SPOILER WARNING: Major spoilers ahead for all DC Entertainment comic book movies!
Apart from "Man of Steel," DC Entertainment has shown a strong affinity for ensemble films. "Batman V Superman" is a prime example of this as director, Zack Snyder, lumped together the titular heroes, battling each other with Wonder Woman, Lex Luthor and Doomsday also factoring into the melee. David Ayer's "Suicide Squad" followed suit with Amanda Waller assembling Task Force X (consisting of Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Killer Croc and Captain Boomerang among the few) for black-ops duty against the supernatural threat of The Enchantress.
Snyder is set to continue this group trend in November 2017 with "Justice League" packing in the likes of Batman, Wonder Woman, a resurrected Superman, Aquaman, Cyborg and the Flash to face the first wave of Darkseid's minions. With new rumors of a Green Lantern appearing to foreshadow this next outing, we decided now's the time to talk about 15 other characters we'd like to see!
In the comics, Dick Grayson left Bruce Wayne's shadow, transitioning from Robin into the vigilante called Nightwing, splitting the main areas of patrol between his new home, Blüdhaven, and Gotham. He eventually reconciled and donned the cowl (while also mentoring Bruce's son, Damian, the current Robin), when Batman seemingly perished at the hand of Darkseid in "Final Crisis." After being outed in "Forever Evil" by the Crime Syndicate, Grayson became an undercover agent akin to James Bond for a secret organization called Spyral, prior to resuming Nightwing duty in "Rebirth."
With Ben Affleck as an enraged Batman in "BvS," Bruce changed his ways at the movie's end and moved away from his cynical, violent and brandished form of justice to one of hope and optimism after Superman was killed by Doomsday. Batman also realized that the world was much bigger than him, with literal and figurative gods existing among men, and he needed like-minded allies. This could lead to Batman enlisting Nightwing to monitor Gotham while he deals with assembling the Justice League. With Jim Gordon already appearing in this movie, we're hoping they made room to showcase more of the Bat-family, possibly even nodding to the Titans team in the process.
14 Green Arrow
Oliver Queen has had his fair share of live-action representation on the small screen. The Emerald Archer has been on "Smallville" and has his own character-dedicated series, "Arrow," which thoroughly details the billionaire playboy's experience as he went from being shipwrecked on a mysterious island to a hero reborn as Star City's guardian. In the comics, he developed into one of the more rebellious, yet dependable, League members and found himself close to the likes of Hal Jordan (Green Lantern), as well as Batman, Flash and last but not least, love interest, Black Canary. What further makes him a solid candidate to appear here is that he's just as grounded as his Gotham counterpart with a similar history that's as dark, gritty and tragic in terms of losing parents.
Remember when doubters were blown away in Hawkeye's cameo as a S.H.I.E.L.D. archer in "Thor?" Green Arrow could be cultivated in the same surprising fashion as long as they nail the timing and placement. They could also namedrop Queen Industries or have him show up in his civilian identity but, ideally, we'd like to seem him suit up and take on some Parademons. This would provide something that isn't just a vanity appearance while building DC's street-level characters.
Kara Zor-El's popularity has soared even more with her new television show charming fans worldwide but let's not forget that Superman's cousin played a prominent role in the "Man of Steel" prequel comic that expanded on the social and political aspects of Krypton. In the comic, the crashed scout ship in which Kal-El (played by Henry Cavill) ended up discovering his heritage in "Man of Steel," was retraced to most likely being Kara's ship: the one she and fellow Kryptonians boarded for galactic exploration in the aforementioned comic.
Fans wondered if she survived the crash and where she was located when Clark Kent officially took on cape duty against Zod. Her involvement this time around would allow Superman the chance to interact with one of the last remnants of his bloodline, making up for when he destroyed the Genesis Chamber (used to harvest Kryptonian embryos) and rendered his people extinct. We're not sure how she would have aged but given how important she was to Darkseid in the "Superman/Batman" comics and ensuing animated film, this could set her up for elaboration in the "Man of Steel" sequel.
