What I thought of Batman #21

The ongoing car-crash that is DC’s Rebirth (DC’s attempt to integrate Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons Watchmen into the mainstream DC Universe and blame it for everything ‘dark’) continues with Batman #21, a comic that makes the Watchmen link very, very obvious from the off.

That’s Saturn Girl of the Legion of Superheroes who has been locked up in Arkham Asylum since the Rebirth reboot started.She’s a telepath from the future so has knowledge of the 21st century and can read minds, so she knows (we think) what’s coming. As for the reader what’s coming is a bloody unsubtle reminder of what DC are doing with Watchmen.

Yeah, that isn’t subtle. Neither are the pages on 9-panel grids as Batman watches the same hockey game Saturn Girl was, which also adds as a meta-commentary on the nature and voyeurism of violence in comics. Of course Watchmen had very little violence in it, though what their was was either repulsive or there to make a point about the nature of violence in comics was never reflective of the nature of violence in reality. Here the point seems to be muddled, not to mention blaming Watchmen for the violence in comics after its publication.

A brush with the Psycho Pirate’s mask sees Bruce Wayne encounter his father, the Batman of Flashpoint.

Bringing the Flashpoint Batman back for a glimpse reminds us of The New 52,one of  DC’s previous attempt to reboot its universe in a ‘gritty’ way. it’s also blamed for generally poor sales and the company struggling before leading to Rebirth last year.Anyhow, after contacting The Flash, Batman ends up in a fight with the Reverse-Flash as it’s hinted that a ‘power’ (Dr. Manhattan?) brought him back from the dead.

So we get a few pages of Thawne beating up Batman (MORE VIOLENCE!!) before Thawne finally wins thanks to The Flash being late. Picking up the Comedian’s badge does this to Thawne…

That does look like a Dr. Manhattan style ”BZZT’ there. Unfortunately for Thawne he comes back a tad worse for wear.

The story picks up in The Flash #21 due out next week but it’s clear DC are pushing on with the integration of Moore and Gibbons work into the DC Universe even if its clear they don’t seem to really have got or understood Watchmen, or what Moore and Giibbons were doing with their work. I don’t blame writer Tom King as he actually does a pretty good job in working with a shitty stick to create a pretty reasonable superhero tale, but the entire idea seems seedy.

I don’t think the higher-ups of DC get how integrating Watchmen changes the meaning of it, but they are counting the praise for that work rubs off on titles like this. It’s a bit like the Fearless Girl statue in New York and the controversy around that. This is just simply another example of late capitalism of course, but as a sales tactic it’ll work as already on Ebay issues of Batman #21 are being advertised at stupidly high prices.

So I’ll take a hit for the team and carry on to the next part in The Flash to see what happens next…

Batman Day is consumerism repackaged as celebration

batman241Today is something called ”Batman Day”. Which is described on the website of DC Comics as

The annual celebration of the Dark Knight is back when Batman Day hits on September 17th! Join in on the fun with Batman Day events around the country and internationally, great discount deals and more! Check out this page for more details, as well as essential Batman graphic novels and news about Gotham City’s favorite hero.

HEY!! ENJOY BATMAN BY SPENDING MONEY! LOTS OF YOUR LOVELY MONEY! LOOK! BATMAN! is essentially the blatantly consumerist message being vomited forth from DC Comics.

It is essentially this:

I’ve nothing against the love of a character, but I’m willing to bet DC won’t be promoting a Blue Beetle day at any point in the future, or indeed, any character that isn’t universally recognised like Batman is. Which leaves us with a grubby marketing grab designed to part people’s money from their wallets for the benefit of DC and their parent company Warner Brothers, because multinational corporations that earn billions want to earn more so their executives can buy the most expensive cocaine and prostitutes money can buy.

Alan Moore is retiring from comics and fanboys are angry

Alan Moore is retiring from comics. Well, not quite, he’s still got work to come out and things he’d like to do so at some point he’ll run out of comics to do and move onto the other mediums he’s working in these days. Of course there’s a headline to be made from lazy editors though I supposed it helps publicise his forthcoming book Jerusalem. There’s even a nice New York Times interview which is quite amazing that any writer of comics is famous or important enough to grab such a thing.

Yet for some people, mainly corporate superhero fans, are angry. They’re angry at Moore. They’re glad to see him gone.

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That’s mild to some of the stuff out there in the wilds of the internet on forums and social media fans are using this to yet again wheel out the tired cliches of Moore as a ‘crazy old man’, or as someone ‘who hates comics’ and on and on.

