THOUGHTS ON…SAN DIEGO COMIC CON 2014 REVEALS

Greetings all!!

Sooooo…another year brings with it another comic con. And boy wasn’t there some stuff to talk about.

Unfortunately I wasn’t one of those lucky few who got to go to Comic-Con but from what got revealed to those who didn’t go there was quite a lot to talk about.

Now where do I start?

Let’s start with the big one and get it out the way. I am of course talking Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.

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While I have on countless ocassions voiced my concerns about the film and constantly mentioned that I am a massive Superman fan, I feel that this film, of all the films including Avengers 2, was the film most people wanted some sort of insight into just to get us excited just a wee bit.

This was arguably the biggest talking point and my pick for comic-con 2014. Everyone wants to know what’s happening with this film and what it’s going to look like.

And so this happened:

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Seeing these guys next to each other finally made it sink in. This is actually happening. Arguably two of the biggest characters in comic book history were coming together for the first time on the big screen.

I’m not dissing Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron panel. I’m not one of those fans that is so blinded by my love for one company that I see it as infinitely better than the other company. That’s not the case. But with Age of Ultron, Marvel has proven itself time and time again that they can and have been able to handle the big comic book movies so there was no need for concern.

With Dawn of Justice there are so many concerns, so I probably bet that it was the film on most people’s minds and we all wanted to know what was happening. Something to let us know that things will be okay at least.

And that’s what the fans got.

FB_20140724_22_15_39_Saved_PictureIt happened.

Like a nuclear bomb, Zack Snyder dropped some footage for those lucky bastards at San Diego to see.

To be fair I wasn’t expecting any footage. So when I heard that Snyder had unleashed that footage on Hall H I immediately checked for reactions online. And eventually, some kind, but incredibly sneaky person posted the teaser online, and yes I watched it.

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All I can say is this…

Say what you will about Zack Snyder, the man knows how to make a trailer. The man knows how to attract fan attention.

We see Batman in full Frank Miller Dark Knight Returns armour. That’s right armour. Glowing white eyes and all, lighting the Bat-signal to a stormy Gotham skyline, only to find Superman floating threateningly above him, eyes glowing red. As one website aptly described it, it was the stare downs of all stare downs.

Even though the leak wasn’t at a great resolution, you saw enough of it to get seriously pumped for the movie. I still have my doubts, and still wondering with worried angst as to why Batman is dressed to kicked Superman’s ass but I am nonetheless excited.

Be it a cautious anticipation, Zack Snyder you have my interest…

What’s more, like a hidden bonus that you unlock in a lengthy game, Snyder revealed our first look at Wonder Woman. I’m not going to be one of those people who will bitch about how Gal Gadot looks too skinny or why the costume is dark or looks like Xena because as I said before, Gal Gadot is a smart and refreshing choice. All my concern is why she’s even in the movie in the first place.

FB_20140726_19_09_59_Saved_PictureOnly time will tell…

I also get the feeling that when Snyder is ready to let that Comic-Con teaser be released on the internet, we might get a synopsis with it.

So here’s to hoping…

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Like I said about Age of Ultron, in terms of everything regarding the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I’m not that worried.They have consistently proved themselves in the past, time and time again that they know how to bring their creations to the big screen.

Seriously, everytime I doubted Marvel I was proven wrong.

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When Avengers was on the horizon, I was worried. I was concerned. Did they prove me wrong? Well…we wouldn’t be here now would we? The same goes for Thor 2 and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

All I can say in regards to Marvel is I want the trailers now. Considering Age of Ultron (especially) is out next year, I would like to see something about it. The same goes for Ant-Man.

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Speaking of seeing something…

I was disappointed that we didn’t get any updates or footage for the Fantastic Four reboot. I love the Fantastic Four as much as the X-Men and more than the Avengers, so I was really keen to see something about it. But again, time will tell…

Other big news that caught my eye was without a doubt The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies.

