Hey David Ayer, maybe don’t compare ‘Suicide Squad’ reviews to a civil rights martyr?

Deputy Entertainment Editor
08.03.16

We live in interesting times. Where once the biggest brawl in geekdom was between fans of Star Trek and Star Wars, that decades-old disagreement pales in comparison to the latest fissure: Marvel vs. DC Comics. Oh sure, people have always debated whether Wolverine is better than Batman, or if the Justice League would destroy the Avengers. But over the last year, it seems the friendly dispute has disintegrated into all-out war.

To be fair, DC and Warner Bros. have taken a beating. Instead of Marvel”s slow burn, Batman v Superman was supposed to rocket into the stratosphere of cinema, jump-starting their superhero franchise. While the film performed admirably at the box office, it failed to cross $1 billion USD worldwide. It also opened to mixed reviews, both from critics and fans. With BvS failure to launch, a lot is riding on Suicide Squad and so far it looks to be going down the same road.

With the reviews coming in mixed (but more positive than BvS), director David Ayer took to Twitter last night to respond. Maybe it was the pressure of knowing the DCEU is sitting squarely on his shoulders. Maybe it was an attempt at a fist-bump of solidarity with the fandom. Or maybe it was just indicative of a man who would yell “F**k Marvel” at the world premiere of Suicide Squad. Whatever the case, Ayer quotes Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata.

The translated quote reads, “I'd rather die standing than live on my knees.” Ayer later clarified:

For those of you who don”t know who Zapata is (thanks, American education system!), a very brief primer. He was one of the key players in the Mexican Revolution in 1910. Prior to the war, most of Mexico was controlled by large plantation owners. In the vein of medieval feudalism, they would take land from peasants and then force them to work the land in a version of indentured servitude. This didn”t sit well with Zapata. He joined the revolution on a platform of land redistribution, believing “The land belongs to those who work it with their hands.” For his efforts, Zapata was assassinated in 1919, becoming a martyr for the cause. To this day, Zapata is a national hero in Mexico.

I know we live in the age of hyperbole. I have been (and will be again) guilty of it myself. But maybe don”t compare your superhero film getting mixed critical reviews with a civil rights revolutionary who died for his cause. Fans are not indentured servants. Critics are not oppressive land owners. We”re all just fans who want to watch good movies.

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