With the success of the Marvel movie franchise, it’s no surprise that the DC Universe wants in on the action. Reported by Entertainment Weekly and posted all over the internet at the end of the Warner Bros/Legendary panel at San Diego Comic-Con, the next movie to follow up to the Zack Snyder Superman reboot Man of Steel will include Batman.

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DC Comic characters have had collaborations before in print, and many fans have been wondering when we were going to get a “team” movie with DC heroes rather than reboots of characters and their stories. But is it fair to compare the new Batman and Superman movie to a team movie like The Avengers?

Consider the similarities of the brooding anti-heroes. Both Batman and Iron Man are just human beings who use their wealth to create things that help them become superheroes. While Iron Man wears his equipment, Batman possesses wonderful toys to use, and drives or flies in incredible machines. Both characters have been built as dealing with difficult psychological problems that both drive them to take action as well as constantly lead them to danger. Both Batman and Iron Man have a kinder, gentler version of themselves in the earlier comics that gradually lead to darker story lines in the 1990’s to today.

The character of comparison from The Avengers team to Superman would be Captain America. Both in red, white, and blue as iconic American figures. Both have outstanding super powers. If I had to give advantages to one over the other, Superman still has the ability to fly along with the super strength. But he’s technically not human, which makes Captain America the truer representative of humanity’s keeper.

The movie that will follow after Man of Steel already has a potential title of Batman vs. Superman. According to comicbook.com, at the 75th Anniversary Superman panel at SDCC, David S. Goyer acknowledged the previously revealed collaboration. But comicbook.com did some research online to find the domain names that had been registered, and found that “…Warner Bros. owns both SupermanVsBatman.com and BatmanVsSuperman.com, which could be used to protect comic book titles as well as movie titles. However, when we added movie to the end, we found out that Warner Bros. had only registered BatmanVsSupermanMovie.com but not SupermanVsBatmanMovie.com.”

The implications from the potential title shows a pitting of one against the other, a theme played with in The Avengers but ultimately solved. According to Entertainment Weekly, at the Warner Bros/Legendary panel, Snyder had actor Harry Lennix read the following line of Batman’s from Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns: “I want you to remember, Clark. In all the years to come. In all your most private moments. I want you to remember my hand at your throat. I want you to remember the one man who beat you.

We like our superhero stories a little darker these days, so much so that we get a darker reboot of Spider-Man within a few years of the latest trilogy that helps us wipe away the memory of a dancing Toby Maguire in the last film. Marvel movies constantly dance on the edge of dark and light in order to broaden the audience to include younger viewers but still please the older ones who love the later comic books and graphic novels.

As written in an earlier post, Man of Steel was a nice reboot of the Superman mythos. I would not have guessed that it would lead to a team movie, especially one with Batman. With Dark Knight Rises, it felt like that character could move on to the Batman mythos that had Robin taking over for Bruce Wayne. That movie does not comfortably put Batman in Superman’s world (or vice versa). The fear is that in order to compete against The Avengers, this move to pair up Batman and Superman may be too forced.

Let us not forget DC Comics’ movies that made us cringe. Halle Berry in Catwoman. The emo version of Superman in Superman Returns. The inexplicable Jonah Hex. The incredibly disappointing Green Lantern that surprised all fans of Ryan Reynolds. The DC Universe does not have the best movie track record in recent years. On the other side, Marvel has Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, The Avengers, and all the X-Men movies that continue to do well.

The only two franchises from the DC Universe that do well belong to Batman and Superman. So perhaps pairing them up will create a juggernaut of success. The true winners in the DC versus Marvel universe battles are the fans of comic books and movie adaptations. Sounds like we’re going to have lots of material to watch and judge for years to come.

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