Comic Writer Peter David Reviews Batman V Superman: "I Am So Sick Of Trailers Ruining Films"

Peter David Superman

Credit: Luigi Novi

The acclaimed Incredible Hulk and X-Factor writer has ample experience in dissecting and getting down to the core of what makes a character tick. Unfortunately, he wasn't too pleased with one in particular in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.

That character would be Superman, but more specifically his problems stem from an apparent lack of humanity. He questions Superman's tether to the planet he grew up on and Cavill's interpretation.

"It’s not that he’s a bad actor. He’s not. He even actually has a scene where he gets to act like a human being and climb into a bathtub with Amy Adams’s Lois Lane. He seems to enjoy that. Who wouldn’t? I’m happily married with four children, but I’d climb into a bathtub with a naked Amy Adams if given the opportunity. So would you, so don’t judge."

"The problem is that since Superman is a god, he can’t be human. And as a movie goer, there’s a simple truism which is that your personal involvement with a character is determined by his humanity. Ninety percent of the time that Cavill is on screen, he’s in Superman mode, even when he’s Clark. As Superman he never cracks a smile, never cracks a joke, never cracks his facade. Even when a building explodes around him, killing everyone but him, he is just left standing there looking bummed out. He doesn’t try to find out if anyone survived, he doesn’t do anything. He just stands there, like God observing just how idiotic mortals can be."

He does raise some valid points about Clark's characterization, and I guess I'm just waiting for the film that sees the character get beyond it. We've seen his beginnings in Man of Steel, and we've seen him put our world before his well-being in Batman V Superman. At some point he has to become that light, that symbol we so often reference from the comics, and hopefully Justice League is that point in his story.

David's other issue is with films that lay everything out in the trailers.

"Man, I am so sick of trailers ruining films. In this instance, every major story beat is in the trailers. They literally tell us everything except the last ten minutes, and anyone who was reading comic books twenty years ago KNOWS what the ending is. Superman vs. Doomsday. You know how it ends."

"I didn’t care

that Superman died
because he was so utterly devoid of humanity that his fate was of no consequence to me. Because in the real world, we don’t care about gods. In the Marvel cinema universe, Thor is not a god. We know this because Odin says, “We are not gods,” so that’s pretty much that. So we care about Thor. We care about Jesus because he was human. We care about Hercules because he’s half human. But Cavill’s Superman is treated like a god and acts like a god, helping where and when he sees fit, but largely outside of humanity, as if life is some great party to which he is not invited. He doesn’t get us, he doesn’t understand us, he doesn’t see where his place in humanity is supposed to be. How am I supposed to care about someone who is so detached from the race among which he was raised?"

Having a trailer spell out every aspect of a film isn't something I enjoy, so I completely agree with David there. You can't have the same trailer go out for several months, but there has to be a balance. I'm not alone in liking some surprises when I go see a movie in the theater.

Do you agree with Peter David's point of view? Let us know in the comments.