By Jesse Merkel
For those of you playing the home game, there is less than a year to go until Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice hits theaters. It may feel like an eternity, but the echo chamber of the Internet will continue to churn out enough stories to keep us entertained.
Recently while re-watching Man of Steel, I took notice of the many subtle ways it was designed to set up the universe. As opposed to Iron Man, which was a great stand alone movie in 2008, but may be lacking in world building elements, especially when you consider it was designed to kick off the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Since the beginning, Marvel has relied almost entirely on their exciting post-credit sequences to tie things together. That’s fine for the episodic storytelling, but with the serialized format that DC appears to be going for, the tie-ins need to be a lot more involved. When you keep this in mind, Man of Steel starts to make a lot more sense.
Man of Steel wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, especially if they fell in love with the comedic and escapist style that Marvel has been crafting for nearly a decade. Instead, it set the stage for the DC characters in the modern and skeptical world. Instead of just accepting the fantastic as normal and enjoying the ride, we’re going to get a world with more rules and scientific explanations.
Here are five predictions for he upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice:
5. Superman Backlash
In Man of Steel, Superman basically gave a clinic on rookie mistakes. Yes he saved humanity, but the collateral damage was appalling. He failed to draw the bad guys away from populated areas, and probably cost the taxpayers nearly a trillion dollars in property damage.
A seasoned superhero would have done better, but in this new origin story, Clark was anything but seasoned. He had only begun to discover his power, and as a consequence, acted like a proverbial bull in a china shop.
This is going to be central to the plot of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The government may grow to trust him, or at least decide to take advantage of his abilities, but there will definitely be some who are suspicious of him. Chief among them will be Batman and Lex Luthor.
4. LexCorp is Bigger than Facebook
One of the main issues that people had with the casting of Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor is that it was a clear indication that this take on the iconic villain would be nothing like Gene Hackman or Kevin Spacey. Why? Because it’s 2015, and in this day and age, it’s the CEO’s of the younger and hipper companies that rule the world.
Eisenberg may not come across as physically intimidating, but he does look like someone who could sway public opinion with a speech at the TED Talks. Like those in charge of large young corporations today, we can expect this Lex Luthor to be a tech savvy master of media.
If he is indeed going to be one of the few helping to pick up the pieces in Metropolis under the guise of philanthropy, you can expect more than a few subtle jabs about ‘the alien’ when he speaks.
3. Batman is Public Enemy Number 1
By now we’ve all heard the rumors that Batman will be, at least in the first act of the movie, straddling the line between urban legend and government bogeyman. If it’s true that no picture or video footage has ever been taken of the caped crusader, it would confirm the indications that this incarnation will be a true master at the height of his crime fighting craft.
Whether it’s the government that nudges Superman to hunt down Batman, or Batman himself decides that Superman is far too reckless to continue unchecked, it would play into the mythos of Bruce Wayne being a true vigilante. They’re typically not popular with authority figures.
2. Batman Will Run Circles Around Superman at First
Superman is big, strong, and has all the powers that one could want, but he’s still young and inexperienced. He’s got a temper, and could be easily provoked. The more level headed and calculating Batman will be able to size him up instantly.
If you’ve read The Dark Knight Returns, Hush, or Tower of Babel, you’ve seen Batman’s methodical strategy at work against Superman. Not only does he know how to get inside Superman’s head, but he’s also been able to injure and subdue him to the point where he was at least temporarily not a threat. And then there was the eponymous Armageddon 2001 storyline, where Batman actually killed him.
The more experienced Batman would never underestimate a seemingly all-powerful alien, while Superman probably wouldn’t find any human adversary too intimidating. Superman is powerful, but Batman is DC’s answer to Sherlock Holmes. He’ll find any weakness to exploit, especially overconfidence.
1. Batman and Aquaman Were There All Along.
An alien force landing on one of the biggest cities on the planet doesn’t go unnoticed, especially by someone who has spent two decades or more as a vigilante withouteven being photographed. Bruce Wayne is one of the few who would have the money and resources to get himself to Metropolis when everything was going down.
I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a scene that not only recapped the fight between Superman and Zod, but also showed Batman ducking in and around the falling buildings, saving people who would have otherwise been crushed. All the while, he would be observing the abilities of the brawling aliens. Sound like something Batman would do?
As for Aquaman, he probably wasn’t there when Clark fell in from the collapsing oil platform. Instead, he was most likely in the Indian Ocean when Superman was taking out the World Maker. After destroying the machine, Kal-El was knocked out, and presumably fell into the ocean.
When he woke up, the sun was beating down on him. His face and suit were wet, but he wasn’t floating in the water. Something had to have placed him here.
No matter what happens, I’m going to agree with the estimates given last year by The Motley Fool that assume the film will sail past the $1 billion dollar mark. First of all, these are all marquee names. Take a list of the most recognizable super heroes, this movie has the top three playing big parts, with at least one or two more making a cameo. It’s going to smash the competition on brand recognition alone.
Throw in the fact that fans have been waiting to see these characters share the big screen for decades, and you have a whopping success on your hands.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice hits theaters March 26, 2016. Will you be there on premiere night?