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Reality Ensues / DC Extended Universe

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     Man of Steel 
  • Though Clark still uses his powers for good, those powers isolate him from other people until he becomes Superman. His neighbors don't assuage this.
  • Jonathan Kent knows Clark's potential to change the world for the better, but believes the world isn't ready for Clark to reveal himself just yet. As stated above, despite the good Clark does with his powers, most of the neighbors fear him.
  • The US government treats Superman as a potential threat, but trust him enough to stop shooting at him after he proves himself an ally against the other Kryptonians.
  • When Clark first develops super hearing and heat vision, it's painful. Similarly, Zod and his henchmen don't have the luxury of years of experience adjusting to the enhanced senses offered by Earth's yellow sun that Superman has. Faora-Ul has to withdraw from her fight with Superman when one of his heavier hits tears a hole in her helmet and painfully exposes her to all her newfound super-senses at once.
  • Cool as it is seeing Superman and Zod battle, the film showcases how such a fight between two superhumans, one of whom isn't experienced and one of whom doesn't care at all about human lives, would happen in a real world. Namely a lot of collateral damage and people getting caught in the crossfire since the fight is isn't restricted to one area (Likely purposefully done by Zod). Synder stated this was intentional to show the reality of such a brawl.
  • Lois, being a good reporter, manages to fairly easily track Clark down through simple logic and interviews with those that encountered him, way before he even donned the cape.
  • While bullets bounce off Kryptonians, heavier weapons still stun them if they successfully connect since it's much heavier artillery moving at a high speed. Even tanks get jostled by explosions after all.
  • Zod thinks he can convince Clark to help him since he's a fellow Kryptonian and a way to revive their planet. However when Clark finds out Zod means to do so through subjugation and destruction of Earth, he utterly refuses. Clark may have been born on Krypton but he was raised on Earth and, even with all the hardships he endured, wasn't going to forsake the people he did care about for a planet he never even knew.
  • Superman enters into a no-win situation where he more-or-less has to break his no-killing code in order to save an innocent family. Divisive as that scene is, it should be remembered that at this point, Superman never had to fight someone on his level. All of his opponents before then were humans and could easily be subdued with minimal effort allowing him to hold back. But Zod was different, he was from Krypton, ex-military at that and quickly adapting to his newfound powers over time making him a very serious threat. He refused to be talked into co-existing with humans and when losing the only chance to save Krypton, wasn't going to stop until Earth was destroyed now that he had nothing to lose. There was nothing in the world that would be strong enough to hold him even if he was subdued. It's essentially the live action version of what happen with Vash and Legato in Trigun: The opponent was too powerful and had innocents hostage. There was no getting out of that position with someone not dying. Ultimately Supes had to make a choice even if it went against his morals.
  • Superman has to learn to leap before he can fly, and it's not the perfect flight present in most prior Superman adaptations. Like a lot of skills in life, it's a slow learning curve.
  • Perry White is not immediately pleased when Lois Lane first brings him a story about Superman, saying that it could ruin her credibility as a Pulitzer-winning writer and could cause panic in the world. He is also less than pleased when Lois sells the story to a conspiracy theory blogger in order to get it out, and garnishes her wages in response.
  • It isn't elaborated too much upon, but Jonathan Kent expresses a few times that his existence will challenge religious beliefs. Clark at one point even asks if God was responsible for his powers.
  • X-Ray vision, far from being a source of cheap jokes about seeing through women's clothes or a simple mechanism, is practically nightmarish as the Kryptonians see people's internal organs operating and see their skull when looking at their faces. Considering Clark developed his powers while still young, it was near traumatizing.
  • The only time the name Superman is said, the soldier saying it gets a look as though it is an utterly ridiculous name to call someone by.

     Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice 
  • Hooray, Superman saved the planet! He also damaged quite a bit of property in the process and was unable to prevent thousands of deaths in spite of his best efforts - and that he is also blamed for much of said death and destruction by those who simply haven't had any experience with a superhero or didn't count much of the destruction actually happening by Zod's fault. This understandably causes divisions on Earth of people who believe he's a protector, and others who believe he's a disaster waiting to happen. It's been noted that exploring this trope was Zack Snyder's intention from the start, but he saved it for the sequel in order to keep Man of Steel's focus on the Super Hero Origin.
