Despite having released four movies to date – Man of Steel, Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad, and Wonder Woman – The DC Comics Extended Universe (hereafter DCEU) – hasn't done much to define the boundaries of its universe. At least, it hasn't done much in comparison to the infamously continuity heavy comic books that inspired it!
With Justice League soon to be released, fan speculation is running hotter than ever as to what we will see in the next movie. More importantly, fans are wondering just how well Justice League will build upon what came before and what guesses as to the nature of the DCEU at large might be confirmed. This guessing game seems to have grown all the more intense since Joss Whedon – who has crafted some of the most continuity-driven comic books and television series in history – took over on Justice League.
Some say that it is pointless to speculate in this nature. Others point out that fan theories correctly guessed at the true nature of Doomsday and Superman’s death long before Batman v. Superman hit the big screens. Whatever your opinion, it cannot be denied that theorizing is a part of fandom and that sometimes the fans get it right.
With that in mind, here are 15 DCEU Fan Theories So Crazy They Might Be True.
15 There Are Multiple Jokers
Many fans were livid when it was announced that Warner Bros. would be making an origin movie for the Joker. This is partly because the idea of The Joker being given a definitive origin story is blasphemous to many Bat-Fans and partly because the movie is being made without Jared Leto, who played the Clown Prince Of Crime in Suicide Squad.
This decision might make sense if you consider one fan theory: there are multiple Jokers in the DCEU.
This is the current state of affairs in the comics, with Batman having learned that there are three Jokers running around the DC Rebirth reality. No explanation has been given for it, but precedent allows for plenty of options. Multiversal doppelgangers; digital personality imprinting through splicing technology; simple, straight-up cloning. Why, the possibilities are almost endless!
14 Zeus Physically Fathered Wonder Woman
The plot of Wonder Woman focused upon Diana of Themyscira as she left her home to stop Ares, God of War, from corrupting Man's World. She took with her a sword known as the God-Killer, which was said to have the power to slay Ares. By the end of the movie, it was revealed that Diana herself was the true “God Killer” and that Zeus had given a measure of his power to the perfect daughter that Queen Hippolyta had sculpted from clay.
At least, that’s what Diana believed.
Knowing what we know of Greek mythology and Zeus’ habits regarding beautiful women, there’s a fair chance that Hippolyta’s story of how Diana came to be created was a polite euphemism. There is some precedent for this in the comics, with The New 52 version of Diana being presented as an illegitimate daughter of Zeus.
13 The Dark Tone Of The DCEU Is Due To Flashpoint
It has often been said that the major difference between Marvel Comics’ books and DC Comics' books is that Marvel tells realistic stories about humans aspiring to godhood while DC Comics tells idealistic stories that explore the humanity of gods. Most of the DCEU movies, however, seem to lack this optimistic spirit, with Man of Steel featuring a Pa Kent who feared how people would react to his special son and Batman V. Superman presenting a broken Batman who brands his enemies!
One fan theory imagines that something happened to change the world of DC Comics into a warped corruption of itself. Something like the actions of an inexperienced speedster accidentally messing around with the timeline, perhaps?
It’s not entirely outside the realm of possibility, as fans of The Flash television series can attest. The base concept of DC Comics’ Elseworlds line is built around such scenarios… including a story called Flashpoint that will serve as the basis of The Flash’s first solo film!
12 Lex Luthor Is A Failed Clone
It would be fair to say that the character of Lex Luthor was one of the most disappointing aspects of Batman v Superman. Rather than “the greatest criminal mind of all time,” we were presented with an eccentric man-child more Willy Wonka than Moriarty.
In an effort to explain this, many fans seized upon the fact that Lex’s full name in the DCEU is Alexander Joseph Luthor Junior. This suggests a Luthor Senior - and another connection to The Death of Superman storyline, which Batman v Superman borrowed from heavily.
Just before Superman died in the comics, Lex Luthor also “died." Stricken with cancer from the Kryptonite ring he used to keep Superman at bay, Lex Luthor had his brain secretly transplanted into a clone body and soon reappeared as Lex Luthor Junior. Given that the clone body became unstable and Lex’s mind became equally unstable, it’s not hard to believe that Luthor’s erratic behavior in Batman v Superman is a result of the cloning process starting to fail.
