One of the many teaser posters for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice film dares to ask the question on no one’s mind: “Who Will Win?”. They should’ve asked, “Will It Be Any Good?”. This doubt from many moviegoers stems in part from the two men challenged to fight their greatest foe yet, skepticism. They are Mr. Personality Henry Cavill as Superman/Clark Kent, reprising his role from Man of Steel, and patchy-faced Ben Affleck as Batman/Bruce Wayne, doing his best Christian Bale impression. Their performances will draw comparisons to other actors who have portrayed the iconic heroes. which will or will not be considered a compliment.
Until the dust settles n Batfleck, we can remember fondly or cringe at other actors who’ve donned the Caped Crusader and Man of Steel. And we can wonder who would triumph if pitted against one another. Five Bats of Gotham, versus five Sons of Krypton. Of course they won’t be judged on who would actually win in hand-to-hand combat (because as much as I love Batman, he’s still just your more physically active billionaire, and Clark Kent is Superman in glasses). They’re be critiqued on each actor’s individual performance, the overall quality of the TV show/film hey were in, and how each Batman and Superman impacted their respective Gotham and Metropolis.
This looks like a job for Superman, but, well, he’s too busy reviewing the film in five words or less. Always a good sign.
5. Adam West V Christopher Reeves: Sunrise of Validity
WHAM! POW! KERPLUNK! When you have grittier, darker reboots of a character like Batman, it’s hard to remember one of his wimpiest turns with Adam West in the 1960’s television series Batman. A decade earlier, Christopher Reeves was already battling for truth, justice, and the American Way in Adventures with Superman. The modern fascination with making superheroes and vigilantes hated the very people they protect (which X-Men did before i was cool) was lost with West and Reeves. West was best buds with Commissioner Gordon, and his Boy Wonder by his side in terribly choreographed fight sequences. And Reeves had the citizens of Metropolis clamouring to catch a glimpse of him flying by, although I’ve heard rumours he’s pretty fast.
Nevertheless, Batman is defined by its campy tone rather than Adam West himself, and Reeves is a gold-plated Man of Steel.
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s… Superman for the Advantage!
4. Val Kilmer V Tom Welling: Mid-morning of Integrity
Admittedly, this may seem like an odd pairing of film and TV. However, both Batman Forever and Smallville share a quality in that the execution of an idea good on paper does not always pan out so great. In defense of Val Kilmer, Batman Forever was not his fault; this line may have a recurring role in this list. Kilmer’s Batman was in the wrong movie. He was too gruff-and-tough to tango with the likes of Jim Carrey in a green leotard. Or Joel Schumacher.
The whole pitch of Smallville was the journey of how Clark Kent became Superman. It could have been a potentially interesting character study, but not for seven years, and especially not on Clark Kent. Even the original creators of the show realized the Arkham Asylum cell they trapped themselves in, and cut their original “no tights, no flights” rule. This show wasn’t even about Superman! Batman to the Advantage.
3. Christian Bale V Henry Cavill: High Noon of Law and Order
Henry Cavill! Get off my list, we’re done talking about you! Oh, I guess we’re not… awkward… like your performance in Man of Steel…
Christian Bale as Batman was not the best part in Christopher Nolan’s Batman film trilogy. Don’t get me wrong, he was instrumental in bringing Batman back from the dead after “The Franchise Killer” Batman and Robin. Bale also had a lot of competition to be the shining star. But he was a solid Batman, and the glue of that trilogy. And after three movies, he finally won the acknowledgment of Gotham that he was there to save citizens from themselves.
Another Bale-Batman asset was he’s actually entertaining to watch. Cavill is nice to look at, but he doesn’t have that magnetism needed to play an iconic role like Superman. Speaking of, his interpretation of Superman is… loose? He causes massive amounts of destruction to Metropolis. All those buildings he destroyed? Yeah, they probably had people in them. Good people. People with babies.
Bale’s Batman won’t kill you, but he’s not here to save you. Cavill’s Superman will rip your fucking head off. I say to Cavill: come at me, bro. Advantage: The Batman.