Years ago, The Dark Knight Returns answered the age-old question of who would win in a fight between Batman and Superman (spoilers: Batman won). Next year, the two titans have at it all over again, prompting fans everywhere to revisit their dusty old comic book collections in hope of predicting the outcome of Batman v Superman.
For some fans Superman is unbeatable (Doomsday says hi) and for others Kryptonians are no match for conservative American playboys. However, it looks as if star Henry Cavill has a different solution in mind. Yeah, Batman may have a big-ass mech suit like he does in the movie, and Superman may basically be a god, however all of that is superfluous and dependent on the creative behind the fight. Batman wearing a scaled-down Hulkbuster isn’t an integral part of him, but can rather be added or taken away at the writer’s will. What can’t be taken away or changed is the core of the characters, which is why Cavill believes the only person who can beat Superman is Superman himself.
“People think Kryptonite can beat him. No. The only thing that can really beat Superman is Superman. His own noggin messing with him. His own moral choices. When you have that to start with, the storytelling can really delve into something rich.”
“It’s like shagging someone for the first time. Sometimes it turns out to be amazing. Mostly you’re trying to get each other’s rhythm going. It’s on the next go that you start to expand.”
Well, I suppose that’s as good an analogy as any.
He’s completely right. In this age of anti-heroes and morally grey leading characters, Superman represents the opposite of that and subsequently gets called “boring”. You always have to remember with every character that nobody is boring. Just because their parents weren’t shot in front of their eyes or they’re not a blind lawyer vigilante doesn’t mean they’re not interesting – dark stuff doesn’t define what’s interesting. Superman is a guy who carries a massive burden wherever he goes; the burden of a secret identity, of protecting people, of being viewed as a god and both loved and hated for it. He also has to live with the fact that he really does have the power to wipe out the human race, and if he one day snapped then that could happen. He’s like a walking nuclear warhead. Of course he’s the only one who can beat Superman.
Hopefully these are some themes and ideas that are gonna be explored in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice next year. It’s the best time to do so, after all.
Head back to The Guardian to read the rest of the interview, which is actually a pretty interesting look into Henry Cavill’s life, covering his body image issues and love of acting. The Man From UNCLE (which looks fucking awesome) is out now!