We’re now living in a post-Snyder Cut — known properly on HBO Max as Zack Snyder’s Justice League — world, a development in film that is no doubt still surprising to some fans. That the four-hour film is actually pretty entertaining (if flawed) might be even more surprising still. What shouldn’t come as a surprise is that Zack Snyder’s Justice League is stuffed with plenty of fun, geeky Easter eggs for fans willing to embark on this behemoth of a movie.
Seeing as Zack Snyder’s Justice League is an alternate, expanded version of the original (critically panned) Justice League that premiered in theaters four years ago — albeit one that’s literally twice as long — there are many Easter eggs and references that fans already spotted when the movie first came out. We’re including those returning instances in this roundup and identifying anything that’s exclusive to Zack Snyder’s Justice League with a “new” label to help you distinguish. Some of the following Easter eggs are subtle allusions to deep cuts of comic lore, while others are fairly major characters or obvious plot points. We’re including pretty much everything and providing background context to boot, because that feels very true to the spirit of Zack Snyder’s Justice League.
Update 3/25/21: We’ve added new Easter eggs to our original post after having more time to comb the four-hour-long movie’s depths.
Zack Snyder’s Cameo (NEW, 3/25)
When Lois Lane exits the coffee shop toward the beginning of the movie, keep an eye out for the man sitting in the window behind her. That’s Zack Snyder himself. Snyder teased this cameo way back in 2018 on Vero, his preferred social-media platform, but the scene didn’t make it into Whedon’s theatrical release. It’s here now, because it’s not like Snyder was going to cut Snyder from the Snyder Cut.
Superman’s Black-and-White S on the Tower Bridge
At the end of Batman v Superman, the world mourns the loss of Superman following his gruesome death at Doomsday’s hands (seen in glorious slow motion at the start of Zack Snyder’s Justice League). A banner with a white Superman S on a black background hangs on London’s Tower Bridge, a nod to Superman’s famous black suit that he wore after he came back to life in the comics. (The black suit itself appears later in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, as Superman wears it upon his resurrection.)
“Security Bank of Manhattan Seeks New Architect” (NEW, 3/25)
A stack of papers boasts the front-page headline, “Security Bank of Manhattan Seeks New Architect.” This is likely a nod to Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead, a book about an architect who turns down an opportunity to design the Manhattan Bank building rather than compromise his artistic vision. Snyder has wanted to make a film adaptation of the controversial novel for a while, though development is currently on hold.
Statue of Themis
Before stopping the terrorist attack on the bank (comic fans, don’t fret: The Black Clad are DCEU-exclusive and not a group from the comics), Wonder Woman briefly rests on a statue of Themis, a Titan from Greek mythology who represents order and justice. How fitting.
“Daughters of Themyscira … We have no fear!” (NEW)
Before engaging with the movie’s main villain, Steppenwolf, Queen Hippolyta commands her warriors to “show him your fear,” and they chant back, “We have no fear!” in unison. Maybe this isn’t quite an Easter egg, but it’s got big 300 vibes, a movie Snyder directed back in 2007 that’s about boasting, badass Greek warriors as well.
Many of the scenes involving the Flash are set in Central City, the speedster’s comic-book hometown. If Metropolis and Gotham are different flavors of the DC Universe’s New York, then Central City is its Midwestern counterpart, a St. Louis of sorts. A later scene reveals that the town’s paper is the Central City Tribune, the same as in the comics.
Amazonian Formalwear Echoes Diana’s Eagle Armor
The outfit Queen Hippolyta wears while firing the Arrow of Artemis echoes Wonder Woman’s golden-eagle armor, which first appeared in the 1996 comic Kingdom Come and eventually became the outfit Diana wears when things are really getting intense. Wonder Woman 1984 would eventually reveal that, in this canon, the armor belonged to the legendary Amazon Asteria (played by Lynda Carter in 1984’s end-credits scene).
