Throughout the years, there have been many movies featuring DC’s most recognized superheroes, and that was long before the DC Extended Universe of movies took root. We’ve had many movies starring the Dark Knight, the mysterious Watchmen, and even the colorful Green Lantern Corps. We’ve seen cowboy vigilantes and Lego Batmen in action, and now, with Justice League, we are about to meet the DC universe’s greatest heroes, united at last against a threat too big for any one of them to handle. Each of these movies, whether loathed or beloved, whether in the DCEU or not, all contributed to bring DC characters to life.
But no matter how you feel about any DC movie, there is no denying that the bulk of them have featured striking moments and imagery. From iconic and heroic poses to intricately hidden Easter eggs and even the occasional shirtless moment, there have always been movie moments worth viewers reaching for their remote controls, and pausing the movie to get a better look at what had just transpired, for better or for worse. Today, CBR revisits the library of DC movies past, present and future to list 15 movie moments that have been paused the most, no matter the reality or universe.
15. THE TRINITY UNITED
After the promise that both Batman and Wonder Woman would feature in the next installment of the DCEU, Batman v. Superman, every fan out there was hoping that we would get a union to rival the epic assembly of the Avengers on the big screen. Diana Prince’s presence was very small in the film, but when she decided to arrive on the scene, she made quite the splash.
It didn’t take long after that to see Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman finally united together for the first time in a movie. The sequence was appropriately epic, and it instantly became an iconic shot of DC’s trinity, finally standing together against a common foe. The added fact that it was Wonder Woman who was framed front and center spoke volumes about her importance to the universe, and to the fans.
14. ACE CHEMICALS IN BATMAN V. SUPERMAN
The DCEU movies are filled with Easter eggs, nods and references to the bigger universe these characters inhabit. Batman v. Superman was no different, with many moments worthy to be paused to find out exactly what you had missed. One such moment came during the fight between Henry Cavill’s Superman and the Kryptonian creature Doomsday.
While the focus is clearly on Superman and Doomsday as they proceed to punch each other relentlessly, there is one instant where you can clearly see, for a brief moment, a sign for ACE Chemicals, the famous industrial compound where the Joker was born after falling into a vat of chemicals. Considering that there were other hints at the Joker in the film, this was an exciting catch for fans.
13. HARLEY QUINN’S RAP-SHEET
The first half of the Suicide Squad movie spent a lot of time introducing the various characters that comprised Amanda Waller’s Task Force X team to an audience that was mostly unfamiliar with them. To help in that regard, many of the movie’s villains were introduced along with a rap-sheet that appeared on-screen, containing crucial and trivial facts and tidbits.
During these sequences, the screen was chock-filled with text, and fans were sure to find many jokes and Easter eggs hidden within. But no other rap-sheet was more important than that of the Joker’s girlfriend, Harley Quinn. Many would come to pause on the Batman villain’s sheet to find out what she had been up to in the movie universe. As it turns out, this allowed us to learn that she was an accomplice to Robin’s murder.
12. SHIRTLESS CLARK KENT
Henry Cavill went through incredibly rigorous training to put on the skin tight suit of Superman, and early looks at the Man of Steel trailers seemed to indicate that he would have no trouble pulling off the blue spandex look. As he went about saving people on a burning oil rig, Cavill fans got to witness all of his shirtless might, and see just how hard the actor had trained for the role.
After a scene where the camera clearly cut to focus on Cavill’s abdominal area, many fans no doubt saw fit to go back to this scene time and time again. Henry Cavill showed us how a seemingly normal man could be transformed into Superman if he were to push himself hard enough, and Man of Steel didn’t hesitate to show moviegoers that there was only one man for this job.
11. WAYNE ENTERPRISES SATELLITE
Man of Steel was a film that kickstarted the DCEU, but also one that solely focused on Superman and his supporting cast. However, the movie wasn’t shy of planting seeds for future installments. Mentions of Lex Luthor were abundant, and we even got a possible Star Sapphire reference. But what everyone wanted to know was if Batman existed in this universe.
As it turns out, director Zack Snyder would indeed plant a Bruce Wayne-related Easter egg, but he would be very sneaky about it. So sneaky, in fact, that fans would have to pause the movie to see it, during Superman and Zod’s final battle. As the two fight in space, they crash into a satellite, and on that satellite, you can see the logo of the company it belongs to: Wayne Enterprises.
10. HARLEY QUINN GETS DRESSED
For most of her 25 years, Harley Quinn has been a fan-favorite character. As her popularity spiked, so too did her fans become enamored with what she represented: a woman who is comfortable in her own crazy skin and costume. When the Clown Princess of Crime was confirmed to appear in Suicide Squad, many were eager to see how well actress Margot Robbie would fare in the role.
While most of Harley’s scenes were memorable, few can come close to a scene that was featured in the movie’s trailer – Harley Quinn changing, in front of literally everyone. It’s a scene that was very much Harley Quinn, but also one that left jaws on the floor. Just like in the movie, people had to be shaken awake from the mesmerizing moment.
9. BANE BREAKS THE BATMAN
A lot of hype surrounded the release of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, not only because it was a follow-up to the seminal and genre-defining The Dark Knight, but also because it would give the chance for little-known Batman villain Bane the chance to shine. Most famously known for breaking Batman’s back in the comic books, many were curious to see if Bane would actually be allowed to break the bat in the trilogy-ending film.
As it turns out, longtime Batman fans were treated to an iconic scene from the comics books when Batman and his hulking opponent would finally face off. Not only did Bane manage to defeat Batman, he did so in the exact manner he had in the comics. The memorable, disastrous moment was like a comic book panel come to life.
