or whoever that guy was). But that is the point; Nolan’s take on Batman is over. We saw how Bruce Wayne became Batman, what he did for Gotham City as Batman, and how he ends his tenure as Batman. The cape and cowl has now been passed on and Bruce Wayne lives happily ever after. That is Nolan’s as well as Bale’s complete story. Accept it.

Maybe in this Man of Steel follow-up they’ll include some explanation of how Bruce Wayne takes back the mask or maybe not. They don’t have to because like I said the Dark Knight story is over. This will be a revamped Batman. Take particular notice of the logo used in the announcement. The Superman logo is exactly the same but the Batman logo has changed from the Dark Knight Trilogy and you know that is definitely by design; not by accident.


Either way this is a full on Man of Steel movie with Batman in it. At Comic-Con Snyder announced that a Man of Steel sequel has been green-lit and then went on to present in dramatic fashion that Superman will take on the Bat. So it is important to recognize that the director himself called it a sequel to the Man of Steel; again a Superman sequel with Batman in it. If you’ve already seen Man of Steel then you know that it has a completely different feel than the Dark Knight movies. For one, it is by all accounts a science fiction movie. (To me it felt a little too familiar to the Star Trek 2009 movie.) We see Superman’s home planet Krypton (which looked a lot like the planet Vulcan) get destroyed but not before baby Superman is sent off into space to eventually land on Earth. Years later aliens, or fellow Kryptonians, find him and want to kill him and take over our planet by drilling into our planet’s core. (Sound familiar?) Yes, it’s a superhero movie but let’s be serious; it’s a science-fiction movie.

Batman is not of that genre. He is a detective. He is a billionaire science genius that studies evidence and catches criminals who are suffering from mental disorders not yet fully recognized in the DSM-IV. He himself is not a superhero in the true sense of the word nor are his enemies super-villains. Batman does not have special powers and neither do his adversaries. He is a mix of Sherlock Holmes, James Bond, and Zorro. His stories are detective stories with cool gadgets and a bad-ass looking costume.


Once you have Superman and Batman coexist you have to upgrade Batman so that he can stand a chance against him or keep up with him. You gotta give him electrical brass knuckles, exploding baterangs, a kryptonite ring, a led-lined mask, a beefed-up costume, a jet-pack, a tank, and whatever else we have seen from the many crossover tales from the comics and cartoons. Am I implying that I did not enjoy those stories? No, I did enjoy them but the best Batman stories are the ones that have Batman protecting Gotham City while taking on the mob or the criminally insane. That is his element and that is what the movies had good going for them.

While upgrading Batman you would also have to downgrade Superman’s strength. In the Man of Steel, when Superman punches Zod he goes flying through countless buildings before the momentum of Superman’s punch finally stops. If he did that to a human he would die instantly. Forget the buildings; the initial punch would be the cause of death. No way anyone could take a punch like that! So, now what? Batman is definitely going to take some hits and he will definitely get back up again. So now we learn that yes a human can take a punch from Superman and still live?! How is that consistent with the punches Zod took? Does Superman pull back his punches when taking on a human? Then it’s not a fair fight.

Even if they do a solo-Batman movie after this one it will take place in a world where Superman exists. How many of you questioned where the rest of the Avengers were while watching Iron Man 3? Why didn’t they just show up and help out? That same question will come up when watching the next Batman solo. Superman is a god. He can do anything and he can do anything in a moment’s notice. In a world where Superman exists terrorist groups would be taken out no matter how hidden they are. Wars would be stopped before they could even begin. Natural disasters could be averted and if not those that would perish could be rescued. And anyone of Batman’s foes would be taken out easily by Superman. They wouldn’t stand a chance. If the next Batman appearance isn’t a solo movie it will probably be a Justice League movie where again we will see Batman in a science-fiction story taking on aliens or giant robots and surrounded by other heroes with actual super powers. Yes, Batman will use his detective skills to figure out who Superman is (I mean if Lois Lane was able to then this should be a cake walk for the Bats) and yes, the Dark Knight well develop these clever traps to take down the Boy Scout but it will be for all intents and purposes a Batman fighting an alien from another plant – again that is just not his element. And you can bet that the real villain in the Superman vs. Batman movie or even the inevitable Justice League follow-up won’t be the likes of The Riddler or Harley Quinn.

