65 Plot-Related Questions Rattling Around My Brain After Watching Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
WARNING: Here there be spoilers. Proceed only if you have seen the film or if you have no intention of seeing it but want to know what all the fuss is about.
Yeah, I know. “Oh, great, another grumpy old comic fan blathering on about the big movie that everyone else is talking about, and he’s probably going to tear it a new one because this Batman and Superman aren’t like the characters he grew up with. Let it go, old man. Things change.”
And I can respect that, which is why I’m not going to rant about the film’s tone, or the acting, or the cinematography, or the symbolism, or any of the eight million directing decisions Zack Snyder made on the set. Art is subjective and I don’t think anyone wants to hear another lecture from someone about how “these whipper-snapper Hollywood types ain’t got no clue how to do my heroes the right way, dadgummit.”
On the other hand, I’m a writer by training — not necessarily a great one, but enough of one that I can’t help but notice the little things that stand out in a film’s plot while I’m watching it.
And while I tried my best to get into this film, I just couldn’t. I had a whole bunch of questions about a lot of things in the plot that didn’t make any sense, at least not within the context of the film.
1. What was Luthor’s master plan?
The reason anything in this movie happens at all is because Luthor has a big master plan. But what is it? He manipulates events to get Batman and Superman to the point where they fight, by putting Superman in a position where he feels he has to fight Batman to save his mother’s life. But why? If I recall correctly, Luthor says he’s doing this to force Superman to kill and bring him down to our level… except in this world Superman already has killed to save a life, so I’m not sure what point Luthor is trying to prove there. Then we find out he’s collecting data on other metahumans and later he’s ranting maniacally about how some big menace is coming to get us and… what the hell, Lex? You’re supposed to be the genius in this movie, so help us understand any of these wheels in motion.
2. Why did Luthor want to take down Superman?
In the comics, it’s pretty clear why Luthor hates Superman, even if the reason changes over time. In the old days, it was because Superman accidentally made his hair fall out; more recently, he’s presented as a guy who resents an alien with powers walking around among us mere humans. There’s a little of that here, but it’s not really made clear why Luthor hates Superman so much. Is it because he believes Superman is an advance scout for an alien invasion? Is it because Superman is like a god and Luthor envies his power? Is it because Luthor’s daddy beat him and so he doesn’t like anyone who’s bigger and stronger than him? Pick a square, Lex.
3. Why did the ship allow Luthor access to the knowledge it held?
So all it takes to gain access to all the knowledge contained in the data banks of a downed Kryptonian ship is the fingerprints of a dead guy? The alien computer doesn’t require a password or some futuristic form of user ID that would be a little harder to fake than a fingerprint scan?
4. For that matter, why was the ship still in Metropolis?
We’re led to believe that an alien ship has been sitting in the middle of Metropolis for 18 months, surrounded by a military cordon and accessible only to government-approved personnel — who apparently couldn’t do jack with it, since it took Luthor’s scheming to unlock the computer controls. Wouldn’t it make more sense that Superman would want to keep dangerous alien technology out of the hands of a species that’s not ready for it? Or, assuming he decided it wasn’t his place to confiscate the ship, why would the government risk leaving an alien vessel with God knows what microbes, dangerous weapons or other unknown dangers in the middle of a major urban population? Is the ship made of a material that doesn’t cut and it’s too heavy to move in one piece?
5. Why was the other alien ship left in the Indian Ocean?
An alien ship with untold materials and marvels inside crashes into the Indian Ocean and no country or corporation is in a rush to salvage that sucker? The best we get is a few pearl divers who swim down without even scuba gear to find some kryptonite? Even if Superman wasn’t interested in keeping his home planet’s technology out of the wrong hands, why hasn’t the ship already been claimed and chopped up by someone else in the name of profit or national security?
6. What happened to the specialized environment we saw inside the ship during Man of Steel?
Remember when Superman was first invited inside a Kryptonian ship in Man of Steel, and he started suffocating because the internal environment was set for Kryptonian norms? If Luthor had to slice the fingerprints off Zod to gain access to the ship’s computers, then how did the government scientists who came before him to study the ship manage to re-adjust the ship’s environment to human standards?
7. Why did the ship respond to Luthor in English?
So okay, Luthor used Zod’s fingerprints to gain access to the ship’s computers. Even if we accept the idea the computer would not ask for any other form of user verification, why would it speak to him in English? Why would it even be programmed to communicate in English? Sure, we could say a government scientist got in there first and made the ship’s computer more user-friendly for English speakers… but how likely is it that government technicians could learn a completely alien language and reprogram an advanced alien computer in less than 18 months?
