Earlier today, HBO Max released a trio of promotional posters for Zack Snyder's Justice League, along with the film's official release date and a new synopsis that slightly tweaks the one that had been used for the theatrical cut of the film. One of the three posters, though, stuck out to fans -- as the image it bears is an homage to one of the most iconic comic book covers of the last 30 years. The cover in question -- Superman #75, by Dan Jurgens and Brett Breeding -- was the cover to "The Death of Superman" and has also been used as the cover to numerous collected editions of the story in the years since it was first published.
The issue was one of the best-selling comics of all time and remains a cultural touchstone to this day. The story of Doomsday's rampage through Metropolis and Superman's sacrifice have been retold numerous times, including two animated movies (Superman: Doomsday and The Death of Superman) and a live-action blockbuster (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice). In the case of the new poster, though, the caption -- "Risen" -- jives with the story of Justice League, which sees Superman return from the dead.
The tattered cape that adorned the cover of Superman #75 is one of the most recognizable images of a fan-favorite era of Superman -- one that began in the mid '80s following the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths and lasted until about the turn of the century. The cover -- and "The Death of Superman" more generally -- got a bit of a visual shout-out last year during The CW's "Crisis on Infinite Earths" adaptation.
.@thedanjurgens, @JonBogdanove, @JerryOrdway, & many more not on Twitter made this era of Superman, and this story in particular, a seminal comics experience for a generation of readers. It's no surprise this was also homaged in #CrisisOnInfiniteEarths. pic.twitter.com/Y2rsCI7a6G— Russ Burlingame (@russburlingame) January 29, 2021
Snyder's vision for Justice League also includes Superman returning from the dead and, rather than his standard Superman costume, wearing a black-and-silver Kryptonian "recovery" suit that helps his body get back up to speed. That imagery hailed from the "Death and Return of Superman" stories from the comics as well.
In Zack Snyder's Justice League, determined to ensure Superman's (Henry Cavill) ultimate sacrifice was not in vain, Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) aligns forces with Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) with plans to recruit a team of metahumans to protect the world from an approaching threat of catastrophic proportions. The task proves more difficult than Bruce imagined, as each of the recruits must face the demons of their own pasts to transcend that which has held them back, allowing them to come together, finally forming an unprecedented league of heroes. Now united, Batman (Affleck), Wonder Woman (Gadot), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Cyborg (Ray Fisher) and The Flash (Ezra Miller) may be too late to save the planet from Steppenwolf, DeSaad and Darkseid and their dreadful intentions.
Zack Snyder's Justice League will be available to stream on HBO Max on March 18.