27 – Batman v. Superman Comic-Con Trailer

coverblackA line-by-line, shot-by-shot breakdown and analysis of the Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice Comic-Con Trailer.

Answers, insights, and commentary on:

  • Truth, Justice, and The American Way in 50 seconds
  • What are Senate Subcommittees
  • Why the hearing might not be about Metropolis
  • Why it makes sense Bruce Wayne was there that day
  • Thoughts on sister cities
  • Perry’s motives for axing Clark’s investigation
  • Clever costuming colors
  • Theory on the horseback riders and desert scenes

…and more.

Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice – Comic-Con Trailer | 277 MB warning!
BvS:DoJ 6 Exclusive Photos | Entertainment Weekly
BvS:DoJ SDCC’15 Panel | Flicks and The City


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  1. Yes! I’m really excited to hear your thoughts. Been waiting all week for this episode.

  2. Excellent podcast episode! I just love your insights on this DC Cinematic Universe, especially your views on “Man of Steel.”

    Question: At the end of the trailer where Superman walks toward Batman and tears off the doors of the bat-mobile, do you think this scene is after they’ve already battled? Do you think that perhaps Superman did not get beat but rather he survived all of Batman’s attacks and now this is “the moment of truth” (so to speak) to see if Superman would obliterate an un-armoured Batman?

    I’d appreciate your thoughts, sir.

    • I think both heroes manage to walk away from the conflict well enough to tackle the third act. From what we could see (who knows what we can’t see), the Bat Cave looks like it only has room for one Batmobile… so you could be right and this is after the face-off and the damage Superman does to the car is why it isn’t in the final act.

      However, since it is at Gotham Gas and we’ve seen additional glimpses of what happens there, I think this is a first face-to-face meeting, punctuating the end of a Batman action sequence. Basically, we setup that the alter egos have concerns about the other… Clark is investigating Batman, Bruce has issues with Superman… but neither has acted on it yet. Batman is doing his own thing at Gotham Gas which causes a bunch of explosions and attracts Superman to Gotham. They have this meeting , exchange words, and we get that over-the-shoulder shot of Superman as he leaves and Batman says something. They’re setup to dislike but not yet hunt one-another. Superman likely has the inciting incident in Washington, and between that, meeting him at Gotham Gas (Batman has to repair his car, maybe Alfred helping with the welding), and his memories of Wayne Tower, Batman finally decides it’s time to act and infiltrates LexCorp.

      Something like that. Obviously, we don’t know, but that’s my impression.

      • I agree with Dr Awkward that the final scene in the trailer with Superman on the Batmobile that it is likely the first of two main encounters between Batman and Superman (this first one with Batman in his normal suite, and the second with Batman in the mech suit). I think they stand face to face, sizing each other up, rather than fighting immediately because Batman hasn’t yet actually decided to try to take Superman out. (This matches with what Dr. Awkward was saying.)

  3. NOBODY breaks things down better than you do!

    LOVE your thoughts on how the Trinity represents Truth, Justice, and the American Way. I had NEVER thought about them in those terms but now, it seems like such a no-brainer.

    Diana Prince wearing red, white, and blue dresses is an awesome connection to her traditional Wonder Woman costume.

    I like the idea that the scenes with the Superman soldiers and Desert!Batman could be part of an Elseworld of sorts and that it’s some kind of vision or dream that Wonder Woman has. Some have speculated that she uses her lasso to have it and even though, I’m not entirely sure the lasso has that power, it may be their way of SHOWING a truth of some kind.

    I wonder if the shot of Lois and Superman, where it looks like they might kiss or might have just kissed is from the scene they shot in Chicago? https://youtu.be/BMc_MeG_Xls

    What a fantastic episode! Thank you for your thoughts!

    • Thanks for listening and the kind words!

      This is a really exciting opportunity to redefine or reintroduce Wonder Woman’s powers and using the lasso to do it would be an interesting interpretation that I’d be for… something that shows “truth” rather than compels it. Truth’s a tricky thing which can lead to Opposite-Day / Bizzaro-speak type issues / paradoxes if related to speech… but visions are inherently more subjective and open to interpretation and less prone to people nitpicking the mechanics of linguistic truth. A really interesting idea!

