Poll: The Battle of the 2016 Superhero Smackdown Movies

This summer brings us to a strange point in the proliferation of modern comic book movies. The superheroes from both major franchises, Marvel and DC, have beaten so many of their most famous villains that they’ve now taken to in-fighting amongst their own friends and allies. Which superhero smackdown movie are you more excited to see, ‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice’ or ‘Captain America: Civil War’?

I like most of the Marvel franchise movies and was especially a fan of ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’, so it stands to reason that I’m most eager for ‘Civil War’. However, I must acknowledge that Marvel does sometimes stumble (badly at times), and I’m a little concerned with the way the movie appears to be shoehorning in a ton of peripheral characters as if this were a new ‘Avengers’ team-up project. I really didn’t like the way that ‘Age of Ultron’ introduced straight-up magic and mysticism into the Marvel universe, and it concerns me to see Scarlet Witch get more screen time here. I’m still generally optimistic for the film, but my enthusiasm is perhaps a little tempered. Is Marvel simply getting too ambitious for its own good?

‘Batman v. Superman’ appears to have a similar problem with the way it crams in roles for Wonder Woman and Aquaman (both making their first screen appearances) in what’s been promoted as a mano-a-mano conflict between the title characters. Unlike some viewers, I actually didn’t hate ‘Man of Steel’, perhaps because I set my expectations for it so low. Nonetheless, it was far from my favorite superhero movie, and I’m generally wary of anything Zack Snyder makes. I will reserve judgement on the new Ben Affleck incarnation of Batman until I see how he does, but he looks to be handling the role well in the trailers.

I’m sure I’ll eventually watch both of these movies, but if forced to choose just one, ‘Civil War’ would get my vote first.

Based on what we know of them so far, which movie do you favor?

Which 2016 Superhero Smackdown Are You Most Excited For?

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  1. photogdave

    Hate to say it but…I’m sick of superhero movies. I was a big time comics collector in the 80s and 90s but the only marvel superhero movies that have done it for me are the X-Men series (minus Last Stand), the first Iron Man and Guardians of the Galaxy. From DC I’ve only enjoyed the Nolan Batmans (and the Burton ones, but that’s going back too far now).
    This Dawn of Justice thing looks like they took one of the coolest parts of The Dark Knight Returns and expanded it into a feature with a stupid-looking Lex Luthor. The trailer looks pretty bad.

  2. Ryan

    I don’t like Captain America. And besides Guardians…I haven’t liked a Marvel movie since (I think) Thor.

    I know I’m in the minority, but I LOVE Man of Steel. Besides the tornado scene, I thought it was perfect. I would have preferred a true Man of Steel sequel….but I have my fingers crossed that this one will be good

  3. Chris B

    I loved The Winter Soldier and would like to see the follow-up. However, I’m a way bigger fan of Batman than Captain America and I really enjoyed MOS even with all it’s flaws. I’m going to do my best to catch B Vs. S in the theatre….provided it doesn’t get horrendous reviews.

  4. Elizabeth

    The fact that they went straight from Man of Steel to BvS tells me that they didn’t trust a second Zack Snyder Superman to pull in a big audience. And the fact that they also brought in Wonder Woman says they weren’t even sure if adding Batman would be enough after the reception that The Dark Knight Rises got. And then just to pile on in case Batman fighting Superman with Wonder Woman tossed in for no reason, they added another villlian with Lex Luthor. And just in case all that wasn’t excessive enough, they teased another villain showing up. All in all it continues to seem like desperation to replicate the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Heck, just looking at all the stuff that has already been revealed makes this movie feel like an exhausting mess.

    • Deaditelord

      Perhaps my memory is faulty here, but wasn’t the Dark Knight Rises successful and generally well received?

