‘Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice’ Teaser Debuts
One day after the second trailer for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens released comes the (likely premature) release of the first trailer for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.1
Perhaps the most fascinating shot in this trailer is the climax of a slow zoom-in to what turns out to be a Superman statue, with a very spiritually significant slogan spray-painted on his chest (over the S-shield that, as Superman explains in Man of Steel, means “hope”):
In fact, the entire trailer is about the world’s response to Superman’s “first contact” in Man of Steel — including an in-universe analog to real-life audiences’ criticisms of Superman’s battle that leveled a huge part of Metropolis.2
Viewers hear shouts of protest against Superman, along with news opinions speaking in favor of him.
Perhaps must disturbingly, we see a group of soldiers in a tunnel kneeling in homage before a slightly disturbed-looking hero.
In the voice montage someone also says,
Devils don’t come from Hell beneath us. No, they come from the sky.
… Which sounds like a chilling echo of 2 Corinthians 11:14: “… Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.”
If these themes are truly at the heart of Batman v Superman, that would make the two heroes’ titular dual more than a simple fanboy-pleasing beatdown. Instead fans would find a fleshed-out, special-effected, fantastical exploration of the meaning of humanity and heroism — perhaps even the drama of a truly good hero trying not to be corrupted.
I don’t think some folks understood that this is where Man of Steel could have been attempting to go this whole time.3 They stopped short at, “Oh noes, Superman killed and he never ever does that.” Instead we should do what all good readers should do before they choose to get outraged evangelicals-halfway-through-Harry-Potter-style: finish the story. Remember, we’re in another shared cinematic universe. And in this case, the story has only just begun.
- Is it just me or are more film titles these days coming with colons? ↩
- See a few thoughts about that here at SpecFaith: ‘Man of Steel,’ Heart of Flesh, June 17, 2013. ↩
- This presumes the critic is not a Marvel partisan who is rather un-joyously trying to turn everything into a substitute sports competition, rather than seeking to enjoy good stories whether they are found without an Enemy to fight. ↩
Superman IS, for all intents and purposes, a small g “god”. He is super-powerful, and it takes a lot to kill him. He can do feats no other mortal (short of Captain Marvel, who it looks like will be in a separate continuity) can do. Without his two or so weaknesses correctly exploited, he could not be defeated by anyone.
The only thing that makes him not a god is that he can’t live forever if not killed. He will die of old age eventually in almost every continuity but one, I think. Unlike the New Gods of Apokalips and New Genesis, or the Greek gods, so on, he will die of old age. Other than that, he and other Kryptonians, as well as the Daxamites of DC Comics who have similar abilities, are gods.
I don’t mind the debate shown in the movie, but I hope they can do it with happiness and not angst. You can see those kneeling guys with the House of El crest on their shoulders (Superman’s shield symbol). I think in the end it will be that folks should trust him. I just would like it not to be Bats talking so menacingly. That suggests the really dark and edgy crap of the Dark Knight Returns instead of Supes and Bats’ first meeting in the late ’80’s Man of Steel reboot or the New 52 reboot. They still have some issues, but Bats prepared ahead of time and kept the problems at bay.
The plot sounds good and makes sense, but I just want to have fun too watching this. I don’t want to be there at the end thinking that I enjoyed it but don’t really want to watch it again.
I always cringe when movies take themselves too seriously. Deep subjects are best handled with a dialogue; movies are a monologue. And images can be very emotionally manipulative, bypassing the intellect altogether, and leaving the viewer with a feeling of what is “right” without ever thinking about it at all. We have to train ourselves to think about what we are watching and to subject it to worldview analysis. Most people just want to be entertained.
Or we can train ourselves to have transformed minds so that “worldview analysis” occurs not through detailed catechismic religious breakdown — e.g., the potentially patronizing, “Okay everyone, now that we’ve had our fun, It’s Time to Talk About What We Can Learn.” Instead it would seem a “higher form” of worldview-analysis kung-fu occurs though something akin to muscle memory. It’s like instinct — instinct honed by truth. Yes, we need to do the training. But it’s for the purpose of not constantly needing it.
Agreed that most people wrongly dismiss stories as “just entertainment.” The solution, however, doesn’t lie in accepting the premise that stories, or particularly image-based stories, should only be seen as shallow or as worthless apart from word-based theme deconstruction.