Fan theories are just a fact of life among popular communities, and both comic books and comic films are no exceptions. Come on, we’ve all spent at least one long night in a chat room with our friends, spitting out baseless theories as to how Cyclops was saved by the Starjammers in X-Men: The Last Stand or that Stan Lee is actually The Watcher (which has actually been confirmed now!). Fan theories are just part of the fun of being a fan, and seeing which ones come true and which ones don’t is something of a past time for devotees of pop culture.
DC’s Extended Universe is still in its early stages, but with Wonder Woman and Justice League on the way, their film universe is set to explode. Fans have been spinning their own theories on all sorts of topics ever since Man of Steel, and things aren’t going to slow down no matter how poorly the films are received. We’ve compiled the greatest DC Universe fan theories to take a look at and evaluate their likelihood, and some are surprisingly sound. Here are 15 DCEU fan theories that may not blow your mind, but they’ll make it hurt really, really bad.
15. CRISIS WILL MERGE THE DCEU AND ARROWVERSE
When the DCEU took shape with Batman v Superman, fans started wondering how it would tie in with the existing Arrowverse. Consisting of Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and now Supergirl, it seemed like DC had finally managed to beat Marvel to the punch here, with an established TV universe to play with their film properties (Arrow debuted one year before Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.).
Sadly, it wasn’t the case as concerns over tone took precedence, but fans are still clamoring for a way to combine these worlds. With the Multiverse established, as well as The Flash hinting at a large scale disaster on the horizon, many have gotten behind the theory that the DCEU and Arrowverse are leading up to a Crisis. The hope is that such an event would allow both universes to merge and play together, but given DC’s insistence otherwise and the film recasting several key Arrowverse characters, it seems pretty unlikely.
14. BEN AFFLECK’S BATMAN IS ACTUALLY SLADE WILSON
When the marketing started for Batman v Superman, some fans noticed Ben Affleck wasn’t referred to as Bruce Wayne. Several came to the conclusion that maybe Affleck WAS playing Batman, but NOT Bruce Wayne. Instead, they came up with the idea that Affleck was actually playing Slade Wilson, aka Deathstroke The Terminator. It made sense in a way, with Affleck playing an older Batman and the Batsuit slightly resembling one Slade wore in comics at one point.
The reality is this was fans clamoring for another Batman: Christian Bale. The hope was that Affleck’s Wilson was filling in for Wayne, and scenes of him with the Batsignal were Wilson trying to summon the real Batman, portrayed by Bale. Though the theory was way off base, Bale was actually offered the part early in production but declined. Fortunately, Affleck’s Batman was easily the best part of Batman v Superman.
13. THE KNIGHTMARE NO LONGER EXISTS BECAUSE OF THE FLASH
The highlight of Batman v Superman‘s marketing was the Knightmare sequence. Set in an apocalyptic future where Batman is a gun-toting resistance leader, this sequence teased the arrival of Darkseid and gave the trailers some misleading fodder. There’s been a number of theories about what the Knightmare actually was, though many have concluded it was exactly what it says on the tin: a nightmare Batman had.
Some fans speculate there may be more to it, though, and that it was a possible future, the end result of Batman v Superman‘s events. However, The Flash’s time traveling had the side effect of erasing this possible future. By appearing in the Batcave, Flash sowed the seeds that spurred on Bruce’s actions, and as a result the possible Knightmare future no longer exists.
12. THE JOKER IS JASON TODD
To say Jared Leto’s Joker received a mixed reception would be the understatement of the year. Covered in tattoos and wearing the gaudiest purple snakeskin jacket he could find, The Joker manages to leave a lasting impression in Suicide Squad, a film he’s barely in. Whether or not that impression is good is up to the viewers.
Where he really stuck with fans, though, was a one-off piece in Batman v Superman: a Robin costume, damaged and defaced with the words “Ha Ha Joke’s On You Batman.” Immediately fans assumed this was a reference to The Joker’s murder of Jason Todd, the second Robin. Fans took it one step further, though, suggesting that maybe Todd REPLACED The Joker, based on the tattoos which seem to cover up scars that could have been caused by The Joker’s assault.