Arrow of Artemis
Artemis was the Greek goddess of the hunt, but there’s another reason why it’s fitting that it’s her arrow that will alert Diana to the coming threat: In Roman mythology, Artemis’s name is Diana.
Ryan Choi, the Atom, Appears (NEW)
Chinese actor Zheng Kai plays Ryan Choi in scenes that were cut from the theatrical release but restored for the Snyder Cut. In the comics, Choi becomes the shrinking superhero known as the Atom. Choi, who first appeared in DCU: Brave New World #1 in 2006, is the fourth person to take on the mantle in the main comics canon (Ray Palmer, the second, is by far the most prominent). Later in the movie, Choi reveals he’s the director of nanotechnology, so while there’s no evidence that he’s currently a superhero in the DCEU, the groundwork has certainly been laid.
The Mother Box Is “Object 6-1982”
The Mother Box that created Cyborg is labeled “Object 6-1982,” which is likely a reference to June 1982, the month that the comic that first revealed his origin story, Tales of the New Teen Titans #1, hit shelves. This Easter egg first appeared at the end of Batman v Superman.
The Cortlandt Sinks (UPDATED, 3/25)
Aquaman rescues a sailor from a sinking boat, named the Cortlandt — possibly a reference to the Cortlandt housing project from Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead, making this the movie’s second Rand-ian cameo.
Vulko Appears, Played by Willem Dafoe (NEW)
Willem Dafoe’s character from Aquaman, Vulko, appears in Zack Snyder’s Justice League. Had his scenes not been cut, this would have been his film debut rather than his initial appearance in Aquaman, which came out the year after Justice League’s theatrical release. Vulko, the chief counselor to the throne of Atlantis and Arthur’s childhood teacher, mentions King Orm and Arthur’s “mother’s trident,” both of which are major parts of Aquaman.
At several points in the movie, Steppenwolf conferences with a molten visage of a being named Desaad. In the comics, Desaad is a master torturer serving his lord Darkseid (more on him in a second). As played by English actor Peter Guinness, Desaad appears in the Snyder Cut largely as Steppenwolf’s main point of contact with his home world as he attempts to conquer Earth and redeem himself.
“I Once Knew a Man Who Would’ve Loved to Fly It”
While looking at Batman’s experimental plane the Flying Fox, Diana makes an allusion to Steve Trevor, Chris Pine’s character who died in Wonder Woman, and then died again (sort of) in Wonder Woman 1984.
Darkseid appears (NEW)
One of the biggest differences in Zack Snyder’s Justice League is that there’s a new villain, and he’s perhaps the biggest, baddest villain DC has to offer: Darkseid, a creation of the legendary Jack Kirby as part of his Fourth World saga. In the theatrical version, Steppenwolf was essentially the only villain, as there were only oblique mentions that he was working on behalf of a larger, more powerful being. The Snyder Cut makes it clear that Darkseid (played by Ray Porter) is the real power, and Steppenwolf is only his disgraced lackey — his uncle, in fact. It’s Darkseid himself who tried to conquer Earth 2,000 years ago in this version, rather than Steppenwolf as in the theatrical release, and he appears additional times in visions, when Steppenwolf is communicating with him, and briefly in the flesh through the Mother Box portal during the climax.
Darkseid — who, it should be noted, predates Marvel’s Thanos by three years — is a “New God” from the hellish world of Apokolips. His goal is to conquer worlds in search of the Anti-Life equation, a transcendental mathematical formula that allows the being who knows it to utterly dominate any other life-form. The Snyder Cut reveals that the Anti-Life Equation is hidden on Earth. Presumably, the seemingly scrapped Justice League sequel would have followed up on this more.
