The Evolution Of Superman In The DCEU


Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice has officially released and the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) has been born. We have all finally gotten a glimpse of what’s to come in the future movies of the DCEU. The movie has received massive amounts of negativity from critics; however, fans and parents alike have been praising the movie. One of the things that has people separated throughout Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice is how they feel Superman is portrayed. Many feel that he is being portrayed in a very negative light and how this iteration goes against all they know about him. I feel that that these two movies began the evolution of Superman and his journey to becoming that perfect Christopher Reeve Superman we all know and love.

In this article I will be discussing the evolution of Superman and how both Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice have begun to shape the Last son of Krypton for the future of the DCEU. Seeing as I will be talking about Batman v. Superman there will be massive spoilers ahead…












Superman has always been the perfect man, the hero you could always count on to do the right thing at the right moment. From George Reeve to Christopher Reeve the hero has always been the symbol of “Truth, Justice, and the American way”. Fans have always been overly protective of our red and blue hero.

Now comes Man of Steel a movie that seems down to earth, serious, and less nostalgic feeling than previous Superman movies. This movie would soon cause fans of this titular hero to split on whether or not they like or dislike this new version of Superman.


In Man of Steel we began the journey of Clark Kent an alien who has been raised to be human. His father believing that this world would reject his son if he were to show himself decided to teach his son to do good, but be cautious about revealing himself to the world. Like Pa Kent told Clark:

“You’re not just anyone, Clark, and I have to believe that you’re—that you’re sent here for a reason.  All these changes you’re going through, one day—one day, you’re goin’a think of them as a blessing, and when that day comes, you’re goin’a have to make a choice: a choice of whether to stand proud in front of the human race or not.”

In this quote alone Jonathan Kent is telling a young Clark that he will have to make a choice down the road, whether or not to stand before man and show himself for who he is. Clark took his father’s advice and decided to travel across the world to find himself. Picking up odd jobs here and there, but still keeping who he was deep down… a hero.  In the end Clark is more or less forced to reveal himself when the Kryptonian military general Zod gave the world an ultimatum. Give him Kal-El or be destroyed.

Despite being outmatched and under experienced Clark decided to give himself up to Zod for the sake of Earth. This was his first step in a bumpy road to becoming Superman. Throughout the rest of Man of Steel you truly see the inexperience Superman has. From letting his anger take control of him to not knowing how to handle an enemy and focus on keeping damage to a minimum. What many people have to remember is that the perfect Superman that we all know was experienced and new how to keep collateral damage down to a minimum, while this Superman was new and only knew he had to stop Zod or the Earth was doomed.   


By the end of Man of Steel Superman would have saved the Earth but at a massive cost. He was forced to kill Zod after he proclaimed that he would not stop till everyone on earth was dead. This profoundly affects Superman’s character ushering in his rule to never kill again. The damage caused by their battle also has the world buzzing on whether or not Superman was a hero or a menace.

Time would pass and Superman would begin helping everyone despite political authority. The one thing that seems to always be forgotten in the Superman portrayal is the fact that he is an American hero and the the world will see him as such, which is why him entering himself in foreign affairs despite reasoning causes tension. His intervention in foreign affairs would be looked at as aggression from America not Superman. Despite all this Superman continues to do what he thinks is right.


We have finally come to Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice Superman is no longer new to the job but he is still struggling with what exactly the right thing to do is. He is not struggling with what is right or wrong but more what is the right thing to do in the eyes of the people of Earth. It’s not strictly black and white when it comes to whether or not Superman is doing the right thing. Superman is seen as an American hero and it has been addressed countless times in the comics on how he “represents” america and countries in the DC universe see him as an American. This is why when Superman saves the Russian astronauts after the ship explodes it can be seen as controversial because he flew into Russian air space and could cause an international incident. This is why there was such a split opinion on Superman and why Senator Finch in the movie was trying to figure out what Superman “should do”.

Throughout Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice Superman’s character goes through a sort of transformation. He begins by not caring about what people say as long as he knows he is doing what he knows to be right and is keeping the people he loves safe.

The next step in his transformation is his anger and the thought that Superman was never real and he was just tricking himself into thinking it was. Here Superman just comes back from the Senate hearing that was bombed. He went there initially to make his case on why he is not a bad person and is trying to just do good around the world. He is so clouded with his need to make everyone understand where he is coming from and what he is trying to do that he doesn’t check the room. He doesn’t attempt to look for anything wrong because he is so focused on his one task. This destroys him and makes him feel like he is a failure and truly isn’t Superman. He even goes so far to say that Earth isn’t his home.

