For what may very well be the most anticipated live-action superhero crossover movie ever, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice is shaping up to be quite a disaster. Even though it will probably make boatloads of money, critics and fans alike have so far been trashing BvS for its nonsensical plot, thin characterization, and pretentious mood.
While I hate to say I told you so, I didn't have much faith in this project from the get-go. When it was first announced, it looked like the Warner Bros. executives wanted to take the Batman and Superman fight from the fourth issue of Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns comic book miniseries and shoehorn it into a semi-sequel to Man of Steel. That's exactly what happened--a fragmented, under-developed idea has now blossomed into a fragmented, under-developed movie, so I'm going to pass on this one. Besides, there's only one good outcome for something called "Batman v. Superman": Batman gets to keep the Wayne family fortune, while Superman gets full custody of Robin.
If you choose to sit on the sidelines like me, there are still plenty of worthwhile Batman and Superman adventures out there to enjoy over this weekend. Here are three that I think are the best of the bunch, each of which being much more fun than Zack Snyder's latest over-produced train wreck. Read on ...
3. Batman/Superman Adventures: World's Finest (1997). Many, many great things came out of Bruce Timm and Paul Dini's Batman: The Animated Series, and this is one of them. There isn't a single false note in this movie, which originally aired as a three-part episode of Superman: The Animated Series. There would be other fun crossover adventures involving these versions of Batman and Superman (at least until Justice League showed up on the Cartoon Network in 2001), but this first partnership is the best.
2. Batman: The Brave and the Bold (2008 - 11). Even though this cartoon series had Batman as its main character, The Brave and the Bold as a whole was a passionate love letter to the DC’s Silver Age comics. As such, the episodes where Batman would team up with Superman were filled with all sorts of nods to these characters' weird and wonderful Silver Age adventures. (It also goes a long way that this show features Diedrich Bader, my second favorite Batman after Adam West.)
1. Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes (2012). I reviewed this video game way back when (you can read it here), and I still think that it's one of the best superhero romps ever made. Not only do you get to play as Batman and Superman, but you also get to unlock a large selection of other playable DC superhero characters and explore a Lego-ized, open world version of Gotham City.
Then again, if none of these recommendations appeal to you, there's always this gem from College Humor: