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  • To Batman: The Dark Knight Returns:
    • Batman's costume and Powered Armor are both inspired by similar suits from the comic book.
    • Lines of dialogue are taken directly from it as when Bruce says "The world only makes sense when you force it to,", "We've always been criminals", "It's time you learned what it means to be a man", and when he says "I believe you" when Knyazev promises to torch Martha Kent.
    • Likewise, certain scenes- like Martha Wayne's death and Batman breaking through a wall to take down a mook with a machine gun- are direct homages to the graphic novel.
    • Superman drifting in space lifelessly, after tanking a nuclear explosion, in a near skeletal state is lifted from the similar scene where he diverts a Russian nuke from hitting the US.
    • Batman has a grappling rifle in one scene, referencing him using similar equipment in issue 1.
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  • Much like in The Dark Knight Strikes Again, Batman tries to brand Lex Luthor. But purposefully misses as he's gone through some character development.
  • A brief moment in the Comic Con trailer seems to reference the book, as seen here.
  • Set reports claim a small restaurant is named "Ralli's Diner," which was actually featured in a 1987 Superman comic, in which Lex Luthor performed a Kick the Dog moment toward a waitress.
  • Superman is surrounded by a crowd who reach out their hands to touch him is a recreation of a page from Superman: Peace On Earth.
  • Just before leaving Lex's event to intervene in the botched Day of the Dead celebrations and save the young girl from being burned alive, when noticing the news broadcast, Clark's hand goes to his tie as he turns away, clearly intending to perform the iconic shirt rip.
  • From the "Knightmare":
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    • The masked troops surrounding Superman bring up Regime Superman from Injustice: Gods Among Us, even donning a Superman emblem on their shoulders, and the villainous Superman rips out Batman's heart because he "took Lois from him". Injustice depicted a Superman who turned villainous because Lois Lane was murdered.
    • In the same sequence, Parademons appear fighting on Superman's side, evocative of Elseworlds' Superman: The Dark Side, in which Superman's rocket is diverted to Apokolips and he grows up as Darkseid's adopted son.
    • It is also an homage to the series finale of Superman: The Animated Series, in which Superman is brainwashed and forced to serve as an agent of Darkseid.
  • Mercy Graves is Race Lifted to Asian, just like she was in The Batman.
  • Batman has a vision of himself wearing a trenchcoat in a dystopian future, mimicking Damian Wayne as future Batman.
  • The Comic Con trailer features a shot of people standing on a roof with the "S" shield painted on it to signal Superman for help. The same method was used in Superman: The Man of Steel #18.
  • In the "Lexical Analysis" interview, Luthor dismisses Batman's intimidation tactics as "cowardly and superstitious", recalling a recurring quote used by Batman in the comics, "Criminals are a cowardly and superstitious lot."
  • The Flash makes a bizarre cameo in a vision, where he warns Batman of an oncoming threat, referencing Crisis on Infinite Earths.
  • Lex Luthor's ranting about an imminent threat resembles his Villainous Breakdown at the end of Superman/Batman: Public Enemies.
  • Batman's Rogues Gallery:
    • Bruce, believing Diana to be an art thief, notes that he's known a few women like that.
    • Batman is on the search for the mysterious entity known as the "White Portuguese", to which Alfred suggests that this "phantasm" may not even be a man, maybe they're a woman for all they know.
    • In the building where Batman nearly killed Superman, one of the graffiti on a large column is a distinct question mark.
    • Bruce asks Alfred that after 20 years in Gotham, "How many good guys are left? How many stayed that way?" He's most likely talking about Two-Face.
    • When Batman gasses Superman with powdered kryptonite, he tells him "That's fear you're breathing." He obviously borrowed that gimmick from Scarecrow.
    • Bruce sarcastically notes to Clark that Gotham has had "a bad history with freaks dressed like clowns."
  • Cyborg's creation camera footage is courtesy of S.T.A.R. Labs.
  • When Bruce assaults the warehouse at the end, the combat sequence is similar to the "Arkham" series of games. In fact, the device he uses to render several mooks' guns inoperative is straight out of Batman: Arkham Knight.