      As for Superman, I’m convinced the fans don’t know what they want from the character. They make one in the spirit of the original Christopher Reeve films and fans complain about it being too schmaltzy. Personally, I enjoyed Superman Returns and will continue defending the movie until the day I die. In any case, Warner Bros. decides to make a grittier version of the character in Man of Steel (which I also liked) to address fan criticisms and the fans bitch about the character straying from it’s original incarnation. “Superman would never break a villain’s neck. Blah, blah, blah…”

      Don’t take my comments as a direct criticism of you Elizabeth. It’s not meant to be. Your comment just seemed like the perfect springboard for my thoughts.

      To quickly address the poll, I’d probably lean a little towards Captain America only because I’m not convinced that Jesse Eisenberg can pull off Lex Luthor. I also agree with concerns that both films have too many superheroes/villains.

      • Csm101

        I don’t think Dark Knight Rises was that well received. It was successful financially, but I got the vibe that most people were pretty disappointed.

        • Deaditelord

          Wow, I had no idea that’s how people felt about the Dark Knight Rises. In my social circle (which admittedly is somewhat small), the consensus was that the movie was very good although a bit too long . That would be my assessment of the movie too.

          • Csm101

            I checked rotten tomatoes and it has an 87%. Which is really solid, but almost everyone I know, and reading these types of blogs, nobody seems that happy with it…. Go figure.

  5. Timcharger

    “The fact that they went straight from Man of Steel to BvS…”
    …kind of saves a lot of time.

    “…with Wonder Woman tossed in for no reason,”
    How do you know, that there is no reason?

    And it avoids all the obvious complaints of
    Thor 2, Iron 3, Capt 2… why didn’t the other
    Avengers go help save the Earth?

    Superman arriving on Earth in Man of Steel, a
    near-god appearing on Earth, that should bring
    out the crazies and other supers real quick.

    Don’t need 3 Man of Steel films before tying in
    the other major characters of this universe.

    • Elizabeth

      Superman was barely introduced as a character in MoS. This Batman isn’t the Nolan Batman as far as I’m aware so he was never introduced. But they’ve decided to throw in the kitchen sink anyhow.

      And it really doesn’t solve the problem of where the other supers are. Where were they in MoS when Zod was destroying the planet? Or was that somehow not big enough to warrant their attention? Does Wonder Woman not pay attention to the rest of the world? Do they not have Internet on her home island? Did Batman see the news and say, “I’ve got nothing.” and go back to the Bat Cave?

      I am reminded of the horrible last 2 Batman movies from the Tim Burton movies where they shoved in way too many characters; it wasn’t enough to just have Poison Ivy so they shoved in Bane and Mr. Freeze. This just seems more of the same. And since I didn’t really care for MoS, I don’t really have any faith in Snyder making this one any better.

      Plus there was that subplot in MoS about Superman having the DNA of every Kryptonian in his blood that appears to be getting ignored. I’m guessing maybe it was supposed to be in what would have been the actual sequel. Or maybe Snyder had no clue what he was doing with that and is hoping everyone forgets about it.

      Sorry. Nothing is going to convince me this wasn’t an act of desperation on the part of DC/WB to establish a shared universe. But unlike Marvel, they haven’t laid a very good foundation.

      • The last two movies in the original Batman franchise weren’t Tim Burton films, they were directed by Joel Schumacher….but thanks for comin’ out. 😉

      • Timcharger

        Being a nerd, let’s talk superhero shop.

        So your question about why Wonder Woman didn’t
        show up in Man of Steel? That’s not an issue UNTIL
        her character is introduced. Thor 2, Iron Man 3,
        Capt Amer 2 can make that complaint because
        Avengers established their mutual world.

        Until BvS introduces Wonder Woman, you CAN’T
        fault Man of Steel for not having her help save the
        the world. You can’t retroactively make this
        complaint. We can’t complain, why didn’t the other
        Avengers help in Iron Man 1.


        Your question about Batman’s “I got nothing” and
        doesn’t join the fight against General Zod. (This
        is very nerdy.) Batman is really just a “sheriff” to
        Gotham. And the “sheriff” doesn’t really go with
        Seal Team 6 to fight global terrorism. Superman
        is that global response guy. Just go with the
        analogy. I think you get it. But I’m sure if Zod &
        gang went to Gotham City, Sheriff Wayne would
        meet them at the town square to defend his city.