8. How did that statue and memorial get built so fast?
A few key scenes in the film take place at a Metropolis memorial that consists of stone walls inscribed with the names of the victims in Man of Steel, plus a large statue of Superman in a crouching pose. Just for comparison’s sake, the length of time between the 9/11 attacks and the opening of the National September 11 Memorial was exactly 10 years — with a lot of that time spent debating the type of memorial that should be built, and whether one should be built at all. Are we supposed to believe a similar memorial for a disaster that leveled a much larger area of a major city could be designed, voted on, funded, and built in just a year and a half? Remember, this is a Metropolis that suffered far more damage and loss of life than New York City in 2001; they would still be clearing away the rubble after 18 months, not sitting in the shade of a freshly constructed monument.
9. If Superman’s presence is so controversial, why did the statue get built in the first place?
Given how much the movie makes a point of showing how divided people on Earth are about Superman’s presence, does it really make sense that a statue of that size would be erected in his honor? For that matter, wouldn’t Superman have made it clear at some point during the earlier stages of construction that he would not be okay with an imposing statue of himself in a place that focuses on honoring the victims?
10. Hold on: Luthor knows where to find Superman’s mom???
At one point in the movie, mercenaries acting on Luthor’s orders kidnap Mrs. Kent so Luthor can force Superman to do his bidding. But the only way he would have known that Mrs. Kent is special to Superman would be if he knew that Superman was Clark Kent. So when and how did Luthor come to possess that important bit of information? Did he share this knowledge with his mercenaries, who might have wondered why this particular woman from Kansas was their kidnapping victim?
11. Why doesn’t Clark’s mom have a signal-watch?
Or if a watch is too much of a wink to the fans, then why doesn’t she have some other way to signal Clark? She was put in mortal danger when Zod and his people showed up at the farm and threw a truck into her house, and Clark doesn’t seem to be the kind of son who wouldn’t have done something to protect the most important person in his life. So why were Luthor’s men able to kidnap her and haul her ass all the way from Kansas to Metropolis without Superman knowing about it? At the very least, you’d think someone at the diner would have noticed she didn’t show up for work the following day.
12. What’s up with Superman’s super-senses?
He can tell when Lois is falling off a building and swoop in to save her (even though the last time we saw him he was moping on a mountain with his dead dad), but he has problems sensing massive explosives in a wheelchair just a few feet away from him… or hearing his kidnapped mother’s voice from wherever Luthor’s hired guns were holding her… or using his X-ray vision in one of a dozen situations where it would have come in handy. Why the lack of consistency in how Superman’s super-senses work?
13. Why didn’t Luthor just expose Clark Kent?
Following up on the “Luthor knows Superman’s mom” thing. If Luthor was out to discredit Superman, why not just leak the news that Superman is Clark Kent? Imagine the public hysteria that would break out if the world’s mightiest mortal was outed as someone who disguised himself as human — or worse, disguised himself as someone who’s part of the mainstream media. The xenophobes would have a field day crowing about how Superman’s “deception” proves he can’t be trusted. So why does Luthor commit outright terrorism when he could have destroyed Superman’s life far more easily with a phone call?
14. Why did Wonder Woman risk exposing herself over a photo?
In the movie, it’s hinted that Wonder Woman is an extremely long-lived person. The main evidence supporting this is a photo in Luthor’s files that shows her posing with a group of First World War soldiers in 1918. She later says something to Bruce Wayne about withdrawing from Man’s World since that time, but for some reason she comes out of her self-imposed seclusion to retrieve this photo. First, it’s a digital file — there’s no telling how many copies Luthor has out there. Second: why does it even matter? If there’s a photo of her from 1918, what’s the likelihood that anyone in the present day would look at her current self and assume she’s the same person in that photo?
15. How does an Amazon dressed in full battle gear in the middle of World War I stay a secret?
They’ll probably address this one in the upcoming Wonder Woman movie (which: yay!), but for now I can’t help but wonder what Diana was thinking when she posed for that photo. It clearly shows her in full battle gear, so she’s not hiding who she is from the other people in the photo or from the person taking the picture. So how is it possible the DC universe presented in this film doesn’t have legends of a mythical female warrior on the front lines during the First World War? Even in 1918, there would surely have been some written accounts of her actions. And if those legends do exist, then how is it that Bruce Wayne has to ask “who are you” when he sends that e-mail to Diana? Isn’t he Batman? Wouldn’t he be able to figure that out without having to ask her?
16. How did this Batman build this particular Batcave?
A little suspension of disbelief is a good thing, especially when you consider the logistical challenges of Bruce Wayne’s Batcave. In every version of the Batman story, there’s a Batcave with all kinds of crime-fighting equipment inside. And sure, we can let it slide and believe that one man and his aging butler were able to do all the work required to turn an underground cavern into a working garage, crime lab, computer room, gymnasium, trophy room and whatever else he needs to fight his war on crime. But the Batcave in this film is like no other, with a working elevator, multiple levels, and an exit ramp that takes the Batmobile out through a secret entrance in the middle of a lake I mean how in the holy hell is that even possible???
