Attack of the movie clones: Captain America vs. Superman vs. Batman

Ever notice how rival movie studios often seem to release suspiciously similar movies in the same season. I mean really, can it be a coincidence that two movies as alike as “Olympus Has Fallen” and “White House Down” came out at virtually the same time?

I can think of other fairly blatant examples off the top pf my head. Hello, Antz and A Bug’s Life. The same year that gave us the dueling insect biographies also saw the release of both Deep Impact and Armageddon about rocks from space coming to destroy the earth. (This was only a year after we’d run screaming from competing volcano disasters in both Dante’s Peak, and Volcano.) Anyway, the list is pretty long.

Iconic characters such as Superman and Batman who have delighted generations of fans and saved the world too many times to count deserve better than to get sucked into this kind of movie schmuck one-upsmanship. But it looks like they’re in it cape deep.

There are just too many ways that this spring’s DC characters showing up in Batman v Superman: The Dawn of Justice mirrors what rival comic book brand Marvel has been leading up to in Captain America: Civil War.

The conflict: Civil War has Iron Man coming around to the idea that super heroes need to be registered and controlled – rather than just being vigilantes. (They did basically destroy two cities – including New York – in the first two Avengers movies.) Military and government hearings agree. Captain America has issues with the notion of getting a permit for his heroics and a brawl ensues between him, Iron Man and their buddies.

BvS has Superman convinced that Batman is a vigilante who should operate under the rule of law. Batman is likewise convinced that Superman is an uncontrolled threat to the population at large. (And we see government hearings debating that fact.) A superheroic brawl ensues.

In the end, of course, Captain America, Iron Man, and the rest of the Marvel gang always team up to work together for the greater good – fighting evil and protecting the Earth. They’re the Avengers.

The BvS’s subtitle The Dawn of Justice shows our heroes, now united, plus Wonder Woman, deciding to track down Aquaman, The Flash, and the rest of the DC gang to form the Justice League to y’know fight evil and protect the Earth.

Pretty neat trick. Like something out of The Illusionist. Or was it The Prestige? Which one was which again? I mean the period piece drama about a magician released in 2006.

Maybe that’s why Batman v Superman left fans feeling so hollow. We want to see our childhood heroes sticking it to the bad guys – not used as pawns to stick it to the other good guys from a competing media corporation.