With Justice League now in theaters, things that have previously only existed in the comic books have finally been realized on the big screen. Except for one important thing, an important thing fans have been eagerly anticipating since the end of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice last year.
*Spoilers for Justice League ahead.
Where the heck was Superman’s black suit? Clark Kent coming back to life after dying in Batman v Superman was a given, and his resurrection was indeed a barely kept secret. But, in DC Comics his black suit is an iconic, integral part of his resurrection story. In Justice League, though, Henry Cavill’s Superman doesn’t come close to wearing it. It’s a minor complaint to be sure, but still, who doesn’t want to see Superman’s black costume just for once?
Back In Black
At the end of Dawn of Justice, Superman (Cavill) sacrificed himself in the battle against Doomsday, the monstrous corpse of Zod from Man of Steel. Superman’s death inspires Batman (Ben Affleck) and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) to assemble “an alliance” to fend off Steppenwolf, who was foretold by by Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) and seeks Earth’s three Mother Boxes as a way to roll out the red carpet for the true mastermind, Darkseid.
In a grim twist, Batman decides the League needs Superman after all, and in Justice League, Cyborg and Flash actually dig up Clark Kent’s corpse. At least, they acknowledge how weird it is.
The whole thing with digging up Superman and putting him in gooey water is a dramatic departure to how Superman was revived in the comics. In Reign of the Supermen!, which followed 1992’s The Death of Superman, the resurrection of Superman was precluded by four wanna-bes with word jumbles for superhero names, like, “Metropolis Kid” (later “Superboy”) and the “Man of Tomorrow,” who soon became the evil Cyborg Superman. All of them tried to become the “next” Superman, but soon enough, the genuine article would return, notably in a nifty black outfit.
This costume, with its black design and silver “S” (and minus cape ) has been an infamous part of Superman’s history. Much like Spider-Man’s Venom costume, it’s the simplicity and novelty as a “black” variant of something so colorful and iconic that does it for most comic book fans. And many fans expected to see Superman’s black costume in Justice League, not because “it was in the comics,” but because there were so many hints that it would be! From Cavill sharing pictures on Instagram to the fact Warner Bros. and New Era released a licensed hat for Justice League based on this actual design. Yes, I bought the hat! I was looking forward to it!
While it’s possible that the black costume was going to appear in Justice League at some point in time, perhaps in an early draft of the script or even in pre-production, the costume die-hard fans were waiting to see was absent in the movie that’s now playing in theaters. This isn’t cause for a riot, to be sure. It’s just a little baffling that an element that eagle-eyed fans were looking forward to was never going to show up at all.
Justice League is now playing in theaters.