Warner Bros.’ Justice League premiered its third and most comprehensive trailer yet. In it, we get our first taste of Steppenwolf, the big bad of the movie, and feel the tone of a society that has fallen into chaos. Superman is dead. Batman has strangely disappeared from action. The world is without hope.
But fans are most excited about one big moment at the end of the trailer, in which Alfred talks to someone wearing something red (or maybe brown) over their shoulder. Is it the return of Superman? There are some context clues that lead us to believe that Justice League may not be teasing Superman’s return — at least, in this moment.
Find out more on that, plus a few other points you may have missed from the trailer, below (No. 7 could be the biggest sign about Superman’s return).
1. Why is Batman absent?
Along with the absence of Superman, the trailer alludes to Batman having disappeared as well. Crime is running rampant, and there is chaos. So what’s the deal?
At one point, Bruce Wayne states, “Superman was a beacon to the world. He didn’t just save people, he made them see the best parts of themselves.” And therein lies the clue to figuring out where Batman has gone.
Flash back to the beginning of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Batman was hell-bent on taking on Superman — a force that he didn’t quite understand. It wasn’t until his later realization of who Superman truly is that he opened his eyes. Did Superman’s ultimate sacrifice turn Wayne’s focus inward, instead of outward at others?
Next: Did Superman actually make an appearance in the trailer?
2. Is Alfred actually talking to Superman?
The trailer leads us to believe that Alfred is talking to Superman at the end. There’s no other way around it — that’s what the people at DC Comics seem to want us to think. We see the ripples in Alfred’s scotch as we hear pounding in the distance, and then Alfred speaks to the unseen character and says, “You said you’d come. Now, let’s hope you’re not too late.”
The word “hope,” also used earlier in the trailer in the form of a newspaper headline referring to Superman’s death, further pushes us to the conclusion that this is all about Superman. But there is another moment in the trailer where a voiceover from Steppenwolf mentions “the lanterns.” This is a clear Green Lantern reference, and if you look in Alfred’s glasses, you can see the reflection of a green light reflecting off whoever he is speaking to.
Is this actually just a red herring for Green Lantern and not the setup of Superman’s return? It’s entirely possible.
Next: The Flash adds some laughs
3. The Flash is the comic relief
There are two key scenes in the trailer featuring The Flash, and both of them have him throwing out one-liners. When pleading with Batman, he says, “It’s really cool that you guys seem ready to do battle and stuff, but I’ve never done battle. I’ve just pushed some people and run away.”
Later, after all the other heroes quietly disappear while talking to Commissioner Gordon — a superhero genre cliché — The Flash is left to comment on how rude it is to do that.
Every superhero movie needs some comic relief, no matter how dark or serious. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it’s often Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark that cracks jokes and keep things light. In Justice League, it’s Ezra Miller’s Flash.
Next: Where is Darkseid?
4. Where is Darkseid?
In Dawn of Justice, Bruce Wayne had a vision that hinted at another big bad, Darkseid. A deleted scene from later in the film shows Lex Luthor hanging out with the villain right before he’s arrested. In Justice League, while Steppenwolf is the bad guy we’re focusing on, it’s really Darkseid that is behind the scenes pulling all the strings. So where is he?
From what we have seen so far, we don’t yet have the answer to that question. In the comics, Darkseid is a member of the species the New Gods and is ruler of the planet Apokolips. He’s an extremely powerful being, with the ability to teleport himself through space and time.
Without a doubt, he is DC’s answer to Marvel’s Thanos — a character that the MCU has teased, but won’t fully introduce until 2018, about 10 years after the original Iron Man. It seems likely that Warner Bros. is keeping Darkseid close to the vest for now, but expect some sort of wink or nod to the character in Justice League.
Next: Is Supergirl on her way?
5. Are we getting a Supergirl crossover?
Another moment that fans initially took as a hint at Superman’s return is the image of Wayne looking at a hologram of a red cape, flapping in the wind. But towards the end of the shot, the back of the character’s leg is revealed — and it looks much more feminine than you’d expect for Superman. Instead of the trademark blue tights, the slender leg appears to be wearing tall red boots. This has many fans wondering if we were merely given another red herring that is actually a tease for Supergirl.
Is the CW’s hit series Supergirl, starring Melissa Benoist as the title character, set to crossover with Justice League? It’s not nearly as complicated as it might seem, as the show is solely owned by Warner Bros. television.
Of course, actor Tyler Hoechlin portrayed Superman on the show instead of Henry Cavill, who has played the character on the big-screen in the two recent Warner Bros. movies. So it’s possible that Justice League could be introducing a new Supergirl, or it could simply be a nod to the character.
Next: Wonder Woman is fighting someone.
6. Who is Wonder Woman fighting?
The Justice League trailer opened up with what we can only guess is a bad guy, breaking into some sort of secure building. Based on the presence of innocent bystanders — in this case, what appears to be a group of school children — we’re going to guess it’s a museum. The villain walks at a calm pace, wearing a suit and gloves and also holding a gun (with a silencer attached) and briefcase. But we never actually see this man’s face.
In comes Wonder Woman, who takes down bad guys left and right while dodging slow-motion bullets with ease. Still, we never get an answer on who this mystery villain with the briefcase is. Is this some henchman working for Lex Luthor (or even Luthor himself), or is it another character from the comics? Is this a setup for the underlying plot of the movie, which has to do with where the Mother Boxes are located on Earth?
Obscuring the face of this character leaves us with plenty of questions about his identity and motive.
Next: Superman will return, but …
7. Superman will return in some form
Whether the end of the trailer was teasing Superman’s return or it was merely a misdirect for the debut of the Green Lantern, one thing is for certain: Superman is going to be in this movie.
First of all, you can’t do a Justice League movie without him, especially if you are intentionally misleading fans. Second, Henry Cavill is listed as Superman, otherwise known as Clark Kent, on the IMDb page for the movie. It’s not exactly a huge secret, even if he hasn’t shown up in a trailer yet.
Ever since he sacrificed himself at the end of Dawn of Justice, there is nary a fan to be found that believes that Superman will stay dead. It’s part of what is so amazing about the Kryptonian hero; he always comes back. A moment in the trailer (seen above) shows several characters at the Superman memorial in Metropolis, looking up with disbelief all over their faces. Is this the actual moment when Superman returns?