14 Unanswered Questions from the DCEU

Chủ nhật - 19/05/2024 22:12
As the DCEU comes to an end with Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, we look at some of the lingering plotlines and unresolved set ups it leaves behind.
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The arrival of Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom in theaters marks the end of an era as the DC Extended Universe comes to a close, ten years after it began with Man of Steel. Instead of continuing with the DCEU, DC Studios co-CEOs James Gunn and Peter Safran are starting fresh with a new DC Universe, which will kick off on the theatrical side in 2025 with Superman: Legacy.

Because of this, the DCEU will always feel incomplete, given many of its lingering threads will never be addressed in the new continuity. So to mark the demise of the DC Extended Universe as we know it, we’re looking back at some of the most notable unanswered questions that the DCEU is leaving behind.


Black Adam‘s mid-credits scene ended with the first-ever face-to-face meeting in live-action between Black Adam (Dwayne Johnson) and Superman (Henry Cavill). Johnson specifically lobbied for that scene in the hope of setting up a movie where these titanic characters could squareoff. That was a tantalizing glimpse of what could have been one of the most epic superhero fights ever. It also made us wonder if the battlefield would be limited to Kahndaq and Metropolis, or if it would expand to other locations in the world. The possibilities were endless, but just a few months later, both Johns and Cavill acknowledged that they wouldn’t be a part of the new DCU.

That doesn’t mean fans should never get to see Superman and Black Adam in battle. It may not have the same impact as the earlier face-off, but it could still be very exciting. The Man of Steel doesn’t have many enemies who can match his strength and power, so it would still be an interesting matchup if the DCU’s Superman (David Corenswet) ever comes across another variant of Black Adam. But of course, this also leads us to the other Black Adam battle we never got to see, but definitely should have…


Dwayne Johnson reportedly resisted the idea of a natural crossover between Black Adam and Shazam despite the fact that Black Adam is (and always will be) inexorably linked to Billy Batson’s alter ego, because both have the powers that were bestowed upon many champions by the Wizard formerly known as Shazam (played in both the Shazam films and Black Adam by Djimon Hounsou).

As noted above, Johnson was dead set on a Black Adam vs. Superman movie. However, if Johnson stuck around in the DCEU, perhaps he eventually could have been convinced to let Black Adam face his natural rival once he got his Superman wish out of the way.

The ending of Shazam! Fury of the Gods could have easily set the stage for that, since the Wizard was once again among the living. There’s no way that the Wizard would have been ignorant for long about the return of Black Adam. As revealed in Black Adam, Teth-Adam’s powers were originally meant for his son, Hurut, and not for him. If anything, the Wizard would probably have tried to reclaim those powers. That would have been a great reason for Black Adam and Shazam to fight.


The lone connective tissue between Black Adam and Fury of the Gods, beyond the Wizard’s involvement, was a mid-credits scene where Emilia Harcourt (Jennifer Holland) and John Economos (Steve Agee) tried to get Shazam to join the Justice Society. Although Billy declined, he’s a natural fit for that team and it would line up with his membership in the comics.

It should also be mentioned that Harcourt really gets around in the DCEU, between inexplicably recruiting for the JSA, running a black ops prison in Black Adam, and being a big part of the first season of Peacemaker. Unless there are multiple Harcourts out there, it’s hard to make sense of that. Even James Gunn has noted that he can’t wrap his head around the JSA recruitment role, which was a creative choice made before he took over as co-CEO of DC Studios.


Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Mark Strong) was super-pissed in the post-credits scene of Fury of the Gods because Mister Mind (voiced by David F. Sandberg) still hadn’t freed him from prison. Along with the reveal of his existence in the DCEU, Mister Mind hinted at some master plan in the mid-credits of the first Shazam!, but failed to follow through in the sequel.

Sandberg, who also directed both movies, opted to go with Atlas’ Daughters as the main villains of the sequel instead of Sivanna and Mister Mind, though he knew people would wonder about the first movie’s tease, and included the follow-up scene as a jokey acknowledgment of it. But now it’s highly doubtful that we’ll actually ever learn what Mister Mind had planned for Sivanna and the seven realms of magic.


