One DC fan has created a suitably epic edit, showing just how Superman’s big return could have played out in Justice League.
The Man of Steel’s resurrection in Justice League was perhaps one of the film’s strangest plots. While the film theoretically followed on from Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, it rewrote Superman’s role. He was presented as a beacon of hope that had been extinguished, rather than the conflicted hero of Snyder’s films. Meanwhile, the actual resurrection was achieved through Kryptonian science. Batman V Superman had dropped hints that Superman wasn’t really dead after all, with energy still emanating from his coffin. These were ignored.
One fan has clearly decided he could make this work a little better. He’s created a phenomenal edit, one that combines a recently-released deleted scene with clips from the previous DCEU movies. The result is, frankly, breathtaking. It shows a resurrected Clark Kent walking through the corridors of the Fortress of Solitude, remembering the advice his father gave him. He recalls once again that he is destined to be a beacon of hope. When he finally leaves the Fortress, it is as a man who has accepted his place in the world.
The greatest strength of this fan edit is that it effectively gives Superman a character arc. Both Man of Steel and Batman V Superman saw Kal-El struggle to understand what kind of man he was meant to be. Controversial director Zack Snyder essentially launched Superman on a journey of self-discovery. This scene brings that story full-circle, with Superman accepting the identity his father chose for him when he sent Kal-El to Earth. That sense of continuity was sadly missing in Justice League, which was instead primarily concerned with trying to pivot away from the previous films.
At the same time, this fan edit also unfortunately embraces certain weaknesses in the DCEU to date. Superman remembers his name as Kal-El, not as Clark Kent. His identity is shaped by his Kryptonian heritage, not by his human relationships. That approach undermined the effectiveness of the Snyder movies, leaving Superman a quite distant and remote figure. In the context of Justice League, however, an edited scene like this might just work. It would follow on shortly after Superman’s experience at the farmhouse, where he talked with Lois and his mother. These two scenes, running side-by-side, would likely balance out. One would stress Superman’s human identity, the other his Kryptonian ancestry.
Every now and again, a smart fan comes up with an idea that would actually have played out well in the actual film. This is definitely one of those cases; it’s actually a shame Justice League‘s production team didn’t come up with a similar idea.
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