The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus showed viewers the downside of being a heroic figure in Season 7A. Beaten but not broken, the old Daryl Dixon, as portrayed by Reedus, will be back with a vengeance in The Walking Dead 7B.
The Walking Dead Season 7A with Norman Reedus left viewers thinking about what it means to be a defeated hero. In much the same way, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice sees a lot of reflection into the nature of heroism for Batman and Superman.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice raised a multitude of issues about heroes, and even God. Specifically, what is the difference between a hero and a god? Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice was surprisingly thought-provoking, despite so many bad reviews.
Like recent The Walking Dead episodes that feature Norman Reedus as Daryl, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice was a call to examine one’s thoughts on collateral damage, potential apocalypses, and fear of unknown threats, as well as a few quasi-theological questions like the ones from Lex Luthor.
Like The Walking Dead Season 7A vs. 7B, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice promises a major shift in tone in the sequel, The Justice League. Ben Affleck, is quoted in The Wrap.
“[There is a] shift in tone and segue in storytelling [between] Justice League versus last year’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. It’s a little bit lighter, the characters are a little bit more comfortable in themselves, so they can express a wider array of emotions.”
Echoing these Batman V Superman regrets, The Walking Dead season 7B offers very similar promises, despite the post zombie apocalypse scenario. Still, with Season 7A over, there is no harm in exploring The Walking Dead 7A, especially the role played by Norman Reedus.
In The Walking Dead and Batman V Superman, what are the challenges of playing a hero as Norman Reedus or Ben Affleck, who is being kicked while he’s down, or blamed for things that obviously were out of their control?
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice star Ben Affleck told The Hollywood Reporterthe worst part of playing Batman was the suit.
“I know what’s it’s like to be in the [Batman] suit. We’ll have to modify the suit to make it a little bit easier to put on and take off. When you are in it, you can be sweating, crazy and exhausted.”
For The Walking Dead star Norman Reedus, the lack of a suit during his beating and torture scenes in Season 7’s “The Cell” was not the worst issue. See the full story of Norman Reedus’ nude performance on Inquisitr.
Norman Reedus, who did those scenes totally nude with few complaints, told Entertainment Weekly The Walking Dead Episode 3, “The Cell,” was difficult on an emotional level more than a physical one, though the floor was cold and dirty.
“I just have to go suffer until it’s over and then leave. I’m not that good turning it on and off… It’s always stored in the back of your head, and it’s not hard to go there. It’s harder to stop. It’s harder to come back than it is to go there sometimes.”
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, though torn apart by critics, and not exactly exonerated by fan reactions, had a lot of interesting ideas. Batman V Superman posed fascinating fodder for philosophical debate.
Likewise, The Walking Dead Season 7A seemed to disturb fans quite a bit. Seeing their heroes, Norman Reedus and Andrew Lincoln as Daryl and Rick being beaten and degraded was more than some of The Walking Dead fans could deal with. Ratings plummeted among Norman Reedus fans.
Now that The Walking Dead 7A is finally over, perhaps it would be a good idea to take a look at Norman Reedus’ role, Batman, and Superman, as well as Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s villainous Negan and Batman V Superman’s antagonist Lex Luthor.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice features Lex Luthor’s confusion between Superman and God. There was a question, why can’t Superman save everyone, and at the same time asking the ever prevailing question why is there suffering in a world controlled by a benevolent and all-powerful God?
The Walking Dead’s Negan also posed a question early in Season 7, inferring that bad guy Negan was no different than Rick or Daryl, portrayed by Norman Reedus and Andrew Lincoln. Rick and Daryl kill to protect their own, and Negan stated he was merely doing the same. It was a call for The Walking Dead viewers and Norman Reedus fans to question ethics.
The Walking Dead is a constant study of who to trust. Likewise, in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, the question of whether Batman and Superman should be friend or foe is highly questioned by both superheroes. Aren’t Batman and Superman allies? It is all a question of trust vs. the potential consequences of misplaced trust. It can be difficult to know if someone powerful is safe to trust.
As in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, the question come around again in The Walking Dead. Heroes who are trying to protect one person or group, often harm another, either accidentally as collateral damage or on purpose in defense. Is there really a difference between heroes and villains, besides the point of view?
The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus, who has played a lot of villains, seems to feel very attached to his heroic role as Daryl Dixon. Ben Affleck, who plays Batman, would know the differences in portraying a villain and a hero as well. Perhaps in real life, or from the point of view of a character, though, the lines between Batman and Lex Luthor or Norman Reedus’ Daryl and Negan begin to blur.
In The Walking Dead, there is a question in Daryl Dixon’s mind. Why couldn’t he save Glenn from Negan’s bat? He rose up in protest as one man was killed, only to have his best friend murdered as a direct retaliation. The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus told Entertainment Weekly that Daryl Dixon at first feels he deserves punishment.
“First off, in that first scene, even being in that jail cell, Daryl’s thinking he deserves it. Like, whatever happens to him, he deserves it.”
The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus, much like Superman’s role in several movies, including Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, questions his own worth, and that is how villains gain a foothold in the comics and the movies. It is rarely because the hero or superhero is bested fairly. No, it is usually a case of manipulation to make heroes feel like failures. Only then can a hero be beaten down, at least in fiction.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice left most, if not all, of the questions posed by Lex Luthor unanswered, but Superman or any other hero, whether human or alien is not a god. Heroes are not all-knowing, and sometimes their best efforts can lead to carnage. Can it be their fault, even if it is not their intention? Lex Luthor insists, “Power is never innocent.”
Whether, Batman, Superman, The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus, or a neighbor down the block, a hero must be accountable. At the same time, if one does not act for fear of accountability, then are they not still making decisions that could potentially cost lives?
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and The Walking Dead with Norman Reedus both raise the age old question of when and if one should rise up against injustice.
[Featured Image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]