4 Steps To Make Sure 'Batman vs. Superman' Isn't Terrible

Jeremy Irons -- aka the human form that Scar the lion assumes when he skin-walks as a celebrated English thespian -- just admitted that he has yet to read the script of Batman vs. Superman because it isn't done yet. This is strange, as Irons has already signed on to play Bruce Wayne's manservant Alfred Pennyworth, and you'd really think he'd want to know just how many full-frontal scenes Alf's on the hook for.

Avda/Wikimedia Commons
"Bosh, I don't care. Lions are naked 24/7."

Furthermore, the release date for Batman vs. Superman was recently pushed back to May 6, 2016, where it will compete with Marvel Studios' fifth reboot of Howard the Duck for domination of the summer box office.

Guys, all this is crazy talk, because DC Comics already laid out the easiest template ever for a Batman vs. Superman movie back in 1986. Let's break it down step by step ...

#4. Read Swamp Thing #53

First, we must harness both Hollywood and the comic book industry's storied tradition of yoinking awesome shit Alan Moore wrote a few decades ago and Rumpelstiltskinning it into big bags of money. (See: Matthew McConaughey's final speech on True Detective, which was lifted from dialogue Moore originally penned for a giant alien horse.)

HBO
"I'm a method actor. I lived off mineral licks for months."

Anyway, back in '86, before Watchmen made him famous, Moore wrote Swamp Thing #53. In a nutshell, Swamp Thing's human wife is locked up in Gotham City for bail jumping after a small-town sheriff cuffs her for relations with her plant husband. (Fun fact: Mrs. Swamp Thing has sex with Mr. Swamp Thing by eating a psychotropic orgasmic yam plucked from his torso. Seriously!) Swamp Thing is mighty pissed, so he turns Gotham into a lush jungle -- at least until authorities drop the yam-cest charges.

Enter Batman. He's not impressed that stamens and pistils and tubers and gourds are holding Gotham hostage, so he rolls up in this magnificent rig.

DC Comics
"Hi, Lucius, it's Bruce. I'm hosting a bris. Giant Man's. Yeah, he's converting. You call it 'The Bat-Mohel'? I'll swing by at 4."

Negotiations go as well as they can, considering one party is an unmedicated billionaire in a Nosferatu lumberjack car and the other is an exasperated pile of insoluble fiber.

DC Comics
Y'know, Batman, calling for sober deliberation tends not to work when your bully pulpit is made of chainsaws.

Batman soon realizes there's no arguing with a sass-mouthed compost heap.

DC Comics
This is how you write Batman: understating a flamethrower.

#3. Switch Swamp Thing With Superman

But where's Superman? He never appears in Swamp Thing #53. BUT a gang of sinister industrialists pay this guy $1 million for a 10-minute consult on how to kill Swamp Thing:

DC Comics
Jesse Eisenberg is playing Luthor in Batman vs. Superman, which makes this particular scene weirdly prescient.

That's right -- this issue sees Batman and Lex Luthor independently working toward the same basic goal. To reiterate, Swamp Thing won't leave Gotham. Batman wants Swamp Thing out of Gotham, and so does Luthor (but he's more interested in $1 million).

So what if we replaced Swamp Thing with Superman and Mrs. Swamp Thing with a new motivation to putz around Gotham, like an ancient, weird-ass Kryptonian superweapon that crash lands in the duck pond at Arkham Asylum? (This being Arkham, the ducks are inmates too.) Remember, Zack Snyder's Superman loves snooping around extraterrestrial ruin porn.

DC Comics
He also did a lot of this.

Now we have our central conflict: Superman's in Gotham investigating Kryptonian tech, which he doesn't want to fall into the wrong hands and -- because Cracked's straight-up paying me to write fan fiction today -- turns out to be Brainiac, goddammit. Batman wants Superman out of Gotham because entire city blocks crumble to dust when so much as his TMJ flares up.

Warner Bros.
"Oh shit, he's eating taffy!"

So now we have our impasse. However will we break it?

#2. Wonder Woman Brings It All Together

In Swamp Thing #53, the superheroes' rumble lasts 45 seconds. The Dark Knight incinerates the Dank Knight, who regenerates himself five times over and beats the piss out of Bats.

DC Comics
This scene is way funnier if you imagine Batman's doing the "Charlie Brown missing a football" scream.

But this stripe of one-sided, swamp-assed rugby scrum won't work for a 200-minute, $200 million summer tent pole. Fortunately, Warner Bros.' maniac desire to cram into two movies what Marvel orchestrated in five offers a simple resolution to the battle royal -- Wonder Woman.

Yeah, it's dumb they're using Batman vs. Superman as a stealth pitch for a Wonder Woman flick, but if you must shoehorn her in, here's how to do it:

- At the beginning of the film, a prophecy and/or walleyed crone and/or crime-smelling Antikythera mechanism warns Wonder Woman that Batman and Superman's dickhead shenanigans will trigger an apocalypse.

- Uneager to draw attention to Themyscira, the hidden high-tech island of Amazons where Wonder Woman hangs her hat boomerang tiara, she absconds to Gotham on her giant space kangaroo.

DC Comics
Audiences will anticipate the invisible airplane. It's good to shake up expectations.

- Then, at the film's climax -- just when Batman and Superman are seconds away from their tiebreaker third bout -- she shows up and flat-out wrecks the duo. Surprise! Wonder Woman's the hero, not these knobs!

DC Comics
"I was raised by warriors. Your parents are barley farmers and a hologram."

The rest is easy: Wonder Woman hogties Batman and Superman with her Lasso of Truth, Bruce and Clark share a trust fall and a gentlemen's embrace, and the trio stop Lex Luthor from sticking his brain dingus into Brainiac's doom socket or whatever.

Ta-da, we have our blockbuster! All this plot needs is some garnish ...

#1. Add Composite Superman, That Bad Guy Who's Half Superman and Half Batman, for He Is Fucking Hilarious

See, Hollywood? These movies write themselves!

DC Comics
"Sew your torsos together, Batman! That way you'll be twice as strong as him!"
"Stop dipping into Alfred's laudanum, Robin."


Cyriaque Lamar is a senior editor here at Cracked. He previously proposed that -- in order to honor comic book canon -- Batman vs. Superman should be about badminton. He is on Twitter.

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