The latest trailer for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice took San Diego Comic Con by storm with an epic presentation that pits the world’s finest against one another. The trailer also managed to pack in some amazing easter egg gems including what appears to be the rugged mountains of Themyscira and the ominous green glow of kryptonite. The most tantalising of all? A scene when Bruce Wayne gazes upon an alter that bears a battered, bullet ridden Robin costume, stained by the mocking words of “Hahaha Jokes On You Batman.”
It’s a clear message from director Zack Snyder that the burgeoning DC Universenis clearly inspired by Frank Miller’s mythic graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns, and that the seminal story arc of Batman: A Death in the Family, is being incorporated into the film. The death of Robin has had a profound effect upon this version of Bruce Wayne, and the purpose that he has as Batman as a whole.
Picking up on the monument to a fallen Robin, Snyder appears to be paying close attention to the canon, and that means that the Robin costume in question belonged to Jason Todd, the second Boy Wonder who Bruce Wayne originally found while he was trying steal tires off the Batmobile. While Bruce would take Jason under his wing, training him to fight crime as Robin, Jason repeatedly pushed back against Bruce’s rules, causing readers to bear a significant amount of animosity towards him, which would lead to a two-issue event series between December 1988 – January 1989 that would rock DC Comics to its core.
Known as ‘The Telephone Stunt’ readers were asked at the end of the 1989 to phone in, and cast their vote as to whether Jason would live or die in an explosion that was set by the Joker. Fans raised their voices, and Jason Todd didn’t survive, dying in Batman’s arms, the result of the madness of the Dark Knight’s greatest maniacal villain.
It was an event which would have long term consequences for the DC Universe.
This dark moment was Frank Miller’s creative jumping off point for his seminal comic book work The Dark Knight Returns, which finds an aging Bruce Wayne long retired and still vividly haunted by Jason’s death. It’s only when crime is at a breaking point that Bruce once again dons the cape and cowl of the Batman, and then sets out to face down the crime of Gotham City, leading to a gritty, nasty and definitive final showdown between himself and his arch nemesis.
The new trailer places ‘A Death in the Family’ firmly in our minds with this shrine to Ribin, and we’re hoping that we’ll possibly get to see a flashback to the death of Jason Todd. With the significance that Snyder is placing in the trailer, it’s obvious that Robin’s death will play a large psychological part of the tipping point that sends Bruce Wayne over the edge following the destruction of Wayne Tower, and leading him to embark on his one man war on crime again.
Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice is without a doubt the must watch movie of 2016, and you can bet that we’ll be lining up for it on March 24, 2016.