The Justice League’s cinematic debut is nearly upon us and there is plenty to take in as fans prepare to flood movie theaters worldwide. Preparation comes in a number of variations, many of which are fueled by returning to all that has come before Justice League’s impending release. Revisiting Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad and Wonder Woman are but a few ways fans are choosing to gear up for the big day that the League finally unites. Brushing up on the source material and a few of the things that have been established in DC’s expansive cinematic canon additionally warrants visitation.
As such, the following list aims to compile 15 things people may want to keep in mind before heading to see the League’s first big screen appearance. These brief notes and reminders include what to expect from certain characters based on the comics and small details everyone should be aware of while watching Justice League. Some such tidbits may prove solely useful for those on the look out for easter eggs, while others will hopefully provide a bit of a brief run-through about characters, places, or events that Justice League is to explore in some capacity.
15 WHY BATMAN AND WONDER WOMAN UNITE THE LEAGUE
During Batman v Superman, Bruce Wayne is made privy to a threat that’s looming. He doesn't specifically know the dangers lying ahead, but is certain he will need help in fighting whatever’s on the horizon. The first hint arrives while Bruce is asleep in the Batcave; he dreams of an apocalyptic sort of world in the film’s “Knightmare” sequence, a world where Superman seemingly rules tyrannically. Upon awakening from the dream, The Flash appears to Bruce from the future, vaguely explaining that the vigilante was “right” about something that goes unidentified.
As the film draws to a close, Bruce expresses concern to Diana that a threat is coming and they’ll need to be prepared. Without details on the impending troubles, he addresses his desire to assemble a team of people with extraordinary abilities. This is later expanded upon in Suicide Squad’s post-credits sequence.
14 JUSTICE LEAGUE ACTS AS AN ORIGIN FOR SOME HEROES
As is continuously noted, Warner Bros.' slate of superhero films hasn’t adhered to the formula previously set in place by the Marvel Cinematic Universe. When the League unites for the first time in theaters, many audience members will be unaware of the backstory revolving around heroes such as Aquaman and Cyborg. Justice League itself seems as though it will tackle this head on, as the film is expected to act as an origin story of sorts for the aforementioned superheroes and The Flash.
How these details will be explored on screen remain to be seen, but they are to apparently provide a basis from which Aquaman and The Flash’s impending solo films can be built upon. Without any official news regarding Cyborg’s standalone, it’s difficult to discern whether the same can be said of his character.
13 GREEN LANTERN IS RUMORED TO APPEAR
A Green Lantern has been rumored to appear in Justice League for months. Many would probably be surprised if the character or the Corps doesn’t at least receive a cursory mention or tease. As far as the rumors are concerned, some speculate well known Lanterns like Hal Jordan or John Stewart should not be expected. Instead, an alien Green Lantern may be the first of the Corps introduced to the DC’s movie universe.
If a GL does not make a Justice League appearance or garner a mention, it wouldn’t be too surprising. However, such a debut would provide an interesting entry point for the cosmic side of DC canon, since Green Lantern Corps is presumably still very much in development at Warner Bros. Additionally, as many have previously noted, it could also explain the “Unite the Seven” tagline that pervaded much of the team-up’s early marketing.
12 THERE ARE TWO POST-CREDITS SCENES
Thus far, post-credits scenes have been spotty throughout the development of DC’s nascent superhero franchise. Neither Man of Steel nor Batman v Superman featured one. While Suicide Squad offered the film universe its first post-credit sequence, not many were thrilled by the fleeting inclusion of Bruce Wayne meeting with Amanda Waller. This is due in large part to the scene seeming as though it did little more than further establish what audiences already knew -- the Justice League was being formed. Interestingly, Wonder Woman didn’t close with an additional scene either.
In a shocking turn of events, Justice League will conclude with two post-credit scenes. What these scenes entail aren’t publicly known (beyond media outlets), as they should remain until the film releases, but, by all accounts, they’re worth sticking around for.
Without specific details regarding his standing in the films, Steppenwolf’s relation to Darkseid is relatively unknown. In the comics, though, the character is a renown general in the Apokolips ruler’s army. Prior to and during the New 52 continuity, the Apokoliptian general appears infrequently; the same can be said of his cross media ventures, as he’s briefly featured in Superman: The Animated Series and the Justice League cartoon.