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His next step is he leaves to think about who he wants to be and where he will go from here. From this point he is questioning himself and doesn’t know exactly what to do. Here is where he has his vision of Pa Kent who basically tells him that no matter how much good he does he can not control the aftermath. There will be times that he does good but something bad happens in the aftermath that he can’t control.

This gives Superman new hope and he leaves to return home with a little bit more faith in himself and the knowledge that all he can do is what he believes is the right thing to do regardless of what everyone thinks. This leads into the big fight that happens between Batman and Superman.

One of the best things that Snyder did was having it not just be these two heroes being mad at each other and fighting but instead having Superman attempting to talk to Batman first to get him on his side. This shows that Superman doesn’t want to fight him and instead wants to partner up with him. After the fight he gains a new ally and heads out to finally put an end to all of this.


However, Luthor has one more thing up his sleeve. He unleashed Doomsday on Superman in an attempt to end him for good. One thing Luthor and a good part of the world were not ready for was Superman to make the ultimate sacrifice in the end.  This leads to the final step in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice where Superman states to Lois that “I have to save my world” contrary to what he believed earlier. He has finally come to the conclusion that he must save this world because he is a part of it no matter what anyone says or believes. He goes out and throws himself at Doomsday stabbing him with a Kryptonite spear and allowing himself to get stabbed by the monster and he dies.

This sacrifice that Superman has made shocks the world. Even the biggest cynics come to believe that after this action Superman was always a hero and the world collectively mourns his death. This moment will be a huge turning point in the DCEU. This is the moment when the world came together and branded him their true hero. This is also the moment that makes Batman and Wonder Woman realize they must come together with other Meta-humans to protect the Earth like Superman did.

This is the final big step in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice but is not the last step of his development in the DCEU. When Superman returns he will be arriving back to a world where he has no secret identity and the world collectively accepts him and will cheer his return.

This character development has occurred through only two movies. With many more planned in the future it will be interesting to see where Superman will end up and where he will be and what he has experienced to get to that point. His next step will come in Justice League in 2017.

Are you excited to see the evolution of Superman unfold over the next couple of years? Let us know in the comments section below.

Heroic Staff

Heroic Staff

Heroic Special Activities Division Agent Trainee Program

  • Hinscher

    Good article. Basically said what I saw as well and want to scream at many reviewers/complainers that say Superman was botched horribly.
    As for secret identity. I’m curious what they do. Batman in the comics does something that allows Clark to come back from the dead. Wonder if they do the same thing.

    Suppose they have till Man of Steel 3 to do it. (BvS is MoS2 imo) I would like no Clark Kent for JL1 & 2. Always hated how whenever a Superhoro “dies” their secret identity also dissapears/dies, and then the second one comes back the other does. Be nice if Superman is back for a year or two before Clark comes back. Would help to distance the two from a causal observance connecting the two.

    • Darthmanwe

      Didn’t ‘Clark’ stay dead for some time after Superman returned after his resurrection in comics?

      Same with Barry, he stayed undercover and posed as dead for months before returning to his old life as Barry Allen CSI in the new 52 where he was trapped in Speed Force along with five others.

      Believe me, writers are trying to stay away from bringing both alter ego and the hero self at the same time, this is not a new thing.

  • Larry

    It’s Batman’s world and all the other superheroes live in it -that’s how I feel about the DCEU Superman. I wish there was more striking ideologically differences between Batman and Superman but that’s just not the case in Snyder’s vision.

    Placing Superman on the Batman spectrum only drives Batman further into the darker end of that scale. His evolution is tailored around another character to make him ‘more interesting’ or as Snyder’s puts it “to grow the character up’. Instead of evolving him on his own scale -Snyder forces the character onto Batman’s due to the popularity and success of that character. I believe that is at its core what bothers a lot of Superman fans.

    • Hinscher

      See I don’t see that. Superman did not change from Man of Steel and this movie. It’s the same guy, same world. It’s not Batman’s world, it’s our world.
      I think comic book fans are just not used to evolution taking so long. Also comic book fans are used to the actual civilians/world being ignored.

      Take Marvel movie. Look at Iron Man. If this was real life, the second he said “I am Iron Man” there would be government agents at his house confiscating his suit and files and everything you can think of instantly.

      What do they do in the movie? Oh have some trial where Tony wise cracks a no basically and then that’s basically the end of that. They let him run around the world doing whatever vigilantism he wants in any country. The whole world seems to love him, except for whatever villain shows up for said movie.

