DCEU: The Next Step For Superman

Ryan Mayer Ryan Mayer

May 14th, 2016

I am a Sport Management major and Business minor at St. John's University in Queens, NY. I am a writer for ComiConverse.com, ThePennyFace.com, and TheJetPress.com. I also am the Twitter manager of ComiConverse.com. I have always been in love with comics and football and hope to one day make a career out of it!

DCEU: The Next Step For Superman

There are few fans of Superman movies more passionate than our own Ryan Mayer. Here, Ryan looks at what's next for the Man of Steel in cinema.

The DC Extended Universe (DCEU) is alive and thriving with the third installment of their universe coming this August, in the form of Suicide Squad. Currently, the Justice League cast are on the set cutting scenes and preparing for the long shoot they have ahead of them. With Justice League already filming it got me wondering, what is the next step in the Superman arc that is currently playing out in the DCEU?

There are some of you that believe Director Zack Snyder does not know how to portray Superman and is failing badly on that score.


Think about this.

The current Superman in the DCEU is already two movies deep into his own story and will complete the arc in the Justice League movies. You may be asking, what is that story arc?

The path that Superman is on right now is broken into three parts; the birth of Superman, the death of Superman, and the resurrection of Superman. Each one of these parts are placed within each of the movies in the DCEU so far and are being used to develop Superman into the true hero that has the world looking to him.


Credit: Warner Brothers

In Man of Steel, we as an audience, got to experience the “Birth of Superman”. In this movie we got to watch as Clark Kent found himself and became the most iconic superhero in pop-culture. However, we got to see a character that didn’t know exactly what was expected of him in every situation, who allowed emotion to take hold and believed focusing on the enemy was the best solution to try and save everyone else. Clark Kent learned he must be something bigger and decided to begin his career as Superman.


Credit: Warner Brothers

In Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, fans got to experience the “Death of Superman”. In this edition to the Superman story arc we get to see Superman begin to struggle with a world that is struggling to accept an alien as a their hero. Throughout the movie you see the world, and Superman himself, struggle with the thought of what he should be.

The second part of this story is for Superman to deal with things going wrong for him. The world is 50/50 on him. There’s a villain dedicated to destroying his image and a hero convinced that he cannot be trusted and must be eliminated to keep the world safe. We even see an amazing moment when he himself gives up and sees himself as a failure. This is the most vulnerable moment for Superman as he begins to believe that the ideal he has been fighting for is a lie. Finally we begin to see Superman understand that he can not be perfect and that by saving someone you can be letting someone down and that he has to try his best but can not expect everything to go perfectly. His ascension into the hero we have all been waiting for occurred in the Doomsday fight. He did everything correctly; bringing Doomsday into space in an attempt to keep him from hurting anyone else. We also see Superman fight to the bitter end even sharing an amazing moment where he admits that “This is my world” and he is willing to do anything to save it. In this moment he becomes the Superman from the comics and animated shows because he sacrifices himself to keep everyone he loves and the world he loves safe. In a way his death is the catalyst that turns the world from being 50/50 on whether Superman is their hero to fully believing in him as their hero. The one quote that seems to be overlooked is a very powerful one in my eyes. “If you seek his monument, look around you” this quote is a powerful one because it shows the world have come together to mourn this hero.

Story continues below


Credit: Warner Brothers

The next step in Superman’s arc in the DCEU is his expected resurrection. We do not know exactly how or the exact moment he will be returning, but we can theorize who he will be and how the world will react to him. If you look at the way the story arc is progressing for Superman than you can come to the conclusion that his subsequent return will be met with cheers from the world and happiness that their hero has come back. This will be the first time in this Superman’s history that the world fully backs him. Everyone may not be behind him but the people as a whole support him as Earth's hero. You can also see how when he returns he will be more of a veteran Superman that has learned how to lower collateral damage and will be one that more resembles his comic counterparts. Obviously the next time we see Clark will most likely be in Justice League, where we will see him return to not only the world but to the Justice League itself, which is being built by Batman and Wonder Woman in his honor.

Many fail to see the beauty that is unfolding in front of us, because they choose to see the Superman that is on screen as the final product and fail to mention that this hero is one that will be evolving. If he started out as an already veteran hero that knows exactly to do and was the perfect hero that everyone knows him to be than where would the conflict be?

