Alright. Time to make a potential stretch worthy of Elongated Man. We know that Zack Snyder is quite adept when it comes to visual homages, more specifically pulling direct panels from comic books and bringing them to screen in his film adaptations, ranging from Watchmen to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. We’ll come back to Dawn of Justice in a moment, but this is about Justice League and Frank Miller’s “The Dark Knight Returns.” Now both Dawn of Justice and The Dark Knight Rises have an homage to that with an older Bruce Wayne.
While Justice League feels like a hodgepodge of tones and visuals, one Reddit user — I know, but stay with me for a moment — has found what they feel is an homage to Frank Miller’s “Dark Knight Returns” in one very brief moment. When Batman crosses the tunnel during one of the battles with the Parademons, the user noted that if you freeze frame when Batsy makes that leap, it’s a direct homage to the cover of Frank Miller’s work. Here, have a look at the side-by-side comparison in the image below.
Now let’s talk about why this doesn’t really work that well, in particular this specific nod to “Dark Knight Returns.” As big of a deal as Frank Miller’s Batman work is, if it was going to receive an homage, it would probably be more prominent. In fact, Zack Snyder already did just that in Dawn of Justice. You remember the one, when Batman is grappling away from Doomsday’s heat vision during the final battle. In that one specific moment when he’s on a building, the lightning strikes and we see the visual homage to “Dark Knight Returns.”
Yeah, that one. That’s a visual homage. It’s quick enough to get the nod, whereas with Justice League, it would feel strange, but not unlikely, mind you, for the film to reference something that already received a visual homage in Batman v Superman. It’s entirely possible this is the case, though someone could always ask Mr. Snyder himself. He’s been very vocal about recognizing what scenes he shot and what was done by Joss Whedon during the lengthy reshoot process which, again, is the exception to the norm, not the standard.
What do you think, though? Is this fan making a major leap or is it indeed an homage to “Dark Knight Returns”? Because that would mean we have two movies referencing the same cover, which isn’t unlikely, but doesn’t seem like something that would be done. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Justice League is available now on Digital HD, 4K, Blu-Ray, and DVD.