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'Justice League': 7 burning questions about what comes next

CNET explores what clues the film leaves for the future of the DC Extended Universe.


What does "Justice League" portend for the future of DC films?

Clay Enos/Warner Bros

The "Justice League" has finally formed! So, now what?

DC Comic's biggest superheroes banded together to fight off a legion of parademons and overly computer-generated villain Steppenwolf. At least, that's what I think he's called. He's pretty forgettable. The film leaves us with Bruce Wayne, played by Ben Affleck, planning out the iconic Justice League round table that would sit in what appears to be an abandoned Wayne Manor, presumably so the superheroes have a place to chat before their next fight (or movie).

Which brings us to the fun part: speculating on what comes next for the DC Extended Universe. C'mon, you know half the enjoyment of these films is digging into Easter eggs and end-credit scenes to decipher what we'll see in the coming months and years.

Now playing: Watch this: Comic-Con 'Justice League' sneak peek trailer brings...

We already know there's a standalone "Aquaman" film coming, starring Jason Momoa, as well as "The Flash: Flashpoint" with Ezra Miller and a sequel to "Wonder Woman" with Gal Gadot. But "Justice League" also teased a further expansion of the DCEU, and left us with some head-scratching moments.

Here're the burning questions we have after watching "Justice League."

Warning: possible "Justice League" spoilers ahead.

Where did Steppenwolf go?

Let's face it, Steppenwolf was one of the weakest parts of the film. Unless you're a hardcore DC fan (and I mean, really hardcore), you probably don't know who he is. "Justice League" didn't help by giving him an ambiguous take-over-the-world plot and offering little backstory or history.


That's a lot of parademons. 

Video screenshot by Gael Fashingbauer Cooper/CNET

Thankfully, I did some research for you. Steppenwolf is mostly interesting because he's the uncle of Darkseid, the ruler of a hell-like planet called Apokolips, and one of DC's big bads. Think of him as DC's version of "Avengers: Infinity War" antagonist Thanos.

At the end of the film, Steppenwolf beams away with a bunch of out-of-control parademons, winged demonic foot soldiers of Apokolips, attacking him. There's no explanation for where he goes, but he's likely heading back to Apokolips and Darkseid.

So, when are we going to get a villain that's not a crappy computer-generated video game character?

"Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" and "Wonder Woman" both ended with a climactic battle against a CG-created monster, and "Justice League" followed suit. The first "Avengers" film worked partly because of the strength of Tom Hiddleston's Loki, and DC needs to shake things up with a villain that doesn't look like he came out "The World of Warcraft."

That may change if we get an answer to the next question.

When do we see the Injustice League?

The end credit scene featured uber-assassin Deathstroke meeting up with Lex Luther on his yacht. Luther teases the idea of creating a "league of their own," heavily hinting at an Injustice League, which is a roundup of some of the DC heroes' most iconic villains.

Perhaps we'll see the Injustice League in the "Justice League" sequel instead of Apokolips? It's too early to tell, given that Warner Bros. hasn't offered a release date yet.

Really, who is faster, Superman or the Flash?

The mid-credit scene showed the Flash and Superman (who actually cracked a joke!) racing off to see who was faster.


The Flash has an edge over Superman in the comics. 

Warner Bros

We never get to see the end, so who is actually faster?  In the comic books, the Flash has historically won, but there've been ties due to the usual superhero shenanigans.

The Flash is able to tap into a "Speed Force" that typically gives him the edge. Comics.

Who else joins the Justice League?

If you've ever watched the "Justice League Unlimited" animated series (if you haven't, stop reading this and watch it now), you'll know the roster of heroes expands significantly. There are six members of the League now, but missing are regular members like the Martian Manhunter (now featured on CW's "Supergirl"), Hawkman and Hawkgirl, and Green Lantern.

Then there are the lower profile members like Green Arrow, who has his own show as well, Atom, featured on "DC's Legends of Tomorrow," and Zatanna -- the list goes on.

Speaking of Green Lantern…

When we will see the Green Lantern again?

I admit I was holding out some hope that a proper Green Lantern would show up, but "Justice League" did throw in a nod to the green ring-powered hero in a flashback sequence when Steppenwolf was defeated by an earlier band of heroes -- including an alien (who may be Salakk) rocking the Green Lantern ring.


Remember this disaster?

Warner Bros.

Warner Bros. and DC likely want to let more time pass from the poorly received mess that was the Ryan Reynolds "Green Lantern" film, which even Reynolds openly mocked in "Deadpool." But it'd be nice if one of the more visually interesting heroes shows up in an upcoming DC film.

Warner Bros. has announced a "Green Lantern Corps" film for July 24, 2020, but here's hoping Hal Jordan shows up earlier.

Fun bonus fact: Hal Jordan's comic relief buddy in "Green Lantern" is played by Taika Waititi, who directed this year's "Thor: Ragnarok." The comic book movie universe is indeed small.

What does the future of the DCEU look like?

"Justice League" is a marked improvement over "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice," but that's faint praise. The latest DC film has its own myriad of problems and currently has a Metacritic score of 46. For comparison, "Wonder Woman" nabbed a 76, while "Batman v Superman" got a 44.

So will director Zack Snyder continue to influence future DC films? Or will they start to diverge in tone? "Wonder Woman" offered a refreshing change of pace -- hopefully we'll see the studio take more risks and offer a greater variety of superhero experiences.

Between Marvel, Warner Bros. and Fox continually churning out these film, striving for something different is the only way to stand out. 

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