Lynda Carter famously headlined the Wonder Woman TV series in the ‘70s, and remains beloved for her take on Diana. That’s why it was a special occasion when Carter briefly appeared in Wonder Woman 1984 as the legendary Amazonian warrior, Asteria.

Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman mentioned Asteria by name as one of the greatest Amazons of all-time, and her winged armor formerly belonged to Asteira herself. Wonder Woman 1984’s mid-credits scene revealed that Asteria was still alive and living among humans. This was clearly meant to set up a meeting between the two. The only question is whether it would have happened in an untold story set between Wonder Woman 1984 and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, or would it have been saved for a Wonder Woman 3 story set in the present day?

Any plans for Asteria may have died when Patty Jenkins left Wonder Woman 3 over creative differences. Now, we don’t even know if Gadot will be back, much less Carter.


Although Zack Snyder’s Justice League hasn’t been recognized as canon, the re-edit of the meeting between Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) and Deathstroke (Joe Manganiello) changed the reason for their face-to-face moment. Instead of inviting Deathstroke to form their own team of villains, Luthor told Deathstroke that Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) was Batman.

This was originally supposed to lead into Affleck’s version of The Batman in which Deathstroke used that knowledge to systematically target Bruce both in-and-out of costume. Affleck’s departure led to director Matt Reeves making his own continuity with The Batman. But the idea of Batman facing a vengeful Deathstroke who knows everything about him is hopefully too good to abandon forever. That’s a story we still want to see.


Zack Snyder’s Justice League also ended with Darkseid (Ray Porter) prepared to invade Earth following the death of Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds). The theatrical cut kept Darkseid’s presence to a minimum, but Steppenwolf was always acting on his behalf. That means Darkseid exists in both versions of the film.

Darkseid is one of the ultimate villains in DC Comics, so he’s the natural choice to be the main bad guy in the films as well. The canceled New Gods film likely would have shed more light on Darkseid, but Gunn and Safron haven’t indicated if he fits into their DCU plans.


Green Lantern Yalan Gur appears in a flashback during both versions of Justice League, but Snyder’s plans to include Wayne T. Carr as Green Lantern John Stewart in a post-credits scene were thwarted by Warner Bros. executives.

But this leaves us to wonder where the Green Lanterns were in the present, especially since Earth has so many human Green Lanterns in DC’s history. There were nods to the Green Lanterns’ existence in Fury of the Gods and Blue Beetle, and yet we didn’t see Hal Jordan or any of his successors in the DCEU. For a while, there was a Green Lantern Corps movie on the docket for the DCEU, and even a Green Lantern series on Max that would have featured Alan Scott, Guy Gardner, and other GLs, but neither Hal nor John were slated to appear, and it wasn’t clear if that show would have been in continuity with the films. Ultimately, none of those projects happened, leaving the status of the Green Lanterns in the DCEU unexplained.


Surprisingly, The Flash movie expends no energy trying to answer what you might think would be the defining mystery of Barry Allen (Ezra Miller) and his career as a hero: Who killed Barry’s mother, Nora Allen (Maribel Verdú)?

Comic book readers know that Eobard Thawne, the Reverse-Flash, murdered Nora in both the DC comics and in The Flash TV series. Yet the film didn’t even hint at the existence of a Reverse-Flash. Despite having the power to go back in time, Barry doesn’t ever try to learn who Nora’s murderer actually was, even while he attempted to save her life and, barring that, exonerate his father for being falsely accused of her murder. Now, we may never know if it was Thawne or if someone else was responsible for Barry’s misery.


As explained by the older Batman (Michael Keaton) in The Flash, Barry’s decision to save his mother changed history in both directions – both the past and future. That’s why Barry’s familiar Batman was gone, and Superman died as an infant. That left Kara Zor-El/Supergirl (Sasha Calle) as the only Kryptonian living on Earth in the Flashpoint timeline before the invasion led by General Zod (Michael Shannon).

