Batman v Superman the hero of Comic-Con

13 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Vixen’ Is More Important Than ‘Batman v Superman’ To DC And Warner Bros..

Director Zack Snyder’s first go at the Man of Steel, titled, well, Man of Steel, was okay, even enjoyable at times. Over the weekend, Warner Bros. took to the Comic-Con stage to unveil its true first action packed look at one of its most anticipated adaptations coming in the next few months.Superheroes are going rogue with Warner Bros’ DC universe, as the studio made a splash with its brooding caped crusaders and ragtag team of anti-heroes at Comic-Con.

But the hero-packed sequel has long felt bound to become an ill-fated attempt on DC’s part to ape the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s massive success. Director Zack Snyder and actors Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill and Gal Gadot offered fans at San Diego’s annual pop culture and film convention an exclusive look at the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Steel was a franchise reboot after the complete failure that was Superman Returns, the worst entertainment experience involving Kal-El since Superman 64. Set for debut on The CW’s digital branch, CW Seed, Vixen has the potential to be far more important to Warner Bros.’ overall relationship with DC Comics than Batman v Superman could ever hope to be because of the doors it could open for the studio in the long run.

In many ways, the epic conclusion felt like a hamfisted attempt to go one step further than the dramatic finale of rival Marvel’s The Avengers a year earlier, in which New York was partly destroyed by an alien invasion. Fans also were the first to see a new trailer that served up destruction and grit, and cheered loudly when the final scene showed Superman ripping off the doors of the Batmobile, and Batman rising to face him. For the unaware, Vixen is an upcoming collection of animated digital shorts that will make up one full half-hour story centered around the comic book character of the same name.

In the first full trailer for the film, out on 25 March, 2016, we see a society that has turned against the godlike Superman (Cavill) following a massive disaster. Superman (Cavill) is questioned about his power and intentions, while Bruce Wayne, Batman’s alter ego, is held responsible for a tragedy and channels his rage into becoming Batman.

What’s clear is that not everyone sees Superman as a hero, given the appalling fallout of the Earth’s latest extraterrestrial invasion, and some are out for blood. Per Comic Vine: “Mari Jiwe McCabe, better known as Vixen, is able to channel the powers of virtually any creature in the animal kingdom with but a thought. Time Warner Inc’s Warner Bros, the studio behind Christopher Nolan’s highly successful Dark Knight Batman trilogy, is expanding the DC universe and connecting each film to the others, a strategy similar to Walt Disney Co’s Marvel Studios’. This unhinged Batman is the perfect opponent for Superman, a symbol of mankind’s blind rage in the face of its devastating first contact with intelligent alien life. He told Affleck that Bruce Wayne here is at “the end of his rope, he’s older, he’s a burnout.” Gadot, who plays Wonder Woman in this film and in an upcoming stand alone, said her character has the “strength of a superhero” but is “very sophisticated, loving and has a lot of emotional intelligence.”

Snyder will direct the Justice League movies based on the comic series that teams up superheroes including Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman and the Green Lantern. Is it even possible to write Superman, an alien powered by Earth’s yellow sun who’s largely indestructible save a nasty allergy to glowing green rocks, in a compelling way? He’s a superhero with a tabloid mentality: he sees only the vivid, garish headlines – the destruction of his own Wayne Financial tower in Metropolis and the deaths of people he loved – and ignores the story’s fine detail. The new Luthor is neither the clownish figure of the later Christopher Reeve-era movies, nor the powerfully built, bald-headed villain often seen in the comic books.

Instead, Eisenberg seems to be playing him as a nasty little trust-fund playboy, a villain educated enough to reference the folk hero of the American revolution Paul Revere (“the redcoats are coming”) but, presumably, dumb enough not to realise that getting in the middle of a fight between the big boys is only ever going to end badly. The phrase appears to combine the expression, “the British are coming”, for which Revere is known, but probably never uttered, with Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s reference to the invading force of British loyalists by their scarlet uniforms in his famous patriotic poem Paul Revere’s Ride. Moderated by actress Aisha Tyler, Warner Bros’ panel also featured Guy Ritchie’s slick 1960s spy caper Man From UNCLE and Pan, which traces the origins of Peter Pan. He came away from that experience deeply skeptical of Superman’s seemingly God-like powers, and becomes The Batman to rid the world of Superman’s threat.

Like when Netflix and Amazon launched a slew of family programming with the goal of attracting children to the service so, when they age and obtain disposable income of their own, they’ll become the next generation of loyal subscribers, Vixen carries with it the ability to turn DC and WBTV’s programming slate into something that can attract a younger audience from the very beginning. Or is Luther referring to the sudden arrival of an assortment of real-life superheroes, from Wonder Woman to Aquaman and Cyborg, in the brave new Warner Bros/DC Comics “cinematic universe”?

By utilizing two mediums they already appreciate (digital video and animation), Vixen can get them used to the idea of a shared universe without the aid of anyone else – and as most will say, there’s nothing more powerful to younger viewers than finding something on their own as opposed to having it thrust upon them by their parents – such as when they are taken to the movie theater for Hollywood’s latest costumed adventure. The parallels with Miller’s 1986 graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns, which also depicted a Batman jaded from decades battling crime, are clear – even if Snyder appears to be cherrypicking motifs rather than plumping for a direct adaptation. The success of Vixen could also mean future projects of similar type that will allow Warner Bros. what amounts to a low risk testing ground for new characters that may not have much of a following at the moment.

A well as a caped crusader who’s closer to full-on villain than antihero, those super-soldiers explicitly recall the episode in Miller’s famous comic book in which Bruce Wayne reluctantly accepts the fealty of a ragtag group of vigilantes, known as the Sons of Batman, who have sprung from the detritus of a horrific, murderous Gotham subculture known as the Mutants. Miller did what’s unquestionably the best work ever done with Batman, tapping into and elevating the deeply dark elements of the Caped Crusader’s lore — in this book, Joker kills himself to try and frame Batman for the murder. Perhaps we could soon find ourselves treated to animated presentations of the Kate Spencer Manhunter [or a tweaked version of her given the stats of the character in the fictional universe] or Plastic Man that could transition into live-action shows down the road as well. But the new trailer doesn’t explain what part Gal Gadot’s battling interloper has to play in the events of the new film, nor why she has suddenly decided to reveal herself to the world. The worry is that Warner is trying to build its universe too quickly because it fears following the model adopted by rival Marvel – a standalone movie to introduce each individual hero, followed by an epic ensemble flick – too closely.

But, while Marvel’s embraced trans-media overall, it doesn’t change the fact that making a live-action television series is an expensive proposition.

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