This will pretty much end the Batman that we know. From now on Batman will exist in a world of aliens, robots, mad scientist experiments gone horribly wrong or horribly right, monsters from other dimensions, and most importantly superheroes with god-like powers. Yes, Batman will use his wit to outsmart Superman until they realize they are on the same side and yes Batman will be seen as the symbol of humanity that can live up to and be better than Superman much like Captain Kirk is to Spock but the Batman we all love, the one that solves murder mysteries, stands up to the mob, and is put into perplexing puzzles crafted only by the minds of the mentally deranged will be gone from the movie universe.



31 thoughts on “How the Superman vs. Batman Movie Changes Batman as We Know

  1. Pingback: How the Superman vs. Batman Movie Changes Batman as We Know |

  2. Very good and interesting article. I guess we just differ on the importance of it all. Being a diehard comic book fan from the late 1970s, my Batman has always lived in the same universe as Superman. Maybe it’s an inherent comic book fan trait, but I’ve always been able to accept the greater universe while also restricting characters to their own personal worlds. I still feel really confident that I can do the same for the movies. But you do bring up a valid point especially for non-comic book readers. It’s something I hadn’t thought of.

    • I do enjoy the crossovers they’ve had in the comics and cartoons but I just don’t know how effectively they would translate on the big screen. I think for movies each hero should stick within their own element. That’s why I like that Sony has the rights to the Spiderman Universe, Fox has the rights to the X-Men Universe, and Disney has the Avengers Universe. Yes, I know Spiderman and Wolverine have been members of the Avengers at certain points in the comics but they have their own elements and the movies do a great job isolating their heroes to that. Peter Parker is a science nerd and Spiderman takes down all these mad scientists who conduct these wild experiments on themselves. Wolverine and the X-Men are too busy trying to find acceptance in a world that hates mutants while also dealing with other mutants that hates normal humans. Each universe is already filled with rich and untapped content. I don’t see a need for worlds to collide on the big screen. It adds confusion. Marvel may not realize it but in my opinion they are fortunate their characters’ rights are spread out. Warner Brothers owns the entire DC Universe so they are free to crossover any of their heroes. I just think they are in panic mode because of the major success of The Avengers movies.

      Thanks for stopping by!


  3. A few things. 1) Why is Batman’s relevence determined by if he can take a “punch” from Superman 2) why would he even be fighting Superman to the death; and 3) wouldn’t every version of Batman EVER made, die from a punch from Superman (the comic Batman wears a T-Shirt). I think the point of Batman and Superman is that while some things can be solved with stregth not all crime can be solved by a fist or heat vision. One of Superman’s graetest enemies is a billioanire human Lex Luthor. The reason that he can disrupt Superman’s life is not because he can beat him in a fist fight but because he can use his resources in ways that brute strength won’t help him, such as turning public opinion against him, economic attacks, and psychological manipulation. I would argue that Superman is not equipped to handle that kind of evil or at least not as well as Batman is and that is what makes him the equal of Superman. Acccording to you logic Sigourney Weaver cannot take on aliens becsue one bite from their etendable jaws and it is over…obviously that is not the case. For that reason I see no reason why Warner Brothers does not continue with the Batman established in the Dark Knight movies. It is a huge mistake that I predict is going to cost DC and Warner Brothers dearly.