Of course the funny thing is Moore will never see these comments, he doesn’t use the internet, and of course there’s nothing wrong with being critical, but this is yet another case of people getting annoyed because Moore’s used an interview to have a pop at corporate superheroes like Batman, and Batman fans can be thin skinned it seems. Fans of corporations have even thinner skin, because we’re in 2016 and people are just as likely to cheer on companies like Warners or Disney and turn a blind eye to their dreadful records on creator rights if it means they keep supplying them with their fixes every month.

It says much that someone who hasn’t played with the big corporate superheroes in over 25 years still causes so much anger with people who in some cases weren’t even born when he last wrote a Batman or Superman story. It’s a shame as if many of them actually listened they’d realise Moore’s making a good point in regards a lack of originality (and I’m not buying the ‘modern myth’ line) in an industry often bereft of originality or talent. Pay and treat creators right and they’ll do better work for you.  That isn’t a shocking or horrible thing to say yet for some it seems it is.

So if this time Moore’s serious in that he’s done and hasn’t anything to say in comics anymore, fair play to him. He’s going to leave an amazing body of work people can go back to, but we still await the Next Alan Moore, the next writer to transcend mainstream comics in the way Moore did.

The horror of Aurora model kits

A few weeks back when attending the Bristol Comics Expo, myself and a couple of friends were talking about the old Aurora monster model kits of the 1960’s and 1970’s being a bunch of old bastards.I though this would be a brilliant thing to blog about, especially as there was some controversy over some of the kits being marketed to poor wee kids like me.

Then a few days later the website Mental Floss went and published this, which was roughly what I was going to write myself.  Bastards.

So a change of approach was needed, but first a quick potted history of the Aurora monster model kit for those of you unable to click on the link in the first paragraph.Aurora started making monster kits in 1961 with the Karloff Frankenstein Monster kit being their first, and indeed, when I was a wee child in the 70’s it was my first kit too.

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They then went to release 13 kits in total, including my favourites, Godzilla, the Creature From the Black Lagoon and the Forgotten Prisoner.

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They then diverged into other horror related kits as well as science fiction and comics related kits. I had the Batman one and the Superboy one.

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I loved Krypto, Superboy’s dog, squaring up to the alien dragon thing he and Superboy were posing in front of.

Anyhow, in 1975 Aurora released another wave of movie monsters, and a few years later they died off as kids looked to finding out what to do with girls, and have fun with these new fangled video games things which really would never catch on…

It then dawned on me there’s no point retelling the story of the naughty, almost pervy kits, as anyhow, that’d been done by those mind-reading wankers at Mental Floss, so if you haven’t noticed so far I’m telling the story of what these kits meant to me, not to mention the thousands of mainly men now encroaching upon middle age wishing they still had them instead of losing, selling, breaking them over the decades.

As I’ve said, the first one I had is that lovely Frankenstein Monster kit, it is a thing of beauty, but that set me off as a child I was mental on the old Universal Monsters even though at this point I hadn’t  seen the 1930’s film until the BBC frequent summer horror film double bill seasons broadcast them, however it was seeing the Aurora ads in DC Comics of the early 1970’s that got me, a wee DC fanboy, hooked.

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In the early 1970’s the monster kits were easy to find in Glasgow where I grew up. I even used to buy two with my meagre pocket money, one to make up with the glow-in-the-dark parts, and one without. Unfortunately the superhero kits were a nightmare, but a wee stall in the Barras sold some of them.  I managed to pick up the Superboy and Batman, but couldn’t get the rest, though the same stall did sell loads of old Mego dolls which led me to having a full set of their DC, Marvel and Star Trek dolls but that’s another blog for another time.

What was an issue was getting the naughtier kits like Vampirella who my parents decided was a bit much for me at an age where pubic hair was still something to look forward to. The idea was to build up all this wave of kit into a playscene you could swap around to your demented wee hearts delight.

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Someone thought that kids would love these gruesome scenes of torture and of course they were entirely right. This was the heroin of the Aurora model kit to the movie monsters crack for kids because once you started collecting these kits you couldn’t stop, they were immensely addictive. They may not be safe or sanitised, but to be honest, there was their joy.

Then you grow up.

