One thing that will always exist in the realm of superhero movies is the competitive rivalry between the DCEU and MCU.
From Batman Begins to Justice League, the DC universe has had its ups and downs. At times Warner Brothers was able to pull way ahead, and at others, they were ultimately defeated by the minds at Disney.
However, one thing the DCEU has never failed to do is impress its fans with their sneaky Easter Eggs and quirky comic book references.
Whether it be Zack Snyder or Christopher Nolan, DCEU directors have packed their films with geeky nods that would make any fan giddy.
Since we are only human though, we don’t have superpowers and are limited to our two little human eyes to search for these references. This means that while your eyes were focused on Superman returning from the dead, Wonder Woman’s mystical island, or Lex Luthor’s obsession with Jolly Ranchers, you may have missed a couple of things the directors wanted you to see.
However, lucky for you, we are here to be your extra set of eyes.
So, get ready to see with 20/20 vision because here are the 16 Things You Completely Missed in DC Movies.
16 David Bowie and Prince Appear in Justice League
The year 2016 brought the end of some heroic musical legacies and Zack Snyder paid them a memorable tribute in Justice League (2017).
During the scenes of Superman’s memorials in the beginning of the movie, there is a quick shot of the Metropolis Post with the headline “Did they return to their planet? Mysterious Wave of Disappearing Heroes.” Underneath these words, there are pictures of David Bowie, Superman, and Prince.
Superman died in Batman v Superman, which was released during the same year of Bowie and Prince’s passing. This Easter Egg shows that because of the musicians’ legacies, the world considers them to be just like superheroes.
According to the newspaper, the citizens of Metropolis believe that Bowie and Prince didn’t actually die and were instead sent to their home planet along with Superman.
15 Marvel/DC Crossover in The Dark Knight
Fans have long wished for an MCU/DCEU crossover and The Dark Knight (2008) may have thrown in a little Easter Egg just to mess with us.
In the opening scene of the movie, the Joker is holding a mask and waiting for his ride on the streets of Gotham. However, look to his left and you’ll catch the outline of a movie poster.
Although you might not be able to see it at first, zoom in and you'll see that the poster is actually a promotional ad for Spiderman 3 (2007).
So, does the Marvel Universe exist in Gotham? Or did Christopher Nolan just happen to shoot in front of a theater showing the movie?
The clown mask in this shot is also a nice nod to the 1966 Batman television series. It’s designed to look exactly like the mask that the first Joker original wore in his debut.
14 Star Wars Easter Egg in Batman v Superman
When Lex Luthor is locked up in prison during Batman V Superman (2016), his prisoner number is stitched onto his jumpsuit. This number, “16-TK-421” is actually a nod to Star Wars: A New Hope (1977).
In A New Hope, Luke Skywalker and Han Solo ambush two Stormtroopers and steal their armor. One of the Stormtroopers was called TK-421 and can be identified when Imperial Officer Pol Treidum calls in saying, “TK-421, why aren’t you at your post? TK-421, do you copy?”
During production, Zack Snyder and J.J. Abrams were having a friendly social media competition, exchanging photos of Batman v Superman and Star Wars: The Force Awakens mash-ups. This friendly promotion is probably why the Star Wars Easter Egg made its way into Snyder’s film.
13 Bruce Wayne's Parents Are Saved in Watchmen
There are a lot of things packed into the opening credits sequence of Watchmen, but if you know where to look you might catch this interesting Easter egg.
In the scene where Nite Owl is punching a mugger, check out the couple that is walking out of the theater door. This couple, a well-dressed man and a woman wearing pearls, is leaving the opera into a dark alley and being surprised by an assailant with a gun. Sound familiar?
This scene is a reference to the death of Bruce Wayne’s parents. However, in this universe, Nite Owl saves them from the mugger.
If you look even closer, you can also see that the playbill in the background says “Die Fledermaus” which means “The Bat” in German, and that there are posters portraying the cover of Batman and Robin’s first appearance on the right side of the shot.
12 References to the Teams Origin in Suicide Squad
You probably noticed the smiley face with X’s for eyes that served as the Suicide Squad’s logo on the movie’s promotional advertising. But just how many times did you notice it in the movie?
The sinister smiley face can be seen etched underneath the head of Harley Quinn’s hammer and drawn on Deadshot's target during his stint at the shooting range.
