'Batman v Superman': What actually happened in Batman's dream, and what it means for 'Justice League'
Caution: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice spoilers ahead.
There's a moment in Batman v Superman when â with no warning â we see the Caped Crusader in the desert, searching for Kryptonite. He fights scores of Superman-branded soldiers (including some with wings) before the Man of Steel shows up and murders him. When Bruce wakes up, informing the audience that this was all a dream, he's accosted by a mysterious figure warning him that "Lois is the key." But was that all a dream as well?
See also: 'Batman v Superman': Go like a speeding bullet to see this dark mess
There's a lot to unpack from this extended sequence. (When it ended during the screening I saw, a woman in the audience audibly yelled, "What the f*ck?!") But fear not: We have all the answers here.
Sweet dreams are made of this
Batman's dreamscape will look familiar to comic readers: His costume's aesthetic recalls the alternate universe graphic novel Superman: Red Son. But though that story pits a resistance fighter Batman against a tyrannical Superman, it otherwise has little to do with this Knightmare.
Batman's Dark Knightmare outfit versus his Red Son costumeMost of the dream seems like a straightforward exploration of Batman's fears about an unchecked Superman. But there's also a bit of apaprently prophecy: Superman angrily tells Batman "she was my world," while that mysterious figure â The Flash, traveling through the time stream â warning that Bruce was "right about him" and Lois is "the key."
All this points to a possible future in which Lois dies and Superman goes rogue with grief. While this hasn't happened in the main DC universe canon, there are a few alternate universe stories when losing the love of his life leads Superman down a dark path â particularly the recent video game/comic crossover Injustice: Gods Among Us. Only time will tell if Lois and Clark, and the world, have something to worry about.
Welcome to the Darkseid
But the biggest easter egg of the dream have to do with the likely villain for the upcoming Justice League franchise: Darkseid.
Pronounced "dark-side," this alien villain has long been a menace to Earth's heroes in comics and cartoons. The DC Comics analogue to Marvel's Thanos, Darkseid rules the planet of Apokolips with an iron fist. He's part of an otherworldly pantheon of "new gods" created in 1970 by comics legend Jack Kirby.
How do we know Darkseid is coming? His symbol, the greek letter omega, is carved into the sand in Batman's dream, and his winged minions â the parademons â fight alongside Dream Superman's soldiers. These monsters are creations of Darkseid, mindless drones crafted from once-living beings that exist only to serve as weapons for their evil leader.
There are also two other Darkseid references later in the movie: when Wonder Woman watches the surveillance footage of other metahumans, she spots videos of Dr. Silas Stone trying to save his son Victor's life. Vic Stone will eventually become the hero Cyborg, and we see the beginning of his robotic side after his father uses an odd technological square. That would be a Mother Box â advanced tech from Darkseid's home world. We'll likely see more of that when Cybrog appears in Justice League.
Image: Warner BrothersAnd remember the manic speech that a freshly bald Lex Luthor delivers to Batman after he's put behind bars? The bad guy rants about someone knowing that Superman is "dead," someone in space. That a bell has been rung that can't be unrung, and that "they" are coming.
All his talk of gods and devils seems to be clear foreshadowing of the dark god Darkseid â but it's not yet clear how Luthor knows that this intergalactic enemy is coming.
Darkseid's mission in life is to conquer other planets the same way he has his grim homeworld, which has fiery pits not unlike those winking in the distance during Batman's dream. Darkseid is often searching for something called the Anti-Life equation, which would remove free will from his subjects. And, of course, the secrets to that equation lie here on Earth.
Over the years Darkseid has fought with the entire Justice League, particularly Wonder Woman and Batman. He even briefly killed Batman in the comics a few years ago. But his main enemy is Superman, which stems from an obsession with the Kryptonian and a need to have him join or die. That connection means that we've probably not seen the last of the Man of Steel in these films â no matter how Batman V Superman ended. Have something to say about this review? Share it in the comments.