During a flashback, we see a member of the Green Lantern Corp — the DC Universe’s “space cops” who wield magical rings as weapons. Traditionally, there’s a Green Lantern on the Justice League (human Lanterns Hal Jordan and John Stewart among them). However, there isn’t a Lantern on the team in the current day in either the theatrical or Snyder versions of the film. Instead, in this flashback from thousands of years beforehand, we see an alien Lantern — possibly Yalan Gur, a Lantern who protected Space Sector 2814 (which includes Earth) some 2,000 years ago.
Zeus, Artemis, and Aries (before his betrayal as detailed in Wonder Woman) appear in the battle against Darkseid.
Robin Wright briefly reprises her Wonder Woman role as Antipoe in the flashback to the battle against Darkseid. In an interview with Collider, Wright admitted she’d never seen Justice League and had no idea if she’d even been cut out of the theatrical release, but she was happy that Snyder was able to finish his version of the film regardless.
King Arthur and Sir Bors
The two humans who bury their Mother Box appear to be King Arthur and Sir Bors — figures of myth who have also played various roles in DC Comics canon throughout the years.
Iris West, Played by Kiersey Clemons (NEW)
Kiersey Clemons plays Iris West, Barry Allen’s eventual love interest and wife. In the comics, Iris is also the aunt of Wally West, the hero who operated as the Flash for a while when Barry Allen was dead and now currently exists in a bit of a limbo-like state because DC doesn’t really know what to do with him (comics!). Iris was, like so many comic characters, originally white, but newer iterations and the Flash TV show on the CW, where she’s played by Candice Patton, have gone a long way in making the DC Universe more diverse. Clemons’s appearance was cut from the theatrical release but blessedly restored for Zack Snyder’s Justice League.
Gard’ner Fox (NEW)
The truck that almost kills Iris says “Gard’ner Fox” on the side, an homage to DC Comics writer Gardner Fox, the co-creator of both the original Flash and the Justice League, among others.
Granny Goodness Hot Dogs (NEW, 3/25)
The hot-dog cart that gets obliterated by that same speeding truck says the phrase “Granny Goodness” on the side. It’s very quick, but this is a little wink to the villain Granny Goodness — who makes an appearance later in the film, so we’ll discuss her more in-depth in a bit.
Victor Stone’s Number 7 (NEW)
The flashback to Cyborg’s life-changing football game reveals that Victor Stone’s jersey number was seven. While it could be arbitrary, the number seven is associated with the Justice League, as many iconic versions of the team have had seven members. This movie only has six, though, which might explain why a confusing promotional campaign ahead of the original theatrical release that read “unite the seven” was quietly abandoned and then later retconned to have been about Aquaman uniting the seven seas, as one does.
GCU Football’s Scoreboard, Sponsored by Wayne Enterprises (NEW)
Gotham City University’s scoreboard appears to have been sponsored by Wayne Enterprises. Nice, subtle little bit of world-building there.
As Cyborg sulks in his house, he stands next to a poster or print of The Metamorphosis, presumably because the Stones are into Kafka. It’s an appropriate bit of décor since he thinks he’s basically been transformed into a monster.
Linda J. Reed (UPDATED, 3/25)
One of the first things Cyborg does with his mastery over technology is help out a struggling mother named Linda J. Reed by putting $100,000 in her bank account. There’s an old Golden Age comics character named Linda Reed, but Snyder confirmed to Esquire that the name is indeed a coincidence.
Iron Heights Penitentiary
The Flash goes to visit his father inside Iron Heights Penitentiary, which is basically the Flash’s equivalent of Batman’s Arkham Asylum in the comics.
“Very Attractive Jewish Boy”
When Batman confronts Barry with a photo of himself in an attempt to prove that he’s the Flash, Barry describes the person in the picture as “a very attractive Jewish boy.” Actor Ezra Miller is Jewish, but Barry Allen has occasionally been written as Jewish in the comics, though that traditionally hasn’t been hugely important to his characterization.
Gorilla Sign Language
During his initial meeting with Batman, the Flash explains that he knows “gorilla sign language,” which is a fun little joke and also a potential nod to Gorilla Grodd, a super-intelligent ape who is one of the Flash’s most infamous villains.
