8 Justice League Easter Eggs And References You Might Have Missed

Into the Future

Justice League is a pretty big deal for the DCEU. Not only is it the first time we’ve ever seen the League together in live action, it’s also the first concrete look we’ve got at the trailheads to the next phase of DC movies. Films like Aquaman, Wonder Woman 2, The Batman, and Flashpoint have been surrounded by tumultuous rumors of directors leaving, scripts being scrapped, contracts being renewed, and release dates being moved around, making it hard to tell just where any of these characters are heading (or in some cases, where they’re coming from.)

Thankfully, however, Justice League was happy to pepper in some easter eggs and clues about its cast of heroes to give us something to chew on while we wait.

8. Janus in Gotham

It’s blink-and-you-miss-it, but one of the only readable billboards in Gotham City during Bruce’s initial interrogation of the Parademon belongs to “Janus Corporation.” Janus has some history in Batman comics, most notably as the cosmetics company owned and operated by one Roman Sionus, aka Black Mask.

In his modern interpretation, Roman’s a maniacal business man and gangster who is constantly vying for power in Gotham’s underground–his obsession with identity and his “mask” gimmick sometimes even manifests as a criminal cult, depending on the source material you’re looking at. It’s way too early to read too deeply into it, but it’s safe to say Roman would be an ideal and completely fresh pull for a villain in any upcoming Batman (or Batman adjacent) DC movies.

7. Mother Box Mythology

The DCEU’s Mother Boxes are a dramatic departure from their comics source material of Jack Kirby’s Fourth World saga, but that doesn’t mean some Fourth World content didn’t make its way into the movie.

In a single line, Steppenwolf utters a sort of devotional as he sends his Parademons out to hunt: “For Darkseid,” or, the DC Universe’s baddest of the bad. It’s not touched on directly in the movie but Darkseid and Steppenwolf are both “New Gods,” denizens of the extradimensional planet called Apokolips, over which Darkseid reigns as a tyrant king. There’s even a brief mention of the Mother Boxes acting as terraforming technology to re-shape worlds into “Steppenwolf’s home planet.” So, Apokolips is definitely in play here.

6. Gorilla Sign Language

Barry doesn’t know many languages, but he does know “Gorilla sign language.” This, of course, is a wink to Gorilla Grodd, a giant, telepathic gorilla who is one of Barry’s most powerful (and most bizarre) enemies.

In the comics, Grodd got his start as a normal, totally non-telepathic gorilla until an alien spacecraft crashed into his home in Africa, imbuing him with his powers. But over in the DC TV Universe, Grodd was a test subject for S.T.A.R. Labs–a name you may recognize from all the Cyborg-related backstory in Justice League. So it’s pretty likely if Grodd ever does show up in the DCEU, that’s the route he’ll take.

5. “Booyah.”

No, the Justice League screenwriters didn’t suddenly forget what year it is or how people speak. Vic’s celebratory “booyah!” at the end of the final battle was a nod to the Teen Titans cartoon where Vic was reinvented as an optimistic, almost parental figure for his team. His catchphrase in the show? Booyah, of course.

Strangely enough, the rest of Vic’s characterization in the movie comes specifically from the comics–and the very recent comics at that. Vic was reinvented as a founding member of the Justice League with his cybernetic enhancements connecting him to a Mother Box in 2011 during DC’s line-wide continuity reboot and relaunch the New 52. Still, there’s no doubt that Teen TItans‘ dedicated fans appreciated the wink.

4. Exploding Penguins

Alfred dryly tells Bruce that he misses the days when their biggest concerns were exploding wind-up penguins, an obvious nod to both Burton’s Batman Returns film (where wind-up penguins were realized in real life) and the fact that The Penguin apparently does exist in this incarnation of Gotham City.

It’s not altogether unlikely that the Penguin could play a role in an upcoming Batman movie project, especially considering that the reinvented character in TV’s Gotham has garnered more than a few fans.

3. Flashpoint

We don’t get much of Barry Allen’s story in the movie, but we get enough to see that he’s following a specific version of his comic book origin–his father’s in jail for the murder of his mother, a crime he didn’t commit. If you’re a fan of CW’s Flash TV show, you know this story already–Barry’s mother Nora was murdered by a time traveling speedster from the future named Eobard Thawne and Henry Allen was convicted of the crime. Ever since, he’s been in prison with Barry desperately trying to prove his innocence.

This is actually the version of Barry’s story that came to the comics fairly recently, with Geoff Johns’ The Flash: Rebirth mini-series in 2009–a reinvention of the character that wound up building directly into 2011’s continuity-rebooting Flashpoint event.

