Since the dawn of time, humans have been captivated by stories of bravery, danger, and justice. One of the most popular stories to captivate audiences today is that of Batman.

The popular DC Comics character first made his appearance in Detective Comics in 1939. Since then, he has become one of the most recognizable characters in pop culture, known for his distinctive cowl and his dedication to fighting crime and injustice. Although Batman never really went out of style, it seems that Hollywood has caught on and started to reinterpret the crime-fighting superhero in modern day parlance.

The latest and greatest example of this reinterpretation is Summit Entertainment’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, the movie that pits the caped crusader against the Man of Steel.

The results are pretty hilarious. After months of teasing, the world finally got to see Batman and Superman clash and, although it’s not the first time that these two superheroes have had to battle it out, it’s certainly the first time that they’ve done so in theaters. The movie was a massive hit and became one of the highest-grossing films of all time, not just in theaters but worldwide. The film also received a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes, one of the highest scores given for a blockbuster movie. This is most likely due to the fact that the film was both critically and commercially successful, unlike most Hollywood blockbusters that are either one or the other but never both.

Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice was definitely a departure from the usual superhero fare, not just because of its R-rating but also due to the fact that it was directed by someone other than the usual superhero filmmaking team of Christopher Nolan or Joel Schumacker. It was interesting to see a superhero movie that was more character-driven and less focused on explosions and special effects, although those did exist. But what was even more interesting was that Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice was a movie made in an attempt to answer the question: Can Batman and Superman coexist?

The movie starts with a pre-credits sequence that finds Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) and Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) arguing about whether or not they’ll become superheroes. They debate the pros and cons of being a hero, with Wayne ultimately deciding that it’s not for him. This leads to an old man (Kevin Costner) coming to them with his last will and testament, asking them to carry out his dying wish and bring superheroes back to life. The two billionaires agree and set out to do so, only to learn that many of the world’s greatest superheroes are actually dead. So, they have to find new candidates who can join their League of Heroes.

In the present day, Gotham City is reeling from the events of the movie. Many citizens are protesting the existence of Batman, demanding that he be removed from the street. This is largely due to the fact that Batman has been responsible for the death of several criminals, many of whom were innocent. So, the city passes a resolution demanding that Batman disband his rogue’s gallery and give up his vigilante ways. Bruce Wayne initially refuses to comply but eventually obeys the law and dissociates himself from the Batman persona. He transfers his assets to a new charity and gives up the cape and cowl, declaring himself retired from being Batman.

Two years later, the retired Bruce Wayne learns that a new villain called the Merovingian has risen from the shadows, threatening to destroy what’s left of Gotham City. Only then does he decide to don the cape and cowl one more time. He enlists the aid of his former sidekick Dick Grayson (Brett Cullen), who now works for the CIA and enjoys a successful career as Nightwing, to help him investigate the matter. The two track down the rogue mercenary to a secret cabin in the woods, where they discover a twisted plot to destroy Gotham city. They narrowly escape but not before the psychotic villain murders all of Grayson’s henchmen. He then sets his sights on killing the two superheroes, Batman and Nightwing.

The end result is that Batman saves the day and defeats the villain, leaving the two heroes to celebrate. This is in contrast to the majority of films where the final battle results in one or the other surviving but not particularly in both.

The point is that for as long as humans have existed, we’ve had a fascination with superheroes and their stories. And now that special effects have become so advanced that we can actually see what they can do, it’s only natural that Hollywood would continue to mine this vein of storytelling. But what’s fascinating about today’s crop of superhero films is that they’re not only exploring the concept of heroics but the concept of heroism itself. These films aren’t just about saving the day for the person wearing the cape but about a person wearing the cape deciding to save the day.

It’s an interesting time to be a superhero fan. On the one hand, we have Marvel Studios’ blockbuster success, Black Panther, which dealt with some weighty issues while still being an entertaining action-adventure story. On the other, we have Deadpool, which took the Marvel Comics character and turned him into an R-rated comedy. And sandwiched between those two, we have Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, which is definitely trying to ask the question: Can Batman and Superman coexist?