Batman vs Spider-Man

You read that title right. Between Batman V Superman and Civil War, it’s the year of the superhero fight. Naturally we wanted to cash in on this topic and pit Kevin’s favorite superhero (your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man) against Jesse’s favorite superhero (the hero Gotham deserves, Batman).

Just to clarify, we are not going to discuss which superhero would win in a fight because it would totally be the one with ACTUAL superhero powers because that’s mostly impossible to know. Instead we are debating why we believe our superhero to be superior entertainment wise. We can argue about comics, movies, and shitty Adam West TV series or about origin story, abilities and costumes. Whatever we want, just not about an actual battle.

So strap on your utility belt, grab your web slingers and take a jump to see who we crown the ultimate superhero.

Kevin: Ahh the age old debate of why Batman sucks. This feels like old times. Please, tell me, how does it feel to have your favorite superhero not possess any actual super powers? Does it feel pretty empty Jesse? It’s okay to admit, this is a safe place.

Jesse: It felt so bad that it took me almost three weeks to respond to this. Thanks, dick…

Kidding. We’re starting with the no super powers thing, huh? I thought you were more clever than that. While Batman may not have super strength or the ability to stick to walls or anything crazy like that, he is a man of many skills. The World’s Greatest Detective isn’t just a flashy nickname. He’s also a ninja, a master of disguise and a damn genius inventor. I’m talking about more than just some silly web shooters buddy.

Sorry for getting so riled up. My point is I think it’s great that while Batman may not have any actual powers, he uses his abilities to take down villains who do. Speaking of villains, this is the part where you convince me that Spidey’s rogues gallery is a lot cooler than Batman’s, right?

Kevin: You’re damn right this is the part where I convince you that Spidey’s bad guys are badder (more bad?) than Batman’s. Look I could just sit here and list them out one-by-one and have everyone nod their head in agreement but I won’t bore you. Instead I have a thought experiment to prove my point!

Okay so take the five Spider-Man movies that have been made. We all agree that Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 1 and 2 are classics, in fact a little later one I will probably argue that Spider-Man 2 is the best superhero movie of all time or at least better than any Batman flick. Now the other three are not as well liked, and that’s fair. Let’s examine why that is.

The Amazing Spider-Man 1 wasn’t well received because, well did we really need a rehash of Spider-Man’s origin story? No we didn’t, like I said Raimi’s Spider-Man 1 covered that pretty well. But what about the other two Spider-Man films? What was so wrong with them that they literally killed their own franchises? It’s simple. Too many villains.

Ah ha! See Jesse, do you get it? Spider-Man has so so many great villains that Hollywood can’t help itself! They jam packed Spider-Man 3 and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 with six villains! They literally couldn’t choose. They even planned on making a Sinister Six movie! Meanwhile Batman is busy fighting a penguin and a guy with a potato sack over his head.

Look it’s not Spider-Man’s fault that Sony fucked up their embarrassment of riches so badly, twice! No man, in a perfect world Spider-Man 3 would’ve been a standalone Spider-Man vs Venom movie. And that would’ve been a huge hit and who knows what could have happened from there.

Anyway, I’m sure this is the part of the argument where you argue quality over quantity and start swooning over Batman’s fear of clowns, right?

Jesse: While there is no denying that Spider-Man has been blessed with an impressive compilation of evildoers worthy of the big screen, unfortunately we really haven’t seen that come to fruition. You can blame Sony if you’d like (I don’t blame you for that either), but other than Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus, I can’t say much for how Spidey’s foes have been adapted. Topher Grace as Venom? Nigel Gruff as Dr. Connors/Lizard? Blue Electro? Paul Giamatti operating a mechanical Rhino? It’s pretty rough dude.

Speaking of those clowns, the Joker has been successfully portrayed in a movie twice, with the most recent effort even winning Heath Ledger an Oscar. While there have been some equally embarrassing efforts at bringing Batman’s villains to life (look no further than Batman Forever or Batman and Robin, which for some reason you enjoyed), there have been more hits than misses. That guy with the sack over his head worked well as a minor adversary, while Liam Neeson as Ra’s Al Ghul, Aaraon Eckhart as Two-Face and Tom Hardy as Bane were all very compelling. Most importantly, those movies WERE all huge hits, enough so that Warner Bros. panicked and is shoehorning Batman and his villains into all of DC’s new movies to try and jumpstart its expanded universe.

I wrote a piece last year about where I think Spider-Man fits into Marvel’s Cinematic Universe (see, I like him too!). With Captain America: Civil War due out in a couple of weeks, what are your thoughts on that?

Kevin: Uh first of all you weren’t supposed to spill the beans on my secret enjoyment of Batman Forever and Batman and Robin, I was a confused and easily entertained kid alright? I haven’t dared to rewatch those two movies as an adult because I don’t need to ruin everything in my childhood. Michael Bay does that enough as it is (zing!).

Speaking of my childhood, I probably would’ve wet my pants as a kid if you told me Spider-Man was going to be in an Avengers  Captain America movie. Then again I would’ve probably wet my pants over anything really since I was a kid.