You put these kits away in cupboards, or they get broken or when you move they’re left behind but it isn’t til later that you realise that they were essential, if pervy in some cases, parts of your childhood. That’s not to say that when I was older I didn’t try to get them back, especially when after leaving Glasgow and on a trip back in 1994 I was taking my then girlfriend round a tour of where I was brought up and I saw a shop on Maryhill Road had loads of these kits in their window. Sadly I didn’t have the case, or the space to return with a load, plus a confused looking girlfriend wanting a bevvy back in the West End took priority.

Ah well.

The kits today go for eye-watering sums of money, and the pictures I’ve used in this blog are liberally nicked from the internet as my own kits probably sit near the bottom of a landfill site somewhere in the country, but these kits were a wonderful bit of growing up for me. Brilliantly designed, wonderful looking and fun to make not to mention collect. There’s not an awful lot I’d have back from my childhood given a chance, but I’d have these, plus should I ever win the lottery I’d make a lot of sellers on E-Bay have an amazing day.

And the moral is that even if a major site like Mental Floss rips your idea off days after you’ve thought it up, there’s always another angle to tell a wee story of your own…

What I thought of Batman #1

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DC’s Rebirth event kicks on with another Batman #1,  this time written by Tom King and David Finch, a pretty good superhero comic artist. The mysterious two characters behind Batman and Commissioner Gordon are rumoured to be Nite Owl and Silk Spectre from Watchmen. Yes, that was a little bit of sick that came in your mouth as you read that but at least now DC are giving Bill Finger a co-credit for creating Batman.

As for the plot, Batman and Gordon are talking about stuff that’s happened in previous comics so those coming to this expecting a fresh start should look elsewhere or just wait til a plane gets hit by a missile.

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This launches into another example of Batman being able to do anything, something that started as a bit of an in-joke in Grant Morrison’s JLA book 20 years ago  but is now the case it seems that Batman rather than being a detective fighting injustice can do anything, and frankly, that makes Batman bloody pointless because the point of Batman is that he’s an ordinary person. The more extraordinary he becomes you make him Another Superhero.

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This isn’t dismal stuff. King shapes a well done action tale and Finch’s art is good solid superhero art with some excellent storytelling, an art missing from many of DC’s crop of artists. However we’re introduced at the end to the mysterious pair from the cover as Gotham and Gotham Girl. They’ve got Superman level super powers and there’s your cliffhanger for next issue…

Batman #1 isn’t the worst of the Rebirth titles I’ve read. It’s just average, sometimes thrilling, sometimes cliched, superheroics. That isn’t always a bad thing but this seems trapped in a limbo between the New 52 DC and whatever this ‘new’ DC is, but I do wish they’d drop the idea of Batman as a genius that can solve everything. It’s dull if we know that all the time Batman is going to win so make him vulnerable again and let him lose.

That however, is probably not going to happen in the shiny new revamped, even more corporate DC Comics…

 

What I thought of DC Universe: Rebirth #1

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It’s 2016, so it must be time for another DC Universe reboot, but this one masterminded by Geoff Johns brings back the hopeful, cheerier DC Universe that Johns apparently loves, ditching the dark, miserable one that Johns played such a major role in creating. Except as revealed in leaks last weekend, it’s nothing to do with Johns, or DC chief Dan Didio, or the miniseries Identity Crisis but rather it’s Watchmen (the book, and it’s creators Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons shoulder the blame according to this extraordinary comic)that  is the real smoking gun as to where DC went wrong over the last decade or so according to Johns and this already controversial comic.

Before getting stuck into Rebirth, it’s worth spending time having a wee recap of Identity Crisis. This was a 7-issue miniseries released in 2004 which was to redefine what DC’s superheroes were, so no longer were they these shining figures of hope, but instead they were darker, more ‘gritty’ and instead of fighting bad guys they were busy fighting each other. To make the point that the brighter days were over, Sue Dibney, wile of the Elongated Man and part of the jokey, fun Justice League International was raped by Dr. Light.

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It’s clear what DC were doing here as this at the time was massively controversial, and although Identity Crisis sold,  it’s worth paying heed to the comments of creator Kyle Baker at the time.

BAKER: This is a business, and all this stuff revolves around giving people what they want to read. All of the trends that you see in comics are a direct response to sales. DC and Marvel do what sells, and they repeat what sells. If the Atom is a villain, it’s because audiences respond to superheroes that have turned into villains, and that’s what they want to read. We were talking about how you have to change things over the years. Everything is a response to trends; public fantasies change as a response to trends. Someone like Captain America is created as response to Nazism. He’s a fantasy of beating up the Nazis, a fantasy of America. You could probably sell a character like that today, but that character was created because of the times, and the fantasy that people were the hungriest for. Even the name “Plastic Man” — when Plastic Man was created, plastic was this new miracle polymer. All of the Marvel characters were created by radiation, and Iron Man’s superpower was transistors, because that was hot at the time. That was what had captured the public imagination. I think the last superhero fantasy that really grabbed the public that way was The Matrix. [laughs] That fantasy of breaking out of your shitty office job and fighting crime, instead of being some cog in a cubicle somewhere. That really resonated with people at the time.

