As DC/Warner has ramped up its ambitious movie universe, the focus of fans has been fixed primarily on the March release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. With Marvel already entering into Phase 3 of its films, DC has a lot of a catching up to do, and it appears as though it will attempt to make up almost all that ground in a single leap. Dawn of Justice promises to be a crowded affair, featuring the promised showdown between the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight, the presence of Lex Luthor as a primary villain, a third-act appearance from Wonder Woman and Doomsday, and a rumored cameo from Aquaman. Sounds like enough, right? Not if you’re Zack Snyder apparently.
The latest promo images released by Warner Bros. include good looks at our main heroes, and a tease at yet another major villain (above). The tease in question shows Batman looking over a post-apocalyptic wasteland, with a gigantic Omega symbol carved into the expanse. Fans of the comics will recognize that symbol as the trademark of Darkseid, adding yet another iconic DC character to the Batman v Superman roster. His presence is further confirmed by the trailer that debuted a couple months back, featuring the winged Parademons known for their role as the official minions of Darkseid.
Many have theorized that the Parademons scene from the trailer is part of a dream sequence, but even then, it’s a curious addition to a film already inundated by heroes and villains. Unless Dawn of Justice kicks its runtime up around 3 hours, there’s not a whole lot of space for a hero-on-hero battle, the introduction of Wonder Woman, a tease at the Justice League, an evil plot from Lex Luthor, and a climactic battle with Doomsday (that may or may not be linked to the aforementioned evil plot).
Knowing all this, it’d be a surprise if DC/Warner wasn’t immediately aware of this issue too. For all we know, Darkseid’s presence could be an end-of-the-movie tease a la Thanos, hinting at his role as the coming big bad for the two-part Justice League saga premiering in 2017. If that’s so though, it’s an odd choice to reveal Darkseid at all in the run-up to Batman v Superman, especially in a promotion cycle that’s already left little to the imagination. The last full trailer released by the studio laid out virtually the entire movie, and this latest information represents yet another spoiled surprise for fans.
All spoilers aside, it’s still worth explaining who Darkseid is in a comic book context. He’s very similar to the X-Men’s Apocalypse, as an immortal all-powerful deity hellbent on the destruction of planet Earth. Primarily, he’s acted as a foe for Superman, as one of the only villains capable of going toe-to-toe with the Man of Steel in a knock-down drag-out brawl. With Thanos operating behind the scenes against the Avengers since Phase 1, it would make sense for DC to follow a similar strategy with Darkseid. The main difference though is that Marvel saved the reveal for the post-credits scene after The Avengers, instead of spoiling it in the promo cycle like DC has.
All of this is of course conjecture at this point. Maybe the promotion image is from a flashback or unrelated dream sequence, and this whole discussion is a moot point. Whatever the real answer is, it’s pretty clear that Darkseid will be appearing somewhere in DC’s movie timeline. The form that will take is far from confirmed, but it looks like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice just got a little more crowded.
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