  • Batman tries to hit a super strong and invulnerable man with the Batmobile, and is thrown like a toy as he bounces off harmlessly. His threats also fall flat when he gets out since Supes just flies away.
  • Superman seeks to help and protect people, promising them he won't kill anyone, but even if people die in incidents that he tries to prevent he is blamed all the same.
  • Batman's meticulous planning and exploitation of Superman's weakness still only barely allows him to overpower Superman. Had the fight gone on much longer (or if Superman had been truly out for blood) Batman would have been soundly beaten.
  • The fight against Doomsday makes it quite clear that in a fight of this nature Batman is completely outclassed, having to spend much of it simply trying to avoid getting blasted by Doomsday's extreme heat vision streams in an effort to find the right time to fire off his last remaining kryptonite grenade. It even extends to Superman, who still isn't the most refined fighter and gets thrown around like a ragdoll. The only one of the three who actually fights Doomsday on relatively equal footing is Wonder Woman, who's been fighting longer than either Batman or Superman have been alive. Even then all she can do is stall the monster and hack off a hand. As Diana said herself, she's killed monsters from other worlds before.
  • Superman uses every last ounce of strength he has to kill Doomsday with the Kryptonite spear. The combination of Kryptonite radiation and physical trauma kills him so quickly no one has time to process what happened. He doesn't get the opportunity to have any last words with Lois or Batman. By the time Superman hits the ground, only his vacant glance remains.
  • Being a man of enormous intelligence and vast resources, Lex easily discovers the Trinity's secret identities. The only reason he doesn't go public with this information is because he has been declared mentally insane, so no one would take his word seriously.
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     Suicide Squad 
  • Naturally when Amanda Waller proposes Task Force X, a group composed of highly dangerous criminals as her own personal black op squad. The higher up are a little more than dubious to greenlight it. It's only through a demonstration from Enchantress that they finally relent.
  • Mocking your prisoners is not exactly wise if they manage to get free or willing to take the opportunity for retribution. Deadshot shows this when he's released from his restraints to demonstrate his gun skills, and promptly aims the gun he picks up at the guard who made fun of him earlier. Luckily for the guard, he was just messing with him and does as ordered.
    • This likewise happened with a client who hired Deadshot to take out a gangster who was going into protective custody to await trial and testify against them, with absolutely no chance to silence said gangster afterwards. When the client refused to pay before the job was done, as they had previously agreed to, Deadshot initially refused to do the hit until the client relented... to which Deadshot responds that he's now doubled the price, explicitly just because the man was being an asshole about paying him like they agreed. Indeed, if the person you're hiring is a professional who can casually ricochet bullets to get to a target from three kilometers away, you don't have much say how he practices his business.
  • Despite the mother of Deadshot's daughter being a deadbeat mother, Deadshot doesn't have custody of his daughter due to the simple fact that he is a paid assassin and his daughter's mother is considered the lesser of two evils.
  • If the people who force you on a team tell you that they've put an explosive in your head, that's both a rather extreme and unlikely threat, but a warning one should not take lightly. Captain Boomerang convinces Slipknot that Rick Flagg was bluffing about it and Slipknot took an opportunity to try and escape... and lost his head instantly once Flagg activated the explosive. Needless to say the group are now convinced the threat is real.
  • Putting a wrathful mystical being on your task force that you can barely control is a great idea... until they can find a way to circumvent it. To which they will turn their wrath on the one who was formerly controlling them as Amanda found out the hard way with Enchantress.
  • After what happened with his fiance, it's understandable why El Diablo is reluctant to use his powers at full capacity, both out of guilt and a genuine desire not to hurt anyone. Deadshot has to get him riled enough to fight against Enchantress's minions and immediately claims he was just trying to motivate him after actually seeing his powers in action to keep El Diablo from turning on him. El Diablo only really goes all out against Incubus since he's pretty much fighting a demi-god and doesn't have to hold back.

