Greetings from the Duke!
Today, we continue our series about the DC Extended Universe and how the dark tone and it’s grittiness defines them separately as a comic book universe. For the past three articles, we have been talking about the films in the DCEU. We tackled Superman and how he’s forging his destiny as a hero and the decisions he made to save the innocent in Man of Steel. We also discussed the events that transpired in MoS and how it affected the main characters in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. We even indulged in Vigilantism and its negative effects in society, the God Complex and how this can destroy oneself and the people around you.
Right now, we will be focusing on the man who planned the clash. The one who made them battle and how this will change our two heroes. Also, we will take a closer look at the psychological background and trauma of Batman and Superman. Then, we’ll take a dive in the events and the effects of Superman’s death in society and how it will mold the Justice League and Bruce Wayne’s renewed faith for mankind. Beware, if you haven’t seen the film and don’t want it to be spoiled, leave this post immediately and watch it first.
If you haven’t been following on the series, feel free to click on the links below:
DC, Too Dark in Movies? Part 1: Man of Steel; Forging Destiny
DC, Too Dark In Movies? Part 2: BvS: DoJ; Man of Tomorrow and Vigilantism
DC, Too Dark In Movies? Part 3: BvS: DoJ: The Dark Knight and The God Complex
First, let’s visit the brains behind the battle. Although, we know that Bruce Wayne has a deep hatred towards the Man of Steel for his unchecked actions and on Clark Kent’s point of view that the Batman’s methods of justice is cruel and brutal and should be stopped. The real credit is due to Alexander Luthor or better yet as Lex Luthor. Lex Luthor was born in a wealthy family but deprived from his father’s affection and attention. As he’s growing up, he feels that he has everything and can do anything with the acquired wealth that was given to him through LexCorp. He feels that he IS a Superman. But when an alien came into view and saw that this alien can fly, shoot lasers from his eyes and is invulnerable, Lex became furious. He knows that he is no longer the Superman.
In this manner, we can see Lex becoming envious in social status. Even though that he has everything, he knows that he can’t match the powers and abilities of Superman. But embedded in his character is greediness and that’s where his plan starts to cook. Although his plan is very intricate but it actually works and that’s why he is one of the best villains in the DCEU. In his plan, he formulates a way to frame Superman, heat up the anger in Batman against Superman, and make them battle to the death.
You may disagree with me but his plan really works. His point was recognized although he lost in the end. He was pointing out that a god like being even the greatest has its flaws. He wants to let the world see that some one who is as great as Superman can fail in some point and that he is no god. He also wants to prove that gods can be killed by mortal hands. But in the end, his plan failed and what we saw it failed tremendously.
Now let’s go to the battle of the two titans. All people may think that the battle is unnecessary and was only placed in the film just for the sake of it. But on my view, it is necessary. Lex threatened Supes mom and the only way for Superman to save her is to ask for Batman’s help. But when Superman asks for Batman’s help, things goes haywire. Batman beats up Superman and then we have the infamous “Martha Scene.” If you don’t know this part, this scene is where Batman is going to kill Superman, Clark mentions his moms name which coincidentally has the same name as his. Batman then inside freaks out. Something triggers and he looses it. Inside him, he is still the traumatized kid that saw his parents death in front of him.
In psychology, traumas that are done in childhood can stick in an individual for too long especially to a child. In order for one to get over this kind of trauma. But we all knew that Bruce didn’t went that way. We all knew that he goes and trains himself and starts his investigation in the murder of his parents. When PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), yes that’s what Batman is having, is left untreated, some may get over it when treated but when left untreated it will somehow can into hatred and into a serious disorder.
Now, that’s what happened to Bruce Wayne and to his untreated disorder. It escalates and the product is the Batman, a man with an unstable anger issues who beats up criminals into a pulp. And when Superman triggered his long buried trauma, he freaks out and breaks down. He then remembers the promise he made. He looks back and sees that he is not living up to the promise he made on his parents graves that he will be fighting crimes and imposing justice in an unjust world.
In this moment, we get to see Bruce realizing and reflecting his promise and the purpose of his Batman. He instantly shifts and tries to redeem himself by saving Martha Kent. We get to see here that Bruce is slowly changing his perspective towards Superman.
Now we all know what happens next. Bruce saves Martha from Anatoli and Lex unleashes his ultimate weapon, Doomsday. Superman, Batman, and even Wonder Woman sets out and battles the monster. In the end, the three proved that they are worthy opponents to the monster but they need to bring it down. Superman, with the help of Lois Lane, took the kryptonite spear and pierced it on Doomsday’s chest. Also Doomsday stabbed Superman in the heart which led to the two dying.
Although others may see this as an unnecessary sacrifice but when you look in a more broader picture, it is a necessary part of the DC Extended Universe. In the first parts of the film we see him as a symbol of hope while to some a symbol of destruction. But when Superman died, the world saw that a hero and their hope is gone. They saw that no one will save them again from threats that man can’t handle.
To truly appreciate the hero, it must die. No one appreciates the hero if he or she is still alive. Although some may appreciate him but for the world to truly appreciate the hero, he or she must die a martyr’s death. In here, we see that after Superman sacrificed himself, the whole world mourned in losing him. We also saw in Suicide Squad the effects of people longing to have a Superman. In here, they now appreciate the things he has done for them.
With Superman dead and the threat that Doomsday brought upon Metropolis and Gotham is now gone, Lex has been arrested from numerous crimes he has done against the United States of America. We also see his consequences. When Luthor was about to be arrested, we see him waist deep in blood and in front of him is a weird looking alien with horns. This is our first look at the villain Steppenwolf, Darkseid’s uncle and general in Apokalips and the villain in the upcoming Justice League movie. Now when Luthor was incarcerated, Batman payed him a visit. Lex then was told that was being transferred in Arkham due to the evaluation that he has mental problems. But when Batman was about to leave, Lex tells him that something bigger and badder is coming and that there is no one who can stop it.
In here, we can see that Luthor broke mentally. What he saw scarred him and is haunting him. This would probably be seen hopefully in the next DCEU films and how this would affect Luthor’s transformation into the greedy and maniacal character we all know.
Next time, we will be focusing on the Squad that is more likely to tear itself apart from the inside.