The ending to 2013’s Man of Steel was controversial to say the least. Some Superman fans took serious issue with the amount of rampant destruction that occurred in Metropolis, with likely tens of thousands of people being killed, seemingly without much concern from The Last Son of Krypton. Turns out that somebody else had a serious problem with that too, Batman.
Ben Affleck is quoted in a recent Entertainment Weekly piece, which isn’t even about him, or Batman, but actually gives us quite a bit of interesting information regarding the motivation of the Dark Knight in the upcoming Batman v. Superman:Dawn of Justice.
"One of the things I liked was Zack’s idea of showing accountability and the consequences of violence and seeing that there are real people in those buildings... And in fact, one of those buildings was Bruce Wayne’s building so he knew people who died in that Black Zero event.
So apparently the destruction of Metropolis will be such a momentous event in the DC film universe that it has a name, Black Zero. In addition, some of those that died during Black Zero were friends and colleagues of Bruce Wayne. It makes sense that Wayne Enterprises would have an office in a major city like Metropolis. It’s also not too much of a stretch to see a Bruce Wayne angry that friends of his died that he wasn’t able to save.
This looks to be the beginning of the conflict between the two. Batman doesn’t trust Superman because he is capable of such destruction and, seemingly, nobody is strong enough to stop him. This makes perfect sense as Batman is almost always against loss of life under all circumstances. The fact that Superman took Zod’s life with his own hands will probably also figure into Batman’s distrust, as that would go directly against the Caped Crusader’s code.
What will be interesting to see is how Superman reacts to it all. When the battle is finally over at the end of Man of Steel we do see an emotional reaction from him, but the moment is brief and then the film moves on. While nobody expects to see a Superman who doesn’t care about what happened, it’s possible we might see one who feels he did what he had to do, and the consequences, though unintended, were necessary. He might be willing to fight Batman for the same reasons. On the other hand we might get a very apologetic Superman who is haunted by what occurred during Black Zero and attempts to make peace with Batman.
Zack Snyder’s Superman is certainly a more nuanced character than previous incarnations. Odds are his version of Batman will be as well. And this of course doesn’t even take into consideration the who’s who of other major characters who will be appearing in the movie. Regardless, there will be a reckoning over the events of Black Zero, whose side will you be on?