I’ll come out with it: I saw Batman v Superman, like everyone else, and, like most everyone else, I hated it. I continue to hate it. I honestly think people don’t hate it enough. But this isn’t a review of that movie: this is a eulogy of Batman from a diehard fan of the caped crusader.
See, it’s not enough that Dawn of Justice was bad. Batman & Robin was bad, but at least it had the decency to underperform at the box office, causing Warner Bros. to rethink its Batman strategy, eventually leading to the hiring of Christopher Nolan and the rest is beautiful history.
Dawn of Justice is projected to make $300 million – in a weekend. While not record breaking, it’s certain to keep WB right on its war path, and that means that this newest Batman, the worst iteration of Batman ever in film or otherwise, in this critic’s opinion, is here to stay. The self-righteous, wooden mope of Bruce Wayne, who I guess somewhere down the line decided “fuck it, I’m killing people,” right before almost ending the world because he had some far-right-inspired militant paranoia, manifesting in a juvenile personal beef with Superman that prevented him from even listening to the idea that he might be being manipulated, will be the same Batman we see for a long time.
If you’re like me, an owner of too many (but still not enough) Batman comics who has fervent debates about which of the Nolan Batman films are the best, and you feel like your hero has been permanently morphed to an unrecognizable state, where should you turn?
It may not be the smoothest transition, but Marvel’s Daredevil is all we got.
Of course, the similarities are obvious, and some more than surface-level. He’s a flesh-and-blood vigilante, operating under the cover of darkness in a crime-ridden city he holds dear. He’s an orphan who is trained in several types of martial arts over the course of his adolescence and early adulthood.
Sounding familiar? Let’s keep going. He has a close, passionate relationship with a dangerous criminal woman who he hopes can be turned good. He encounters a hyper-violent enemy who insists that one bad day can make a good guy go crazy. Daredevil tries to have serious relationships with other people in his personal life, but his night-job keeps getting in the way.
He’s still not Batman. Not quite. But he’s a hell of a lot closer than whatever the hell Zack Snyder is hawking in his latest masturbation of a movie.
Perhaps most importantly, though not according to Mr. Snyder, Batman and Daredevil make it a point to never kill anyone. This is a source of much discussion and conflict throughout both series. They both understand, as Batman explained to Jason Todd in the “Under the Red Hood” story arc, that it’s not hard for them to kill people – it would be too easy.
Instead, they just beat them senseless.
As I said, the transition isn’t the smoothest. You’re going to miss a lot of the duality represented in Batman. Because Bruce Wayne is such a prominent public figure, he had to create this alternate persona of a billionaire playboy to avoid suspicion. Throughout the comics, he describes the Batman side of him as a third entity that can take over. The identity of this Batman/Bruce Wayne person is lost somewhere in the middle, and grappled with by the man, himself.
With Daredevil, he never needed to create an alternate ego, because he has the perfect alibi – he’s blind. Blind as a … you get the idea. No dual personalities there. Not to mention that fact that envisioning Batman as a good catholic boy is difficult, given the morally superior bastard we know and love.
But hell, at least Marvel’s Daredevil is actually good. Despite a few hiccups in the second season, there’s nothing to suggest it’s going to go downhill. Maybe in 12 years, when the Batman name is tarnished and buried under the wreckage of Zack Snyder’s DC Cinematic Universe, Netflix will swoop in and revive the Dark Knight with a gritty reboot series. Until then, I’m watching Charlie Cox crack skulls while Vincent D’Onofrio gets snubbed at the Emmys.
Related Topics: Batman