That Superman was going to be in Justice League has never been in question. Based on the final shot of Batman v Superman, Zack Snyder wasn’t interested in keeping Superman dead for longer than five minutes of screen time, which begs the question why kill him in the first place, but that’s not what we’re here to discuss. We’re here to discuss that Superman is in Justice League, and Henry Cavill has just given us our first hint of what exactly that might entail.
Posted by Cavill to his Instagram account, the image confirms that when Superman returns from the grave in Justice League, he’ll be sporting the black suit that he has when he came back from the dead in the comic storyline The Death and Return of Superman.
I’ve talked at length about how I’m not a fan of Snyder’s grimdark portrayal of Superman, which I think works against the fundamental purpose of the character. So seeing Snyder put the character in black is, in addition to being hilariously on the nose, very disappointing. It doesn’t indicate at first glance that Snyder has any intention of lightening the persona his Superman in the slightest, something I think the DC Cinematic Universe desperately needs.
This enters very speculative territory, but this seems like confirmation that we live in the darkest timeline of DC movies, indicating that Justice League will follow up on the future glimpsed in the “knightmare” sequence of BvS, where Superman was some kind of assumedly Apokoliptan enforcer. It might not, though; when Superman came back with the black suit in Death and Return he was still a good guy, albeit a gun-toting looks-like-he’s-from-Terminator looking one.
But let’s be honest with ourselves here: Zack Snyder has been building to making Superman the bad guy of the DC movieverse from the very beginning of Man of Steel. It’s the culmination of his woefully misguided interpretation of the character, and I’m really not surprised in the least that Cavill will be sporting the black suit when he returns in Justice League. My lack of surprise doesn’t change my response though.