      It’s insanely unrealistic. But something comic book fans are used to. the unrealistic. They don’t want to have to worry about world hating/fearing them or government taking away toys or arresting/ect. They like to think that if they themselves built their own Iron Man suit they could do what he does. Thinking that if they did, the gov would stop them hurts their dreams, so they don’t like it.

    • Carl

      I agree.

    • breakerbaker

      I actually think the movie does okay with Superman in the beginning. A lot of what goes wrong with both characters is what happens in the scene where they first meet in costume. That’s the sequence that reveals that Batman is much worse than a guy who “compromises the civil rights” of criminals–and is instead a deranged psychopath who will murder any number of people just so that he can commit a crime himself. It’s also the sequence that reveals that Clark is so concerned about the civil rights of bad guys that he’s willing to completely ignore the fact that Batman just murdered a bunch of guys on his own accord. He literally catches Batman acting as a free agent (i.e., no light in the sky) and killing bad guys so that he could rob them, and Superman’s warning is that Batman shouldn’t come when the police call. Um…Superman, there’s dead and dying people all over the port who need your help or who at least deserve some kind of justice, and you’re supposed to be the greatest instrument of justice…and…now you’re going to let their killer go…and…fly away? Super.

  • breakerbaker

    Unlike a lot of people, I didn’t have a big problem with the character as portrayed in Man of Steel. I did hope that this movie would show a more positive progression for the character; however, if anything, I think it was more of a regression.

    Putting aside the question of whether he kills that terrorist in his opening scene or whether he should have shown up before the shooting started as opposed to waiting until the only person he could save was the only person he cared about, I still think they start off on okay footing for him. And I mostly like what the movie has him do when he’s Clark Kent. I’m also okay with him being upset that he’s not been immediately accepted.

    Where it goes off the rails for me (in the context of the Superman character) is the end of the car chase. The movie has gone to some effort to paint Clark as being deeply concerned about Batman’s methods (which makes perfect sense in the context of the character even without turning it into a Lex Luthor manipulation), but it’s at this point that the movie tells us he’s actually not that concerned at all. Because he clearly knows that Batman just killed a bunch of guys, and Superman’s response to this is to stop the chase and let Batman off with a warning. In one scene, which I thought was a pretty cool scene in the marketing of the movie, the film completely compromises Clark’s entire motivation from the start of the movie. From there, you go to the Capitol bit and then to the voluntary exile, which is one of those obligatory second superhero movie types of cliches, before he’s given an epiphany by his ghost dad, which is immediately nullified in his very next scene at the start of the third act (all of which literally happened for exactly the same reason in Man of Steel).

    There are a lot of people who just talk about Superman being too brooding. I’m okay with him being brooding. I’d like to get the sense that by this point in his hero life he gets some gratification and enjoyment out of helping people (which the movie doesn’t really allow him), but the fact that he feels isolated is an important component of his growth as a character. What I can’t take is the movie showing its hand in that car chase scene, in which it says in no uncertain terms “Superman’s not really trying to do the right thing. He’s just moving plot along until they finally get to the fight.” And then to underscore the point, he goes to the fight with the intent to get Batman’s help, but immediately abandons this plan after Batman puts up what amounts to minimal resistance and starts through a human being through buildings and 75 feet through the air.

    What may seem like small choices to create cool moments in the movie, chip away at Superman’s character. He’s not simply motivated by the need to do the right thing. He doesn’t make the hard choices that nobody else could make. He will abandon the hard choice almost immediately. And all of this, at least for me, turns what should be an incredibly emotional end of the movie into just another plot point.

    • Hinscher

      I don’t see anything wrong with a warning to a vigilante. He can see that Batman is trying to help people, just not in the right way.
      As for their fight where you say after minimal resistance he starts fighting. The tossing through a building was to further emphasize the pointlessness (he even tells Bruce to stay down and he could kill him easy) He would have continued to talk and ask for his help, as he had planned from the start, but then the Kryptonite happened.
      Bruce was being stubborn and not listening and it got to the point where Superman resigned to the fact that there is no helping/talking to this guy, so he fights back.
      Superman is a good person, a trusting person, he wants to believe in the good in people. Thus why the warning and also the initial wanting to talk to Bruce.

      • breakerbaker

        1. I’d agree with your point about helping people in the wrong way if the warning had been given after Batman had been trying to help people (but in the wrong way) in that scene. Instead, Batman is just killing people as he tries to rob a bunch of smugglers. He’s not responding to his light in the sky. He’s just being an outright criminal and murderer. That’s not the kind of thing Superman should let off with a warning. He should have grabbed him by the scruff of his neck and taken him to the police station.

