What the hell was going on in that Batman v Superman dream sequence?
Stan Lee has made it his business to let the general public know that he created the Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, the Fantastic Four, Daredevil, basically the entire Marvel stable of heroes (except Wolverine and the Guardians of the Galaxy). But he had a partner for almost all of his creations: Jack Kirby, the artist’s artist who drew three excellent comics a month, which is unheard of today.
Kirby’s imagination was as fertile as the Tennessee Valley. I could talk a lot about Jack Kirby, but the important thing here is that Kirby got sick of everyone saying that Stan Lee was a genius. So Kirby jumped ship, over to DC, and created the New Gods.
Darkseid, who is arguably the best DC cosmic character, is one of Kirby’s New Gods, who were heavily foreshadowed in Batman v Superman. The New Gods has all kinds of S&M, sadism, and murder focused through the lens of a ’70s comic book, written for teenagers. In the “dark” movie universe of director Zack Snyder, this means that there is a lot of skin- tight black leather and cleavage in our future.
Thanos, the current big bad of the Marvel Universe is — and it pains me to say this — a giant ripoff of Darkseid. Oh, sure, they’ve changed a lot over the years, but Thanos is in love with death and Darkseid represents “anti-life.” And Darkseid came first.
I should also say that Thanos isn’t just a ripoff of Darkseid, but he sure started that way. Thanos was created by a genius named Jim Starlin who was always bringing sophisticated concepts into comics and running with them. For instance, Starlin is the man who wrote the Death of Captain Marvel where Captain Marvel gets cancer and dies just like anyone else would. Hell, I think he’s still dead.
Batman v Superman Dream Sequence
So what was going on in the Batman v Superman dream sequence? Superman had become a stooge of Darkseid. He was driven mad by Lois’s death, and was overrunning Batman’s resistance to Darkseid’s rule of Earth. Those flying bug guys were parademons. Batman saw the giant dirt Omega, which is Darkeseid’s signature.
This was a grand way of saying, “Wait for it, Fanboys, there’s awesome stuff down the road,” in the same way that in Iron Man all Nick Fury had to say was “Avengers” to get us excited. Someone not acquainted with comics might not know what the hell was going on. We were going full-on Jack Kirby there.
And then, the Flash showed up and told Batman to assemble the Justice League, and that Lois was the key, and that he was right! I have no idea what Lois is the key to, except maybe to have her be alive so that Superman doesn’t go bonkers. But that scene was right out of the setup to an ’80s comic book event called Crisis on Infinite Earths where, well, all of the multiverse was combined into one universe. A lot of characters “died” in the comic book sense that means that they were gone for a while. And the Flash was the key to foreshadowing this because he can travel through time (through the speed force!) and warn people, although he was never big on specific details.
So Batman’s dream had two — TWO! — huge comic things going on, in what must have seemed like a peyote fantasy to someone who has never heard of Darkseid.
There was more foreshadowing at the end of the movie. When Lex Luthor was raving about how, “They heard and are coming,” the movie heavily hinted that Luthor was talking about Darkseid. The camera went to that painting in Luthor’s room that showed the demon’s face, which did look a hell of a lot like Darkseid.