      I agree those are probably the exterior Chicago shots.

  4. Great stuff, as usual!

    About the senate hearing, I agree that it is very plausible the hearing is dealing with an international incident from early on in Batman v Superman rather than the events of Man of Steel, but it is a genius move for the trailer to put it at the beginning because the fans are still debating whose “responsible” for the damage caused in the Kryptonian invasion. So the trailer meets fans where they are and reels them in, but in BvS, I think it’s going to be more about Superman’s place in the world and his relationship to the U.S. government. Awesome!

    I love that they seem to be continuing on with the silent and strong Superman character from Man of Steel, keeping his dialogue pretty sparse. But I share Dr. Awkward’s optimism that he will get a really nice speech there at the Senate hearing. I think it will be even more potent if he has said very little to that point.

    • Thanks for listening!

      I agree with the smart marketing if my theory is right and the hearing is something else. The synopsis basically gives us that heads-up by telling us Superman is revered by Metropolis. That said, I hope the general audience doesn’t consider it a bait and switch if they discover the hearing is about something else in the film… and I sense that they won’t feel betrayed, necessarily, because even if it isn’t literally about Metropolis, Metropolis is definitely on the mind (as seen by the demonstrators) and a proxy for some of the hearing’s subtext. Similar to how McCarthy’s hearings were about more than actors being Communists or whether the real issue is comic books or videogames when raised in Senate hearings. Basically, even if it technically isn’t about Metropolis, people are going to feel like it’s about Metropolis. Maybe.

      I look forward to Superman addressing the public as Superman!

  5. Are you going to do one for the Suicide Squad first look teaser?

  6. I love the points about Superman having to make the choice to do superheroing on a daily basis and that we can’t just take that for granted. Also, this episode is spot on in the analysis of Martha’s parenting advice following the path set by Jonathan.

    One nit-picky detail, but it’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot and haven’t seen any answers or insight on anywhere. Dr Awkward said that Superman “descends” to save the woman in the flood. But we don’t actually see him descend in the trailers. He is hovering. I have really been wondering why he would hover there like that instead of simply being on his way down to help. Anyone have a thought to share?

    • I suspect it’s part of a montage, so we’re not going to get into the mechanics of it, but in terms of pausing, that would be my rationale. Basically how do you save all these people? If we assume some limitations on his powers- like he can’t travel at super-speed with people in his arms without them suffering, or that he can only carry so many people safely at a time… it’s not necessarily an easy thing to triage. Who do you transport first? How do you feel if they get caught up while you’re transporting someone else? Etc.

      What would be incredible is if this isn’t a pure cut-away montage moment and Superman solves the issue by referencing The Adventures of Superman‘s (1952-1958) opening, “Superman, who can change the course of mighty rivers!” He might not necessarily have the tools to evacuate an entire neighborhood of people on roofs… but we’ve seen that he can shatter mountaintops and that might be used to divert a flood. Maybe.

      These are the scenes that general audiences really need to connect with the image of Superman saving people and looks like we’re gonna get ’em!

  7. @OTTEN
    I think the scene in the trailer where Superman is hovering during the flood while the lady reaches out is simply there as a visual reference to humanity seeing Superman as a god-like savior. In my opinion, I think Snyder is trying to bring symbolism and show that, in times of duress during natural disasters, many people (no matter if they do or don’t like Superman) still end up seeing him as an angel or god-like savior. So I think the “hovering” scene will be very brief. It will the the perspective of the people trapped in the flood. After that I think Superman will immediately fly down to rescue others.

    Another thought I have is that when Superman arrives and sees citizens trapped in the flood he takes a moment to look around and think how he’s going to save everyone in such a massive flood. Thus, he’s hovering, which leads to some of the humans looking up at him with their hands out and wanting Superman to save them first. These just my thoughts on it Otten. I’m Dr. Awkward has even more insight on your question than me.

    • @Godzilla-El
      I totally agree with you about the symbolism of the flood hover, in the trailer and probably in the movie as well. And you could be right about him hovering to survey the situation and decide if some need help before others. Thanks.