    • Hey Patrick,

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. You have made some great points.
      1.) The reason why I brought up the strength of Superman’s punches is because this movie is a sequel to Man of Steel and therefore will operate under the same physics. So I think it’s a legitimate concern. If Superman has the strength to punch General Zod through multiple buildings why wouldn’t the same thing happen to Batman? Now it just begs the question as to whether he would be able to survive a punch like that. All logic points to no, he shouldn’t be able to survive. Obviously, Zod could because he is a fellow Kryptonian. Wouldn’t you think that’s a fair assessment based on what we saw in Man of Steel?
      2.) Why would they be fighting to the death? Obviously I can’t answer that since neither Zack Snyder nor David S. Goyer haven’t even banged out a storyline yet. That being said Batman doesn’t yet know Superman’s limits in the Man of Steel world so far so Batman would have to go all out until he can learn his limits. All he knows right now is his observations of what happened in Smallville and Metropolis. As of yet even Superman doesn’t know his weakness is Kryptonite.
      3.) As far as your Lex Luthor point, it is true and we have yet to meet him in the Man of Steel world. It would, however, be a shame to show that Superman would need Batman’s help to take down his biggest adversary.
      4.) As for your Alien analogy, I don’t think that is my logic at all. The point of this write-up is that Superman is a science fiction story and Batman is not. Since Warner Brothers feels it needs a response to The Avengers they are taking steps to lead to their Justice League movie and Superman vs. Batman is their next step. In my opinion, by doing this we won’t see the Batman that we know from the Dark Knight Trilogy. He will be locked in a science fiction world with monsters, robots, aliens, and other superheroes with superhuman powers.
      5.) IMHO, there is no way they will imply that this is the same Batman from the Dark Knight Trilogy. First they would have to totally undo the ending. They would have to explain what happened to Robin/John Blake and that would be a huge slap in the face to Chris Nolan. The WB would never cross that line. There are only a few directors that is allowed 100% creative freedom but Warner Brothers has given that to him. He is their prized possession. Other than the fact that Batman will be played by a new actor Nolan’s Dark Knight story is over. It had a legitimate ending. Watch the trailer again. It clearly says, “The Epic Conclusion to the Dark Knight Legend.” As mentioned above, the Superman/Batman logo has a completely different Batman logo. That has to mean something.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      • One last point about the Alien analogy where Patrick said “according to your logic one bite from their extendable jaws and it’s over… Obviously that is not the case.” One blast from a flame thrower or one well placed grenade can take out an alien so that levels the playing field. Batman doesn’t have a single move that can take out Superman in one shot unless they give him the Kryptonite ring but that would be way too soon and they haven’t even introduced Kryptonite as his weakness yet. In the comics Superman gives Batman a Kryptonite ring in case he ever gets out of control or is controlled by someone with mind control powers. Superman gives it to Batman because he has earned his trust. Batman hasn’t even met him yet in the Man of Steel world. So this means Batman will have to resort to well though out traps and studying and figuring out potential weaknesses to gain the upper hand.

    • Hey Patrick,
      I completely agree with you about everything. The reason why a Superman / Batman ‘fight’ is even considered, is because of the supposed title. It implies a confrontation, either physical or intellectual, on some level with them going up against one another. In that scenario, a comparison of physical strength is justified.

      Also, I don’t think the Batman in the Dark Knight movies can continue, given that MAN OF STEEL is looking to set up a shared movie universe culminating in a JLA movie, with hopefully plans of more beyond that. So it makes sense for them to cast younger actors, who can play the same roles for at least 10 years or so. Even Superman in MOS is shown as not having much experience BEING Superman yet.

      In TDKR, Bale had streaks of grey hair, and if he was early 30’s in BATMAN BEGINS, he had to be early 40’s by the time events of TDKR took place. His body was also in deteriorating shape. That character doesn’t work with DC & WB’s proposed plans for their movie-verse going forward. Also, like I mention in my post here:

      A Batman operating in Gotham for 10 years before MAN OF STEEL, changes the status quo of the world that Snyder & Co. created.

  4. What wasn’t mentioned in regards to the physics in their fight – You need to go back and read The Dark Knight Returns or watch the 2 part DCU animated film which was well done. That is one of Zack S. and David Gs inspirations here. That Batman logo is from TDKR as well. I tend not to look too much into this stuff and I remain cautious. Before Nolan took the reigns of Batman none of us thought we’d see another Bat-film for many years due to the B&R 97 disaster. Luckily the Nolan films were awesome. I enjoyed Man of Steel more than most. I’m not saying I take whatever they spit out at me, especially since I’ve been a heavy DC comic reader for 30 years, but I do like to sit back and revel in the fact that the Superhero genre is so popular and that these types of films are actually getting made…and made well. Nolan established the idea that a superhero film could be made in a serious fashion and that right there is a main thrust into the next evolution of the whole genre of comic book movies. Honestly, I think the worst that can happen with this next Batman/Superman film (which by rights should be titled WORLD’S FINEST) is that it divides the audience like Man of Steel did. And as we all know, that’s not a bad thing because even with some negative reviews and half the audience feeling unfulfilled, at least half of us really enjoyed it and it still made a shit-ton of money!

