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Comic Theme Time – What Superman/Batman Comic Book Story Would You Most Like to See Adapted to the Upcoming Batman/Superman Movie?

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Comic Theme Time is a twist on the idea of a “Top Five” list. Instead of me stating a topic and then listing my top five choices in that topic, I’m giving you the topic and letting you go wild with examples that you think fit the theme.

With the news about Warner Brothers putting out a new Batman/Superman movie, I was wondering what you folks think would be the best Batman/Superman story for the sake of adapting it into a movie? Public Enemies? Dark Knight Returns? Gibbons and Rude’s World’s Finest?

59 Comments

Les Fontenelle

July 21, 2013 at 10:09 am

I think the best fit would be a variation of Byrne’s first meeting between them. I always liked the bit about a hidden bomb tied to an innocent and set to explode if Superman tried to arrest Batman.

And I suspect that using that scene from “Dark Knight Returns” was just meant to troll the fans, and apparently it was a smashingly successful troll-job.

A new story in which Lex Luthor buys out Wayne Enterprises. That way it makes logical sense to have Batman team up with Superman to face a common foe.

Based on what has already been established in Man of Steel and what they want to do with the storyline I’d say two logical choices would either be:
a) a trimmed down version Loeb’s Supergirl arc would probably work best. Have Kara turn up in Gotham, Superman and Batman distrust each other over her, Darksied seeks her out, team-up to get her back, establishes settings for JLA
or
b) Dark Knight Over Metropolis, but much more Lex Luthor centred than Intergang.

Derek Metaltron

July 21, 2013 at 10:38 am

I’ll second the usage of the Supergirl concept, given how Kara has already been set up in the prequel comic it would make sense for her to be introduced somehow, though I’d replace Darkseid with Lex Luthor and have some ‘Public Enemies’ elements in there too. Have Batman distrust Supes at first, maybe actually be the man responsible for learning of his weakness, which Luthor takes advantage of?

Also funny how this fan trailer a friend of mine did seems a lot more apt now – http://youtu.be/8q1bxTR1LEk

Stephen Mayhem

July 21, 2013 at 10:55 am

As a Superman fan: anything but The Dark Knight Returns.

A Dark Knight Over Metropolis makes the most sense.

@Hammard,

In the Man of Steel Universe Kara lived over 18,000 years ago. There’s no way she’s still alive today. It would be interesting if Clark explored more about the history of the ship and followed what happened to her through history books, leading to his finding her modern descendant. But the odds of Kara living to be over 18,000 years old are very low.

In JSA, we saw that by the 31st Century the Earth 22 Superman from Kingdom Come would be a decrepit old man. A similar thing occurred in Byrne’s Generations, and in countless Pre Crisis stories.

Kryptonians don’t live that long.

Crazy thought — something totally original.

I’d love to see the Batman Animated/Superman Animated crossover adapted.

A combination of Timm’s World’s Finest, A Dark Knight over Metropolis and Public Enemies.

Of course, they’re not going to adapt Miller’s TDKR but the single fact that they would use a similar Batman logo, quote it and focus on their confrontation is worrisome. It really should be the last book from which one would draw inspiration from for a Man of Steel sequel considering how shitty Miller’s characterization of Supes is.

They should do that arc where Superman goes back in time and prevents Zach Snyder from directing Man of Steel.

Public Enemies.

Frankly, I wish they would stop making these movies altogether. I am tired of seeing my favorite characters and franchises getting raped.

Derek Metaltron

July 21, 2013 at 12:47 pm

@ Michael

And why can’t they simply have Kara be frozen Captain America style and get found by say Lex Luthor or Bruce Wayne? I mean I haven’t read the Prequel Comic myself but I gather that her ship crashes (the Fortress of Solitude) and she goes in suspended animation. Indeed they had one of the pods open when Kal went inside, but who could say that wasn’t a recently. Regardless, Kara would make a good catalyst for interaction between Kal, Bruce and Lex to commence.