Now, we already know that the DCEU is heading towards a Flashpoint movie care of their SDCC announcement. It’s too early to say whether or not it’s going to mirror the comics’ or the TV shows’ interpretation of events, but the seeds of the story are most definitely already planted.

2. The Hall of Justice

Justice League ends with Bruce and Diana entering a dilapidated building with some pretty obvious plans for the future: a big, circular table, six chairs, but “room for more.”

We don’t get a look at the building from the outside to see whether or not it matches the iconic silhouette, but it’s obvious they’re setting about forming the Hall of Justice, the Justice League’s traditional base of operations on Earth (as opposed to in space, where they occasionally utilize an orbiting space station in the comics and cartoons).

The “room for more” is a hopeful look at the future of the team’s line up–or, more specifically, a nudge for fans of Hal Jordan. A.K.A. Green Lantern, the only original founding member of the League who was not featured in the movie. Though Justice League made it clear that the Green Lantern Corps definitely do exist in the DCEU, Hal–the first Green Lantern from Earth–has yet to be mentioned or referenced at all.

1. Red Skies

One of the more subtle comics nods in the movie was hidden in its color palette. During the final fight–and at several points during the flashbacks–the world is seen with a bright orange-red sky.

Far from just being an ominous aesthetic choice, the concept of the red sky has some pretty loaded history in the DCU. It began with the continuity-altering Crisis on Infinite Earths back in the 80s where the multiverse was collapsed into a single system in order to reconcile all the disparate and contradictory threads and timelines of DC’s Golden and Silver Age comics. As the worlds collided into one another, the skies turned bright red.

Since then, the phenomena has become a sort of shorthand for any event in the DCU that’s happening on a cataclysmic scale–books that deal with them are even sometimes called “red skies crossovers.”

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Justice League Spoiler Talk: Why We Loved It!

Justice League had critics pretty divided, but it offered DC fans a ton of what they have wanted for years. Batman and Superman aren’t the only heroes anymore. Mike Rougeau and Buddy Hutton discuss the film, the after credit sequences and their love for you in this Gamespot Universe Spoiler review.

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Star Wars: Battlefront 2 Controversy Draws Response From Disney, Lucasfilm

Lucasfilm, the film and TV company behind Star Wars, has responded to the controversy around microtransactions surrounding the recently launched Star Wars: Battlefront II. A spokesperson told The Washington Post that the company stands behind publisher EA’s decision to temporarily suspend the game’s implementation of microtransactions.

“Star Wars has always been about the fans–and whether it’s Battlefront or any other Star Wars experience, they come first,” the spokesperson said. “That’s why we support EA’s decision to temporarily remove in-game payments to address fan concerns.”

Battlefront II’s microtransactions were removed just hours before the game’s official launch on Friday, November 17. EA made the call after facing a wave of criticism amongst those who played an early version of the game through EA/Origin Access or by pre-ordering. In addition to heat from fans, it seems like Disney executive Jimmy Pitaro, who heads up the company’s consumer products and interactive media division, might have been involved in the decision to have microtransactions removed.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Pitaro spoke with EA management just hours before microtransactions were removed. Pitaro reportedly informed EA that executives at Disney were upset by how the dissatisfaction amongst players “reflected on their marquee property.” Headlines about Battlefront II and player outrage made international news, and with just weeks to go before The Last Jedi‘s release on December 15, Disney was surely looking for a more positive news cycle around its biggest brand.

Battlefront II offers loot crates that contain randomized items. Before the microtransactions were removed, you could purchase Crystals with real-world money that could be spent on loot crates. Part of what made Battlefront II’s loot crate system highly contentious is that the boxes could contain items that provide actual gameplay performance-boosters such as deadlier grenades or extended cloaking. You can still get those bonuses, but now all progression is tied to your in-game achievements.

EA is bringing back microtransactions at a later date, but there is no word as of yet if changes to the progression system will also be made. For example, we don’t know if EA will take a page out of Overwatch‘s playbook and offer only cosmetic items in its loot crates or if the company will take a different approach. We will be monitoring the situation and will report back with more details as they’re made available.

EA’s stock price took a hit after Battlefront II dropped microtransactions, but the company says this will have no meaningful impact on its bottom line for the fiscal year.

It remains to be seen what effect the microtransaction controversy may have on Battlefront II sales. In the UK, first-week physical sales were down 61 percent compared to the 2015 Battlefront reboot, which doesn’t paint the rosiest of pictures, even with an assumed rise in the digital share factored in.