In "Young Justice," Kaldur'ahm was a brilliant warrior and militant strategist, versed in water sorcery and combat, before departing Atlantis under Aquaman's mentorship. His training groomed him as Aqualad, preparing for the Justice League while mopping up after his villainous father and perennial Atlantean enemy, Black Manta. Geoff Johns adapted the character as Jackson Hyde (keeping his Manta lineage) for the "Brightest Day" event as a human child experimented on by enemies of Atlantis, only to be rescued by Mera and handed off to surface dwellers.
His appearance in this film, even if only as a bodyguard to Queen Mera, could be another big tease of what director, James Wan, has in mind for the 2018 Aquaman movie starring Jason Momoa. It could also hint at Wan following the character's arc where he was tied to Mera's past before she fell in love with Aquaman, and move to merge both cartoon and comic continuities. It's uncertain what role Mera (played by Amber Heard) will have in this movie when Batman recruits Arthur, but if she cameos with Aqualad in tow, then expect waves of ecstasy from DC fans, especially with "YJ" Season 3 in sight.
11 Ted Kord
He's the second person to wear the mantle of Blue Beetle, passed on by mentor, Dan Garret, during the latter's dying moments after a mission gone awry. Contemporary DC fans are familiar with Jaime Reyes as Blue Beetle, but old-schoolers would remember Kord's importance in helping fend off Doomsday during the "Death of Superman" comic event. His biggest moment, though? Being the hero who was killed by Max Lord after he found evidence of Lord's sinister movement, Checkmate, to monitor metahumans.
However, it isn't Kord's superhero identity that draws him to us as a pick. It's his repertoire as a genius inventor and industrialist which fits right into the philanthropy rivalry we saw from Bruce and Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor. Dress suits by day and superhero costumes by night seem to be a key part of Snyder's cinematic vision for DC and Kord would fit that narrative of smart billionaires, gauging each other in power struggles, hungry for opportunity. Kord's potential was even spotted by "Arrow" show-runners, as he's been name-dropped several times. It was eventually revealed that he was eyed for the series but The Atom was used instead due to rights issues and limitations.
10 Max Lord
He'll always be best remembered as Kord's murderer, but he's also a businessman who bankrolled the League at one point. Duplicitous by nature, he eventually concocted his Checkmate scheme to ensure superheroes and villains were monitored under his watch with kill-orders awaiting if necessary. This was done by hacking Batman's Brother Eye satellite and creating an army of OMACs: humans altered by a nano-virus, turning them into cyborgs programmed to slaughter superhumans.
He's always given off a mastermind vibe because of how cunning, controlling and conniving he is, which piqued fans interest when "Supergirl" recruited him to the show, albeit with a different spin. Having Lord as someone who takes over LexCorp after Lex's incarceration could be a stroke of genius in Snyder's "BvS" mythos because it'd continue the game of corporate buy-outs and industrialists trying to wrest power from each other. It'd also add a new player on the chessboard to set up a future arc with Wonder Woman. She ended up snapping Lord's neck in the events leading up to "Infinite Crisis," after all.
9 Booster Gold
Born Michael Carter, Booster Gold's had tremendous roles to play in major comic events such as "Infinite Crisis," "52," "One Year Later" and "Flashpoint." Despite being comic relief, he's just as selfless as he is emotionally complex and always tries to do justice by his comrades. This was a huge reason why he took Kord's death so hard and wrapped himself in guilt, because both Kord and Lord were close friends of his, so he felt ashamed by misreading the latter. These all tie into what drives his identity and ambition, as seen in the "Justice League International" and related JLA books.
His value is also clear in protecting the integrity of the timestream with his A.I. comrade from the 25th century, Skeets. They know the ripple effects that ensue and try to prevent such fiddling with the multiverse, which could be linked to the vision that Bruce had when he saw The Flash in "BvS". Let's not downplay his humorous disposition, though, because he can be similar to Marvel Studios' "Ant-Man" with potential to lighten the tone, as seen in his Smallville appearance. He may be a left-field pick, but one that has a lot of underplayed importance and potential.
