For over a decade now, after credits sequences have been a source of much speculation in superhero cinema, full of teases and Easter eggs giving fans hints about where a universe might be going next. Aside from Suicide Squad, the DC Extended universe has taken a slightly different course, and while Wonder Woman didn't have anything in store for fans who waited for the credits to complete, there has been a fair amount of speculation from fans over what the movie's brand new DC title card could mean about the future of the DCEU.
To be clear, the new animated sequence highlighting classic Justice League characters and a whole host of other DC heroes and villains may be little more than a nod to comic book company's roots and the many characters that have graced the pages over the years, bearing more similarity to the Justice League Unlimited animated show intro than anything we've seen on the big screen, but that hasn't stopped fervent fans from furiously trying to identify the multitude of characters, many of which are shrouded in shadows and smoke. The intro may not serve as an indication of who the DCEU has immediate plans for, but it could definitely be an indication of who's on their radar.
So, we've taken the characters we are able to clearly identified and sorted each of them based on who's appeared, who hasn't, and where we might see some of them for the first time.
Of the characters displayed, several of the bigger names have already made cinematic appearances or have big screen debuts on the way. The opening animation leads with several members of the Justice League, including Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg, The Flash, and Green Lantern, in that order.
Superman obviously came in through Man of Steel, with the rest of the Trinity, Batman and Wonder Woman, being introduced in Batman v Superman, where Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman also made their first - albeit brief - appearances. We’re not sure when Green Lantern will make his first appearance, but there are persistent rumors that a Green Lantern will make an appearance in Justice League. Otherwise you can expect multiple Lanterns in Green Lantern Corps in a few years.
Outside of that main group of primary characters, many others are also showcased, with varying levels of visibility. The most notable ones that we’ve already seen are the silhouettes of Suicide Squad characters, Harley Quinn and Joker, visible to the right of the main Justice League members.
Also in the vicinity of Joker and Harley is what could potentially be Lex Luthor in his power armor, and while he was heavily featured in Batman v Superman, he obviously hasn’t suited up. He's expected to make an appearance in Justice League, but whether or not we'll see his armor there (or anywhere in the future of the DCEU) remains to be seen.
Outside of the ones we’ve already seen, there are quite a few that we know are on the way in future movies, with Poison Ivy and Catwoman joining Harley Quinn in Birds of Prey, and John Constantine and Swamp presumably set to appear alongside other members of Justice League Dark (some of whom may or may not be present in the group shot, we just haven't picked them out of the crowd yet).
Just to the left of center are both Shazam and Black Adam, who will presumably both appear in the Shazam! movie and/or the Black Adam solo movie, neither of which have an official release date, although Dwayne Johnson has teased a potential surprise introduction to Black Adam sooner rather than later.
Also near Shazam and Black Adam is Deathstroke. Joe Manganiello was set to portray him in The Batman, with a possible appearance in Justice League, but after Matt Reeves replaced Ben Affleck on the Batman, gaining complete creative control, rumors of the script getting a complete overhaul leave Deathstroke’s future up in the air.
Just to the right of the Justice League is Nightwing, who also has his own solo movie coming, but there’s still no release date or casting news on that project. It’s the same story for Batgirl, who’s solo movie, written and directed by Joss Whedon, doesn’t have any official casting or release information. Both characters could potentially see a Justice League tease, as the Justice League trailer already showed Commissioner Gordon telling Batman “it’s nice to see you playing well with others again.”
One of the more surprising parts was the sheer number of Green Lanterns featured, including (but not necessarily limited to), Hal Jordan, who’s featured in the animated intro with the rest of the Justice League, then visible in the air to the right of center in the group shot; John Stewart, on the ground just to the right; Jessica Cruz, to the right in the air; and Mogo the Living Planet, the giant ball on the right side.
DC/WB’s plans for these characters are uncertain, but if they do include them in a movie, the odds are that they’ll make their debut in Green Lantern Corps.
Then there’s Darkseid, to the left behind the Justice League. He’s obviously the force behind the army of Parademons and Steppenwolf in Justice League, but it’s not clear when he’ll first arrive on screen. It could be in Justice League, but they could also pull a Thanos in the MCU and keep him in the shadows until the sequel.
Character With No Confirmed Plans
Outside of that, there’s several identified(and many more unidentified) characters that don’t have clear entry points into this universe yet. Their inclusion in the intro doesn’t necessarily mean the plan is to work them into the DCEU, but that doesn’t mean we can't speculate about where they could show up.
On the far left, just to the left of center, and just to the right of center are several lanterns that appear to be Saint Walker, a Red Lantern, and Atricitous respectively. There are rumors that some or all of them will appear in Green Lantern Corps, which is the most logical place for them to appear, but it’s mostly speculation at this point.
On the left and right are what appear to be the wings of Thanagarians, Hawkgirl and Hawkman. Suicide Squad took place in their traditional DC home of Midway City, but they have yet to be seen on screen, unless the speculation of the brief glimpses of white wings in the Justice League trailer teased their introduction.
Towards the middle of the left side are Green Arrow (on the ground) and Supergirl (in the air). Supergirl was teased in the supposedly canon Man of Steel tie-in comic, suggesting Kara Zor-El might have been in the open pod from the Kryptonian Scout Ship, and Oliver Queen and Queen Industries were teased in the Batman v Superman tie-in comics, but no known cinematic ambitions are in play for either of them, and it might stay that way so long as they are featured prominently on their own CW shows (although that didn’t stop them from bringing The Flash into the DCEU).
Finally, a figure that appears to be Solomon Grundy can be found on the far right side. He’s a character that doesn’t seem like a natural inclusion in the DCEU, but if they do decide to work him in, the most logical places are either in one of the Batman universe movies (The Batman, Batgirl, Nightwing, Gotham City Sirens, or Birds of Prey), or potentially in Justice League Dark, although he doesn’t traditionally have strong connection to the supernatural group.
In addition to those mentioned, quite a few additional characters are displayed, although the shadows and smoke make them hard to identify. The moment the intro is officially released by Warner Bros., it’ll presumably be much easier to go through frame by frame to verify more characters.
Which character appearances excite you most? Did you spot any we didn’t catch? Do you think DC is teasing any future appearances, or is this just an homage to its large stable of characters and nothing more? Let us hear about it in the comments!
- Justice League (2017) release date: Nov 17, 2017
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Cyborg (2020) release date: Apr 03, 2020
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019