Why Batman Can't Be Left Out of the Man of Steel Sequel

7/24/2013 Stephen Colbert 0 Comments

Yes, I'm writing back to back posts about this.  The internet has exploded several times over since it was confirmed that it would be a Batman Vs. Superman (or Superman Vs. Batman) movie following Man of Steel.  I was going to post some screenshots of some comment threads or tweets, but it's so out of control, just go check some for yourself.  Read any comment section in an article about this movie and it's off the walls.  Some people are excited, some people are ignorantly indignant about the idea of Batman fighting Superman, some say it's too soon, too cliche, etc, but I don't see how they have another option.

After Marvel launched their combined universe, it has been a game of catch up for DC.  A game they have failed miserably at in recent years.  They finally have a hit on their hands with Man of Steel and many people want them to continue that thread.  We haven't seen a Superman movie this good before and we just saw a great Batman trilogy, why are we trying to inject Batman again already?

Here's the thing, of the Justice League (founding) members Martian Man Hunter, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman can all exist in this new universe and stay under cover without question.  They can stay in their respective realms (Mars, Themyscira, and Atlantis) and be revealed at any time without creating plot holes. The exceptions to this are Flash, Green Lantern, and Batman.

Flash and Green Lantern both have Origins stories that start when they are adults (I'm obviously excluding the Kid Flash angle here), whereas Batman's origins story starts when he is very young.  It is easy to give Flash and Green Lantern origins stories that take place in a world where Superman already exists, but Batman, not so much.  In order to go down a road that at some point takes you to Justice League, you need to assume that Batman is already fighting crime in Gotham before Superman shows up in Metropolis.  This is a fundamental part about Batman that cannot be changed without destroying the character.  There's even a Man of Steel Easter Egg where the Wayne Enterprises logo is painted on the side of a satellite, so it's sort of a given.  Bruce Wayne and Batman already exist in the Man of Steel Universe and they were there before Kal-El was.

Given that fact, what does it say about ether of those characters if they don't interact in some way before a Justice League movie?  They have to meet and they have to fight before Justice League can happen.  Them not meeting creates massive plot and character holes that can't be filled and them not fighting also detracts from the fact that they are the opposite sides of the same archetype coin.  Fighting is also the only way to prove that Batman can stand next to supernatural heroes without being laughable.  It also helps to put a cap on Superman being too over powered to keep some sort of grounding present.  Basically, it's a great Justice League foundation.

I understand that a lot of people want to see a stand along Man of Steel sequel that can focus more on Kal-El and expand that character and that world, but it would be irresponsible to the big picture to make that movie.  Look at what Marvel has done with their shared Universe.  Shield is laced through every single Phase 1 movie leading up to the Avengers, because you can't retroactively tie those together and say "Oh yeah, Shield just conveniently noticed they existed and want to get involve now, but didn't care up to this point."  It's the same thing here.  I'm a fan of this method.  I think it is the only right way to tie in Batman.

DC is finally taking strides to get out ahead of the curve and It's exciting to see them making some bold moves to be there.  This is a movie that would never get done otherwise.  This also gives perfect context and environment for us to examine both characters.  This is necessary to progress Superman's character in Man of Steel, this is necessary to establish a Batman that can be a part of Justice League, and this is required to maintain a continuity that can result in a proper Justice League film.

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