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DC Animation Director Defends 'Batman v Superman' Martha Scene

Kofi Outlaw

12/07/2017

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice gets a lot of criticism for its darker and more intricate (convoluted?) narrative and thematic arcs, and one moment of the film is definitely hated-on more than any other: the infamous "Martha Moment". Well, Games Radar recently posted a piece called "Is it just me, or is the 'Martha' moment in Batman v Superman actually genius?", which once again sparked furious debate about the topic. One major figure from DC Entertainment soon got involved, and offered this defense of Batman v Superman's pivotal moment:

That's Jay Oliva, the acclaimed director of many of the DC Universe animated feature films and series, including Young Justice, Batman: Assault on Arkham, Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, Justice League: War, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns 1 & 2. Oliva's work on the animated front has informed some of the DCEU projects like Suicide Squad and Justice League, and he's lent his talent to almost every DCEU films (except Suicide Squad) as a storyboard artist. So, when Oliva drops a line like "But what the hell do I know about Batman," it really needs to be understood in context, to fully appreciate the level of snark in the question.

Oliva hasn't just bee a DC architect, he's also lent his talent to Marvel, directing the acclaimed Doctor Strange animated movie (2007), which clearly influenced the live-action version, as well as doing storyboards for Marvel films like Deadpool, Spider-Man: Homecoming and Thor: Ragnarok. That's all to say: he's about as "expert" as superohero expertise gets.

As for Oliva's point about the "Martha Moment" in Batman v Superman? We agree! If you read through our extensive "Why Batman v Superman Is Smarter Than You Think" piece, we break down the political metaphor that Snyder's film originally created, and how the Martha Moment makes that thematic convergence especially powerful and resonant in today's divisive political landscape. At the same time, we also point out that the actual execution of the "Martha Moment" scene in BvS is incredible clumsy; as the fan on Twitter argues, what son refers to his mom by her first name? In that scene, Superman could've said "You're letting them kill my mom," to Batman and had it resonate just as powerfully..."

Do you enjoy the more complicated storyline of Batman v Superman? Let me know how you feel about the film and its "Martha Moment" @KofiOutlaw.

Justice League is now in theaters; Aquaman arrives on December 21, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Wonder Woman 2 on November 1st, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps on July 24, 2020.

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