11 The Joker From Suicide Squad Used To Be A Robin
Running alongside the idea of their being multiple Jokers, there is a theory that the Joker we see in Suicide Squad used to be Robin and was somehow transformed by the original Joker. The basis for this theory lies in the fact that some of the Joker’s tattoos seem to be references to Robin – a winged bird on The Joker’s right arm that could be a robin and the “J” on his cheek could stand for Jason. As in Jason Todd, the second Robin.
Shockingly, there is a precedent for this. The DCEU has borrowed heavily from Frank Miller’s Batman stories and Miller’s The Dark Knight Strikes Again did reveal that Dick Grayson had been transformed into a clinically insane creature with a healing factor. While never addressed as the Joker, the resemblance was there. And the Joker did transform Jason Todd into “Joker Junior” in the animated film Batman Beyond: Return of The Joker.
10 Ares Is Wonder Woman's Father
There’s another theory that Ares himself might have been Diana’s biological father. The ancient myths say that the original tribe of Amazons was fathered by Ares and a nymph named Harmonia. However, this conflicts with what we are told of the Amazons’ origins in Wonder Woman and every version of the Amazons seen in the comics. Then again, given Ares nature, it is likely the Amazons might be ashamed of their parentage and took steps to hide it.
Ignoring the incestuous implications, Ares being Diana’s father would explain Hippolyta’s initial reluctance to see her daughter trained as a warrior far more than any mother’s natural fear of seeing their child placed in danger. Her fears may have been based less on Diana being injured or killed, and more upon what kind of monster might be unleashed should the daughter of Ares start to develop her battle skills at a formative age.
9 Lois Lane Is A Telepath
One of the seemingly larger plot-holes in Batman v Superman is based upon Superman’s ability to always know when Lois Lane is in need of a rescue. Yes, he has super-hearing and super-vision and has been known to keep one ear open for her in the comics, yet Clark is totally powerless to locate his own mother when she is similarly endangered by Lex Luthor and turns to Batman for help in finding her.
One fan explanation for this is that Lois Lane is a low-level telepath who is able to send Clark a mental signal in moments of great stress. Latent mind-reading powers could also explain why Lois Lane is such a great reporter – her infamous ability to read people and know when they are lying could be another side-effect of her powers. If nothing else, it would be a neat twist on "Can You Read My Mind?", the classic song from the original Superman.
8 The Flashpoint Movie Will Reset The DCEU
The 2011 limited series Flashpoint figures prominently in another fan theory regarding the dark tone of the DCEU and how it is at odds with the comic books which inspired it. This theory suggests that the end result of the Flashpoint movie will be a kinder, gentler DCEU.
This isn’t a blind bit of hope on the part of the fans. The end result of the original Flashpoint story line in the comics was the creation of a new universe which subtly revamped and rebuilt certain aspects of its components, including a condensed timeline and an altered Justice League line-up.
While the so-called "New 52 Universe" generally wasn’t well-received - and indeed, prompted the "DC Rebirth" revamp to fix its errors – the precedent for Flashpoint reshaping a universe is there.
7 The DCEU Is Part Of The Dark Multiverse
Yet another fan theory seeks to tie the dark tone of the DCEU into the world of DC Comics. This theory suggests a connection to Dark Nights: Metal – a 2017 event comic series which has been a critical and commercial success for DC Comics.
The base plot of Dark Nights: Metal has Batman accidentally opening a gateway between Earth Zero – the Earth where most of DC Comics books are set – and a collection of dead worlds. Collectively known as the Dark Multiverse, these dead worlds represent all the alternate timelines where the heroes were a second too late to save the day or fell victim to their own hubris.
With a dead Superman, a hyper-violent Batman, and a Wonder Woman who seemingly gave up the fight for justice for over 100 years, it’s easy to see how the DCEU might fit in with the other Dark Multiverse worlds.
6 Lex Luthor Will Become A Host For Darkseid
When Batman visited Lex Luthor in prison in the conclusion of Batman v Superman, it was clear that something had touched Lex’s mind. While the doctors examining Lex concluded that his talk of God being dead and something bigger coming were the rantings of a madman, Batman recognized Luthor’s words for what they were – a warning.
One fan theory suggests that Luthor may be more than a herald of Darkseid’s approach and that Lex’s instability may be a side-effect of the first steps of his transformation into a worthy host for Darkseid himself.
