Empire has just released online, a multitude of images from the upcoming superhero Epic, Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, featured in this month's Empire edition. One of the biggest reveals shown in the images, having the whole geek side of the Internet and everyone else in between talking about, is the one posted above. In it the image, what many are calling Knightmare Batman, as it has been alluded that this will be a nightmare sequence of sorts for Bruce Wayne, looks out over a desolate and war ravaged landscape with plenty of juicy details hidden and not-so-hidden within. Let's break it down.
Here's a hi-res version link, so you can follow along.
So let's start with the elephant in the apocalyptic room. Darkseid's Omega sign, stamped into the Earth itself. This signature, is a sort of marker Darkseid places on worlds he believes are easily fallible to his corruption. It looks as though the Earth is next in line.
Whether an individual placed this signature as a calling to Darkseid or Darkseid did so himself, remains to be seen.
Now let's take a look at another even more interesting section of this image. It appears as if something is being constructed over the ruinous bones of Earth.
My guess? I believe Darkseid is accomplishing what Zod and the Kryptonians failed to do: terraform Earth and bend it to his own will. What I am seeing here is the construction of Darkseid's world, Apokolips!
Apokolips is essentially Hell in the DC Universe. Or about as close to Hell as you can get without dying. Though once on Apokolips, chances are, you'll die for sure.
The planet is an industrialized wasteland, with megalithic vents which rocket fire from their depths. Darkseid is God on this world. In many continuations, Apokolips was born from the destruction of the planet, Urgrund, or the home-world of the Old Gods - a sort of DCU counterpart to the classic mythical gods of our reality- who were all but extinguished. On Apokolips, the last remaining survivors of the Old Gods dwell in a dark, subterranean labyrinth and are known as the Dreggs; mindless shells of the glory they once held in themselves.
It seems as though in this Batman v Superman vision, Darkseid wants to bury the gods of Earth (Justice League) under his immense rule of oppression.
For further proof of this looking to be a version of Apokolips' creation, we have to look no further than what appear to be the mega fire ports, ahem, firing up.
Another interesting look into this image is the Dark Knight himself, and how he appears to be handling the whole end of the world situation.
Gone are the hi-tech image magnification gadgets only a billionaire can afford. Being a billionaire on Apokolips means absolutely nothing. In the extravagant gadgets place rests a simple pair of binoculars. In place of Batarangs seems to reside an assault rife held together by rolls of tape. The only thing appearing to remain of Gotham's Dark Angel is the cowl and Batsuit, the cape appearing to have vanished in place of a dusty trench coat. Let's face it, if all the skyscrapers are in ruins and the air is ripe with Parademons, what on earth can Batman spread his wings from? His best tactical bet is to do his work down in the dirt. This is a Mad Max-style Batman in the midst of Armageddon and I love it!
Lastly, are we getting a glimpse of Batman not necessarily being alone in this wasteland? There appears to be something else going on in the Omega Earth Stamp, that might be missed if not looked at more closely. Is…is that The Flash!?
We seem to have this blurred trail of dust as if something other than just the wind is streaking across the landscape, culminating into a destination point of the city's ruins, where it appears a figure can be more clearly seen.
Forgive the blurriness but there does seem to be a hint of red at the head of that dust cloud.
Or this is just a simple gust of wind, blowing dirt across the land. We'll have to wait and see!
P.S. I am not so sure about what this particular structure is. It looks a bit too clean compared with its surroundings and appears to be a sort of complex or building with operational lights on the inside. I'll leave it up to you guys to comprehend that one.
Let me know what you all think of these little easter eggs down in the comments below!
- Josh Doherty