The end of May 2019 will mark the one-year anniversary of the most recent Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer, and the subsequent meme frenzy that followed. To celebrate, let’s take a look at how the fandom have marked the occasion with their own unique takes on the highly popular and polarizing superhero rivalry.
The Dark Knight Returns
Many fans took inspiration from another iconic Batman film to represent their feelings toward the Man of Steel, with one Redditor calling themselves ‘the dark knight returns.’ The inspiration for this particular dark take comes from the original 1984 Batman film, where Bruce Wayne donates all of his wealth and resources to construct a new prison, ending up using up all of his available space. The fan-inspired design takes inspiration from a scene where Bruce watches a news story on television about the Caped Crusader’s capture and exposes Clark Kent’s secrets — including the fact that he’s really Batman.
While most fans settled on a version of the Dark Knight Returns design for their reappropriation of the Batman v Superman trailer’s logo, others took their fandom further and designed entire outfits based on the original film.
It’s well-established that The Joker is one of the most popular characters from Batman v Superman, appearing in nearly every scene. One of the more creative takes on the character comes from the_badboyz, who reimagined The Joker as a member of a Japanese street gang, complete with a katana and explosive tag system to represent his penchant for violence.
The Joker’s popularity on social media was immediately evident following the release of Batman v Superman, with the character becoming one of the top trending topics on Tumblr — even beating out a rather interesting trending topic of ‘meganfox.’ Since then, the_badboyz have continued to contribute creative takes on the Joker, with one of their most recent designs earning them an honorable mention in the Best Overall Design Competition in the Fan Creations category.
When it comes to reimagining iconic characters, the Ironman franchise is pretty infamous for their ability to bring multiple personalities to life through the use of special action figures. One of the more interesting takes on the character comes from the_badboyz, who reimagined Hirohito in the style of an American gangster — complete with all the accoutrements that come with that image, including the custom-made walker, ironman badge, and pearl-handled revolver.
The design takes its cues from the film’s climactic battle scene and aims to replicate the overconfident swagger of the character played by Don Cheadle. The ironman franchise was a major player in the Twitter trend ‘80s style’ following the release of the trailer, so this design certainly seems to have resonated with fans.
Arkham Knight is the codename for the new Batman game that combines elements from multiple Batman games. One of the more interesting reimaginings of the character comes from the_uguixo, who gave him a goth aesthetic with dark blue and black apparel decorated with white skulls and crossbones as well as heavy metal accessories.
The_uguixo designed their take on Arkham Knight to pay homage to the original Batman: Arkham, created by Rocksteady Studios and released in 2010. While most fans have stuck to simply replicating the design and style of the game, others have expanded on it and used the opportunity to explore other facets of the Dark Knight universe. With Halloween right around the corner, perhaps it’s time for Batman to return to where it all started.
It might not be the most popular interpretation of Batman v Superman, but the_badboyz’ take on General Zod was one of the more creative looks we saw from the film. The reimagined Kryptonian is adorned in an impeccable white suit and red, white, and blue outfit, emulating the infamous flag of the United States of America.
The design is a clear reference to the American Revolutionary War and pays homage to the Statue of Liberty, as well as the Old Glory that flies above the National Mall in Washington, DC. Additionally, the_badboyz incorporated the Kryptonian symbol — the ‘SS’ — which stands for ‘Superman’s Secret Society,’ into the design. For those who love a good mystery — whether it be the Batman or Superman saga or the machinations of Lex Luthor — this design will certainly provide plenty of intrigue.
It’s been a very busy year for Batman and Superman fans, what with all the news headlines and viral content surrounding their epic rivalry. While we wait for the next chapter of their story, let’s take a trip down memory lane and revisit some of the incredible looks from their one-year anniversary — and beyond.