No matter how many times the two Barrys tried to save Supergirl and Batman, both perished in battle with Zod’s Kryptonians. It’s been reported that both Keaton and Calle filmed scenes that were ultimately cut, which would have established them in the new post-Flashpoint timeline. But while the final version of the ending featured George Clooney’s Batman instead of Keaton’s Dark Knight, there was no sign of any Supergirl at all.

It should be noted that at the DCEU’s start, Man of Steel featured an empty Kryptonian stasis pod that may have teased Kara’s presence. But if she was around somewhere in the original pre-The Flash timeline, we never met her there and now we’re not sure if she was present either before or after The Flash‘s events.


It was hard not to think of Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp when Blue Beetle revealed that Ted Kord (Bobby McGruther), the previous Blue Beetle and the father of Jenny Kord (Bruna Marquezine), was somehow still alive and asking for help via his now antiquated computers in his abandoned lair.

That was an intriguing tease for a direct sequel that is very unlikely to happen. That said, Gunn has indicated that Xolo Maridueña will still get to play Jaime Reyes/Blue Beetle in the new DCU. So there’s still a chance we may learn where Ted has been all of these years, even if it’s technically in a separate universe.


Peacemaker’s season finale really threw Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) for a loop when her own daughter, Leota Adebayo (Danielle Brooks), held a press conference and revealed that Waller was running Task Force X, AKA the Suicide Squad, as her own black ops group. That may have been a fitting punishment for Waller, since she ordered Leota to frame Christopher Smith/Peacemaker (John Cena) to cover her own tracks. However, when we saw Waller next, in Black Adam, there was no mention of any fallout from this occurrence.

Davis and Cena are reportedly still returning for the Waller spinoff series and Peacemaker Season 2, respectively, indicating they will simply also play the DCU versions of these characters. So this is one mystery that seems more likely to be followed up on, even with the same “this is not actually the same Waller dealing with this that we saw before” caveat as the Blue Beetle question. Regardless, that’s more than we can say for most of these lingering threads.


One of the biggest unresolved plots was the Knightmare future envisioned by Batman, where Superman fell under the Anti-Life Equation and helped Darkseid conquer and terraform the Earth. This was the future the Flash warned Bruce about in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, however Batman didn’t fully grasp what Barry was attempting to convey. Flash was able to tell Bruce that Lois Lane was the key, but neglected to mention that it was Lois’ death that left Superman vulnerable to his darkest impulses.

Another glimpse of the Knightmare future revealed that Batman himself lost his final battle against Superman’s forces before the corrupted Man of Steel tore out his heart. The Knightmare timeline was also heavily featured in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, which showed viewers that Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Harley Quinn had been killed in this future. Batman meanwhile was left with an unlikely assortment of allies, including Flash, Cyborg, Mera, Deathstroke, and even Joker.

The disheartening thing about it is that even the Justice League’s triumph in both versions of the movie failed to stop the Knightmare. Was there any way for the DCEU to escape its fate short of a Flashpoint? Did the events of The Flash stop it, given it changed who Batman was, or were even Barry’s changes to the timeline unable to prevent the Knightmare in some form? We may never know for sure.


The Flash doesn’t linger long enough on the consequences of Barry’s actions to determine just how badly he broke the universe a second time. Bruce is a much older man, again, but Aquaman (Jason Momoa) was largely unchanged, which Barry attempts to explain to him.

It’s fitting that Barry and Arthur shared the post-credits scene in The Flash, since they were the last two Justice League members we saw in their own films in the DCEU. But it’s almost impossible to determine whether that scene takes place before The Lost Kingdom or after it. If it’s after the Aquaman sequel, was this Arthur having an overly boisterous night out after the events of that film? Or, if we take it at face value and go by release dates, and The Flash occurs before The Lost Kingdom, then did Arthur  forget this important conversation ever happened because he was too drunk to remember it or simply decide to not dwell on the massive ramifications of what Barry had told him, given it’s clearly not weighing on him when Aquaman 2 begins?

Regardless, it seems like there would be much larger consequences from Barry once again changing the past just so his father could go free. But for now, we can only speculate about how those consequences would manifest themselves.

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