The film was Will Smith’s I Am Legend. As we prepared to see Mr. Smith take on an army of diseased infested zombies, we caught a glimpse of an image featuring the Batman logo and the Superman logo slapped together. In this hypothetical future in the 2007 film, Batman and Superman shared the silver screen before modern civilization met its demise. Ever since viewing that famous logo, fans have been eagerly anticipating the arrival of these superhero Titans to the big screen. Well, let’s hope that society isn’t headed towards a zombie apocalypse, because that image of the logo and film is now a reality.
The logo was most famously used in the DC Comics series Superman/Batman that ran from 2003 to 2011. Superman/Batman explored the antagonistic nature and uneasy friendship between the two heroes. Traditionally, Batman represents darkness and vengeance while Superman represents light and hope. They both have fundamental differences and world views that constantly put them at odds. That level of depth between the characters was not always that apparent. Back in 1941, a comic series entitled World’s Finest featured two smiley faced heroes fighting bad guys and having no conflicts or any real dimension in their character. They even let the Boy Wonder tag along on a few missions. World’s Finest was a popular comic book series that ran until about 1986. Everything changed when maverick comic writer and artist Frank Miller, created the graphic novel; The Dark Knight Returns.
Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns featured an older more battle scarred Batman, who comes out of retirement to protect Gotham City once again. His unconventional tactics then put him in direct conflict with a government controlled Superman. By far the most favorite aspect of the famous graphic novel is Batman and Superman slugging it out for the first time. These fight scenes in the comics are the inspiration for the epic battle in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. After Frank Miller’s three dimensional interpretation, the Batman character has never been the same. He was reborn as a darker, grittier, and more realistic superhero and Miller’s work has been the inspiration for virtually every Batman film afterwards. The physical and philisophical conflict between Batman and Superman has long been a subject of fascination that’s been explored in other comics and animated movies.
Akiva Goldsman, who was the screenwriter and producer of I Am Legend, had actually penned a Superman/Batman script that was later dropped. He decided, with director Francis Lawrence, to make the film a part of the I Am Legend universe as a little joke of what might have been. Once the Goldsman script was dropped, it paved the way for Christopher Nolan to recreate the Batman mythos.
Now, we are in the midst of one of the greatest years for comic book movies and on the cusp of a juggernaut of a film that is Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Due to an early free screening, fans took to social media to proclaim the greatness of the film. In just a short amount of time the critical reaction has been fairly mixed. The making and marketing of the film was not without controversy. Why Ben Affleck? Why Gal Gadot? Why did they have to show Doomsday and why does he look like a Ninja Turtle? Despite some of the naysayers, this is still the most anticipated superhero film in history and most likely will gross towards $200 million on opening weekend. When the film opens this week, the culmination of years of creativity will be realized as we finally see The Dark Knight and The Man of Steel onscreen together for the first time. There’s a lot of anticipation, preconceived notions, and extra baggage that comes with a film of this nature. Some people are going to be disappointed and some satisfied. Let’s hope that this is at least a fair beginning to the DC Cinematic Universe.
Review of the film coming this weekend!!!