I’m gearing up for “Age of Ultron” but have been bombarded with advertisements for DC movies. Apparently the data tracking cookies lump all comic books into one category. I actually had no intention of watching the new teaser-trailer for “Batman v. Superman” because 1) the movie doesn’t even come out for a year and 2) I saw Man of Steel and was less than impressed, to put it mildly. But a friend of mine did watch the trailer and told me, “It reminds me of ‘Alien vs. Predator.’ That is not a compliment.” That was pretty much the opposite of a ringing endorsement, but my enjoyment of bad movies was well-known to my friend (and to my regular readers) and I watched the trailer as well. This, combined with the other teaser-trailers and articles I’ve read on the WB/DC plan for their movie universe leads me to the titular question.
Who put Lex Luthor in charge of making superhero movies over at WB/DC?
I should probably take a few steps back and explain my logic (although I can’t guarantee my explanation will be entirely coherent). This question is based on my amalgam of Lex Luthor. As DC wasn’t my first comic universe I won’t claim my amalgam is going to match many others, but I think I’m probably not too far off-base (although if I am, I’m certain someone will let me know). My amalgam also has nothing to do with the New 52. Anyway, Lex Luthor is rich, brilliant, ruthless, power-hungry, a hardcore xenophobe, and briefly a member of the Orange Lantern Corps (orange is “greed” on the emotional spectrum). He hates Superman with the fiery passion of a thousand exploding planets. There are a few reasons for this:
And the trailer has the line (paraphrasing), “They look up to him as a false savior,” in reference to Superman. In two short years since Man of Steel, Superman has both been risen up as a new savior and condemned as a false god (as an aside, that strikes as more of the Marvel universe populous reaction). Apparently this situation is so dire that Ben Affleck’s chin comes out of retirement to take on the alien menace. He also decides the proper way to greet the aforementioned super-powerful alien being is to ask, “Do you bleed?” And somewhere in there Wonder Woman is running around brandishing a sword and Conan the Atlantian is looking all brooding.
This is what Lex Luthor thinks of Superman. This is what Lex Luthor thinks of superheroes in general. They’re self-righteous, reckless, lawless, and will inevitably become corrupted by their own power. Superheroes are a threat and must be contained and if possible. Only Batman is tolerable because he’s obviously an ordinary, unpowered human who used technology to augment himself to stand up against gods. Unfortunately, I can’t say that this comes out of nowhere for “BvS.” An environment of fear, contempt, and disdain of superheroes was well-established by Man of Steel. And I predict the end result will be a live-action version (in spirit anyway) of Justice League: War. In case you haven’t seen that movie, or read the first run of the JLA in the New 52, the spirit of that team-up is, “I hate you and team-ups are lame; don’t call me unless the world will actually end if we don’t team up.”
So here I am wondering who put Lex Luthor in charge of making superhero movies and feeling damned depressed about it. I really want to be as excited to see DC’s characters on the big screen as I am Marvel’s. But thus far I am not only not excited, I’m actually sad. I feel sorry for Lex Luthor (to an extent, of course); I don’t want to think like him, and I don’t want to watch his cynical take on superheroes on the big screen.