If for whatever reason you’ve lived under a rock for last few days, a teaser trailer for the highly anticipated Batman vs. Superman movie has been released. And from the looks of things,neither Superman nor Batman will have an easy time.
The very first quote perfectly encapsulates the general theme around this version of Superman and perhaps Superman’s character in general: “Is it really surprising that the most powerful man in the world is the subject of controversy?”
It continues on with a growing close-up of a Superman statue along with various voice cameos including: Neil deGrasse Tyson, Charlie Rose, and Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor (around 42 second mark if you want to hear it for yourself). Judging from the angry chants and the giant “False God” spray-painted on Supes’ new statue, the people of Metropolis are just as happy about the destruction of their city as Man of Steel‘s loudest detractors. However, the outrage over Superman’s existence is nothing new. Since post-crisis Superman has struggled with his PR thanks in no large part to Lex Luthor and his constant anti-alien barrage. In the New 52 it’s even worse.
The angry chants are inter-cut with the other side of the coin, people revering Superman like a god. Soldiers bow down to him and people reach out to him like an angel. Yet another problem Superman has encountered more than once in the comic books
This strong divide is the perfect direction to go after Man of Steel. Superman may have saved the day from Zod but he did leave a huge mess in the wake. It isn’t so much “dark” as a good deal of detractors say, but more the next logical step in Superman’s journey. He’s found out who he is and where he came from, he knows what to do with his powers, and he has faced his very first alien invasion. Now he must prove to the people of Earth that he is the force of good that Jor-El and his father wanted him to be. That isn’t so much dark as it is the film facing the reality that comes with being Superman. With all that happened in the previous movie it would be rather silly for him to reach the level of adulation and trust he had in the Christopher Reeve films. Plus this new direction allows this version of Superman to do more altruistic acts, which many have said were lacking in Man of Steel (Completely ignoring the fact that the first thing we see Clark do on screen is rescue oil rig workers…..but that’s a different issue)
The focus shifts then from Superman to Bruce Wayne with yet another audio cameo, this time from Jeremy Iron’s Alfred. And we finally get to see Ben Affleck’s version of Bruce Wayne for the first time. And I was quite impressed with what I saw. The man’s work in the gym has paid off from the looks of things. I’m fully on Batfleck’s side and can’t wait to see what he does with the role. We get to see a few shots of the Batmoblie and the Bat-plane (Maybe. The way the trailer was structured it looked more like a jet shooting down at the Batmobile). And a shot of Batman looking over the Gotham skyline with what looks like a rifle. Though some have said it is a direct reference to the Dark Knight Returns comic book where Batman shoots out his grapple from a rifle.
The trailer wraps up with Batman in full Dark Knight Returns armor staring down Superman. The footage is familar to anyone who was lucky enough to see the very teaser footage from Comic-Con last year. But this time with the added line that has already reached meme status:
“Tell me, do you bleed? You will.”
There are some who do not believe the line is in character with Batman and to be fair to them we don’t actually see his lips move when the line is uttered. The robotic tone the line is delivered in has led to some speculation that the line actually comes from Metallo. However if the film is truly going for a more Dark Knight Returns incarnation of Batman, then the line is perfectly in character. No sign of Wonder Woman, Aquaman, or Cyborg however and still no clue as to how they will factor in with the overall narrative of the film.
Bottom line, whether or not you think the teaser trailer was “good” or not. The point still stands that it did what a teaser is supposed to, establish the world, the characters inhabiting the world, and reveal the overall tone of the story. And even more importantly, it gets people talking about a movie that is a full year away.
One thing is for sure, no matter what, I will be first in line for this.