The Speed Force
The Flash mentions “the Speed Force” a couple of times throughout the film. In the comics, the Speed Force is a mystical, velocity-based entity that speedsters like the Flash can tap into. It conveniently protects the Flash from any negative consequences of the physics of near-light speed travel and allows for the manipulation of time.
“You Are Not Alone” (NEW, 3/25)
When Batman peels out of the Flash’s secret lair in his sweet car, he passes a billboard that says “You Are Not Alone.” It’s a billboard for the real-life American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and it’s presumably included in the film in honor of Snyder’s late daughter.
Officer Crispus Allen
In addition to Commissioner Gordon (played by an especially swole J.K. Simmons), we get a brief mention of Crispus Allen, another member of the Gotham Police Department in the comics. Crispus eventually dies and becomes the host for Spectre, the embodiment of God’s vengeance. Comics!
The Justice League’s first encounter takes place in underwater tunnels near Metropolis and Stryker’s Island, a reference to Metropolis’s Alcatraz-like supervillain prison from the comics.
Nazis Found the Mother Box
While discussing the history of the Mother Box entrusted to mankind, we learn that Adolf Hitler nearly got his hands on it. This is very much in the spirit of comics — both DC and Marvel — where Hitler’s interest in the occult has been a big storytelling boon. (See: Captain America: The First Avenger.) The closest comics parallel to Hitler’s possession of the Mother Box is probably the Spear of Destiny, the mythic spear that pierced Jesus’ side while he was on the cross that Hitler used to stop superheroes from simply ending World War II. Comics!
Martian Manhunter (NEW)
One of the biggest changes (if ultimately not that important to the plot) in Zack Snyder’s Justice League is the reveal that General Swanwick, a character who appeared in Man of Steel and Batman v Superman as played by Harry Lennix, was actually the shapeshifting alien hero Martian Manhunter this whole time. He first appears after pretending to be Martha Kent for a visit/pep talk with Lois Lane, and then appears again at the very end of the film when he introduces himself to Batman.
In the comics, Martian Manhunter is J’onn J’onzz, the last survivor of a Martian race. He lives on Earth and was, in the original continuity, one of the seven founding members of the Justice League. His alter ego as General Swanwick is a movie invention.
Atlantean-Amazon Beef (NEW-ish)
Throughout Justice League — and even more so in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, when they’re digging up Superman’s corpse — there’s talk of historical animosity between the Atlanteans and Amazonians. In the comics, the two nations have gone to war before, most notably in the alternate-reality storyline Flashpoint, where the war between them left most of Europe a flooded, blighted hellscape.
Wesley Rowe’s Fixed Birthday (UPDATED, 3/25)
Barry Allen pretends to be a S.T.A.R. Labs employee by the name of Wesley Rowe to gain access to Superman’s ship. While Wesley Rowe is not a comics reference (more likely, it’s a shout-out to Snyder’s producing partners, Wesley Coller and Jim Rowe), in the theatrical release, Wesley’s birthday was listed as November 6, 2010, making him roughly 7 years old. In Zack Snyder’s Justice League, his date of birth has been changed to a more reasonable September 30, 1997.
Force Majeure Pregnancy Test (NEW)
After a visit from her in-law, Martha Kent (who was, as we noted, actually a shape-shifted Martian Manhunter), Lois Lane feels nostalgic and opens a drawer containing, among other things, a box for a pregnancy test. The implication is that Lois and Clark were going to try to have kids, something the pair have done in various comic continuities over the decades. Curiously, the test is “Force Majeure” brand, which appears to be a fictional one. The idea of Superman’s … “super-swimmers” possibly being an unstoppable force seems like it could be a sly allusion to “Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex,” an infamous essay from the late ’60s about how having sex with Superman would almost certainly be fatal to the woman.
