So, the DC Panel at this year’s SDCC dropped a ton of news for its ever eager fans, including the much hyped trailer for this year’s blockbuster release, Justice League! If you haven’t watched it yet, have a look here and revel in its awesomeness!
The trailer shows what our heroes have been upto since their last outing together, ‘Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice’, and includes a tonne of new footage, easter eggs, references and details, the most noteworthy among which we attempt to share here!
Before we proceed though, a SPOILER ALERT for the DCEU Movies preceding Justice League is in order.
1. A World Without Hope?
Following the supposed death of Superman at the hands of Doomsday in the somewhat bloated final act of ‘Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice’, we knew things were going to go south for the inhabitants of Metropolis, having lost their saviour and beacon of hope. However, what’s revealed in the trailer is that apparently the entire world is mourning the death of the iconic superhero, now united in their loss, while previously, Superman was portrayed as a hugely divisive figure. There is a little shot of London Tower Bridge paying homage to the deceased hero by putting up Superman’s ‘S’ symbol on a large black canvas, that is testament to the fact. Besides that, numerous voiceovers of reporters in the background indicate a “new crime wave around the world”, which is an expected aftermath, and a Daily Planet article reading, “A World Without Hope” is prominent. Too bad Superman can’t stay dead for too long, with the world finally realising that he was probably just a guy trying to do the right thing!
2. What Falls, is Fallen!
One look at the trailer, and it’s easy to deduce that the world shown has not been the same ever since the death of Superman, similar to how it changed after the events of ‘Man of Steel’ (2013), aptly summed up by Viola Davis’ opening dialogue in ‘Suicide Squad’ (2016). However, the most interesting, and perhaps the most adverse change seems to have taken place with the Bat. It is now evident that most of BvS’ story arc was aimed at Batman realising the folly of his ways before he completely gives in to darkness, and part of that realisation came with Superman’s selfless act of sacrifice at the end of the film. While BvS ended on a somewhat positive note for Batman, to my surprise we got to see a more jaded and reclusive version of himself in the trailer. One of the voiceovers from the previous pointer also says that the Bat has been a no-show. In the shot that plays, we see Batman perched upon a building overseeing the city. Seemingly okay, but the noticeable difference here is that the city he seems to be watching is Metropolis and not Gotham.
The Bat’s activity in Metropolis, and his general absence from the scene can be attributed to a lot of things. One, he may be busy assembling metahumans for the league. Two, he actually does feel devoid of hope after Superman’s death, possibly even blaming himself for it, which explains him keeping a watch over Metropolis, and being fixated on the hologram version of what looks like Superman. Either way, Batfleck’s story arc has been one of the positives of the DCEU, and I sincerely hope we get to see more of it.
The latest trailer for Justice League gives us a good first look at the main antagonist of the film, Steppenwolf. Though the character looks a little different from his initial appearance in the deleted scene from BvS, titled ‘Communion’, I’m sold on the overall physicality and demeanour of the character, not to mention Ciarán Hinds’ intimidating voiceover of the character, who also plays the character in motion capture.
Interestingly, Steppenwolf makes his first appearance in the trailer in Themyscira, surrounded by Hippolyta and other amazons, through a portal that presumably could be termed a boom tube. Steppenwolf is actually the uncle of supervillain Darkseid, and also the military commander of Apokolips. Wielding a deadly axe, Steppenwolf is then seen in Atlantis, where he comes face to face with Aquaman, following which he amasses an army of parademons and engages in battle with the other members of the league. It’s going to be a global level threat for the league, and a compelling portrayal from the actor. But why is he here? Our next point addresses that.
4. Holy Motherbox!
The presence of motherboxes in the DCEU was confirmed in ‘Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice’ (2016), when one of them was shown being transfused to the remains of a horribly disfigured Victor Stone, introduced as “US GOV Object 61982”. Their second appearance was in the previously mentioned deleted scene, ‘Communion’, where Steppenwolf is shown holding three of them. But what exactly are these?
Motherboxes are essentially miniature supercomputers, having the ability to more or less bend physical laws including those of gravity, magnetism, time, space and the like. They are also known to open and close boom tubes, have healing powers and can manipulate energy. Which of these roles will the motherboxes have in the DCEU, is a thing yet to be seen. What we know for sure, is that Steppenwolf is looking for three motherboxes on Earth; one of the three is in Themyscira, the other is in Atlantis, and the third motherbox is the one used in the creation of Cyborg.
