Snyder Cut finally came out and gave us a lot to think about with regards to the possible Justice League sequels according to Zack Snyder’s hopes and dreams. While we don’t yet know whether or not we will get to see any more sequels to his version of Justice League, a bunch of things happened in Snyder Cut that would be rather invigorating to watch at some point.
Case in point, the message that Flash gives to Bruce Wayne during the latter’s premonition: “Lois Lane is the key.”
This isn’t the first time that Batman has had this very premonition. It was first mentioned way back in Batman V Superman when Bruce sees a vision of a corrupted Superman in a Darkseid-ruled Earth. This forms one of the most significant scenes of Snyder Cut, as it tells us more about a corrupted Superman and what leads to it.
This vision is known in the DC universe as the Knightmare. So what exactly is the Knightmare and what does it all have to do with Flash’s message to Batman? Let’s find out!
1. What Causes the Knightmare?
Bruce mentions his premonition to Diana in Snyder Cut, saying that Barry tells him, “Lois Lane is the key.” And while Diana says that Lois indeed is the key to Superman, Bruce says instead, “something darker.” So what exactly is Lois Lane the key to?
In the final chapter of the four-hour movie, we get to see an interaction between Bruce and the Joker, who talks about Lois Lane’s death. The Knightmare first appears in Batman V Superman, in which Batman is trapped by parademons. During this time, a time travelling Flash comes to warn Bruce about the coming apocalypse under Darkseid’s invasion of Earth.
But that is not all. The most important part of this scene is that there’s a corrupted Superman. Why, you ask? Because Lois Lane is dead. This is what actually causes the Knightmare to even exist in the first place. It’s quite simple, really. A dead Lois Lane means an enraged, corrupted, destructive Superman.
Here’s what Snyder had to say about it:
“This is the Flash running through time, coming back to warn Batman, y’know, not to kill Lois Lane, I guess. Lois Lane is the key.”Zack Snyder
2. Who Killed Lois Lane?
Now we know that the Knightmare wouldn’t exist if not for Lois Lane’s death. But here’s the question, how did the responsibility to undo Lois Lane’s death fall onto Batman? Snyder’s plan was this:
“There’s this idea I had that in the future when they’re talking about sending Flash back in time to warn him, that Cyborg who’s doing the calculations to send him back, would say, ‘This is where—I have two possibilities of where to send Flash back in time.’ The numbers point to two moments to warn you. And you really want the warning to be closer to the moment where Bruce needs the information.”Zack Snyder
The reason Bruce needs this information is that he has played some part in Lois Lane’s death. Either he has managed to let Darkseid kill her, or Batman himself killed Lane for some reason.
“If it’s right near the moment where this event might happen where Lois might get killed or Bruce isn’t able to stop it, or however that’s happening, it would be important if Flash came closer to that moment so Bruce would understand the reality of it.”Zack Snyder
The inference here is that Superman is the herald of the apocalypse because Lois Lane dies. How does he get corrupted exactly? Let’s dive into that now.
3. Superman and the Anti-Life Equation
It’s important to remember that after Superman was resurrected and began attacking the very people who brought him back to life, it was Lois Lane who helped him remember who he was. So, Lois Lane is the catalyst here. Naturally, it would only make sense for Superman to lose his mind if Lois Lane is being harmed, which explains the existence of the Knightmare. In the Knightmare scene, we see Superman crying over a corpse, doubtlessly that of Lois Lane, and Darkseid places a hand on Superman’s shoulder in what can be called a comforting manner.
Looking back at what Darkseid talked about right after Steppenwolf was killed, he was going to return to Earth for the Anti-Life Equation, which he sensed the presence of. Superman being corrupted means only one thing. He’s been taken over by the Anti-Life Equation, which effectively turns the strongest protector of Earth into the planet’s greatest adversary. This is what the Flash wants Bruce to prevent.
4. Darkseid’s Plan
Back in 2019, Snyder had stated that Darkseid would be the one to kill Lois Lane so he could corrupt Superman. This would have taken place in the Batcave where Batman would be present with Lois Lane, thereby allowing Darkseid to manipulate Superman into thinking Batman did it. As a consequence, Superman and Batman would yet again be taking up arms against each other.
We know how important Lois is to Clark. This is clear in the last thing he says to Lois:
“You’re my world.”Ckark Kent
Not only that, here’s what Superman says to Batman in the Knightmare scene:
“She was my world and you took her from me.”Superman
Darkseid obviously knows how much Lois means to Superman, which explains why he would kill her and frame Batman for it. After all, that allows Superman to succumb to the Anti-Life Equation and get on Darkseid’s side. And then, well, it’s basically just instant doomsday.
5. A Bruce and Lois Romance
Another possibility that causes Superman to turn Dark could be that Snyder’s vision was to introduce a romance between Bruce and Lois.
“The intention was that Bruce fell in love with Lois and then realized that the only way to save the world was to bring Superman back to life. So, he had this insane conflict, because Lois, of course, was still in love with Superman.”Zack Snyder
Even though this was Snyder’s plan for the first Justice League movie, the storyline could possibly be tweaked and included in the sequels if they ever see the light of day. If this is what was being referred to in the Knightmare scene, it only helps Darkseid’s plan to frame Batman. And that’s exactly what Barry Allen wants to avoid. So he travels through time to warn Bruce, which could potentially lead to alternate timelines, i.e. Flashpoint.
One of the most pivotal scenes in Snyder Cut is when Flash travels through time, breaking his one “rule,” which eventually helps the League members defeat Steppenwolf and stop the Mother Boxes from uniting.
But that’s the thing. We don’t know much in detail about Flash’s “rule.” What exactly is this rule that he never wants to break? Let’s break it down.
We know that when Flash pushes the limits of his abilities, he can bend space-time and change reality, which is what he does in Snyder Cut towards the end. So if not for Flash’s time travel, the Mother Boxes would have united, allowing Darkseid to fully take over. Essentially, this scene alluded to the DC comics phenomenon of Flashpoint.
It also connects to the 2013 animated movie Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, where Barry travels back through time to save his mother’s life. But in doing so, Flash actually creates different timelines, i.e. alternate universes.
So the Flash travelling through time to warn Batman about Lois Lane being the key could actually result in an alternate universe. And an alternate universe could have completely different storylines, which could mean tons of possibilities for the DCEU!
Tell us your theories of Lois Lane being “the key” in the comments below!
7. About Justice League Snyder Cut
Co-produced by Warner Bros. and DC Films, Justice League Snyder Cut is the fifth film of the DC Extended Universe and based on the DC Comics superhero team. As the theatrical release, Zack Snyder’s Justice League features an ensemble cast that includes Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, and Ray Fisher.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League follows the Justice League—Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg—as they attempt to save the world from the catastrophic threat of Steppenwolf and his army of Parademons.
Although fans have asked for Snyderverse to continue Warner Bros has no such plans.