How Batman V Superman Got Superman Wrong

The fervent critical and online backlash against Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice hasn't quieted one bit since its March 25 release. Opinions vary regarding the movie's best and worst moments, but there's no arguing that director Zack Snyder's vision of Superman hasn't brightened since Man Of Steel. After watching the iconic defender of truth and justice snap a bad guy's neck and wreak a path of destruction and death in the city he calls home, audiences got more of the same this time around. Let's take a quick look at how Batman v Superman got the alien Boy Scout way wrong.

Superman doesn't really want to be Superman

As Snyder has pointed out, this version of Superman acts differently because he's just donned the cape, but that doesn't explain why he seems like he already wants to take it off. He mopes, he whines, and even his own mother suggests he quit on mankind. That kind of thing might happen to us, but it would never happen to Superman. The example his biological father set in his effort to save a planet, and the morals and strong sense of duty his adoptive parents planted and carefully grew in him at an early age, instilled in Superman an understanding and acceptance of the responsibility he was born into: using his powers to defend humanity even though he isn't one of us.

He's super self-righteous

For a superhero who just killed thousands of innocent citizens in Metropolis, Superman seems way too judgmental about how Batman handles the criminal element in Gotham City. Superman would probably be too busy buying flowers and personally attending the funerals of the people he killed to worry about Batman branding some sex traffickers.

He only has ears for Lois Lane

Even though his beloved mother (and last surviving parent) Martha Kent was kidnapped and held hostage by Lex Luthor, the only screams Superman could hear were Lois Lane's, after Luthor pushed her off a building. He didn't even sense the wheelchair bomb that Luthor managed to sneak inside a U.S. Senate hearing. If Superman has a weakness (besides Kryptonite), it's identifying with humanity maybe too much, and using every bit of his power to save everyone. It might make for a more exciting story to have his superhuman abilities conveniently disappear at odd moments, but it doesn't fit the character.

He's selfish and cruel

Instead of being a graceful symbol of hope, Snyder's Superman constantly wields his godlike powers as a threat and destroys things, even when doing something as simple as landing. He's ready to fight at the first sign of the Bat signal and just up and flies away after hundreds were killed at the Capitol building. This Superman doesn't immediately dig through the rubble finding survivors, he just shrugs and leaves.

His heroism doesn't count for much

In Batman v Superman, Superman is more trouble than he's worth. He's an unintended consequence. He can't win. Sure, he just saved the planet, but what have you done for us lately? The government only briefly paused before hitting him with a nuclear missile. Instead of offering up Superman as the metaphor for what humankind could accomplish with unlimited power, Snyder uses him as an example of why you should mind your own business and never help anyone, because they'll just hate you anyway.

His sacrifice was meaningless

Although the death of Superman at the end of Batman v Superman came as a shock to many, we get the feeling that he's pretty okay with it. He just wants to get it over with. And if the world already thinks he's a malevolent and distant God who struggles to tolerate humans, why should they care if he dies? Why would Batman, who spent the whole movie trying to kill him? And most importantly, why should the audience?

Superman no longer has Clark Kent

Superman's secret identity, Clark Kent, is a crucial component of his fundamental appeal. The dichotomy of the Superman posing as a mild-mannered everyman, walking unnoticed among the very humans who depend on and look up to him, added depth to what might have otherwise been a two-dimensional character. In Batman v Superman, however, Clark is figuratively and literally killed, buried, and marked with a headstone. When Superman eventually returns in Justice League Part 1 or Part 2, Snyder will have turned him into a full-on Dr. Manhattan from Watchmen, an omnipotent "other" with no way or reason to connect with the people he has sworn to protect.