  8. Great podcast. Despite of what we see in the trailer I still think that Superman didn’t kill anyone in Man of Steel. My cousin thinks I’m stubborn for still believing that lol. I have a question. On your channel you made a video regarding collateral damage and in it you said the Wayne building was empty. Why did you think that and do you think that Zach made that change to give Batman motivation.

    This is kinda old news but at cinema con WB said that they would be doing at least 10 films before 2020. What other DC films could come out before then and what could the name DC Extended Universe mean?

    • Good questions Jonathan, I’m just going to address the first two for now. To be fair to your cousin, if the basis is unproven it is more a matter of faith than proof… the burden of proof lies with the person asserting the unseen… whether you or your cousin.

      In my video, I didn’t say the building was empty… I said it was “evacuated”… then, under direct causes, I said, “No loss of life”… just like I said, “No collapsed buildings.” In other words, I’m not denying a building fell or that loss of life occurred, but they weren’t due to any of Kal’s direct actions. Under Zod’s conclusion I said, “No direct loss of life. Only one unoccupied building collapse.” In other words, people may have died, but not because Zod directly attempted to kill them. The strongest argument for the “empty building” is where I say, “unoccupied building”… but an “occupied building” means “active” not “full” just like “unoccupied building” means “inactive” and not “empty.” Note too that the final disposition of the building is unknown. We know that dozens were killed, not that dozens were in the building.


      Haha, that would be my lawyerly response to maintain the consistency of the video, but you’re right, I did believe it to be empty or close to empty.

      My reasoning is two-fold:

      First, I didn’t see any. As we discussed above, in the absence of proof, you go with what you see… and we don’t see people in the building. A similar rule of statutory interpretation or construction might be the “plain reading” rule. So in the plain viewing of the scene- no interpretation or reasoning, just “What do you see?”- there’s no one that we see.

      Second, we DO see people in OTHER offices. In other words, your opponent could argue the absence of people in Wayne Tower doesn’t mean anything except that the filmmakers didn’t want to put civilians in ANY of the offices. However, we can prove that isn’t the case by going frame-by-frame in the scene where Zod throws Kal through the series of towers. There, you can clearly see that Kal is being thrown through OCCUPIED office space. Everything in the film is incredibly intentional… someone has to go through the effort of putting or excluding people from a scene. So the reasonable rule or assumption is that it was a conscious choice to show that no one was in the office of the building that fell. The parallel rule in the law is Expressio unius est exclusio alterius (“the express mention of one thing excludes all others”)… so, if the Legislature knows how to express a law one way but they choose to do it another way elsewhere- instead of in the same way- that generally means they meant to mean something different… otherwise they could have just written it the same.

      All that said, both of the above rules are logical and reasonable guidelines for interpretation, not immutable rules of reality! In the case of the law, the plain reading could be wrong, there might be a typo or mistake in the final enactment which doesn’t meet the legislature’s intent… similarly, for the second rule, the legislature may have simply overlooked a previous wording they should have used but didn’t, but they didn’t mean to imply there was a different or separate meaning. In our case, even if I choose to interpret what I saw as meaning the building was unoccupied, it doesn’t mean that it factually was in-film or that Snyder changed his mind about it.

      The other out is if Snyder takes my lawyerly position and says it was evacuated and it was inactive, but it wasn’t empty… OR he can say it WAS empty and all the deaths came from casualties OUTSIDE the building (since it fell at an angle).

      If you take the position the office was evacuated, you can look at the office and put together additional clues and support for that position, which I might go into during the mail bag, but probably save it for the commentary when we eventually get there.

      All-in-all, however, I’m not invested in being “right” so much as I want a thoughtful approach to how I reach my conclusions. If a new piece of evidence comes along which disproves or conflicts with an existing theory, I’m excited by the new information and how to work that in, I try not to be precious about my previous conclusions based on theory. Reconciling data is always more interesting to me then just being told the answer.

