One of the things Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice did was set up a future interconnected universe of superheroes. It’s clearly building up to Justice League. And while some references, like seeing Flash or Aquaman are very obvious, some are much more quiet. For instance, if you read the credits, you can see that Metallo was in there. Read on for our list of references to the DC Comics and reply with any you think we missed. This has spoilers if you haven’t seen the movie yet, FYI.
Okay, technically this guy was only credited as Emmet Vale. In the comics, Emett Vale (two t’s) becomes Metallo and is a cyborg powered by kryptonite. In the movie, Vale is the guy gathering the kryptonite in India for Lex Luthor.
When Batman cracks Luthor’s drive and finds files on other metahumans, he sees a photo of Wonder Woman from World War I. In that photo is Chris Pine playing Steve Trevor, the U.S. pilot and longtime confidante to Wonder Woman from the comics.
In 1988, Batman got the enemy KGBeast, a Russian mercenary. In the movie, Luthor’s main henchman is Anatoli Knyazev. That’s KGBeast in the comics, but kind of too dated a name to use now. Fun fact: Anatoli Knyazev used to be a recurring supporting character on TV’s Arrow, but the show had to phase out any characters used in the movies, like Deadshot and Amanda Waller. Bummer.
When Senator Finch is holding Congressional hearings, one of the media is identified as GBS. At one point in the comics, Clark Kent and Cat Grant (among others) worked for this broadcaster.
Luthor’s aide, Mercy, originally was his chauffeur and bodyguard in the animated Superman TV show from the 90s. Later introduced in the comics, she was revealed to be an Amazon like Wonder Woman. So maybe she’ll return.
In the credits, you can see there are police officers named Mazzucchelli and Rucka. David Mazzucchelli is well known for illustrating Batman: Year One and Greg Rucka wrote for a long time on Batman and is about to return to DC Comics for a run on Wonder Woman.
When Batman looks at Luthor’s info on metahumans, we see the origins of Cyborg. Scientist Silas Stone is working at S.T.A.R. Labs to heal Vic Stone, his injured son. S.T.A.R. Labs is a superscience department from Superman comics and we see them every week on TV’s Flash. But the strange object that eventually rebuilds Vic Stone in this scene is clearly the movie version of a Mother Box, a living computer that the New Gods use for all sorts of stuff. Just another hint that Darkseid is coming.
In Batman’s dream/vision where he’s wearing a duster and fighting Superman’s soldiers, he looks over an apocalyptic landscape and sees a massive Omega symbol. Darkseid is a god who uses that symbol prominently. He can shoot Omega beams from his eyes and deliver the Omega Sanction, which can transport people to alternate worlds. In case there was any doubt, the sky is quickly filled with Darkseid’s army, the flying Parademons.
Also in the apocalyptic vision (known as his Knightmare apparently), Superman has formed an army to patrol the world. In the video game Injustice: Gods Among Us, Lois Lane is killed and Superman forms a rogue army to do something similar.
Batman seems to have a dream within a dream where The Flash emerges from an energy portal to warn him about protecting “her” and mentioning that he’s come too soon. In the mid 80s, DC Comics rebooted all their comics in a huge event called Crisis on Infinite Earths. In that story, Barry Allen/Flash runs so fast that he ends up travelling through time.
This is a pretty obscure one, but in the apocalyptic visions, Batman has a joker playing card taped to his gun.
Dark Knight Returns
The armor Batman wears is taken from Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns. There’s even a shot of Batman kicking Superman that comes straight out of a comic panel. When Batman saves Martha Kent, Anatoli says he’ll shoot her and Batman says “I believe you.” In the Dark Knight Returns comics, a thug holds a little girl at gunpoint and threatens to kill her to which Batman responds “I believe you.”
Death of Superman
Surprise. The movie not only introduces Doomsday but it has him kill Superman like in the popular 1994 comics. Superman eventually recovered and there’s a tiny hint of that if you watch his coffin in the final second or two of the movie. In the comics, Superman was given a funeral march complete with flag-draped coffin on a horse drawn carriage as seen in the film.
Action Comics #1
At one point, Perry White berates Clark Kent for wanting to investigate Bruce Wayne instead of writing about… a high school football game? Anyway, he chastises Clark that it’s not 1938 anymore. That’s the year Action Comics #1 was published, featuring the first appearance of Superman.
Death in the Family
In this classic 4-issue arc, the Joker killed Robin. At one point in the movie, Bruce Wayne walks through the Batcave and pauses to look at Robin’s costume which has bullet holes and spray paint from the Joker. It seems likely this version of Batman lost Robin a while back and became disillusioned.
Superman: Peace on Earth
The montage of Superman saving people around the world is taken from the Paul Dini/Alex Ross comic Superman: Peace on Earth.
That photographer that gets shot at the beginning of the film? The one reporting with Lois Lane? That is in fact Jimmy Olsen. Apparently the extended Blu-Ray will include a scene where he identifies himself as such.
Director Zack Snyder previously directed Watchmen, based on the Alan Moore comic that DC published. He used several actors from that movie in Batman v Superman. Carla Gugino played the original Silk Spectre. Here, she voices the Kryptonian computer on Zod’s crashed spaceship. Patrick Wilson played Nite Owl and here is the voice of the President of the United States. Jeffrey Dean Morgan played the Comedian and here plays Thomas Wayne (alongside his Walking Dead co-star Lauren Cohan as Martha Wayne).