Following the release of the Thor: Ragnarok teaser trailer earlier this week, we felt like it was happening again: two superhero movies that didn't seem particularly similar, but which ended up having a lot of very similar elements.
In 2016, it was Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Captain America: Civil War. This time around, Justice League and Thor: Ragnarok seemed to have at least one major set piece in common: a powerful villain taking the battle to the hero's remote world of gods.
In Thor, obviously, it's Hela waging her war on Asgard. In Justice League, Parademons can be seen swarming Themyscira, home to Wonder Woman and the Amazons.
It's easy to brush that scene aside somewhat, chalking it up to another in a series of cool visuals in the Justice League trailer...but when you really think for a minute about what it could mean, there's a sense that the whole future of the DC Extended Universe could be riding on the outcome of that battle.
Why's that? Well, you have to look at some of the dialogue from Wonder Woman.
There's been a lot of talk about Wonder Woman's father being Zeus, in some form or another. It was an element of the comics that gained traction during The New 52 era of publishing (2011 to 2016) and which has not been particularly popular with fans, either because it breaks with traditional canon that Diana was born from clay, or because of the ways the feminist world of the Amazons is undermined by elements of the stories told when Zeus and Hercules start to get wrapped up in the Amazonian lore.
The fact that Zeus has been name-checked, though, could mean something bigger for Themyscira and Justice League, because the Greek, Roman, and Norse gods and Titans of real-world myth have typically been portrayed in DC Comics lore as parallels to or sometimes descendants of the "Old Gods." Highfather of New Genesis and the hordes of Apokolips, led by Darkseid, are in turn the New Gods.
What's interesting about the idea of Parademons (emissaries of the New Gods) battling the Amazons (who have ties to the "old" gods) is the image at left, taken from the very first issue of Jack Kirby's New Gods #1 in 1971. While it isn't Parademons and Amazons, the image shows a battle on a cosmic scale, which ushered in a new generation of gods by doing away with the old.
Could Justice League depict onscreen the carnage of the war that laid waste to the Old Gods?
One theory is that the reason Steppenwolf -- the uncle to Darkseid -- is the central antagonist for Justice League is that Darkseid himself cannot be brought to Earth (or perhaps to "our" reality) without first disposing of the Old Gods for one reason or another.
That the Mother Boxes brought to Earth hundreds of years ago and shared between humanity, Atlanteans and Amazons are a big part of the conflict might lend some credence to that -- perhaps the Mother Boxes need to be brought together for a particular reason.
In any event, this is another one of those theories that could very well turn out to be nothing -- or could provide important context for exactly what's at stake when Apokolips comes to Earth, and especially Themyscira.
More Justice League news:
In Justice League, fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes—Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash—it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.
Justice League is directed by Zack Snyder, from a screenplay by Chris Terrio, and features an ensemble cast that includes Ben Affleck (Batman), Henry Cavill (Superman), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), Ezra Miller (The Flash), Jason Momoa (Aquaman), Ray Fisher (Cyborg), Ciarán Hinds (Steppenwolf), Amy Adams (Lois Lane), Diane Lane (Martha Kent), Jeremy Irons (Alfred Pennyworth), J.K. Simmons (Commissioner Gordon), Amber Heard (Mera), Kiersey Clemons (Iris West) and Jesse Eisenberg (Lex Luthor).
DC and Warner Bros. have a full slate ahead, with Wonder Woman on June 2, 2017, followed by Justice League on November 17, 2017. The Batman is expected sometime in 2018, with The Flash debuting on March 23, 2018. Aquaman is set for October 5, 2018, and Nightwing's solo feature is due sometime in 2019.
Justice League currently enjoys a 4.14 out of 5 on ComicBook.com's anticipation rankings, which has climbed up more than a few points since the trailer released. Let us know how excited (or not) you are for it by rating it above!