So if people are fantasizing about their heroes becoming murderers, that’s just what’s in their heads right now. That’s what they want to see. That’s what they’re dreaming of.

FARAGO: Yeah, it’s, uh —

BAKER: Weird.

FARAGO: I thought the industry was moving away from it, and there were all these signs that people wanted the noble heroes again —

BAKER: Isn’t that [Identity Crisis] the biggest book of the year?

FARAGO: Yeah, easily.

BAKER: Every time people buy it, they’re going to do another one. That’s common sense. If the biggest book of the year features brutal rapes, you’re going to have to top it next time. You’re going to have to come up with, what’s worse than that? What’s worse than raping and killing a character’s wife? We’re going to have to top that. Maybe we can cut Lois Lane’s head off and shove it up her ass. That’s what’ll be at the next meeting. We’re going to have to figure out how to brutalize the rest of the DC universe.

And they did figure out how to brutalise the rest of the DC Universe (DCU) as it veered from one major event to another and the DCU five years ago went through the New 52 revamp which made all their heroes a bunch of pricks. Superman? Prick. Batman? Prick. Green Lantern? Prick. You get the jist…

Thing is the sales of Identity Crisis were never reached by DC by the time it got to the New 52, barring a few titles like Grant Morrison’s Superman stories in Action Comics. Even then the diminishing returns for moody, grim, violent rapey, angsty superheroes were minimal, especially with Marvel’s film arm producing bright, cheery heroes who save people and act generally like superheroes. So in 2016 we come to DC Universe: Rebirth where for the last decade and everything that happened in it is blamed on Dr. Manhattan from Watchmen who created the New 52 to see what a universe without hope is like. It’s been posited this is a ”gutsy work of comics criticism’, but that is frankly, a load of fucking shite. If it was Johns would turn this so-called criticism upon himself, and his superiors who for a decade have shaped the DCU into what it is now, not a comic produced 30 years ago that still makes DC money. Maybe it’s the fact it’s a constant reminder of what DC’s lost in terms of talent and prestige that clearly annoys Johns about Watchmen, I dunno, I don’t live in his head.

The comic itself makes it clear with it’s opening 9-panel grid opening page where it’s coming from and it’s a jarring sight, but unlike Grant Morrison’s Multiversity event last year, there’s no sign of Johns having read, or grasped what Watchmen was.

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The disembodied narrator could be Johns himself speaking, and it probably is even if it’s odd that someone who helped get DC’s superhero titles in the mess they’re in is saying there’s ‘something missing’. As for the story, if you’re hoping to jump on board picking things up from scratch then forget it. This is a comic with three Jokers.

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So this is a reboot not for new readers as such, but for older readers who’ve perhaps ditched DC and this is to attract them back, which if so, is extraordinary. Why not just wipe everything out and start again from scratch rather than make it needlessly convoluted in the first few pages for anyone that hasn’t a knowledge of 75 years of DC history?

Anyhow, the narrator is Wally West, former Flash but back in his Kid Flash outfit, and he’s touring the New 52 world trying to find a connection with someone to pull him out the Speed Force so he can return to this world and warn them of some threat or other. Frankly, it doesn’t really matter. The art is so painfully bland/awful/uninspiring and reeks of the conformity of the last decade of DC’s art by numbers policy that when added to a remarkable for all the wrong reasons script, this becomes a hard package to read if you’re not a serious DCU fanboy/girl. if you are then you’ll be glad to know everything is back. Even Crisis on Infinite Earths is back.

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As said, new readers turn away now. This isn’t for you, this is for the people who lap up DC continuity like an alcoholic licking a spilled tin of Special Brew off a pavement.

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That’s the hand of Dr Manhattan who is behind the darkening of the DCU, and as you can see in the dialogue, Johns is blaming the ‘darkness’ on one thing, and one thing alone and that’s Watchmen which is remarkable. Watchmen is a multi-tiered work that acts among other things as a criticism of the darker comics which were becoming more in vogue in the mid 1980’s, a fact Johns totally overlooks here. By the end of the book it’s dripping in hope with  a cautious note that the bad times always lurk round the corner. It’s a complete artistic work.

