Man of Steel 2 Plot Theories: Batman the Bad Guy?

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One of the biggest reveals that came out of the San Diego Comic-Con this past weekend was Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel 2 tease, which promised to showcase both Superman and Batman on the big screen for the first time in movie history (live action) once the film debuts during the summer of 2015.

Snyder pulled of this reveal masterfully, and hinted at Batman’s inclusion with a great line from Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns graphic novel in which Batman says, “I want you to remember Clark in all the years to come. In all your private moments. In all the years to come, my hand at your throat. I want you to remember, the one man who beat you.” Snyder went on to confirm that he and David Goyer aren’t adapting Miller’s iconic tale for the big screen, but rather the line served as a prelude to what fans should expect in Man of Steel 2 in regards to the dynamic of Superman and Batman’s relationship.

Let the speculation begin

With that being said it’s now time for the legions of DC Comics fans, and fans of cinema in general to start speculating on what Man of Steel 2′s plot will entail. Based on Snyder’s tease, and confirmation that the movie will feature tension between Superman and the Dark Knight, there’s a great chance that Batman himself may be the main antagonist, or at least a major problem that Supes will have to deal with in the Man of Steel sequel.

Bear with me on that thought, I know it sounds sacrilegious to say that Batman may play a bad guy in a movie, but it’s not that far fetched of an idea. The fact that Snyder had a line read from Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns to help setup the concept for MoS 2 should be a clear sign that Batman and Superman will come to blows at some point during its run time. If you have read, or watched the recent animated version of The Dark Knight Returns, then Snyder’s tease will help paint a much clearer picture for the tone of his Superman sequel.

For those who have not, here’s a brief synopsis of the events in Miller’s TDKR:

Batman is old and slightly off his rocker in regards to how he deals with the scum of Gotham City. He has ramped up his level of violence, and while he still doesn’t kill people, his acts of vigilantism and destruction catch the eye of the U.S. government. Superman works for the President, and he’s tasked with reigning Batman in. The two try to hash things out like friends, but thanks to a super-suit and passion, Batman ends up going toe-to-toe with Krypton’s last son. Without spoiling it, let’s just say that it’s an epic superhero versus superhero battle that needs to be experienced by all comic book fans, and it ultimately defines the rocky relationship between two of DC’s most famous characters.

The scene from TDKR that Snyder had read at SDCC

The scene from TDKR that Snyder had read at SDCC

The whole Superman and Batman movie should now make a little more sense to those of you who weren’t in the know with Snyder’s reference. It should also help to support the fact that Batman may well indeed be one of Superman’s antagonists in Man of Steel 2.

Batman has never truly trusted Kal-El due to the fact that he’s an unstoppable alien force with powers of a God. Most of us would probably agree with his stance. Batman is a detective, and cares about the weak, so he’s always planning for the worst. Superman just so happens to be on his list of people to watch out for, because he respects his powers, and knows full well what could happen if the Man of Steel went off the reservation (play Injustice: Gods Among Us for a perfect example of this scenario.)

Considering that Superman more or less destroyed an entire city in Man of Steel, and killed many people in the process while saving the day (those buildings weren’t empty), there’s a great chance that Bruce Wayne, aka Batman, caught wind of the disaster and began researching the Kryptonians and Metropolis’ new savior. One would assume that this research led Batman to consider Superman a threat, and one that needs to be put into place.

Maybe Batman sees potential in having someone like Superman on his side and goes to recruit him, but in the same light he also wants to learn how to control him, or at least how to neutralize his powers to put him on a level playing field. This could potentially lead to the two heroes duking it out over a disagreement and Batman getting the upper hand as hinted by the line Snyder had read at the reveal. See how much fun this concept can be? Batman and Superman on the same silver screen beating each other up rather than working together to save Earth is literally what all DC fans have wanted since comic books started getting adapted for movies.

Plot prediction

Personally, I see things going like this. The first half of Man of Steel 2 will feature the Batman and Superman conflict. Batman will indeed take himself to Metropolis to get a closer look at the “Superman” he saw decimating Metropolis to stop General Zod via the Wayne Tech satellite feeds that captured the event. He’ll easily identify Clark Kent as Superman’s alter ego and devise a way to get his point across to him, which is to take more care in how you protect the world from your enemies.

Unfortunately, Batman will do so in a way that causes tension between the two, and they’ll have a little fight to iron out their differences. In said fight Batman will get the upper hand thanks to his detective work, and realizing that Clark becomes vulnerable around Kryptonian elements. This may be where kryptonite comes into play, or Snyder may rely on the whole home world atmosphere issue that plagued Kal-El on Zod’s ship in MoS. Who knows, maybe Batman can produce a suit that mimics the atmosphere on Krypton, which in turn renders Superman’s powers useless?

After the two kiss and make up they’ll both realize that they’re not the threat that they should be focusing on. Here’s where the Lex Luthor seed can be planted. While the two DC heroes are battling each other Luthor can be figuring out a way to capitalize on their mistrust and natural exploits. The bulk of the movie may indeed be spent on the whole Superman versus Batman dynamic, but throughout we will see Lex scheming towards his end game, which could lead into Man of Steel 3′s plot.

Maybe Lex is the guy who brings Bruce Wayne to Metropolis in the first place as a fellow zillionaire, and from there he begins his Superman investigation. Lex could be the force behind the mistrust between the two heroes as well. Regardless, I just have a strong feeling that Luthor will make an appearance in Man of Steel 2, and that he will have something to do with the strife between Superman and Batman.

Final thoughts

The biggest news to come out of SDCC 2013 is without a doubt Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel 2 reveal, and how it will include Superman and Batman for the first time on film together. His tease of Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns clearly sets up the fact that DC’s finest two heroes will come to blows, but that can’t be the entirety of its plot. Batman will undoubtedly play an antagonist type of role, but there’s a great chance that he won’t be the only foil for Superman. I personally believe the two will iron out their differences in time to deal with a larger threat, which very may well come from Lex Luthor.

The next two years will be full of speculation and fanboy debate on the matter, so feel free to chime in on my thoughts of this movie’s plot by using the comment section below. The only thing we know for sure is that Man of Steel 2 will not be The Dark Knight Rises on film. The rest is up in the air and ultimately will be determined by Snyder and Goyer. It’s a great time to be a geek!

 

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