Steppenwolf’s New 52 iteration is most notable, especially considering how some of the DC films borrow from that continuity. Several attempts to take over Earth ultimately fail, but it never stops Steppenwolf from trying. Prowess with his battle axe and a strategic understanding of war aid in his once being able to kill Wonder Woman, and subject his rule on other Earths in Darkseid’s name. In Justice League, the latter will also likely be reflected, alongside his duty to retrieve Mother Boxes.
Inarguably a powerhouse in the DC Universe, Darkseid is known to be a formidable foe regardless of who he’s matched up against. An evil tyrant on the desolate world of Apokolips, Darkseid rules by fear alone; not so surprisingly, he uses every resource in his possession to spread said fear throughout the cosmos. As one of Jack Kirby’s New God creations, the character also has the honor of being a nearly unstoppable threat. His Omega Beams are probably his most notable feature, allowing him to track and deteriorate a target almost instantly.
What he does with his power is of most interest. Darkseid’s primary goal is in attaining the Anti-Life Equation; achieving such a task would essentially give him full dominion over all sentient life. Given that Steppenwolf is hunting down Mother Boxes, it’s fair to assume Darkseid’s goal in the films, once he debuts, will be similar.
9 MOTHER BOX
Since the devices known as Mother Boxes will be central to the plot of Justice League, understanding their purpose is sure to be integral. Hopefully, the film itself will explain it all unerringly, but it’s still nice to go in with at least a cursory knowledge. The Mother Box is a creation of the New Gods on New Genesis; unfortunately, even within the world they exist the devices remain largely mysterious. Mother Boxes are essentially supercomputers believed to bear some semblance of sentience.
They carry knowledge of the New Gods and are supposedly equipped with intricate knowledge of the universe. Additionally, these devices can transfer energy, generate Boom-tubes (the means by which trans-dimensional travel is achieved), and a host of other things. The presumption is that Justice League’s Steppenwolf is after three of them, all of which are present on Earth, to find the Anti-Life Equation for Darkseid.
Will Apokolips be shown in Justice League? It’s unlikely, but with Steppenwolf acting as the team’s main villain, the desolate world may receive a mention. Appearing to be a wasteland covered in fire pits, Apokolips is ruled tyrannically by Darkseid and is home to a people who are incapable of sustaining themselves. Surprisingly, though, the impoverished, referred to as “Lowlies,” have been shown to maintain a sense of loyalty towards their overlord, Darkseid.
Inhabiting a plane of existence known as the Fourth World, Apokolips formed following the destruction of the Old Gods. When the New Gods were created, Apokolips was designed as a separate entity from New Genesis, which is a world that can only be described as idyllic and Heavenly by comparison. During the “Knightmare” sequence in BvS, Earth is shown to somewhat resemble Apokolips, its desolate surface emblazoned with Darkseid’s Omega symbol in the distance.
Parademons appeared briefly in Batman v Superman’s “Knightmare” scene, where they act as enforcers within Superman’s military guard. As far as Justice League trailers have indicated, they’ll behave in the latest film in a fashion resembling their comic origins. Parademons are created in labs on Apokolips, crafted from the world’s lower-class citizens and sometimes human forms.
Their existence is purely meant to service Darkseid’s military needs, since they are primarily the frontline forces that invade and attack first. During their coordinated advances, the Parademons abduct lifeforms of the world they're invading to genetically repurpose them into Parademons. Interestingly, this method exponentially expands their ranks, giving them an advantage over whomever it is they are battling. Justice League will apparently see Darkseid’s troops similarly depicted on the big screen.
6 NEW GODS
After the destruction of the Old Gods, the New Gods were formed and split between the worlds of New Genesis and Apokolips. Deemed Gods for their extraordinary abilities, the New Gods are superpowered and advanced in technology thanks to their inhabitance of the Fourth World where they co-exist near the “Source” that propagated life throughout the universe.
