Not long ago, HBO Max just dropped a major bombshell on DC Extended Universe (DCEU) fans! They released a never before seen clip of the true force behind Justice League‘s lacklustre villain, Darkseid. For those unaware, Darkseid is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, threats to DC’s heroes. A cosmic god, tyrant and all-round badass! He’s set to make a cameo in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, which will be released on HBO Max streaming services. Initial plans by Snyder had Darkseid being the main foe to the Justice League throughout a trilogy of films. Very much like what Disney’s Marvel did with Thanos. It’s well within the realm of possibility for Darkseid to assume the role of the DCEU’s prime evil. Depending on how well received Zack Snyder’s Justice League is received by fans.
The Justice League is the greatest team of superheroes and warriors in the DC Universe. It’s only fitting that they would face down dangerous monsters, gods and beings. Beyond merely the scourge of Darkseid, there is a whole slew of villains we could possibly see them facing in future DCEU films. So without further ado, let’s do a rundown of some of the team’s most deadly opponents!
1. Vandal Savage
Though the character has yet to make his live-action cinematic debut, Vandal Savage is well known among Young Justice and Arrow fans. He’s also made animated appearances in shows like Cartoon Network’s legendary Justice League Unlimited series. Despite his grizzled good looks, Savage is far older than you think. How old you’re wondering? Let’s just say this guy was around when Neanderthals still roamed the Earth! Easily 50,000 years old. Once a mere caveman, Vandal Savage was exposed to a glowing fallen meteorite that bathed him in a substance called Dionesium, the same element that Ra’s Al Ghul uses in his Lazarus Pit but far more potent. It made the man an immortal, super-intelligent human being. The world’s first conqueror.
From that time, Vandal Savage would go on to influence humanity by assuming the roles of some of history’s greatest figures like Caesar or Genghis Khan. Above all else, he wishes to push humanity to its limit by orchestrating horrific catastrophes and massive conflicts. In some twisted paternal sense, he wants to make them stronger. And the greatest threat to his “help” has been the Justice League. Vandal Savage is such a captivating character and arguably far more logical compared to Thanos. Savage isn’t simply looking for some magical MacGuffin to make his dreams come through. He uses masterful tactics, forms beneficial alliances and utilizes an endless supply of scientific and arcane resources to accomplish his goal. The perfect intellectual opponent against the League.
2. The Legion of Doom
At the end of 2017’s Justice League, we saw a post-credits scene of Lex Luthor meeting up with one of Batman’s archnemesis, Deathstroke. The two of them discussing how with the formation of the Justice League, it’s time the villains had a “league of their own”. It’s crystal clear that Warner Bros and director Joss Whedon was setting up for the supervillain team, the Legion of Doom to enter the DCEU. The team consists of some of DC’s greatest villains, all banding together with the sole purpose of crushing the League. Traditionally, each member of the team would be a major villain to at least one of the heroes. For Batman, they’d have Bane or Joker. For Wonder Woman, they’d have Cheetah. Nearly always led by Lex Luthor.
There’s still a high chance of Warner Bros going through with their initial plan of having the League face-off against the Legion. Barring Barry Allen and Cyborg, nearly every member of the team has enemies in the DCEU who would love nothing more than to get even with them. We’ve got Jesse Eisenberg’s Luthor and Joe Manganiello as Deathstroke making an appearance in Justice League. Aquaman’s foe Black Manta is still alive and well and we’ll soon see Wonder Woman battle against Cheetah in Wonder Woman 1984. Nearly all the pieces are in place. It’s only a matter of time before we see the world’s greatest heroes go to war against the forces of evil!
3. The Crime Syndicate
Speaking of team match-ups, there’s another route the DCEU could take if they wish to pit the League against a superpowered group of big baddies. Early this year, we saw Ezra Miller’s Barry Allen make an appearance in CW’s Crisis on Infinite Earths TV event. Definitive proof that the DCEU shares the same multiverse with CW’s Arrowverse, which means that there are other versions of the DC universe out there. Perhaps, there are even other versions of the Justice League who are far more malevolent and cruel than DCEU’s. Enter Earth-3’s Crime Syndicate, an alternate, evil doppelganger team to the original Justice League. Their most notable appearance was in DC’s original animated film Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, which I recommend you watch.
