MoS: Humanity is worth saving and should be able to live out their life. Krypton had their chance and now it’s time to let humans have theirs.
BvS: There’s still light in the world. Through all the hate and crime, there are still people out there trying to do the right thing and in times of need we rally together. (Bruce Wayne’s restored faith in humanity after being inspired by Superman’s sacrifice.)
WW: Humanity isn’t perfect but they are capable of great things and should be able to forge their own path.
Man of Steel changed the way I look at movies, not just superhero movies, but movies in general. It gave me the Superman I’d wanted to see since childhood. A Superman that I not only related to, but could really look up to. He wasn’t just a grinning boy scout with little character depth, he was a Superman.
In a movie that had heart and soul. A movie with pain and love, dark and light. A villain that really felt scary and I couldn’t predict how it was going to end.
And it gave me hope. Not just in my personal life, as I’ve discussed before, but it gave me hope in art. Movies as art. Superhero movies didn’t need to be high-saturated, popcorn movies with nice, neat, closed plots. They could be big, epic, meaningful artistic narratives! Something that reflected how important the mythology of superheroes is to the fans.
And then Batman V Superman came out and enriched everything that Man of Steel established. It built on the foundations and not only gave us a universe where Batman and Wonder Woman can fight alongside Superman, but it gave us some understanding of WHY these heroes do what they do and why they are teaming up. We saw Wonder Woman get slowly dragged back into heroism, and we knew why. She didn’t just suddenly, inexplicably drop out of nowhere onto the roof of a jet and start beating up another hero with absolutely no explanation. She hesitated, she fought her instincts and tried to be impartial, but the hero in her wouldn’t let her. And let’s not get into the extraordinary depth of character and development of Batman in this movie. Because that’s an essay into itself.
And then we saw the sacrifice of the hero who started all this. Whose sacrifice inspired these weathered, wary heroes into action again.
What a beautiful way to end a movie but start another! The dovetailing of this writing is genius.
After this we got Suicide Squad. A bit of a frantic, hectic, off-kilter movie about villains. It did a lot for world building, but most importantly it showed us what kind of people our heroes have faced before, and will face again. It showed us how strong and capable the villains can be, and this added so much to this universe that it is an invaluable movie.
Now, we have Wonder Woman! Adding more exposition to Diana’s motives in the modern day, this beautifully layered movie provided us with the first Wonder Woman movie, and yet but another incredible chapter to the DCEU. Never losing track of the themes and ideals of the shared universe, but maintaining its own unique voice, this movie delivered the finest superhero origin movie to date. While I still personally feel that it shares the stage with Man of Steel in terms of quality, it stands out on its own merits, because it is the first Wonder Woman movie, the first Wonder Woman origin story on the big screen and the first time a superhero movie has had such widespread, universal appeal.
It still considered the sense of realism established in the previous movies, showing the reality of war, a hero that will put the needs of others above her own and it kept a sense of doubt and confusion in the face of responsibility.
These movies have all been amazing in their own ways, and stand out as their own entities whilst keeping the universe cohesive. No other franchise has done this yet.
And it’s far from over.
This November, we get to see another huge milestone as Justice League hits the big screen. And I for one can not wait to see how this builds on what we’ve seen so far, and what will be built upon it.
It is a phenomenal time to be a DC fan, but it’s also a great time to be a movie fan and a superhero fan, too.
Can someone show me where the male gaze is used in Man of Steel and Batman v Superman? I keep trying to thing of where it might be hiding, but I just can’t find it.
Like, take Lois’ bathtub scene, right? She’s curled up into a ball (after all that stress I don’t blame her) and the most we see of her above the water are her shoulders and collarbone area (along with her knees). Not once does the camera or Clark try to sneak a peak: they both focus on Lois’ face. We don’t even get a POV shot from behind her head to show her looking up at Clark. It would have been an easy way to show more of her bare back, but that never happens.
There’s no male gaze at play there, so where is it? Can someone tell me?