Warning: Spoilers for Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice below.
Zack Snyder’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice has officially hit theaters, people. The culmination of years of anticipation, the film – although uneven at times – has effectively set up the DCEU. While numerous hints regarding the future of the universe seem fairly straightforward – such as the security footage of Wonder Woman, Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg – other aspects of the movie seem a bit harder to figure out.
One such aspect is Batman’s horrific nightmare sequence, which was featured heavily in the trailers. We’ve poured through the details to try and figure it out, and it all keeps coming back to the New God, Darkseid.
Bruce Wayne’s nightmare in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice very clearly points to the arrival of Darkseid in the future. A tyrannical despot, Darkseid hails from the hellish planet of Apokolips, which bears numerous aesthetic similarities to the world in Batman’s dream. From the omega symbol burned into the landscape, to the arrival of the parademons (Darkseid’s version of flying monkeys), all evidence seems to indicate that the nightmare serves as a warning for the arrival of this great threat to Earth itself.
If that’s the case, then this sequence essentially represents DC’s version of Thanos turning around and smiling during the post-credits sequence of The Avengers. Casual audiences might not necessarily understand the nature of this looming behemoth of a threat against the heroes, but they can clearly tell that it doesn’t bode well for Batman and the Justice League members.
However, while Batman’s nightmare clearly sets up the arrival of Darkseid, it doesn’t necessarily explain how Superman and the Gestapo-esque goons factor into the vision, as well. We have a multitude of theories on this matter, but if we are to stick with the idea that Darkseid has a hand in all of the chaos coming to Earth, let’s approach this as if Superman has been turned into a minion of Apokolips.
One theory could point to Darkseid having figured out the anti-life equation – the tyrant's long sought-after formula that allows for the complete subjugation of the known universe. Another possibility is that Darkseid has simply assimilated Superman in some form or another to bend to his will. There's precedent for this, as an example of such a phenomenon can be seen during the events of Justice League: War below:
Both of these theories point to the possibility that Darkseid’s arrival on Earth leads to the eventual decimation or enslavement of the world’s metahumans. Batman represents one of the few beings able to put up a fight, and forms a small resistance force to combat Superman, and his ultimate master, Darkseid. It doesn't explain everything, but it gives us a general sense of where things are headed.
What do you think happened during Batman’s nightmare? Is Darkseid the next big bad that the Justice League will face off against, or have the seeds been planted for his arrival further down the line? We will keep you posted with all of the latest and greatest superhero news and theories as they become available to us. Stay tuned for more details!