Comic book and movie fans have proven that no official announcement regarding Batman vs. Superman is too small to make headlines, and when word broke of the film’s official title, online debate raged. Several fans had pitched possible titles for months, but nobody saw Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice coming. Whether considered evocative, over-stuffed, or just plain bad, some online commenters got more creative with their responses than others.
Just as was the case with the first image of Ben Affleck in costume as Batman, those with an eye for wit, scorn or simple comedy fed off of the superhero franchise. The official title has yet to inspire as lasting or iconic an internet meme as ‘Sad Batman,’ but there’s no arguing that a title as lengthy as Dawn of Justice provides infinitely more material in the coming months.
Whether you’re of the opinion that the film’s title is a complete disaster, dooming the project to fail or ultimately a non-factor when the film hits theaters, we’ve gathered up some of our favorite reactions to the announcement, reminding us all that loving our heroes doesn’t always mean holding them above criticism.
We begin, of course, with the negative:
Riddle me this! Why is the new Batman title so terrible?
— Sad Riddler (@SadRiddler) May 21, 2014
I suppose “Batman v Superman v Wonder Woman v Cyborg” was too long winded. — Jeremy Jahns (@JeremyJahns) May 21, 2014
BATMAN v SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE. Coming in September, to Lifetime Networks. — Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) May 21, 2014
Instead of “Dawn of Justice”, they could have gone with “We’re Rushing to Catch Up”. Well, that’s sub-TEXT, not sub-title.
— Jeff Cannata (@jeffcannata) May 21, 2014
WORLD’S FINEST: BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN would have been the best title, but this Game Gear title is what we get.
— Ethan Anderton (@Ethan_Anderton) May 21, 2014
Here is a good laugh–according to Variety, there’s going to be a movie called Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. Ha ha ha. Oh this world. — Zack Handlen (@zhandlen) May 21, 2014
“Dawn of Justice” sounds less like a superhero movie & more like a TNT show about a lawyer named Dawn. — Funny Or Die (@funnyordie) May 21, 2014
Once the attacks subsided (whether well-deserved or not), more onlookers decided to try their hand at bringing something new to the title, even putting forward better candidates, or looking on the bright side of a Batman/Superman showdown:
The official title is “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” Runner up was “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Superman’s Long Hospital Stay.”
— The Batman (@TheBatman) May 21, 2014
— Antix80 (@Antix80) May 22, 2014
Batman V Superman V Buffy: Dawn Summers Of Things, You Know, All Justice-y — Ryan McGee (@TVMcGee) May 21, 2014
Superman V Batman X Tekken — Ryan McGee (@TVMcGee) May 21, 2014
Aquaman V Sub-Mariner: Wave Of Integrity
— Ryan McGee (@TVMcGee) May 21, 2014
So it’s ‘Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice,’ is it?… ‘BvS: DoJ’… I can work with that. pic.twitter.com/gD63b7ihvV
— Andrew Dyce (@andrew_dyce) May 23, 2014
“Batman v Superman: Who Cares About Subtitle As Long As Story Is Good”? — Marc Tyler Nobleman (@MarcTNobleman) May 21, 2014
— Adam Burke (@atpburke) May 22, 2014
BATMAN V SUPERMAN: LAWN OF JUSTICE pic.twitter.com/HCHZM4SuX3
— Ali Arikan (@aliarikan) May 21, 2014
Batman v. Superman will no doubt challenge Justice Scalia’s strict constructionism more than any case since AvP (he sided w/ Predator). — The Gentlenerd (@VaGentlenerd) May 21, 2014
“More like Batman V Superman: The Dawn Of Justin!” – 13 year-old Justin Kirkpatrick, who just wont shut up. — Evan Kaufman (@EvanKaufman) May 21, 2014
“Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” subtitle refers to whatever could happen between now & 2016 to get Bill Finger’s name in its credits.
— Marc Tyler Nobleman (@MarcTNobleman) May 21, 2014
If there’s anyone alive named “Dawn Justice,” her day just got significantly shittier.
— Matt Singer (@mattsinger) May 21, 2014
I hope the Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice production hires Dawn Justice Photography. http://t.co/8taLHNdtlE
— Mike Ryan (@mikeryan) May 21, 2014
Opinion doesn’t seem to be anywhere near as evenly split as Ben Affleck’s casting, or even the bigger and broader Batsuit, as a majority of the online sentiment seems skeptical at best (as has been the case with most news regarding the production). For our part, there’s no question that Warner Bros. has decided to position the Man of Steel sequel as a precursor to the already confirmed Justice League in a way that no casual moviegoer can miss. But in all honesty, it’s impossible to know how tied to the film’s themes the title will prove, as next to nothing is known about the actual story it will be telling.
Surprising comic book fans with the unexpected is a risky proposition for any director, and there’s no question that fans have put forward some catchy titles of their own. No matter what the title, there were going to be some who felt that Snyder and the studio missed an opportunity.
Of course, we’ll leave you with one important fact that’s worth remembering:
When referring to Dr. Strangelove, how often do you use it’s entire title?
— Dan Trachtenberg (@DannyTRS) May 21, 2014
Those are the best reactions we found to the title, but we welcome you to share your own in the comments below. Is this a misstep that could end up costing the filmmakers? Or is any subtitle merely an afterthought when ‘Batman vs. Superman’ hits theaters?
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is scheduled to release May 6, 2016.
Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.