Why the Batman V Superman trailer is a doomsday disaster

With the release of the second trailer for Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, audiences have been super-punched in the face with a preview that's as rich with comic book history as it is with questionable decisions. Really, really questionable decisions:


So, I'm here to guide you through the highs and lows of the trailer with another writer who's never touched a comic book before in his life, and has no idea why he just saw a GGI turd monster that looks like a reject from Ninja Turtles. Behold my chat with him now:

Aren't They Both Good Guys?

I get that the start of this is Superman and Batman meeting each other for the first time as Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent, but do they know each other's secret identities? Why does it seem like they're arguing? Aren't they both good guys?

Well, the name of the movie is Batman V Superman, and apparently that's going to start with verbal tiffs. (Bring the kids!) But historically, this is how things usually go down when these two meet in the comics. Batman at his core is a control freak, so he's not exactly thrilled that someone besides him is running around with the power to crack the Earth in two if he feels like it. Superman, on the other hand, isn't really a big fan of Batman's vigilante tactics or being treated like a threat by some dude who's running around branding people.

Does Batman brand people in the comics? Is that a thing?

That does not happen in the comics. The only thing Batman brands is every single object he can get his hands on. People? Not so much.

Batman Has A Reason To Be Extra-Pissed

Okay, so Batman thinks Superman is a threat. Is that why he hates his guts the whole time they're talking?

This movie actually kicks that dynamic up a notch by having a Wayne Industries building get smashed to hell during Superman's battle with Zod in Man of Steel. So Batman understandably has a reason to be extra-pissed. (He also hates high premiums.)

Wait...How Many?

What was with that spray-painted costume while Bruce Wayne was talking about The Joker? I'm assuming that "freaks dressed like clowns" part was about him, right?

And here's where we get into some comic lore. That spray-painted costume is actually Robin's—as in Batman and Robin—who's presumably been killed by Jared Leto's Suicide Squad Joker prior to the events of Batman V Superman and is most likely the reason Batman's been in retirement until Superman showed up and started knocking his buildings over.

Wait. Robin's dead?

Well, not the Robin, but a second Robin named Jason Todd who replaced Dick Grayson, the first Robin, after he quit to become Nightwing. It's all part of an iconic story called A Death In The Family that Zack Snyder may be sticking closely to. Or maybe not, and that suit could be any number of the Robins from over the years.

How many Robins are in this thing?

Maybe zero. Maybe four! I honestly don't know at this point.

Not A Good Look, Bro

Does Lex Luthor start with long hair in the comics and is he so annoying that you want to chop it all off with a rusty razor?

I don't know what the hell is going on with Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor. I initially thought he'd be some sort of Mark Zuckerberg-esque billionaire, but apparently he's going to be aping Jim Carrey's Riddler the whole time, which looks pretty awful. Especially considering Lex Luthor in the comics can be a crazy compelling anti-hero/villain and finds ways to go physically toe-to-toe with Superman that I don't see Jesse Eisenberg pulling off. To put it another way, Lex Luthor should really be more like Batman in this movie, but then Ben Affleck would have nothing to do but stand around and go "Boo!" at people. As for your hair question, Lex loses it from exposure to Kryptonite radiation, which is probably what will happen in the movie based on promo shots of Jesse Eisenberg without hair floating around. (Side Note: I watched the trailer with my eight-year-old who asked me if that was Lex Luthor or The Joker. "Because he sounds like The Joker to me," were his exact words.)

Does Lex know Batman and Superman's identities and is he always trying to get them to fight each other?

Considering Amy Adams' Lois Lane basically figured out Superman's identity using Google in Man of Steel, it's going to be hard to believe a super-genius like Lex Luthor doesn't already know who both Batman and Superman are going into the movie. As for pitting them against each other so he can pull off some scheme they should've been focusing on instead of punching each other in the face, that's classic Luthor.

What's with the soldiers with Superman symbols on their arms?

