While it certainly winked and nodded at Wonder Woman's decades-long history, the Wonder Woman film out in theaters this weekend is significantly less concerned with setting up Justice League and beyond than Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice or Suicide Squad were. That said, there was a pretty obvious callback to Batman v Superman to start the movie -- and built into it was an Easter egg.
Minor spoilers ahead for Wonder Woman, in theaters now.
In the fim's opening and closing scenes, there is a framing device that sets up the "flashback" that takes up about 98% of the film itself. In it, a Wayne-branded armored truck (we missed the exact branding, but like to think it's Wayne Security, the company on Powerless) pulls up to Diana's place of employment and delivers to her the glass plate which constitutes the original negative for the World War I photo that drew Diana into the intrigue of Batman v Superman.
In that film, Lex Luthor had been keeping files on metahuman and alien activity, and one of the files he had was on Diana -- including a photograph of her with Steve Trevor and other characters from Wonder Woman. In the film itself, audiences learned that the photo was taken in Veld, a village Wonder Woman almost single-handedly freed from German occupation.
It's not the photo, though, but the armored truck that brings with it a fun little Easter egg. The license plate on the vehicle was JL-282-VZM.
Like our recent interview with Erik Larsen about Savage Dragon #224, it seems most likely that only the first couple of letters in the license plate -- "JL" -- are important (this was the case with world designations within Savage Dragon's multiverse). Some fans, though, want the rest of it -- or at least the numbers -- to make some kind of sense, though, so we dug around a little to see if we could come up with something satisfying.
The answer, ultimately, is basically no. While "outfit #226" sounded like a throwaway joke and might have been a comic book Easter egg, "JL-282" sounds like a comic book issue but may in fact have been just a throwaway number.
There has never been a volume of any Justice League comic that reached as high as #282, as far as we can see.
Justice League of America, the first and longest-lasting Justice League comic, ran for 261 issues (plus Annuals and specials, but it still doesn't add up to 282) between 1960 and 1987. The series was rebooted as Justice League in 1988, which was quickly retitled to Justice League International and then, after about four years, retitled again to Justice League America. That series ran for 113 issues.
On Reddit, fans have speculated that the reference could be to Volume 2, #82, but none of the potential issues seem particularly relevant.
The second volume of Justice League of America didn't even make it as high as the 1988 revival, topping out at around 60 issues before the Flashpoint reboot in 2011. Justice League International vol. 2 only ran for 12 issues an an annual, while Justice League vol. 2 would be the New 52 version, whcih ran for 52 issues. The next major evolution for the title after the 1988 volume concluded was a high-profile 1997 relaunch titled JLA, which was a volume 1 -- although it did run for more than 82 issues.
Justice League America #82 featured Wonder Woman as the team leader -- a status that she earned when she returned to the team after Superman's death, and which means that era of the comics are currently being reprinted as volumes titled Wonder Woman and the Justice League America. If there was an arugment to be made for "Justice League Vol. 2 #82, this issue would be the best candidate -- but it was really a Guy Gardner story. In the issue, Guy murders a villain they had in custody over the objection of the government and Wonder Woman, and shortly thereafter disappears from the book for over a year.
JLA #82, the only other Justice League series to reach that high, was part 3 of a story that pitted the League against a group called Axis America, and while Wonder Woman was in the issue, it once again didn't center on her in any meaningful way.
She and Superman saw through false memories which had been implanted in their minds, and brought it to the rest of the League's attention, but Wonder Woman and Superman being the center of stories during this era of JLA was the norm, not the execption, and it certainly didn't "feel" like a Wonder Woman story.
The only other story we figured might fall into the category is Justice League International #21 which, after 261 issues of volume 1, would have been the 282nd monthly issue of Justice League in any shape or form.
In the issue, the League is hunting for the missing Mister Miracle, who had been kidnapped and brought to Apokolips. Darkseid orders that Miracle be returned to the League, and they take him home.
While there is plenty there to unpack as it pertains to potential for November's Justice League movie, in terms of Wonder Woman it's a non-starter. Diana was not a part of the League at this point and wouldn't join until much later.
But, hey! The issue did feature Manga Khan (a cosmic-level villain who was essentially an all-powerful interior decorator who wanted to redesign Earth) , G'Nort (a Green Lantern who looked like a dog and wasn't too bright) and Lobo, who sometimes hung out with the League around then, and betrayed them in this issue.
Wonder Woman hits movie theaters around the world tonight when Gal Gadot returns as the title character in the epic action-adventure from director Patty Jenkins. Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, Princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, when an American pilot crashes on their shores and tells of a massive conflict raging in the outside world, Diana leaves her home, convinced she can stop the threat. Fighting alongside man in a war to end all wars, Diana will discover her full powers…and her true destiny.
Wonder Woman is directed by Patty Jenkins and is written by Allan Heinberg, Geoff Johns, and Zack Snyder. The film stars Gal Gadot (Diana Prince/Wonder Woman), Chris Pine (Steve Trevor), Robin Wright (General Antiope), Connie Nielsen (Queen Hippolyta), David Thewlis, Elena Anaya, Lucy Davis (Etta Candy), Danny Huston, Ewen Bremmer, Doutzen Kroes, Samantha Jo (Euboea), Florence Kasumba (Senator Acantha), Said Taghmaoui, Eleanor Matsuura (Epione), Emily Carey (Young Diana), and Lisa Loven Kongsli (Menalippe).
The DCEU continues with Wonder Woman opens in theaters on June 2, 2017, followed by Justice League on November 17, 2017; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Justice League 2 on June 14, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps on July 24, 2020. The Flash, The Batman, Dark Universe and Man of Steel 2 are currently without a release dates.
Wonder Woman currently has a 4.11 out of 5 ComicBook User Anticipation Rating, making it the eighth-most anticipated upcoming comic book movie among ComicBook.com readers. Let us know how excited you are about Wonder Woman by giving it your own ComicBook User Anticipation Rating below!
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