        I’m just saying if 4 is an “exhausting mess” in BvS,
        Capt Amer has what, 8-10 characters?

        If BvS’s 4 supers look desperate to you, Civil War
        8/9/10 supers must be closing-time, beer-goggles
        kind of desperate.

  6. Al

    Let’s be honest with each other. They both look like total desperation moves. Regardless of which one looks “better”, I highly doubt that anybody thinks that either one of them look good.

  7. eric

    MAN OF STEEL exceeded my expectations, but it was far from great. I haven’t been able to sit through the latest Avengers movie. I have tried three times.

  8. EM

    Hero-vs.-hero may seem a novelty to movie-superhero fans, but to comics-superhero fans it’s an old trope, particularly where Marvel is concerned.

    Hasn’t magic or mysticism been part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe since at least Thor? I don’t know how they did it in (the film) Age of Ultron, but in comics the Scarlet Witch’s powers haven’t always been magical, despite her codename. For a while there was a conceit that her “hex power” was strictly a mutant (read: science-based) ability to affect probabilities. She then trained with the witch Agatha Harkness and later the sorcerer Doctor Strange (who has a movie coming up) to learn “actual” magic. Over the years the conception of her mutant powers and their source has varied. At one point it was revealed that while she was in the womb, the dark Elder God Chthon had reshaped her mutant powers for a more magical bent, and later still it was posited that her abilities were never so much about probabilities as about “chaos magic”. Recently her origin (which is far more complicated than I’m letting on here) was further tweaked to indicate that she and her twin brother Quicksilver aren’t even mutants but subjects of genetic manipulation who were “disguised” as mutants…that doesn’t necessarily change the magic angle, though.

    In comics, the Witch’s codename uses the standard spelling of the adjective scarlet…unlike the first name of Black Widow actress Scarlett Johansson.

    • Josh Zyber

      In the movie universe, Thor is an alien from a planet whose technology is so advanced that it looks like magic to us, but it’s not actually magic. In Age of Ultron, however, Scarlet Witch is introduced as having straight-up magic powers, in order to set the stage for Doctor Strange later. The Cinematic Universe started out with a mostly science fiction leaning, but has progressively added more fantastical concepts as it goes along so that Marvel can integrate its more out-there characters.

      I’ve fixed the “Scarlet” typo. You’ll have to cut me some slack on that. I wrote this post all of 7 minutes before it needed to run. 🙂

      • EM

        In the comics, Asgardians are otherdimensional aliens, not that such angle comes up much. However, I’m not aware that their magicks have ever been attributed to advanced technology. Usually in Marvel Comics, magic is magic. As for the movies’ situation, I’m not sure why, if the Asgardians’ seemingly magical feats can be rooted in science beyond current human understanding, a mutant’s seemingly magical feats can’t be rooted in science beyond current human understanding. (Disclaimer: I haven’t seen either of the Thor movies or Age of Ultron.)

        That said, if a viewer is uncomfortable with a shift in tone or mythologic framework (“the rules”), I can sympathize. On the other hand, I have long found the mishmash of genres to be one of the Marvel comics universe’s most alluring traits—and so the shift you describe doesn’t seem like a shift at all, in that context. The fact that a single team can include (for example) a god, an android, a magic wielder, and an extraterrestrial makes Marvel’s fictive comics world all the more interesting a place to visit.

        Slack has been cut. 🙂 No need to wear that extraneous scarlet letter (which evidently would stand for “typo”)!

  9. Csm101

    If they were both released on the same day, I’d pick Civil War, but it doesn’t mean I wouldn’t go see BvS soon thereafter. I’m more optimistic about Captain America though. I’ll probably go see them both on their opening days or the Thursday before. As far as Marvel being to ambitious for introducing magic into their movies, I think it’s a good thing. I don’t mind magic and mysticism being brought in to either universe. The comics do it. Sometimes it’s easier for me to suspend disbelief because something is magic rather than some farfetched “science”. It would of been much easier for me to swallow the overheating humans from Iron Man 3 if it were magic and not technology. I’m not going to talk any more shit until I see the final product. I hope I get blown away by both of them, but my expectations are in check.

