We are right up against the release of Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice and Captain America: Civil War. The trailers have been released, marketing campaigns and press junkets are in full swing, and the movie watching public can’t wait for the next chapters in these respective franchises.
The common thread in these upcoming films, besides big budgets, big names, and a whole lot of spectacle is accountability. Typically the heroes take on the villains with reckless abandon, tearing up buildings, blowing up cars while the general public takes cover, the credits roll, and the day is saved..but what happens after? That is the question that looks to be asked and answered in both of these releases. Who is responsible for the damaged buildings, the collateral damage, and the state of a city or country once the dust has settled? Do heroes get a pass because they have saved the day or should they be made to answer for the damage caused and way of life disrupted?
How Did Metropolis Become the ‘City Of Tomorrow’? Superman and Zod Nearly Leveled It
In this Turkish Airlines ad, Lex Luthor tells us that Metropolis is ‘Open For Business’. That’s certainly nice to hear, considering that in Man Of Steel, Superman and General Zod came to Kryptonian strength blows, nearly destroying a substantial portion of the city. Superman was still learning how powerful he really was, while Zod was enraged that Kal-El would not allow his adopted home planet to be terraformed and presumably turned into a new Krypton. While Superman did prevail, buildings were leveled, people were killed, and the landscape of the city irrevocably altered. In the upcoming Batman v Superman, Superman (Henry Cavill) is called in front of the U.S. government to answer for the damage done. Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) is shown in Metropolis during the climactic battle, seeing first hand the kind of destruction that super powered beings can cause. In 6 Superman films, not once has Superman been questioned about the damage he’s caused or allowed to happen, but in this modern climate, this is not going to be glossed over in the plot, nor should it be. A super powered individual who dropped out of the sky and has the strength to bench press an aircraft carrier shouldn’t be allowed to level half a city and not be held accountable. In what manner should he be held accountable? Should we just let Batman handle it? These are questions that will hopefully be answered later this month, upon the film’s release.
Terrorism vs Heroism – Where Does ‘Civil War’ Draw The Line?
Loosely based on Marvel Comics 2006 seminal storyline, Captain America: Civil War also addresses accountability in a fantastic world. The most recent trailer starts with General “Thunderbolt” Ross (William Hurt) reviewing the recent exploits of the MCU’s heroes. The Battle Of New York in Marvel’s The Avengers, the fall of the Triskelion and destruction of Project: Insight in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and the Battle of Sokovia in Avengers: Age Of Ultron highlight a massive amount of destruction. From large chunks of NYC being demolished, to helicarrier wreckage in the Potomac river, to an entire city being levitated and then blown up by Iron Man and Thor, someone has to answer for that. Now the details of the catalyzing incident in the movie are under wraps until release, but it appears a terrorist incident resulting in massive casualties and damage prompt the Superhero Registration Act to be introduced.
The SHRA sanctions heroes to be trained and monitored by S.H.I.E.L.D. and the U.S. government. Any hero not complying is declared a criminal. This concept does not sit well with everyone. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) supports it, Captain America (Chris Evans) does not, leading to all the heroes we’ve seen on film to date choosing sides and some new ones joining the fray, namely the MCU debuts of Black Panther and Spider-Man.
So, how should heroes be held accountable for the destruction they bring about? Do they get a pass because, at the end of the day, they’ve stopped a larger evil? Do you just want to see everyone slugging it out and enjoy the spectacle? Let us know in the comments, on Twitter, or on Facebook.
Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice releases March 25.
Captain America: Civil War releases May 6.