8 Glorious Godfrey
We live in a time where the role of the media is under immense scrutiny given the current sociopolitical state of the world. Godfrey is usually planted by Darkseid as a cerebral agent to cause strife in a society he wants to eradicate, akin to a media representative and public relations agent. His job, seen best on "Young Justice," is to run propaganda using powers of persuasion so people submit to the Anti-Life equation faster.
In "Smallville," he appeared as a radio shock jock host, while in "Final Crisis," he manipulated as a preacher. In the "New 52," he was reshaped as a thug who came to Earth to retrieve a relic, linked to the corpse of Damian Wayne. However, it's his original depiction which would fit Snyder's universe best, where he was sent in after Darkseid threw foot soldiers at Earth in a first wave against its superheroes. This led to collateral damage which Godfrey then capitalized on, using the disarray to turn people against the capes. Due to the ever-lingering issue of the innocent casualties in the wake of "Man of Steel," it's likely Godfrey'll be thrust into this kind of xenophobic role again. Maybe even as a politician?
7 Billy Batson
The endearment factor regarding this character is off the charts. His origin was revised for the "New 52," making it an even better fit for "Justice League." Writer, Geoff Johns, rooted the character deeper in fantasy and magic, but kept the sentimental touch that made him so special: a troubled foster kid who was selected by the Wizard of the Rock of Eternity to become Shazam: the chosen hero of the magical world, bestowed with superhuman powers to combat the evil Black Adam (set to be played by The Rock in the upcoming film).
Billy ended up joining the League under Cyborg's tutelage, so it'd be nice to steal a glimpse of him and his foster home, maybe with his siblings (Mary Bromfield and Freddy Freeman) who also became magical heroes. Billy's solo outing is already in development so there's no need to spoil anything by revealing too much. Wonder Woman is all about antiquities and relics, so there could be something in her collection that hints at the newfound mystical realm of DC's movies. A Billy cameo, even in a photo or document in the lap of orphan extraordinaire, Bruce Wayne himself, could open the floodgates earlier than expected.
Orion, a cult-favorite, is one of Darkseid's sons. To achieve peace between Apokolips and New Genesis, he was traded to Highfather in exchange for Scott Free, aka Mister Miracle. He developed into a warrior alongside the New Gods, honing his craft with the likes of Miracle and Big Barda in order to conquer his despotic dad. He'd go on to serve as a member of the League, nullifying the Anti-Life Equation's effect in the galaxy, and eventually ended up killing his father as prophesied.
This film could make room for the "New 52" version of Orion, seen in "Wonder Woman." There, he's a more rugged soldier searching for tools to aid his war on Apokolips. His intel on the mysterious Mother Box could be priceless to Snyder's universe as they await the next ping that could lead to a father-son showdown on a "Star Wars" level. Orion's seen as a war dog and an appearance here would surely sound the trumpet to Darkseid's arrival. Imagine a rugged Orion teleporting to Earth via a boom-tube to stem the first wave from the movie's villain, Steppenwolf, and reveal who's coming next.
5 Mister Miracle
Scott Free was Highfather's heir but the diplomatic swap grew him up under the punishment of Granny Goodness. This carved him into a skilled fighter, rebelling against the dark philosophies of Darkseid. Influenced by another rebel, Himon, he'd remain a constant in the uprising against Apokolips, meeting his wife, Big Barda, along the way. Barda eventually quit as one of Darkseid's Female Fury Battalion and moved to Earth with Scott, known as Mister Miracle for being a brilliant escape artist. Together, they'd join the League, and were crucial in opposing Darkseid's shenanigan.
While Orion could provide insight on how to oppose from the outside, Scott's a tad more valuable as he knows the intrinsic and intimate inner-workings of Apokolips. Knowing the intricacies of this hellish world inside out could help map the place and people that few have infiltrated or escaped from. Scott's familiar with Darkseid's armies, too, so he could offer assistance in further fortifying Earth against the invasion plot. He's definitely one of the most informative allies to have in this war.