These small additions hint to the coming together of the team. However, the most important Easter Egg that shows their development is the name of the building that they infiltrate to save Amanda Waller.
This building is called the John F. Ostrander Federal Building, which is a nod to Ostrander, the man who created the recent Suicide Squad comics and ultimately the team.
11 Pajamas in Superman Returns and Batman Begins
Clothes are cultural references that speak a lot about a movie’s scene or a character’s personality. Therefore, it’s only natural that the DCEU uses clothing as a source of their Easter Eggs.
At the end of Superman Returns, when Superman visits his son, you might have noticed the kid’s colorful blue and orange pajamas.
Look closer, and you’ll notice its decorated with photos of Aquaman. Apparently, Superman’s kid prefers the King of the Seven Seas over the Man of Steel.
Also, in Batman Begins, there is a scene where Batman is talking to a young Joffrey. If you look behind them, you might catch a glimpse of Batman pajamas hanging to dry. They aren’t doing much drying though as Batman and Joffrey are standing in the rain.
10 Easter Eggs Fill The Metropolis Skyline in Man of Steel
The skyline of Metropolis in Man of Steel holds many different secrets, symbols, and Easter eggs.
During the fight between Zod and Superman, there is a building in the background with the words “Blaze Comics”. Blaze Comics is the fictional comic publisher that Booster Gold uses to become infamous when he travels back in time.
Then during the final battle, the WGBS logo can be seen in the distance. This is the primary news channel for Galaxy Communications, a company with ties to the villain Darkseid.
The skyline also holds logos of Star Labs, the company that created the parts for Cyborg and is featured in the CW’s Flash series, as well as Utopia Casino, the casino owned by Tony Gallo, the first person to introduce Superman to his weakness: Kryptonite.
Throughout the movie, LexCorp logos can also be seen on buildings, tankers, and trucks to foreshadow Lex Luthor’s involvement in Batman v Superman.
9 Star Sapphire's Cameo in Green Lantern
The military captain in the unpopular Green Lantern (2011) movie was named Carol Ferris, a reference to Hal Jordan’s love interest in the comics. She ultimately turns into Green Lantern’s villainous enemy Star Sapphire, and this very transition is hinted at in the movie.
In the beginning of the film, Carol and Hal are doing a test flight and her call sign is Sapphire, a very clear reference to her alter ego. Carol also has a symbol on her helmet of an eight-pointed star. This star resembles the symbol on Star Sapphire’s supervillain outfit in the comic books.
If the Green Lantern movie hadn’t bombed, maybe we could have seen Carol Ferris’ transformation in future movies. However, alas, we will never know the truth behind Star Sapphire.
8 The Joker and Harley Quinn's Secret Children in Suicide Squad
The Joker and Harley Quinn should be the last people on Earth to have children. However, Suicide Squad may have created a universe where they do, or did, have tiny green-haired babies.
In one scene, the Joker is ecstatically lying amongst a circle of weapons. However, some fans noticed that there are baby clothes lying just outside his arsenal of doom.
Since the clothes match the colors of the Joker and Harley’s hair, this has sparked many fan theories suggesting the two may have had kids.
Throughout the movie, there are other subtle hints about the menacing duo’s family. The Enchantress reveals that Harley’s ultimate fantasy was to have kids with the Joker and in one scene, Quinn tells her fellow criminals that people like them can’t be normal and have families.
So, could the Harls and the Jokes have had kids? And if so, what happened to them?
7 Smallville's Schools in Man of Steel Act as Honorable Tributes
When Martha Kent is going through her photo album, she comes across a picture a smiley little Clark Kent with his father after winning the Science Fair.
Look past the stereotypical volcano science project, and you’ll see the school’s logo in the background of the picture. The name of the school, Weisinger Primary School, is an honorable tribute to Superman Editor Mort Weisinger.
Weisinger oversaw the editing during the mid-1950s and 1960s, formally known as the Silver Age of Comic Books. He is known for explaining Superman’s powers in a scientific way, which could explain why Snyder added his name to a picture of Clark’s science fair.
The high school in Smallville also holds a nod to one of Zack Synder’s previous films. The school’s mascot is a Spartan which is in honor of the director’s epic 2006 war movie, 300.
6 The Soundtrack for Batman Begins Hides a Secret Message
Very few people pay attention to film scores. However, if you checked out the soundtrack for Batman Begins you may have received a nice little treat.