The New 52, and indeed, the last decade of DC is as said, the decision of a number of people who’ve looked at sales figures and decided rape, violence and ‘dark’ = money. It’s a decision of a large multinational corporation and a handful of it’s employees to impose a philosophy upon it’s comics because they think running a line of superhero comics can be done by committee and accountants. The creative instinct is suppressed to ensure creators create product, not art. What Johns should be railing at is DC’s consumerist obsession with marketing a superhero universe where everything is the same, rather than as it was previously, where there was a mix, something Johns hints is returning to the DCU which may in the long run be a good thing if it actually happens. Right now it’s a mess.

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And indeed, since Watchmen DC’s taken the topic of darker superheroes on before, most notably with the excellent Kingdom Come series, but the deeper one gets into Rebirth the more insane the meta aspects become. None as much as the scene where Pandora, the character behind the New 52 is murdered by Dr Manhattan.

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Subtlety isn’t a Johns strong point here.

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That, if rumour is believed, is Ozymandias from Watchmen. Even John Constantine and Swamp Thing turn up in this jumbled, disjointed mess.

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Then when you think it’s all coming to an end at last, Johns pisses in your face again as he hammers home the point that Watchmen was really miserable as far as he’s concerned and is responsible for dark superhero comics, Simon Cowell and cancer.

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After the much publicised page of Batman holding up the Comedian’s smiley badge, there’s an epilogue where it’s driven home that now Watchmen is part of the DCU.

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DC Universe: Rebirth takes a complicated mess of continuity and makes it worse. it throws in Watchmen as a scapegoat for a decade’s worth of bad corporate creative decisions in order I presume to absolve people like Johns from any sense of responsibility for what they’ve helped create. It takes one of mainstream comics best, most respected books, a book that changed comics, brought in tens of thousands of new, fresh readers and is still selling massive amounts 30 years after first publication, and crams it into a mess of a book in order to give it a kicking.

Yet by doing so Johns proves Alan Moore’s point that DC Comics are so creatively bankrupt they have to mine works he did three decades ago to help them sell comics. This also isn’t going to fill creators who may create new, exciting works with joy or confidence as after all, they’re seeing Geoff Johns metaphorically rub his balls all over Moore and Gibbons creation while shouting ‘IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT‘ loudly at the top of his lungs at a picture of Alan Moore he’s stuck on his bathroom mirror.

This doesn’t crap all over Watchmen as a work, because that’ll always be there, and anyhow, DC’s already done that with the inept Before Watchmen crap from a few years ago. What this does is show that Paul Levitz deserves much more praise for protecting Watchmen from this sort of exploitation as it protected not just it’s artistic integrity, but showed that although DC were bastards, they weren’t fucking bastards. They are now.

DC Universe: Rebirth is trying to have it’s cake, eat it, and after it’s thrown it up force it down your throat because it’s what you want, honest. Rather than do a flat out reboot it’s chucking everything in because one has to keep the hardcore continuity geeks happy, and fuck new readers. If they’re not up with seven decades of DC history then tough. Here’s a bit of New 52, here’s a bit of pre-Crisis, here’s a bit of something new, here’s some Vertigo. It’s all there. It’s all a mess. A fresh start will piss off the 30-50 year old core readership of DC Comics, but it clears everything out. It leaves a blank slate. It gives creators freedom, rather than have to throw in a mention of say, The Killing Joke, because going back in time to draw inspiration rather than try something different and new is all they know. Didio,Johns and the others making decisions at DC are locked into a spiral where after this they’ve left themselves with two options: to do a fresh start or fiddle round the edges yet again and lose readers til it’s just a small core of bitter fans clinging on because ”their” characters are what’s important to them.

In short. This is bollocks.

What I thought of Batman versus Superman: Dawn of Justice

batmanvsupermanquadSPOILERS AHEAD!

 

Think back to the time when you first had an amazing girlfriend or boyfriend when you were younger. It was fantastic for a while, but as is often the case for youthful romances the object of your dreams leaves you.

You then spend months getting over it until one day you’re in a record shop (or wherever the kids hang out these days) and you see her/him draped round the local arsehole who has all the style and class of a Happy Shopper in Stockport on a bank holiday weekend.