     Wonder Woman 
  • Similar to Die Hard 2, General Ludendorff and Doctor Poison's ultimate weapon isn't a cheetah-human super-soldier project, Apocalyptian technology, a Black-Lantern Ring or something else comic-booky and fantastic. In World War 1, a gas that disperses very well and goes through gasmasks would be as dangerous as any supervillian. Possibly more so since the gas can be mass-produced.
  • The battle between the Amazons - incredibly skilled and physically capable warrior-women, each one possessing literal centuries of experience with bows, swords, spears, and horses, and who fight with the coordination you’d expect from people who have known each other their entire lives - and the Germans - not as skilled or capable but still hardened professional soldiers armed with rifles - on the beach is a huge one. The Amazons win, but many of their sisters die in the process. Rifles supplanted the weapons Themyscira uses for a reason, and the Amazons learned this the hard way.
  • Ludendorff learns that in a fight with superstrong, super skilled, Nigh Invulnerable Wonder Woman, a simple super-steroid will prolong your life by maybe a minute. After that, she simply grabs him and runs him through with a sword, and he dies anti-climatically.
  • Unlike most versions of the character, and despite the society he comes from, Steve Trevor is smart enough to never disrespect or doubt Diana or the Amazons after they show him how powerful they are and save his life.
  • Diana instantly suspects that Ludendorff is Ares, the god of war, just because how barbaric he is in his methods. Turns out he was the more unassuming Sir Patrick. Ares explains that while he does encourage people into wars, he doesn't go parading around and announcing himself for his enemies to find him.
  • Also Diana thinks taking out Ludendorff will end the war. But when she manages, the armies still go about their plans as usual. Steve has to tell her point blank that people just have that inherent desire for war and taking out one person isn't just going instantly stop it. As stated above, even Ares points out he doesn't cause war so much as just fans the flames of those desires in these types of people. And while War Is Hell, sometimes it's also the best of bad options.

     Justice League 
  • While the Flash is recruited for the team, he's still just a young adult barely coming out of his teens. Even with his power, he mentions he's never really been in much of a fight and when put on the spot to fight against some of Steppenwolf's forces, he's naturally terrified. Batman gives him an out by telling him to "save one person" and he can leave. This is what motivates Barry to keep fighting when he does indeed save one and realizes he can save more.
  • Bruce and Diana try to recruit more people to their cause to fight incoming alien threat...and only Flash joins on willingly. Arthur and Victor initially refuse their invitation due to figuring it wasn't their problem until seeing the threat first hand (Arthur when Atlantis is attacked and Victor when his father is kidnapped. And even then it took some extra pleading from Mera to get Arthur to help).
  • Victor is a tad more justified however, his robotiziation was made to save his life after an accident and, save for some hacking skills, he doesn't really know what abilities he does have which can be unwieldy in a battle which in turn could make him The Load. He does get a better grasp on his abilities over time however.
  • While Barry has gotten apt at using super speed that everything looks slowed down while using it, he still needs to watch his footing. As he ends up tripping after helping Diana reclaim her sword and goes for a bit of a tumble.
  • Batman v Superman ended with Clark pronounced dead. While the League are unsure if he is or not, the only way they can think to revive him is through the use of the genesis pit that Luthor used to create Doomsday. But even then, there were reservations about it since they weren't sure what effect it was going to have on him when he was resurrected since it was a theory at best and untested science they were going with (Considering how Zod turned out into said Doomsday, their worries aren't unfounded). Sure enough when they succeed in bringing Clark back, he's disoriented and goes on a rampage. Some of his rage is directed at Bruce for what happened in BvS. It took seeing Lois that finally snapped him out of it and even then it took awhile for him to recover before he was able to help in the climax.
  • Speaking of said moment with the disoriented Superman. The others try to stop him but only Diana and Arthur can really keep him at bay. Barry and Victor are still pretty much human and hardly are able to slow him down as a result. Heck even with Barry's super speed, Superman is able to see where he is despite it, causing Barry to give an Oh, Crap! as a result. And Batman can't do anything, being powerless.

