Batman v Superman was a great comic book adaptation. Batman v Superman critics have poor excuses for why they didn’t like this powerhouse picture. Because Batman v Superman took some chances and in many ways stayed true to comic book imagery, it polarized the public. But that’s what a good movie does. A movie that pleases the comic book fanboy isn’t necessarily going to be digestible to the mainstream public.
— Variety (@Variety) April 3, 2016
As an off base review like one in The New Yorker shows, the movie going public sits back and expects to be spoon fed stories that comic book fans have been following for years. But a rough bump in the road should not set DC Comics’ movie plans astray. If DC decides to alter things and water down its whole Justice League introduction just to suit movie watchers who haven’t yet adjusted, then that will create a lost opportunity for some awesome cinema. Batman v Superman should become a DC Comics trademark for its style and mood.
DC Comics were always an acquired taste. Everyone knows the more popular DC heroes and at least something about their stories. The characters have been the subject of cartoons and TV series for decades. But sitting down to read DC Comics does take a different sort of mindset altogether. As Marvel has proven in comic books and on screen, their stories are more approachable, perhaps even more appealing to a wider demographic. But DC Comics doesn’t need to be like Marvel, whether in print or on screen. DC Comics fans have always taken the harder, less popular route.
Batman v Superman stays true to the whole DC Comics fanboy experience. While other people deride you for your choice in DC, you know they just don’t get it, and therefore you are more loyal. The appeal is in being part of a club that is willing to dig into the DC Comics universe, a place few Marvel Comics readers and other types of movie watchers would dare to enter. Batman v Superman reflects this philosophy, whether DC realizes it or not.
— Felicia Capcome (@FeliciaCapcome) April 3, 2016
If Warner Bros. gets discouraged simply because the movie makes less money than Avengers, and they decide to change a whole bunch of stuff around to make it more mainstream, then they will lose the core base of supporters that they need for long term success. Variety showed how social media users canned salty reviews, at least at first. That core group is what will bring this movie more money over the long run. Even if the general public were to dig into this movie like a box office blockbuster, they will forget about it as soon as the next Star Wars gets released.
Who knows what will happen with Suicide Squad. It is totally a different picture, whether or not it has Batman in it. But as far as core Justice League member films, the tone set here is just right for a slightly more savvy comic book reading public to appreciate. Unless you have been reading comics for a while and are somewhat entrenched in the comic book mindset, and the way comic book plots usually play out. You might not totally know what is going on in Batman v Superman, but it makes perfect comic books sense.
Batman v Superman does what comic books do best. It sets up thirst for the next issue in the series, while still leaving you with a satisfying climax. It also takes the comic book approach of not explaining the entire backstory all at once, but leaves that as an arc you will discover as the wider storyline and set of plots unfold and converge. Batman v Superman indeed succeeds in showing how the threads of the Justice League are brought together, but it does it in a way that is all too much like a comic book, and shows why a movie written as if directly off of a comic book page gets lost on critics.
[Image via Warner Bros.]