Justice League: Trailer Breakdown & Theories

WARNING: This article contains potential SPOILERS for Justice League


The final Justice League trailer has arrived at last, revealing Superman alive and well, even if the 'reality' of that scene is just one of several question it's left fans debating. There's new glimpses of the villain and Darkseid's real plans for Earth, upgraded visual effects for the explosive third act of the movie, and even more jokes proving this cast of characters was bound to live up to the excitement of the name. Of course, it's the bigger clues, hints, and apparent reveals that comic book fans will be hungry for.

Since many of Justice League's battles or events on the timeline have been shown so far, it's more a case of filling in the blanks and confirming rumors. But there's just as much to consider, evaluate, and debate in the final three minutes of Justice League trailer montages.

Needless to say, there may be SPOILERS for those who keep reading.

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10 A Dream... Or Not?

Fans everywhere were waiting with bated breath for the reveal of Superman in Justice League - or not wanting to see it spoiled... it's a hard thing to decide - and in the final trailer, they got it. Although not in the way they may have hoped, as Lois is reunited with Clark in what's framed as a dream sequence. The picturesque dawn, and the immediate cut to Lois waking up in bed alone allow fans to see Henry Cavill in the movie, while allowing them to remain unspoiled - actually a clever solution on the marketing team's part to cover both sides of the fan demand.

That being said, this may not be a dream sequences at all. Honestly, the fact that the trailer suggests it is a reason to believe the opposite - but there is more compelling evidence. For starters, Lois's wardrobe appears to be the same on the Kent farm as it is when she's back in Metropolis, gazing up into the sky. That shot in an earlier trailer had some wondering if they were witnessing Lois's first glimpse of her returned love, and the clothes may bear that theory out.

How she gets from Metropolis (if it is Metropolis) to Smallville so quickly, or why Superman doesn't swoop in and take her off the street are key questions, so for those who hope this moment isn't the pair's real reunion, there's enough ambiguity to keep on hoping. It's also possible that she seeks out Martha on the farm, and the look into the sky comes later in the day. But it's not the only detail worth noticing in the scene, be it a dream or not.

9 Keep Your Eye on The Details

Henry Cavill Amy Adams Justice League Trailer

As much of a dream come true as it may be to see the restored Superman not fighting some alien menace, but taking in his family's current corn crop in the light of dawn, the scene is worth noting for other reasons. For starters, the fact that the potted plants on the porch, like the large tree in the yard are completely bare of leaves. That puts the setting of the film in Fall, possibly October, which would also make sense for certain types of corn (despite the saying that a crop should be "knee high by the Fourth of July"). Good news for those who would find Superman's return occurring in Spring a bit too on-the-nose.

Focusing on Superman specifically-- or Clark, to be more accurate here, his appearance should stand out. It may be the very first time that he's been shown in the posture and hairstyle of his Superman identity - neither the disguise of Clark Kent worn in public, nor the more casual Clark seen in private. He looks like Superman, but he's not in the suit. Symbolically, it may finally be a sign that Clark/Kal-El/Superman has integrated all facets of his identity into one. Since Clark Kent was also pronounced dead and buried by friends and family in BvS, it may be wise for him to say goodbye to the old Clark... since it may be harder to resurrect his civilian identity than to resurrect Superman the hero.

8 Fleeing Amazons

Given the success of Wonder Woman, it's no surprise that people have paid special attention to the presence of Amazons in Justice League marketing. The previous trailer confirmed Queen Hippolyta would meet Steppenwolf whether she wanted to or not, but these new images show a different portion of the... 'reunion' of the Apokoliptian general and the residents of Themyscira. But where a pack of Amazon riders fleeing from Parademons across the island fits in is up for debate.

Since the actual moment of Steppenwolf's arrival comes as he's teleported (or BOOM Tube-ed) into the Amazon stronghold directly in front of their Mother Box, this pursuit and eventual strike from him personally would presumably come after. Based only on the circumstances of his arrival, our first thought would be a pursuit of the Mother Box, hurried away by Queen Hippolyta and her fastest riders. The actual strike by Steppenwolf that comes after shows him knocking four riders from their steeds, which could be the four in the back of this squad. Or, the flying Parademons could succeed in thinning the herd. It's hard to make out individual Amazons, but fans can at least expect his assault on Themyscira to be more than just a bombshell smash-and-grab.

7 Parademons Made From Ancient Warriors?

Some clever editing splices Steppenwolf's axe-slam on the Amazons into a similar feat previously shown as part of the ancient battle which opens Justice League - the skirmish in which Humans, Amazons, and Atlanteans fought together to resist the invasion of Apokolips. The new trailer shows the full scale of the strange glyph Steppenwolf rends into the surface of the Earth... and what may happen to those souls unfortunate enough to see the strength and mystery of Apokoliptian technology up close. In short, you're twisted into a husk of the person you used to be, and transformed into another soldier in Darkseid's massive Parademon army.

We suspected that the film would make this relatively modern clarification something of a plot point, and this shot of a human soldier appearing to transform into a Parademon in the midst of battle confirms it. And if it's shown in such detail in the opening scenes, we would say fans should expect to see other characters subjected to the same fate - assuming the Justice League can't prevent it from happening.

6 "Invasion"

The footage of Gal Gadot's Diana at her new day job in London, working on cleaning a massive statue has popped up in a few places so far, from Justice League trailers to TV spots. It's been played for laughs, with Diana remarking that her weekend wasn't all that interesting (juxtaposed with foiling a hostage situation as Wonder Woman). And it's been played to mark a moment of concern, as she turns from her work in response to... something. In the final trailer, her uttering of the word "invasion" reveals that this is the scene where Diana uncovers the coming threat - but that's not all fans should take away from it.