        2. He totally could have killed Batman (armor and all) by driving him through a brick wall and potentially throwing him off a 10-story building. That’s not a way to get somebody to listen to you. If he wanted to show Batman how pointless it was to fight him, he should have just ripped all of his armor off of him. But the movie needed them to fight, so it allowed Superman to do a super aggressive thing to a human being without a significant provocation.

        • Hinscher

          Superman is not blind and deaf.
          I’m sure he caught some of the car scene.
          You know the scene were people are shooting machine guns at the batmobile. Where they are shooting RPG’s at the batmobile.
          Those are the actions of not innocent civilians. Unless Batman was chasing federal agents or something, they are bad guys. Superman could easily see, if not hear that.

          • breakerbaker

            It doesn’t matter whether they’re innocent civilians. That’s the whole point of his beef with Batman! He’s using unnecessary force against bad guys and somebody needs to stop him. Well, if Clark’s upset with Batman for branding guys, then he must think shooting them with a 50-caliber machine gun is even worse, right? Maybe that’s not the kind of thing you let off with a simple warning. If you’re Superman, I mean.

            They are people and they’re dead or dying in the street because Batman came upon them in a tank and cut through them like their lives were worth nothing. And Superman neither goes to check on the dead or the tractor trailer that is driving away despite the fact that half of its trailer is missing. Yes, they were also aggressors, but this observation would suggest that Superman is not really concerned with the lives or rights of people as long as they are bad guys doing bad things. And that’s my point.

            Even if you argue that it’s okay for Superman to be unconcerned with the fact that there are dead and dying men in the streets (I think it’s insane to think that’s okay, but moving on), you can’t say that and then say it is consistent with his whole beef with Batman that is meant to drive so much of the plot of the movie. He can’t be the principled do-gooder and the guy who flies away under those circumstances. He could arguably do that if that scene had immediately followed the initial Batman reveal, where Batman brands a guy but is also saving a bunch of people, but he can’t fly away from the pointless, murderous car chase and still stand on that principle.

          • Hinscher

            May I ask what your thoughts are on the Justice League members in the comics not seeming to ever yell at Wonder Woman when she kills people with them there?

            But I see nothing wrong with what superman did. No bat signal obviously was shined, so it’s not like he watched Batman do the destruction the whole time. He heard the destruction and came and INTERVENED. He stopped Batman and his rampage. Then he gave him a warning.

            If batman were a common everyday criminal, yes Superman would have brought him in, or whatever he does. Haven’t really seen what he does with Criminals in these movies. But he knows because he has been investigating him that Batman is in his sick twisted way fighting crime. Thus Superman gives him a warning.

            Batman isn’t killing harmless guys. Look at it the way of a self defense thing. The guys were using Lethal Force against batman, is it reasonable to not expect a regular human to then use equal force back. Superman knows batman is just a man, he can’t expect others to be like him.

          • breakerbaker

            To me, that reads like an incredible rationalization. And that’s understandable; it’s a necessary one to not have a problem with the scene. It says that Superman is under no responsibility to protect or even check on the welfare of people so lone as they are bad. This directly contradicts Superman’s motivation in the movie–or at the very best, it suggests that Superman is more concerned about these things in the abstract than in reality (which is not much better than not caring at all, given that he’s Superman and reality is when he’s in a position to do something about it).

            As for your Wonder Woman analogy, I’m trying to think of an example of Wonder Woman killing a bunch of human beings who are trying to stop her from ripping them off. Nothing springs to mind.

            At any rate, it’s not a particularly strong analogy as I’m literally confining this critique to what happens in the movie. I don’t like that Batman killed a bunch of guys with no remorse, but putting that displeasure aside, I’m talking about how the choice Superman makes in that scene doesn’t jive with his stated principles according to the movie.

          • Hinscher

            Your making an assumption. Superman stops Batman away from any carnage. Then flies off, you have no idea what Superman did before or after his arrival. He could have checked on those that were injured/killed.
            He has x-ray vision and can hear heartbeats. Wouldn’t be hard for him to check on things without walking around picking up broken buildings.
            That scene is a Batman scene.
            When I say batman scene, I mean its from his POV.

          • breakerbaker

            It’s not an assumption. It’s what the movie tells us happens. We know for sure that he doesn’t go and check on the truck carrying the Kryptonite, as it makes it safely to LexCorp (he also doesn’t follow the truck to see where the “bad guys” were going). As for tending to the wounded or dead, if you want to say it’s possible he did all of the things he’s supposed to do as Superman, then the best you can say is that it’s a glaring plot hole that implies he did nothing of the kind, especially considering that what the movie thinks is important is to tell us that Superman thought a stern warning and a dented fender was punishment enough for murder.

