In the years since the releases of Man of Steel (2013) and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), DC fans have been digging deeper and deeper into Zack Snyder’s DC Extended Universe work, the deeper the thematic arc and narrative connections get.
Today brings yet another thematic connection that’s been spotted between the two films — a running motif that foreshadows the death, loss, and love that surrounds Henry Cavill’s Superman. Check out that connection, below.
This post from “not_like_this1” on Reddit shows, yet again, just how much pre-planning Snyder put into his DCEU saga, which was supposed run through Man of Steel, Batman v Superman and the Justice League film(s).
These two scenes above are both taken from Batman v Superman, but the scene with Kevin Costner’s Jonathan Kent was a major callback to the character’s arc in Man of Steel. Taken as one long-form story, these scenes tell the tale of how Kal-El / Clark Kent / Superman learns the values of love and commitment from his Earthly father figure, values instilled deep in Clark, which manifest in his relationship and treatment of Lois Lane.
The sub-plot comes full circle as Clark ultimately sacrifices himself to protect both Lois and the world from Doomsday, just as Jonathan sacrificed himself to protect Clark from the world. As controversial as Pa Kent’s death was in Man of Steel, when you consider how it later feeds into Clark’s heroism and bravery in a moment of self-sacrifice, it’s just another indicator that — despite what trolls and critics try to argue — Snyder did have a deeper understanding of DC Comics heroes. Superman following Jonathan Kent’s example (when all others have failed) as inspiration for a great heroic act is fundamentally in line with the core concepts of the character.
As DCEU fans are already pointing out, it’s also clear that this particular motif wasn’t just a connection between Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: it was also a major foreshadow to a pivotal part of Justice League. The “Knightmare” sequence of Batman v Superman showed Evil Superman frying Batman and his resistance troops, while the small amount of dialogue we get indicates that Superman turned evil after something happened to Lois (“She was my world,” he tells Batman before killing him). That now-awkward scene where Flash briefly warps back to warn Bruce Wayne also feeds into the motif, as Flash explains to Bruce that Lois was always the key to Superman.
Altogether, Superman’s close connection to select humans — and the losses / protection of those connections — was a major character arc that would’ve hopefully brought Henry Cavill’s Superman around to being the hero fans wanted him to be, and would connect right back to Jor-El’s Man of Steel prediction about his son’s arc as an Earth hero, leading humanity ‘into the sun.’
Alas, we’ll never see the full picture, though — at least not until Warner Bros. releases that Snyder Cut!
Shazam! is slated to hit theaters on April 5, 2019, while Wonder Woman 2 hits theaters on November 1, 2019.