Watchmen Artist Believes Batman V Superman Was “Too Dark” To Succeed


With a box office total north of $840 million, it’d be foolish to write off Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice as an out-and-out failure, but it’s fair to say that Zack Snyder’s titanic crossover didn’t quite resonate with the moviegoing masses in the way Warner would’ve hoped – ditto for Suicide Squad, but that’s another story entirely.

Dave Gibbons, the comic book scribe best known for his work on Watchmen and the Kingsman series, recently addressed the shortcomings of Batman V Superman in an interview with, where he claimed that the DC event movie was simply “too dark” to strike a chord with the general audience.

I think the trend in entertainment now is to actually come up with something which is more entertaining, which is less dark, which is much more full of hope. And I think probably the failure of the Superman-Batman movie was that it was really too dark, and that Superman was made as dark as Batman. And to me, that really doesn’t work, I thought that’s the perfect opportunity to contrast the two characters.

In the months following Batman V Superman‘s initial release, critics near and far deemed the film to be a missed opportunity, and that’s a line of thinking that Gibbons clearly agrees with. However, there’s still reason for optimism, particularly now that the DCEU has carved out room for a stellar Wonder Woman solo movie.

This changing tide can also be seen in Warner’s decision to hire Matthew Vaughn for the as-yet-untitled Man of Steel 2and here, Gibbons outlines why Henry Cavill’s costumed crusader needs to be course-corrected in light of his po-faced and downbeat turn in Dawn of Justice.

I know no more than you about Matthew being involved with a Superman movie. To me, off the cuff, it sounds like a really good idea. And I do think it’s the way that these things are evolving. You know, there was a time when superheroes had to be really dark…but I think that the sort of thing that’s popular nowadays is something that’s a bit lighter in tone, that’s a bit more adventurous and a bit more colorful, and I think of things for instance like, The Guardians of the Galaxy or the new Thor movie, or indeed, Kingsman. And, you know, I think that’s the kind of entertainment that Matthew very much understands. And I’d be really intrigued to see his take on Superman. I’m sure it would be really good for the character.

Still no word on when we can expect Man of Steel 2, but rest assured, the wheels have been set in motionWatchmen, on the other hand, recently got the go-ahead from HBO for a spinoff series.

But in circling back to Gibbons and his post-mortem on Batman V Superman, what are your thoughts on Dawn of Justice being labeled as “too dark” for a wide audience? Indeed, is that something you agree with? Do let us know.