Where Is Superman? Decoding the ‘Justice League’ Trailer


There’s a whole lot riding on Warner Bros.’ DC movies releasing in 2017. After a rough start with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad, it’s left the studio in a “do or die” scenario with the releases of Wonder Woman and Justice League. For the latter, we finally have our first new footage since the sizzle reel was unveiled at Comic-Con.

The trailer (above) expounds on a whole bunch of major plots points, running us through the members of the titular team of superheroes. Conspicuously absent though is the Man of Steel himself. So where the hell is Superman? We’re not entirely sure, but we can at least draw plenty of other conclusions based on the trailer.

1. The MacGuffin of Justice League

The Mother Box, stashed behind other various items

The Mother Box | Warner Bros.

Every superhero team-up movie needs a mystical item that our villain is on a quest to acquire. In Justice League, it’ll be the Mother Boxes, items capable of granting their users incredible powers. Steppenwolf (the aforementioned villain) will be on a mission to acquire the three Mother Boxes, located in Atlantis, Themyscira, and on Earth.

Given that Aquaman and Wonder Woman originate from the first two locations respectively, it’s already clear what their stake in this battle is.

2. The parademons return

A parademon stalks Silas Stone

A parademon stalks Silas Stone | Warner Bros.

The Mother Box we saw in the previous frame appeared to belong to none other than Silas Stone (Joe Morton), the father of Victor Stone (aka Cyborg). Above, we see Silas being stalked by a parademon, one of the winged minions of Darkseid we saw in Batman’s “Knightmare” in Batman v Superman. Even while Steppenwolf is our primary villain, we see Darkseid’s influence, perhaps hinting at a future appearance in the second Justice League film.

3. A good look at Ray Fisher as Cyborg

Ray Fisher looks into the distance as Cyborg in Justice League

Ray Fisher as Cyborg | Warner Bros.

Creating a live-action version of Cyborg is a tall order for any studio. The fact that a large portion of his body is basically a mechanical Iron Man suit built into his body, makes it so he’s almost entirely a CGI creation. The result in Justice League is a character who at times looks awesome, but at others looks just a little off. Perhaps it’ll look better in the final product, but for now, the CGI is all too noticeable.

4. ‘What are your superpowers again?’ ‘I’m rich.’

Bruce Wayne and Barry Allen have a conversation in the Batmobile together

Bruce Wayne in Justice League | Warner Bros.

It’s nice to see DC leaning hard into Bruce Wayne’s real defining characteristic: his wealth. He’s the only member of this version of the Justice League without a true natural superpower, but as a billionaire, he can afford all sorts of gadgets and toys that help even the playing field, even when going toe-to-toe with Superman.

We see that in an exchange between Barry Allen and Bruce, where the latter matter-of-factly notes, “I’m rich.”

5. Aquaman continues to be the best part of Justice League so far

Aquaman slams his trident into the ground and parts the oncoming sea

Jason Momoa as Aquaman in Justice League | Warner Bros.

We have to wait until 2018 for the standalone Aquaman movie, but Justice League will still feature him heavily (at least if the trailer is any indication). In the latest run of footage, we see Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry, saving drowning fishermen, cracking wise at Batman’s expense, and generally looking like the one person in this movie who’s actually having fun.

Suffice it to say, we’re beyond excited for Momoa to finally get the blockbuster exposure he so rightly deserves in Justice League. 

6. Amber Heard as Mera

Amber Heard as Meera swimming around in Atlantis in Justice League

Amber Heard as Mera | Warner Bros.

Further evidence that Aquaman will be an integral part of Justice League: the inclusion of Amber Heard as Mera. In the comics, Mera is the Queen of Atlantis and wife of Aquaman, making her a key player in the DC universe. We haven’t seen much of her in the run-up to Justice League‘s release though. The latest trailer affords us a brief glimpse at her, in what appears to be the underwater realm of Atlantis, and the home of one of the Mother Boxes.

7. Some insight into which version of the Flash we’ll be getting

Billy Crudup as Henry Allen, putting his hand up against the glass as he talks to his son while in prison

Billy Crudup as Henry Allen | Warner Bros.

Given the Flash’s propensity for time travel, there have been various iterations of the Scarlet Speedster throughout DC’s comic history. The one we’ll be getting in Justice League is finally clear, drawing from the nine-issue The Flash: Rebirth series for the character.

The best evidence for that comes in the form of Billy Crudup as Barry Allen’s father, Henry. Above we see Henry in prison, hinting at the Flash’s Rebirth storyline. In Rebirth (and The CW’s The Flash series), Henry’s been wrongfully accused of killing his wife, and Barry’s life mission is to prove his father’s innocence.

8. Themyscira goes to war

Themyscirans charge into battle together in Justice League

Justice League | Warner Bros.

One of the Mother Boxes resides in Wonder Woman’s home of Themyscira, so it makes sense to see her fell Amazonians get involved in Justice League. 

Here, we see the Themyscirans going to war, in what could very well be a flashback sequence to a past conflict with Steppenwolf. Whatever it is, it’s clear that we’ll continue to get some additional background into Wonder Woman’s origin, even after her standalone movie releases in June 2017.

9. J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Jim Gordon

Commissioner Gordon and Batman have a conversation on a rooftop

J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon in Justice League | Warner Bros.

When pictures first surfaced of J.K. Simmons’ buff new physique, many assumed that it was for his role as Commissioner Gordon in Justice League. It turns out that his intense new workout plan was simply a life choice to get in shape, but that doesn’t make us any less excited to see him as the Commissioner anyway.

With plenty of other characters to focus on, odds are we won’t see much of him. At least he’ll get to make fun of a grumpy Batman with Aquaman though.

10. Alright, so where the hell is Superman?

Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and Cyborg strike a pose on a platform in Justice League

Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and Cyborg | Warner Bros.

It seems odd to have two trailers in hand with no single image of Superman, leading many to wonder whether he’ll have a large role in Justice League at all. We all know that he’s destined to return following his “death” in Batman v Superman, but that hasn’t stopped DC and Warner Bros. from playing coy with the “how” of it all, saving the big reveal for a later date.

If you ask us, it’d probably be best to save it for the release of the actual film (especially given how long they’ve already waited).

Justice League releases nationwide November 17, 2017.

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