Coins to Cross the River Styx (NEW)
In Cyborg’s vision of a dark future, we see that Wonder Woman, having died, sports two coins over her eyes on a funeral pyre. In Greek myth, coins on the eyes were a ceremonial offering so that the dead would have money to pay Charon, Hades’ ferryman, for passage across the River Styx into the afterlife.
Darkseid’s Eye-Beams (NEW)
We also see Darkseid in action in Cyborg’s grim vision as he kills Aquaman. He also uses his laser eyes — Omega Beams, technically — which have an impractical yet visually neat effect of jumping around with a lot of hard angles on their circuitous route toward their target.
Kilowog, the Dead Green Lantern (NEW)
In Cyborg’s vision, we also see Superman, apparently evil now (more on that later), holding Batman’s cowl over the wreckage of the Hall of Justice. The camera pans over the body of another Green Lantern. It’s hard to tell, but it looks like it could be Kilowog, an alien Lantern and arguably the most famous non-human member of the Corps. He’s worked alongside the heroes of Earth many times in other media.
An Excalibur Shout-Out (NEW, 3/25)
As the heroes prepare to bring Superman back to life, the Kryptonian computer warns them not to, at one point saying, “The future has taken root in the present.” This is a quote from the 1981 movie Excalibur, a film Snyder has talked about admiring before. (Excalibur is also the movie on the marquee at the theater where Batman’s parents are killed in the opening of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.)
Ben Parker? (NEW, 3/25)
One of the names of the victims at the Superman memorial is “Ben Parker,” who is famously Spider-Man’s uncle and the originator of the phrase, “With great power comes great responsibility.” But wait! Spider-Man’s Marvel and Justice League is DC. Given that it seems like other names on the memorial are members of the cast and crew, this could be more coincidence than crossover. Still, kinda funny!
Jimmy Olsen Cameo (NEW-ish)
The movie version of Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen might’ve been unceremoniously killed via a shot to the head in Batman v Superman, but he’s in Justice League, in a way. Actor Marc McClure, who played Jimmy in the Christopher Reeve Superman films and the 1984 Supergirl spinoff, appears in Justice League as the Metropolis cop who Cyborg saves from a flying car after Superman’s botched revival. This cameo is new to Zack Snyder’s Justice League as, despite having been featured in original trailers, the scene was cut from the theatrical release. Instead, McClure appeared in a different cameo, playing a guard at the prison where the Flash was visiting his dad. That scene isn’t in the Snyder Cut, and McClure’s original cameo has been restored instead.
Black Suit Superman (NEW)
After being resurrected, Superman dons a black and silver version of his costume, as the hero is wont to do after coming back to life. DC Comics killed Superman in the 1992 Death of Superman storyline, but he returned in 1993, emerging from a Kryptonian birthing matrix sporting a noir version of his classic outfit. The dark color helped the recovering hero absorb more of the sun’s rays. It’s unclear if the Snyder Cut’s Superman is wearing black for the same reason. More likely it’s just an homage to comics history and a chance to bring a fan-favorite alternate costume to the big screen.
Granny Goodness Appears (NEW)
When the three united Mother Boxes open up a portal to Apokolips, Darkseid’s homeworld, we see the supervillain in the flesh, with his lackey Desaad flanking him. On his other side, though, is an imposing older woman with white hair. This is Granny Goodness, another servant of Darkseid who trains elite soldiers for her lord using a combination of sadism, torture, and brainwashing.
To prevent Steppenwolf from ushering in Darkseid’s reign of terror, the Flash taps into the Speed Force and alludes to a “Flashpoint.” This is the name of an influential comic series starring the Flash, one that changed the DC comics universe irreversibly. In the series, Barry travels back in time to prevent his mother’s death, but in doing so creates a dystopian alternate reality — which might be why Barry was worried in the movie. The upcoming solo Flash movie will reportedly be some sort of adaptation of the Flashpoint storyline.