Unlike the main DC universe, they come from a world where violence and evil always prevails. Where the strong dominate the weak and they lord over the Earth as its cruel despots. The team is led by Ultraman (not the giant Japanese robot), who is Earth-3’s Superman. His lieutenants are Superwoman, a crazed BDSM version of Wonder Woman, and Owlman, Batman’s fatalistic and sadistic evil clone. To give you a sense of how bad this world is, Owlman is Thomas Wayne Jr, a man who murdered his parents and little brother Bruce so that he could seize their wealth. Yes, Earth-3 is all kinds of messed up. It would be nothing short of amazing to see the DCEU’s League confront their demons in the form of alternate versions of themselves. And you thought the DCEU was dark…
4. The Batman Who Laughs
It’s become a running joke within DC Comics that Batman is capable of defeating anyone, as long as he’s given sufficient prep time. Which isn’t an entirely untrue statement. Over the years, we’ve seen Batman take down some of DC’s most powerful beings, from superpowered aliens to immortal gods. In the JLA: Tower of Babel comic series, Bruce even had contingency plans if the League went rogue. Needless to say, Batman’s one paranoid guy. Here’s an interesting thought: What if Batman’s immense intellect was mixed the Joker’s psychotic behaviour? A Batman who wasn’t restrained by ethics or codes of honour. A Batman who revelled in the death and suffering of others. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Batman Who Laughs!
This demonic Batman hails from the Dark Multiverse, the broken and twisted reflection of the DC Multiverse. A place formed from the nightmares of the multiverse above. In the Dark Nights: Metal comic event, we saw the Batman Who Laughs, along with a team of other evil Batmen, try to drag the positive multiverse down into the dark. No matter how hard the Justice League tries, they just can’t seem to kill him. The Batman Who Laughs has become something of a hit within the DC fandom. Heck, he even got his own comic book series at some point. With the introduction of the multiverse into the DCEU, it wouldn’t too far-fetched to see this monster make his way into the DCEU. Batman is easily DC’s most recognizable property. Now imagine a film in which the Justice League faced off against a Jokerized version of the Bat!
The Anti-Monitor would have been my pick if it wasn’t for the fact that he was already used as the primary antagonist in CW’s Crisis on Infinite Earths. The Anti-Monitor is a multiversal menace capable of wiping out entire worlds. Unfortunately, seeing that the Arrowverse and the DCEU share the same multiverse, it would be redundant to see him appear once more. That being said, there is an evil greater than foes like the Anti-Monitor and Darkseid. A being responsible for the creation of the DC multiverse itself. The mother of every superhero, villain, god and living in the entire multiverse. Her name is Perpetua and she is ready to reclaim her creation and remake everything in her image!
In the 22nd issue of the latest Justice League comic series, we discover the true origins of the multiverse. Out of the wider omniverse, a being called Perpetua was sent by a higher power to create the DC multiverse. She created three children to watch over and maintain the multiverse and one of them was Mobius, the Anti-Monitor. When she went mad with power and weaponized the entire multiverse against her master, her children turned on her and tried to lock her away. Now, however, she has risen and the only thing standing in her way is the Justice League.
Forget about the Anti-Monitor, Lex Luthor or even Darkseid for that matter. If the DCEU truly wants to outdo the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), then Perpetua is an utter gamechanger. Can you imagine the CW heroes and villains teaming up with the characters of the DCEU to form one mega Justice League? United in a war to determine the fate of literally everything that has been and shall be. Her two children, the Monitor and the Anti-Monitor have already appeared in the DC multiverse with Crisis on Infinite Earths. It’s only a matter of time until her name gets brought up. If Warner Bros play their card right, they could create a cinematic event that would make Avengers: Endgame look cute!