Its a good time to be a fan of superheroes. Since the runaway success of 2008’s Iron Man  and Christopher Nolan’s critical and culturally acclaimed The Dark Knight Trilogy, the comic book movie has risen from relative obscurity to assert itself as the powerhouse of Hollywood blockbusters. Since 2008 comic book movies have netted the major studios (Disney/Marvel Studios, Warner Brothers, Sony Pictures etc) nearly five billion dollars.  Yet through all this success for Marvel Studios (and their owner. Disney) a dim light has glown over at DC Comics and Warner Brothers.

While The Dark Knight Trilogy was a huge blockbuster success and continues to be lauded for it’s bare bones and gritty take on Batman, the world seen in the trilogy is clearly incompatible with the idea of a Justice League or indeed even other superheroes. Since 1989 Warner Brothers have rode the Batman gravy train into the ground, with no less than seven Batman pictures, without a single sight of another DC superhero (except for Superman Returns, but the less said about that the better).  While more obscure characters like Ant-Man and the Guardians of the Galaxy get the love from Marvel Studios and head to the big screen, icons like Wonder Woman and The Flash can’t even get a TV series green lit.

Until, it seems, the Man of Steel arrived. 2013’s big hit success Man of Steel may not have completely bowled the critics over; it has struck a nerve with and has polarized the fandom. It seems to be based in two camps at the moment: Superman fans who were expecting a remake of Richard Donner’s 1978 classic Superman, and fans who went in expecting a reboot (which the entire film was marketed as from day one. Apologies for my bias here but I cannot take fans seriously who say “It wasn’t what I expected” in regards to Man of Steel) of the Superman franchise.

Praised again for a grittier take on superheroes and their worlds, Man of Steel has set the stage perfectly for an expanded DC Cinematic Universe. The epic film is littered throughout with references to a wider community of superheroes. from the Wayne Enterprises satellite to S.T.A.R. Labs.  Personally I really, really enjoyed Man of Steel. I thought it was an amazing adaptation and really bought Superman to an epic scale. I felt like I was watching mythology rather than simply another movie. Man of Steel is the comic book movie I’ve always wanted to see. I’m also really impressed with the way that it is a complete origin story, the film introduces a young Superman who is not quite the classic hero we know, but it clearly on the way to that place. It’s also gave me a whole new appreciation for the character of Superman.



On the otherhand the Batman is a character that will constantly fascinate me. The idea of this little boy who was effectively reborn with the death of his parents and evolved into a thug beating machine continues to resonate and the latest Batman movies have all be some of my favourite films of all time. The Dark Knight of Gotham was the first superhero that I fell in love with and the first comic book that I started to properly read. Epic yarns like The Killing Joke, The Dark Knight Returns and Year One are some of my favourite stories in any medium and the art is simply glorious.



At San Diego Comic-Con Warner Brothers and DC announced that not only will the Dark Knight return to screens sooner than expected, he will be teaming up with the Man of Steel himself! The World’s Finest duo will hit the screen some time in 2015 (making it a very busy year, with Star Wars Episode VII and the Avengers 2/Age of Ultron). And it seems like it wont be an altogether happy meeting, Man of Steel’s Harry Lennox was quoted as reading:

“I want you to remember, Clark, in all the years to come, in all your private moments. I want you to remember my hand at your throat. I want you to remember the one man who beat you” – Batman/Bruce Wayne, The Dark Knight Returns.

While details are thin on the ground it seems that Zak Snyder (Man of Steel, Watchmen, 300) will return to direct the film, with Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight TrilogyInception, The Prestige, Memento) as executive producer. It’s also been confirmed that Henry Cavill will return as Superman. What we don’t know is who will be playing Batman. Christian Bale has been quoted numerous times as saying he wants to pass the torch to another actor, and the ending of The Dark Knight Rises seems to confirm that he wont be playing Batman again. I’ve also noted that this seems to be talking about more as a sequel to Man of Steel rather than a new Batman film. I expect the widespread (but, in typical Internet hyperbole, overstated) destruction of Metropolis to be a major plot point in the upcoming movie.


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