Now that we've all watched "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" 100 times, analyzed every frame, looked at every Easter Egg and practiced our Batman voice in the mirror (hard to do without one of those in-cowl voice modulators), it's time to figure out what's next for Warner Bros' newly-established DC Extended Universe.
Or -- more specifically -- what questions are still dangling from "BvS" that need to be answered in "Justice League," "Wonder Woman," and everything beyond? With "BvS" fresh on everyone's mind, here are the burning questions Zack Snyder's asks. Oh, and in case it wasn't clear, there are massive spoilers for "Batman v Superman" past this point. Ready? Let's get to asking.
Wait, Batman's dad was alive?
I've had this debate multiple times over the past week, so please settle this for me: who was the old man in Wayne Financial Bruce (Ben Affleck) was desperately trying to call on the phone during the destruction of Gotham/Metropolis at the beginning of the movie? To my ears, it sounded like he was saying "Dad"… which can't be right, can it?
In nearly every iteration of Batman ever created, Thomas (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Martha (Lauren Cohan) Wayne are shot to death in Crime Alley, which leads Bruce's lifelong quest to avenge their deaths by becoming Batman. But In "BvS," there's a moment that causes doubt: Thomas is shot, then Martha is shot, but Thomas -- lying on the ground -- reaches out to his wife, saying, "Martha!" Part of this is to establish that Superman and Batman both have moms named Martha, of course, but we also don't see Thomas die. And we also only see Martha's grave in the tomb later, not Thomas'.
So is it possible that Thomas lived for decades later, Bruce became Batman anyway… and then Thomas died during Superman and Zod's fight in "Man of Steel"? It certainly makes a lot of sense for the movie. It gives Batman personal motivation to begin his quest against Superman, and it explains why Bruce is running toward the Wayne Financial building despite the chaos.
When it comes to the name Bruce might have been shouting on the phone, the other guesses I've heard from folks make less sense. Dan, Tad, etc. -- I guess it's possible that Bruce would feel motivation to go after Superman over the death of classic comic book character Tad, the head of Wayne Financial, but wouldn't it make more sense (yet also be crazy-banana-pants-insane) if Thomas Wayne survived Crime Alley?
What was up with the floating dirt at the end?
In the comics, Superman (Henry Cavill) is resurrected in a Kryptonian Regeneration Matrix in the Fortress of Solitude. Here, something weird is happening, as dirt starts floating on Superman's coffin in the very final shot of the film. So is this something actually happening, or a dream ("BvS" is packed with those)? And does it indicate Superman will be back -- or is it just that gravity got weird in Smallville for a second?
Was Batman having a nightmare or a premonition?
The structure of Batman's (Ben Affleck) Knightmare sequence is strange because he's having a dream within a dream. We see him have at least one nightmare earlier on; then there's the extended sequence where he's battling an evil Superman -- and then wakes up to see the Flash (Ezra Miller) warning him to gather the Justice League. Then Bruce wakes up again, which certainly makes you think he's imagining the whole thing -- or not? It's probably the latter. The references to "Injustice: Gods Among Us," Darkseid, Parademons, "Crisis On Infinite Earths" and more are too clear to just be Batman having weird dreams. But the "Inception"-like structure is really weird. Just saying.
Why did Wonder Woman give up after 1918?
We learn that Diana (Gal Gadot) gave up fighting after World War I, but what happened, specifically? My money is on something bad with Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), who we glimpse as part of her #Squad in Lex Luthor's files. He's her true love, and I'm guessing probably bites it by the end of 2017's "Wonder Woman." Though rumor is, Pine will be back somehow, decades later… perhaps via levitating dirt?
What was Lex's plan, exactly?
So just to lay it all out, Lex (Jesse Eisenberg) wanted to expose Superman as less than a man, so he set up the most epic battle of all time between Batman and Superman. And yes, he does mention to send the cameras the way of the fight… but then every news station is covering his Doomsday science experiment across town instead of the battle between Batman and Superman. In fact, there's so little oversight in the Superman/Batman fight that they're able to discuss how to team up and take down Lex without the villain knowing it.
Also there's the whole issue of Lex building a giant unstoppable monster to prove that Superman -- who was, in his opinion, an unstoppable monster -- could be stopped.
Oh, and also Lex had already turned the world against Superman by blowing up the Senate hearings.
So… what was he doing exactly?
Do they really shave your head in prison?
Nope. Other than for death row inmates about to be executed so they can put the electrodes in the right place, they don't shave your head in prison -- unless they're all comic book fans trying to give Lex Luthor the right look from the comics.
Me! But also whoever Lex is talking about at the end of the movie. Could be uber-bad Darkseid, given the ruler of Apokolips is teased through the Omega symbol and parademon shock troops in the Knightmare sequence. On top of that, Lex going "ding, ding, ding," when talking about bells certainly sounds a lot like "ping, ping, ping," the sound of the New Gods/Apokolips technology called the Mother Box.
But for my money, I think there's a swerve going on here. I think he's talking about Braniac. Not only has Braniac teamed up with Lex Luthor far more often than Darkseid, the villain from Colu is far more accurately described as "hungry" than Darkseid. He wants to consume all the knowledge in the universe and "preserve" it, versus Darkseid's thirst for destruction and the anti-life equation. There's a bigger question though, which is...
There's a lot of info to unpack in the Flash/Knightmare sequence, but my biggest question is... when is Flash traveling back from? Is it after Darkseid has taken over? After Superman? He knows Batman needs to assemble the Justice League, and certainly seems to be suggesting Superman went nuts after Lois Lane died, as was suggested in the previous sequence. But all Flash says is, "You were right about him! Lois is the key!" The him, really, could be anybody, and Lois could be the key in a very different way than we think. Maybe. Or maybe Lois dies and Superman goes crazy and Flash travels back to Batman's dreams to prevent this. Who knows?
Lex's files on Wonder Woman date back nearly a century, so how long have the other three been around? We see Aquaman just kind of livin' his undersea life, but Flash is doing secret acts of heroism in a bodega and Cyborg's file contains footage of his creation. So when we see "Justice League" -- and their solo movies -- at what stage will we see them in?
Definitely in the Knightmare sequence, as well as snapping necks and stabbing folks. But when he goes to save Martha
I know they played basketball, had free Jolly Ranchers and sponsored libraries -- as well as giving experimental bullets to the Russians -- but what did they do, exactly? First person to say "you need to read the ancillary material" gets punched in the "it should be in the text of the film."
Rather than that uber-complicated spy work, couldn't Bruce have done an Internet search for "White Portuguese" to find out it was a boat? I'm no "world's greatest detective," mind you, but I feel like Batman should probably have access to Google.
This might just have been a way of visually connecting the movie to the Dark Knight series, but what happened to Wayne Manor that it was a burnt out husk down the road from Bruce's cool water-house? Clearly something bad to leave it that way, but we may have to wait for a solo "Batman" movie to find out.
Lex has records for Cyborg, Flash, Aquaman and Wonder Woman… but how many other metahumans are out there? Does Lex know about the super-powered members of the Suicide Squad (in theaters this August!)? Only time -- and casting the actors -- will tell…