          • Hinscher

            Clark is not inept/dumb ect. When he found out who Batman was at the party, I’m sure he researched up on Bruce Wayne. If this Bruce is anything like the Bruce normally, he does a ton of good under his name. You know charity for children, hospitals, helping rebuild areas ect.
            So Clark would have read up on this, you know considering he was writing an article about Batman. (no i don’t think he would have outted his secret in paper.)
            So he knows Bruce is a good guy, he just is gong about it the wrong way in Supes opinion. They had their little talk at the party, Superman was now warning him to cease or he will stop him.

          • breakerbaker

            Again, it’s a rationalization that relies on things outside of the movie justifying things that happen in the movie. And even still, the problem remains that under your scenario he’s allowing a guy who straight up murders people to walk away because he also does charity work. And that ignores the fact that the Alfred and Bruce conversation Clark overhears does not pertain to the Batman. Any research he decided to do into Bruce Wayne would presumably have more to do with corporate espionage.

          • Hinscher

            Ok, lets assume he grabs Batman and drops him off at the police station.
            Bruce Wayne will be in jail for all of 2 seconds before he is out.
            Same reason Superman doesn’t drop off Lex in prison every week in the comics/cartoon. He needs proof for stuff to stick.
            Good luck setting down a loved billianaire and saying he is batman and getting him arrested. It would be Superman’s word versus Bruce’s. Being in a costume doesn’t prove anything.

          • breakerbaker

            Dude, I’m not trying to get you to hate the movie. But that’s another tortured rationalization that requires you to assume things the movie gives you no reason to assume. Now, had this scene followed a Batman-fights-crime scene (especially one in which his light flashed in the sky) it could have been followed (at some point) with Clark talking to Lois about how turning him in would be pointless as he was working at the behest of the police department (something that he implies to Perry at one point but never unpacks–and that would have made a lot more sense in the context of him saying “next time they shine your light in the sky…”). But it was a different kind of scene with a much higher body count that Superman had caught him in the act of committing with full suit and Batmobile in tow–as well as about two dozen dead bad guys and about two thousand rounds of ammunition fired from his Batmobile machine gun. It’s a bit more than he said-he said.

          • Hinscher

            I still think he would be out in less than a day.
            Especially in Supermans case. I mean you have this god like being. How can you stop him from making you dress up in a costume, or even putting it on him. Superman could have wiped the batmobile clean and then forced Bruce to put his fingerprints on it (if there are prints). ect.
            Without eye witnesses or something, any vigilantism will always fail. Especially in the case of a billionaire.
            It does not take rationalization to come to that realization.

            I’m sure we can all agree that Batman has his basics covered. His vehicle, buillets, weapons, ect would all be untracable back to him. Not on any book, ect. And his cave don’t seem so easy to find. (you know how most times superman could just x-ray vision around his house to find it. Doesn’t seem like that would find anything now)

          • breakerbaker

            It does not take rationalization to come to that realization.

            Technically, it does. You’re creating a rational explanation to justify what the movie leaves completely unexplained and which should be considered intolerable by the rules the movie does explain. And you’re doing so in a way that requires you to invent plot points to make everything feel reasonable. And it feels reasonable enough until you realize it’s all made up because the movie didn’t give us any of it.

          • Hinscher

            He’s taking him into space.
            That island is uninhabited.
            The docks are deserted.
            I’ve seen complaints that people say they didn’t need to tell us, or beat us over the head that the fights were taken to deserted areas. Yet if they didn’t, people wouldn’t complain, and say as your saying. Quit assuming the area was deserted, the movie needs to TELL us.
            I’m sorry, but I’m of the mind that movie does not need to spell everything out.

          • breakerbaker

            That’s a false equivalence. You’re comparing obligatory pieces of dialogue that seem specifically designed to respond to or address criticism from the first movie with your made up rationalizations for why the characters in this movie behave in a way that this movie tells you they shouldn’t behave. There’s a difference between not spelling things out and spelling things out and then doing something that goes completely contrary to the original spelling and not even acknowledging the contradiction.

          • Hinscher

            Equivalence? I’m pointing out how I don’t want a movie to beat me over the head.

            Take the “martha” line. I’ve seen people complain that its BS that batman stops because their moms have the same name. Heck watched Kevin Smith’s review and he even seemed to think the only reason he stopped was cause same name.

            That is ridiculous. Bruce did not stop because of same name. Saying Mom would have done the same thing. Bruce had not thought of Superman as a man. That is made clear. Superman having a family and those that love him makes him human, something that Batman was refusing to let himself think about. Just look at Bruces face in that scene. HIs face is telling more than any words could. He realized Superman was not just an alien, and it. He was a person.

