The Superheavy Batsuit Was Worn By Jim Gordon
On the off chance that moviegoers never witnessed the completely unexpected "Superheavy" arc of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's Batman run, we're more than happy to explain (even now, it's hard to believe it's truly DC canon). We'll spare the details that got Bruce Wayne to a near-death defeat in fighting The Joker, and simply say that with Batman missing in action Gotham City needed a replacement. The answer came from Geri Powers, a billionaire mogul who absorbed Wayne's operations and immediately initiated "Project Batman." The centerpiece of which was the Batman Exo-Suit, a "graphene armor exoskeleton" that could be piloted by anyone. But a job that only Jim Gordon--a smoke-free, buzzcutted, physically fit Jim Gordon--was right for.
It's this blue and yellow, horned, rocket-firing Batsuit that the DC Super Friends™ Batbot Xtreme is modeled after, turning an incredible piece of Batman technology into a children's toy. But after director David F. Sandberg confirmed that every DC toy in the store was approved of for continuity purposes, the presence of the Batbot is an Easter Egg fans should get excited about:
I mean, everything exists that we had in there. It's all these DC toys--they're all real DC toys that are in there. I mean, for some [the studio/producers] were like, "Hey, you can't have that character, because that character's not in the universe yet. You have to stick to these characters."
So if the "Superheavy" Batman story is being referenced in the DCEU by including a toy based directly on Bruce's retirement and Jim Gordon's substitution, at least somebody on the studio side of things knew fans would notice its inclusion, and come to the the most obvious conclusion. But the main reason we're accepting these clues as the new DCEU head canon? It finally explains why Zack Snyder cast the ridiculously muscular J.K. Simmons to play his version of Gotham Police Commissioner Jim Gordon.
Batman's First Retirement in The DCEU Confirmed?
Few will ever forget the first time they got a glimpse of J.K. Simmons flexing his absurd muscles while training ahead of Justice League. While impressive, the actor eventually explained that his physique and his role were unrelated... but it always seemed like a missed opportunity. After all, Simmons' part in Justice League was a minor one to begin with, even before the infamous reshoots sliced several characters out of the film completely. So if fans were left wishing they could have had more of Jim Gordon in the DCEU, Shazam! is the movie to deliver. Not in actually getting to see a larger role for Jim in the Batman legacy, but at least a playful suggestion that he already did years in the past.
To be clear, we're not suggesting that Snyder or then-Batman director Ben Affleck ever intended to make "Gym" Gordon a physical threat in the Justice League continuity. That said, Simmons himself admitted he hoped to portray a "badass" version of Jim Gordon, and "a guy that can take care of himself, a guy that’s a real partner to Batman, not just a guy that turns on the bat signal and goes ‘Help! Help, Batman!’"
Does Shazam! prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jim Gordon got to play exactly that, stepping into his own Batsuit during Bruce Wayne's temporary retirement--a Batsuit that would be adapted into toy form along with every other DCEU superhero? Maybe not. But now that all the pieces are there for fans who wish to believe it... just try and tell us it never happened.