5. No Lanterns Here!
“No protectors here, no Lanterns, no Kryptonian. This world will fall, like all the others.” That is the only ominous piece of dialogue we hear from the film’s antagonist, Steppenwolf, in the trailer. Most notably, he talks about the absence of any ‘lanterns’ on planet Earth. This not only signifies that the Apokoliptians have crossed paths with the Lantern Corps before, they also consider them a force to be reckoned with.
The mantle of Green Lantern has been taken up by many, most notable among them being Hal Jordan, John Stewart (who originally was a founding member of the league), Guy Gardner, and Alan Scott. The abovementioned Green Lanterns have been part of the intergalactic force, Green Lantern Corps, assigned to maintain peace over, well a lot of sectors of the universe, Earth being a part of one of them (Sector 2814). While Green Lantern, in all other incarnations, is a recurring member of the league, his presence in the DCEU is as good a guess as any. Despite the tease, what would be interesting to see is how this extended universe actually incorporates the mammoth mythology of the lanterns in its current continuity.
6. The War to End All Wars!
According to recent developments, the Justice League movie is sure to have a prologue battle, which intends to establish Steppenwolf’s purpose of visit to the Earth, and the reason for his quest, both of which seem to be dated atleast a thousand years ago. While the current trailer lacks any significant footage of the aforementioned battle (except one scene where Steppenwolf smashes his scorching axe on the ground), the previous trailers do provide a sneak peak of what I am talking about.
The glimpses reveal (also confirmed by the production house) that the Apokoliptians did try to invade the Earth on more occasions than one, presumably a long time back, wherein the humans, Atlanteans and Amazons formed an alliance to defeat and drive away the common enemy, before they segregated into their modern, separate worlds. The first and second trailers do provide us glimpses of that battlefield, and from the looks of it, it may turn out to be one of the better action sequences in the film due to the sheer scale of it.
7. My Turn!
One of the purest fanboy moments in this trailer and the previous ones is the reveal of Batman’s most badass vehicle yet, The Nightcrawler, or as many of his gadgets are named with a ‘–Bat’ prefix, The Batcrawler, because everything sounds cooler this way. The Nightcrawler is Batman’s vehicle of choice on difficult terrain, or unreachable ground, like the tunnel-like setting shown in the trailer, where a lot of the league action takes place. The Nightcrawler is a tank like vehicle with four mechanical legs, enabling it to “walk” and also seemingly climb vertical surfaces, coupled with heavy armour and weaponry, a sureshot advantage against threats of the nature our heroes are going to face.
The previous trailer showed a badass Batman, entering the vehicle, and squaring up for kicking some parademon butt. However, the scene packs a real punch when Cyborg seizes control of the crawler cybernetically in Batman’s absence, and assures Alfred that he is going to take it from there, while Alfred doesn’t seem to know what the hell is going on. If this is the lighter tone that WB promised in their upcoming films, I have no complaints, in the hope though, that they don’t overdo it.
8. The Return of Superman?
One of the things generating intense buzz and speculation ever since that little tease at the end of last year’s ‘Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice’ was the return of Superman. While it is now almost certain that he WILL return, since Cavill’s name is in the final cast, and an official poster has him up with the rest of the league, the only question that now remains is: how? It has been a well-kept secret until now with little to no information or reveal as to the man of steel’s level of involvement in the movie and with the rest of the league. I guess WB has learnt a lesson or two from the much talked about Doomsday reveal in the trailers for BvS, which killed the excitement for a major reveal.
Towards the final twenty seconds in the trailer, we see Alfred, played by Jeremy Irons, startled by the arrival of something, or someone. As the scene progresses, the entrant walks with titan steps, creating ripples in the glass of scotch Alfred is having, who then says this: “He said you’d come. Now let’s hope you are not too late.” While fans have gone overboard predicting it to be Green Lantern, Supergirl or even the Martian Manhunter, the best and safest bet would still be Superman. See that little red flicker at the corner of the screen? And that emphasis over the word “hope”, not mere coincidence, is it?
What’s more? The Cyborg CGI looks a whole lot better, Batman and Aquaman are badass as ever, Wonder Woman occupies a lot of the screentime in this trailer, which is justified by the immense success of her solo outing, and Ezra Miller continues to be the comic relief in the team; but I can’t help and think there is a lot of depth to the character behind the wisecracking. Lois Lane and Mera are completely absent from the trailer, unlike the last one where we did catch brief glimpses of them. Alfred is at his sarcastic best and J.K Simmons as Jim Gordon looks straight out of the comics, although doing what he does best.
So that’s all I have to rant about the new Justice League trailer which in my opinion, was wholly awesome. Let us know what you thought of it in the comments section!