It’s very significant that the final trailer for Justice League opens with a rosy moment of wish-fulfillment, both for Lois Lane (Amy Adams) and for fans of Superman. Lois steps out onto the porch of the Kent home and sees Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) standing in the field, lit by the setting sun that gives the Man of Steel his miraculous god-like powers. “I’ll take that as a yes,” Clark says, with a smile. “The ring.”
Clark, of course, means the engagement ring on Lois’ left finger. He never got to give it to her; he died before he was able to get down on one knee and propose. She received it in an envelope before his funeral following his sacrifice to save the world from Doomsday at the conclusion of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. It’s interesting – and important – that Lois wears it, even though Clark is dead.
The trailer cuts to Lois waking up in her bedroom in Metropolis. Was seeing Clark on the farm a dream? Or was it a real moment to look forward to in Justice League – the reunion of Lois and Clark, who has miraculously risen from the grave to help save the world once again? That Superman will return in Justice League is the film’s worst-kept secret, and even if that moment is just a dream, it is unlikely the film will only utilize the Man of Steel as a memory, a dream, or an apparition. Superman will return in the flesh. But the trailer raises the questions as to the nature of Superman’s return, and does Lois have a crucial role to play in how he returns?
WORLD WITHOUT HOPE
No one was more devastated by Superman’s death than Lois, not even Batman (Ben Affleck) or Clark’s adoptive mother Martha Kent (Diane Lane). To Lois, he was Clark, not Superman. She was the person who helped bring him into the light by investigating the heroic actions of a mysterious stranger performing good deeds all over the world in Man of Steel. When that film ended, she literally welcomed him to the (Daily) Planet. In the ever-expanding Justice League cinematic universe, Lois and Clark is the fundamental romantic relationship, even moreso than Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) and Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), for even if Steve does somehow reappear as rumored in Wonder Woman 2, that sequel is reportedly set in the 1980s Cold War of the past. Until Doomsday, Lois and Clark was the pivotal romance in the DC movies set in the current day. And it seems they still are.
“You’re my world,” was the last thing Superman ever said, and he said it to Lois moments before he picked up Batman’s Kryptonite Spear and plunged it into Doomsday’s heart, while Doomsday simultaneously drove a spike into Superman’s heart. Superman’s motivations and actions in Batman V Superman have drawn some controversy among fans, but for Superman it was all about Lois, and he even said so.
How Superman does return is perhaps the biggest question Justice League must answer. The theme of all of the trailers and promotion is to “Come Together” and being “All In” because “You Can’t Save The World Alone”. It’s about Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash (Ezra Miller), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), and Cyborg (Ray Fisher) uniting to take on the invasion of the Parademons of Apokolips led by Steppenwolf (Ciaran Hinds), the nephew of Darkseid. But Superman floats on the outskirts of all of the promotion, and the undercurrent is that even with the Justice League united in action, they won’t be enough. They will still need Superman.
“Lois Lane is the key!” a time-traveling Barry Allen told Bruce Wayne in Batman V Superman. That moment wasn’t just fan service, it was pure set up for Justice League. How is Lois the key? Somehow, she must be the key to resurrecting Superman. The whys and hows of Lois somehow tying into the Mother Boxes Steppenwolf comes to Earth to find might be one answer, but here is another possibility: the engagement ring Clark meant to give to her.
At Clark’s funeral, Lois crumbles and drops dirt into Clark’s grave. The hand she uses is her left hand, which wears the engagement ring on her ring finger. The dirt she drops miraculously floats, which director Zack Snyder intended as a clue to Superman’s eventual resurrection. In the Justice League trailer, Clark specifically mentions the ring to her. Could this all be a set of clues? Is Lois’ engagement ring special? Is the stone not a diamond, but something else, something from Clark’s homeworld with the power to resurrect a Kryptonian?
Whether or not Lois seeing Clark on the farm is a dream or not, the scene is there for a reason. That reason points to Superman coming back – and Lois is the key to him coming back. It’s possible she’s wearing the key on her finger and has been since Clark’s funeral, perhaps all for the crucial moment when she and the League realize it’s the means by which the world can once again have a Superman. Or, if other rumors are true and Superman returns as evil, the ring might be the means by which Lois is able to bring back the true, good Superman. Either way, it must come down to Lois, and it’s why she is in the movie – to play a pivotal role no one else can play. It has to be Lois, she’s Clark’s world.
The Lois and Clark farm scene in Justice League may just be a dream, but one that points to Superman’s return. However the Man of Steel is resurrected, the hero is coming back to join his fellow superheroes, but the man, Clark Kent, is coming back to Lois Lane. Lois and Clark are the romance in this universe, and that romance may just be the key to how the Justice League is able to save the world.
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