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The first major trailer for Justice League is here, but one superhero is conspicuous by his absence. Though, to be fair, that's because he's dead. However, director Zack Snyder says that a lack of Superman is not necessarily a bad thing. According to the director of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice not having Superman around, but knowing he will make his return, sets up a number of interesting questions about the character that the future films will now get to answer. Exactly what will it be like when he does return? According to Snyder...
It was always a super-intriguing concept to me to have this opportunity to have him make that sacrifice, but also have him be this, in a weird sort of way, the why of Justice League. What do you do now with him? What does the team think? What does the world need? All that comes into play. It's fun for us but it'll be interesting for audiences what we do with him.
In the closing moments of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice we see dirt on the casket of the Man of Steel begin to float in the air, a less than subtle message that the character is not gone for good. Of course, there was never really a belief that Superman, the most popular character in the history of the comic medium, was actually going to stay gone. But, as Zack Snyder points out to USA Today, his inevitable return may create more questions than it answers. Bruce Wayne is clearly creating the Justice League without any idea Superman will ever return, so when Kal-El does show up, where does he fit in the world? Does the Justice League really need him? Will they want him? Where does he fit in the world? On the opposite side of the coin, if Superman is back, does the world even need the Justice League?
It's a very entertaining idea. Just because we know the character will be back, doesn't mean that there's no excitement in the return. Perhaps those who have been critical of the current Superman will see a character reborn who's more like the one they want Superman to be. Seeing him come back and retake exactly the same place in the world would defeat the purpose of taking him away in the first place. Zack Nyder promises that audiences will find what they do to be "interesting."
Of course, there is one other important question regarding the return of Superman. When? The new trailer gave us no indication that he would be back in this new movie at all. Perhaps we won't be seeing him for some time. While Zack Snyder doesn't give us a clear indication of what the answer is, he certainly hints that we'll be seeing him sooner rath than later, saying...
It's hard to have a Justice League without Superman. That's how I feel about it.
The Justice League won't be truly complete until Superman is back. Still, seeing him return will likely be a major shock for the entire team, that will lead to many interesting interactions before a united team is ready to defend the world. Justice League arrives in theaters November 17.