A Movie/Comic Book Entry – Who Put Lex Luthor in Charge?

Or, “The WB/DC Movie Machine 4.”

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:

1) Humanity should look to humanity for inspiration, not an alien.
2) He wants that power for himself so he can rule the world.
3) He is afraid Superman will use that power to rule the world.

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.


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S. J. Drew is an aspiring writer who finally entered the blogosphere to shamelessly promote that writing (as evidenced by the title of the blog). Whether or not this works remains to be seen, but S. J. hopes you are at least entertained. And if you're actually reading this, that's probably a good sign.

4 thoughts on “A Movie/Comic Book Entry – Who Put Lex Luthor in Charge?”

  1. The problem is that they’re way behind Marvel and trying to play catch up without any kind of long term game plan. An vague outline for the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been mapped out for the next 10 to 15 years ago while WB/DC is trying to rush a “Justice League” movie into production by introducing the main players as quickly as possible. And I’m pretty sure it’s going to royally bomb because they just care about the bottom line.

    I’m going to ignore “Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice” personally. What’s really depressing is that fans have a better idea of what would make a good WB/DC comic book movie than the people in charge:

  2. Man of Steel is a good movie if you just view it as the worst possible episode of My Two Dads. Only I think Paul Reiser and Greg Evigan would have done better than Kevin Cosner and Russell Crowe.

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