For starters, it's a question of exactly how Diana knows an invasion is taking place, or coming soon. From what we know of the plot, Diana and Bruce begin working together as key figures are being kidnapped around the globe (eventually understood to be part of Steppenwolf's plan of attack). Kidnappings seem like little evidence for Diana to predict an invasion... unless she's been told this story before. We know that Hippolyta and Antiope will both be in Justice League, presumably in that opening battle. It would seem that either her mother or aunt told Diana of the great battle fought to stop an invasion of Earth from another world. Enough for her to spot the signs before it's too late, and hopefully fill in her teammates (and the viewer) on the nature of the threat.

5 Steppenwolf Deploys His Hellspores

The fans who have been keeping track of the Justice League marketing and theories already know that a Chernobyl-esque, isolated town looks to be the stage for the film's final act - with a massive nuclear cooling tower used as Steppenwolf's base of operations. Taken over with Apokoliptian architecture and machinery on the inside, the previous trailer actually showed a shot from inside of it, with Steppenwolf observing his Parademons flying up and out, and the sky turned blood red. At first glance, this shot could be seen as just that, with an endless 'swarm' of Parademons ejected to start wreaking havoc and, apparently, transforming the innocent people nearby into other Parademons.

But on closer inspection, those aren't all Parademons. The size discrepancy is too extreme, and even for a trailer, the effects team would make the ejected silhouettes more than black dots. We speculate that those are meant to look the way they do because they're not stand-ins for Parademons - they're Hellspores, the devices used by Apokoliptians to turn a world into a flaming wasteland of firepits to fuel Apokolips and its leader, Darkseid. They were introduced in the Supergirl from Krypton arc that saw Darkseid claim Kara Zor-el as his own. It all worked out in the end, when Batman deployed them all and threatened to eradicate everyone and everything on Apokolips.

Will the same scene play out in Justice League? We can't say for sure, but the release of literal spores definitely explains why this landscape is covered in alien growths erupting from underground later in the trailer.

4 Wonder Woman & Justice

Not every symbol needs to be subtle to work, and the image of Wonder Woman perched atop the arm of Lady Justice speaks for itself. Mainly because Wonder woman is, herself, and embodiment of those same ideas. The scales of justice in one hand, determining how to be just, noble, and always on the side of right... and a sword in the other, when the side of wrong needs to be pushed back by force. The statue may also confirm the location of the other scene Diana has starred in throughout marketing.

The early shots of unidentified armed men carrying a briefcase into a secure building, taking hostages, and eventually being defeated by Diana has fueled much speculation. Most suggests it's a pivotal plot point or character, as opposed to an introduction to the heroine. The statue here confirms the rest of the building's signage as pertaining to a Central Court. Now, whether Diana is scoping out the situation specifically, or has taken a lesson from the perch-loving Batman - that can and should be hotly debated.

3 Cyborg Runs Through Memory

It's technically been years since movie fans saw the creation of Cyborg, once known as gifted collegiate athlete Victor Stone. That was, until some horribly event left most of his body either broken, burned, or entirely gone. His father D. Silas Stone used everything S.T.A.R. Labs had at its disposal to save him, eventually turning to a Mother Box. The creation was Cyborg, and we're not yet convinced that it was something other than Silas's uncleared activation of the Box that led Steppenwolf back.

While being remade into a Robocop-esque superhero may be a dream come true, it looks like Justice League will be emphasizing how much was lost for Victor. Replaying memories of his football days explains why Victor takes so much time in joining up with the League, but his clothing choice and selection of memories is interesting. For his memories, it's unclear how much Victor valued personal challenges, and how much he valued being part of a team (with the latter being a suitable theme for JL).

For his clothing, it's the same we've seen him wear while turning down Diana's offer. We can't help but wonder if his surprising return to their side when the fighting really begins will be the first time Victor truly shows his Cyborg body in all its glory. We wouldn't complain.

2 Cyborg vs. The Mother Box?

As the action in the trailers has shifted to the villain, it's been turned away from the ancient Mother Boxes at the heart of the story, abandoned here after Earth's forces defeated Steppenwolf the first time around. We know that one of each was entrusted to each of the three factions, and have even put together a theory on how Earth's Mother Boxes will shape the story. As an added bonus, an epilogue filmed for Wonder Woman teases a Mother Box over a century before the rest of the DCEU. But ever since we got a glimpse of Steppenwolf approaching a glowing blue ball of energy in the middle of his cooling tower base, we've wondered if he managed to collect all three Mother Boxes after all.

Combining them into one could give him the power to take over Earth, as he originally planned... but there would only be one person capable of overpowering the trio. Someone forged from the same technology. Someone like Cyborg. Call us crazy, but Cyborg's screams and exertion seems to be pressing the ball of energy into a more square shape. Hopefully he saves the day in as much of a personal victory as the New 52 reboot that anchored his role on the team.

1 What's in The Bubble?

We'd be remiss if we didn't mention the bubble of blue-white energy that emerges without explanation over the red landscape seen elsewhere in the trailer. It caught our eye in a previous trailer when Batman's aircraft was shown flying directly towards it, missiles trying to blow a hole in its exterior. That means we can assume it's a product of the villain, and perhaps the Mother Boxes by extension (before Victor can shut it down, that is).

Is it meant as a defensive bubble to keep any heroes who would thwart Steppenwolf from interfering? Is it some kind of energy meant to be just as destructive to our planet as the Hellspores, firepits, or Parademons might be? Your guess is as good as ours, so we're all ears!


Those are the biggest nagging questions, unanswerable riddles, and presumable hints that we could spot. If you Justice League fans have your own theories or Easter Eggs to call out (that Ace Chemicals sign at the end, for instance), please leave them in the comments!

NEXT: How Will Superman Return in Justice League?

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