    • That’s a great point. Thanks for the well-thought out comment Sexy Armpit. Yes, the logo is from TDKR but I don’t think it will be based on that heavily. For one thing both Superman and Batman are much older but you’re right I’m sure it will have some inspiration from it. My favorite showdown between Batman and Superman is from the Hush storyline (Batman #612). There was an 8 year gap between B&R and Begins. I think that’s a long enough length to revamp a character. By 2015 there will have only been a 3 year gap. That is definitely too soon and that is why the comparison conversation will plague this upcoming movie. I totally agree that it should be titled The World’s Finest and that the worst that can happen is that it will have mixed reviews. It will def be a huge money maker.

  5. Good blog… I enjoyed the depth of the topic(s). I hope more people respond. I am very much looking foward to the movie; although, as a ‘true believer’ I very much delude myself from thinking any movie superheores are close to comic-book worthy… so I will look at this as Spuderman vs Bortman (they just happen to look very close to DC characters).

    Also, I am going on the record for the new Batman actor… I can’t wait to see who they pick. Christian Bale has been the ‘best’ so far but he is NOT the end-all-be-all actor that can only portray the Caped Crusader… ie Hugh Jackman IS Wolverine, Robert Downey Jr IS Ironman and Sean Connery IS James Bond.

    Any who… thanks for sharing bro.


    • Spuderman vs Bortman. Hahaha. Glad you enjoyed it. We’ll see who they pick next for Batman but whoever it is he is a brave man and has a lot of expectations to love up to. Christian Bale may not be the end-all-be-all but he has set a high benchmark.

  6. Hey Darryl. Awesome post. Lots of questions. Lots of thoughts. I’ll respond in order:

    Logo: I like that you mentioned that. The change of the Bat Symbol does indicate a rework of the Batman story as well. Also, notice how the Bat Symbol was changed to fit around the existing Superman Symbol. An indication of the focus of the next movie perhaps?

    Here’s my response regarding your concern of Batman not fitting into a Sci Fi world. To me, Batman is THE best super hero of them all. This includes Marvel, Pulp Fiction and any other fictional character. Of them all. Why? Simply because he has none of the extraordinary powers (money isn’t extraordinary) that govern most super heroes. Yet, he still goes up against similar calibre of villains. In most JLA stories, they do go up against Aliens, superpowered being, Gods, etc. And Batman usually holds his own physically as well as intellectually. In a world of ‘super’ powered heroes, I think Batman is necessary to keep things in perspective. No wonder he has a huge fuckin’ ego. Batman’s existence and significance in a world of Supermen, Martians, Magicians, Aliens, Cyborgs, Myths and Gods is a testament to the human spirit. They need him to remind them that their powers mean shit all.

    In the context of a MAN OF STEEL sequel, I think Batman’s introduction will bring a lot of the humility and tone down the grand-ness that a lot of people complained about the movie. Imagine Batman leading the witch hunt against Superman and the damages he did, instead of Lex Luthor, as we expect. Imagine Batman being the J. Jonah Jameson to Superman, championing human rights over an Alien Messiah. I think it may work, if done well.

    In terms of a Batman in a world of Sci Fi aliens: Your concerns are valid. Hopefully these tonal differences will force the Writers to keep the villains more grounded in reality rather than grandiose ‘destroy the planet’ schemes, while expanding Batman’s skill set to meet somewhere in the middle.

    I guess only time will tell. Awesome post Darryl.

    • Good observation about the superman logo still being the focal point and makes sense since it is a Man of Steel sequel. Yea, I agree that Batman will symbolize humanity and be able to stand up to the likes of Superman and any super villain going forward in this new DC Movie Universe. That will be the new theme for Batman. I guess I am having trouble letting go of the Batman Nolan and Bale gave us since I still feel there is so much more that can be told even with a new director and actor. Warner Bros. wants to move on from that universe and bring in the Justice League Universe.

      As always, thanks for stopping by!

      • These are the prevalent issues with DC & WB, who have been together forever. If, they had only thought about the future of their comics to movie properties back when Nolan was rebooting Batman, we’d be in a better situation.

        But at the time, they only wanted to have individual successes with each property. Creating a hole now to be filled by a new actor and director, trying to improve upon or at least make a lateral move to what Nolan did. It’s not just an uphill battle, it’s a trying to go through Earth’s atmosphere with a bottle rocket situation.

        No worries Daryll. Always interesting!

