There was a lot to absorb from the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer released on Saturday, from badass shots of Wonder Woman to confirmation that Robin (presumably Jason Todd) is dead in this universe. However, there was one moment that stuck out as…particularly unusual. We see Batman wearing desert-ready Batgear (here’s hoping we get a Scuba Batsuit next) and fighting a group of gun-toting operatives wearing the Superman symbol, the ones we saw in April’s teaser kneeling in front of Superman. Unfortunately for the Dark Knight, his adversaries seem to have the upper hand.
If you want a closer look at the desert suit, photographer Clay Enos, the same guy who shot the first picture of the Batmobile, posted this picture of Ben Affleck in the uniform.
Okay, impressive-looking (if not very practical) uniform aside, what is going on in this scene? We know that Batman will fight his costar and deal with normal criminal scum, but nowhere have we heard about him taking his talents to the desert. Also, why are these guys wearing the Superman symbol? Director Zack Snyder didn’t give any context to the scene when he debuted the trailer at Comic-Con, but we have a few ideas on what may be happening in this sequence.
Bad Guys With An AgendaJust because they’re wearing the Superman insignia on they uniforms doesn’t mean that these soldiers work for Superman. The Man of Steel doesn’t need for an army, so what are these goons up to? Well, what if these guys are trying to make Superman look bad? This has Lex Luthor written all over it. By slapping the ’S’ shield on armed men and ordering them to cause all sorts of chaos, he perverts that symbol of hope and drives public opinion away from Superman. Luthor wants nothing more than to tear Superman down, but if Earth’s alien adoptee isn’t going to do anything malevolent, then Luthor will take matters into his own hands. Eventually Batman intervenes and tries to take out these guys himself. The only issue with this idea is why they would kneel before Kal-El, but maybe they figure with Superman that close to them, they shouldn’t bother fighting anymore and just submit. It’s not like they stand a chance.
A Dream SequenceBruce Wayne’s feelings about Superman in this movie are clear as day. He thinks the Kryptonian is a threat to humanity that needs to be destroyed. One of Bruce’s well-known characteristics is being paranoid as hell, so what if this fight scene isn’t real, but a worrying dream Batman has of Superman taking control of the planet. As Desert Storm Batman (complete with kung fu grip), dream Bruce infiltrates Superman’s compound to try to somehow take him out, but is subdued by Superman’s soldiers. What happens afterwards is unclear, but, just guessing, I’d say the Kryptonian kills Batman and then makes a display of power to show humanity not to trifle with him, resulting in thousands of people being hurt and killed. Bruce jolts awake from the nightmare, and, fearful of what he imagined, he accelerates his plans to engage Superman. Thus, we end up with Bruce wearing his Dark Knight Returns-style armor and going toe-to-toe with Superman.
Superman Really Does Become A TyrantAll the information we’ve absorbed about this movie for the last two years hasn’t suggested that Superman will suddenly become a despot and gather a group of worshippers, but such a move wouldn’t be unprecedented. Stories like Superman: Red Son and Injustice: Gods Among Us have featured a Clark Kent who seized power for himself. Now, because of Superman has a firm moral code, one would imagine that he’s not himself if he suddenly has aspirations of tyranny. Perhaps he’s under some kind of mind control? There’s a scene in the trailer where Lex Luthor stands smugly over a kneeling Superman and the Kryptonian looks up scowling. At first I thought Superman was simply pissed at the industrialist, but perhaps Luthor has somehow used Kryptonite to influence him. Then he gets the dangerous alien that he’s been warning the world about, and Batman, who by now has already fought the Man of Steel, is forced to go to Superman’s new fortress and try to snap his sparring partner back to normal.