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I’m not gonna lie to you. I’m not the biggest LOTR fan. I’m not gonna shit on them, but I prefer the Harry Potter series to LOTR. But saying that I loved The Hobbit series, especially The Desolation of Smaug. So any news about TBOTFA will definitely catch my interest.

As far as I’m concerned, of all the things that broke out at San Diego Comic-Con this year, the news I was most concerned with was Dawn Of Justice. And though I still have my doubts, the footage has definitely refocused my interest.

However, I won’t put my faith 100% in it. I did that with Man Of Steel and that didn’t entirely turn out to be the Superman movie I wanted…

So, Comic-Con 2014, what did you make of anything that came out of it? Was there any other projects you were interested or worried about? Did you go? Were you there? What was it like?

Comment below and I’ll see you on the next post!!!

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E3 2014: MY TOP PICKS

Greetings all!!!

So, for a while I couldn’t think of anything to talk about because…not much interesting happened this week.

I did see Edge of Tomorrow, but there was no point in reviewing a film that has been out for a while, because everyone has probably already seen it. I wasn’t going to talk about the World Cup either because I don’t blog about sports.

But then in a conversation I had with my friend who was sent a code to try out the Destiny Alpha on PS4, I remembered..,

E3 HAPPENED!

So I’ll talk about the games I saw and picked the ones that peeked my interest…

Assassin’s Creed Unity

I’m not a die hard fan of the Assassin’s Creed games. Yes, I do have fun with them, but no, I have never actually completed them. In my opinion, Assassin’s Creed games are always a lot of hard work and require an enormous amount of patience.

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I was playing Black Flag on my PS4 the other night and I had to make a long ass journey by ship to my next destination, which left me sitting there thinking: “Why am I sitting through simulated sailing for the past 10 minutes when I could be doing something else?”

But maybe because Black Flag wanted you to be fully engrossed in the pirate experience.

I don’t know…

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But what makes me excited for this new installment is that it’s the first in the series made specifically for next gen and just because there’s no other game coming out on next-gen for a while to look forward aside Destiny.

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The time and the setting, which is Paris during the French Revolution, adds to it’s appeal. I also loved that, as demonstrated in the single player trailer, everything is seamless. You can go into a random building without having to load it up.

It’s the little things…

Mortal Kombat X

Mortal Kombat on the next gen platform…Need I say more?

This installment of the series is everything the Mortal Kombat series should be. Energetic, fun and brutal. And it looks like there’s exactly what it’s doing.

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What’s more is that it seems that some of the mechanics from Injustice: Gods Amongst Us have been incorporated into this game. You can grab objects from your surroundings and use them as a weapon.

There’s not a lot I need to say about this one, because the trailer and the gameplay speaks for itself.

The Order 1886

It was great to see more footage for The Order 1886, but for some reason I’m still on the fence with it.

It looks absolutely amazing. There’s no doubt about that. However I am not completely sold on it. I’ll probably wait for a hands on first impression before I decide to buy.

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Maybe it’s because of the premise of the game, or the fact that this is the start of a possible gaming franchise. Because it’s a stand alone release and hasn’t had a previous installment to establish that it’s worth getting I can’t put my faith entirely into The Order 1886.

Okay, yes, the guys who developed this game developed the God Of War PSP games but that’s not enough to go on.

Like I said let’s see what happens…

Tom Clancy’s The Division

This game has continued to impress me everytime new footage is released. It looks visually stunning. The gameplay looks superb.

I just can’t wait to get it for my PS4 and see it on my TV in all it’s glory.

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My only fear would be that it’s focused mainly on the multiplayer campaign, but I’d love it if it had a great single player campaign because it looks promising enough to warrant a playable story.

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Like Mortal Kombat X, the footage speaks for itself. Yes, I did mention that with The Order 1886, it wasn’t an established franchise yet, but considering The Division is being developed by Ubisoft, I have little to worry about.

No Man’s Sky

I didn’t know what to expect when the trailer for this game was about to play during E3.