We are holding back our final Battlefront II review for now, but you can read our Battlefront II review-in-progress to find out what we think so far.

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Game Of Thrones Blu-ray Set Price Drops In Pre-Black Friday Sale

Who says you have to wait for Black Friday to get a deal? Certainly not Amazon. The online retailer is getting a jumpstart on the Thanksgiving holiday by dropping the price of its Game of Thrones Seasons 1-6 Blu-ray set.

The set, which includes the first six years of the series, is currently $70 on Amazon–marked down from the normal $138 price. That’s a lot of dragons and betrayal for not a lot of money. Funnily enough, it’s also cheaper than the current price of the exact same set on DVD, which Amazon has listed for $102.

It’s important to note that the set does not include to most recent season of Game of Thrones, which won’t arrive on Blu-ray and DVD until December 12. It’s a good start on building your Game of Thrones collection, though, leading into the premiere of the final season.

Production on the last batch of episodes is currently underway, though a premiere date has yet to be announced. The eighth and final season will consist of six episodes.

While you’re in a shopping mood, make sure to check out the rest of our Black Friday coverage:

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AJ Styles And Brock Lesnar’s Survivor Series Match Showed Why it Doesn’t Matter Whether Wrestling Is “Real”

Last night at Survivor Series, Brock Lesnar defeated AJ Styles in a “Champion vs. Champion” match.

This was actually a last-minute booking. The original plan was to have Brock Lesnar fight Jinder Mahal, but a number of factors colluded to kill that. The fans, by and large, hated the idea. They widely perceive Mahal as a transitional WWE champion, who only attained his spot because WWE has a growing Indian audience; Mahal possesses an Indo-Canadian background. Prior to his championship run, Mahal was losing to the likes of Mojo Rawley, Darren Young, Curtis Axel, and R-Truth; even in the scripted world of professional wrestling, there’s a limit to what fans will swallow. The storylines don’t have to be realistic, necessarily, but they need to adhere to their own internal logic.

Paul Heyman, Lesnar’s manager, alluded to this dissonance in his October 23 promo, when he buried Jinder Mahal under six feet of rhetoric. “You’re not even a worthy pretender to the throne!” Heyman bellowed at the Raw audience.

Soon after that, Mahal dropped the WWE championship, and AJ Styles, the man who won it from him, was slotted in Mahal’s place at Survivor Series. Lesnar and Mahal only had a week to plan out their confrontation. Complicating matters, Lesnar has a reputation for “laziness,” depending on his opponent; Dean Ambrose had to twist Lesnar’s arm to get him to perform at WrestleMania 32. And prior to last night, Lesnar hadn’t delivered a match worthy of his notoriety since WrestleMania 31, almost three years ago. So as good as the match looked on paper, it could have easily devolved into a “Suplex City” match–nothing but German suplexes for 10 tedious minutes–if Lesnar had decided to phone it in.

But that didn’t happen–at all! What happened is that Styles and Lesnar had the best match of the evening, and possibly the best WWE match of the year. When he’s mentally present, Lesnar can still deliver. And AJ Styles brought out the best in him.

The match started as all Lesnar matches do—with complete and utter physical domination. Lesnar grabbed Styles, shoved him into the turnbuckles, and began shoulder ramming him in the gut. This was followed by several suplexes, after which Lesnar took his time, stood around, and smirked. The narrative goal was to characterize Lesnar as so dominant, so many steps ahead of his opponent, that he could afford to loiter about and cackle while his opponent struggled to stand.

Typically, Lesnar matches never progress beyond this first act. Most wrestlers eat suplex after suplex before taking an F-5 and getting pinned. But AJ Styles is not most wrestlers. After that initial wave of Lesnar dominance, Styles wove a classic David and Goliath tale for the rest of the match.

Kayfabe wise, most opponents try (and fail) to outpunch and outwrestle Lesnar. And that’s a fool’s errand, because as elite as these wrestlers are at their craft, no one can beat former MMA champion Lesnar at his own game. That’s why Styles went after Lesnar’s legs instead, kicking them out from under him and ramming them into the steel steps. With Lesnar hobbling and dropping to his knees, Styles got some offense in. By the time he locked in the Calf Crusher, it seemed plausible that Lesnar could tap out to Styles, a man he outweighed by 50 pounds. He didn’t, but it would have been believable, which is a testament to both men’s storytelling ability.

Limb targeting is part of professional wrestling’s art–the ability to convey a narrative through actions instead of words. The idea behind limb targeting is self-evident: If you’re the underdog or otherwise at a disadvantage, work on one of your opponent’s limbs for the entire course of the match. You may not be able to overpower your opponent, but you can prevent him from having the balance and strength to overpower you.

