ByEleanor Tremeer, writer at
MP staff. I talk about Star Wars a lot. Sometimes I'm paid for it. More ramblings on Twitter @ExtraTremeerial
Eleanor Tremeer

In the wait for [Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice](tag:711870)'s release, fans are developing fantastic theories: we've had Jason Todd as the Joker, Zod as Doomsday, and Batman fighting Superman's soldiers in the desert. And that's just the tip of the iceberg! All of these ideas have hints to back them up. So what's the latest in this theory round-up?

Batman May Fake His Death!

The theory goes like this: in the epic showdown with Superman, Batman uses kryptonite (maybe thanks to Lex Luthor) to weaken Superman, and they are fairly evenly matched. But Batman takes one too many blows and falls, dying after an apparent heart attack. Except he's not dead yet!

Out of the shadows
Out of the shadows

The theory is based around The Dark Knight Returns, Frank Miller's alternate universe comic book that Zack Snyder is drawing inspiration from for Batman vs Superman. After using a quote from the book to announce Batman vs Superman at Comic Con 2013, Snyder revealed that the backstory to the film is heavily influenced by The Dark Knight Returns. And so far the similarities have been racking up.

  • Batman is older and more jaded in Batman vs Superman, as in The Dark Knight Returns.
  • Batman is shown wearing an armoured suit to battle Superman, as he does in the comic.
  • There seems to be a confrontation in the desert, which may be an inversion of a similar conflict in the comic (instead of Superman facing off against the Sons of the Batman, soldiers wearing the House of El symbol attack Batman in the BvS trailer).
  • Batman mournfully looks over Robin's suit, reminding himself of his failures. This is also a fun past time for Bruce (and Carrie Kelly) in The Dark Knight Returns.
  • Snyder recreated the cover of the iconic comic in the trailer...
Just too similar to be a coincidence
Just too similar to be a coincidence

Convinced yet? Ok, back to the theory in question. This idea seams to originate from the ending of The Dark Knight Returns, where Bruce Wayne fakes his death using a chemical compound that slows his heart beat (Juliet, much?). At his funeral, Superman hears Batman's slow but steady heart beat. Batman continues fighting crime in secret, free from persecution now his Bruce Wayne identity is dead.

So Does It Add Up?

While it's an interesting theory, does this really work for Batman vs Superman? It's true that The Dark Knight Returns is an inspiration for the movie, but Zack Snyder has also revealed that Dawn of Justice should not be considered a direct adaptation of the comic book.

"If you were going to do that, you would need a different Superman. We’re bringing Batman into the universe that now this Superman lives in."

In the comic book, Bruce fakes his death because the US government has decided that Batman is an embarrassment. The reason Superman and Batman come to blows is because of this, as Superman seems to support the government's decision.

But none of this seems to be a part of the Batman vs Superman plot. In fact, the movie puts Superman as the one the public is uneasy with, in the wake of destruction after Man of Steel. The film's antagonist is Lex Luthor, not the Joker as in The Dark Knight Returns, and Ben Affleck's Batman is at least ten years younger than the one we find in The Dark Knight Returns.

Glaring menacingly at the sky
Glaring menacingly at the sky

The plot doesn't really add up, and as he's not the one being persecuted, it wouldn't make much sense for Bruce Wayne to fake his death. So maybe...

Superman Fakes His Death!

This would leave Clark Kent free to live a normal life as a journalist, to date Lois without worrying about putting her in danger, and just generally escaping all responsibility for his actions as a hero.

As with the desert theory, this would be an inversion of The Dark Knight Returns plot, and at this point it seems to make more sense with what we know than the idea of Bruce faking his death. Neither seem like logical outcomes though, especially when we factor in that this film marks the start of the journey to Justice League Part One. It wouldn't be much of a Justice League without Batman and Superman, after all!

But what do you think: does the faking death theory carry any weight? Let us know in the comments, or write your own post!


Which theory do you think will happen in Batman vs Superman?


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