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There probably isn’t anyone left who doesn’t know the origin of Batman. Aliens in Space probably know how Bruce Wayne’s parents were gunned down. It’s something that we’ve seen in almost every movie, TV show, and cartoon series the character’s ever been in, so was it really necessary to once again see the death of Thomas and Martha Wayne in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice? If you’re asking director Zack Snyder, then the answer is yes!
Speaking with Forbes, Zack Snyder makes his case for why they needed to address Batman’s origins in the blockbuster:
You know, they’re both born and live in a world where someone can care about them and mourn them, and they can love their mother. And that’s the cool thing, you know we spend so much time with the Martha-Clark relationship that I think it kind of pays off there. You realize, oh, we needed that as viewers, so we could get to a moment with Batman where that moment with Martha resonates. Because we’ve lived on with Clark’s relationship with his mother, so that moment is like, "Wow, that’s ringing for me and I feel it.
This explanation doesn’t really hold up for me. For one thing, I don’t think the movie spent "so much time with the Martha-Clark relationship" that you feel anything other than confusion when Batman stops the fight over the Martha thing. It’s possible that Zack Snyder is referring more to Man of Steel, but even that film was more focused on Clark’s relationship with his father than his mother.
The Martha thing having any bearing over Batman’s decision just doesn’t work for me. It just happens so suddenly in the film, and it feels like they’re trying to make a huge emotional moment out of what is pretty much a coincidence. The argument that Batman finally see’s Superman as a human with a mother instead of a monster also doesn’t work, because right before that Batman says something along the lines of "I know your parents probably taught you morals." He knows Superman has parents so it really seems like all he cares about is that Clark’s mother is named Martha.
The Martha connection feels like more of an excuse to film the origin, but I understand why Zack Snyder wanted to do it. It seems like a right of passage amongst Batman directors and if I were in his place, I’d definitely want to direct my own Crime Alley death scene. Plus Snyder’s take was a really cool sequence and it set a bar for the rest of the movie.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is currently still in theaters and you can next see the classic characters team-up in Justice League Part I, scheduled to open November 17, 2017 (hopefully the villain’s mom isn’t also named Martha).