Hans Zimmer, the composer for Batman Begins (2005) named every song in the movie after a breed of bat. It may be hard to notice though since he used their Latin names.
If you’re a master puzzle sleuth, you might also be able to decode the message hidden in tracks four through nine. Take the first letter of each of these titles and it’ll spell out BATMAN.
Although not a typical Easter Egg, it’s a fun hunt for the true Batman fan and a great reminder of Christopher Nolan’s ingenious use of hidden references.
It might even make you wonder what other secrets are lurking in movie soundtracks.
5 Catwoman Appears in Justice League
Some viewers may have tuned out before this Easter egg, but if you were paying attention at the end of Justice League (2017), you could have spotted this interesting reference to the notorious Selina Kyle.
After the scene where Flash is zipping through the city with Lois Lane’s voice in the background, there is a shot of Diana outside of a museum. However, before the camera focuses in on the Amazonian warrior, it reveals an Audrey Hepburn-styled woman being arrested by police officers.
It can be assumed that this woman is being arrested for a botched theft at the museum and therefore has been recognized by some people as Catwoman.
When the camera pans out to show Wonder Woman, she is returning a cat statue to a crate which further solidifies the Easter egg.
4 Robin's Logo is Splattered Throughout The Dark Knight Rises
Robin may have played a bigger part in The Dark Knight Rises than you think – at least his logo certainly did.
At the Gotham Rogues’ match where Bane waltzes in and blows up the stadium, you can see fans holding signs that spell out the word “ROGUE."
If you take a look at the person holding the "R," you’ll see that his sign is actually made to look like Robin’s logo.
Apparently, this “R” was added to the sign by a Robin fan who signed up to be an extra in the movie. He simply wanted to make his own mark on the movie and add his own special Easter egg.
Nightwing’s logo also appears in the movie on John Blake’s detective badge. This small Easter egg is part of the bigger hidden reference of Blake portraying Robin.
3 Batman's Past Villains Haunt Him in Batman v Superman
There’s no shortage of villains seeking revenge on Batman. Well, some of these return as Easter Eggs to haunt the Dark Knight in Batman v Superman.
When Batman is waiting for the kryptonite to be unloaded from the White Portuguese, the warehouse that hides the Batmobile is called “Nicholson Trading Co." This is a subtle shout-out to Jack Nicholson’s representation of the Joker in Batman (1989).
Later on, when Batman and Superman start their epic battle, you may have noticed that their “arena” is covered in graffiti.
One of these drawings depicts the letter “J” with a smiley face, which is meant to represent the Joker, and a question mark sketch is supposed to represent the Riddler.
There is also graffiti on the wall that says “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes” which is Latin for “Who watches the watchmen." This is a reference to Watchmen.
2 Justice League Easter Egg in Wonder Woman Predicts the Future
It may seem hard to add Easter Eggs in a movie that was set long before the rest of the DC movies, but Wonder Woman cleverly manages to sneak in a reference to Superman’s role in Justice League.
In the beginning of the movie, Diana is walking into the Louvre museum in Paris, France. Right after she enters the building, a Wayne Enterprise van pulls up and unloads something.
The van itself is an Easter Egg, but if you zoom in on its license plate, you’ll find an even bigger secret.
The license plate reads “JL-828-VZM." The JL stands for Justice League and 828 represents Superman Issue 82, volume 2. This specific comic is the one where Superman comes back to life.
So, could this have foreshadowed his return in Justice League?
1 Keep Calm and Call Batman
Zack Snyder added many hilarious references to Batman and Superman’s rivalry in Man of Steel and set the stage for their epic battle in Batman v Superman.
Snyder said: “When Zod’s tearing the building apart with his heat vision, there’s a Be Calm and Call Batman sign on the wall there, just really small. You might even have to stop the movie to see it but it’s definitely in there."
Apparently, Superman isn’t the biggest superhero even on his own turf.
There’s also another Batman Easter Egg when Superman collides with a satellite in space. The satellite has Wayne Enterprises’ logo on it, showing that Bruce Wayne is still a successful millionaire in this movie.
Not sure if Superman would approve of all the Batman references in the movie, but fans were surely impressed.
Did you catch any other Easter eggs or hidden references in DC movies? Let us know in the comments!