Saturday, March 26, 2016

BATMAN V SUPERMAN: Alternate Futurama *SPOILERS* (Batman's "Vision")

SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS follow. Turn back now if you haven't fought your way thru BATMAN <3 SUPERMAN yet!

Welcome… to the world of the TOMORROW!~

So, what the heck was it that Bruce saw/experienced in the Batcave? It appeared to be a vision of an Apokoliptian future Earth, delivered via a future Flash, perhaps harnessing some combo of Boom Tube tech and Speed Force, maybe some Martian telepathy or backwards-speaking magicks for good measure?

But how many visions was it? I think there are two, nested within each other. The innermost one, vision 1, is a packet of Bruce's own future memories/experiences. This starts with that view of a desert Earth (future Gotham?), with the "Omega" character branded into the ground… Firepits burning in the distance… An apparent rebel operation run by him to acquire a chunk of Kryptonite, contained in a Lexcorp-branded case… And a betrayal by the courier of his forces and himself to a contingent of armed —in uniforms sporting the Kryptonian character for "Hope" on the shoulders—as well as a platoon of Parademons.

Tangent: RE: The Parademons. I was a little disappointed at their apparent inspect/wasp-like design, but that final Parademon who knocks Bats's lights out looked the part to me. Maybe the waspy ones are a different breed? I really hope the Parademons are all chunky winged Luchador types, a la Kirby's style.

When future Bats awakes, he's chained to a wall in an underground jail. Supes drops in to judge, jury, and execute the prisoners hanging beside him. When he approaches Bats, he tears off his cowl and tells Bruce, "She was my world." Maybe he said something like "and you took her from me," too? I can't be sure now, but that's the kind of line that feels right there, right?

Tangent: "She was my world" is what Jonathan Kent's ghost tells Clark about Martha on his Canadian(?) walkabout.

Then Kal places his hand on Bruce's chest, pauses a moment, and then applies pressure, apparently killing Bruce and snapping him out of the vision and back to the Batcave in 2016, when and where he apparently wakes up at the Batcomputer and sees the head and shoulders of what looks like a future Flash (a scrubby and aged version of the kid we see in the metahumans Lex files), wearing some kind of red armor or tech, ringed by some kind of portal in spacetime, and yelling at him that "Lois is the key!" He also asks/exclaims something like, "Is it too early? I'm too early!" This could be directed at Bruce, someone off-portal, or maybe himself. I think the last things we hear him say are "Find us!" and "You were right about him! You were always right about him!"

Bats was Kal-El Ma'ed!

This is vision 2, and within it, vision 1 was part a payload delivered to Bruce of 2016.

Meanwhile, the portal phenomenon is making a mess of the Batcave, blowing anything not bolted down around the cave, and perhaps wreaking havoc w/the Batcomputer. When the portal closes, Bruce snaps out of this vision, and back to the Batcave in 2016, when and where he apparently wakes up at the Batcomputer and sees… Nothing out of the ordinary.

What happened? What did we see?

I believe we saw events that transpired in two realities or timelines, first an original, or at least, "earlier" one, and then a second one, that diverged from the original due to actions taken by Batman based on the Flash's message.

So, in the first timeline, a few years into the future, Darkseid comes to Earth and manipulates or controls Superman into becoming his enforcer after the death of Lois Lane (ostensibly due to machinations of Batman) drives him to Ubermenschism. A group of metahumans (maybe they had enough time to call themselves the JL before Darkseid's arrival?) attempt to resist, but apparently find Darkseid + Superman to be unbeatable (as it would be). Indeed, in this future, Batman is dead, Kal-El Ma'ed. So—executing a plan that I'm willing to bet is future Batman's own last resort contingency plan—the Flash sends his message back to Bruce of 2016. And although the message is delivered too early, it motivates Bruce to do something different—steal the Kryptonite from Lexcorp *now*, in 2016—and thusly change the future, apparently eliminating the need for a future Flash to send that message in the first place (but maybe possibly creating a future in which a future Flash CAN'T?). So, that time-Boom Tube portal dealio (pardon the technical jargon) never opened in the Batcave of the Bruce we see fighting Clark in BATMAN V SUPERMAN.

But, since Batman is an agent of the difference/s that change the future—comic book rules—he retains a memory/vision/echo/dream of the message. And since it's a movie, we get to SEE it. =)

At Clark's funeral, when Diana asks Bruce why he says that they need to find the other metas, why they'll need to come together, he says something like, "Just a feeling" or something, right? Sure, he could be playing it cagey, close to the vest, as is every Batman's nature, right? But what if right then, that's the truth.

Tangent: I think it's kind of funny-slash-bold to assign Batman the job of assembling a team. Classically, while he always ultimately acknowledges the value of a Justice League, he is the last one to be a joiner. It will be interesting to see his recruiting technique (and Wonder Woman's). Man, is Flash gonna be Barry or Wally? If it's Wally, how many times is WW gonna be kindly (or violently? =) shooting down his hormonal behavior?

So, does Bruce remember the details of the events of this earlier iteration of reality? Perhaps they were fresh when he "woke up" from them in the Batcave, and they've been fading since? While I think I'd dig Bruce Wayne retaining the insight of this alternate future—can't trust whoever that courier is in the future, that Flash kid can time travel!—I kinda like him moving forward on instinct and momentum.

When it's still fresh, the vision—of his future hunt for Kryptonite and the "Super-soldiers"—certainly seems like a direct inspiration for him deciding to steal the Kryptonite and confront Superman. "I'm older now than my father ever was. This may be the most important thing I ever do." Something like that, right?

But think of those memories dissolving, or resolving, into a desire, a will, maybe even just a hunch, to find and collect the other metas, to stand together against an imminent threat (Lex can help fill in those blanks), and perhaps keep an eye on Lois Lane. That's enough, isn't it?

And—hey!—who does Bruce NOT keep track of once the Super-$hit goes down? Lois Lane. So maybe those echoes fade quickly.

Maybe we'll get other glimpses into alternate, Apokoliptic, futures in the next couple of DCU movies. The future changes just enough that the Flash (of the same future, or perhaps successively different Apokoliptic futures) needs to try to contact a different hero at a different critical moment in each one.

Keep on keepin' on~

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