While the last handful of DC Comics movies haven't been super Easter egg-heavy, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice absolutely changed that score.
There were so many little winks and nods, so many unnamed characters introduced, and so many moments ripped from the pages of the comics and thrown right into the movie that it's hard to even keep track of them all.
Not that we won't try...!
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Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice is now playing in theaters.
THE JUSTICE LEAGUE
We'll start here.
Yes, we get appearances by Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash, and Cyborg.
They're brief, but they're there. All four of them are people Lex Luthor has apparently been keeping tabs on -- but Wonder Woman is much more than a photo on a disc. Rather, she's apparently been a superhero already, and retired, and is now coming back since the world is getting more and more out of control.
We get a little more from The Flash than the others, as well, but more on that later...!
There were a couple of police officers who, according to credits available online, were named after comic book creators.
Office Mazzuchelli would be named after David Mazzuchelli, artist of Batman: Year One, while Officer Rucka would be Greg Rucka, the longtime Batman writer who recently announced he'll return to write Wonder Woman.
Apparently the CIA plant in the desert, who was posing as Lois Lane's photographer?
Yeah, that's the movieverse version of Jimmy Olsen.
That's an odd creative choice. One has to wonder if maybe Jenny Jurwich really was supposed to be Jenny Olsen at one point, and that left the writers without a clear idea of Olsen's role in the Snyderverse when they elected not to do it.
In any event, as you'd expect, not everyone is happy with his death.
But at least you can still see him on Supergirl every week!
As you've seen in movies like Ghostbusters, we get a lot of celebrity guests commenting on the events of the film.
It's part of Snyder's attempts to make the world feel real, and to make the film feel like it's "what would happen if Superman came to our world."
Who all is there as themselves?
LA news anchor Kent Shocknek, along with pundits and personalities like Anderson Cooper, Nancy Grace, Neil DeGrasse-Tyson, Charlie Rose, Soledad O'Brien, and more.
No idea who he is in the film, but there's an actor credited with playing Emmet Vale -- the scientist who created Metallo, the Kryptonite-powered Cyborg who has become one of Superman's most recognizable villains.
Anatoli Knyazev, the muscle Luthor used to do almost all of his dirty work (played by Captain America: the Winter Soldier baddie Callan Mulvey), is in fact a DC Comics supervillain of some note.
In the comics, he wears a mask and has body parts missing -- so it's possible we could see him return in an altered form following his exit of Batman V Superman by fire.
In any event, he's the KGBeast, a Russian villain known for squaring off against Batman, but who has recently become a foe of Aquaman and The Others.
Knyazev has appeared in episodes of Arrow, where he's understood to have been instrumental in bringing Oliver Queen into the Russian Bratva.
That guy in the 1918 photo with Wonder Woman?
That's Steve Trevor, played by Star Trek star Chris Pine.
He'll apparently be her love interest in the Wonder Woman movie, but he's presumably long dead by now, since he's mortal and all, so it looks like once she gets to the modern day, Wonder Woman is free to either date another Justice Leaguer, or maybe just enjoy indepednence from men...!
During one of Senator Finch's press conferences, she's standing in front of a podium covered in microphones. Many of them have mic flags identifying their news outlets, and while most of them are real-world outlets, one of them is GBS.
That would be, the Metropolis-based 24-hour news network that has, over the years, counted Cat Grant and Clark Kent as employees.
While she's significantly less muscly in this version, we could still see Mercy Graves return from her apparent fiery fate.
Why? Well, in the comics, this Lex Luthor bodyguard is often theorized to be part Amazon...!
According to the footage seen in Lex Luthor's files, it appears as though Silas Stone was working at S.T.A.R. Labs when he used a Mother Box to make his mortally-wounded son into a cyborg to save his life.
More on the Mother Box in a minute...but S.T.A.R. Labs should be recognizable as the home of The Flash on The Flash.
When Lex Luthor contributes his DNA to create Doomsday, there are a few things at play.
First of all, it's a bit of a wink and a nod -- or at least it feels like it -- to the fact that when Cadmus created Superboy following the Death of Superman storyline, Lex managed to manipulate the system to make himself part of Superboy's genetic matrix.
Secondly, the fact that the Kryptonian computer doesn't want to make Doomsday because the science council had forbidden repeating the grotesque experiment that yielded a nameless abomination in the past...well, that's not too too far from what happened when, in ancient Krypton, Doomsday was created through genetic tinkering.
Also, the first thing Doomsday did after becoming sentient was to kill his "father," something he attempted to do in Batman V Superman.
