10 Comics To Read Before Batman vs Superman Movie

10. Superman: Speeding Bullets (1993)

Written by J.M. DeMatteis, illustrated by Eduardo Barreto. This Elseworlds tale isn't the greatest alternative version of Superman or Batman, but it does operate on a somewhat interesting premise: the amalgamation of the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight. When Kal-El's Kryptonian rocket lands on Earth, Thomas and Martha Wayne rescue the baby and name him Bruce. Bruce's powers reveal themselves after the death of his parents, and he eventually uses them to administer a harsh form of justice to the wrongdoers of Gotham City. "Speeding Bullets" mashes together DC's Big 2 into one character - and does the same with Lex Luthor and the Joker - to varying degrees of effectiveness. It makes this list not because of the quality of the story, but because of what it manages to articulate about the differences between Superman and Batman. More importantly, it explores how the formative years and experiences of Bruce Wayne/Clark Kent inform the kind of heroes they will one day become. How will it influence Batman vs. Superman? It won't be a direct influence, obviously. On the off-chance we ever get to see an Elseworlds-style DC Comics movie, it would be incredibly disappointing if "Speeding Bullets" was the one they chose to make. Still, the book does well to examine how differently things could have turned out. The kind of weight placed on exactly how a hero is made, whether by empirical or inborn mechanisms, is actually quite common in Superman Elseworlds (see "The Nail" and "Red Son"). But "Speeding Bullets" manages to look at both Batman and Superman with the same lens, and a movie team-up or Justice League film should attempt to do the same.
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Matt is a writer and musician living in Boston. Read his film reviews at http://motionstatereview.wordpress.com.