Metron is one of DC Comics' most knowledge-obsessed characters. He observes everything, roaming the universe collecting information on literally everything. The Mobius Chair he sits on imbues him with the powers of a god, allowing him to traverse space and time instantaneously. This further enables him to transcend the concepts of gods and aliens in the multiverse, with his importance compounded as inventor boom-tube technology. His quest is to truly understand the fabric of the galaxy and monitor the delicate balance between the Source and Anti-Life Equation.
In the comics, he's also run afoul of the Anti-Monitor: another powerhouse in DC's stable, who actually sat on the chair before Metron as revealed in "Darkseid War." Metron's documenting of the war between New Genesis and Apokolips may see him appear in the film as the bearer of integral information for Batman, who's preparing for the inevitable Darkseid showdown. This is a similar role to what Metron played in "Zero Hour," so imagine how trippy it'd be to see him interacting in another dream sequence with Bruce, or even in a conversation with Darkseid about the ramifications of his crusade.
"Man of Steel" left several traces of Kryptonian technology on Earth. In "BvS," we saw the government give access to Luthor, resulting in the birth of Doomsday via a Genesis Chamber experiment and the body of the deceased Zod. A deleted scene showed Luthor encountering Steppenwolf, with what appears to be Mother Boxes circling. This informs the cryptic encounter at the film's end where Luthor seemed to be heralding Darkseid's arrival to a concerned Batman. The villain actually sounded like he was mimicking the ping of a Mother Box, leaving fans giddy.
Amid all this drama, Brainiac could have been inadvertently unleashed when scientists plugged into the scout ship to harness its technological benefits. What if, during this tampering, a program, algorithm or virus was released and spread to the outside world? This Brainiac tease would whet the appetite for those awaiting a "MOS" sequel. Brainiac doesn't necessarily need a body, as per the cartoons, and could be artificial intelligence relaying data back to Apokolips.
2 Amanda Waller's Suicide Squad
When last we saw Amanda Waller's team, they were back behind bars until called upon for the next mission, that is, with the exception of Harley Quinn who was freed by the Joker. Waller was seen in the "Suicide Squad" mid-credits negotiating with Bruce, who agreed to help protect her after her indiscretions with Task Force X in exchange for files on metahumans such as Flash and Aquaman. When she quipped about his 'nighttime' activities as Batman, he retorted by warning her to shut down her unit.
While this could lead to a rivalry, as is happening in the comics at present, the end goals of both teams could well be to safeguard the world; albeit in different manners. This may see Bruce turning to Waller for help or Waller's squad jumping in to save the day and regain some credibility. Either way, an appearance from Waller here could see a truce formed, while cameos from Deadshot and company could show that Batman does have options to bulk his army up. The Suicide Squad have already proven their pedigree and, after an impressive box-office return despite criticism, big names such as Will Smith should amp up future League business.
While "Justice League Action" will serve as an appetizer for Snyder's movie, fans are still focused on seeing the full scope of what the Knightmare sequence in "BvS" teased. It showed Darkseid's Omega symbol and we're eager to watch him and his general, Steppenwolf, discussing their first strike. His "New 52" version looks most adaptable, where he was a farmer named Uxas, who tricked the deities of his world into fighting each other, allowing him the chance to murder them when weakened. He stole their power and razed his planet, forming Apokolips.
Further revealed was that he previously battled Wonder Woman's people, siring a half-Amazonian daughter and lifelong enemy, Grail, in secret. This presents an opportunity in the form of "The Darkseid War," which saw Darkseid clash with the Anti-Monitor. However, not much has been divulged as to what his intentions are on film which is quite the opposite of what Marvel did off the cuff with Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet. Let's pray that once he's revealed, DC doesn't drag Darkseid out in teasing appearances in a Marvel Studios-like manner.
Got some other characters you want to see show up in the Justice League film? Let us know in the comments!