            That’s the same thing I found in Clarks face when he stopped batman. His face is speaking volumes. A picture is worth a thousands words as they say. In his face I saw many things. The movie did not need to spell it out for me.

            Then we go back to the iconicness of these characters. Everyone and their grandma knows who superman and batman are. We don’t need as people said a flashback of batmans parents death. Same as we don’t need to be told what actions superman will take in all situations. When not shown something, one can assume what he most likely did.

            That terrorist in the beginning? Did Superman fly him up into the sky and drop him thousands of feet to his death? No. I don’t imagine you will find anyone that would suggest that. Yet what proof do we have? None, we just know the character. Some will say he killed the guy by smashign him through walls. Stuff like tha thappens all the time in comics. The guy lived, whether he got concussions or what. The guy did not die. THat is just basic comic book stuff.

          • breakerbaker

            Saying Mom would have done the same thing.

            Which raises the question of why he didn’t say “mom.” I would argue that having him save “You’re killing my mother” or something to that affect would have been 100 times better than the Martha line. “You’re killing my mother” directly ties into the fact that Batman was helpless to save both his own mother and the little girl’s mother at the start of the movie. It doesn’t turn Superman into a man. It turns him into a boy–a child who is helpless to save his own mother. Just like Bruce. Just like the little girl. In that moment, Bruce would have a window into the scope of his own failure as a hero–and a reminder of why he started doing this in the first place. Not to be a “criminal” but a savior. And he would see this as an opportunity for his own redemption. And the sequence, while it might still not have completely worked, would feel much more earned and natural.

            But that’s not what happens. What happens is that Superman says his own mother’s name, which is coincidentally Bruce’s mother’s name. It’s only because of that coincidence that Bruce cares at all, and it’s only because Lois shows up that anybody is able to explain it. And all of that relies on Superman calling his mother by her name rather than the only name he’s ever called her: Mom. And that’s why people don’t like that scene and why they think it feels like they become instant friends because of a cheap coincidence.

          • Hinscher

            I agree what you said would be better, minus the no killing part. I’m all for Batman trying to change his way, or go back to how he might have been when younger, but I’m against changing circumstances of a situation to fit a plot.
            There is no way with the amount of peopel there, the weapons there, ect that Batman comes out on top without people dying. So in order to prevent any deaths, some guys woudl need to be removed. And I’m against “dumbing down” a hostage situation for a plot device.

            But in no way does the “Martha” line ruin the movie at all. It was just slightly awkward and could have been done better.

          • breakerbaker

            Let’s be honest: There’s no way Batman comes out on top period. But we know he has to, so why not complete the transformation of him as a character? Why not turn him into something special again? Don’t leave him a remorseless murderer in the name of realism. This is still a superhero movie. Make him super.

            It wouldn’t take a big change in the scene to have him clearly avoid killing people. When he’s using the one guy as a shield while firing that guy’s machine gun, have him clearly lower the spray of bullets and have him kneecap the group. Then in the middle of the rest of the fight, have him kick a couple guys while they’re down. In the grenade scene, have him catch the grenade like a boss and as he’s charging at the guy who threw it, have him sidearm it out the window. Aside from flamethrower, that’s basically all the deaths in that scene, and I think we can all come up with a way that he dispatches with flamethrower in a way that’s just as cool but not as lethal.

          • Hinscher

            I just think the timeline + Martha, its asking too much to change that quick.
            He can’t risk wasting time being non-lethal, and also his emotions are running high because in a way this is like his chance to save his Mom.
            Which in a way makes using the name “Martha” earlier better. It gives him more emotion in this rescue. If as you said, she says her name later to him, while dropping a bomb on him then at that time, it doesn’t give him that sense of “I’m saving my Mom” that he could be seen as having in this scene.

            And since he has already crossed the line of killing, I’m not surprised he wasn’t even more lethal in this scene due to the emotions/time.

          • breakerbaker

            This is just a philosophical difference, I guess, between you an me when it comes to what Batman “should” be. I think it’s important that he doesn’t kill people, and if it’s done correctly, in a way that ties into the fact that Bruce Wayne simply can’t stand to watch anyone die, it can be really emotionally evocative. That being said, I would have been more okay with the “murdering” Batman if the movie had done a couple of things:

            1. I really wish they had made Alfred try harder to be Bruce’s conscience. Like when Bruce tells him they’ve “always been criminals,” I think it would have been a good time to for Alfred to either disagree or point out that Bruce didn’t always see things that way. In the end, I don’t think the movie does enough to suggest that Batman is approaching crime fighting any differently than he used to. I also think he should have really pushed back on the 1 percent comment. I thought they were going to go there, but they never really do. Jeremy Irons’s Alfred is less concerned with the philosophical issues the movie tries to tackle than he is concerned for Bruce’s safety, which I think is a missed opportunity.

