Batman v Superman: Dawn of disappointment


Ben Affleck kicks ass as Batman.
Ben Affleck kicks ass as Batman.
Photo: Warner Bros.

The battle between the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has been billed as the greatest gladiator match of all time, but if you’re looking for a film with substance and cohesion, you should probably avoid the new movie like Clark Kent shuns kryptonite.

The sad truth of BvS is that it beats itself into a bloody pulp thanks to its brutish director, Zack Snyder, who can’t tell a compelling story to save his life — even when he’s got more than 70 years of comic book history to mold to his will.

In BvS, the message is as clear as the Bat-Signal: It’s time to pull Snyder away before he ruins more movies that could have been great.

Final Batman v Superman trailer packs intense bat-on-god action


Batman might stand a chance.
Batman might stand a chance.
Photo: Warner Brothers.

Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent have had enough with the pleasantries. In the final trailer for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, it’s an all out war.

Warner Brothers has given fans their final glimpse of new movie footage before it hits theaters next month. Batman gets the biggest role in the new trailer that shows Superman won’t have an easy fight against Gotham’s Dark Knight. There are also some new shots of Wonder Woman, Alfred, and of course Lex Luther.

Check it out:

Batman and Superman disagree on everything


Seriously, didn't you see this trailer? Photo: How It Should Have Ended
Seriously, didn't you see this trailer? Photo: How It Should Have Ended

Here’s what would happen if Superman and Batman got together for coffee to talk about the big trailer reveal of the past week.

No, it’s not Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Instead, Supes is excited about Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and calls it the best trailer out there. Batman tries to get the Man of Steel to consider their own dual trailer to no avail.

Superhero banter, sarcasm, and some pretty funny lines ahead. You’ve been warned.

See Batman’s armored batsuit in first Batman v Superman trailer


The Dark Knight gets headlights in the first trailer for Batman v. Superman. Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures
The Dark Knight gets headlights in the first trailer for Batman v. Superman. Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures

If Batman’s going to take on Superman, he’s going to need some extra protection and firepower. The first trailer for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice gives us our a glimpse of the armored batsuit — complete with glowing white eyes — the Dark Knight will don in the superhero smackdown flick.

I think we can safely assume Jony Ive isn’t designing products for Bruce Wayne. The armored batsuit looks anything but thin and light.

5 TV superhero origins we loved watching and 5 more we’d love to see unfold



In the beginning...

Whether it’s reboots or prequels, over the past few years there’s been a renewed interest in superhero origin tales. No matter if it's Captain America being transformed from 90lb weakling Steve Rogers into an All-American super soldier, or Bruce Wayne travelling the globe honing the necessary skills to become Batman, these are often the most rewarding comic book stories out there — and the bevy of new superhero-themed TV shows is the perfect canvas on which to tell them.

Read on for our thoughts on the five shows which did the best job of telling us how our favorite heroes came to be — and the five origin stories we’re convinced would make for winning TV if they were given a shot.

Photo: Warner Bros. Television

5 that we like... Gotham

Okay, so we’re still at the beginning of this show, but all the pieces are in place for something great — even if they haven’t quite clicked yet. The Commissioner Gordon story was serviced well in Chris Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, but he’s an engaging character to follow, and aging him in his thirties rather than mid-forties, as Gary Oldman was in Batman Begins, changes the dynamic somewhat.

The comics have never really explored what Bruce Wayne did between his parents’ death and leaving Gotham City to begin his Batman training, so there’s plenty of ground to explore there also. Color me “cautiously optimistic” about Gotham.

If only someone would tell Jada Pinkett Smith she’s not auditioning for the 1966 Batman TV series.

Photo: Warner Bros. Television


Up until Gotham, Arrow seemed like it would be the Young Bruce Wayne show we’d never get to watch. Telling the story of an angry, young billionaire who returns home after a sizeable absence and wreaks revenge on the wealthy elite who have profited off everyone else’s misery, it was an origin we could get on board for.

Arrow was a good supporting character in Smallville, and he's proved a great leading one as well -- with a compelling origin, to boot.

Photo: Warner Bros. Television

Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman

For years in the pages of DC, the status quo for Lois Lane and Clark Kent were the two coworkers who, even before their comic book wedding, essentially behaved like an old married couple: bickering with one another, finishing each other’s sentences, and generally acting like characters who had been stuck treading water for the past 50 years. Which is exactly what they were.

