Warning: Spoilers for Batman v Superman
Batman v Superman has finally hit theatres and the response has been mixed. Some believe it to be one of the worst comic book movies ever while others are calling it the best movie ever made. I personally love the film especially for being one of the few comic book films to tackle philosophical ideologies. One such theme that plays out throughout the film is the theme of God. There were some very obvious Jesus imagery in 'Man of Steel' and I believe this has carried over into Batman v Superman beautifully. Not only does this theme reoccur in Superman but we see it flow through Lex Luthor's character as well.
I may be in the minority but I loved Luthor's portrayal in this film. It's not what we're used to in the comics but what we find in the film is a beautifully written and complex character who easily has the best dialogue. I understand why people don't like his character but they cannot deny that he has an obvious God complex.
Luthor has a need to stay in control. He realises that to do so he cannot be a good person. 'If God is all powerful he cannot be all good and if he is all good he cannot be all powerful'. In this line we are treated to a piece of character development that serves the character well. Lex believes he is always in control. In every scene he's in we see him dominate the dialogue and even the music. This adds to his beliefs and lets the viewer perceive him as a powerful figure.
In some ways Luthor believes that man is greater than God, that he is greater than God. At the end of the film we see the painting in his house flipped upside down so that the demons are coming from the sky. In the movie it is explained that this was done to symbolise Superman's coming down from the sky. This could also be taken as to mean God is the real villain, letting everyone beneath him be beaten like he was and not intervening.
At his charity event Lex's speech includes a story about Zeus. In the story Zeus was stopped before he wiped out human civilisation and for this he was awarded a lightning bolt. Swap out Zeus with God and Superman and the lightning bolt with the trust and respect of mankind and you are left with the same story. Lex sees this recognition as an injustice, believing that such powerful figures cannot be innocent.
This comparison is fairly obvious but the way it was played out in the film was expertly done. There is the obvious imagery seen in Man of Steel which is brought over into this film. One such example is the scene where Superman is hit by the nuclear blast and is posed like Jesus on the cross as he almost literally resurrects himself. Everyone in the film sees him as a higher being, treating him like he is God. In many ways he is. He can do things no ordinary man can, he saves people as best he can and is willing to so whatever necessary to help people around him. These qualities are very similar to those found in Jesus and God.
These comparisons end up being very meta towards the end. Superman sacrificed himself for the benefit of mankind. This is a very common story told about Jesus. Not only that but Superman seems to resurrect at the very end much like Jesus did. To take it another step further, Batman v Superman was released in the US on the 25th of March 2016, Good Friday, the day Jesus died on the cross. This may be a coincidence but I believe it to be very purposeful. The release date for Batman v Superman was changed twice before landing on Good Friday and considering the film was made by Zack Snyder, he does everything with such precise detail that he would not let that opportunity go to waste.
Batman v Superman may not have had the critical response it wanted but it's hard to deny the philosophical themes spread throughout the film. I didn't even mention Senator Finch's role in this theme. This article only highlighted one of the many themes present in the film. I urge you as an audience to watch or re-watch the film and look for the beautifully written ideologies scattered throughout.