The new images from Batman v Superman featured in the latest edition of Empire magazine, a dark presence can be felt. In what has been named the “Knightmare” sequence, Batman stands over a desolate wasteland, part of a post apocalyptic Earth where Superman has become humanity’s conqueror. Burned into the dead soil is a symbol, the Greek letter omega. This is the symbol of the dark lord of Apokolips, Darkseid. The infamous New God, created by the legendary Jack Kirby, is the ultimate source of evil in the DC Universe, and has proven himself to be a nemesis for both Batman and Superman throughout the comics. Why is his symbol etched into the ground for this sequence?
Given the name for the sequence, it appears Darkseid’s symbol is appearing in an image of a future that might come to pass, and might not just be a nightmare dreamed up by Bruce Wayne. One theory is that it is a vision seen by Wonder Woman, and she knows she must unite the two fighting heroes against this ultimate foe when all is said and done. ” Zack [Snyder] had a great idea of this sort of nightmare-ish vision, almost a vision of the future, a post-apocalyptic vision. It’s like a dream that Ben [Affleck] has, so we wanted to, it has almost a ‘Mad Max’ quality to it where it’s like the end of the world, trying to survive,” says costume designer Michael Wilkinson.
This is not the first time there has been rumors of a possible Darkseid connection. As early as the Comic Con trailer, people have claimed to see parademons, Darkseid’s expendable flying shock troops, attacking Batman and his men alongside Superman’s forces in the sequence. As Zack Snyder has hinted at there being more reveals to be shown in the film, could we see Darkseid’s cinematic debut at the very end of the film, uniting the Justice League? Production designer Patrick Tatopoulos was once quoted as saying “Doomsday isn’t just the final act.”
Created by Kirby as part of his Fourth World saga, Darkseid is a powerful and evil New God, a race of beings with great power and advanced technology. Darkseid rules the evil planet Apokolips, constantly wars with the New Gods of New Genesis as well as the various heroes of Earth (especially Superman), and hunts for the Anti-Life Equation, which would give him dominion over all creation. In the New 52, he was the threat that united the Justice League, and recently served as an antagonist in Robin Rising and Darkseid War, and was seemingly killed in the latter. But like all great villains, Darkseid will probably make his return sooner than we think. He has been featured as an antagonist in Superfriends, Superman: The Animated Series, Justice League and Justice League Unlimited, hinted at in Young Justice, and made his live action debut on Smallville‘s final season as the primary antagonist.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice premieres on March 25th.