            2. I really do think he needed to change his methods by the end of the movie in order to begin his path to redemption. I think saying that he’d be wasting time by being non-lethal puts way too much emphasis on the idea that a grounded super hero movie needs to be “realistic.” This is a movie in which he had a vision of the future and a speedster appeared to him from the future in a waking dream. I think we can give Batman the benefit of the doubt and say that he can be every bit as efficient in a non-lethal capacity as he is when he doesn’t care about who dies.

            To put it another way: While you hypothesize that it would be unrealistic, I don’t think anybody would be complaining if he had a really cool fight scene in that sequence in which he clearly didn’t kill anybody. I think it would have improved his character arc, and that everybody who liked that fight as it is would like it even more given that it would serve a more dynamic role in the overall film, which would have improved the character from the perspective of people who didn’t like the portrayal specifically because of all of the earlier murder.

          • breakerbaker

            That terrorist in the beginning? Did Superman fly him up into the sky and drop him thousands of feet to his death?

            People are very fragile. It would take a lot less than a 1,000-ft. drop to kill that guy. For instance, a 230-lb. man driving him through a stone wall at 500 mph would probably do it. Which seems to be what happened. I think it’s more than fair to ask why he drove a regular guy who was not wearing armor through a stone wall when he could have just as easily moved at super speed and disarmed him. I am pretty sure that the guy doesn’t even have his finger on the trigger at any point in that scene.

          • Hinscher

            As for not knowing if Bruce/Batman yet. He has x-ray vision, he could have used it when he ripped open the batmobile and saw Bruce then. That may explain his face. He looks and is like “hmm, how do i deal with this”

            I mean recal his face when he rips it open. It’s kind of like he doesn’t know what to do.

          • breakerbaker

            Yes, he almost certainly figure it out then who Batman was. You said Bruce’s conversation with Alfred at Lex’s would have led Clark to research him because he would have known he was Batman. I was just saying that he likely didn’t figure out who Batman was until the moment he first sees Batman.

          • Hinscher

            Well we don’t know when he figured it out. But we can both agree that he would have researched about Bruce Wayne after that party. Thus in that first Batman/Superman confrontation he would have knowledge on both Batman and Bruce Wayne.

          • breakerbaker

            I don’t have any problem accepting that he might have done that. I have a problem assuming that he did something the movie doesn’t even suggest that he did. And that, having done that thing the movie doesn’t tell you he did, he came up with a rationale the movie (again) doesn’t tell you about that explains his choice to behave in a way that goes contrary to the way the movie does tell you he should behave.

  • SuperBuckeye30

    We didn’t need two full movies of sad, brooding Superman. Man of Steel touched on it enough that 18 months after the events of the movie, Superman should have been Batman’s opposite at this point. You can still have him dealing with issues like how the world views him, etc., but to see Superman whining about how he is a fake and that this isn’t my world was just so frustrating.

    In my opinion, Snyder didn’t evolve the character enough to deserve to kill him off only after the second movie. His death was completely emotionless because Superman (and Batman for that measure) were borderline a-holes throughout the whole movie. It was just a shortcut to get Batman to be front and center of the Justice League. It wouldn’t shock me if he’s brought back/resurrected as a villain or if he’s very absent from the first Justice League movie because Snyder and company still don’t know how to handle this character which is super sad.

  • JMMagwood

    Great article! It’s nice to see someone who understands the character’s arc thus far in two films, as opposed to people who don’t grasp characterization. Superman’s story is only beginning, and I don’t think we’ll ever get a Chris Reeve Superman here, because it’s a different world, but we’ll have, and already do have, a Superman who is a hero above heroes.

  • This site sure bends over backwards to report that “fans and families” love the movie…

    “Critics savaged the film, and Batman v Superman currently has a woeful 29% “rotten” ranking on reviews aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. The film also received a mediocre B CinemaScore, a low grade for a superhero film and one of the worst ratings ever for a film with Batman or Superman.”

    • Hinscher

      What did you think of the movie?

      • Coming out of the theater I gave it a 7/10, but after thinking about the characters actions/motivations I have downgraded to a 5/10.

