10 Things Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice Got Wrong About Batman and Superman

Author Thumbnail Caitlin Donovan March 31, 2016 21:23 PM

5Batman doesn't kill

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From Batman and Robin

The problem of Movie Batman being a killer certainly isn’t limited to this movie, as the supercut of movie Batman killing proves. But he was just…very casual and upfront blowing people up here, compared to Nolan’s movies.

And look, I myself have pointed out there are a couple instances of Batman killing in the comics, but they are far and few between and mostly out of continuity. I also think the comics often took the “no-kill” rule to obnoxious lengths that made Batman look more sanctimonious and callous than anything. Batman lecturing Wonder Woman for daring to kill a guy when she had no other choice is ridiculous. Having him tell his teenage sidekicks they aren’t allowed to kill even to save their own lives is heinous. So is the fact that the Joker kills ten million people a week, including Bruce’s family members and close friends, and they just keep sending him back to Arkham.

But those problems come from the comics having no sense of scale or logic whatsoever in a lot of cases. Batman having a basic moral code of “avoid killing” can be an option without going to those ridiculous lengths.

Because I do think it’s important to represent Bruce Wayne as a guy who does everything he can to avoid taking a life. He’s someone who had to see a horrific death at an early age. It makes sense that he doesn’t want to see more loss of death and speaks to his deeper ideals Bruce doesn’t want a world where anyone has to die. That’s who Batman is at his core.

You can have someone be badass without having them kill people.

6Superman should value human life over his ego

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From Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?

The premise for the actual fight between Superman and Batman (which is surprisingly short) is pretty thin. Basically, Lex kidnaps Superman’s mom and he has to kill Batman or she’ll die. Superman realizes he can logically explain this to Batman and get his help, but also just…immediately decides he’s probably going to kill him. He tried to explain once, Bruce attacks him midsentence, and he just gives up.

There are many pauses in the fight where he could have actually attempted another explanation, but it seemed like he just got so ticked off at Bruce for being mean to him he didn’t care anymore. Which would have worked in another situation, but in this one, lives are at stake. A Superman whose ego overrides his respect for human life is not Superman to me. 

7Batman torturing people should be properly explored and addressed

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In this movie, Batman starts branding criminals and so on. It’s definitely to show he’s losing his grip a bit, since Alfred points out he’s become cruel. But that’s about it. Because Batman threatens Lex Luthor with a brand at the end of the movie, there’s not much indication he’s left that cruelty behind. Honestly, Batman becoming crueler should have been explored way more if it was going to be introduced as an element. 

8It should MATTER if Jimmy Olsen is shot in the head

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From Superman

When I was watching the movie credits, I noticed “Jimmy Olsen” being credited and was like “wait, he was in the movie?” And then I looked it up, and he’s the photographer who gets shot in the head in one of the opening scenes.

And that….seems to pretty much sums up Zack Snyder’s attitude toward the Superman mythos. One of the longest-running Superman characters is shot on the head, but we don’t even know it’s him, nor is he developed as a character, so it had zero impact. It is solely there just as some sort of cruel jab at the idealism of Superman comics, failing even to be a shock death. It’s an outright mockery of the source material. 

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Caitlin Donovan is a long-time nerd with a passion for superheroes and epic fantasy. She lives in North Carolina with her cat and wrestles with writing novels and doing editorial work when she's not ranting about pop culture online. She runs a blog at ladyloveandjustice.tumblr.com
@Caitlin Donovan | [email protected]