Where's the evolution of character?

The current story arc that he is going through will end with Superman going through a large evolution that will end with a much more evolved and developed Superman than what he was when we first met him in Man of Steel.


Ryan Mayer is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @RMayer94

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  1. AJ Steele says:

    One of the best articles I’ve read in a long time. There’s a large number of critics and naysayers of the DCEU that need to read this.

  2. MrRed says:

    The author presumes an awful lot! With Snyder in charge, you could well have a greater chance of his superman going full evil; perhaps even being one of the main villains in the justice league movie.

    Warners should have stuck with the proven talent of Timm and Dini to helm their live action universe. The animated series were amazing!! They knew the characters in depth. Snyder is all flash & no bang.

  3. Ryan Mayer says:

    If you go back and watch both MOS and BVS you can see the arc I talk about above. Both Snyder and Cavill have stated that they are developing Superman to get to the point of the Superman we all know, of course with Cavill’s own little spins on the character and personality.

    To state that there’s a greater chance of Snyder making Superman evil is just as presumptuous as me trying to guess what the next steps for Superman in the DCEU are. We both do not know but if you look into the films you can see how this character is developing as I explain above. The next logical step is for him to grow more and more into the hero we all know. Even at the end of BVS we saw flashes of the most iconic hero in comics.

    The animated series may be amazing as it is but that does not mean that it can be translated to live action.

    Finally, to your statement of Snyder being all flash and no bang. One of the main reasons why Affleck is the EP is to work on the story not only to align it with his Batman solo film but to also oversee the story same thing with George Miller. You just can not deny that Snyder is amazing at the visuals of the film and making scenes in a movie look like they were taken out of the comicbook itself.

  4. Ryan Mayer says:

    Thank you

  5. MrRed says:

    I’m not sure I get your point about the animated series not being transferable to live action?

    BvS looked great, and that’s all well and good; but it’s not much use if the story was all over the place. Even Jesse Eisenberg said his character was basically ruined by editing.

  6. MrRed says:

    But that’s not to say that I don’t like superman or DC; I do very much. I just don’t like what Snyder/Warners have done with them. Do I think they can be redeemed? Yes! Henry Cavil could do a great Superman if given the chance. With Snyder in charge? Sadly not.

  7. Ryan Mayer says:

    Editing was not done only by Snyder and he has stated that he had to shift scenes around due to WB wanting the movie to be under 3 hours, hence why he says the 3 hour one is the one WB gave a standing ovation to.

  8. Ryan Mayer says:

    The problem people seem to not realize is that because someone can direct or do justice to a character in a certain medium does not mean it can be translated to another to the same effect. Hence why TV to movie tends to fail and why animated to live action is a very difficult thing to do. You have to sacrifice a lot to go from animation to live action

  9. Ryan Mayer says:

    I think many are jumping to conclusions. We have to this date yet to get a superhero in a movie that develops from start to their comic counterpart in the movies. Iron man was Ironman as soon as he put on the suit so on and so forth. I think we need to allow Snyder to develop the character like he has for the past two films

  10. MrRed says:

    Snyder was in charge of the movie in general. If he couldn’t tell his story in the time allotted, then he’s not doing his job properly. Plot and pacing ought to have been to the forefront of his thoughts.

  11. MrRed says:

    Character development, when done well, is fantastic. What Snyder has done so far is to make the character unlikable. He may well go on to redeem him, but the harm may already be done. Many compare Snyder’s superman to the Justice Lord version of superman. So far he’s developed him into the ground.

  12. MrRed says:

    Yes, but character and plot shouldn’t be the things to jettison. I recently read that Spider-Man had more lines in his Civil War cameo than superman had in the entirety of BvS. That says a lot about Snyder.

  13. Ranger Larry says:

    Well here’s my problem, his personality, he still isn’t portrayed on film as he wants to be in this position.

    I get what all you’re saying and can go with most of it but this Clark Kent never wanted to be a hero. In this universe Superman wants to defend people the same way a good hearted person wants to help someone in a car wreck.

    Sure they stop the car, jump out and help when the opportunity arises, but they didn’t really go looking to do it. They never really wanted to be in that position, but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t help.

