SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains massive spoilers for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. If you haven’t seen the film yet, and don’t wish for any of the elements to be ruined, please click away to another one of our wonderful articles.
The DC Cinematic Universe has finally begun to take shape. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has finally hit theaters, and in addition to having a showdown between the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel, it also serves to lay the groundwork for the entire DCCU going forward. Certainly one of the most significant moments in this regard is the cameo by a time traveling Barry Allen a.k.a. The Flash (played by Ezra Miller).
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is jam packed with plot threads for future movies, and one of the most interesting is the arrival of The Flash to seemingly warn Bruce Wayne about the threat (based on the context of the scene) posed by Superman. In the process, it also seems to set up the possibility of a version of the Injustice: Gods Among Us storyline playing out in live-action in the big screen world.
Those of you who have seen the movie remember this scene. Bruce Wayne falls asleep while decrypting a file on Lex Luthor’s Lex OS. He has a (k)nightmare about an Earth taken over by Superman, and then awakens to the Scarlet Speedster screaming at him – having travelled through time to warn him of something. It’s admittedly somewhat difficult to make out what Barry Allen screams at Bruce Wayne when he shows up in the dream, but it goes something like this:
Bruce! Listen to me right now! It’s Lois! Lois Lane! She’s the key! Am I too soon!? I'm too soon! You were right about him! You were always right about him! Fear him! Fear him and find us. You have to come find us, Bruce!
The ominous warning is Barry Allen seemingly pleading with Batman to find Lois Lane, unite the seven members of the Justice League, and be wary of some tragedy that might befall the Man of Steel at some point in the future. We’ve talked at length about the possibility that Darkseid may arrive on Earth and assimilate Kal-El to his side, but another possibility points to a future Justice League film using the aforementioned Injustice storyline.
In the Injustice storyline, The Joker tricks Superman into killing Lois Lane, which causes the Man of Steel to snap and kill the Clown Prince of Crime. Following this grisly murder, Superman becomes a totalitarian ruler, unafraid to use lethal force to achieve his goals. Batman forms a resistance movement to stand up to the Kryptonian, but is ultimately wholly outmatched against his former ally. There are numerous visual cues utilized during Bruce’s nightmare that point to this storyline, from the Superman-themed secret police, to Clark punching Bruce through the chest in the same way he killed Joker.
Although The Flash actually joins Superman in the original Injustice storyline, the DCCU version of this plot thread could see Batman sending him back in time to try and get the jump on this totalitarian regime. It wouldn’t be surprising for Bruce to send Barry back during the events of a Justice League movie five to ten years from now in a Days of Future Past-esque last ditch effort to beat Superman, if this is the route Warner Bros. opts to take.
Of course, how these visions occur to Batman represents an entirely different question altogether. It could be through the help of a telepath such as Martian Manhunter, or Bruce’s memories from another timeline colliding with his own. Either way, Barry Allen arriving in the Batcave has set events in motion that will slowly unfold for years to come.
However, we need to point out that this is just a guess, and The Flash's cameo could very well be a misdirection intended to make us think Superman is the threat. Barry never explicitly mentions Superman in his statements (Bruce was right to fear who?), so he could be trying to warn Bruce about something entirely separate from the nightmare sequence. (Lois is the key to what??) He laments arriving at the Batcave "too early," meaning that whatever threat he has come back to warn The Dark Knight about may have not even entered the world of the DCEU yet. It could be Darkseid. It could also be an escaped Lex Luthor, or even Brainiac.
What did you think of Barry Allen’s cameo in Dawn of Justice? Do you think the DCEU is going to do the Injustice storyline, or are they pulling from a different plotline in the comics? Let us know what you think in the comments!