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Did Batman v. Superman Copy Marvel’s Villains? Is That a Bad Thing?

Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor in "Batman v. Superman"

One complaint people have about the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that its villains either want to rule the world or destroy it, but can’t really tell you why.

They’re evil for evil’s sake. (Ultron, in my opinion, didn’t fall into this trap.)

With Batman v. Superman (in theaters today) kicking off DC’s planned Justice League series of films, the DC movie universe will inevitably be compared to Marvel’s — heroes, villains, death counts, destruction porn… the whole nine.

Sonny Bunch, while praising Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, says Zack Snyder’s latest outing has fallen into the Marvel villain trap. Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg), being said villain, starts out okay. After watching parts of his city get destroyed during a fight between two superpowered aliens, he begins searching for a “silver bullet” that can take out Superman. But, this is what happens next, as Sonny Bunch describes it:

It’s too bad that Snyder and company don’t stick with it [Lex’s plan to find a silver bullet to use on Superman]: As the film progresses, Lex degenerates into a gibbering mad man, some strange mix of the Riddler and the Joker with a little bit of Mark Zuckerberg added for flair. He hates Superman because God didn’t protect him from an abusive father, or some such, and that hatred twists him into something maniacal. This leads to all sorts of unexplainable lunacy — the bombing of the Capitol building and the creation of a super-powered monster named Doomsday, among them — that culminates in a massive CGI battle calling to mind the end of “The Incredible Hulk.” Awkwardly, every time Lex does something to try and up the stakes, he ratchets down the tension rather than ramping it up.

Simply put: We don’t care about Lex’s plan because Lex’s plan doesn’t make any sense. In the end, he’s just … kinda evil, and for no good reason. There’s very little to empathize with, very little common ground. In its urge to emulate the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I fear that DC has fallen into the Marvel villain trap.

Read the full article over at The Washington Post.SuperFable