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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is laying the groundwork for many of the the DC Extended Universe’s characters to join forces in Justice League: Part One, but it’s also foreshadowing a potential villain. You’ll remember in the last trailer that there was a brief scene of showing what looked like a swarm of Parademons, the minions of Darkseid. The ruler of Apokolips still hasn’t been officially confirmed to appear, but now we have another hint at his involvement in the DC Extended Universe.
This image (courtesy of Twitter user Charlie Schneider, a.k.a. AwesomEmergency) was part of Empire’s latest Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice coverage. Here we see Batman in his “Knightmare” scenario overlooking a destroyed city. That’s enough to grab anyone’s attention, but what’s more important is the Omega symbol burned into the ground. Not only does Darkseid use that symbol to brand those vulnerable to his corruption, but he also harness the Omega Effect. This gives him numerous abilities, chief among them the Omega Beams, which can track any opponent he targets (which usually results in them being erased from existence), as well as resurrect the dead if he chooses.
Since the above scene is taking place during Bruce Wayne’s nightmare, that means this destruction won’t happen in the real world. That said, it does seem to imply that Bruce’s dream isn’t naturally occurring. Bruce is already paranoid about the potential danger Superman poses to Earth, but perhaps some outside force is triggering Batman to dream what might happen if Superman was not only corrupted, but began serving Darkseid. Maybe one of the New Gods (Darkseid’s enemies from New Genesis) sends Batman this “vision” of the future so that he can take action against the Man of Steel and prevent Earth from falling into ruins. On the other hand, it’s also possible Darkseid is the instigator, and he hopes that Batman and Superman killing each other will help making his eventual Earth invasion easier…not that he needs much help on that front.
Does all this this mean Darkseid will appear in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice? It’s unlikely given that the heroes are already dealing with Lex Luthor and Doomsday (and maybe Bizarro). Heck, there’s no guarantee he’ll even show up in Justice League: Part One. Back in 2014, it was rumored that Brainiac would be the 2017 blockbuster’s main antagonist, and Darkseid wouldn’t appear until 2019’s Justice League: Part Two. At this point, however, it’s guaranteed that Darkseid will play some kind of role in this universe. He’s already appeared in projects like Superman: The Animated Series, Superman/Batman: Apocalypse, and Smallville, but a cinematic appearance would let audiences see him at his most terrifying.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice hits theaters on March 25.