The new trailer for next year's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice premiered yesterday, and it did not disappoint! This time around, the focus is on Batman, with hints of Luthor and Wonder Woman. We see Zod in a body bag, Luthor admiring a chunk of kryptonite, and the much-needed lecture to Clark from Martha about being an "angel" for humanity.
But who is leaving accusatory messages for Batman and Superman?
Above is a still from the first trailer, in which someone has defaced a Superman monument with "FALSE GOD" spray-painted across the chest. This may not be related to the messages in the second trailer left for Batman, but I suspect they are.
In the new trailer, we have two new clues. We see Bruce Wayne running toward a falling Wayne Enterprises building as the battle between Superman and Zod rages. Later, we see this clip:
...an article about the devastation of a Wayne building in Metropolis, but a personal message to Bruce regarding his darkest secret: his parents were murdered, spurring his lifelong obsession with fighting crime.
If this wasn't personal enough, we later see a more disturbing message, scrawled across the chest of a Robin uniform:
"Ha Ha Ha Joke's on you Batman".
Our first assumption here is Joker, of course. It was Joker who killed Jason Todd, the former Robin and the language certainly suggests Joker has discovered Batman's secret identity and is toying with his nemesis. However, putting Joker in an already over-loaded plot doesn't make sense, as he obviously requires far too much attention.
Who else would know Batman's secret identity, the pain of losing his protege, the guilt he feels over the loss of his parents in connection with the lives lost in a Wayne Enterprises building that day, and also have a hard-on for defaming Superman? And remember, this person also must have access to the Batcave (see desecrated Robin above).
The plot as we know it so far is that Batman has been operating in Gotham City for several decades and seems to have retired (probably after Todd died and Joker went to Arkham, but we'll see). The trailer seems to indicate that Wayne moved to Metropolis to focus on Wayne Enterprises, but the battle between Zod and Superman changed him. He returned to Wayne Manor, a Fall of the House of Usher-level mansion of ruin, over-run by mold and vines. There, he trains and obsesses and argues with Alfred until he finally decides that he must kill Superman.
Which, let's be honest, is a suicide mission. Either Bruce is crazy or Batman is.
Who is leaving Bruce Wayne messages throughout Wayne Manor, revealing secrets about his past that only Bruce could know, and also harboring a deep-seated disgust for the public display of Superman's power?
Why, Batman, of course.
Locked away in the cave below the dying Wayne manor, Batman is haunting Bruce, tormenting him by exposing his impotent feelings of guilt, loss and mortality. Batman is focused rage, a myth, a spirit that can fly beyond the fallen humanity of Bruce and target the alien god. Batman is leaving Bruce messages, angrily warning him to set the demon loose to kill the Superman. And of course, it is Bruce's hand that writes the messages.
Please, Zach, give us our mad Batman!
What do you think? Leave your suggestions below.
Jamie Duncan is author of the forth-coming fantasy series Fire of Norea.