    Superman should be like the soldier, policeman, fireman, emt and so on that always wanted to be that. He should have a type A personality and a natural leader. A person that wanted to be one of those things from childhood and once they became that they cherished every opportunity they had to do so until they retire.

    Zack’s Superman is more like the person that didn’t really want to be the soldier or policeman but did because they were pressured into doing it. Sure they do the job, but it’s more like a burden on their shoulders, and they just serve their time doing what they swore to do until their service is done.

    Superman should be the type of soldier is driven and ways does his job to the best of his abilities then goes to Ranger school and the Ranger Regiment or selection for Special Forces to earn his Green Beret. He’s a natural leader who wants to join the best.

    Zack’s Superman is a good soldier. He’s never late, does his job and goes home but never too much more than he needs to. Doesn’t care to go to the hard schools or training to be elite. Just wants to do his time and get out. It’s not for him really, he’s only in because his dad thought it would be good for him.

    Zack’s Superman helps people because well he’s exposed and feels obligated now. He doesn’t really want to but knows he can’t really stop, but in all honesty if they are going real world with this, his personality type probably would have given up. Even with everything you’re saying considered, his attitude has been “I never asked for this.”

    That’s the problem I think, it’s not the evolution of the character that people don’t like, it’s the fact he doesn’t want to be a hero. He’s just a guy with superpowers that is thrust into a situation he doesn’t want to be in and a role he doesn’t want to play.

    That’s fine if they want to tell that story, but WB could have done that with a new IP that wasn’t Superman.

    And I’m also not sold on the fact that he will return as “The Superman we all know.” I think the set-up they are going with is the Injustice route and that “Lois Lane is the key” to make Superman snap out of it because Batman “was right about him.” It may be JL 2 or another solo Superman movie (if they make one, it doesn’t seem like there are any plans to do so) before we might see “The Superman we all know.”

    Even then there is no guarantee they actually are going with this cycle you’re suggesting and we don’t get mopey britches Superman doing things out of obligation again.

  14. Terrance S Ellington says:

    Plain and simple synder ruined superman

  15. MrRed says:

    Agreed. This superman is just some emo guy that has all the powers of superman, but none of the heart.

  16. Sharito7 says:

    I like your article, it is a very interesting take and piece. I also believe this is where Snyder is going people just needs to chill and wait. When we see Justice League and he is the hero, the beacon of hope everyone is so accustom to see you will be proven true. I will favorite your article so I can share it when JL release and Superman is “likeable”. Because people will say that WB did it because fans were mad when in fact Snyder has been working towards this for a long time. He is a fan of Superman, he said that, he portray Lex as the Lex from Superman: Birthright, he knows his stuff. It is sad that people is not willing to give him the chance he deserves and prefer to just call him a hack.

  17. SAMURAI36 says:

    Yeah, you are the one making alot of presumptions here. First Jesse said no such thing. Second, we don’t need another version of the cartoons. Third, BVS took cues from DOSM, TDKR, and Birthright. I was able to follow the story quite fine on the first viewing.

  18. SAMURAI36 says:

    False. You really don’t know alot about how Hollywood works, do you?

  19. Ryan Mayer says:

    I respectfully disagree

  20. Ryan Mayer says:

    Very will written out and I see some of your points, the problem is we all do not know what direction the rebirth of Superman will take him. For all we know it can go in a completely different way that both of us could not anticipate. However, I feel the route that Zack is bringing this Superman is one that is finding his place in this world.

    What I got from Man of Steel and BVS is that we began to see a Superman that has doubts and is scared of what he can do and scared of failing. It basically destorys him after the senate explodes. That scene at least for me was very powerful. It showed him arriving beaten down by the media and questioning everything. He goes there in an attempt to talk with these leaders and instead it all goes up in flames…literally. When he returned to Lois it was sad and showed a defeated Superman one who’s questioning his being Superman…which we have seen before in the animated stuff and comics.

    I do not want to make this post long so that you guys have to go through tons of reading on my opinion in the comment section so I will try to summarize my belif and what I see and my opinion.