        Snyder is a great visual director and there is no doubt that the spectacle of the film is impressive. There are shots in this movie that are more beautiful than any other superhero film to date. I think Snyder has a real knack for casting. His Batman/Superman/WW/Alfred (and hopefully Momoa as Aquaman and the rest of the league will be impressive) are incredibly well suited for the roles and Ben Affleck in particular gives a dynamite performance.

        Here comes the hard part. The movie is a mess. I think, had Snyder been able to film the original Goyer script and split the movie into two parts then this particular story could have been told well. As is, it’s nearly incomprehensible. The editing, pacing and story through line are just all over the place. What’s worse, is that I don’t like or recognize these versions of the classic heroes that I grew up loving and I think this is where I put most of the blame on Snyder himself (as opposed to studio mandates/notes). These are ugly people doing ugly things, they are not “super” and they are definitely not heroes. I will say that the opening scene with Wayne driving into Metropolis and trying to save as many people as possible was incredible and after that scene I thought that I was in for something truly special. I was mistaken.

        Keep the casting.. delay JL long enough to touch up the script and bring someone else in who understands what it is that made these characters legendary in the first place.

        • Hinscher

          See I had a different experience. Upon first walking out, I would have rated it lower than I do now.

          As for the Heroes not being the ones you grew up on, I think you are wrong, or not wrong, but misjudging.

          You keep thinking of your heroes in their prime. This is Batman 20 years after the one you idolize. As he said himself. This is Gotham, how many good guys are left, how many stayed that way. He didn’t realize he was talking about himself as well. I think he realized this when Lois told him Martha was Supermans Mom. Expect Batman to change in the upcoming movies. Or not so much change, but go back to how he was. The one you love.

          Superman on the other hand is kind of the opposite. He is building into the Hero he should be. Have you read the Year 1 comics that came out. There are 3 Superman ones now. They very much mirror what these movies are doing. It’s a rookie Superman who is making mistakes, doing the wrong things, learning. People fear him, he has to apologize to government, ect. But he is slowly becoming the Superman we all know.

          These are as you said, NOT the heroes we love. But they are going to be them. Not because of fan backlash, but because of the natural progression of their stories being told in these movies.

          I said this in another response, but my main gripe with the NEW 52 is it just dropped you in it. They claim they were rebooting the sereies, but they only did that for some. Many others already had long established careers. I mean heck there were already 2 retired batmans. Batgirl had already been in wheelchair and healed. Red Hood is around. hal Jordan and Senestra had their mentor/friendship/rivalry already, and so on with many many others. How is that a reboot? To a new comic book person, they have no idea on all that history. But that is what YOU fans like. Straight into your iconic characters with no build up apparantly. Batman can’t make mistakes or learn, he has to be this ungodly person who does everything perfect from day 1.

          • I appreciate your well thought out and constructive response, as opposed to the straight up name calling you’ll find in other comments.
            I see what you are saying and I can respect that. I hope you are right. As for now, I think we’ll just have to agree to disagree. Although they may go back to the more recognizable characterizations, I don’t think you can rewind our favorite heroes recklessly killing people.

            Seriously, think how many people Batman killed in the batmobile chase scene… maybe 5..10..15? Also, there is no way that the terrorist holding LL at gunpoint survived being blown through a brick wall at 500 mph. I just wish they would have used more heroic means to stop these people. That said, I am happy for all those that enjoyed the film.

        • Jose Striedinger

          I do believe the movie is not perfect at all. But I give it a thumbsup for originality and pretty much innovation when it comes to super hero movies. My first views I enjoyed it way more than I enjoyed Man of Steel. Saw it twice, gonna see it again this weekend. For me is a solid 8.5

          Now. “What’s worse, is that I don’t like or recognize these versions of the classic heroes that I grew up loving and I think this is where I put most of the blame on Snyder himself (as opposed to studio mandates/notes). These are ugly people doing ugly things, they are not “super” and they are definitely not heroes.” There, right THERE. That is what a lot of people, like you, are getting wrong.

          You don’t get to decide what is or what is not Batman or Superman. No one owns these characters. The whole point of this universe is to ground them and tell unique stories. Unfortunately a lot of people are just complaining that THAT is not my Superman, THAT is not my Batman, THAT is not my Lex Luthor.

          Appreciate it for what it is, for what is trying to do. Don’t bash because is not what you think it should have been.

          Cool people like Hector Navarro (Superhero friends) and John Schnepp (Collider) are professionals that, if you see their reviews, you ca pretty much see the fanboy ranting. To take that fan-hat of your head is really hard.

          I personally don’t have that problem because I didn’t grew up much with this characters nor am I a hardcore comic-book geek.

          Anyway, it is what it is.

  • Sammy Boy

    Yeah…would’ve been nice if the film showed it that way.