Mike Loughlin

July 21, 2013 at 1:16 pm

If they adapt any first meeting story, the Superman/ Batman animated 3-parter makes the most sense. Take out the Joker and use either Harley Quinn or a different villain (maybe the Riddler or Scarecrow) and it should work.

Chaos McKenzie

July 21, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Totally agree with it being an adaptation of the cartoon World’s Finest, best meeting of… story EVER. Using different villains would be cool too.

Clearly it should be the 1958 story from World’s Finest #94 where Superman replaces Batman with his new partner, Powerman.

@Derek

In the prequel Kara leaves the ship. She does not go into suspended animation.

The difference between suspended animation in a machine designed for that function and a block of ice is vast. The machine is intended to keep you a live, a block of ice merely freezes you with no support system for your vitals or anything of the sort.

Being in a block of ice for 18,000 would severely damage Kara’s physiology. It’s not like she could benefit from the sun keeping her alive as if there was any sun that would melt the ice.

Also, it would be very cheap writing to have her leave the ship just to get frozen in an ice cube for 18,000 years to pander to Supergirl fans, don’t you think? If they wanted to do that, they wouldn’t have used Kara in a prequel comic set 18,000 years in the past, or they wouldn’t have had her leave the ship at all.

There’s nothing wrong with Kara going on her own to have her own adventures in Earth’d past without ever becoming Supergirl. Maybe she goes to Atlantis, where she joins Arion’s court (a nod to Power Girl’s post Crisis origin) as an enforcer, a champion. Then maybe she gets married, and Aquaman can be her descendant.

Outside the box thinking that reinvents the characters, making them fresh, instead of the same old-same old.

I know that in The Supergirl Trilogy the Luthor from the pocket dimension sent the Matrix Supergirl to the past and put her in suspended animation, to be awakened when Superman found her, but I don’t recall how long she was asleep. That said, she had powers that Kara wouldn’t have without the aid of the sun to keep her cells charged.

My idea for the followup for Man of Steel is to establish a parallel universe system at DC. Reveal that the “Man of Steel” universe is a parallel one, and “our” universe is a brighter, less grim place where Superman doesn’t kill, he wears underwear on the outside, and Batman is his best friend. When Superman from Man of Steel (henceforth known as “Supes-2″) accidentally intrudes into “our” universe, he wants to kill the most evil people on our Earth, truly believing he will make the world a better place. Yet when Supes-2 begins his spree by targeting Lex Luthor, our Superman has to rescue Luthor and take down his misguided doppelganger. They are so evenly matched that our Superman has to call on the only man he can trust to help him take down himself – Bruce Wayne, aka Batman. Compelling moral arguments ensue, Batman gets to fight Superman like all the fans seem to want to see, yet they are also shown to be friends, and the menace of Luthor continues to hang over the proceedings…

that’s a really bad, comic booky idea for a movie, lol.

Warners’ seems to like bad movie ideas *cough cough* Green Lantern *cough cough* so it’s theirs for $50.

Travis Pelkie

July 21, 2013 at 5:02 pm

They should do Absolute Power, except instead of telling us that the characters realize the hyper grim and gritty totalitarian society ruled by Superman and Batman is bad and needs to be changed, it’s presented as a good thing.

Then Justice League is set up so that the other heroes have to fight Batman and Superman.

And then everyone dies in the end!

Yay superheroes!!!

(/sarcasm)

The more outlandishly comic booky the idea is, the less likely it is that it’ll be the plot of the movie. The movie is more likely to be very grounded, like the Nolan Batman movies and Man of Steel.

@Roman, honestly, in spite of the chicken littles yelling that the sky is falling because of Man of Steel, the movie worked. it may not have worked for fans of the Donner movies or the Silver Age comics, but for fans of the Golden Age comics, fans of the Modern Age comics, and fans of Superman in general with no loyalty to any comic book era at all it worked, and it worked fantastically.

WB is not going to go and change something that worked to appease the vocal few who took issue with the end of the movie.