    Zacks Superman is one where he isn’t perfect and isnt sure what he is or what he truly is doing. In Man of Steel we saw Clark trying to find himself and through the guided teachings of his father(s) he began his path to becoming Superman. He was tested greatly with the invasion of Zod to the point of crossing a line to save a life. He learns from this and continues on his path. Now hes loved by half and hated by half. He wants everyone to see him as a friend and someone there to help yet in this more realistic take the world doesnt completely accept him and instead questions him and everything he does. The vibe I got was He saves a family but breaks a wall…instead of “Yay Superman saved them”…it would be “DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH THAT WALL WILL COST TO FIX”. Snyder in my eyes is showing a timeline from birth to the rebirth where he begins to become more and more like that icon.

    The MAIN reason i believe Snyder is going on this path is because of the ending of BVS. Superman actually began to act like Superman. His first reaction to Doomsday was to save the guy threatening to kill his mother. Then he brings the creature to space where he could keep it from hurting people. Finally he sacrifices his life for the world that he considers his own.

    Yes, this Superman as of now is not the comic or animated superman but it is a character developing into that hero. We are seeing the trials and tribulations this character must go through to reach that ultimate lovable hero. Sorry if this post is way to long lol. I tried.

  21. Ryan Mayer says:

    Thank you for the kind words. Also (this is not a slight at Marvel) I feel that with the years of movies we have received from Marvel we haven’t seen any real character development or descent into darkness that could not be explained away from a villain.

    I feel the Superhero fans of today see it more as the hero is always good and thats that and from the second they put on the suit they are good and anyone against them is bad. No characters are really left to develop. Ironman has massive PTSD in Iron man 3 yet that disappeared.

    I just feel like fans of these movies today need instant answers and instant gratification when it comes to these heroes. No one wants anything to develop anymore.

    For me I would much rather go through 5 movies where the hero faces many trials and tribulations to get to where they are in the 5th movie. I also will find it more satisfying when in the 5th I look back and you can see how the character has changed and developed. I feel for me these past two films I have really seen this Superman begin to evolve into that icon and that it will continue in JL.

    Only one year my friend!

  22. Sharito7 says:

    I aghree

  23. Ryan Mayer says:

    MrRed, Snyders film the one he initially wanted to release was the three hour one we are getting on the DVD. The studio and the person in charge of editing which yes Snyder had a say in but studios hire people to edit the films. So Snyders true product is the one coming out July 19th

  24. MrRed says:

    Snyder was hired to direct the film. He made the one he made. Now your saying the film you’re defending isn’t the actual film, it’s the retrospective one they’re putting out after the theatrical one we all paid to see?

  25. Ryan Mayer says:

    You are complaining about the editing of the film. The film is the film but edited differently than initially planned…hence why there is an ultimate edition being released on DVD. Don’t try to twist my words. Also every business person that deals with movies has said that a 3 hour movie isnt financially feasible.

  26. Sharito7 says:

    I disagree as well.

  27. Sharito7 says:

    Dude you are just hating. He is giving you, the author; well thought out points and you just wants to hate. Just stop watching the DCEU if you can’t see past your hate and nitpicking because Superman is not portrait as is since the beginning. For me that is exactly what was wrong with Superman Returns movie. Superman was the character everybody knows and therefor became repetitive and uninteresting.

  28. Sharito7 says:

    you are citing the independent no wonder you are so full of hate. That site was hating on every little detail they could about the movie.

  29. MrRed says:

    I can express my opinion & disagree with you if I want to!

  30. MrRed says:

    Don’t believe it if you don’t want to! Keep on sucking the Snyder cool-aid!

  31. GRKDC says:

    Patience my friend…in time you shall see the Superman everyone is whining about

  32. GRKDC says:

    This is great! I do think he is going the direction you stated.
    Zack is clearly making parallels to Christ so after his rebirth or resurrection I feel Superman will be the one we all know and love.

  33. Awesomeruss50 says:

    If you think an evil Superman is a prospect for the next installment, then you must be one of the naysayer/saboteurs that’s infecting our otherwise beautiful and glorious communities eschewing, *’BRING ME THE HEAD OF ZACK SNYDER, WILL YA?!!!’*

    Just try to keep in mind that the complexion changes from shit to sugar with a few responsible tweaks and directions that you weren’t expecting when dealing with storied characters. I’m in no way totally saying that there were no flaws with this movie. But the totality of the entire production line is to be reasoned for the future, by the sum of their parts. Let the story finish, then judge as you would.