SPOILERS! Moviegoers who were able to puzzle out the storyline of Batman v Superman may have also been aware of the parallel but perhaps just as important plot thread: the establishment of a cohesive DCU movie universe that ties in various characters and plot lines for future movies. Perhaps the most debated scene is “Batman’s very bad dream about Mad Max” which showed a dark, yet orange tinged future featuring an evil Superman, an Omega symbol and a sky filled with flying parademons. As explained by Abraham Riesman, this all ties in to Darkseid, Jack Kirby’s mega-bad guy who is expected to be the foe in the upcoming Justice League Movie. The evil Superman who turns bad after losing Lois Lane is a reference to the mad popular Injustice: Gods Among Us, the video game that featured this plot line.
After Batman is captured and strung up, Supes shows up and tells the Dark Knight, “She was my world, and you took her from me.” Maybe this dystopian future came to be as a result of Lois Lane dying (perhaps due to something Batman did) and Superman subsequently giving in to rage at his adopted world? That’s similar to the setup of DC’s recent hit video-game Injustice: Gods Among Us, which would make this another example of brand synergy. That game didn’t feature Superman working for Darkseid, but it’s not unreasonable to think Supes might have allied himself with the Apokoliptan after turning against humanity.
There’s also an appearance by Ezra Miller-Flash in one of those time travelling warning journeys he’s so fond of (Crisis on Infinite Earths/Flashpoint.) WB has also released a deleted scene that takes place in the Kryptonian wreckage where Lex Luthor has a vision of yet another menacing figure with seemingly Kirbyan roots. Riesman’s interpretation is that this is another Darkseid tie-in:
The creature looks a lot like DC character Yuga Khan, father of mega-supervillain Darkseid. Given that Darkseid is widely believed to be a major figure in the upcoming sequels and spinoffs from Batman v Superman, that makes a little bit of sense. Or maybe it’s supposed to be Darkseid, himself? He doesn’t look like the traditional depiction of the guy, but who knows. C’mon, geeks, it’s time to do what you do best: argue!
Watch and judge for yourself.
Comicbook.com has a pretty comprehensive list of all the Easter Eggs and inside references in BvS, from the fate of Jimmy Olsen to a bunch of Dark Knight/Watchmen references. Of course there’s also the clunky but crowd pleasing intro to the Justice League itself via Wonder Woman’s late night googling.
While I don’t think BvS was very good as a movie in the abstract, its huge international opening and this successful sowing of seeds for more movies has to rate it as the success it had to be for DC movies going forward.
Speaking of BvS’s huge international debut, WB really lucked out on this. As with the surprise juggernaut Jurrasic World, BvS had an extremely rare global roll out, and that unquestionably gave it a boost at the box office, plus the Easter weekend timing proved to be perfect:
BvS broke a number of records in its takeoff, including the biggest Easter weekend of all time and the biggest March opening, blowing past the $152.2 million debut of The Hunger Games.
“It helped to be one of the big first films of the year, and going out earlier helped us get a day-and-date release in China,” said Veronika Kwan Vandenberg, president of worldwide distribution at Warner Bros. “And in summer, we would have much more competition in the successive weekends.”
With the opening of BvS and the announcement of Rebirth, this past weekend was definitely the most crucial for DC Comics/Entertainment in memory– well, maybe ever. While you can criticize the quality of many aspects of the execution, it was an overall success. For those who believe a strong DC is a net benefit to the comics industry it’s a positive sign.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.