Exactly two months out from the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice seems like a perfect opportunity for Warner Bros. and DC Comics to tease one of the biggest bads in comic book history coming to the big screen. A new illustrated cover for an issue of Empire brought the title conflict between the heroes to life, but hidden away between the pages of the magazine was another image that teased a major reveal. It’s not much more than a symbol carved, perhaps blasted into the Earth, but like the saying goes, a picture’s worth a thousand words.
In previously released footage from Batman v Superman, Batman (Ben Affleck) seems to be experiencing some sort of nightmare sequence in which Superman (Henry Cavill) has him strung up alongside other prisoners and forcibly unmasks him. We’ve also seen glimpses of Batman, outfitted in goggles and a dusty trench coat over his armor, fighting off what appear to be Superman’s soldiers (if their ‘S’ symbols on their shoulders are any indication) in a desert environment. But what if that landscape isn’t Earthbound at all, but rather somewhere very alien?
Before we go any further, here’s a look at the hir-res image from the Empire issue that’s raising all sorts of questions:
Notice the Omega symbol carved or otherwise blasted into the ground. In the DC Comics world, that points to the one-and-only Darkseid, This villain is steeped in all sorts of Omega symbol lore, from his eye lasers dubbed Omega Beams, his power source known as the Omega Effect, his Omega Sanctions which trap adversaries in a series of increasingly worsening alternate realities, and even Omega Brands which marked people who were under his influence in the Smallville series, to name a few. So the above image is a clear indication that Darkseid is at least part of the DC Cinematic Universe, even if his presence on screen might not be seen until The Justice League Part One. What’s unclear is how his influence will affect the plot of Batman v Superman.
There are a lot of elements from the history of Batman and Superman in the DC Comics that are already being felt in Batman v Superman. The appearance of a possibly evil or at least alternate version of Superman is something that’s been played with a number of times in TV series and comic books, from him playing a dictator as a Justice Lord, to being raised by the all-powerful and very evil Darkseid himself in an “Elseworlds” storyline. We seem to be getting glimpses of a very different Superman in the upcoming film, but it now seems possible that Bruce Wayne’s nightmarish hallucinations might either be caused by a blast by one of Darkseid’s Omega Beams, or might take place on the villain’s Hellish home-world of Apokolips itself.
In the comic arc “Final Crisis”, Batman was struck with an Omega Beam (and later teleported via an Omega Sanction) that sent him careening through time; perhaps a similar take will explain his hallucinations in Batman v Superman. Or, maybe Batman’s fight against an evil Superman’s minions and apparent Parademons (the winged creatures seen here that are in the service of Darkseid) actually takes place on Apokolips. Then again, maybe the apocalyptic vision is simply a vision after all, one that allows Zack Snyder and company to fold in other elements of the DC Comics universe without building an entire movie around them. We’ve seen it previously in Man of Steel where Superman is buried alive beneath a mountain of skulls, a scene that was quite memorable from the trailers but was only used for dramatic effect within the actual movie.
We’ll update the image (and theory) with better ones once they become available, but in the meantime, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!
Here’s the official synopsis for Snyder’s Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice:
Fearing the actions of a god-like super hero left unchecked, Gotham City’s own formidable, forceful vigilante takes on Metropolis’s most revered, modern-day savior, while the world wrestles with what sort of hero it really needs. And with Batman and Superman at war with one another, a new threat quickly arises, putting mankind in greater danger than it’s ever known before.
— Batman v Superman (@BatmanvSuperman) January 25, 2016
Catch up with our latest DC movie coverage in the links below:
- ‘Suicide Squad’: Over 80 New Images from the Trailer Reveal More of the Insanity
- ‘Justice League’: Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa & Ray Fisher Talk The Flash, Aquaman & Cyborg‘
- First Official ‘Suicide Squad’ Trailer Lets the Villains Out to Play
- First Look at Cyborg and The Flash in ‘The Dawn of the Justice League’ Concept Art
- ‘Wonder Woman': Official Logo Revealed
- ‘Wonder Woman’ Casts ‘Gladiator’ Star as the Superhero’s Mother