  • Perry mentions that the Daily Planet was built around 1938, the same year when Action Comics #1 was published.
  • Speaking of Action Comics #1, the famous cover depicting Superman lifting a car can be seen recreated as a news photo in a Freeze-Frame Bonus moment (seen in Wallace Keefe's hate-shrine to Superman).
  • The Final Battle against Doomsday naturally ends with The Death of Superman... or so it seems.
  • In one scene, Superman was counseled by the "ghost" of Jonathan Kent, similar to Smallville in season 10.
  • In Post-Crisis, Lex Luthor is initially older than Superman (old enough to be Perry White's childhood friend). Here, it's reversed where Lex appears to be younger than Superman and Batman.
  • Lex mentions his father being an immigrant from Europe. Lex's first appearance has him as the leader of a war-torn European nation.
  • Lex's father being abusive brings to mind Lionel Luthor from Smallville, as well as Superman: Secret Origin and Superman: Birthright. Also implied in dialogue in Superman: The Movie.
  • Wayne Manor is shown burned down, as in Kingdom Come and Batman Begins.
  • Zod's body resembles Bizarro. So does Superman, after being struck by a nuclear missile.
  • Third movie where Superman deals with nuclear missiles.
  • This is the second film where Lex has a speech about the myth of Prometheus, and the second film where he gets it wrong.
  • Thomas Wayne was about to punch the mugger before being shot. In the Justice League Unlimited episode "For the Man Who Has Everything", and the comic story it was based on, Thomas fights Joe Chill in Bruce's Black Mercy-induced dream.
  • Young Bruce fell into a cave of bats during his parent's funeral, like in Batman Forever.
  • Bruce's first nightmare has a giant monstrous bat, akin to the Man-Bat. As well as the giant bat in a deleted scene of Batman Forever, which was used in the music video of "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me" by U2.
  • In the movie theater scene, one of the movie posters shown is the 1940 The Mark of Zorro. This is the movie young Bruce and his parents saw that fateful night in the comics.
  • Doomsday crashed back down to Earth, and landed on Stryker's Island. In the comics, it's also the location of a maximum security prison.
  • Superman takes Doomsday into space during the fight, same as in Superman: Doomsday.
  • A TV interviewer asks Senator Finch "Must there be a Superman?" This was the title of a famous Bronze Age of Comic Books story which explored similar themes.
  • Batman's Training Montage is intercut with him in a lab experimenting with Kryptonite. In the earliest comic depiction of Batman's origin, he's succinctly depicted in two panels working out with a barbell and next in a lab doing a chemistry experiment.
  • Perry calls Batman "the Goddamn Gotham Bat-thing." Sound familiar?
  • Superman lacks the traditional spit-curl from other adaptations, instead being immovably slicked back. When he is affected by Kryptonite his hair suddenly becomes more pliable and droops down into the classic split-curl.
  • While it may not be an intentional reference, this is not the first time Jimmy Olsen was a government agent rather than a photographer for the Daily Planet.
  • Metropolis and Gotham being twin cities separated by a bay goes back to the Bronze Age comics where this was the case.
  • At one point, it can be seen that the Batcomputer is connected to something called the "Oracle Network". This is most likely referencing Barbara Gordon's post-Batgirl identity, Oracle.
  • Another possibly unintentional one: Batman's cruel behavior towards criminals prior to Character Development is somewhat similar to Miller's modern portrayal of Batman.
  • In the film Lex Luthor creates Doomsday with a combination of Kryptonian DNA from Zod's cadaver and human DNA from himself. In the comics, the post-Crisis version of Superboy was created by Lex Luthor with a combination of Kryptonian DNA and Luthor's human DNA.
  • Superman's statue has the boots with the square-shaped rims from his New 52 incarnation pre- Superman Reborn, instead of the ones from his actual costume with the double M-shaped rims.
  • Like in Post-Crisis, Lex still has hair when Superman made his debut, and eventually went bald due to stress over his conflicts with Superman. This is also not the first adaptation to follow that same direction.

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