You can’t say that Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice isn’t without its fair share of fans, given the hunger for any and all footage of the DC Comics team-up. After months of rumors telling when the trailer would drop (and what degree of ‘awesome-ness’ it would contain), the last few days have seen a flurry of activity.

First came word that fans would be able to register for an IMAX viewing of the teaser trailer, confirmed by director Zack Snyder – with a brief glimpse of Henry Cavill’s Kryptonian threads and Ben Affleck’s new Batsuit. But once the teaser made it to theaters, online leaks followed almost immediately – urging Warner Bros. to release the official teaser, and ensure the world’s first glimpse at the film isn’t through grainy recordings alone.

The previous claims of “Batman-heavy” teaser proved only somewhat accurate, as the trailer quickly shows that Snyder’s desire to examine humanity, fear, and a grounded reaction to an alien messiah is alive and well. It’s well-documented that WB and DC’s “edgier” look at comic superheroes isn’t for everyone; but for those wishing to see heroes like Superman and Batman – particularly Frank Miller’s “Dark Knight Returns” version – taken “seriously,” the trailer leaves little doubt.

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The prior reports of an anti-Superman sentiment spreading after the Battle of Metropolis in Man of Steel are confirmed, with TV pundits and famed astrophysicists like Charlie Rose and Neil deGrasse Tyson voicing the most obvious conversations that would follow confirmation of alien civilizations.

Where Man of Steel showed that an alien guardian would be met with fear and distrust as much as hope, Dawn of Justice looks to explore the admiration and divinity some would place in Kal-El (Henry Cavill) – noted by the ‘S’ insignias marking the shoulders of what look to be armed guards – as well as the fear felt by others, and preyed upon by the likes of Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg).

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It’s not all that shocking to hear Eisenberg’s voice warning that Superman may be a more sinister influence than he claims, but it’s the voice of Jeremy Irons -playing the new ‘Alfred Pennyworth’ – that may be most intriguing.

Or, rather, his cryptic warning:

“That’s how it starts. The fever. The rage. The feeling of powerlessness that turns good men… cruel.”

Fans can feel free to guess just who he’s talking about: Bruce Wayne, or the people who suddenly witness a being of more power and fame than they could ever dream of achieving. If it’s a commonly-held belief that everyday people secretly long to see celebrities knocked down a peg or two, or politicians topple, then just how vocal would they be when the celebrity in question is hailed by some as the savior of mankind (read: “False God”)?

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It’s hard to know just how well some of the more heightened elements – the religious imagery and discussion, for instance – will turn out in the finished film, or if some of the shots of the city and ‘False God’ statue are intended to make the final cut, or simply be used for marketing. Either way, expect Snyder and writers David S. Goyer and Chris Terrio to deal with hero worship and devotion head-on.

Fittingly, Charlie Rose’s question – “is it really surprising that the most powerful man in the world should be a figure of controversy?” – applies just as much to the fictional world’s response to Superman’s arrival as the real one his films release into. The fans, just as the people within DC’s shared universe, seem to have just as vocal opinions about what or who such a hero should be, and what he should represent.

The trailer closes with the same scenario depicted in the teaser shown at last year’s San Diego Comic-Con, with an added line of dialogue from star Ben Affleck (possibly augmented by his mechanical suit of armor). The looks at both the Batmobile and his Batplane/Batwing aircraft fit the ‘teaser’ name, but it’s the footage of Affleck actually wearing his standard Batsuit that will be most talked about, no doubt the closest to a comic book panel come to life that live-action movies have attempted. That, or the scoped rifle he seems to be holding atop a skyscraper.

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It may even overshadow the various looks at Superman’s more colorful suit – or the absence of Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) altogether (although the fire and crumbling concrete from which Batman emerges could be tied to Diana’s surroundings in the first official photo). Even so, the teaser – set to be shown with both Mad Max: Fury Road and apparently Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron – will fuel fan discussion and speculation for months.

With just under a year left until release, Warner Bros. can’t be expected to reveal too much this soon. But for now, let us know what you think of the costumes, characters, themes, and implied conflicts hinted at in this first teaser. Does this fit your idea of what to expect from Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel follow-up?

NEXT: First Look at Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor

Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice will be in theaters on March 25th, 2016; Suicide Squad on August 5th, 2016; Wonder Woman – June 23rd, 2017; Justice League – November 17th, 2017; The Flash – March 23rd, 2018; Aquaman – July 27th, 2018; Shazam – April 5th, 2019; Justice League 2 – June 14th, 2019; Cyborg – April 3rd, 2020; Green Lantern – June 19th, 2020.

Source: Warner Bros.

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