      • The person walking over the bullets in lex corp and riding the bike, could bebarry Allen. We have seen the conept art of Barry exMining a bullet in wb comic con panel. Also this explain s why they are hiding the identity of this person. Barry Allen being a forensic expert can come there to investigate the crime scene, and hence we have flash introduced in this world, why do u think abt it

    • For the DC Extended Universe Geoff Johns said that they think of their Film, TV, Games, and Comics as one Multiverse so I guess that is what they mean by Extended Universe.

      They 10 films before 2020 are: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman, Justice League Part I, Aquaman, The Flash, Shazam, Justice Leage Part II, Cyborg, and Green Lantern Corps.

      • Thanks for the response Doc. Very intelligent and thoughtful response as always.

      • Oh that makes sense. I thought the name Extended Universe was implying that they are extending the movie universe into other forms of entertainment like TV, comics, and animation.

        I know those are the announced films but WB said that they would BE DOING AT LEAST 10 DC FILMS before 2020.

        • We know they announced The Batman at SDCC and they said they have plans for Man of Steel sequel sometime before 2020.

          Guillermo del Toro said that he was suppose to work on Dark Universe (Justice League Dark) this November that is why he had to leave the project. If they are starting it as early as November they planned for a 2017 – 2018 release.


    It is good to meet you. I would like to know your opinion on all the Man of steel haters? From what I read on most of the haters, they all claim that superman is a lighter and fantasy character. He wasn meant to be portrayed as dark and serious character or the grounded one.

    In your opinion, can superman be open to new changes and interpretation much like batman did in dark knight trilogy?

    • Thanks for listening, Leon.

      I try not to give critics too much thought. Hate can be irrational, stem from subjectivity, presupposition, preference, lack of information, be based in personal experience, be highly informed, etc. There’s not just one answer and some of those answers and reasons can be legitimate. My focus is always on those redeeming aspects of the thing I like and enjoy. If I can find something admirable in it which addresses a criticism, great, but I don’t focus on analyzing them over analyzing the film. Life is better if I dwell on whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy.

      That said, I don’t ignore the criticism (which is why I can take and apply any insight gained on criticism), just as Man of Steel doesn’t ignore the gravity of a more grounded reality. I don’t think Superman was meant to be portrayed as dark, but I think there is room in the mythos and tradition to interpret him as serious and grounded. He is definitely open to change and interpretation and many past episodes may cover some of that evolution. I think that MOS and BvS collectively will become that seminal work for Superman that represents his TDKR… not in the darkness or cynicism, but in how seriously the material is being taken and how grounded the approach. Once a definitive take like that is done, it will be up to popular culture to decide where the mythos should go from there… however, until that definitive work is made, people and creators will always wonder and try to get Superman to be “real”.

      It’s a little like how Red Son or All-Star stand as definitive Superman works that tend to make people not revisit those topics.

  10. Please please please make more YouTube videos, or upload these proadcast on youtube

    • Thanks for listening.

      I wish I had time for the videos, but I’m also out of bulletproof topics. The videos give me a lot less time to justify my point and tend to get watched by people not necessarily looking for or open to an answer… so they tend to have to be able to strongly establish their point even to someone hostile to the point… and they have to be something I can do with my time and editing skills. Right now, I think I’m out of those (sort of, I do have some, but they seem to be more fringe topics than central to anyone’s understanding of Man of Steel). If you have any ideas, feel free to share them!

      Out of curiosity, why would you want the audio podcast on YouTube?

      • I can’t speak for KAL EL but the reason I wouldn’t mind seeing them on YouTube is because I usually use my video game console to surf the internet. I can’t listen to them on that console for some reason but I can use YouTube on it.

        The only time I can listen on the Podcast is when I’m on my phone.

  11. Dr. Awkward pointed out all the fire in the first trailer, and there’s more fire in the second trailer.

    I’m wondering if the sneak peek of Aquaman in BvS involves him sending a tidal wave or something like that to put out some of the fire. The sister cities are on water, I believe.

    • According to this article’s release date, Dr Awkward released his commentary 8 days after the Trailer’s release.

      If he isn’t so busy this days I think the new episode will arrive in between the 10-14 of this month. Could be later, but I hope its sooner.

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