In the lead-up to the release of [Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice](tag:711870), Warner Bros. and DC have released some one-shot prequel comics to give a bit of backstory between the events after Man of Steel and before BvS. Each of the main characters from the movie has their own comic: Batman, Lex Luthor, Lois Lane, Superman, and Senator Finch (Holly Hunter's character).
But at the moment, I want to focus on Batman, because his prequel comic gives us a peek into where his head's at going into the film. It also answers the question many fans have been wondering since the first trailer was released: Why is he so set against Superman? Here are a few things we learned from his prequel comic.
1. He took the Battle of Metropolis far more personally than we realized
Batman has always been a character that's prided himself on his ability to be prepared for any situation. As a mortal human in a world full of superpowered heroes and monsters, it's what's kept him alive for so long and enabled him to become the world's greatest detective and crime fighter. It forms the very essence of his identity. As a man who has survived and kept safe his city thanks entirely to his careful planning and preparation, the Battle of Metropolis shook him thoroughly. It's a new reality for him: there are some scenarios where no amount of preparation will help stop the inevitable. So what does a man like him do? He takes it personally, because it makes him question the very core of his identity and whether or not it's good enough.
2. Jason Todd is most definitely on his mind
Fans of the comic books know that perhaps the most defining moment of Bruce Wayne's life, aside from the murder of his parents, was the death of Robin #2, Jason Todd, at the hands of the Joker. We've seen a reference to him already in the trailers, with the spray-painted Robin suit that Bruce Wayne keeps in a glass case in tribute to the fallen sidekick. But his death may still be weighing on Batman even more heavily than we thought. It seems the Battle of Metropolis, and Batman's ensuing feelings of a loss of control, appears to have stirred up old memories. He's hell-bent on keeping Gotham safe so that what happened to Metropolis never happens to his city, but as he tells the criminals, "This is Gotham. Not here. NEVER here," you get the sense he's also saying "never again" to losing one more life on his watch.
3. It explains why he is so violently opposed to Superman
In light of the above, it makes a lot more sense now why Batman is so dead-set on taking Superman down. To many people of Metropolis, Superman represented (and somewhat still represents) hope. But all Batman sees when he looks at him is a question mark, an unpredictable source of potential chaos and destruction that he can neither figure out nor control. And Batman has learned his lesson about what happens when you allow a wild card to exist unchecked: death. While he very well may be letting his personal feelings influence what he sees as a logical decision, it's at least now understandable why he's so anti-Superman.
4. The criminals of Gotham fear this newer, darker Batman
The criminals of Gotham have always had a healthy respect for and fear of Batman - the petty criminals, at least, though they didn't live in terror of him. Batman has always operated in something of a moral gray area, but there are certain lines that even he would never cross. But all that's changed over the past few years. After the death of Jason Todd, he went darker. After the Battle of Metropolis, he went full dark side. Now, all bets are off. Batman might tie you up and incapacitate you - or he might cripple you forever, depending on how he feels. The longtime criminals know that something has changed within Batman, something that makes him terrifyingly cold, and they fear him now more than ever before.
5. He has a few new toys that may or may not appear in the movie
Batman has always been known for his gadgets, but we see a few new things in the prequel comic that he may or may not end up using in the movie itself. The most notable one is a respirator mask that allows him to breathe when Firefly tries to torch him. It also appears that his upgraded armor is also flame-retardant, as he uses his cape to block his face long enough to put on the respirator and he jumps through the flames without a single bit of his costume igniting. Of course, the Batarang and ziplines, his old standards, are in the comic, but it might be cool to get a scene in the actual movie where we see Batman's new fire-proof gear put to use.
6. Lex Luthor has been spying on Batman for a very long time
We know that Lex Luthor will take an especial interest in Superman in Batman v Superman, but what's new is that he's apparently just as interested in Batman...and has been spying on him for a very long time. The last panel of the comic reveals the voiceover of two police officers discussing the more intimidating, darkly vengeful Batman and wondering who could possibly stand up to Batman. The answer appears to be Lex Luthor, superimposed in the panel picture and thoughtfully watching Batman, studying his Batmobile and weaponry, via a series of spy cameras. You can practically see the wheels turning in his brain and one thing is for certain - if he has a plan to take out Superman, then he almost certainly has a contingency plan for Batman, too.
You can check out the rest of the comic here and let me know if there's anything else you spot, as well.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is in theaters on Friday, March 25th.