Letting Go of Superman: Na Na Na… Batfleck

And when Ben Affleck was announced as the next Batman, the geek hive-mind said, “What!?!”

Well, actually the geek hive-mind said a lot more than that.

There were video reactions, memes created and everything short of interpretative dance was used to express general dislike of the news with sprinkles of “give him a chance” posts here and there.

But what I like the most is how Batman and Affleck’s names have been compounded to Batfleck in the spirit of Bennifer which was used to reference Affleck’s relationship with Jennifer Lopez and later Jennifer Garner.

It’s like an unintended commentary on how this casting was as big a new in the geek community as celebrity hookups are in the larger society and possibly just as good a sign of how bad our priorities are.

Also, it shows how Batman is as real a person in some people’s mind as actual celebrities are so that we are treating the casting like a strange unholy coupling between two lovers.

We’re almost waiting for one to cheat on the other: “Oh, Batman – how could you?” yells Affleck. “And with my best friend, Matt.”

But while everyone is acting like this was the kiss of death to the sequel, to me Superman vs. Batman was conceptually flawed from the start.

The name already suggests a series of brawls between the two title characters and I’ve had enough senseless orgy of destruction from the Man of Steel.

On the bright side however, this is another sign that Hollywood might not be inundating us with origin stories anymore. They’re willing to use Batman icon without making an entire movie to tell us who Batman is.

The truth some superhero character’s origin stories are really not that interesting (Green Lantern) or too convoluted (Wolverine) or explainable in less than five minutes. Some like Batman are already part of popular consciousness that it can be redundant for now.

I think in general we are comfortable with the superhero genre that we can start the movie where the actual story begins now.

But the story of the possible downfall of this sequel didn’t start with Batfleck. It started when someone higher up said, “Let’s do an entire movie where Superman and Batman fight each other.”

About Cesar R. Bustamante Jr. 29 Articles
Multimedia journalist with a special interest in data-viz & visual storytelling. Kind of a geek. crbustamantejr at gmail.com LinkedIn page http://lnkd.in/XHEKv6

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