17. How is the Daily Planet still in business?
I worked for a newspaper in a former life, so I tend to notice the ways in which movies and TV shows tend to… let’s say embellish the realities of my former profession. But the Daily Planet in this film hits new heights of ludicrousness. Lois Lane has an unlimited expense account that allows her to travel to remote African villages for interviews with warlords… right before hopping a flight to Washington, D.C., for nothing more than an ambush interview with a high-ranking official. Then, when she demands a helicopter to get close to the big superhero fight, Perry White hesitates for all of five seconds before telling her to go meet a chopper up on the roof. As for Clark, he doesn’t seem to have any real beat; he goes from sports reporting to covering charity galas to getting himself “killed” in the crossfire while covering a superhero fight. Let me repeat: Clark is named “sports guy” at a newspaper in a major city that likely has many sports writers covering that city’s professional teams. Memo to Hollywood: this is not what happens in real-life newsrooms.
18. Why is Clark so bad at his job?
Just as The Daily Planet doesn’t make sense as a business model, I’m hitting a wall trying to figure out how Clark keeps his job. He’s not presented as a polished reporter, I get that. But he deliberately miffs his assignments so he can pursue his obsession with bat-themed vigilantes (while offering Perry White no news hook for justifying another story on Gotham’s crime problems). At one point in the film, Perry White literally looks at Clark’s empty chair and mutters something about how Clark is never around when there’s a job to do. He’s friggin’ Superman! All he has to do is get his interviews, bang out a story at 5,000 words per minute, and zip off at Mach 2 to his next appointment. And don’t get me started on how a reporter for a big-city newspaper would have to ask someone else “Who’s that?” when a world-famous billionaire shows up at a party. If the writers wanted to show us that Superman is really committed to playing his role as Clark, then have him be little klutzy or act like a dork, the way Christopher Reeve did it. But selling him as incompetent at his job? Come on.
19. Why would Batman go from Superman’s executioner to his ally just because their mothers shared the same first name?
It’s very odd how the writers took one of those obscure “have-you-ever-noticed” pieces of comic-book trivia and built a major plot point around it. Superman’s mom is Martha Kent; Batman’s mom is Martha Wayne. There’s probably a story behind how those two supporting characters ended up with the same first name. But why would Batman — a guy who for most of the movie is completely convinced that Superman is such a clear and present danger to the human race that must be stopped at all costs — suddenly back away from completing his mission just because Superman says his mom’s name? We get it, in Snyder’s world Batman is not all right in the head and this revelation is supposed to shock him into seeing Superman as a human being like him — but does this reaction strike anyone as remotely plausible?
20. For that matter, why would Superman say “They’re going to kill Martha” instead of “They’re going to kill my mom”…?
Superman doesn’t show any sign of knowing who Batman is, much less who Bruce Wayne’s parents were (which: lead-lined helmet, Bruce?), so it’s not likely he was playing mind games with Batman at the end of their fight. So why would he say “Martha” instead of “my mom” when he said that line? Most of us aren’t in the habit of calling our parents by their first names, especially at an emotional moment like that.
21. Why didn’t Superman just level with Batman right at the start?
Ever notice how so many movie fights could have been prevented if someone had just said the obvious thing that anyone else would have said in the same situation? All Superman had to say on that rooftop was, “Luthor is playing both of us. He wants me to kill you, and he’s taken my mother hostage to make sure I do it. You and I have our differences, but I don’t want to kill you — and let’s be honest, I could if I wanted to — so let’s team up and save her.” See? Simple. (Of course, going that route means we don’t get to see the big Batman v. Superman fight the trailers promised us — but better that than staging a fight that makes no sense.)
22. Why did Lois chuck the spear in the water?
So Batman changes his mind and decides not to stick the kryptonite spear in Superman’s chest. Fair enough. But then Lois — who shows up only to deliver the “she’s his mother!” line that Superman could damn well have delivered himself — decides to throw the spear into a random pool of water that was conveniently located inside the crumbling building they were fighting in. Why? Even if we accept the extreme unlikelihood of Batman throwing away his one piece of leverage, what purpose is there in Lois throwing the spear into a pool of water? Did she think the radiation wouldn’t hurt Superman as much if it was underwater?
23. Why did Batman think that rooftop booby trap would work?
At the start of the “epic” battle between our two heroes, we see that Batman didn’t arrive for this battle unprepared. As Superman takes a step forward, two devices spring up that bombard him with what look like sonic waves. But Superman makes short work of them, pushes Batman into a whole other area, and their battle bounces from one building to the next. For crying out loud, this is the Batman!!! His greatest weapon — especially when squaring off against a far stronger opponent — is preparation. Why would he use weapons that were not up to the task? Why have those weapons only in one spot? Why didn’t he do his homework to determine Superman’s other weaknesses? You don’t have to look far for good examples: in Superman: Red Son, the Batman in that story uses powerful lights to simulate a red sun and negate Superman’s powers. So why is the Batman in this film — a Batman who’s presented as battle-hardened and experienced after years of vigilantism in Gotham — not using the most basic of warfare tactics?
