WARNING: The following articles contains spoilers for director Zack Snyder’s Justice League, in theaters now.
The post-credits scenes of Justice League are a thematically divergent duo. While one focuses on a good-natured feud that's been a staple of DC Comics for decades, the other introduces a new villain and a returning threat in what appears to tease a direct follow-up to the Warner Bros. film. But is that really the case? While the after-credits sequence certainly hints at a future menace the Justice League is bound to face, it might actually tease the road to that big showdown – one dotted with villain-focused movies that will culminate in the formation of the Injustice League.
The major revelation following the credits is that Deathstroke has teamed with Lex Luthor, newly liberated from prison after a stealthy breakout in which he was replaced with a body double. Audiences first catch sight of Lex (Jesse Eisenberg, reprising his role from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice) while he’s enjoying himself on a yacht. Deathstroke is brought before the megalomaniac by speedboat, and then Lex lets the fan-favorite mercenary in on his plan: If the heroes of this world can have a Justice League, then they, Lex and Deathstroke, should form their own league.
That's likely a reference to the Injustice League, a group of villains faced frequently by the Justice League in DC comic books. The DC Extended Universe is likely to play fast and loose with the team’s roster, as Deathstroke isn't traditionally a founding member of the Injustice League, but that’s to be expected. What might intrigue fans, however, is that, given the upcoming slate of DCEU movies, we might actually get to watch the Injustice League take shape.
The first thing to note is that Joe Manganiello’s cameo as Deathstroke was telegraphed weeks before it actually happened. The most recent example was when the post-credits scene actually leaked days before the release of Justice League, revealing Deathstroke’s presence, although not Lex’s plan. Manganiello has also been forthcoming about his role, posting pictures of the villain’s iconic mask to social media well before Justice League premiered. Affleck had some fun teasing the character’s appearance, too. It’s now rumored that Deathstroke will be getting his own solo film, an upgrade from his original intended role as antagonist in the upcoming Batman solo movie.
But Deathstroke isn’t the only villain who will receive his due in the form of a solo outing. Recent reports indicate that Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam will make his debut in Suicide Squad 2 as the primary antagonist. Meanwhile, the Black Adam solo film has picked up traction and Adam Sztykiel, the writer behind Undateable, is being courted to pen the film’s screenplay. According to Johnson, Black Adam will be a “ruthless” hero, one who is completely willing to go up against the likes of Superman if the need arises – and Johnson really wants the need to arise.