     Aquaman 
  • Thomas saves Atlanna after she washes up near his lighthouse. When she awakens, she's still a bit hostile due to not knowing of how the surface world works and throws her trident into a TV when she's startled by it. She's also likewise still wounded and passes out after the brief awakening.
  • When fighting Jesse Kane and his son, David, Aquaman does try to spare Jesse when he finds out he's a father and was set to leave them be after saving the crew of the submarine. However, when Jesse continues to try and kill him despite his wounded state, he ends up pinned under some of the submarine's debris thanks to his misfiring with his gun and mortally wounded. David pleas with Arthur to save him but he refuses, citing he gave Jesse enough chances. Arthur may be a hero but Jesse hasn't given him any reason to save him if the first time he spared him didn't click.
  • While at a bar with his father, some bikers comes up to Arthur recognizing him as Aquaman. They seem to be looking for trouble... but turns out they just wanted a picture since they were fans. Hey, not all rough looking guys are looking for a brawl.
  • Despite having helped saved the world from Steppenwolf, Arthur still has no interest in becoming a king despite Mera's warnings of Orm's planning to wage war on the surface world, preferring to keep his heroics low key. It's only when his father is nearly killed by a tidal wave caused by Orm that his hand is forced.
  • Orm stages an attack on a meeting with King Nereus to make it seem like the surface world were trying to start a fight with the Atlantians. Then it's revealed the king knew this, since there's no logical reason that surface dwellers would act without provocation on people they don't even know, let alone knew there were people living in the ocean, and the timing is awfully convenient for Orm. Nereus goes along with the plan regardless since he always wanted to raid the surface world and this was the excuse he was looking for.
  • While Arthur may seem like an uncultured brute, he reveals his father had him study up on history. It comes in handy during the quest to find the golden trident when Mera and he have to decipher a clue to its location.
  • After managing to play the message from the former Atlantian king, Mera smashes the device the recording was on to make sure Orm can't get his hands on it. Arthur is a little dismayed since he didn't fully get the location the king was directing them to and wanted to replay it. Luckily, Mera managed to memorize it.
  • While Orm tries to unite the other underwater kingdoms to his cause, the rulers are no fools to his "humans are waging war on us" story, feeling he's just trying to start an unnecessary genocide just for the sake of it and his plans are more about conquest. Orm ends up killing one of the rulers when he refuses and strong-arms his daughter into going along with his plans. The other ruler likewise will have none of it and actively leads his kingdom's army to fight him. Though Arthur returns in time to save him.
  • Vulko acts as Orm's adviser, trying to keep him busy while Arthur and Mera search for the Golden Trident. However Orm eventually reveals he knew Vulko was undermining him. Particularly since he figured there was no way Arthur could have fought as well against him in their first duel without someone to train him. When Orm accuses him of being a traitor, Vulko's response that his duty was "For the good of Atlantis" i.e to the kingdom, not to Orm's whims who at best has an honorary title as the Ocean Master.
  • When Arthur finds the tomb of the former Atlantean ruler, he finds himself in a battle against a sea monster guarding it. Previous seekers of the trident met their ends against her because they just saw her as a mindless beast. But thanks to Arthur's ability to communicate to sea creatures, he manages to halt the fight midway through by talking to her and explaining his situation.
  • You cannot create or adapt awesome advanced technology with a snap of your fingers. When David is modifying some Atlantean weaponry into the Black Manta armor, he nearly blows his own head off with a prototype laser helmet and has to modify the design to account for the intense recoil.

     Shazam! 
  • Dr. Sivana he's not the only one who's noticed the abductions. He's working with a doctor who's studying mass hysteria. Even in a world with Physical Gods, people are going to look for a rational explanation first. Just because aliens and Amazons exist, that doesn't mean everyone's going to immediately believe every crazy story they hear.
  • When Billy steals a police officer's car, he attempts to ward off police backup by claiming to dispatch it's a false alarm, only to immediately give himself away by using the wrong terminology for the radio by calling it a "walkie-talkie".