24. Is Bruce Wayne well-known for attending underground fight clubs?
In one scene, we see Bruce — wearing no disguise whatsoever — sponsor a fighter while tailing Luthor’s head henchman. This seems unwise, since (1) Bruce Wayne is clearly famous enough to be recognized, even in a place like this and (2) it would seem a little too coincidental for Luthor’s henchman to run into Bruce Wayne just hours before Batman is kicking down his door. Why not a disguise to preserve Bruce’s persona as a dilettante?
25. If Luthor hates aliens, why does he make an indestructible one he can’t control?
So Luthor’s plan to make Superman kill Batman doesn’t pan out, and Superman races back to Metropolis to bring him to justice. But not so fast! Because Luthor has another ace up his sleeve: a genetic monstrosity dubbed “Superman’s doomsday” that he concocted from a combination of his DNA and Zod’s dead corpse (which looks pretty good despite 18 months of decomposition, but let’s chalk that up to its alien physiology). Question: if Luthor is so fanatical about protecting Earth from alien threats, why would he unleash an alien threat he himself can’t control? Even putting aside Doomsday’s alien genesis, why would Luthor create anything that wasn’t under his complete control?
26. Why does a Kryptonian ship have a recipe for making Doomsday in the first place?
We find out early in the film that Luthor asks the ship’s computer to tell him “everything” — specifically, all the information it has on file from its interstellar journey. You would think that kind of download would keep Luthor busy for quite some time. But at some point during that massive data dump, the ship informs him that it happens to possess the means to create an energy-sucking, unstoppable monster from the dead remains of a Kryptonian corpse. That’s… a rather odd thing to keep in your computer files, don’t you think? Was that some kind of backup plan the Kryptonians kept in their back pockets if their terra-forming venture didn’t work out?
27. Why would Batman go to all that trouble to give Luthor that scare in his prison cell and not follow through on the branding?
Maybe there’s was something in the script that I missed, but near the end when Luthor is being held inside a cell there’s a moment when his guards disappear and Batman is standing there at his cell door. It’s pretty much the kind of dramatic entrance we’ve come to expect from Batman. But why would he go to the effort to break into that prison and incapacitate the guards just to speak to Luthor? And after going through all that effort to have a chat with Luthor, all he does is smash his fist into the wall to leave his mark? Why?
28. What was the point of the branding? Why would having a bat-brand equal a death sentence in prison?
Speaking of branding. We learn by way of the never-clichéd “TV reporter in a background news story” expositional tool that the Batman in Snyder’s universe brands the criminals he captures, leaving them with bat-shaped scars on their bodies. What’s the point of this? How is it practical for him to carry a branding iron for that one specific purpose? Why would other criminals target the ones who sport that brand — for that matter, why would any criminal collared by Batman be singled out for retribution by other inmates? And if it’s common knowledge that sporting a bat-brand in prison is a death sentence, doesn’t that make Batman a murderer? Of course, we know that he doesn’t have a problem with this, because…
29. Why is Batman a ruthless killer?
Okay, so Batman believes Superman has to be stopped because Superman is a vigilante who answers to no one and one whose actions have caused the deaths of innocent people. Yeah, no hypocrisy here, especially considering we see Batman shoot his grappling hook into the chest of a man and hurl the guy around a room during a fight oh my God what have I brought my child to see. There’s no way that guy isn’t dead from that. Then there are a couple of cars full of shooting bad guys that get squashed or die in horrific explosions as a direct result of Batman’s driving, plus a few more casualties I’m likely forgetting. “But they’re bad guys,” you might say. Even so, it’s hard to imagine how Batman has any moral leg to stand on re: Superman’s unsanctioned actions as a vigilante, when he himself is so cavalier about the many deaths and massive property damage he causes.
30. Now that I think of it, why did Clark have such a bug up his butt about Batman’s vigilantism?
In every Daily Planet scene, Clark is trying to convince Perry to let him write about the bat-vigilante (while offering no new angle or information, like a competent reporter would). Just as Batman’s stance on Superman seems a little hypocritical considering Batman’s own body count, there’s no real justification here for why Superman would disapprove of Batman’s activities. Let’s review what they have in common. Operating outside the law? Check. Guilty of murder? Check. Answerable to no one but their own conscience? Check. So… yeah, what’s up with that, Clark?