Then it played…

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…and boy oh boy. I was surprisingly impressed.

I wasn’t expecting it to be impressive and I wasn’t expecting to be so interested in it. Because I’m not an “indie gamer”. I don’t play indie games. I play the big mainstream blockbuster releases, the games everyone has been hyping up for months.

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But this game, as an indie game, heck, as any type of game, looks impressive. And the scope of it sounds incredible. The fact that no two players will start in the same place and you can travel to anywhere and it’s infinite in quantity really excites me. And it seems so immersive.

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I can forgive it for being released in December next year. That much promise needs more developing time. So I can wait, and I have a feeling the wait will be worth it…

Batman: Arkham Knight

From the moment this trailer began actually showing the gameplay my jaw hit the floor.

THIS is the game that really impressed me at E3. It’s the Arkham games, so I expected no less. But it looks so amazing. From the gliding to driving the Batmobile.

And the Batmobile…

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It looks like a hell of a lot of fun to drive. I was slightly skeptical when it was announced that the Batmobile was a playable mechanic in the game, but this trailer ended those doubts.

The city of Gotham has never looked so beautiful, so real. At first, I was annoyed it got delayed, but after seeing this, all I can think is:

“If it looks this good now, how is it going to look when it’s finishing touches are done?”

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And I think we all know the answer to that…

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Also worth mentioning:

The really two big games also worth mentioning and I will gladly let them take my money would be Uncharted 4 and Rise of The Tomb Raider.

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Unfortunately, neither of these games exhibited any sort of gameplay footage but luckily their predecessor’s speak for themselves. The Uncharted series has always been a stand out, and if they carry on how they have done previously, like the Arkham games it should work out quite nicely.

If it ain’t broke don’t fix it…

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The same applies to Rise of the Tomb Raider. With the first one I was skeptical with playing it, but when I did get round to it, my mind was blown. It was one of the best games of 2013. It didn’t get the credit it deserved to be honest. But I have high expectations now for Rise of the Tomb Raider.

The last game worth mentioning, yes, I know it’s been out for nearly a year and I’ve already played it on PS3, but Grand Theft Auto V for PS4 is one for some reason I look forward to.

GTA5_mediumIt’s probably because I’m carrying the same logic I have with Assassin’s Creed Unity. Nothing big and new is coming out for a while so I’ll gladly give my money to GTAV. I’m sure a lot of people with a PS4 will be doing the same for The Last of Us.

So, what did you think of E3 2014? What were your top picks?

Comments please and I’ll see you on the next post!!!

 

MAN OF STEEL. AND MAN OF STEEL 2’S OFFICIAL TITLE.

Greetings all!

So, this week, the sequel to 2013’s Man Of Steel, got it’s official title (and I’ll give my reactions to that towards the end of this week’s post…promise…).

But following my opinion piece last week on the sequel, I thought I’d share my opinions on Superman’s latest reboot. I expressed my views on the franchise’s future, so why not speak about it’s current state? Right?

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Where to start…

Let’s start with the positives and what I liked about the film.

First of all, I feel that the film achieved what it set out to do. Which was to make Superman relatable, even though it was done in the similar vain to Batman Begins (you know, Bruce and Clark both left home because of some traumatic event and wandered around the world moving from place to place looking for some purpose to their lives).

I’ve always felt that between Batman and Superman, Clark was the more relatable.

Hear me out for a second…

Superman, powers aside, had a pretty normal upbringing. He went to high school, had his first crush, the usual. Even him hitting puberty was touched upon through him discovering his abilities. Like the X-Men, Clark has always been and felt like an outsider. Because of who he is, what he can do, he has never been able to fit in.

All of us know what it’s like to feel isolated and alone, being left out just because of who you are. And like most of us, Superman is trying to find his place in life. Who he’s supposed to be. What he’s supposed to do.

And that’s something Zack Snyder’s film beautifully touched upon.

