WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Army of Thieves
Zack Snyder is one of the most influential personalities in comic book film history, whether you like his work or not. His Watchmen helped pave the way for gritty, rebellious storylines, building on the success of V for Vendetta, and allowing the filmmaker to stamp his mark on the DC Extended Universe. That didn’t work out owing to his brutal vision, but Snyder kept the momentum continuing with his zombie vision in Army of the Dead after Justice League. It led to the prequel, Army of Thieves, and while it isn’t a superhero film, Snyder has managed to sneak a comic book face into the path of a pivotal character.
Sebastian and Gwen
This is Sebastian, played by Matthias Schweighöfer, reprising his character from the zombie film. We also gained more insight into Schweighöfer’s nerdy safecracker, filling out the earnest individual from the Army of the Dead raid, as Schweighöfer directs this film with Snyder scripting and producing.
Sebastian is even geekier, but he is altruistic, caring deeply for the ringleader, Gwen, who wants to breach unique safes from Hans Wagner’s work in order to protest against capitalism. However, as Gwen and Sebastian become closer and he falls in love, he reveals his own secret.
Sebastian was an introvert who spent his childhood reading, watching movies, and studying locksmithing. He spent a lot of time inside, but he found a way to escape by immersing himself in a comic book that he created. Ludwig Dieter was the primary character, a hero he admired and aspired to emulate one day. It thrilled Gwen’s heart to see Sebastian’s added humanity and ambition and to have a better knowledge of his selfless nature as if he were Superman or another true person.
This was his way of not feeling like an outsider, and Gwen completely understands as she struggles with her own views on the subject, leading to her being emotional and eventually falling for Sebastian. Unfortunately, their romance fails when the crew is kidnapped and Gwen gives up her freedom so Sebastian can walk free. In order to respect his love for Gwen and the ultimate task Wagner left him, he travels to Las Vegas to break Wagner’s final safe, which is the one shown in Army of the Dead.
The kicker is that Gwen gave him a phoney Ludwig Dieter passport, which is why he accepts the name and works on the zombie robbery that follows. Sebastian sheds his bashful Clark Kent character and transforms into the fearless person Gwen admired.
She knew he had it in him all along, which is why he ended up fighting the horde to save Vanderohe, living up to the virtuous sentinel he imagined as a boy in a far more inspiring storey than the grim Batman and Superman Snyder directed.