31. What was Luthor’s plan in Africa?
So if I’m piecing this together properly, Lois Lane’s interview with the African warlord at the start of the movie was set up by Luthor as a way of tricking Superman into showing up so Luthor’s men can make it look as if he committed a war crime in that village. So many questions. Wouldn’t the bullets and bombs make it obvious Superman wasn’t the cause of those deaths? Why was it important to get Superman to this particular village? Does the U.S. have a strategic interest in this region that would warrant a Congressional sanction? Why did Superman get the blame based on the word of one eyewitness? Why didn’t Lois Lane go back home and write a story about what really happened? Why would the mercenaries use ammunition that’s so super-rare only a few known sources have access to it? And if the whole scheme hinged on putting Lane in danger to make Superman show up, how did Luthor even know Lane would have shown up to do the interview at the precise time his men were there to put the plan into action?
32. Why was Superman such a dick to that warlord?
I know, it’s not easy feeling sympathy for a warlord. And yeah, he kind of asked for it by pulling a gun on Lois Lane in Superman’s presence. But damn, Superman — right through the wall? Move at super-speed and crush his gun-waving hand. Use your heat vision to make him drop it. Blow him over with your super-breath. There were a dozen ways Superman could have handled that situation without resorting to out-and-out murder, which is what we call it when a normal human is pushed through a stone wall (and probably several more) at super-speed.
33. So, Superman couldn’t show up a few minutes earlier and save Jimmy?
I mean, yeah, sure, Lois is in danger and he’s all about slamming through the roof and saving the day. That’s what Superman does. But if he knew where Lois was and that she was in danger at that precise moment, then it stands to reason he was keeping an eye on her from a distance. So if that’s the case, why didn’t he step in earlier and save Jimmy from getting killed?
34. Why is the Flash being so cryptic?
At one point, Bruce either has a vivid dream or gets a time-traveling Flash up in his grill while he’s staring at a computer screen — it’s not entirely clear what happens. But if we assume that really was the Flash going back in time to tell Bruce something important, why would he go with a cryptic “Lois is the key” message instead of saying something like “You can totally trust that chick who’s following you” or “You’ve got to stop Superman from dying” or “FYI, don’t let Lois chuck that spear in the water”…?
35. Why would Luthor even bother asking for an “import licence” for the kryptonite?
So the other Kryptonian craft fell in the Indian Ocean and no international body has secured it from looters and thrill-seekers. Fair enough. But we see scenes where divers discover a glowing green rock and bring it ashore to a man we assume is in Luthor’s employ. Clearly, someone has the means to approach the crash site and take stuff. At one point in the movie, Luthor asks a U.S. senator — who is apparently the only person in government who can help him with this request — for an import licence to bring the rock into the U.S. for further experiments. Hold on… Lex Luthor is going through official channels? He’s asking permission to do something? The hell?
36. Why would the senator refuse to allow Luthor to bring the rock to the U.S. — or better yet, not seize it herself in the name of national security?
Following up on that, why would the senator say no to Luthor’s request? Does she have some idea that Luthor is up to something bad? Or is she concerned this rock might be dangerous and she doesn’t want to be held responsible for bringing it to U.S. soil? Either way, I don’t understand her reasoning: not only is the kryptonite the only known sample of an alien element from an entirely different galaxy, but it’s also the only known way of stopping the alien being (Superman) that this senator clearly doesn’t trust. So what possible justification could she have to deny Luthor’s request?
37. How did the kryptonite get to Earth in the first place?
Divers find the kryptonite while exploring the wreck of the alien ship — or they find it nearby, I’m not sure. Either way, the question remains: how did it get here? Remember, Zod and his people were sent to the Phantom Zone before Krypton blew up, and the ships they commandeered to get to Earth were scavenged from Kryptonian outposts. In Superman’s universe, kryptonite is irradiated pieces of his blown-up planet, but Zod and his people weren’t there when the planet exploded. So they either went back to grab the rock as a keepsake after they escaped from the Phantom Zone or the rock traveled on its own through trillions of miles of space to land in the same place as one of Zod’s downed ships. Either scenario seems unlikely.
38. Why did Luthor blow up the hearing room?
This goes back to “Luthor’s master plan” question. So Luthor convinces a guy who lost his legs to become a suicide bomber who blows up the hearing room when Superman appears to make his statement. Dozens of people are killed, including the senator and Luthor’s personal assistant. But why? If the intent was to kill Superman, then surely Luthor was smart enough to know that blast wouldn’t have been enough. And if the intent was to intensify public opinion against Superman, then why not devise a way to make it clear to the world that Superman was responsible for the blast?
39. No, really. What was the point of Luthor blowing up the hearing room?
The way I see it, there are two possible scenarios here and the script doesn’t make it clear which one is the real deal. One: Luthor convinces the legless guy to be a suicide bomber and tells him there’s enough explosives in his wheelchair to kill Superman. Two: Luthor doesn’t tell the guy about the explosives in his wheelchair and presents it to him as a gift for appearing at the hearing. Then, when the time is right, Luthor detonates the bomb his unwitting patsy brought through security. Either way… what was Luthor’s purpose in committing mass murder? A smart guy like him surely wouldn’t think that charge would have been enough to kill Superman. Was Luthor trying to stoke anti-Superman feelings by “proving” Superman’s mere presence creates fanatics who will take out innocent bystanders while trying to take a shot at him? Maybe. But if that was Luthor’s plan, why be so obvious about what he was up to by using a bomb delivery system that could be so easily traced back to him — and also by him not showing up to take his reserved seat?