I think they should adapt that episode of Batman: Brave and the bold where they fought. Or that bonus issue of new frontier where they fought. Or that part of DKR where they fought etc etc

@Michael Sacal

What exactly “worked” in that awful, moronic film? Pa Kent’s stupid, needless death? Lame, brooding Clark? Untold destruction and the deaths of thousands? While I have a certain fondness for Silver Age Superman, I will readily admit his best incarnation was the Timm version. That didn’t have particular loyalty to any era and it absolutely worked. Anyone who goes all dark is missing the point. Face it, in the movie version, everyone would have been better off if Superman never even came to earth. That sinks the movie right there. It was poorly written, and relied way too much on idiotic, worthless fisticuffs and explosions. Every single one of the animated movies puts it to shame, even the lesser ones. The only people who could possibly like MOS are the same morons entertained by endless fighting robots ala Transformers 3. But, hey, it made box office, so it must be great. Discerning comics fans know the score, and that is why you have so many supporters for the animated World’s Finest above. It was fresh, it was modern, and it was SUPERMAN. MOS was about some jackhole too uncaring to take it out to the wheat fields.

“Pa Kent’s stupid, needless death?”

Pa sacrificing himself to keep Clark’s secret, you mean.

“Lame, brooding Clark? ”

Because having emotions is a bad thing, unless that emotion is a grin that never vanishes, right?

“Untold destruction and the deaths of thousands?”

Because villains like Zod should only SAY that they’re going to kill people, never actually do it, right?

“Face it, in the movie version, everyone would have been better off if Superman never even came to earth. ”

Rather, they would have been better off if Superman was the only Kryptonian instead of one of many survivors and no one but Kal had survived Krypton’s destruction.

“worthless fisticuffs and explosions”

This is people after Superman Returns, “this movie sucks because Superman doesn’t hit anyone.”

This is people after Man of Steel, “this movie sucks because Superman hits people!”

Can’t please anyone…

“The only people who could possibly like MOS are the same morons entertained by endless fighting robots ala Transformers 3.”

No, those aren’t the only ones. Anyone who doesn’t have a hard on for the 60s and is blindly loyal to the Donner versions can enjoy it too.

Hey, Michael, it’s great that you liked the movie. I just wasn’t a fan of the tone – I think WB pretty much mastered “realistic” superheroes with the Dark Knight movies and I personally would rather see something more “comic-booky.”

I think they should adapt the story where Batman and Superman watch alien worms have sex then share a quiet night in the Fortress, um, bonding. Yeah. Bonding.

Hahaha!

“mrclam: They should do that arc where Superman goes back in time and prevents Zach Snyder from directing Man of Steel.”

I award mrclam ALL THE INTERNET POINTS.

:)

Stephen Conway

July 22, 2013 at 2:30 am

The only logical choice is Saga of of the Super Sons.

Roman, given the success of Man of Steel, that’s very unlikely to happen.

i refuse to see this movie if they will not rename it to “World’s Finest”.

then again, im not gonna see it anyway because im not the target audience for a superhero movie, i.e. under 16 years of age.

@mrclam

“relied way too much on idiotic, worthless fisticuffs and explosions. Every single one of the animated movies ”

In the last episode of Justice League Unlimited, Superman tosses Darkseid through a building that has NOT been evacuated (clearly not evacuated as there was no prior warning). Did any of the MoS complainers accuse Bruce Timm of writing an episode in which Superman callously killed the people in that building?

What about the mindless destruction and “fisticuffs” Superman engages in in that episode?

Why is it okay for Superman to cut lose against Darkseid in the toon but not against Zod in the movie? It’s a double standard.

@mckracken: I’m with you. The words “World’s Finest” in the title or no sale.

Also, for a story, two words. Composite Superman.

“World’s Finest” seems appropriate, and follows the trend set by “Dark Knight”, “Man of Steel”, “Arrow”, “Smallville” (live action adaptations of DC characters which seem to go out of their way not to directly name the actual character in the title).

It almost seems like Warner Bros or DC are try to downplay the fact that these movies/tv shows are based on comic books.

“Green Lantern” seems to be an exception to this for some reason, and, of course, lesser-known characters (“Jonah Hex”, “RED”, “The Losers”) who the general public may not realize are based on comics. “Watchmen” too, I suppose.

