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Let’s be kind and say that I’ve been somewhat critical of director Zack Snyder’s work of late. After blowing audiences away with his stellar adaptation of Frank Miller’s graphic novel 300, Snyder has gone on to make underwhelming film after underwhelming film, culminating in in 2013’s Man of Steel. While Man of Steel was successful on a number of levels – saving the Superman franchise from its uncertain fate after Superman Returns, finally putting to film an appropriate visual representation for how damn fast the Big Blue Boy Scout actually is, and establishing the DC Cinematic Universe – the script left a great deal to be desired, the third act was needlessly packed with 9/11 imagery, and Superman kills people.

The teaser trailer for Snyder’s follow-up, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, did little to raise my opinion of the director’s take on Superman, let alone inspire hope that my favorite superhero (and let’s be honest, the best), Batman, was going to be safe in his hands. Fortunately for me and those like me, the recently released San Diego Comic Con trailer does quite a bit to rectify that mistake.

Batman v Superman Bruce Wayne
Bruce Wayne is pissed. And if there’s anybody in the DC Universe you really don’t want pissed at you, it’s Bruce Wayne.

At the end of Man of Steel, humanity is left with a newfound knowledge of that we are not alone in the universe, and the distinct possibility that we are in fact inferior to most of what else is out there. The fact that Superman, in his efforts to save the planet, destroyed a great deal of a major city and appears to be on trial for that is an incredibly interesting point. The fact that Bruce Wayne was there to witness the destruction of Metropolis even more so.

What this sets up is a very good reason for Batman to be in conflict with Superman. Being there firsthand to experience his city’s destruction at the hands of an alien entity is more than enough reason for Batman to want to remove the potential threat of Superman, especially when we look at things from the perspective of this being a Batman that has already experienced the death of Jason Todd at the hands of the Joker. The way he looks at the destroyed Robin costume says it all – this is a Batman unwilling to allow any death he feels he has the power to prevent.

Post-Jason Todd world confirmed.
Post-Jason Todd world confirmed.

The incredibly brief glimpses that we’ve been given of the actual conflict between Batman and Superman look rather stunning, particularly the possibility of finally being able to see Batman make use of some aerial acrobatics in combat. We’ve never really seen him make use of that aspect of his arsenal, and Snyder might just be the director that is finally able to capture it. On top of that, the Frank Miller-inspired Bat suit looks incredible, the shot of Superman ripping apart the Batmobile is super tense, and the entirely-too-brief glimpse of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman has me aching for more.

Adding to all of this is Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor, and while he looks hilarious with long hair, we should expect he not only goes bald at some point within the film, but that his role in the plot warrants the presence of one of Superman’s most important villains. There’s a brief shot of Superman looking up at him with hate in his eyes, and I’m excited to see where the film takes this extremely important relationship.

Of course, there’s still quite a bit of time before the film releases, and we can safely assume that we’ll get at least another trailer or two before then. While it’s safe to wager that there’s now significantly more hype surrounding the film than after the teaser trailer, there remains the possibility that David S. Goyer’s script proves every bit as wooden as in Man of Steel, or that Zack Snyder’s visual flair gets in the way of quality storytelling. But for now, let’s honor that giant red “S” thing and have some hope.

 

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Tags : Batman v Superman: Dawn of JusticeSDCC '15TrailerZack Snyder
Keith Mathias

The author Keith Mathias

Keith is a writer and photographer living and working in the Baltimore/DC area. Every once in a while, he'll put down the controller to pick up a book or simply bask in the light of the silver screen. Formerly of VideoGameWriters.com, you can read his thoughts on the DC music scene at WAMU's Bandwidth.