The DC Extended Universe made a valiant effort at tying their respective film franchises together, though the problems with Justice League seemed to have put the final nail in the coffin for DC's shared universe. And while there are a few survivors of the DCEU still making waves (Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Harley Quinn), Warner Bros. seems fine with moving past the DCEU with films like Joker and Matt Reeves new Batman film.
The loss of the DCEU is a sad event, as a lot of people put a lot of time and effort in bringing our favorite DC heroes to the big screen. This is made even more clear when you take a closer look into certain aspects of production, such as the costumes that play such a huge role in the failure and success of a superhero film. So today we are celebrating some of that work by exploring a few hidden costume details you might have missed in the DCEU from Justice League and beyond.
10 JONNY FROST
It's the little details that can bring so much extra to the story if the viewer is keen and knows their comic history. In David Ayer's Suicide Squad, The Joker is assisted by his number one guy, though his name is never actually mentioned in the film.
However, eagle-eyed viewers were able to notice a patch on his army fatigues that revealed the character as Jonny Frost, who actually plays a significant role as the narrator in Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo's Joker graphic novel. It's a small detail that added a lot to the dark corner of the DCEU that was briefly explored in Suicide Squad.
9 JOKER'S WARDROBE
Speaking of Jared Leto's Joker, while his portrayal of the Clown Prince of Crime was very divisive among fans, the costume department delivered peak Joker costumes on more than one occasion, with each outfit actually referencing a specific Joker storyline/outfit from the comics.
Some of the Joker more iconic outfits from the film include his flashy jacket and purple shirt from The Dark Knight Returns, his white-glove tuxedo look calls back to Alex Ross's iconic painting of Joker and Harley that was homaged int he film, and even the purple overcoat Joker wears is a flashier take on his usual purple suit.
8 KATANA'S ORIGIN
One of the more painfully undeveloped characters in Ayer's Suicide Squad was Katana, who arrived late to the mission and proceeded to save everyone' butt for the next hour. However, the costume designers managed to include more of her story in her costume than we got to see on the big screen.
While we learn a bit about her history with her husband and her mystical blade Soultaker, little touches like the war-time senninbari wrap on her arm or the calligraphy worked into her costume that tells tales of her lost love and a thousand-year promise that would have largely gone unnoticed by casual movie-goers.
7 WOMEN'S AUXILIARY CORPS
While the design of Wonder Woman's costume and the rest of the Amazons is full of interesting details and could be considered a design course in superhero worldbuilding, it's actually when Diana is forced to blend into the world of Man by wearing appropriate clothing for 1918.
Diana was obviously not interested in the usual prim and proper dresses and corsets, so when designers were looking for inspiration for her final civilian outfit, they looked to the jackets of some of the first military females of the Women's Auxiliary Corps for inspiration.
6 ATLANNA'S ARMOR
We got our first look at Atlantis in Justice League, but it wasn't until James Wan's Aquaman that fans really got to see the underwater kingdom explored. While the design of Atlantis was influenced by the Mother Boxes (more on that later), they also looked to nature to incorporate those designs into every facet of Atlantean culture.
One of the best examples is seen in Atlanna's Atlantean armor. Aquaman's mother first appeared in her blue armor that, upon closer inspection, reveals a hexagonal patchwork design that was influenced by the structurally strong hexagonal shape that is produced organically by coral in nature.
5 SHAZAM'S SUIT
Superhero costumes have come a long way since the movie serials that first brought Batman and Superman to life in the 40s. Innovations like 3D printing have changed how costumes are made, and allow for minute details to be added to the costume that may not even be seen in the theaters.
For Shazam, costume designers layered a Greek glyph on the fabric of the costume, adding texture in a unique way while calling back to the character's roots. The Greek glyph was then included as larger gold trim on his white cape and hood, which helped bring the various design elements together.
4 MR. TAWNY BUTTONS
The Greek glyph wasn't the only nod to the character's history, as the costume featured a pair of buttons attached to the cape with an interesting design feature. In the comics, Shazam has quite an interesting cast of characters, including a magical talking tiger named Mr. Tawny.
If you look closely at the ceremonial buttons on Shazam's costume, you can clearly see the image of a tiger emblazoned on the buttons. This, along with a few other small bits included in the film are references to Mr. Tawny, as his inclusion in the film might have been just a little too far-fetched for the DCEU.
3 KRYPTONIAN SCRIPT
We've seen hidden symbols included in Superman's live-action costumes before, with the Superman Returns suit featuring a miniaturized "S" shield pattern printed over the entirety of the costume. Zack Snyder made a similar request of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice's costume designer Michael Wilkinson.
Superman's suit features a 3D printed texture on the costume as well, but Wilkinson included lines of Kryptonian script into the costume. The script can best be seen in the gold on Superman's redesigned belt. The quote is from Joseph Campbell, though was translated into Kryptonian by the design team. "Where we had thought to stand alone, we will be with all the world."
2 FLASH FUTURE SUIT
While not necessarily a hidden detail, fans might have easily overlooked the fact that the Flash seen after Bruce Wayne's Knightmare in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is wearing a very different costume than the one he wears in Justice League.
As this Barry Allen is presumably from the future, his high-tech armored costume reflects a few changes in his wardrobe. We don't get to see the actual design of the suit very well, but it bears a striking resemblance to an armor seen in the Injustice 2 video game, which features a world ruled by a despotic Superman.
1 MOTHER BOXES
We previously mentioned that the Mother Boxes influenced the designs of Atlantis, and the same can be said for the other races of Earth who kept the Mother Boxes hidden for years in Justice League. The designs of both early Man and the Amazons as seen in JL were all inspired by the looks of their individual Mother Boxes.
It all began with the concept art of the Mother Boxes that featured dramatic differences that reflected the environment they were kept in, which would then, in turn, go on to influence the evolution of design within those environments and the characters in an interesting cycle of inspiration.