Flash will probably be “Fastest Man Alive”. Are there common nicknames for Wonder Woman or Aquaman? Do you think we may actually get a movie called “Justice League (of America)” when they finally get around to it? Maybe just “JLA”? I’d be open to “CRISIS”, lol.

@Michael – What “Man of Steel” universe? If it wasn’t in the movie, it’s not in the “universe.” They said nothing about Supergirl, so they can or can’t put her in another one however their whims may take them. (I doubt that’s the direction they’ll head, but they certainly “could” if they wanted to. Your gobblity-gook about 18,000 years notwithstanding).

So you didn’t see the movie? If you had, then you’d know that in the movie it is clearly stated that the ship had been under the ice for 18,000 years.

As for Supergirl, she was in the prelude comic book, shown as a member of the crew in the ship, which crashed on Earth…you guessed it, 18,000 years ago.

http://dccinematicuniverse.wikia.com/wiki/Kara_Zor-El

http://imgur.com/a/mMCZm

“What “Man of Steel” universe?”

The one being established in this movie, which is different than the one from the comics (does that really need to be explained?)

Just use this. It would save us all some time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FywMOuMqNuI

Or if you need some Darkseid.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PeT1t0lQn5Q

Like Jeff R, I’m fond of the Composite Superman saga, but it’s a bit mired in Silver Age DC continuity (the LSH, Superman Museum, etc.).

I like the Super-Sons idea, but now I’m leaning toward”The Supergirl-Batgirl Plot.” Not only does it have the first meeting of the Maid of Might and the Dominoed Daredoll, but it also had both Bat-Mite and Mr. Mxyzptlk.

http://supergirlthemaidofmight.blogspot.com/2010/07/worlds-finest-169-supergirl-batgirl_28.html

I’m pretty sure the movie will not go anywhere close to the tone of the Silver Age. WB already did that with Batman & Robin and it killed the franchise. They’ll want to stay as far away from that sort of thing as they can and continue on the path that’s proven to be a success for them, both in the movies and on TV.

Changed my mind, now I want a Superman/Batman movie that starts off super-depressing but culminates in Bat-Mite and Mxyzptlk having a Twister-off.

it must be GRIM AND GRITTY!

and filmed in grey-blue VISION!

I’d like a twist on Public Enemies. Batman sees what Superman did to Zod and wants to arrest him. He’s backed up by X (Luthor? Brainiac pretending to be human? Darkseid?). The heroes fight. Cause a mess which is what X wants because he then turns on both of them/captures them. They escape by teaming up. Now Supes and Bats have everyone after them until they can unmask their foe’s true agenda (which is Y).

Yes, the heroes fight thing has gotten old. But here it’s a chance to explore the fear we saw laid bare in MoS. Also you can use supporting characters from both sides to break them out of prison etc.

Alternatively, Batman: B&B Battle of the Superheroes episode. I think thats the title. Red K makes Supes go rogue etc, other baddies etc, lots of fun. Supes rogue is a chestnut but a fun one.

“wants to arrest him” so in this scenario Batman is a deputized officer of the law, like in the West TV series? Maybe more like “take him down” for being a potential menace than arrest him.

“He’s backed up by X (Luthor? Brainiac pretending to be human? Darkseid?). ” or maybe without any external help he finds the only piece of Kryptonite on Earth and fashions it into a weapon to use against Superman.

Batman was working for the police in The Dark Knight, running off to Hong Kong for Gordon and Dent. Wanting to arrest Superman, or rather, see to it that Superman is arrested, is not so far fetched.

I’d much rather see them form an alliance, even an uneasy one, right away.

He wasn’t working for the police in the way you imply. He wasn’t deputized to go after Lau.

Gordon’s and Dent’s hands were tied because of the law, so Batman used his resources to work outside the law to go get him.

From what was said and read at the Comic-Con panel in which the Superman/Batman movie was announced, I don’t understand why people are surprised that the movie will depict Superman and Batman fighting each other. Isn’t that the point of the specific line of dialogue that was read? To encompass this idea that they won’t be friends in the movie but be enemies (at least, hopefully, at first)?