    • Deaditelord

      You’ve pretty much summarized where I am at with Captain America and Batman vs. Superman. I have doubts about both movies, but barring god awful reviews I’ll be there opening weekend hoping for the best.

  10. As someone who grew up collecting comics in the 90’s, seeing film studios actually spending hundreds of millions of dollars to make these movies is something me and my friends used to fantasize about all the time. Now that it’s a reality,it seems like only a small percentage of movie or superhero “fans” are happy with the movies that are being released. I can’t help but shake my head…

  11. Bryan

    I’ll see both in the theaters, but I’m way more excited for Captain America: Civil War. (I grew up reading pretty much every title that Marvel published from the late ’70’s to the early ’90’s, and even a lot of them since then) So I’ve been thrilled to finally see all these characters on the big screen.

    I kind of liked Man Of Steel, but didn’t think it was spectacular. However, as a fan of comic book movies in general, I’ll still be checking it out.

  12. CC

    The superhero who has the superstrength to end these endless string of carbon copy superhero movies.
    You DO REALIZE they are all the same damn movie, right? Marvel & DC are playing you…

  13. Clark

    I’ll watch both, as I love movie events. But I think both will suck. I’m really tired of super heroes and I feel the last Marvel movies were really boring (specially The Winter Soldier and Avengers 2), so my expectations for Civil War are low. I guess I’m more excited about Batman v Superman, but this movie just looks like a desperate attempt to replicate Marvel’s business plan.

  14. Thulsadoom

    I’ll be waiting for Blu Ray. Mainly because the cinema is just SO damned expensive these days. We made the effort to see Force Awakens (what a waste of money/time that was), but by the end of it, I could’ve bought 3 full price Blu Rays, or even 5 cheaper ones!!! 😉

    As for the films themselves, I haven’t been impressed by either Capt. A films, even though this looks like ‘Avengers 3′ anyway. But then if you look at the Avengers films, Age of Ultron was mediocre popcorn fun at best, and a step down from the first Avengers movie, which itself wasn’t exactly the greatest, but was good fun.

    Batman Vs Superman looks outright stupid. Superman is, well, SO super powered, that a fight between them can be nothing more than Batman trying to hit superman, superman lets him for a bit, then in exasperation says “What what! Enough of this pointless pugilism, you cowled scoundrel! I have no desire to end your puny human existence, at this juncture in time! Know your limits, you scallywag!” Then they team up to fight something worse, because of how pointless their own conflict is.

    On the other hand, having recently had a superman fest and watching all of the films on Blu Ray (from original Donner to MofS) and even Supergirl on streaming (Mmm… Helen Slater), I thought Man of Steel stands up well. It is probably the best Superman film up until the fighting starts on Earth. Then it just devolves into stupid levels of destruction. Until that point, things are actually played quite logically and try to make some sense. Even the Donner original relied too much on illogical coincidence and fantasy (And I’m sorry, I thought the Donner cut of Superman II was far worse than the theatrical, except for removing some of the sillier bits). MofS tried to explain Superman’s OTT powers with at least SOME pretense of logic within the universe they established (Though Christopher Reeve will always be THE Superman, despite the original films’ flaws).

    I’ve always hated the Lex Luther character, as played by Hackman in the Reeve films, though. He was stupid and annoying, and the new one looks as bad, if not worse (Jesse Eisenberg is one of the most annoying actors going, at the moment). So that’s another negative for BvS, in my book.

    So basically, both look to be the usual silly super-hero popcorn fun, but nothing more. I’m a little more curious to see what happens with BvS, just out of sheer curiosity. Snyder might fall on his face, but at least he’ll fall trying to do something different. Civil War will undoubtedly just be another churned out merchandise machine.

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