After decades of waiting and hoping, 2016 finally played host to the titanic theatrical battle between iconic DC heroes Batman and Superman that fans had always wished for. While the divide between critical and fan reaction toward Zack Snyder’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is well documented at this point, it doesn’t change the fact that audiences finally got to see the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel duke it out on-screen, an event long overdue in the eyes of most.
That said, depicting the titular battle between Batman and Superman wasn’t the only mission Snyder’s blockbuster was tasked with completing. BVS also needed to serve as the initial DCEU introduction of the rest of the Justice League, namely Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash, and Cyborg. While only Princess Diana received any real focus in the BVS narrative, fans were still provided with a tantalizing glimpse at the other metahumans Batman will soon look to recruit.
In the months since BVS’ release in theaters, fans have been given several behind-the-scenes looks at initial or alternate designs for elements of the film that ultimately ended up looking different in the final cut. The latest such peek comes courtesy of conceptual artist Robert McKinnon, who has released a set of previously unseen concept art photos for BVS. Check it out below.
Perhaps the coolest of McKinnon’s newly released concept art are images of a few alternate designs for Aquaman’s Trident of Neptune, and over a dozen alternate versions of Wonder Woman’s Sword of Athena. Both weapons ended up looking quite appealing in the final BVS cut, but it’s still interesting to see what they might have looked like in a parallel universe where different creative decisions had been made.
Some of the other art includes neat variations on the Bat-wing and Bat Signal, but arguably the most striking image in the set is McKinnon’s version of the defaced Superman statue seen in most of the trailers for BVS. Surprisingly, this take replaces the words “False God” with “Nazi God”, and it’s honestly not hard to understand why Warner Bros. might have seen that and balked at using it. Considering the understandable historical sensitivity around use of the Nazi label, one wonders what kind of reaction that would have earned from moviegoers.
Suicide Squad is now playing in theaters. Wonder Woman opens in theaters on June 2, 2017, followed by Justice League on November 17, 2017; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; an untitled DC Film on October 5, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Justice League 2 on June 14, 2019; an untitled DC film on November 1, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps on July 24, 2020. The Flash, The Batman solo movie, Dark Universe and Man of Steel 2 are currently without a release dates.