Friday, April 01, 2016

BATMAN V SUPERMAN: Breaking down the Knightmare…

So, what's up with the memory-within-a-vision-within-a-dream-within-a-bad-burrito sequence in BATMAN <3 SUPERMAN? *SPOILERS* after the pic!


First, we see a vision of an Apokoliptic future, one in which Darkseid has come to Earth and transformed it into a New Apokolips. This vision is not a story or a message. The best way to describe it is a memory. A memory of Batman's own experiences in this future. We see Darkseid's omega symbol burned into the Earth, firepits in the distance. Batman leads a group of rebels who are meeting with another group who has promised to deliver a sample of Kryptonite. When Batman opens the Lexcorp-branded case, he learns that he's been betrayed—no Kryptonite. Why would the Batman need Kryptonite to fight Darkseid? The answer becomes apparent as the the trap is sprung and the couriers reveal themselves to be part of a military police force, sporting uniforms with the Kryptonian character for "Hope" sewn into the shoulders. Superman is working for Darkseid.


Batman resists, but when Parademons join the fray, he's overpowered and knocked unconscious. He comes to in an underground cell, chained to a wall. Superman enters the cell and approaches him, casually powering up and executing the prisoners chained beside him with his heat vision. He removes Batman's cowl and considers it. He then puts his right hand on Bruce's chest, looks him in the eye and says, "She was my world, and you took her from me." Superman then kills Bruce.


The events we see here (and *maybe* Bats sees as well) unfold in the future of the, oh, let's call it timeline Omega.

In the film, this is when Bruce of 2016 snaps awake, seated at the Batcomputer, apparently from the shock of dying in the vision (based on the cinematic cut), but perhaps also or only due to the eruption of a spacetime portal just a few feet away from him in the Batcave. The energies of the portal are throwing the cave into chaos, whipping anything that's not bolted down around the cave and wreaking havoc with the electronics. Through the portal we see an older, scruffier looking Flash, sporting some variation of his red suit as well as some extra bits of wearable tech or armor. I don't remember his exact words, but he is yelling over the chaos, telling Bruce, "Lois—Lois is the key! You were right about him! Oh, am I too early? I'm too early! Find us, Bruce. Find us!" Those aren't the exact words and order, but those are the substance of the four parts of his message I remember.


This Flash is communicating with Bruce from the same future in the timeline Omega. I'd wager it's *after* future Batman is Kal-El Ma'ed, probably following orders left as part of a worst-case-scenario Batman contingency plan.


I forget the order of Flash's statements, but let me start with "You were right about him, Bruce." I think there was some emphasis like, "You were right about him all along… Fear him!" Something that stressed that Bruce didn't trust this "him" from the get-go. Given the context of Batman's future memories and the recent devastation caused by Supes v. Zod we're meant to think that Flash is talking about Superman.

But take into account "I'm too early!" This tells us that Flash's message is reaching Bruce too early, too far back in Flash's past, which means that the "him" that Bruce was right about could be someone he has not met yet, perhaps one of the metahumans—a future Justice League member. Given the four metas in Lex's files, I'd say Aquaman, heh. But, like I said, it could be anybody. Perhaps a DCCU Steve Trevor?

"Lois is the key." The key to what? Given everything we've seen so far, we should conclude: Superman's humanity. Next to Clark's parents, she's the emotional touchstone that enables the superhuman to appreciate and relate to the human. Taken with future Kal's last words to future Bats, we can surmise that Lois dies in the near future, and Kal blames Bats, or the League, or humankind in general, and the Flash is correct—losing Lois drives Superman to go fascist tyrant on the planet, apparently in service to Darkseid.


But then again, there's a chance that she might be the key to something/someone else. She is a snoopy journalist, supposedly an excellent one (although I suspect that's info we bring to the movie, not info the movie actually presents to us). Maybe she ends up uncovering some important secret or connection? A government/military plot to subdue, control, or destroy the League? Maybe she knows or has something vital, but doesn't know it? Perhaps the engagement ring is the key to Kal's as-yet-unseen Fortress of Solitude? Just a thought. =)

And "Find us!" Here the Flash urges Batman to seek out the metas, unite them, prepare them to protect the world and fight the future that he's living. The urgency may be about gathering them SOONER this time, that maybe if they'd been ready for Darkseid (and/or other Big Bads), the Apololiptic future could be averted. Then the portal seems to collapse.

And with it, timeline Omega.

This is when Bruce of 2016 really snaps awake, seated at the Batcomputer, no rip in spacetime, no mini-tornado of chaos in the cave. Just the computer, ticking away.


This is timeline JL. Divergent from timeline Omega at the point when Flash contacts Bruce and imparts information that leads to him taking actions different from those his timeline Omega counterpart took. Most immediately, the Bat-theft of Luthor's Kryptonite. When Bruce decides to do that, it ripples forward in time, leading to events unfolding in timeline JL differently from timeline Omega, enough so that the future Flash of timeline JL does not need to contact Bruce in the past. Y'know, cuz he's too busy fighting off his kooky Rogues at the ground breaking of the Flash museum; Supes is preoccupied rescuing malfunctioning spaceplanes and kittens from trees; and Batman enjoys a picnic w/his wife and kids while Nightwing and Batwoman BOFF! SOCK! and POW! the streets of Gotham clean of crime.

Or perhaps, Flash simply can't reach Bruce in the past because he's been Omega Beamed by Darkseid. =(

But probably not, right? =)

Keep on keepin' on~

Click for my earlier take on BVS Futurama!
Click for 3 explanations of the Knightmare!
Click for all my BATMAN <3 SUPERMAN crazy talk! =)

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