You can’t have a superhero movie without copious references and nudging winks to the comics that came before, and in between all the chest-thumping, fighting and philosophizing, director Zack Snyder packed “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” with tons of them.
From the obvious teasers we’ve seen since the very first trailer arrived, to some of the more subtle details only the hardest of the hardcore DC Comics fans would notice, here’s every single Easter Egg we noticed in the movie. Of course, while we think we caught them all, let us know if we missed any on our message boards!
“It’s not 1938 anymore!”
In pointing out his crack philosophy of selling newspapers with sports and theater articles instead of tracking down and writing about the insane man dressed as a giant bat who is branding criminals one city over, Perry White (Laurence Fishburne) tells Clark (Henry Cavill) the above, clarifying that newspapers don’t cost a penny and he should stop being so idealistic. 1938, in case you didn’t know, is the year “Action Comics” first introduced Superman.
This one has been seen plenty in the trailers (as have a lot of these), but that’s Robin’s costume on display on the Batcave, with a pretty distinctive message from what is — most likely — The Joker.
Yep, those are Parademons — the shock troops of Apokolips, home of DC Comics’ uber-baddie Darkseid, attacking Batman (Ben Affleck) in the Knightmare sequence. Though their color scheme doesn’t match, they most closely resemble artist Jim Lee’s take on the characters from the New 52 “Justice League” comic, which makes sense, as it was written by Geoff Johns, DC’s Chief Creative Officer who also consulted on this movie.
Also in the Knightmare sequence, etched in the dessert in front of Batman is a giant Omega: the symbol of Darkseid.
Also in the Knightmare sequence, Superman tells Batman that he lost “her” and it was Batman’s fault. A bad guy Superman, driven insane and building his own army to rule the world after the death of Lois Lane (if that’s the her he’s referring to)? That’s exactly the plot of the hit video game and comic series “Injustice: Gods Among Us.”
First introduced in 1988, Anatoli Knyazev (Callan Mulvey) is also a supervillain named KGBeast. Though he’s basically “generic foreign thug” in “BvS,” in the comics he has cybernetic implants, and one arm is a gun. Also of note, he’s appeared in multiple DC properties, including “Arrow,” “Gotham” and “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow,” played by a different actor each time.
In Cyborg’s (Ray Fisher) origin sequence, as glimpsed by Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) while checking Lex Luthor’s (Jesse Eisenberg) files, he’s “fixed” when a strange, pulsating box is recovered by Cyborg’s father Silas Stone (Joe Morton). That box is most definitely a Mother Box, the weird supercomputers used on Apokolips and its opposite, the “good” planet of New Genesis. The origin also seems to draw from Johns/Lee’s “Justice League,” where Cyborg is created by merging with a Mother Box — which allows him to track down Darkseid, and utilize Boom Tubes, instantaneous transportation across dimensions.
You definitely didn’t miss Cyborg, Aquaman (Jason Momoa), and The Flash (Ezra Miller), but you might have missed our first real look at Chris Pine as Wonder Woman’s guide to “man’s world,” Steve Trevor. He’ll pop up again in 2017’s “Wonder Woman,” but looks like he’s part of an ethnically diverse squad of soldiers teaming up with Diana Prince in 1918, during World War I. And whatever happens there makes WW stop fighting for nearly a century, so things don’t look so good for WW’s sometimes beau…
Doomsday is from the world-famous “Death of Superman” storyline, of course, but the reason we added ol’ bones n’ muscles here isn’t because he appears in the film — it’s because of how Lex Luthor creates him. In the comics, Doomsday is a millennia-old being, constantly killed and regenerated through a cloning process that essentially makes it impossible for him to die the same way twice. Here, Doomsday is created through a combination of Zod’s (Michael Shannon) and Lex’s DNA — which is actually a lot closer to the origins of two other characters from the comics: Superboy and Bizzaro.