The basis for this idea lies in the mini-series Final Crisis, where it was revealed that the New Gods were being reborn on Earth in human bodies as a precursor to an invasion. Those humans chosen to become hosts showed symptoms remarkably similar to those shown by Lex Luthor following his incarceration.
5 There's A Reason The Green Lanterns Aren't Here... Yet
One of the bigger questions regarding Justice League – and indeed a question raised in one of the trailers – is where the Green Lanterns are in the wake of the events of Batman v Superman. One would think the release of a hybrid monstrosity like Doomsday and the death of a being like Superman might warrant the attention of the largest peace-keeping force in the universe!
Unless, of course, the Green Lantern Corps has bigger things to worry about than just one planet.
Fan speculation is running rampant as to just what kind of crisis might be distracting the Green Lantern Corps from events on Earth. The comics certainly offer a number of possibilities, from Sinestro beginning his rebellion against the Guardians of The Universe to the establishment of an entire corps of fear-empowered villains to stand against the Green Lanterns a la The Sinestro Corps War.
4 Superman Will Return... Fighting For Darkseid
It’s an open secret at this point that Superman, who died at the end of Batman v Superman, will somehow be resurrected in Justice League. The question of how Superman will come back from the dead is still unanswered and that question - coupled with Batman's vision of the future in Batman v Superman - has sparked another question for some fans: when Superman comes back, whose side will he be fighting on when the War With Apokolips begins?
The answer is not as cut and dry as one might think. Resurrecting the dead is well within the power of several members of the New Gods of New Genesis and Apokolips. Furthermore, there is a precedent for a brainwashed Superman fighting for the forces of Darkseid. The same idea was explored in "Legacy" – the two part series finale of Superman: The Animated Series.
3 Harley Quinn Just Plays Crazy
A former psychiatrist of the Joker who became his greatest accomplice and (in her own mind, at least) his true love, Dr. Harleen Quinzel has proven every bit of dangerous as her would-be beau in the comics and cartoons. While fan opinions on Suicide Squad were largely negative, most agreed that Margot Robbie did a good job portraying Harley Quinn’s intelligence and romantic side in spite of an erratic script.
Some fans point to Robbie’s performance as confirmation of a long-standing fan theory that Harley Quinn only plays at being crazy, just as she plays at being dumb. It can’t be denied that Harley did show several lucid moments during the events of Suicide Squad.
It also seems likely that her double joke about “the voices” telling her to kill everyone and escape and the quick correction, “That’s not what they really said,” could be a sign that Harley is just playing on people’s expectations for what the Joker’s girlfriend should be like.
2 The Greek Gods Are Being Reborn As Superheroes
It was established in Wonder Woman that Ares had killed all of the Olympian gods - save Zeus, who then used the last of his power to give life to Diana. One fan theory has suggested that the old gods are being reborn on Earth to stand against the New God invasion from Apokolips. This was literally the case in comic book series Earth 2, where a young man named Jay Garrick was given the powers of a dying Mercury – fastest of the gods – and became the Flash.
Ignoring Diana’s possessing a measure of Zeus’ power, it isn’t difficult to draw parallels between the ancient Greek gods and the other Justice League members. The wealthy, stealth-dependent Batman matches up with the dour Hades – god of death and wealth – and his helm of invisibility. The Flash is Hermes – the super-fast messenger of the gods. Aquaman is Poseidon, ruler of the oceans. And Cyborg is Hephaestus – god of the forge and machinery.
1 The DCEU is Part of The CW Multiverse And They Will "Come Together"
Most of the trailers for Justice League have been set to the Beatles’ song "Come Together". The obvious connotation is that the various heroes will have to “come together” in order to save the world as a united team. Some fans feel, however, that the use of the song may refer to an even greater unity – the uniting of separate fictional universes into one glorious whole, with the DCEU becoming part of the shared multiverse of The CW’s Arrowverse.
Certainly there is precedent for worlds colliding and uniting as a result of a major crisis storyline in the DC Comics universe. Unfortunately, those hoping for a DC equivalent of the Marvel Cinematic Universe seem to be setting themselves up for disappointment.
The Powers That Be have long denied any connection between the DCEU and the Arrowverse. Still, this wouldn’t be the first time elaborate steps and blanket denials were utilized to surprise the fans of a franchise, if this theory holds true.
Have a fan theory of your own about the DCEU? Let us hear it in the comments!
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