  • Billy doesn't know his mother's name and has been locating her by tracking down women with the last name Batson. As it turns out, there are many women with the same last name.
    • When Billy's mom is finally found, it's revealed that she's been using her maiden name. She abandoned her son and is in a new relationship, so she's trying to blank out as much of her old life as she can.
  • The Wizard spent nearly 45 years looking for a champion who was pure of heart... and never found one because Humans Are Flawed, and he's forced to use Billy as a last resort.
  • When trying to prove to Freddy that it's really him, Billy pulls out Freddy's prize Superman bullet... only to drop it down a sewer grate because he's not used to having control of large, adult-sized hands.
    • In addition, Billy first tries to get Freddie's attention by holding (read:slamming) a sign saying "DON'T SCREAM" against the window. Instead, Freddie does what any young kid would do when a strange hooded man suddenly appears at the window: scream and call out for a parent/guardian.
  • Billy is a rebellious teenager who's been handed the keys to near-godhood. Rather than take on the mantle of superhero, he initially panics and then mostly screws around before receiving harsh reminders of his new circumstances.
    • Similarly, Billy is just a young teenager who was just given a rather huge responsibility and can get nervous easily when trouble arises. His first few heroic actions simply involve stopping simple muggings or burglaries, but when a bus full of passengers almost fall off a highway, he panics and doesn't know what to do. During his first encounter with Sivana, Billy becomes a nervous wreck and spends most of the fight trying to run away and tossing random objects at him.
  • Eugene tries attacking bullies with a pair of nunchuks, and promptly clocks himself in the head, exactly what you'd expect from someone with absolutely zero weapons or combat training.
  • On a more funny note, Billy is in a strip club for barely five minutes before coming out and saying he needs more money.
  • The lightning that Billy summons whenever he yells out the magic word will of course strike through the roof/ceiling of whatever building he is in as well as causing a power outage.
  • Upon seeing a woman being mugged for her purse late at night, Billy rushes over to assist her. Once he gets there, he discovers that not only did the woman already pepper spray the would-be robber and doesn't need any help, she gets freaked out over Shazam and hands him all her money. Women living in a big city like Philadelphia tend to be prepared for such a scenario, and seeing a person in a red suit throw someone 30 feet followed by a kid yelling about superpowers is a very reasonable time to GTFO.
  • Billy and Freddy buy beer using Billy's adult body, chug it down, and immediately spit it out because it tastes terrible. Beer isn't something young teenagers drink for the taste.
    Shazam: That tastes like actual vomit...
  • Billy searched for his mother, hoping their reunion would be a heart-warming one that would make years of turning away his past foster families worthwhile. Instead, their reunion is underwhelming and his mother isn't capable of taking him back into her life.
  • Billy was separated from his mother when he was a toddler, and the main story takes place when he's 14. While decades ago the idea of a parent accidentally losing a child for years wasn't so far-fetched, modern technology has rendered it largely obsolete. As Billy's foster agent points out early on, the only reason Mrs. Batson would never show up to claim him is if she was never looking for him at all. When Billy finally finds his mother and she admits she abandoned him, he is crushed, but not particularly surprised.
  • In the climatic battle, the Vasquez foster kids try to help Shazam by luring the Seven Deadly Sins away, but it turns out they can't outrun supernatural monsters with super strength and are quickly captured.
  • Before Billy and Sivana fight for the last time, Sivana does some Evil Gloating but since they’re both a good distance away from each other and Super Hearing isn't part of the powerset, Billy can’t hear a word he’s saying.
    Sivana: Only I have the power to unleash...
    [cut to Shazam's perspective, Sivana's voice is barely audible]
    Shazam: [trying to make out what the flip he's saying] Wait, WHAT?!
    Sivana: ... you will beg for mercy...
    Shazam: Are you making some, like, big, evil-guy speech right now or somethin'? You're like a mile away from me, all I see is mouth-movin'!
    Sivana: As I feast on your heart...
    Shazam: Ah, whatever, screw it!

Alternative Title(s): Shazam 2019

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