Lois and Clark shook up the dynamic by taking both characters back to basics and developing their relationship from the first meeting. Sure, not every aspect of the show has held up (the special effects look a bit ropey) but as a character study showing how both became the people we know them as today, it was perfect.

Photo: Warner Bros. Television


After Lois and Clark had finished, Smallville had a tough ask on its hands, being asked to retell the Superman origin yet again on primetime TV. Worse, the edict was that Clark wouldn’t be allowed in the Superman suit, which left us with a goodie two-shoes character growing up in a small American town given a name to imply that nothing of significance ever happens there.

The result? Ten years of consistently entertaining television, which managed to uncover new depths in an origin tale most of us felt we’d seen already by 1980. Storylines faltered a bit toward the end, but Smallville more than earns its place on this list. Oh, and Tom Welling was a better Clark Kent than either Superman Returns’ Brandon Routh or Man of Steel’s Henry Cavill.

Photo: Warner Bros. Television


Like a day that starts off with the sun shining and a free ice cream, and ends with the death of everyone you care about, Heroes’ reputation suffers from the fact that its last three seasons were so darn poor. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that the first season, a.k.a. the origin story, was excellent.

Telling the story of a group of ordinary people who gradually discover they have superpowers, the show took the time to explore the personal impact of these abilities at the kind of leisurely pace that’s simply not possible in a movie. Watch it if you want to see this kind of story done well. Turn off after season one if you don’t want to see a great idea collapse into mediocrity.

Photo: Tailwind Productions

And 5 that we'd like to see... Spider-Man

Okay, so we’re unlikely to get a Spider-Man TV series, given that we’re currently in the middle of Marc Webb’s blockbuster reboot. But unlike almost any other comic book character, Spider-Man would work far better on TV than on the big screen. The comics were always soap opera heavy, and with more space to play with story lines it would be possible to explore the extended universe of characters.

A lot of people hated Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3 because it crammed too much into one movie. If that had been a whole season of a TV show, though? Totally different story. Who wouldn’t want to watch this?

Photo: Columbia Picture


Buffy the Vampire Slayer

The first season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer loosely followed on from Joss Whedon’s 1992 Buffy movie, with the titular vampire slayer arriving in Sunnydale after being booted out of her old school. More than a decade after the acclaimed TV series ended (and more than 20 after the now-forgotten movie), however, it would be good fun to go back and tell the story of exactly how L.A. cheerleader Buffy Summers discovers she’s the Chosen One.

A new Buffy, plus no Xander, Willow, Giles or Spike could make it a tough sell for old-school Buffy fans, but Whedon would agree to be show runner it could be a fun (sort of prequel) to the series we know and love.

Photo: 20th Century Fox Television

Ghost Rider

Post-Sons of Anarchy, the story Ghost Rider would make a fantastic show. In case you don’t know, Ghost Rider is stunt motorcyclist Johnny Blaze, who surrenders his soul to the devilish Mephisto in order to save the life of his father. After this, Blaze’s flesh is consumed by hellfire when evil is around, resulting in his head turning into a flaming skull, while he rides around on a fiery motorcycle.

Now that the two awful Nicolas Cage movies are behind us, Ghost Rider would certainly have legs as a TV series. Use the great Ultimate Marvel origin story as your blueprint if you want.

Image: Marvel Comics


Neither Marvel or DC have proven too willing to engage with the idea of giving superheroines their own movies, so TV could be a great way of demonstrating that there is an audience who will happily turn out to watch a female hero. I’ve always liked Supergirl as a character, and her current New 52 incarnation is intriguing.

In short, she’s got the same powers as Superman, but the unpredictability of a teenager, and nothing in the way of Clark’s affection for Earth. The result is a twist on a familiar story, and a concept that blurs the wish fulfilment of Superman with the realities of being a teenager trying to establish their own place in the world.

Image: DC Comics

The Darkness

A bit of an odd final choice here, but I’ve been revisiting some of my favorite Image books from the late 90s, and Top Cow’s The Darkness stands up so much better than most. Originally written by Garth Ennis, the series tells the story of a mafia hitman who inherits supernatural powers on his twenty-first birthday. The result is a mix between Batman, H.P. Lovecraft and The Sopranos.

Now tell me that wouldn’t make a great show?

Photo: Top Cow Comics