40. Why wasn’t Lois Lane in the hearing room when it blew up?
It was a major news event with Superman at the centre of it. Superman was given a clear public invitation to attend, and we can assume Superman didn’t decide on the spur of the moment to show up. Given her professional and personal interest in Superman, why wasn’t she there? Answer: because if she had been there, she would have died along with everyone else (since the faster-than-a-speeding-bullet Superman was apparently too stunned by the blast to do anything useful). Still, it seems odd she wasn’t in the press gallery for that one.
41. Why did Lois spend so much of the movie trying to uncover something we already knew?
So Lois goes from “Nairomi, Africa” to ambushing a high-level guy in Washington, D.C., asking about super-special bullets that only certain people would use. In the end, it turns out the big secret she was uncovering was that Luthor was… somehow involved in hiring bad people to do bad things? And it didn’t matter in the end because Luthor pushed her off a building and committed multiple other offences and therefore everything she did as a reporter linking Luthor to mercenaries and terrorists was completely pointless?
42. Why didn’t Superman sense the bomb in the wheelchair?
The poor guy who blames Superman for the loss of his legs is given a new wheelchair from Luthor, who apparently also talks the guy into becoming a suicide bomber. First off, that is some pretty shitty security at the Capitol, since even airport security screeners have been known to give wheelchairs a scan. All right, maybe Luthor’s superior technology devised a scan-proof bomb. Even so, how was it possible for Superman — you know, the guy who can see and hear almost anything — not to notice the rapid heartbeat of the guy sitting in the corner? Or the sound of the bomb ticking inside the wheelchair? Or the smell of the explosives packed into it? Hell, the guy stares daggers at Superman when he enters the room — how does Superman miss that?
43. Why did Mercy have to die?
One of the reasons a lot of Superman fans were keen to see the movie was the inclusion of Tao Okamoto as Mercy Graves, Luthor’s lethally efficient personal assistant. First introduced in the 1990s Superman cartoon, she was brought into the comics in 1999 and rebooted in DC’s New 52 as an Asian-American who kicks ass and is also smart enough to manage LexCorp in her boss’s absence. So you can imagine the reaction of fans who saw her in a few brief scenes before she’s one of the victims of Luthor’s suicide bomber. Even putting aside the fact we’re given no reason why Luthor would readily sacrifice one of the few (perhaps only) people he can trust to help him implement his schemes… what was the point of killing her off like that? Not only does that keep her character out of any future films, it deprives Luthor of another resource he might find useful considering his incarceration at the end of the film.
44. Why did Superman just stand there like that?
Superman is capable of tremendous speeds in these films. We know this because in the last film he was able to fly from Metropolis to the Indian Ocean and back before the attack on Metropolis was over. So in the time it took for the suicide bomber to activate his bomb (assuming he was pushing the button and not Luthor via remote control), Superman should have been able to respond somehow: push the guy out the window, throw his invulnerable body on top of the wheelchair, or even just wrap his arms around the nearest person if that’s all he figures he can do in that split-second. Instead, Superman just… stands there. And keeps standing there as the ashes flutter around him. I guess we’re supposed to think he’s in shock or something, but “paralyzed by the horror he’s witnessing” doesn’t sound very Superman-like. At the very least, wouldn’t he be doing something to ensure no further damage or loss of life happens?
45. Why is Superman so terrible at his own PR?
After the Capitol bombing, Superman flies off and sulks on a mountain, leaving people to wonder if he had anything to do with the attack. And even though we see him doing things like saving flood victims and rescuing factory workers from a burning building, it’s not unreasonable for people to have questions for the only living witness to the crime. So okay, maybe he’s just really busy zipping around saving people to sit down for an interview and explain what happened. Gosh, if only he had access to a reporter who could help him out…
46. Why didn’t Superman give the spear to the warrior princess standing to his right?
I mean, I get how he might think stopping Doomsday is his responsibility, but him handling a kryptonite spear is like a normal human holding a plutonium handgun. If it doesn’t matter who takes down the bad guy, why wouldn’t he give the spear to the lady who has spent an immortal’s lifetime training with that kind of weaponry? And for that matter… a spear, Batman? A little retro, don’t you think? Were you watching 300 the day you were working with the kryptonite in the Batcave?
47. How did Lois pull Superman out of the water?
I guess we should assume rapid weight loss is one of the side effects of kryptonite radiation? Otherwise, there’s no way a normal person is going to to pull a soaking-wet body almost twice her size out of a pool of water.
