Release Date: March 25, 2016
The story: It’s been a year and a half since the events of Man of Steel, and in that time Superman has busied himself becoming the world’s greatest superhero. But the destruction at the end of the last movie—to say nothing of Superman’s potential for evil should he use his powers irresponsibly—is great enough that many people remain suspicious of the Man of Tomorrow, including Lex Luthor and Bruce Wayne, a.k.a. Batman. Luthor blows up Congress and kidnaps Superman’s mom, setting in motion a complex (and frankly convoluted) chain of events that lead to Batman fighting Superman. Although obviously outclassed in terms of power, Batman manages to outwit Superman with the aid of Kryptonite. Batman relents when he realizes both heroes mothers’ are named “Martha.” (Yes, really.) Wonder Woman shows up in time to help both heroes overcome their differences and fight Doomsday, created by Luthor using Kryptonian technology to mutate General Zod’s corpse. Ultimately Luthor’s deception is revealed, but not before Superman “dies” saving Metropolis from Doomsday. Batman and Wonder Woman end the movie by vowing to assemble as many other super-powered individuals as they can find to help battle evil in Superman’s name.
Noteworthy events: The first appearance of Batman, Wonder Woman, and Lex Luthor in the DC Cinematic Universe, and first cameo appearances of Aquaman, Cyborg, and the Flash. Perhaps the most divisive superhero film ever made, it continues to stir debate in fan circles – a debate not lessened by the recent release of a three-hour extended cut that promised to “fix” many of the original version’s more glaring weaknesses. By far the biggest winner in the fight between Batman and Superman, however, has been Wonder Woman, whose first cinematic appearance was roundly hailed a success even among many who disliked the movie.