"Why couldn't they just talk it out?" This was among the first questions asked by disappointed fans after seeing Warner Brothers' Batman v Superman in theaters. It sounds like a simple premise, one that perhaps was too simple when considering the complexity of the story brought to life by director Zack Snyder.
But the film that's been bombarded with criticism could definitely have went in a very different direction, if only that question had been answered. Therein lays yet another reason why DC continues to miss the mark, while Marvel continues to succeed.
This is about telling a story, and the guys at Marvel Studios are some of the best storytellers in the game.
Civil War is a fundamental disagreement between the film's two main characters. Tony Stark believes that the time has come for The Avengers to be held accountable. He sees the devastation caused by their actions, and he knows that something must be done in order to stop the damage.
Siding with the government seems like the best course of action, and it's that notion that immediately divides Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
Steve Rogers is on the other side, and he believes that The Avengers are better left to their own devices. He sees the bigger picture, and knows that surrendering just an ounce of personal freedom could equal a complete surrender later.
The government has no business being in charge of The Avengers, and Captain America cannot bring himself to believe otherwise.
This is where the conflict begins, and the two heroes spend the rest of the movie in verbal, as well as physical, battle. But despite how aggressive they become or how high the stakes are, they never lose their humanity along the way.
They don't want to kill each other, they just want to get back on the same page.
Batman v Superman is a war between the film's two main characters. Bruce Wayne has decided that Superman must pay for the collateral damage caused when he fought Zod above Metropolis.
The best way to make that happen? Kill The Man of Steel. Without even making the effort to contact Superman, Wayne devises a plan to capture and kill him. Bruce doesn't know if he will succeed, and all he has at his disposal are the toys manufactured by WayneTech.
He also has his genius, which completely ignores the mounting number of lives Superman has saved.
Batman v Superman is about the fight. The entire film is a frustratingly long setup for the apocalyptic war that rages between the two heroes at the end. This is not about doing the right thing, or fighting differences of opinion in an effort to solve a problem.
This is DC's two biggest heroes of all time throwing down like it's WrestleMania because Warner Brothers wants fans to get on board as soon as possible for the expanded universe.
Civil War just does not have that vibe.
Even the film's big airport fight is not the shoot 'em up melee that it could have been. Instead, it's almost a sense of dread that accompanies the scene, mostly because no one wants to see The Avengers fighting each other.
The entire fight is laced with moments that connects every character, with a back-drop of humor and action. These characters don't want to kill each other; they're teammates and friends. This is the superhero concept fully realized; these are real people with real problems fighting to make a difference though the world wants them gone.
If fans had a choice of which universe to live in, Marvel would surely win out. It's the closest thing to reality that anyone could hope for. DC's Universe is headlined by two powerful and ego driven heroes that care more about fighting each other rather than helping people.
Marvel's cinematic universe, much like their books, focuses on the characters under the masks. DC continues to focus on the masks, instead of the characters. This is why Marvel remains ahead of the curve on the big screen.
Once again the storytelling wins out, and it always will.