In the Donner series, you could touch upon the idea that Superman was isolated and an outsider, but because it was done in a subtle manner, audiences failed to see that subtext. What Man Of Steel  did was that it brought those issues to the fray, making it plainly obvious for the audience to see.

Another brilliant thing about Snyder’s take on Superman was the cast. Henry Cavill, I feel, pulled through a memorable performance as the main character. One of my closest friends said he thought Cavill was the worst Superman on screen, but I strongly disagree.

I think the problem with Cavill was, like Brandon Routh’s incarnation, he was given very few lines of dialogue. It seemed at times that Cavill was just there to pose and look the part. Cavill did not speak until the scene where Clark is working at the bar. Lois had more to say than Clark.

And on that note, Adams did well as Miss Lane. She wouldn’t have been my first pick, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but her portrayal worked well for the film.

Of the cast I would say the weak point came from it’s main villain Zod. Yes, Michael Shannon gave a terrific performance. He did his best with the character. The problem was, Zod was incredibly repetitive. There wasn’t a single moment where Zod didn’t say something about “his people”.

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Yes, I get it, on Krypton, most of it’s population has been genetically engineered to serve a purpose, but in Zod’s case it came off as slightly one dimensional. There was not much personality to the character. He’s like the one guy at an office whose entire life is his job and has chosen to abandon any form of social interaction.

But like I said, Shannon did a good job…

Superman has always been an iconic character, and Man Of Steel encapsulated the iconic imagery of the character wonderfully. Nearly every scene with Clark/Superman was incredibly iconic, from the scene where he’s unconscious in the ocean, to him flying over the earth, to the scene where he floats out of Zod’s ship to save Lois.

When I first saw the scene in the trailer where Superman is walking in the arctic, wearing his costume with his cape blowing in the wind, I was filled with so much excitement and high expectations for the film.

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But there was one part that let me down…

My overall criticism of the film, the part I disliked the most would be Clark’s fight against Zod towards the end of the film. No, I’m not one of those fans who’s gonna bitch about Superman killing Zod. I didn’t have a problem with it. My problem was the fight itself. Not just the amount of destruction it caused, but also the choreography of it.

Superman’s fight in Smallville, though destructive, was a lot better. That’s how a fight between three Kryptonians on Earth should be.

It should be destructive, but it should be dirty. It should be gritty. It should have some realism. It shouldn’t be over the top. And that’s what the Zod fight was like.

Particularly when Zod grabs Superman’s cloak and spins him then lets go. It looked incredibly cartoonish and everytime I watch that scene on Blu-Ray I either skip it, go get a snack or turn the film off entirely.

This is Superman. Instead it looked like a fight scene from DragonBall Z.

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I’m not saying I have a problem with DBZ, and I don’t mean this in a bad way, but Superman and Goku are two different class of characters. Superman is a classy character who has been around for 75 years and that fight isn’t the character’s style. It felt like the fight was an imitation of DBZ and that was my problem.

And of course, the carnage…

Yes, I did have a problem with carnage. Why? Every person who is a Superman fan would want to see at least Doomsday or Brainiac brought to life. And those villains were rumoured to be considered for the sequel.

That’s incredibly worrying considering that, if a fight between Superman and Zod can nearly wipe out a city, then what happens if the Man of Steel goes up the universe’s ultimate killing machine, does that mean the whole of Earth gets brought to it’s knees during the fight?

What’s more is Superman is supposed to be saving people. Even at the cost of his own life.

During a fight, Clark would rather rescue someone from a collapsing skyscraper and taking a blow to the ribs than let innocent people die. He instead, is causing the mayhem and destruction. That, above all, is the worrying problem about the fight between Zod and Superman.

3.5/5

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If possible, watch this video by Max Landis, writer of the 2012 film Chronicle. Landis, in my opinion, is brilliant in what he says. I’m a fan of his and as someone who writes, I admire his work and look up to him.

He expresses his opinions on Man Of Steel which are reasonable and should be noted by anyone who loves Superman or hasn’t made their mind up on Snyder’s film. The guy knows what he’s talking about and I hope one day he gets a shot at writing a Superman (or any other comic book hero) based movie.

Video below:

And finally, onto the sequel and it’s title, Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice. I don’t have much to say to be honest. You can express your fears about the production of a film but at this point; there is no point. What’s done is done. We just have to see what how it turns out.

Yes, I am a little annoyed that a film that is supposed to be part of a Superman franchise is now being shared with a fan boy favourite (Batman) and is serving up as a Justice League foundation, but bitching about it won’t change anything.

All I’ll say is that I no longer see it as a Man Of Steel sequel.

So, what did you think of Man Of Steel? Do you agree with my post? Or with Max Landis?

Also, what do you make of the title of the “sequel”, Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice?

Comments please!!

THOUGHTS ON…SUPERMAN VS BATMAN. OR BATMAN VS SUPERMAN. OR MAN OF STEEL 2 (Whatever is your preference)

Greetings all!

This is my first blog post and what a topic to start on!

So, we all know what has happened in the last few months.

Man of Steel got a sequel. The sequel would have Batman. Ben Affleck will play Batman. Gal Gadot got cast as Wonder Woman. Jeremy Irons will play Alfred Pennyworth. Jesse Eisenberg will play Lex Luthor.

And, just yesterday, director Zack Snyder shared a small first glimpse of what the project would look like by revealing the new Batsuit on Twitter, demonstrated below.

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Now, a lot of the reception towards this upcoming project has been negative, to say the least. And it is understandable.

Being a comic book fan, hell, being a Superman fan, I have quite a lot to get off my chest about the project and I decided that now, I just might do that.

Anyone expecting a full on nerdy rant, you have been forewarned. Yes. It will be nerdy. But no. This is not a rant. This instead, is a much more impartial view on the project. So here goes…

In terms of casting, I understand some of the preconceived fears, but, with the possible exception of the Eisenberg/Lex Luthor casting, it isn’t all that disastrous. I personally think that Ben Affleck was a smart, nay, very safe choice.

Considering who else was in the running for the role, this wasn’t by any means a bad choice. No disrespect to the following actors, but would you rather have had Orlando Bloom or Armie Hammer play Batman? I get that a lot of fans wanted Josh Brolin, and sure he looks the part, but I wouldn’t have been entirely confident if he was chosen. And I know Affleck has it within him to pull off the billionaire playboy side to Batman. Plus, from yesterday’s picture, he sure looks the part as Bruce Wayne’s alter ego.

The other casting for me is this: Gal Gadot was another sensible choice. I personally would have picked Gemma Arterton for Wonder Woman but Gadot remains a good choice. My only gripe is that Wonder Woman is even in the movie.

I’m on the fence with Jeremy Irons, but like Affleck, I think in time we’ll see him show us what he’s made of.

Of course, the casting of Lex Luthor is the one that throws me off slightly.

I’m not saying Jesse Eisenberg is a bad actor. On the contrary, he’s one of the best young actors out there. In every film I’ve seen him in, I’ve found him to be highly like-able and he always delivers a terrific performance, especially in The Social Network. Also, he, alongside Mark Ruffalo, Dave Franco and Woody Harrelson made Now You See Me, slightly more watchable.

Unfortunately, I just don’t see him as one of the greatest and most fearsome super-villain in comic book history.

Casting aside, my gripes with this film are not necessarily with the casting and characters, but with what they plan to do with the movie. From seeing yesterday’s picture of Affleck in the Batsuit it is evidently clear how much Snyder wants to subtly bring Frank Miller’s iconic graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns to life. And we all know what happens in that comic:

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And that’s where I have a problem…

Yes, I did say earlier that I am a Superman fan. He is my favourite of all the comic book characters. And, not to be biased here, but if, (for the sake of this post) in Man of Steel 2, Batman, having just met Superman, defeats him in the manner he does in Miller’s book, or in any other manner whatsoever, I will walk the hell out of that movie.

