Warning: Spoilers for Justice League
Justice League may not have seen the critical or financial success Warner Bros. wanted, but the studio is reportedly taking note of significant social media buzz in the wake of the first live-action team-up of the DC heroes. Critics and audiences were divided over the movie's tone, plot, villain, and CGI (including a special mustache issue), but one thing that seems to have received near universal acclaim is the surprise post-credits scene featuring Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor recruiting Joe Manganiello's Deathstroke for "a league of [their] own," possibly tipping their hand for the DCEU's Legion of Doom plans.
The tease of the Legion of Doom and reveal of Deathstroke wasn't just exciting to fans because it looked cool on screen, but because it teased a possible new direction for the DC Extended Universe, one many fans could actually get excited about, and Warner Bros. is apparently very aware of this buzz, making plans to continue teasing the Legion of Doom (or some sort of villain team-up) through additional movies, setting the franchise up for a possible Justice League vs the Legion of Doom in Justice League 2.
The original, assumed, plan was that DC would be going cosmic, similar to what Marvel has done with Infinity Stones and Thanos, by setting up a conflict anchored in Jack Kirby's Fourth World, likely resulting in a face-off with Darkseid, or maybe bringing in the Anti-monitor like in the Darkseid War comics; however, after Zack Snyder's Justice League was drastically trimmed down to exclude a number of world building elements, changing the ending so it no longer set up Justice League 2, it wasn't clear what Warners would do next, with many assuming the focus would simply be on solo movies moving forward, possibly ignoring previously established DCEU continuity altogether.
This new Legion of Doom concept wouldn't override the plot of any existing movies, but merely serve as the beginning of a series of teases leading to something bigger. So, the new stand-alone plan might not be altered too drastically, with the Legion of Doom setup all happening in the background or in post-credits scenes until it's time for a proper payoff. Wondering what that will look like, how will each movie tease it, and what will the roster ultimately be? Here's one possibility of how this new direction will play out.
Few details are available about the plot of Aquaman, but we do know it will serve as a sort of origin story for Arthur Curry, filling in the backstory that was missing from Justice League, and introducing a couple of classic Aquaman villains with Patrick Wilson's Orm, AKA Ocean Master, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II's Black Manta. We don't know how exactly they fit into the movie, but it's not relevant for the purposes of the Legion of Doom. Any connection they draw to that group would likely happen through a post-credits scene.
Possibly following a similar format to Justice League's post-credits scene, we can expect to see Lex Luthor playing DC's evil Nick Fury. He'll arrive at the end to recruit Black Manta (assuming Orm is defeated) to join their special league. Manta is traditionally associated with the Injustice League as opposed to the Legion of Doom, but for the sake of the movie universe, it's safe to assume that the DCEU incarnation of these teams will draw much blurrier lines. This version will focus more on the "team of villains" aspect rather than strictly honoring the classic roster of the Legion of Doom rather than the Injustice League, Injustice Society, or what have you.
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019