What Batman and Superman need to learn about a Civil War

What Batman and Superman need to learn about Civil War

Marvel and DC released the same film last summer. Sure, they had different characters, a different tone, and a different title, but they had the same theme: Civil War, one superhero against the other, Batman against Superman and Captain America against Iron Man. Yet, only one of these plots actually worked, can you guess which one? 

That's right! Marvel prevails over DC again, but did we ever doubt that? Marvel has spent so much time methodically writing their storylines to tie in multiple heroes and villains into one universe. They committed to this over a long 10 year period. DC took a shortcut, trying to cram in emotional relevance towards a new Batman whose storyline diverges from the Dark Knight trilogy completely. 

While I enjoyed parts of Batman Vs. Superman, it felt like a whole franchise stuffed into one film.   The most interesting character of the film, Wonder Woman, only appeared in the last thirty minutes. Batman’s new obsession with guns, the weird FLASH forward scene warning Bruce Wayne about somebody that doesn’t even tie into this storyline, and the introduction of a poor CGI version of Doomsday were all things the film could have done without. This movie was supposed to be focused on Batman versus Superman, but derailed into a sappy dual “Momma Martha” brotherly bonding film. 

Captain America lived up to the expectation and masterfully introduced new characters without overshadowing the veterans in screen time. It gave us what was promised, a true Civil War of heroes wh
ere you had one foot on either side of the battles. Since you understood the characters and their developmental process over the course of 10 films, you could reasonably see each of their points of view. 

Civil War
What I like about both of these films was that they addressed the big elephant in the room, the massive deaths of civilians. When I first saw Man of Steel, I was flabbergasted with how many innocent victims were killed in the process of this alien war. It seemed as if that was never going to be discussed, but luckily it was the main topic of Batman Vs. Superman. The same goes for The Avengers: Age of Ultron. So many victims, innocent bystanders were murdered for our enjoyment. It got to the point where with these films you forget people are people. So this is the main focal point of Captain America: Civil War. Superheroes need to be controlled or else they become a threat to humanity rather than an ally. Tony Stark and Superman agree with this, but Captain America and Batman do not. This is where the war begins. 

What DC can learn from Marvel

1) Don't push a civil war on us with new characters. This was a new Batman. Christopher Nolan's Batman never would have played with guns. The introduction of Wonder Woman is great, but don't get her involved in a Civil War storyline yet. We barely know her and want to like her. Yes, Marvel introduced Black Panther, but gave us a badass motorcycle chase before we got to the Civil War battle to make us like him, which we did from the moment he came onscreen. 

2) Don't have the war end by the characters mother having the same name. Okay I get it, their mothers have the same name. How does that make them relatable? They disagree on something much deeper than their mother's. If you want to make a strong connection between them then either make them have the same mother or focus the connection on loss of parents. Simply hearing the common name of Martha should not make Batman question his existence and stop beating up Superman. Captain America played out this brotherly connection well where we discover that the Winter Soldier murdered Tony Stark's parents and the Captain knew about it. That's a way to start a war, but still ends on respectable terms with a beautiful letter written to Tony from the Cap.

3) Pick your war audience.  If you are a rated R movie then live up to it! Batman was a rated R film shredded of its character to make it PG-13. Apparently, Suicide Squad had the same problem. Pick your audience DC. You are not Marvel, so if you want to make a darker series for adults then do it. Don't limit your ideas just because you want tweens in the theaters. As a tween I still made my way into the theater to see Scream when it first came out. They always find a way! 

At the end of the day, DC is light years away from doing what Marvel has done. At least they are trying, but my word of advice is to try harder!

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