While it would still be a misnomer to proclaim Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice as a universally anticipated film, that doesn't mean millions of DC fans everywhere aren't steadily getting more excited about next year's titanic battle of the titans.
Henry Cavill will be reprising his role as Superman from Man of Steel, while Ben Affleck will be joining the DC Extended Universe for the first time as an older, battle-hardened version of Batman. The very first trailer for Batman V Superman indicated that neither of these superheroes has the best reputation when the film begins, and (as the title suggests) they're also far from being allies when they first meet.
In DC/Warner's next promotional salvo for the film, Merchoid (h/t Batman News) has started accepting preorders for the first officially licensed Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice t-shirts. Four designs are featured, with two being general and the other being specific to one of the particular heroes. Check them all out below.
The first shirt paints Batman as "the demon of Gotham," and seems to be depicting him as one might perceive the Caped Crusader while under the influence of The Scarecrow's fear toxin. The second design is clearly meant to invoke the classic fight posters used to promote big boxing or wrestling matches. It's "The Gotham Guardian" vs "The Last Son of Krypton," and the words "in a steel cage" would not at all look out of place on the bottom. On a sidenote, it seems a bit strange that they would go with Gotham Guardian over Batman's much more common Dark Knight nickname. One could presume that maybe Zack Snyder and company aren't too eager to make audiences think of the Nolan films.
The third Batman V Superman shirt is just the film's omnipresent combo logo, for those too undecided to pick a favorite hero to represent. The fourth design is arguably the coolest looking, a play off on the "false god" motif established in the Batman V Superman trailers. It's not every day that Metropolis' protector gets immortalized as a monster, complete with devil horns and blood red lettering dripping off his face. Then again, not every Superman movie featured the number of civilian casualties that Man of Steel infamously wracked up.
One other cool thing to consider is that with Lex Luthor set to manipulate both Batman and Superman in an attempt to accomplish his own sinister goals, these shirts could almost be justified as being worn in universe by the citizens of Gotham and/or Metropolis. It's easy to imagine someone as crafty as Lex trying to use public opinion to induce a battle between the two heroes, and whipping the citizenry into a frenzy while asking them to pick sides would be a fine method of doing that. He certainly has the money to finance such an operation, and the means to keep his name out of it.
While many unanswered questions still remain about just where Batman V Superman will ultimately lead the DC film universe as a whole, that doesn't change the fact that next year will finally deliver the cinematic answer to the age-old question of "Who would win in a fight: Batman or Superman?" Will Batman use his wits and resources to take down a nigh invincible foe? Will Superman's god-like powers prove too much for his mortal adversary? Or will Lex Luthor somehow trick them into removing each other from his evil equation?
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice hits theaters on March 25th, 2016.