11. KNIGHTMARE PROVES THE MULTIVERSE
The Knightmare sequence and The Flash’s sudden and confusing appearance have been subject to a number of conspiracy theories, plenty of which were far reaching and many out of left field. One in particular, though, seems like it may stand a chance of coming true. One theory places them as visions of other worlds that are going to be introduced.
Intended to explain both appearances in one fell swoop, perhaps Knightmare and the appearance of The Flash aren’t future visions, but rather the first appearance of the DC Multiverse in the DCEU! They would be from a world where Batman allowed someone close to Superman to die, leading to a world where Superman rules with an iron fist, a-la Injustice, which of course has mainstream appeal. This is just one of many theories about the Knightmare, a sequence which drew more than its fair share of fan speculation upon release.
10. LOIS LANE IS A METAHUMAN
The DCEU’s Lois Lane is less of an intrepid reporter and more an incredibly lucky person who stumbles across the biggest stories of her life while somehow not freezing to death in the arctic. But what if that isn’t the case? Fans have begun to weave a tale that the Lois Lane of the DCEU is, in fact, a powerful metahuman telepath.
A lot of Lois’ contrivances could be explained by latent telepathy, such as why Zod found her so important, or how she knew Superman was going to need the Kryptonian spear she had tossed away moments earlier. Plus, it explains how he keeps finding her just as she’s in trouble: because she’s telepathically summoning him. A lot of these are actually just explained by Superman’s base powerset, but Lois as a telepath has some fans hoping the character is more than she appears to be.
9. LEX LUTHOR IS ACTUALLY A GOOD GUY
Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor drew criticism for his bizarre portrayal of the character. Manic, insane and rambling, Luthor in Batman v Superman comes across as a child on the verge of throwing a massive tantrum rather than the scheming megalomaniac of the comics. But fans concocted a theory that maybe Luthor, who is notably tagging and tracking metahumans in the film, is putting on an act.
The fan theory is that Luthor has been attempting to put together a team of his own, and that’s why he has the catalog on metahumans Batman and Wonder Woman find. Luthor’s act and the creation of Doomsday are actually misguided attempts to force the team to come together by giving them a common threat to unite against.
8. WONDER WOMAN IS THE CHILD OF ARES
Wonder Woman has historically been depicted as the daughter of Zeus (amongst a few other origin stories), though this particular backstory is only in spirit. Made of clay and brought to life by the Gods, Wonder Woman’s heritage and her relation to the Gods of Olympus is a defining aspect of her character and one that many expect to carry over into the DC Extended Universe’s depiction of the character.
But the Diana of the DCEU is a fresh slate and seems to be at odds with her desire for peace versus an overwhelming will to fight. So maybe she isn’t the daughter of Zeus? One fan theory suggests that perhaps this Wonder Woman is actually the daughter of Ares. Traditionally a Wonder Woman nemesis, Ares is the God of War, seen working behind the scenes to drive the world of man into perpetual violence to increase his own strength.
7. AQUAMAN SAVED CLARK FROM THE OIL RIG
Man of Steel featured a huge set piece early on in the film where Clark saved workers on a burning oil rig. The sequence was meant to highlight Clark making an effort to save lives without hiding his powers for the first time and ended with him dumped in the ocean afterward, floating and seemingly near death. We later see him coming up on shore, the implication being that he made it to shore himself.
One theory concludes that Clark was actually saved from the burning wreckage by none other than Aquaman. This theory, however, stems from a series of rumors floating around shortly before Man of Steel‘s release. It’s highly unlikely to be true, though with Aquaman finally making his debut in Justice League and featuring in an upcoming Aquaman film, anything is possible.
6. EVERYONE IS KRYPTONIAN (EXCEPT BATMAN)
There’s a pretty stout theory out there that Superman isn’t the last Kryptonian. Obviously, Cyborg and The Flash aren’t Kryptonian. And Batman, who spent much of BvS handling raw lumps of Kryptonite, can’t be one. But what of the other two super-powered entities: Wonder Woman and Aquaman? Fans have pinpointed a theory that perhaps their respective races are Kryptonian in nature.
