The long awaited debut of Superman's black suit in Justice League has been revealed in a deleted scene, and it gives the Man of Steel a far more complete character arc than he had in the theatrical cut of the movie. DC’s big team-up came up short in more ways than one when it hit theaters last November, ultimately proving to be a critical and financial disappointment. It did have its bright spots, however, and despite the horrific CGI work that was done to remove Henry Cavill’s mustache, the new and improved Superman was widely considered to be one of Justice League’s greatest strengths.
After returning from the grave and attacking his fellow Justice Leaguers in a fit of confusion, the Man of Steel swooped in to save the day in the final battle against Steppenwolf. Light-hearted and full of hope, the Superman we all came to know and love in the comics had finally arrived in the DCEU. Laughable CGI aside, the only problem with Cavill’s transition from Zack Snyder’s brooding, Debbie Downer hero to a more Christopher Reeve-esque take on the character was that it felt insanely rushed.
Justice League's bare-bones depiction of Superman’s resurrection and subsequent transformation was striking. He attacked his future teammates, spent a few hours reacclimating to the land of the living in a cornfield (replete with the cringe-worthiest dialogue in the film), and then he was suddenly a changed man. So when Justice League's Blu-ray announcement confirmed that several deleted scenes would be included that centered around the Last Son of Krypton, hopes were high that they would help smooth his transition and provide some actual context for it. And hey, if a certain black suit were to make an appearance as well, that would be cool too. Thankfully, today's first glimpse gives us both. Hell, it even fixes a plot hole.
Presumably set between the Smallville cornfield scene and his arrival at the final Steppenwolf battle, the deleted footage sees Clark Kent strolling through the DCEU Fortress of Solitude. With Hans Zimmer's sorely-missed theme playing in the background, two chambers open up containing a Kryptonian space armor and a black Superman suit (hurray!). Clark casually passes them both before a third chamber opens, presumably containing the classic red and blue costume he sports in the fight with Steppenwolf. On the surface, the scene reveals little more than the long-awaited black suit, but there's a whole lot more going on here.
Clark Kent is not only actively choosing to become a hero again here, but he's deciding what sort of hero he wants to be. After flying back home to Kansas with Lois, he could have chosen to go save the world in street clothes, retiring the heroic symbol of Superman that had been so controversial before his death. (He also could've steered clear of the apocalyptic action altogether, since he got a spike through the chest the last time he tried to do the right thing.) Instead, he once again chooses to do everything he can to be the symbol of hope that the world so desperately needs. The fact that he elects to do so in his classic threads rather than the (arguably cooler-looking) black suit makes for an interesting visual metaphor, as well. It may even be a subtle nod that the character is being steered back towards the light, away from the doom and gloom of Snyder's Superman.
This sort of internal conflict and subtle characterization is definitely missed in the streamlined theatrical cut of Justice League. Superman's character wasn't stripped down quite as heavily as some of his teammates (oh hey, Aquaman!), but he's still emblematic of some of the film's biggest shortcomings. Justice League's heart may be in the right place, but there's not much to be found underneath the surface. In the theatrical cut, anyway. Speaking of which...
We fully expect this deleted scene -- which was clearly directed by Zack Snyder, evidenced by the presence of Han Zimmer's score and the lack of nightmare CGI Henry Cavill -- to reignite calls for a Snyder Cut of Justice League. Those calls were always going to pick up steam once deleted scenes started rolling out, but now that we have a better idea of how complete Snyder's version of the movie actually is, if the other bonus footage looks as promising as this first glimpse does, you can expect the Snyder Cut supporters to start getting rowdy again. (Insert horn tooting here.)
What did you think of the clip? Are you disappointed that Superman didn't actually put on the black suit? Did the scene nudge you closer to the Snyder Cut bandwagon? Let us know in the comments.