Why Ben Affleck is Good for Batman (and Superman)


Silver Linings Superhero is a regular column from Sean Robinson, which tries to show the more positive aspects of current comic events, and remind you that things aren’t all that bad. If you would like to suggest something for a future column, drop us a line!

I think I am one of the few who actually quite enjoyed Man of Steel. No, it was not a good Superman film, and yes, the film certainly had its problems with script and directing, but I thought it was a stylistic and exciting science-fiction film. So when Batman/Superman (or whatever they decide to call it) was announced, I got interested. Maybe the gang over at Warner Brothers and DC could turn the ship from brooding, post Dark Knight Superman, by contrasting him with the only one who could conceivably be actually darker, Batman himself.

Then Ben Affleck was announced, and I became more excited than I thought I could be. No, he’s not John Hamm or Karl Urban, two of the more inspired choices for the role.

He’s something better:


Let me begin by dealing with the elephant in the room. Affleck’s last superhero film, 2003’s Daredevil, was not good. In fact, it was bad. But that’s just it – it was ten years ago. The films being thrown around for the argument against the man are all from around the same point in time when Affleck was a gossip magazine hot-topic – and he has most definitely moved past that to become a decent actor and one hell of a director. It’d be the same if we judged Joss Whedon on his writing in Alien: Resurrection – it’s just not fair.

Now, I did use the word “decent” when I described Ben Affleck as an actor, because its an apt description of where he stands right now. To echo Matt Damon in regard to the role, it’s not some kind of Oscar-worthy performance – it’s Batman. Affleck has enough range that he can portray the billionaire-playboy Bruce Wayne, and also the dark and broken Batman, and he has done a similar role in Hollywoodland as Superman actor George Reeves. In that film he dances between depression and acting the complete opposite to an audience. Sounds like someone else we know, doesn’t it?

Returning to his directorial abilities, back around this time last year rumors circulated that Affleck was offered the Justice League film to direct – but he would only accept it if he could star in a main role. Fast forward a year, and we now we have Affleck cast as Batman, and no one set for the Justice League director’s chair. Could this mean that he has changed his mind? Is an Affleck directed Justice League around the corner? I sure hope so.

In regards to the Man of Steel universe, and this new darker and edgier version of Superman, we get an older Batman who “bears the scars of a seasoned crime fighter”. We are already aware of Batman and his back-story – his last outing only finished last year – so the audiences don’t really need a retread of the story of Bruce Wayne. Does this mean that we see a Batman who has already mostly worked through the problems surrounding his parents’ deaths, and could in fact bring the levity back to what we want to see from Superman? If anyone could pull off a slightly lighter, and older Batman than we are used to, then it would be Affleck.

This could change up the relationship between the two – Batman is there to remind Superman about his humanity – Superman could be molded by Batman to the man he always wanted to be, but never could. It would be a fresh take on the mythos, without pulling too much away from what we already know, and it could act as damage control from the problems people had with Man of Steel’s script, returning us to the Superman we know and love.

I am not saying that Batman/Superman won’t have problems. David S. Goyer is back writing the script, and while he is a great writer,  he never quite grasped the character of Superman in Man of Steel. Snyder is also a point of worry for some people, with his eclectic directing style a polarizing aspect. But in regard to Affleck – give the man a chance. He may just surprise you.

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Review: Batman & Superman #1 Greg Pak, Jae Lee & Ben Oliver

batman-superman1I am in complete agreement with a whole lot of sentiments being thrown around the Internet. We need another Batman or Superman comic just as much as we need another X-Men title – they just keep coming, and there’s going to be a point of over-saturation. So when Batman\Superman #1 dropped into stores, I merely bought it because I felt I should check it out – and I’m glad I did. Greg Pak and Jae Lee (with Ben Oliver on art duties for the last few pages) have begun something that while it  doesn’t entirely break the mold in the written sense, is still a good story in among some of the most unique and impressive art I have seen in a while.

Firmly rooted in New52 continuity, Batman/Superman #1 sets up the first time the  two met. While it doesn’t initially address the continuity issue of their apparent first time meeting back in Justice League #1, Pak decides to instead have Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne first meet as Clark investigates the murders of Wayne Enterprise employees. Their initial meeting is great, as it reaffirms each of their own personal philosophies, while also pointing out the flaws as well. It’s not new ground whatsoever, but it does help to highlight that this pairing comes from two very different people.

Pak also brings back the signature double narrators that was made popular during the initial run. I’ve always been a huge fan of this form of storytelling – if it’s used correctly. Too often it can appear cluttered and noisy, but Pak doesn’t fall into this trap and manages to control this aspect well. He makes sure each character gets their due, before moving onto the next one. It works really well.

The real star of this issue is Lee’s art though. Each panel is absolutely beautiful – a soft watercolour effect mixed with a muted colour palette making the work look stunning. It’s a shame that he doesn’t do the entire issue however, as Ben Oliver steps up for the final few pages. Oliver isn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination and his work manages to hold his own against Lee, but it does feel a bit jarring when we move to a more pencil drawn approach. Just give Oliver his own title to truly show off his work and that’ll make everyone happy.

With the introduction of a more magical based villain, drawing on the back-ups of Batman in recent months, Batman/Superman is off to a great start. While it doesn’t appear to be breaking any new ground story-wise – just a standard buddy story for two of DC’s biggest hitters – the choice of artist really makes it stand out. If Pak and Lee can keep this momentum going, those qualms of over-saturation will be soon forgotten.

Webcomic Wednesday – Adventures of Superman

Ok I know. DC’s weekly digital instalment, Adventures of Superman, isn’t exactly a webcomic. But technically it’s digital first and it’s a comic so I’ll allow it. Plus it’s the 75th anniversary of the quintessential superhero, and I haven’t had a chance to give this title much love.

So here goes.  


Hello and welcome to Webcomic Digital Wednesday! Each week I take a look at a webcomic digital comic and let you know what I think about it. This week I’m taking a look at one of DC’s newest line ups of weekly digital comics, the brilliant Adventures of Supermanwhich incorporates a wide swathe of talent from across the industry.


I’ll admit I have never been a huge Superman fan until recently. With Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, the 75th anniversary of Superman, and the recent effort on DC’s part to promote the man, he’s seen a big resurgence. Adventures of Superman is the next step in this promotion, a series of one-shots crafted by industry talent, big and small, each telling a different story of the man. And it is brilliant.

There isn’t any pressure to fit in with the rest of the universe – no problems with continuity or New 52 garbage. These are just straight Superman tales, each only limited by the creators imagination, as they each try to capture a piece of his day to day life.

There is just so much heart to these stories, and they are often told in inventive and fun ways. From standard, “beat the bad guy” stories, to children pretending to play as Superman and Brainiac, each tale feels unique and so far it hasn’t stumbled. If you ever needed an excuse to get into Superman stories, look no further.

So far my favourite is the second issue, written and drawn by Jeff Lemire. But don’t take my word for it, check out the series here , or on any device with the Comixology/DC app. For a dollar a pop, it’s a steal.

Have any webcomics you want me to check out? Let me know on my twitter @Pipes815, or send me a message via our contact form.