Why?

When someone asks me; “Who would win in a fight between Superman and Batman?”. I always think of one of my favourite scenes in another Snyder associated project, Watchmen. During the climactic confrontation between Dr Manhattan and Ozymandias, Manhattan says to Ozymandias:

“The world’s smartest man poses no more threat to me, than does it’s smartest termite”.

And I feel that quote applies to a confrontation between Batman and Superman. Especially as Snyder intends to have the two characters face off against each other at some point in the movie.

There is no way Batman stands a chance against a man who is bulletproof. Against a man who can move quicker than Batman can blink.   Against a man who could punch him into orbit. You thought Bane’s breaking of the Bat was brutal? When Batman’s going up against Superman not only could it end up being brutal, but the fight would reach an abrupt resolution.

And believe me.

It will be quick.

If Batman manages to beat Superman in their first ever on-screen bout, it’ll be like saying Michael Cera will win in a straight up fist fight against Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (once again, I mean no disrespect).

To reiterate, Superman can’t be taken down by ordinary weapons, so how in the hell will Batman beat Superman? Especially as Snyder has yet to introduce Kryptonite to his cinematic universe. In fact, in the Snyderverse, even Superman himself doesn’t yet know that he is vulnerable to krptonite. So how is Batman going to find that one out?

It’s not just the fact that a Batman victory would make no logical sense, but I feel a Batman victory is ultimately playing up to the mass crowd of worlwide Batman fanboys, which, today, seems to be every single person you and I know.

Post Batman & Robin (yes, you know the film I speak of), no one would proudly admit to being a Batman fan. Since Nolan’s brilliant Dark Knight trilogy, everyone and their 86 year old Grandma now claims that they have been a Batman fan for all of their existence.

Unless he’s been living under a rock, Snyder probably knows that Batman has a bigger appeal and fan base than Superman has at this current moment of time, and what will Batman fans love most? To see broody Bruce Wayne knock the stuffing out of goody two shoes super-alien Clark Kent.

In the context of The Dark Knight Returns, I can grudgingly admit that Batman’s victory was well deserved for a few reasons.

Frank Miller was smart in making both Bruce and Clark older men. What this did was that with age Batman had become wiser, not to mention, due to the fact that he knows Superman on a personal level, he knows how Clark would think in combat. He knows Clark’s vulnerabilities. Bruce, with age, has become more experienced in confrontations against everyone’s favourite Kryptonian.

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Therefore, with all that, Bruce would know exactly what he needs to do to take Clark down.

The Dark Knight Returns was not just a brilliant study of Batman, but what made it a great graphic novel was that it also understood Superman as a character. And I’m not just talking his monologue within the tale.

Miller knows Superman still sees Batman as an ally, not an enemy. Miller knew that if it came to it, Clark Kent would still hold back in a duel against his friend; Bruce Wayne. Before the showdown ever took place, Miller had Clark, in typical heroic manner, warn Bruce that:

“It’s like this Bruce — sooner or later, somebody’s going to order me to bring you in. Somebody with authority. When that happens…”

And that’s why I’m not totally angry with Batman’s TDKR victory. Because, at the root of all the tension there was a just reason for why they had to throw down. And I don’t see why they would have to face off when they just met each other on-screen.

Like I said earlier, if the scuffle goes down, and Batman wins, I’m done, because the film becomes an ultimate pledge to the Batboys everywhere when it really is supposed to be a Superman sequel.

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However, I will say this to anyone who has their doubts:

Wait to see more production news and or photos. More costume unveilings and eventually a trailer. And still, I would implore that if you truly love comics, you should at least go and see this film when it is eventually released.

We have finally been given the opportunity to see two of the most iconic and important comic book characters of all time share the screen together for the first time, and I think it’ll be a shame to pass it up.

This has been my first post. I hope I didn’t bore you to death with my fanboyism. There’s a lot more I want to say but I think this is a fair amount. Hope you become interested in what I write and read my next posts…