8. THE OMEGA SYMBOL
Many viewers were left puzzled by Batman v. Superman‘s “Knightmare” vision sequence. Seemingly detached from the main story, this scene showed us Batman fighting in a dystopian world, one more akin to the universe and aesthetic of Mad Max. In this (alternate?) world, Superman ruled as the Earth’s monarch, but that wasn’t all. There was also a very big hint that this was related to Apokolips in some way.
In fact, the sequence started with Batman looking on at a wasteland of a city, a large Omega symbol traced in the sand. This symbol is one closely associated with Darkseid, and the appearance of Parademons not long after seemingly confirmed that the villain was on his way to Earth. The image of Batman looking on at the Omega has become synonymous with the film, an epic shot that is all DC Comics.
7. CLARK KENT NEEDS A BATH
Man of Steel ended with Clark Kent and Lois Lane only just falling into each other’s arms and sharing a kiss. But when we would see them again in Batman v. Superman, we would see that their relationship had more than evolved. Not only were they sharing an apartment, they also had no trouble risking water damage and flooding while going at it in their bath tub.
While the movie featuring DC’s most popular superheroes is mostly family-friendly, many were surprised to see Amy Adams’ reputed reporter Lois Lane revealing as much as she did in the scene, and no one could fault Clark Kent for joining her. The steamy scene actually went a long way to show viewers how close the two characters had grown.
6. CATWOMAN IN PENGUIN’S BED
Tim Burton’s Batman Returns was never short on striking imagery, and the characters in the film were appropriately dark. The director’s take on he Penguin was frightening, despicable and disgusting, and his Selina Kyle was appropriately aggressive and seductive. Nowhere were these qualities more at odds with each other than when Penguin made his way to his room to find Catwoman laying on his bed.
With a cat laying by her side, Selina did what she did best: she had her sights set on a target, and she put on a sultry show. This was a scene that showed Catwoman fans a take on the character that was all roar. Suggestive and troubling as the scene might have been, Selina was always in control, and she proved to be a just representation of her comic book counterpart in that exact moment.
5. JOKER AND HARLEY’S DANCE
Many fans were excited for the Suicide Squad film, mainly because it would be the first time that they would get to see the Joker and Harley Quinn together on the big screen. However, longtime comic fans were understandably disappointed to see that the two characters would be wearing costumes that are much different than what they are usually known for wearing in the comics.
But, as it turns out, the movie would at least give these fans something to chew on. In fact, a quick flashback, almost dream-like sequence, showed us both Joker and Harley in classic comic book costumes, dancing together. Harley’s classic court-jester costume was on full display, and the scene itself was a direct homage to a famous piece of artwork by famed artist Alex Ross.
4. WONDER WOMAN’S GODDESS STATE
Wonder Woman instantly had a powerful grace in its leading lady, Gal Gadot. It’s no easy task to embody an Amazon goddess, one who is supposed to embody all definitions of the mythical world. Amazon, princess, warrior — Gadot was aptly able to convey it all, with a striking presence that was as powerful as it was beautiful.
When Diana comes to man’s world, Steve Trevor leads her to a boutique where the Amazon can find clothes that are more befitting of a regular woman. When she chooses an outfit, complete with a time-accurate hat, Steve suggests that she also wear glasses. And, as Etta Candy points out, she is already the most beautiful woman in the world, and somehow these glasses only made Diana, and Gal Gadot, even more striking.
Aquaman has always been seen as a joke of a character, but that is all set to change soon. Jason Momoa’s Aquaman only briefly appeared in a cameo capacity in Batman v. Superman, but as we gear up for the release of this November’s Justice League, we have already seen that, thanks to the movie’s trailers, the character will have a big role to play in the superhero team-up movie.
We already know that, thanks to Momoa’s take on the character, Arthur Curry will have quite the awesome presence on the team. And to many fans out there, this presence will be quite physical. Momoa’s Aquaman is not one who’s shy to walk around shirtless as he heads for the water, and already the actor has managed to turn quite a few heads with a role that hasn’t even hit theaters yet.
2. SUPERMAN’S PARTY GUESTS
The Lego Batman Movie is one that truly asks its viewers to be attentive, and one that requires more than one viewing to catch all of its intricate details. Every scene is filled with subtle jokes and references, from the comic books to other Batman-related movies or series. One such scene that is filled with comic book goodness comes when Batman pays a visit to Superman’s Fortress of Solitude.
There, Bruce Wayne is shocked to discover that the Last Son of Krypton is throwing a party that he wasn’t invited to. But the real surprise is in the party guests themselves. Viewers have no choice but to pause the scene in order to take note of every DC character in attendance, from Hawkman and Hawkgirl to the Wonder Twins.
1. THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS HOMAGE
Zack Snyder has filled both Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman with nods and Easter eggs to everything from the Joker and Lex Luthor’s presence to a reference of his previous movie Watchmen, but he went further than any had gone before by hiding a noticeable easter egg in a single frame of his movie — when Batman was in the midst of avoiding the wrath of Doomsday.
As the caped crusader recovers on the side of a building, a timely lighting strike in the background manages to recreate one of the most famous and iconic covers in Batman comics. In fact, this single frame brought to live action the first cover of the quintessential The Dark Knight Returns miniseries by Frank Miller. It’s a challenge to even pause the movie at the right time, but when you do, you will see the homage it in all its majestic glory.
Which DC movie moment do you always pause? Let us know in the comments!
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