Superman is officially going dark.
Superman actor Henry Cavill has revealed a photo teasing a black Superman suit he will presumably be donning for the upcoming Justice League film. And it hints at a major (but not unexpected) storyline from the comics.
A photo posted by Henry Cavill (@henrycavill) on Aug 15, 2016 at 11:58am PDT
It looks like Justice League will indeed borrow from the famous The Death and Return of Superman, which caused hysteria in the comics world from 1992-93. In the comics, Superman dies in a battle with Doomsday, which is followed by a period in which four different individuals wearing the Superman mantle appear … until the true Superman returns, dressed in a black uniform with a metallic "S" logo. Also, he was rocking a sweet mullet, because it was the '90s.
On the big screen, we've already seen part of this storyline play out. Superman died battling Doomsday at the end of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, with his sacrifice inspiring Batman (Ben Affleck) and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) to seek out other talented individuals to form the Justice League. But this being a comic book world (and Cavill already announced as a member of the Justice League cast), we knew the Man of Steel wouldn't be staying dead for good. The final moments of the film show a few pieces of dirt rising from Superman's grave - a major Inception-esque hint that he's alive.
So what will Superman be like when he returns for Justice League?
In the '90s comics, Superman came back as the hero he's always been. But there's also precedent for a black-suited Superman to be a bad guy. In a 2013-14 comics storyline, the villain Darkseid (rumored to be the big bad of the DC Extended Universe movies) created a clone of Superman. The black suit-wearing clone went on to pose as Superman, causing a lot of trouble in the process before apparently being killed off.
In the DC movies, there's speculation that Superman could be bad (at least for part of Justice League or a future movie). A BvS dream sequence shows a reality in which Superman is acting as a tyrant - upset over the death of Lois Lane (Amy Adams). The Flash (Ezra Miller), presumably coming back from the future, warns Bruce Wayne that he was "always right" about Superman and should fear him. Though it seems unlikely that Warner Bros. would have a film about Batman fighting Superman only to have another film about Superman fighting the Justice League, anything is possible. But we're guessing Superman will be a good guy when he's back in black next year.
Justice League is set for a Nov. 17, 2017, release.