The filmmakers have apparently said that this "Superman Army" is a dream/hallucination Batman has about Superman just up and declaring himself emperor of the world, which he could feasibly do whenever he wants. It's a motif that's explored a lot in the comics, most notably in the books Kingdom Come and Superman: Red Son, which is an awesome "What If?" story that imagines Superman's rocket landing in Soviet Russia instead of Smallville. In fact, Batman's trench coat outfit in the desert scenes is itself a visual nod to Red Son. The dream theory also explains why Superman rips off Batman's mask when he could just use his X-ray vision, which is something Batman might not know he has yet and will feel really embarrassed about when he remembers all those times he didn't have underwear on. It constricts his crime-fighting!

Super Religious

Does Superman blow off the U.S. Congress with anywhere near the panache of Tony Stark? If not, why even bother with this?

Very good question, and the answer is, "nope." Superman is not Tony-Stark-awesome with the quips. If anything, he'll probably just give a long, boring speech about America and how he's just a Space Jesus sent here to inspire mankind. Or he'll snap everyone's neck because this version of Superman is really big into that. It's a toss-up.

Iron Bat?

So, Batman's mad because Superman and Zod ruined Metropolis, which he'll rectify by fighting him in a battle that looks equally if not more destructive? Makes perfect sense.

Yeah, not exactly the best of plans. Granted, Batman might not be thinking clearly from the death of Robin, but mostly what you're seeing is Zack Snyder's attempts to shoehorn the classic graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns into a story about the formation of the Justice League, which just doesn't fit. In The Dark Knight Returns, Batman and Superman have a climactic battle where Batman wears a power suit, just like the one Ben Affleck is wearing, so he'll actually have a chance at beating Superman in a fistfight. Except that battle loses all of its dramatic resonance without the original story, and years of comics history, leading up to that moment. Instead, Batman V Superman just shoves a random battle in people's faces and goes, "See? They're supposed to be friends, but instead, they're fighting! Isn't that CRAZY?!"

Welcome To The Nerdiest Answer Yet

So Superman acknowledges that he could kill Batman anytime, yet he lets the fight play out and destroys even more stuff instead of just locking him up somewhere, because he clearly learned his lesson about collateral damage.

Pretty much.

What are the Wizard of Oz flying monkey-looking things?

Either they're part of Batman's dream sequence where he also imagines Superman has an army of flying bug things, or that theory is completely wrong and these are actually Parademons from Apokolips, a virtual hell-planet ruled by a God-like alien named Darkseid who's believed to be the main villain in the Justice League movie. So welcome to the nerdiest answer yet.

Enter: The Turd Monster

Is Doomsday a reincarnated Zod-monster thing created by Lex Luthor in the comics? And does he look exactly like the bad guy in the Edward Norton version of The Incredible Hulk?

Ah, the turd monster. For starters, no, Doomsday does not look like a noseless CGI dump Michael Bay would be proud of. Nor is he created by Lex Luthor using Zod's dead body. Doomsday, for all intents and purposes, was a product of the '90s when DC needed some sort of a thing that could feasibly kill Superman so they could pretend he was dead for an entire year. (Spoiler Alert: He got better.) In the comics, Doomsday is an unstoppable force that rips through the Justice League like butter and could only be stopped after the entire DC Universe is thrown at him before Superman epically dies fighting him to a standstill in the streets of Metropolis. But outside of that context, Doomsday is nothing more than just another random CGI monster with no dramatic tension whatsoever. Especially when the trailer seems to show him already being stopped by Wonder Woman's shield alone, and you know Superman's going to be around for the next movie to form the Justice League. So chances are good Superman isn't biting the big one this time around.

Does Batman really try to block heat vision with his hands?

Ha! I completely missed that. Apparently this Batman isn't the smartest Batarang in the belt, and wow, I can't believe I just said that.

Also, what he is going to do with a gun standing next to Superman and Wonder Woman? Is he the Hawkeye of the Justice League at this point?

That's about right. I actually tried to zoom in on the gun to see if it shot Kryptonite or something, but it's just a black shotgun looking thing, so who knows? Maybe a second Superman flies out of it, which is literally the only way it could be useful.