Big Round table, six chairs, right there, but room for more
The end of the movie sees Batman and Wonder Woman planning to create a headquarters for the League, traditionally known as the Hall of Justice.
The Dark Knight Returns’ Mutants (NEW, 3/25)
This one is really hard to make out, but in the ending montage of the heroes — the scene right before the Lex Luthor reveal and the Knightmare — we see that Batman has tied up a bunch of bad guys in front of his tank. They look kind of like the Mutants, a visor-wearing gang featured in the seminal comic The Dark Knight Returns, which influenced a lot of Batman’s look in both this and Batman v Superman.
Arkham Asylum: Built in 1974 (NEW)
Zack Snyder’s Justice League adds a couple of shots to what had previously been one of Justice League’s post-credits scenes, including a shot of the sign outside of Arkham Asylum that states that the institution was “built in 1974,” a nod to the iconic prison’s first comics appearance in Batman #258, which came out in October of 1974.
Deathstroke Works for Ra’s al Ghul/The Halo Symbol (NEW, 3/25)
The hilt of Deathstroke’s sword has a symbol on it that actor Joe Manganiello confirmed was a connection to Ra’s al Ghul, an iconic Batman villain and leader of the League of Shadows (you might remember that Liam Neeson played him in Batman Begins).
However, it turns out this symbol is actually an unintentional Easter egg for the Halo video game series. The symbol, as Bungie employee Christopher Barrett tweeted, had actually been created, by him, for Halo some 20 years ago. PCGamesN speculates that this is because if you Google “Ra’s al Ghul symbol,” you’ll make your way to a fanmade Wiki that used the Halo symbol as the icon for the League of Shadows.
The theatrical Justice League release featured Batman’s dark vision of a possible future, one where Darkseid had won and Superman was evil, but the Snyder Cut has a very different, much-expanded “Knightmare.” This scene, according to reports, is the only newly shot part of Zack Snyder’s Justice League, and it features Batman (Ben Affleck), Mera (Amber Heard), the Flash (Ezra Miller), Deathstroke (Joe Manganiello), and the Joker (Jared Leto, reprising his Suicide Squad role). Despite what the trailers implied, Joker does not say “we live in a society,” but he does talk about giving Batman a reach-around. C’est la vie.
This Knightmare sequence appears to be a vestige of a time when Justice League was going to be a two-parter, but now it’s setting up a sequel that likely won’t ever get made. In conversations, we learn that Lois Lane — who, earlier, Batman had been warned was the key to everything — is dead, and Superman has turned evil as a result. This storyline is similar to Injustice, a storyline that originated in the video game Injustice: Gods Among Us and spun off to become a comic series set in this alternate reality. In that setting, Superman turns evil after the Joker tricks him into killing Lois Lane, and it’s up to Batman, Deathstroke, and a couple of others to stand up the newly fascist Man of Steel. Given that Batman appears to be begrudgingly working with the Joker, things probably went down a little differently. The vision also has shades of a big storyline from Superman: The Animated Series where Darkseid brainwashes Superman into serving him.
The Knightmare sequence features a couple of allusions to other characters, too. Joker asks why Batman sent “a Boy Wonder to do a man’s job,” a reference to the comic A Death in the Family, which saw Joker beat Robin (at this point a kid named Jason Todd) to death. This event was already canon in the movies, as evidenced by Robin’s costume hanging in a memorial inside the Batcave in Batman v Superman. Batman also says that Harley Quinn, of Suicide Squad and Birds of Prey fame, is dead and that she made Batman promise to “kill Joker slow.”
As the end credits roll (there’s no post-credits scene, FYI) Allison Crowe’s cover of “Hallelujah,” originally sung by Leonard Cohen, plays. Snyder’s used the song before, playing the original in Watchmen during an over-the-top sex scene, but he’s returning to it again for the Snyder Cut because the song is important and meaningful to him and his daughter Autumn, whose death during the initial making of Justice League is what prompted Snyder to step away.