One of the most common fan criticisms of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was that Ben Affleck‘s version of the Caped Crusader was a little too murder-y. “Batman doesn’t kill people! That’s his whole thing!” Seeing a bitter, Punisher-esque Batman casually punching heads through floors and blowing bad guys to smithereens didn’t sit well with some fans who think of the Caped Crusader as having a certain moral code he won’t cross.
But in a world where Batman has decided to become judge, jury, and executioner, who could stop him? Who has the power to prevent the Dark Knight from unilaterally ending the lives of criminals? What kind of person would have the conviction to defend even the guilty against a hero of the people?
At least that’s the epic superhero battle imagined in this fantastic new fan-made trailer from the great folks at Screen Rant, who have pitted the killing Batman of Zack Snyder‘s Justice League universe against the non-murdering Batman of Christian Bale from Christopher Nolan‘s Dark Knight trilogy.
As far as fantasy concepts go, this one has us genuinely trying to figure out how to make it happen. An idealistic, young Batman trying to stop an old, disillusioned Batman is so perfect we wish this brief trailer could be expanded to something much longer. And that was even before Michael Keaton‘s Batman showed up to join the fight. And also all of the Jokers. Give us all the Jokers.
(Can’t we use the animated Batman Beyond series as some kind of inspiration to really do this? A new version of Batman, having trained under an older, retired Bruce Wayne, must now stop the old Batman who has returned to the streets after something made him give up that personal code. Do it. Just do it.)
The funny thing about the whole “Batman doesn’t kill people” complaint is that it’s not even remotely true, and certainly not in the movies. Many versions of Batman have killed people. Last year we even brought you this montage of Batman movie murders, and you know who is all over that thing? Michael Keaton’s Batman. Even Bale has a bunch of bodies on him.
So yes, for many people that consider Bale’s Batman as the defining Caped Crusader, the version you saw from Affleck in Dawn of Justice might have seemed jarring and “wrong,” but it all comes down to personal preference. I love The Dark Knight so much I’ve argued it’s the greatest superhero movie ever, but I actually think Affleck’s Batman might be the best version ever. His being so discouraged by the failures of his life’s work and the current state of the world, and in turn becoming much more violent, is an incredibly interesting development of the character. If anything, the problem wasn’t that Batman was a murder-machine in BvS, but rather that his transformation into that person wasn’t explored and developed more.
It’s probably why this mashup trailer is so damn good, because it imagines the internal conflict of Batman as an actual external one, between the younger, more hopeful self, and the older, more beaten down by life version.
This is a great, fun idea, and the only potential problem we see is that they both have mothers named Martha.
But what are the odds that would be important?
Which Batman would win this battle? Which Batman is your favorite? We got Batman on the mind, so tell us all of your Batman thoughts in the comments below.
Images: Warner Bros. Pictures