Bertron, the genetic engineer who made the original Doomsday on ancient Krypton, was name-checked in the Blu-ray special features for Man of Steel.
That device used to save Vic Stone's life?
Pretty clearly a Mother Box.
Mother Boxes are New Gods technology -- essentially living computers with a vast access to universal knowledge. And in the recent "New 52" reboot, Cyborg's origin was retooled to include a Mother Box integrated into his tech, since the Justice League's origin came during an attack by Darkseid and Apokolips. Traditionally they've been smaller, but in the recent reboot they were depicted more like actual boxes, about the size of the xeno-artifact Silas used on his son.
CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS
When Barry Allen seemingly pops out of space time to deliver a cryptic but urgent message to Batman regarding the fate of the world, that felt eerily like Crisis on Infinite Earths, when Barry -- having already chosen to sacrifice his life and running through time and the Speed Force -- popped up periodically to try and help his compatriots throughout the story. Batman was the first person he encountered.
THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS
Let's face it: this film is basically two comic book stories, shaken up and thrown together.
The first is Frank Miller's seminal Batman miniseries, The Dark Knight Returns. Among other things, it involves an aging, semi-retired Batman who comes back with a more brutal approach and squares off against Superman while wearing an armored, Kryptonite-powered batsuit.
The one above is just one of at least a dozen little visual callbacks drawn directly from The Dark Knight Returns.
THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN
...Here's the other big story this adapts. The showdown with Doomsday took almost a full day and featured a half-dozen Justice Leaguers before Superman died in the comics, but that was in a much more fully-developed DC Universe than we have here.
The horse-drawn carriage, the massive crowds watching, and the flag-draped coffin? All of that could be seen in the issue of Superman: The Man of Steel where Superman's funeral was held, following his epic battle with Doomsday.
At one point, Perry White tells Clark Kent that "it's not 1938 anymore" in response to his optimism and determination that the paper should stand for something.
In the movie, that's the year the Daily Planet was founded -- but in our world, that's when Superman was created.
Action Comics #1, the issue in which Superman first appears, also gets an on-screen nod, in the form of one of the images on the wall of Wallace Keefe's anti-Superman shrine. You can see Superman holding a car over his head and smashing it against a rock formation there, just as in Action Comics #1 from 1938.
DEATH IN THE FAMILY
When we see Robin's costume in its memorial case, it appears to have been not only bronzed, but spray painted with mockery by The Joker.
Of course, in "A Death In the Family," The Joker brutally murdered one of Batman's Robins. In The Dark Knight Returns, which provided the aesthetic inspiration for this movie, that tragedy drove Batman into a long retirement, after which he came out somewhat less stable and significantly more brutal.
"I BELIEVE YOU"
There are a great many references to The Dark Knight Returns in this film, but this one in particular bears repeating.
At one point, a gunman threatens to kill a child if Batman comes any closer. Batman's response, when the baddie says "believe it?"
"I believe you." And then he takes him down. Just like he did to Knyazev when he was holding a gun to Martha Kent.
The Parademons of Apokolips, as well as the Omega symbol used by Darkseid, both appear in Batman's "Knightmare" sequence of dreams/fantasies/whatever.
They're to warn Batman, and prepare the audience, that Darkseid is coming as a foe to the Justice League.
It's also likely that's who Lex later claims to have been paving the way for by killing Superman, saying "he's coming, and he's hungry," although other rumors indicate that could be about Brainiac, who has been mentioned as a potential Justice League Part One villain to build to Darkseid in Part Two.
One of our readers also tells us that The Joker's card is taped to one of the guns in the Knightmare sequence.
But that's not all we get from that sequence...!
Injustice: Gods Among Us is the popular video game and then comic book series in which Superman, his will shattered by the death of Lois Lane, goes rogue and forms an army to help him take over Earth.
Obviously there were some pretty clear allusions to such an event taking place in this movie, and since Injustice probably reaches exponentially more people than the average comic, that's likely no accident.
There are a handful of Watchmen nods in this movie.
First of all, the President here is played by Patrick Wilson, who was Nite-Owl in Snyder's Watchmen.
Carla Gugino reprises her Man of Steel role as the voice of the Kryptonian Scout Ship.
And of course, Jeffrey Dean Morgan -- The Comedian -- gets killed in the first scene again as Thomas Wayne.
I'm also pretty sure I saw the graffiti "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" -- "Who watches the Watchmen?" -- on the wall during the Batman/Superman fight.