Keeping the spoilers minimal.

Just got back from seeing Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice.  The plot focuses on the response to world’s response to Superman’s emergence in the first movie, dealing with the aftermath.  The film opens on the murder and funeral of Thomas and Martha Wayne before advancing to the battle between Zod and Superman over Metropolis from Bruce Wayne’s perspective.  From there it advances to the main action of the film, centered around the aftermath of Superman’s emergence into the public eye and the response.  Batman has reemerged in Gotham while Superman struggles to come to peace with the role he has been forced into.

Overall, I thought this movie was fantastic.  I do actually enjoy the way Zack Snyder has brought Superman to the big screen.  Realistically, does anyone really believe a being of Superman’s capabilities would be universally embraced?  That his arrival as a figure of prominence would not be met with a heavy skepticism and fear?  Over the years, the Superman comics have developed the concept of Superman being a Christ figure, sent to bring hope for a better world–which was the central message Jor-El gave in Man of Steel.  Like Christ, he would have to learn how to do that and a lot of this film dealt with that struggle while reminding how human he actually is.  Amy Adams as Lois Lane does a masterful job of keeping him in touch with humanity.

Ben Affleck’s Batman was exactly what it needed to be.  Dark, weary, but determined.  His past as Batman was touched on–really only hinted in dialog and the appearance of the vandalized Robin costume–while a bit of heavy focus was given to the death of his parents.  Makes me wonder what Jena Malone’s Barbara Gordon would have added to the story.

The main villain is essentially Lex Luthor, portrayed by Jesse Eisenberg.  His performance was actually fairly entertaining and a good source of some comedic relief.  The manic xenophobia came across effectively as an individual who actually believed he was confronting a threat that needed to be eliminated by any means necessary.

The last big hero to appear was Wonder Woman, portrayed by Gal Gadot.  In a lot ways she came across as a half-way point between Batman and Superman–battle-weary and looking for something to hope for.  I would say the main drawback of the character was that there really wasn’t enough movie for there to be more of her.  Despite the limited screen time, this gave me cause to look forward to her upcoming solo film.

The story itself was a bit problematic.  It got a bit too dependent on dream sequences and visions.  I won’t go into detail about it, but the one that really bothered me just dragged on for too long and really did nothing for the story.  It was cool to see the Parademons though.  The actual cameos for the Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg were actually well done and served a good purpose in the course of the story.

Overall, I liked this movie.  I think Warner Brothers and DC Entertainment have a good thing going here.  Like I said about the dream sequence that ran on too long, I think there was maybe a bit too much effort to set up a Justice League movie.  I think that was going to be the biggest obstacle in making this movie, trying not to go beyond telling a good story and setting up a franchise.  I think the story would have meshed better and there would have been plenty of set up without relying on visions.  Looking forward to seeing where Suicide Squad goes with building on the foundation established here.

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DC Comics Part Deux…

September 1, 2011

Continuing on, I’ll give a few got reactions and which of the DC relaunch books coming out on Sept 14 I’ll be checking out.

Batman and Robin #1:

Peter Tomasi with Patrick Gleason providing art.  Solid team, I’ll at least see where this one goes.

Batwoman #1:

This is another of those that strikes me as a miniseries pretending to be an ongoing.  The character was fresh and brilliant in the course of 52 and her stories in Detective Comics and Final Crisis, but I just don’t know if the series will hold up.  Big fan of J.H. Williams III, so I’ll at least follow the first few issues.

Deathstroke #1:

Again, another pretender.  Deathstroke has always been a fascinating character, but I don’t know he’ll hold people’s attention long enough.  What I’ve read about the series doesn’t exactly make this stand out either.

Demon Knights #1:

Paul Cornell working on one of Jack Kirby’s best characters, I’m all over this.

Frankenstein, Agent of Shade #1:

The Flashpoint series focusing on Frankenstein was really good, and Jeff Lemire is returning to write this.  That’s the good news.  I’ll at least check out a couple issues to see where it will go, although I do have my doubts about this as an ongoing.

Green Lantern #1:

Geoff Johns continues to work with the characters he made his name on.  I think this will continue to be one of DC’s best books.  I really believe that.

Grifter #1:

I do wish DC had just did a soft reboot of the Wildstorm Universe rather than just shoving them into the DCU.  I just think there was too much good stuff there to just give up on Wildstorm.  I mean, between Gen 13 and Welcome to Tranquility, Gail Simone had one of the most phenomenal runs in recent memory.  Just let her have the DCU.  But anyway, Grifter.  I think this series has potential, but I’m concerned they might be trying to overload the DCU with anti-heroes.  This one I’ll follow.

Legion Lost #1:

I’m intrigued by this one.  Hopefully this Legion will stay true to the themes I’ve admired in the other incarnations.  Fabian Nicieza should be able to put together a good read here.

Mister Terrific #1:

I might get this one just for the covers by J.G. Jones.  It’s an amazing character and I hope this series sticks, but I have my doubts.

Red Lanterns #1:

I’d be concerned about there being some overload from too many Lantern titles, but this looks like a solid creative team and should be an interesting book.

Resurrection Man #1:

Another pretender?  Probably.  But it should have at least one good story in it.  At least going to check it out.

Suicide Squad #1:

I’m kind of pissed that there isn’t going to be a Secret Six anymore.  That was some good shit.  I’ll at least make sure this is a worthy replacement.

Superboy #1:

Feels like they just sorted him out in the main continuity.  Probably worth checking out.

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