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Say what you will about Batman v Superman. Wonder Woman's entrance was the best of any character since Darth Maul lit up a double-bladed lightsaber.

Warning: there may be some spoilers in this post.

Last week I saw Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and I'm actually going to say that I loved it despite the fact that all the critical reviews were terrible. I think my passion for it has to do with the way Zach Snyder films/portrays superhero action. Disclaimer: I love to watch really powerful heroes and villains slug it out on screen. It's fun, and Zach Snyder uses odd camera angles (to put the viewer in the action) and the clever use of computer graphics makes it look like the punches and sword swings really have a lot of power to them (as opposed to the silly wire work present in CBS's Supergirl). Also, Wonder Woman's entrance (when she saved the Batman from Doomsday's face beam of death by blocking it with her magical bracers) was the best entrance since Darth Maul was introduced to audiences in The Phantom Menace.

And yes! for Batman v Superman embracing Kingdom Come Wonder Woman. In that comic book (drawn by Alex Ross) Wonder Woman has the sword of Hephaestus (because it's magical it can actually cut Superman) and wings (along with her normal gear). Plus kudos to Zach Snyder for really capturing how powerful Wonder Woman's magic lasso is, i.e., it's unbreakable. And her having Doomsday in it was nothing less than spectacular.

This is a pretty common pose for Darkseid. He sits around
thinking about how he's going to destroy all his enemies.
I wonder who they'll get to play him or if they'll just totally
go all computer graphics on him with a voice over.
Another thing that I loved about the movie was that it is the first time that a movie starring either Batman or Superman went "big" and decided to embrace the DC universe at large. I'm excited at the prospect of the Justice League now, fighting hand-in-hand against Darkseid (who was foreshadowed to be on his way in the "dream sequence" when Bruce Wayne saw a post-apocalyptic desert emblazoned with the Omega symbol).

Darkseid is basically DC's version of Galactus or Thanos. He's a merciless dictator from a world named Apokolips, and is the leader of a group of evil gods. Darkseid is on a quest for the Anti-Life Equation, which can rob all sentient beings of free will. Additionally, the winged creatures you see in the vision that Batman has are called "parademons" and they're Darkseid's minions.

This picture by George Perez was the
source of many a nerdgasm back in the day.
Darkseid is a great bad guy to use because he's so powerful. Let's face it, when you have heroes with the kind of strengths that Wonder Woman, Superman, and the Flash bring to the table, you've got to have bad guys that can handle all of that. One of my favorite stories from comic book history was actually a crossover of DC and Marvel where the Justice League and the Avengers went up against Darkseid (yeah he's that powerful). In one scene, Superman ended up using Captain America's shield and Thor's Hammer. At the time, that was an epic nerdgasm. Seriously.

I admire comic book world building, and I think I understand it in this way: first you build this really powerful character. Next, you go about finding ways for that character to be challenged in the universe in which it lives. It's actually basic and simple but leads to a lot of interesting things when (as a writer) you start answering questions. For example, you might ask: how did so and so get his powers? And the answer essentially leads to world-building.

In some ways, I do the same thing in my writing by starting out with a character that I personally find compelling (and who has interesting powers) and then set about building a universe for that character to inhabit. Before long, stories emerge and voila: world-building 101. For you writers out there, do you have any tips on world-building that you'd care to share in the comics? Did any of you out there actually like Batman v. Superman? I know most people gave it bad reviews even if it did manage to demolish the box office this weekend. But who knows, comic book movies never have been strong on critical review.

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