Daniel B. Silver


Three Cheers for the Not-So-Superhero

I’ve said it before: I always wanted to be Batman growing up but my parents were neither tragically murdered nor super rich. Accordingly, though I was a fan of many Marvel characters in my childhood, with the exception of various Wolverine titles I was pretty solidly in the DC Comics camp for the bulk of my comic book reading. As an adult – or whatever facsimile thereof I resembled after age eighteen – I read more Marvel titles than I did as a kid, but still always continued to see myself as a DC guy. Enter Chris Nolan.

Chris Nolan is a brilliant director. Chris Nolan made three awesome Batman movies that I loved. Chris Nolan might have made the greatest superhero film of all time, The Dark Knight. Imagine my excitement and childlike glee because of this! But then Marvel started making really good movies, and the lines of my DC allegiance were blurred.

Marvel has now branched from movies into television and found equal success in the endeavor, and in the wake of my favorite Marvel entry into the medium, the Daredevil series on Netflix, now I have had the distinct pleasure of watching Jessica Jones. Jessica Jones is damn near perfect, and you need to be watching it, like, yesterday so they make more of it. The show features a hard drinking, damaged and tortured protagonist who is somehow not a parody of herself. It’s equal parts film noire detective and superhero pulp. The casting is perfect and the scripts are fantastic. The antagonist, Killgrave, is charismatic and terrifying. The show has a mood. It’s nuanced. It’s brilliant.

And why I’m blathering on and on about Jessica Jones is because I had the distinct displeasure of watching the new Batman V Superman teaser wherein Batman is tied up and Superman yanks his mask off, revealing Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne (a casting decision I don’t even hate, by the way). Despite featuring my favorite superhero in a film clearly based off my favorite Frank Miller Batman work, the clip is ridiculous and elicited a series of LOLs from me regardless of its clear intent in conveying dramatic gravitas. But, because Zack Snyder - the director given control of my favorite comic character of all time in the wake of a near perfect trilogy featuring said character - is terrible, no such thing happens.

Zack Snyder is to subtlety as Donald Trump is to manners. Zack Snyder is in all likelihood Darth Vader to Michael Bay’s Emperor Palpatine, schooled not in the Dark Side but in the art of making large buildings fall down and people fight in endless, mind numbing actions sequences that make almost no sense and aren’t even fun to watch because they go on and on and on and on.

Zack Snyder would find a way to add the Tower of London falling into the Thames or a 747 crashing into the House of Parliament to a Shakespeare film. If Zack Snyder were to make a porno, not one person would be able to pleasure themselves while viewing it because Zack Snyder would shoot the entire thing in slow motion through a filter making everything look dirty, dark and shadowy, none of which is good for watching people bang.

As a matter of fact, I am pretty sure that Zack Snyder has never watched one of his films. It’s that, or he yells his own name when he orgasms. Or a combination of both. Anything is possible.

And when Superman V Batman gets a 43% on Rottentomatoes, but still makes a billion dollars because there is no God, I will feel no sense of vindication or pleasure. Instead, I will pray that I can fast forward until Captain America: Civil War hits theaters and I can see something that’s actually enjoyable done with the characters I never had on my A list before DC Comics decided Chris Nolan’s awesome Batman movies weren’t good enough. That, or maybe I won’t torture myself by spending $78.59 on two tickets to the stinker and just stay at home and watch season 2 of Daredevil.

Anyhow, watch Jessica Jones.