(fyi I’m a foreigner, please excuse my endless mistakes)
Next year sees the release of two major “superhero versus superhero” projects, and both of them seem really similar. Just different comic book sources, different studios, just differently caped good guys punching each other for the sake of spectacle and the world’s neverending love for crossover events. But is it that easy? Let’s take a closer look at the differences of the fabrics these duels are made of, and why they could be more interesting than another Puppet Master Vs. Demonic Toys.
Sure, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Captain America: Civil War obviously look quite different, from a visual point of view, and then there’s the numerical aspect. The former will be presented in Snyder’s trademarked broody darkness, and just pit Bruce versus Clark (Wonder Woman will presumably join the boys after a while, making sure it doesn’t get too intimate). Meanwhile the latter sticks to lots of colors and brightness, and sets two full teams against each other: Iron Man, War Machine, Vision, Black Widow, and Black Panther against Captain America, Winter Soldier, Scarlet Witch, Sharon Carter, Hawkeye, Ant-Man, and Falcon.
Still, it’s just two factions of good guys punching each other until they eventually come to their senses. Obviously, no hero will die by another hero’s hand. You won’t see Superman ripping off Batman’s head, or Hawkeye shooting Natasha point blank in the head, even though they could easily do so at any time, and even though Civil War writer Mark Millar would certainly be first in line to see that happen on the big screen. Yes, there’s Lex Luthor and Baron Zemo respectively, therefore none of the movies won’t even end with a simple answer to the question which side would win in a duel. There’s still real work to do afterwards. The good guys will team up to bring down the bad guys, just like they always do (that’s either the best thing, or the most boring thing about it).
So it is the same, just with different numbers of people fighting? Not really. Three details make the most important differences:
It’s friends v strangers
On the Marvel side of things, lasting friendships are put to the test: Cap and Widow, Cap and Tony. These guys already rescued the world together, twice, and they even joined forces for a Shawarma dinner once. And they’re not just friends to each other, they’ve become friends to us as well. We’ve seen this network of onscreen friends grow since 2008, and if you don’t love this franchise for its characters the same way you love the characters of the Fast & Furiousverse… then everything’s lost anyway. Think about it: if you happened to bring a child into this world around the time the MCU started, it’ll be modding Fallout 4 power armors right now to look like Tony’s newest MARK. This group of characters is that old, and it’s perfectly fine to having enjoyed their onscreen development.
This time, it’s personal once again: Bucky is Cap’s former best friend. As a result, he decides to duel his new friends in order to save him, out of a decades old loyality. As for Tony’s motivation, I can only speculate. There has been whispers that one of Cap’s Civil War allys is responsible for the death of his father. If that’s true, shielding the murderer of his parents would make it really personal for Tony. Still, I don’t get the stability Tony showed in the trailer footage. It really doesn’t look like he’s driven by revenge, and if so, he wouldn’t be able to just kill the murderer in cold blood anyway. Everyone knows that. So there’ll be more to it: Tony actually believing in the new laws Ross tries to enforce.
On the DC side of things, Batman and Superman are total strangers at first. They will probably get to know each other with their fists in each other’s faces. It’s our newest Batman, one we even just get to know, and as the trailer showed he doesn’t exactly fight a friend, or an ally. He’s fighting an immensely powerful alien that relentlessly kills thousands of civilians in collateral damage, just to fight related enemies. Yeah, he obviously fought even more dangerous aliens, but just like in the aftermath of Gareth Edward’s Godzilla, its perfectly fine to fear the seemingly heroic monster.
It’s a preemptive military action v politics
Batman sees Superman as a global problem. I doubt that he intends to kill him, but he as a human probably wants the alien threat that is Superman to leave Earth, to save mankind. What if Clark’s presence brought in more enemies like Zod? He will, as the studio hopes for sequels with Brainiac, Doomsday, and other cosmic entities. Batman’s motivation will be some kind of preemptive strike to prevent further chaos and collateral damage. Sure, he will avenge the lives lost underneath the crumbled Wayne Tower, but revenge isn’t the motivation.
On the other side, Iron Man agrees to the so-called Sokovia Accords and wants superheroes to be controlled and watched. Cap is not seen as a danger, he is just to bow to new rules. Tony’s stance is perfectly understandable: he’s seen first hand what can happen if Stark or Iron Man technology ends up in the wrong hands, and while Ultron was already a major mistake that nearly ended the world, Vision finally became what he dreamed of. An all-powerful super weapon as an ally. The biggest difference lies in the fact that Iron Man fights for something he himself is ready to bow to. He wants Captain America to respect the new law, but Batman certainly isn’t ready to leave Earth just because he wants Superman to do so (although we’d be game for it! Remember, in Batman & Robin, Batman and Robin already sky-surfed from Mr Freeze’s rocket that was going up into orbit. We were so close to seeing a live action Batman in space. Now might be the time!).
It leads to different kinds of futures
One last thing. The events of Batman V Superman will lead to the formation of the Super Friends, bringing together Superman, Batman, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg, and others. Mabye even Krypto the Superdog. It’ll be the first formation of that very team, and thus it’ll be something special.
The events of Civil War will lead to different developments. None of the Avengers will die, but the events of that conflict will be felt and it’ll lead to a new Avengers core team. New friendships will grow while other members might leave the team. Tony might never again raise the glass to Cap after this, or make funny quips. Sure, if the occasion arrises, they’ll still fight Thanos side by side, but their previous friendship may be strained. And it’ll be really intriguing to see all of this go down, just like the character developments in Spanish telenovelas.
What do you guys think? What aspects are you most interested in? Any of the above? And did you already try out Shawarma? Because you should. It’s Franco gif good.
So are my other CHUD articles.