And though this sounds simple enough to act out (grab the knee, limp about), it’s difficult to sustain narrative consistency over the course of a match. Few wrestlers can do it. The aggressor needs to remember to continue targeting the limb, and the victim needs to sell that limb at all times–to limp on it, to scream when he or she puts weight on it. Should they forget to limp or break into a full stride when they hit the ropes, the illusion is broken. It’s like watching a magic trick. Just because audiences know it’s an illusion doesn’t mean they want to see the sleight of hand.

Ultimately, Lesnar’s brute strength won the day. To escape the Calf Crusher, he pounded Styles’ head into the mat multiple times. He actually did a really nice job of protecting Styles’ head with the back of his hand; I had to rewatch the match to see the move. Then he caught Styles (mid-air!) to finish the match with an F-5. And throughout all this, Lesnar never forgot to sell his injured leg.

But the performance didn’t end after the bell rang. Brock did not jump up and celebrate. He looked nauseous as he staggered out of the ring on his “injured” leg, clutching his championship belt. He even paused theatrically before heading up the ramp, almost as if he wanted to get back in the ring and shake Styles’ hand. This was kayfabe respect, but there was real respect mixed in there too.

And later that evening, Heyman continued putting Styles over, in a backstage video that compared him to the industry’s legends.

It would have been nice if Styles won. But if that wasn’t going to happen, the two men in the ring did the next best thing: They made AJ Styles look extremely strong in defeat. According to their storytelling, it was Lesnar’s luck, not his skill, that allowed him to walk away with the victory. Both men left the ring looking stronger than when they entered it.

This is what fans love about professional wrestling. We know it’s not “real,” in the truest sense of the word. But everyone loves a good story. And wrestlers, in their best moments, are some incredible storytellers, in a manner that is unique to their profession.

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Opinion: New EiC Is Good for Marvel Comics

The past couple weeks have been a real roller coaster for Marvel Comics fans. First came the news that writer Brian Michael Bendis is leaving the company for DC after 18 years. Now today, we learned that Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso has stepped down and will be replaced by C.B. Cebulski, who previously served as Marvel’s VP of international brand management. It’s a chaotic time for Marvel right now, with big changes happening behind the scenes and the company trying to reinvigorate its comic book line with the Marvel Legacy relaunch. But I take this latest news as a positive sign for Marvel’s future in 2018. The company needed a major editorial shake-up, and Cebulski may be just the person to right the ship.

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Batman: The Enemy Within – Fractured Mask Review

WARNING: Mild spoilers for Episode 2 follow.

Just as great seasons of television aren’t immune to bad individual episodes, Telltale’s TV-style format adventure games are just as prone to failure. It happens! For Batman: The Enemy Within, Episode 2 was such a misfire in Bruce Wayne’s ongoing struggle with duality, and thankfully, Episode 3: Fractured Mask gets Season 2 back on track and makes the previous episode look like a fluke.

We pick up right where we left off, with the mystery of Riddler’s frozen body quickly explained resolved in a logical way. (Thankfully, it did not go down the Man of Steel/Jor-El path it had lightly foreshadowed.) Even better, we get back in the Batsuit, with Bruce having to use both of his identities to burrow deeper into Harley Quinn’s undoubtedly evil plan. Though I’m still not a fan of her voice here, I quite enjoy how, in another of Telltale’s Batman tradition-flipping moves, she is the leader of the gang and John “Still Not Joker Yet” Doe is her unsure and internally conflicted apprentice.

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New to Netflix for December 2017

Got some time off coming? Some holiday lounging to do? Netflix has you covered in December with plenty of binge-worthy products, including new seasons of The Crown, Peaky Blinders, Bill Nye Saves the World, Fuller House, The Ranch, and the big budget Will Smith action film Bright – about humans and orcs fighting crime together in alternate Earth Los Angeles.

You can also catch Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 right at the beginning of the month, as well as other films like 8 Mile, Full Metal Jacket, V for Vendetta, and all three Santa Clause films.

Check out the slideshow gallery for a spotlight of some of the most notable December Netflix offerings, followed by the full list below…

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Pikachu Talk Turns Amazon Echo Into a Talking Pokemon

The Pokemon Company has announced a new app that can transform your Amazon Echo or Google Home interactive assistants into fan-favorite Pokemon, Pikachu.

The app, called Pikachu Talk, will become available in Western markets on Amazon Echo and Google Home in 2018, and will update the device to speak in Pikachu’s voice. Pikachu will also giggle and laugh, and it is pretty adorable.

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