It spins from General Zod’s backstory in Man of Steel, establishing the presence of Kryptonian scouting parties that traveled the universe. Fans speculate that perhaps some of those parties landed in secret on Earth, and formed the basis of the Amazonian and Atlantean races. This would explain why the two races are so strong compared to normal humans, but DC has historically wanted to capitalize on Superman being the Last Son of Krypton.
5. THE SULTAN DIANA MENTIONS IS VANDAL SAVAGE
During the museum scene in Batman v Superman, Bruce and Diana briefly discuss a fake Sword of Alexander on display. The curator is obviously very excited about it as he believes it’s real, but both Diana and Bruce know it’s fake. The original is said to hang over the bed of the Sultan of Hajar.
Bruce and Diana are obviously not concerned about this, as they’ve both got other things on their mind. The fans clung to it though and concocted a theory that the Sultan is actually Vandal Savage. A long-time DC comics baddie, the immortal Savage would serve as an excellent protagonist for future films, and his possession of the Sword of Alexander could eventually serve as future plot points. Until then, though, this is likely just another fan theory.
4. PARALLAX ALREADY KILLED THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS
Fans have long been clamoring for the return of Hal Jordan to the DCEU. After Ryan Reynolds’ turn as the character in 2011’s Green Lantern failed to kickstart a previous incarnation of DC’s film universe, rumors have been abound about a new version of the Green Lantern appearing. So far, it’s been nothing but smoke and mirrors, although Armie Hammer is long rumored to appear as the character.
One fan theory posits that perhaps there’s a reason no Lantern has appeared or been cast yet, despite being a founding member of the JLA. Fans speculate that perhaps Jordan has already become the villainous Parallax, destroying the Green Lantern Corps and appearing in a later film as a villain the League must topple. While it would be an interesting twist, it’s highly unlikely DC is going to introduce a flagship character like Green Lantern as a villain first, even though Hal has been vilified, thanks to the abysmal GL movie.
3. ZOD WANTED TO DIE
Zod’s death cemented the negative reception of Man of Steel for many fans. Though shocking and noteworthy, the twist isn’t set up and comes literally out of nowhere. Fans of the shocking murder at the film’s conclusion, though, have been trying to justify it. The most prevalent theory is that Zod actually intended to die in the final fight.
It makes sense, in a way. Zod, desperate to see Krypton reborn no matter the cost, knows he’s the only Kryptonian left of his army. He’s also being driven mad by super powers that he can barely control. In keeping with the repeated mantra of “a good death is its own reward,” Zod intentionally goaded Superman into killing him by destroying Metropolis and threatening innocents, seeking to die rather than see Krypton become a fading memory.
2. BATMAN SPARED SUPERMAN BECAUSE OF THE KNIGHTMARE SEQUENCE
Fans were pretty put off when the resolution to the big Batman v Superman fight was “Batman yields because their moms have the same name,” but there is a fan theory that posits maybe there’s more to it than that. After all, Batman was already afraid that something was up, and the secret lies in Knightmare.
Having captured Batman, Superman declares “She was my world, and you took her from me.” Bearing this quote in mind, we can wonder if maybe Batman didn’t yield because of the name, but because of his own fears stemming from the Knightmare. This fan theory supports this, stating the HER referred to is actually Martha, and Knightmare is a future where Batman failed to kill Superman and Martha Kent was murdered.
1. ALL ROADS LEAD TO INJUSTICE
Injustice is on everyone’s mind and with good reason. Injustice 2 just landed and the game is really, really good. Set on an alternate world in the Multiverse, Injustice: Gods Among Us features a Superman who was manipulated into killing a pregnant Lois Lane and blowing up Metropolis. As a result, Superman snaps. He kills The Joker and forms The Regime, ruling the world with an iron fist and killing criminals before they can commit further atrocities.
It sounds like a stretch, but really, let’s look at the DCEU so far. Superman is a much darker version of the character than we’re accustomed to, killing General Zod in an explosive confrontation that caused trillions in damage to Metropolis! If he’s willing to go that far over a city he doesn’t know, is it unreasonable to say he’d snap should Lois die?
Got a favorite DC Extended Universe theory we missed? Think you can prove one of these is true? Let us know in the comments!