    • This is what I thought worked best about the Grant Morrison written JLA comics. Batman was the human amongst the Gods, and always rebuffed Supes, WW and Co for thinking of themselves that way. Wonder if Morrison would be interested in helping script the DC universe going forward…..

  7. Wow. Great read and an awesome post, Darryl! I’ve skimmed through the articulate and very dynamic comments and so many interesting points were brought up. I’m a simple dude and I feel that ANY story can be done whether it be sci fi merged with a mystery or noir etc etc. Blade Runner was an amalgam of that very thing. It boils down to the material and the story. Like someone mentioned earlier, as a huge comic book fan I was always cool with the broader hero stories that included Batman (Just about every JL story) and then the opposite where Batman is delegated to his own dark universe. I think movie fans that do not read comics are smart enough to understand the place in the universe that Superman and Batman inhabit. I wish WB and DC the best of luck getting the audience (fanboy/girl or not) to accept the disparities with a great story and a compelling movie. Thanks for the post! I’ve enjoyed this whole topic that has been running across so many of my favorite blogs! 🙂

    • Yes, I am definitely rooting for them to pull it off. It will be exciting to watch the development and progress of this whole movie. I’m sure we will all be keeping are ears to the ground on this one. I just hope Snyder & Company understand the responsibility they have and are able two come up with a story that merges the two characters fluidly. For some reason, though, I am feeling skeptical.

  8. Hi Darryl, I hear ya. To be honest I was dismayed that they wanted to do a Batman & Superman movie instead of focusing on Superman after Man of Steel. I mean the origin story was pretty compelling but now they’re introducing YET another character in the story, seemingly only to speed up the Justice League process. That said, I can’t help but be curious what they’d do with this adaptation, I mean I’m more of a DC girl so I LOVE those two characters. The key to me is in the casting, and I have my heart set on this one actor to play Batman. Stay tuned for that post 😉

  9. Excellent post, one which throws up more questions than answers (not a bad thing!). Honestly, I too felt a little annoyed they didn’t give Supes more than a single film on his own to develop the brand, before throwing Batman into the mix. Hey, it’s not like Warners need to put a JLA film in the works with a gun to their head, so why the sudden rush? Personally, I’d have like to see Batman become the DC equivalent of Nick Fury from the Marvel films – Batman appears at the end of, or somewhere in the middle of, further hero introductory films, kinda overlording it as folks such as Wonder Woman, The Flash and so on are all introduced. The world’s familiar enough with Batman for this to happen without too much (re)introduction.
    That said, the fact that Batman and Superman are going “head to head” in the next film isn’t really a concern – Batman’s not an idiot, so there’s no way he’d ever go up on Supes in a brute strength kinda way, so it’d be more an intellectual battle. The hoary old “mistaken adversaries” route is probably gonna be what happens at first, before they either team up to defeat a common enemy, or part ways as friends leaving Superman to fight his foe singularly.
    What REALLY concerns me is who the Bad Guy of MOS2 is going to be. Currently, there’s no real adversary in the familiar pantheon (aside from Darkseid, who will no doubt be positioned to arrive come JLA) to take it up to the new Superman. In a straight up punch-up, I think it would have to be some Bizarro or maybe Metallo (introducing Kryptonite in a backhanded manner) type story that allows for another match for Superman at a brute strength level (more metropolitan destruction, no doubt) but considering where the bar was left at the end of the last film, Snyder and Co will have trouble topping it.
    Were I to be in charge of the DC film franchises, I’d have had several more solo films first (Flash, Aquaman and Wonder Woman, one of which would also backdoor Green Lantern and/or Plastic Man, Martian Manhunter or Cyborg) before trundling out JLA. Dreaming about it, I’d have had Batman and Superman team up first in JLA, because that’s where any friction, rapport or outright angst between any of the major heroes should be at the most prominent.
    Still, I’m just glad DC are finally getting the ball rolling in any meaningful way, because after years of Marvel dominance, it’s about time the playing field was levelled somewhat.

    • A lot of great points Hot Rod! Why does the WB feel the need to rush Justice League? I’m willing to bet they make Batman like how he is in the Justice League cartoons where he is not a team player and shows up whenever he feels like it. I totally agree that the other guys need solo movies too. How about Vincent Chase for Aquaman? That would be so awesome. Haha.

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