48. How was Superman able to hold that spear for any length of time?
So Superman gets saved by Lois and he flies over to where Doomsday is standing while holding the kryptonite spear. Let’s pause and note he does not have to be in contact with the kryptonite for it to have an effect on him; he just needs to be in its presence for the radiation to do its work. Just moments ago, he was drowning and near death because the rock rendered him too weak to lift his head out of the water. And now he’s flying at full speed to battle while holding the kryptonite a spear’s length away from his body…?
49. Why did it have to be Superman to drive the spear into Doomsday?
Regardless of who stuck the spear in Doomsday, why did Superman have to get close enough to Doomsday to risk getting injured? The whole point of having a spear is that you throw it at the thing you’re trying to kill. So if he didn’t want to risk Wonder Woman getting hurt while spearing Doomsday, why was it not an option for either of them to throw the spear from a safe distance?
50. What was Luthor planning to do with the information on metahumans he was collecting?
At one point, Diana is looking through files Wayne has emailed to her, files that contain information Luthor has gathered on her and three other extraordinary humans. It’s an obvious set-up for future DC Universe films, and a way to tease fans with glimpses of what we can expect to see. But… what exactly was Luthor going to do with this information? Was he collecting it to hunt down metahumans he determined were threats to the rest of humanity? Or was he planning to recruit them into his ranks for the coming battle that he was raving about at the end of the film? We may learn the answer in a future chapter, but for now… yeah, what’s up, Lex? And how long were you planning to sit on this?
51. Here’s a thought: why isn’t Bruce Wayne the paranoid billionaire who’s collecting surveillance information on metahumans?
Think about this for a second. Lex Luthor’s motives for collecting information on Diana and the others is murky at best, but the one person in the film whose motives are crystal clear is Bruce Wayne. After witnessing the destruction caused by superhuman battles, it would make perfect sense for Bruce Wayne — the ultimate strategist and planner — to use his vast resources to find other humans capable of containing extra-terrestrial threats. (There’s even a storyline in the comics about his teammates coming to grips with discovering his “doomsday plans” for each one of them.) But in the 18 months since he witnessed the Battle of Metropolis, he does absolutely nothing about it except go back to stalking human traffickers and other criminals. Now that would be an interesting story: an older, grizzled Batman who realizes we are not alone in the universe and redirects all his resources from chasing street criminals to building a team — a league, if you will — that can protect Earth from future invasions, and inducting Superman into that team is the first real test of his Earth-centric prejudices. How is it more plausible that Wayne came up with this team idea only after stealing some files from Luthor?
52. How is it that Luthor seems to be the only person at this point who knows about the other metahumans?
The submersible that catches Aquaman (who curiously stops and looks straight at the camera before swimming away) wasn’t piloted by Luthor. Similarly, someone besides Luthor saw the security footage that clearly shows the Flash stopping a robbery, and I’m guessing someone besides Cyborg’s dad (assuming that’s his dad in the video) knew about Vic’s condition or heard the screaming from outside the room. What I’m getting at here is, not only does the movie not tell us why Luthor is gathering this information about metahumans, it also doesn’t tell us how he’s getting it, or how Luthor is keeping it secret when clearly there are others who would have seen this evidence of extraordinary humans.
53. Why does Clark not find out who Bruce Wayne is?
In “World’s Finest,” the two-episode story that brings the DC Animated Universe versions of Batman and Superman together, it takes Superman all of two seconds to use his X-ray vision and peek under Batman’s mask. (Batman responds by using his toys to track Superman and suss out his secret identity not long after.) Did the film say at any point that Batman lined his cowl with lead? If he isn’t, then why wouldn’t Superman take a look after ripping the roof off the Batmobile? Clark hounds Perry White to put him on the bat-vigilante story, so he clearly has a professional interest in finding out more about the Batman. Why would he pass up the opportunity to get the scoop of the century? Professional courtesy from one vigilante to another?
54. How does Batman’s murder spree not result in a massive manhunt to take him down?
In most versions of the character, Batman has one inviolable rule: he doesn’t kill. This is usually presented as a moral stance, but there’s a practical element to that rule as well: as long as he doesn’t go that far taking the law into his own hands, law enforcement authorities are less likely to face public pressure to bring him in. So how has he been able to function as a vigilante for decades in Gotham City while showing such reckless disregard for life? Regardless of how corrupt Gotham City might be, no police commissioner could credibly turn a blind eye to anyone racking up that kind of body count in their city — not without facing massive liability lawsuits from relatives of Batman’s victims for not doing enough to stop him.