But I’m not a child anymore and I hardly ever wet my pants anymore. So am I still excited to see my favorite superhero team up with a bunch of his badass friends. You bet your wet pants I am!

Although I will be the first to admit that I wasn’t blown away from Spidey’s appearance in the trailer (it’s a minor complaint but Spidey didn’t seem too thrilled to be there in his one line. He was just so blasé about the whole deal like “Hey guys…” -_- ). Despite my complaints I am trying not to look too hard into a single moment in a stinkin’ trailer and just enjoy the fact that Spider-Man is going to kick ass in the MCU. Something which many people predicted would never, ever happen. I trust the talent at Marvel to treat Spidey well and I look forward to his film presence being reinvigorated.

Now that I have praised Marvel for possibly saving Spider-Man’s film career do you want to take a crack at the disappointment that seems to be Batman V Superman? How does DC pivot to fix everything they have apparently broken? More importantly where does Batman go from here?

Jesse: I knew this was coming. We have segued directly into the depressing portion of this article for me.

It’s important to point out that I still haven’t seen Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and I’m not going to criticize or defend a movie that I haven’t even sat through yet. However, we are discussing a film that scored much lower on Rotten Tomatoes (28 percent) than Spider-Man 3 (63 percent), The Amazing Spider-Man (73 percent) and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (53 percent). Now as you’ve said, Rotten Tomatoes isn’t a perfect system and critics don’t know everything, but DC’s Cinematic Universe is off to a brutal start.

That’s not stopping them from moving full-steam ahead with the rest of their plans though. There will be a Justice League movie, a Batman movie, Wonder Woman and Aquaman movies and the inevitable sequels for all of those. Suicide Squad is also still coming out this year and that’s not including all of the other future projects that I’m too lazy distraught to look up. To be clear, I’m not all that broken up about the possibility that DC’s Cinematic Universe already pales in comparison to Marvel’s, but I am pretty bummed that Batman is getting sucked into this mess.

To answer your question, I’m not sure that they are planning on fixing anything. They’ll just keep buying new toys for Zach Snyder and hope that Marvel craps the bed at some point. As for Batman, luckily Ben Affleck gets to direct himself in the Caped Crusader’s next solo outing. I can’t speak for how his take on Batman turned out, but the man is a damned good director. If DC stays out of Affleck’s way and lets him do his thing, we could wind up with the best Batman movie we’ve ever had. If they force a bunch of characters and storylines down his throat to set up future installments, then we’ll probably see Batman’s version of Spider-Man 3. And that’s just going to break my heart dude.

We’ve discussed the fact that Marisa Tomei has been cast as Aunt May, but there’s no way you’ve come to grips with that yet, have you? And how many Birdman references will they sneak in if Michael Keaton winds up playing the Vulture?

Kevin: Whoa whoa whoa, hold on a minute, before we discuss being sexually attracted to Aunt May, I just want to clarify something. You think the ceiling for Affleck’s Batman is best Batman movie ever? Look, I may not be a fan but even I’m aware that The Dark Knight is regarded as possibly the greatest superhero movie of all time and you’re going into Bat-fleck’s solo movie with the idea that he could easily surpass that? Wow no wonder DC’s movies tank, the fanbase’s expectations are huge!

Anyway, Aunt May is hot and Robert Downey Jr is bringing his Iron Man talents to the newest Spider-Man film titled Spider-Man: Homecoming. How do I feel about this? Did Tony Stark drop by Peter Parker’s humble abode once he heard how hot Peter’s aunt was? Is Tony going to make every Marvel fan boy extremely uncomfortable when he inevitable hits on Aunt May? Who has a better shot at getting lucky at homecoming? Peter Parker or Tony Stark?

So yeah, Aunt May is hot, and Tony Stark might try to do dirty things to her. 2016 is a strange place.

Well we have veered off away from our original intentions but I realized something in the writing of this blog. Spider-Man and Batman are two of the biggest superheroes out there. But the world can’t seem to handle both of them at the same time. The 80’s and early 90’s were dominated by Batman, the early 2000’s were Spidey’s time to shine. And then in 2007 the Spider-Man bubble burst just in time for The Dark Knight to sweep in and take over. Now Batman is trending down with Spidey’s near future looking bright. All in all this is really just a therapy session for you isn’t it? And I’m the therapist reassuring you that the Cape Crusader will surely be back on top in no time. Probably when Sony takes back the rights to Spider-Man after Marvel gets them a shit load of money.  Because Sony makes bad decisions.

Do you feel better now Jesse?

Jesse: Not really. I want to have my cake and eat it too. More awesome movies for Batman and a nice rebound for Spidey. And while I have complete faith in Affleck’s abilities as a director, I have zero faith that DC won’t mess up the rest of its universe. Sigh. Maybe it’s time to upgrade to a PS4 so I can play Arkham Knight and forget about my pain.

So who won our little debate? Both of them have enjoyed a good amount of success and will continue to be pop culture icons for years to come. However, if Captain America: Civil War is as good as it looks (and we both know it is), then I think the whole world is about to fall back in love with Spider-Man on the big screen. And that may tip the scales in webhead’s favor.

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