Saturday, August 24, 2013

Affleck and Batman and other Super Hero Thoughts

Over the past few days, the internet has been aflutter with news that Ben Affleck has been chosen as the new Batman.   While there are more important items to focus on in the news, sometimes insignificant stories such as this are needed to break the monotony of terrible things we often see in the news.

So, I thought I would humor the news and share my thoughts and views on his selection, as well as some of the past superhero decisions.  Since we are talking about Ben Affleck, let's start out with Daredevil.  Now, I thought the Daredevil movie was okay.  It was not mind blowing, and it was not horrible, just okay...  For me, Ben did a pretty good job, but the movie itself was not the best portrayal of his character.  If Daredevil were made now, within the new Marvel Movie Universe, I think we would see a movie of a much higher caliper.  Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, The Avengers, and Wolverine have all set the groundwork for a believable universe in which to reintroduce the characters that failed to captivate the past audiences.

Even an attempt to bring us DC's Green Lantern was not an utter failure.  I actually enjoyed Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan.  Sure, he was not as serious as I would have wanted him to be, but he played the role well.  I do see him more as Deadpool, which he would undoubtedly be amazing at.

One thing I have learned from growing up with comic books, and some of you comic living friends may be able to back me up here, is that the heroes (and villains) did not always choose their destine, fate did.  Many of them were unlikely heroes, Spiderman is a great example.  From the outside, he was just an ordinary kid, nothing special except his intellect, and happened to be in the right place at the right time.  No one would have ever guessed that there was anything spectacular or amazing about him.  But there was, and he made a huge difference in the Marvel Universe.

If characters in a comic can be portrayed by those that do not "fit the bill" as a superhero, why can't real life actors play characters that seem an inconceivable fit?  In my opinion, choosing Ben Affleck as Batman is a great choice.  Visually, he is believable.  His voice is a match (with some voice coaching, his ridiculed Boston accent can be gone).  Everything about him screams that he fits the role, especially since he is not a likely choice.

When young Bruce Wayne witnessed the unforgiving murder of his parents, he was in no shape to make a decision to dress like a caricature of a bat and rid Gotham of inconceivable villains, the likes the world had never seen.  No, he took his anger, his hate, his sadness, and his hope for a better future and evolved into the hero that he as become.  The super villains just sort of came along with time.  Bruce's evolution was not exactly planned, instead it was a process that our unlikely character slowly transitioned through.  That is why Ben Affleck will be a good fit for Batman, he is not the choice of the masses, yet he will fit in fine.

The only issue I have with Ben Affleck as Batman is summed up in one question.  How long will he be willing to portray the caped crusader?  Too often, especially with Batman; Superman; and Spiderman, we see multiple characters take the role for short periods of time.  For the sake of continuity we need someone that is in it for the long hall.  This is why I am happy that they did not include Spiderman in the Avengers (ignoring the fact that Spiderman is a FOX franchise at the moment).  If we are to create a believable universe, we need continuity.  It is my hope that Ben Affleck will eventually be accepted by the masses, but even more so, I hope he is in it for the long haul.  If we have a glimmer of hope for the Justice League to become just as amazing as the Avengers, and for DC to find its imprint in the Cinematic World as Marvel has, we need to see believable characters that grow within their roles and mesh well with the rest of the universe.  Not to mention that they need to stay true to the origins of the comics.  (Notice I did not mention X-Men in here anywhere....sigh, they started out okay, but after the third it went downhill.  I hope the next one brings things back into line).

In closing, I feel that the negative hype about Ben Affleck is not warranted.  Forget who he is, let's see who he becomes.  We did it with Heath Ledger and Michael Keaton, and both absorbed themselves into their roles, becoming icons for generations to come.

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