55. What kind of demented architect designed Luthor’s house?
I’m assuming it’s Luthor’s house because Wayne shows up at the party specifically to attach his hacking doohickey thing to Luthor’s computer servers, and I recall someone saying it was Luthor’s house. But regardless of whether it was his house or his place of business, why is the kitchen directly opposite from the room containing Luthor’s super-important computer servers? Why would guests at a party have the ability to wander around downstairs where Luthor keeps his biggest secrets? And what does it say about Lex Luthor that he doesn’t have 37 layers of security to prevent the very thing that Wayne was trying to do with his servers? Also, no thumbprint or retinal scanners? It’s really that easy?
56. Speaking of easy: we’re supposed to believe she bought that “I was looking for the bathroom” excuse?
So not only is a rich guy like Bruce Wayne going down into the basement looking for the little boy’s room, he thought he could find it by taking a shortcut through a room with the fancy computer equipment? Yeah. Totally believable.
57. What is Batman’s armored suit made of?
Because whatever it is, Bruce should stop fighting Superman and get that material to market ASAP. I don’t care how well-padded your suit of armor is, you don’t get knocked through brick walls by a powerful alien and not enjoy the feeling of your bones turning to powdered jelly.
58. If Batman wanted to know where that truck containing the kryptonite was going so badly, why would he drive like a maniac and tear off the top half of the truck with his wheels?
I laughed exactly twice while watching this movie: when Mrs. Kent said that line about capes, and during this scene when I realized that, after all the massive damage Batman inflicted on this truck during their chase, the tracker was still attached to one of the twisted pieces of what used to be the back of the truck. Not very forward-thinking there, Bats. Especially when you consider that the whole point of having a tracker is you don’t have to follow your target and have a big chase scene.
59. What does it take for Metropolis workers to get the hell out of those buildings?
For real, were the people in Wayne’s building waiting for Bruce Wayne himself to give them permission to knock off early? There’s a massive spaceship tearing up their city just a few blocks over, plus a couple of flying supermen throwing each other through buildings. Maybe 9/11 never happened in the DC universe and maybe the people felt they were far enough away from the action, but still. You would hope someone would be thinking about their safety more than getting their reports out on time.
60. So how did Clark’s body end up in Smallville and not in the other coffin?
Let me see if I can piece this together. Superman dies fighting Doomsday. Superman’s corpse is left on the field next to Doomsday. Everyone has a big cry. Lois explains Clark’s absence by claiming he was one of the victims of the devastation caused by the battle with Doomsday. So far, so good. But then we cut back and forth between two funerals: a military funeral held (presumably) in Metropolis for Superman, and a simpler one held in Smallville for Clark. We never see inside Superman’s coffin, but there’s a scene where we clearly see Mrs. Kent put a photo in Clark’s dead hands. So… how did that happen? Did Bruce and Diana find a random homeless guy and dress him in Superman’s uniform? Is there someone in the U.S. government who’s hip to Superman’s secret identity and quietly arranged for Clark’s body to go home? Wouldn’t someone in the U.S. government have a few questions about why there’s no alien body for them to dissect?
61. Wait a second — the U.S. government kept Zod’s perfectly preserved body in storage for 18 months and did nothing with it until Luthor showed up?
Now that I’m thinking about the serious likelihood of Superman’s dead body being the most prized possession of every scientist on the government payroll, I’m thinking back to that scene where Mercy Graves is delivering Zod’s corpse to Luthor for his own eeeee-vil plans. First off, it’s hard to believe that any corpse, even a Kryptonian one, would look that fresh after 18 months. Second — are you kidding me??? The U.S. government has had the corpse of an actual alien in its possession for a year and a half and they did jack-shit with it in all that time???
62. Wait, when did Luthor get a hold of Zod’s body?
When Luthor is trying to convince the senator to allow him to import the kryptonite, he tries to persuade her by arguing that kryptonite can cut through Kryptonian cells, which he demonstrates by showing footage of Zod’s corpse being mutilated by Kryptonite. But he didn’t have access to Zod’s body, because it’s only later we find out he wants access to the ship and Zod’s body for experiments. So where did that footage come from, since he didn’t have access to either Zod or the kryptonite at the time he met with the senator?
63. So Superman punches Doomsday into space where they’re both hit by a nuclear missile, and Doomsday manages to fall back to Earth and land just a few miles from where he and Superman started?
Seriously, what are the odds of that happening?
64. Why does Batman have to bring Doomsday back to Gotham?
At one point in the fight, Batman realizes they need the kryptonite spear to defeat Doomsday, and so someone has to go back to where he dropped it. He’s the likeliest candidate, since he knows the terrain and would be more useful finding the spear than trying to hold off Doomsday. But for some reason (and I can’t recall if the reason is stated in the script), Batman decides that he has to bring Doomsday back closer to where he dropped the spear, which happens to be closer to a populated area. Why?
65. Really, Jimmy? A camera that uses 35-mm film? In 2016?
I would have shot him just for that alone.
And the really scary part? You just know there are a whole lot more. Tell me below what I missed!