DC’s flagship heroes have finally formed together in this year’s Justice League and it was… mediocre. To be fair, it looked like there was a better movie somewhere, though as we’ve seen previously with the DCEU, cuts on cuts on cuts have left the film lacking in a number of areas. Even Jason Momoa – who plays Aquaman – spoke a bit about the cuts, and why so much of the individual hero stories were left on the cutting room floor:
“A lot of things got cut, but it’s not my movie,” he said. “It’s a huge movie introducing three new characters, and for myself and The Flash and Cyborg there was a lot that was there we just couldn’t get in. It could have been two movies. We had some stuff with Willem Dafoe. The whole Atlantean part, about me being this reluctant king. There was no need for it because you’re going to see it in Aquaman. It’s not an Aquaman movie, it’s a Justice League movie.”
Of course there are always cuts made to these types of films, usually to meet a runtime mandate – like Justice League– and to allow room for other important scenes to stay in the film. Today we are going to talk about the post-credit scenes that DC managed to keep in the film, as they borrowed a page straight from Marvel Studios’ textbook on shared cinematic universes. Post-credit scenes – or stingers as they are also called – generally either offer another comedic clip without much impact or huge clips that tease future films or plotlines. Justice League had one of each of these, so we’re going to take a look at what these scenes could mean for the future of the DCEU.
“The Fastest Men Alive”
The first mid-credit scene we saw teased an event we’ve seen a few times in the comics, which is the race between Superman and The Flash. These two heroes have met up a number of times across different mediums – comics, TV, animated series – to try and determine who is the fastest, though these races usually end up in a draw of some kind as they’re usually for charity or to save someone/Earth/The Universe. The first such race we saw happened way back in 1967 in the pages of Superman #199, and occurred a few more times throughout the years with wins in either column, though again, mostly draws. However, the argument over who was fastest was pretty much decided during the events of The Flash Rebirth, in which Flash politely lets Superman know that any time Clark beat him before was for charity events, before clearly blowing Supes out of the water. The mid-credit scene didn’t really point towards a winner for the DCEU characters but did continue to highlight the new happy Superman, something fans have been hoping to see for a while now.
“A League of Our Own”
The post-credit scene carried a bit more weight, as it brought back returning villain Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, freshly broken out of prison and hiding on a yacht at sea. There we witness a meeting between Lex and the officially revealed Slade Wilson AKA Deathstroke, played by Joe Manganiello. Before the film came out we knew there were plans to include Deathstroke in the DCEU following a released costume test, though after some of the changes to the film it was left uncertain if the character would remain. Deathstroke definitely made his appearance, for which Manganiello revealed our first official image:
During the meeting the above image is from, Lex reveals his knowledge of the newly formed Justice League, and laments that its time for others like him to have a League of their own. This could be a reference to a few different things, but it mainly means that Luthor is looking to put together his own team of supervillains to take on the League in future DCEU installments. The real question lies in which team is Luthor talking about?
The Injustice Gang/ Legion of Doom
The most obvious option is Luthor’s Injustice Gang, which has formed in a few different iterations over the years, including the Legion of Doom most cartoon fans would be familiar with. The most common thread between the teams is that they are made up of the various archenemies of the League, meaning Luthor for Superman, Joker for Batman, Black Manta for Aquaman, etc. The team has formed with different members over the years and for different reasons, but Luthor seems to remain the one constant.
Secret Society of Supervillains
Known later in years as simply the Society, this team saw the formation of an enormous assemblage of villains, much more than one opposite number to match the Justice League. The reason the Society could be making an appearance as opposed to the Injustice Gang comes with Deathstroke’s involvement, who was a driving force in the Society that helped keep the various egos and personalities of the Society in check, before ultimately self-destructing as most of these types of groups do.
While this is a bit more of a longshot, the DCEU already has an established team of villains that tends to go through a number of lineup changes that could facilitate some new members like Luthor and Deathstroke, though as the team itself is usually under the control of the government and features incarcerated prisoners – Which both Luthor and Deathstroke are clearly not – it seems unlikely that would be the plan. Unless Luthor and Deathstroke try to infiltrate Task Force X for their own purposes, something we could maybe see explored in the upcoming Suicide Squad 2, which is rumored to feature Black Adam in his DCEU debut, another member of the Society.
Whichever team we do end up seeing in future DCEU installments, the post-credit scene implies that a future threat to DC’s premiere heroes lies within their own villains, instead of the Apokalyptic forces that were teased by Steppenwolf in Justice League. With the lackluster performance by Steppenwolf in the film, moving to the Injustice Gang (or alternate team) instead of big bad Darkseid might be a smart move for the DCEU’s superteam.
Would you rather see Luthor and Deathstroke’s team of villains take on the League, or do you want more from the Darkseid story that has really only scratched the surface? Let us know in the comments below and join the discussion on the GEEK FB page!
Images: DC Comics, Warner Bros.