Have you seen the Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer? It almost got buried amid all the Star Wars: The Force Awakens stuff happening this weekend at Star Wars Celebration.
There's so much going on in the BvS trailer, you might be tempted to think it's much simpler than it is. Watching it closely, however, reveals loads of references to comic books and the history of these characters, as well as plenty of hints at the film's story. Let's take a look.
These images have been enhanced for easier viewing. Click on any image to see it full-sized.
The first shot in the trailer is of Metropolis, three years after Zod's attack. The city is looking a lot better than it did the last time we saw it, but the construction crane on the left indicates that it's still being rebuilt. A statue of Superman has been erected in the city, evoking shades of Alan Moore's Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?
The red sign or billboard atop one of the skyscrapers is eye-catching, but we can't make out what it says. Click on the image to see it in more detail, and let us know if you have any guesses.
We've learned from the trailer that following the events of Man of Steel, Superman's presence has produced a wide range of responses. There's gratitude for his superheroics, there's suspicion – and even hatred – from those who don't trust him, and there's worship from those who see him as a god.
This crowd shot of Superman, which appears to take place at a Mexican Day of the Dead celebration, is an example of that worship, as is the next one.
We had to enhance this picture to the limits to get a clear look at the figures, but check out the shoulder patches on those soldiers. It's Superman's "S" – aka "hope" – logo. Who are these masked men sporting Superman patches on their shoulders? Why are they kneeling to the Man of Steel? Why do their outfits conjure the feel of Nazi soldier uniforms? Whatever this is, nothing good can come of it.
Unless they're just robots from the Fortress of Solitude or something. But even in that case, it's hard to imagine Superman feeling comfortable being bowed to.
After some more worshipping, we see Ben Affleck doing his best Bruce Wayne smolder. It looks like he's probably in the Batcave here, since you can see some weapon-like shapes behind the glass on the far right. We included this shot because there's a scene in the film that may showcase a very famous suit hanging behind glass. For all we know, it could be hanging right behind Bruce in this shot. Something to ponder.
Now we get a proper look at the Batsuit. It's got the standard silicon-molded cowl (no neck turning for you!), but the suit itself is something very different than what we've seen before. The texture is the first thing that jumps out at you — it looks like some kind of carbon fiber, or maybe even graphene. But there's something else that caught our attention. You can see it best in the following shot posted by SuperHeroHype Forum user "Vigilant."
Vigilant played with the contrast and the saturation to come up with this edit of the Batsuit from a shot later in the trailer. It's subtle, but we can detect a difference in the color of between different parts of the suit, and we're not talking about the utility belt. The chest and arms have a distinctive gray look, while the cowl, cape, gloves and bat logo appear to be black.
In other words, the new Batsuit has been designed to more closely resemble Batman's comic book look than anything we've seen on film before — specifically the costume Batman uses in Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns.
If we're not much mistaken, this is the train station where Superman snapped Zod's neck in Man of Steel. If so, the state it's in raises some interesting implications, along with the fact that Batman is standing amid the ruins examining what happened. Obviously, Bats is among those who don't trust Superman and hold him responsible for the destruction of Metropolis.
If the question mark on that front-most pillar is any indication, then Batman isn't the only visitor the train station has recently received from Gotham. Is someone posing a riddle, perhaps?
Here's one that's getting a lot of attention. At first glance, you might think Batman is standing atop a skyscraper, clinging to a spire as he looks out over Gotham or Metropolis. And you're almost right. Look closer and you'll see that what he's holding is, in fact, a rifle with a scope attached.
Is it a sniper rifle? Definitely not. For starters, Batman never uses guns. Never. He hates them. But more than that, back in The Dark Knight Returns – which greatly influenced Batman's depiction in Batman v. Superman – he carried what looked like a sniper rifle at one point in the story, similarly atop a building. But it turned out to be a high-powered grappling hook. That's undoubtedly what's happening here.
Why hello there, Batplane! Or Batwing? Batarial? Whatever they call it, this is the first time we've seen it. There's another view of it from the front in the next shot, too.
That's it on the top left, shooting up everything else in the image. You probably noticed the Batmobile in the trailer, too.
Okay, now they're just lifting stuff straight out of Dark Knight Returns. This is pretty much the same armored Batsuit that Bruce wears in his big fight against Superman in the comic. Looks pretty cool, though.
We can't wrap this up without mentioning the many voiceovers. While several of them remain unidentified, we can put names on a few.
"We're talking about a being whose very existence challenges our own sense of priority in the universe." This is none other than science superstar Neil DeGrasse Tyson.
"Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." "The world has been so caught up with what he can do that no one has asked what he should do." This is the unmistakable voice of actress Holly Hunter, who's believed to play a U.S. Senator in the film.
"We know better now, don't we? Devils don't come from Hell beneath us. They come from the sky." That's Lex Luthor himself, Mr. Jesse Eisenberg.
"That's how it starts – the fever, the rage, the feeling of powerlessness – that turns good men cruel." Jeremy Irons' Alfred Pennyworth issues a warning to his surrogate son, Bruce Wayne. It sure sounds like Batman is being set up to be the villain of the "Batman versus Superman" fight.
"Tell me. Do you bleed? You will." That voice, obviously belonging to Batman, is electronically distorted. We're hoping that means the Batsuit includes some sort of distortion technology attached to the cowl's throat. Because it just makes sense. Bruce Wayne's got all this incredible technology that makes it possible for him to do limitless things, including a suit that hides his identity. Of course he'd disguise his voice, too.
Okay everyone. What did we miss? Did we get anything wrong? Tell us your thoughts below.