People who expect the movie to be a Silver Age-style team up with Superman and Batman hanging out in the Batcave drinking milk and cookies or show them fighting like a team against a common threat are going to be very disappointed.

I expect something more like this, http://scans-daily.dreamwidth.org/2734654.html, and hope we see a variation of this line.

“A remarkable man, all things considered. Who knows? In a different reality, I might have called him ‘friend’.

Clearly some here have their own ideas of what the film should be. Here’s why I don’t want a fight: it’s so damn tired.

They don’t have to be buds, but can we avoid the cheap stereotype of hero a and b fight to a draw? Or the overdone hero a wins round 1 for hero b wins round 2 so we can still call it a draw?

And then we can get to the inevitable “Let’s team-up and wail on the bad guy…which we could have done a while ago if we didn’t have some pointless fighting that proved nothing going on”.

Really, what’s the point? It isn’t interesting. It isn’t exciting. It’s so worn out and predictable a cliche that almost anything would be better.

And it’s not even that it’s a worn out comic book cliche; it seems almost any action film with a team-up goes through the same, tired convention of “Hey, they don’t get along for X reason; let’s have these reasons give the bad guy the upper hand somehow so that they can learn the magic of teamwork! And then they can show the magic of teamwork by wupping on the bad guys”.

It may be past me, but I just can’t sit through the same film again.

Michael, can you point to the scene in the movie where it states that Kara Zor-El was on the ship that crashed on Earth? Oh, that’s right, you can’t, because it was never in the movie. Just like your link doesn’t show anything from the movie, but from a comic book. If you think the people making the film care at all about what has appeared in a comic book about their movies, you’re deluding yourself. If they want Supergirl in a movie, they’re going to put Supergirl in a movie, no matter what has happened in some other story. (I bet you’re expecting the new Star Wars movies to follow the books too.)

Now, they most likely won’t put Supergirl in any Man of Steel movie….because she’s kinda silly. But it will have nothing to do with the idea that the character’s “story has already been told.” The Man of Steel “universe” consists of one movie. That’s all. There might eventually be a “DC movie universe” like there is a Marvel one, but they haven’t done that yet. (See? It is possible to write a response in one post instead of three)

M-Wolverine, Goyer, who wrote the movie, was also involved with the comic.

His name is right there credited as one of the writers.

Btw, Supergirl could show up. Kara? VERY unlikely. She’s already been established as having lived on Earth 18,000 years ago.

BTW II, have you seen this?

You know what’s interesting, and I don’t know and I’m not going to say what it means or anything, but the one thing if you look closely when Henry’s going through the Fortress of Solitude there’s an empty… you know all the bodies… the pods? There’s an empty pod. I’m not going to say what, or if, it means anything but there is an empty pod there.

If I guessed it would you say?

No, I’m not saying anything! Spoilers!

Can I just get a look at your face?

No!

Supergirl…?

No. [Laughs] I’m not going to say anything but, it’s a thing.

http://www.craveonline.com/film/interviews/515353-exclusive-interview-deborah-snyder-talks-man-of-steel-and-easter-eggs/2

Michael, why are you so scattered that it takes three posts to say what you want to say?

Goyer wrote Batman begins. He wrote a lot of things. Doesn’t mean it’s in the same universe. And it definitely doesn’t mean that the movie are in any way locked into it. Guess what…Goyer might not write the movie down the line where they want to introduce Supergirl. And no one who makes the movies will care what’s in any comic book. (They obviously didn’t for Man of Steel, either). They won’t do it because they don’t think it’s a good idea, not because of what happened in some spin off comic book. The comics follow the movies, not the other way around.

Where in the movie was she established that Kara came to earth 18,000 years ago? Until you can answer that question, you’re just “talking” to hear yourself talk, because your claims have no basis.

And really, Easter Eggs don’t mean anything either. Cap’s shield was in Iron Man! Oh wait, that wasn’t Cap’s shield after all.

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