Soldiers with Superman patches on their shoulders, bowing to the Man Of Steel. That was part of the first trailer for Batman Vs Superman: Dawn Of Justice that had some people scratching their heads. Why would Superman need an army?
Let me clear up the confusion, using the second BvS trailer released at Comic-Con this weekend to help explain what’s going on.
The key moments in the trailer, with respect to the Superman soldiers, are as follows:
Notice the kneeling soldiers with Superman patches on their shoulders… and a yellowish tint to the lighting.
Batman emerges from underground, wearing some sort of duster jacket and face covering. Again with the yellowish tint.
The Superman soldiers doing some very non-Superman type firing of guns. Yellowish tint remains.
And Batman getting into a rough fight with those same Superman soldiers… again with the yellowish tint.
They’re pulling concepts from the Superman: Red Son storyline arc in what is very likely to be a dream (nightmare) sequence for the Dark Knight.
“In Red Son, Superman’s rocket ship lands on a Ukrainian collective farm rather than in Kansas, an implied reason being a small time difference (a handful of hours) from the original timeline, meaning Earth’s rotation placed Ukraine in the ship’s path instead of Kansas. Instead of fighting for “… truth, justice, and the American Way”, Superman is described in Soviet radio broadcasts “… as the Champion of the common worker who fights a never-ending battle for Stalin, socialism, and the international expansion of the Warsaw Pact.” His “secret identity” (i.e. the name his adoptive parents gave him) is a state secret.” (from Wikipedia’s entry on Red Son)
There’s also a heavy dose of Batman fighting back against the Soviet Superman in Red Son.
I’m not saying that Dawn Of Justice is going to have Superman suddenly become an agent of the Russian government. The trailer does show the U.S. government reprimanding him (or at least a Senate committee), but I don’t think he ex-patriates himself. Nor do I think he starts working for the government as one of their defense operatives.
And remember that yellowish tint I was mentioning? You might recall a scene from Man Of Steel…
That was a dream/nightmare state, not reality. Zack Snyder loves to use lighting tint to convey mood, and he’s using it here to convey context. I’d be willing to bet money that those scenes above with the soldiers bowing to Superman and then those same soldiers fighting (and shooting at) Batman aren’t part of the reality inside the movie.
More analysis of the trailer yet to come!