This is what’s happened to Superman and Batman, In this case the arsehole is Zack Snyder, who has draped himself all over DC Comics’ prime two superheroes like a 16 year old that’s discovered how to use his cock for the very first time. Batman versus Superman: Dawn of Justice is an overlong confused mess of a film that overuses the same tricks over and over again til you finally get to the end and get to emerge into the fresh air.

The plot picks up a few years after Man of Steel.Superman is sort of loved but the American government doesn’t trust him because of the whole destroying a major American city and helping kill tens of thousands of innocent people thing. We are also introduced to Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne/Batman who has a massive amount of dream sequences because the plot for this and future DC Universe films need him to have them because the writers can’t think of anything better.  Batman’s a psychopath who brutalises criminals and Bruce Wayne’s a rich, white racist who hates the idea of an asylum seeker or immigrant (which is what Superman is after all) being more powerful than him. Alright, that’s possibly a tad harsh but the politics of this film are all over the place. Is Superman seen as good by people? Depends on the scene and whether it serves the plot. Is Batman a psychotic murdering thug or a brave vigilante? Depends on whether the plot needs to move in one direction or not? Why is Wonder Woman there for 95% of the running time if all she’s there for is for Affleck’s Bruce Wayne to go chasing her like some horny teenager.

The entire plot revolves around Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor manipulating Batman and Superman to fight each other. Much of it makes no sense like why is Batman/Bruce Wayne (one of the finest investigators and detectives on the planet) unable to spot the bloody obvious signs that Luthor is insane and is manipulating him? Is he that stupid?

Yes.

And Superman; why can’t he hear the bomb in a scene that in better hands would be a pivotal scene but is just confused. Why doesn’t the most powerful creature that’s on planet Earth work all this out in a second using his powers? Is he that stupid?

Yes.

As for Lois Lane, she’s relegated to the role of being saved by Superman and/or pining for him in scenes they don’t share together, including one semi-nude scene that simply comes over as awkward mainly because Henry Cavil and Amy Adams have all the charisma together of fish and diarrhoea. Also, this film isn’t going to pass the Bechdel Test because out of the four main female roles in this film, one pines for Superman, one is in and out to set up future films, one gets killed halfway through and the other exists to be held hostage near the end. Everything in the film though is secondary to Batman and Superman, even poor Jeremy Irons wasted in the role of Alfred seems like an afterthought in the script.

There’s the problem. Rather than building a good script the film has to service several things from having Superman and Batman fight (obviously), setting up future DC films (so there’s teasers for Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman and Justice League) and director Zack Snyder’s obsession with having people hit each other over and over and over again in some of the most unexciting, stale scenes of action I’ve seen in a while. Then there’s the problem of having the script reference The Dark Knight Returns and The Death of Superman at any available opportunity.

The problem is that DC and Warners have spent ages fannying around trying to work out what to do with their characters, and in that time Marvel have proven a cinematic universe works if you spend some time building it up. In trying to jump start it and throw all the big guns out first, DC have real issues here, mainly with quality control but having dark, humourless, joyless (it’s amazing how starkly joyless this film is for what is essentially two children’s characters fighting) and emotionally empty films like this isn’t a great start.

There are good points though. Cavil is a good actor and does what he can. Affleck is fine, but everyone else is totally wasted by David Goyer’s clunking fist of a script. Yeah, the idea of spinning off criticism of Man of Steel’s end slaughter is the film’s one smart idea, but when we get to the end and you have Batman luring back into the city towards where people are, not to mention a scene where Doomsday smashes up the memorial to the dead of the first film, then it feels like they simply didn’t care by the end to stick to, or develop that idea that heroes try to save people rather than be stupid careless arseholes.

Batman versus Superman isn’t a dreadful film. It’s a bad one that suffers from poor direction at times and a dreadful script, but it’s entertaining in places, however it’s a bloated, overlong confusing mess as said. It raises the point about whether Snyder or even DC get these characters they have. If after all this film is being marketed to kids (as it is here in the UK with things like cuddly meerkat dolls)  but their ‘heroes’ are a pair of moody stupid dickheads, then that risks the film pandering only to a hardcore of DC Comics superhero fans which means they’re looking to sell this really to 20-50 year old men. If you’re going to make money back from a $250 million film you need to go outside that audience, and although it’s making money in the UK on a damp Easter weekend in March, the test is going to be whether it carries on making money next week, or the week after.

The main feeling I have though is of a wasted opportunity. This could have been a fun bit of superhero action/adventure. It could have given me more than maybe one smile. It could have been less tedious in it’s violence and action. Instead it’s another Zack Snyder film and that’s the most damning thing I can say about this.