Does this show new director Joss Whedon's influence? Plus: Superman returns (sort of).

By James Hibberd
October 08, 2017 at 09:08 AM EDT

It’s here: The second trailer for D.C.’s Justice League.

The new footage features the return of Superman (Henry Cavill) plus new glimpses of epic action and a couple amusing dialogue exchanges that may (or may not) show new director Joss Whedon’s influence.

One could say the biggest question for this new trailer is whether fans would be able to get a sense of Whedon’s fingerprints. The Avengers director took over the project and coordinated reshoots following Zack Synder stepping aside earlier this year following his daughter’s death by suicide. And while its unknown what precisely is firmly from Whedon here, the new trailer is certainly a bit of a tone shift from the Comic-Con trailer — which had a hard rock action-y vibe.

Here a cover of David Bowie’s “Heroes” replaces the initial look’s take on The Beatles’ “Come Together.” After a flashback opening where Lois Lane (Amy Adams) remembers Superman, we get a collection of scenes as our heroes unite along with a very shirtless Aquaman (Jason Momoa), a few quippy exchanges, and even Wonder Woman giving a wry smile.

One pithy exchange, but curious upon closer inspection, is when Aquaman says “the strong man is strongest alone, ever heard that?” Batman shoots back: “That’s not a saying; that’s the opposite of what the saying is.” Batman is probably thinking of a popular expression like Abraham Lincoln’s “a house divided against itself cannot stand” or even Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign slogan “Stronger Together” as it’s certainly more common to express that unity is greater than division. But Aquaman’s line is indeed a famous quote — William Tell author Friedrich Schiller wrote “the strong man is strongest when alone” in 1803. Later, however, another famous German picked it up: Adolf Hitler titled the eighth chapter in his 1925 autobiography Mein Kampf, “The Strong Man is Mightiest Alone.” But let’s assume Aquaman was intending to cite Schiller rather than Hitler and that the world’s greatest detective was unfamiliar with the quote. Also, ultimately the movie is clearly planning to show how that sentiment is wrong.

The superhero mashup has Batman (Ben Affleck) and Wonder Woman introducing The Flash (Ezra Miller), Aquaman, and Cyborg (Ray Fisher) to fight a new threat. The film also stars Jeremy Irons, Billy Crudup, Connie Nielsen, Robin Wright, Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, J.K. Simmons, and Ciaran Hinds. Justice League opens Nov. 17.