The first is most interesting because the Superboy who was a combo of Superman and Lex’s DNA was introduced in “Reign of the Supermen,” a storyline that came on the heels of the “Death of Superman” story. More recently, and closer to “BvS'” Doomsday, though, is the New 52 Bizzaro (technically named B-0), created by, you guessed it, Geoff Johns and artist David Finch. This Bizarro is also a combo of Superman and Lex’s genetic material, and was created solely to destroy Superman.
Though it by no means follows the storyline of this classic tale closely (no giant red-bearded Lex Luthor, no Supergirl who is secretly a shape-changing alien) there are plenty of points taken from “The Death of Superman” and “Funeral for a Friend,” the story between the “Death” and “Reign” arcs. Most notably, Doomsday and Superman kill each other simultaneously. In the comics, it’s with a punch, here it’s with stabby stabbing. And though Wonder Woman and Batman aren’t present when Supes dies in the books, Lois is, and her cradling of Superman and his pose on the ground are almost directly pulled from the book.
And as for “Funeral for a Friend,” the S-shield coffin is an exact replica, though, of course, it’s all black and hardcore and really adult in the movie, versus the colorful coffin from the comics.
His name is Emmet Vale (with two “t”s in the comics) and he’s played by Ralph Lister. In the books, he’s the man who named kryptonite, and eventually built the classic villain Metallo. In the movie, I’m not 100% sure to be honest, but I believe he’s the man on the shore in India who discovers the large bit of kryptonite for Lex (which would make a lot of sense).
Lex Luthor says this to Batman in one of the final scenes of the movie, and though he’s most likely talking about Darkseid, it’s also possible he’s talking about another villain: Brainiac. Specifically, in the comics Darkseid and Lex have often “worked” together, and whereas Darkseid is hungry for destruction, Braniac is actually hungry, for all the knowledge in the universe. We’ll see, though.
The first of The Flash’s two appearances is probably the moment that had fans buzzing the most in the theater. Not just because they’re big “Perks of Being a Wallflower” fans, but because he’s warning/informing Batman he needs to bring the Justice League together. But if you weren’t freaking out, here’s what’s cool about that scene — he’s time traveling, something The Flash does on occasion in the comics, and on TV.
But more than that, his pose is extremely reminiscent of the one he uses in the classic “Crisis On Infinite Earths,” when Flash ran through time, warning heroes of the imminent destruction coming to Earth. In fact, the first person Barry Allen warns of the impending Crisis (before crumbling into dust) is Batman.
Lex Luthor’s erstwhile assistant Mercy Graves (Tao Okamoto) was first introduced in “Superman: The Animated Series” in 1996. Interestingly, she was also killed by Lex Luthor in the animated feature, “Superman: Doomsday.”
It’s not a huge surprise that “Batman v Superman” is influenced by Frank Miller’s classic comic, particularly as the movie was introduced with a quote from the book at Comic-Con International: San Diego, when they first announced the film. Of course, there’s plenty of the comic in the film itself, from Batman setting up the “venue” to battling Superman at the end, to lines taken directly from the book (specifically in reference to Bruce Wayne’s drinking). But the biggest, most surprising nod to Miller’s story is when Superman gets hit with a nuclear missile.
Though the circumstances are different in the comic — he diverts a Soviet warhead away from populated areas — the result is the same: an almost skeletonized Superman lies nearly dead, until he sucks up enough solar energy to revert to his super-self (though in the comic he does that by draining the energy from flowers, versus just using the sun).
You truly need eagle eyes for this one (or to have seen the movie in IMAX, maybe with a powerful magnifying glass), but in the Knightmare sequence, Batman has a Joker card taped to his gun. This is, of course, a reference to classic Batman villain Cardsy McTapesalot.
Not so much an Easter Egg as fun casting, but the voice of the President of the United States is played by Patrick Wilson — who starred in director Zack Snyder’s “Watchmen” as Nite Owl, along with Jeffrey Dean Morgan as The Comedian — who appears here as Thomas Wayne.
Yes, Superman’s best friend does appear in the movie, though he’s never called Jimmy by name. He’s the photographer teamed with Lois in the beginning of the film, played by Michael Cassidy — right before he’s killed execution-style by terrorists.
What did we miss? Hit us up in the CBR Community and let us know!