The physiological similarities between Fourth World beings and those of the Third World (where humans reside), implies the two may share a connection. However, such an implication has never been proven true. In addition to having special abilities, New Gods are also immortal beings capable of living for thousands of years. Their history is extensive and complex, so it likely won’t receive too much attention in Justice League, if any at all.
5 NEW GENESIS
If Apokolips is a destitute wasteland, then its sister planet, New Genesis, is an idyllic world of paradise. Created following the destruction of the Old Gods, the Fourth World planet is home to the more peaceful of the New Gods. With the ever-benevolent Highfather leading the charge, New Genesis is perennially at war with Darkseid’s Apokolips. Needless to say, the constant warring could be viewed as a battle of good versus evil.
New Genesis is more than a technologically advanced planet, too. Unlike the desolate world lorded over by Darkseid, the inhabitants of New Genesis are inundated in beautiful greenery that surrounds them; thus, the planet is definitely deserving of its namesake. It would be surprising to ever see New Genesis replicated in live action in theaters, but a tease in Justice League doesn’t seem too far fetched.
4 CYBORG COMPRISED OF A MOTHER BOX
A Mother Box has already graced movie screens worldwide, appearing in Batman v Superman. A video clip of Silas Stone, Victor Stone/Cyborg’s father, shows the scientist attempting to save his son’s life by using Mother Box technology. Ergo, one hero in the League is half-man and half-sentient supercomputer… a compelling advantage for the team as they’ll be fighting against quite a few formidable enemies.
Because Steppenwolf’s primary purpose on Earth is to find three Mother Boxes, it stands to reason it won’t be long before the Apokoliptian general is on the former football player’s tail. What will be intriguing is whether Darkseid’s forces are aware of the device having been merged with a human. From what we know, their knowledge is limited to three locations -- Atlantis, Themyscira, and another undisclosed site on Earth.
3 TIMELINE OF EVENTS
The timeline of events in the DC films is a bit muddled. However, we do know the happenings of BvS take place approximately 18 months after Superman’s fight with Zod. It isn’t clear how much time passes between Superman’s death and the beginning of Suicide Squad. Although, it’s enough time to have allowed Amanda Waller a chance to put the finishing touches on her Task Force X initiative, using the Man of Steel’s sacrifice as a crutch.
Furthermore, the Wall’s meeting with Bruce Wayne indicates that not long after the Squad’s one-night adventure, Batman is still assembling his team of meta-humans. Wonder Woman is the outlier, but the present-day scenes are evidently set after Suicide Squad and ahead of Justice League. As the latest film is sure to take place over an extended period, finer details regarding specific dates are bound to be absent once more.
2 SHORTER RUNTIME
Warner Bros.’ slate of DC films can’t seem to escape controversy, on scales both big and small. One of the latest of such curiosities concerns Justice League’s runtime, which will cap at the 1 hour and 59 minute mark. This news, first hitting the web as a highly disdained rumor, remains divisive. To some, it’s a breath of fresh air considering the length of the other DC films. Others, however, prefer the longer runtime and were hoping for a meaty two-hour plus venture into the League’s first outing.
By contrast, Man of Steel ran 2 hours and 23 minutes long; Batman v Superman kept audiences seated for 2 hours and 31 minutes (the extended cut closes at 3 hours and 3 minutes); Suicide Squad is the shortest, thus far, coming in at 2 hours and 17 minutes; finally, Wonder Woman lasts 2 hours and 21 minutes.
1 THE SIGNIFICANCE OF SUPERMAN'S RETURN
It's no secret that Superman fans felt slighted by Batman v Superman; Man of Steel hadn’t received a proper sequel, and, to many, BvS felt like more of a Batman film. The disappointment increased ten-fold as some believed Superman’s sacrifice seemed rushed, considering it was just the second installment in his story.
However, BvS’ final few moments could be perceived as alleviating this concern once a vigil is erected in the Man of Steel’s honor and Bruce expresses a semblance of hope, which he plans to maintain as he and Diana assemble the Justice League. Therefore, Superman’s return won’t solely resolve around his ability to provide the League with an advantage. It’s bound to instill hope in a world broken by his absence and suddenly struck by a threat not easily understood.
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