So you've seen Batman V Superman. And there's a lot to process — like the question of what that big twist means for the future Justice League, or whether any comic book movie in history ever came paired with such an incredible soundtrack.
But while you wrap your head around Zack Snyder's polarizing blockbuster, let's take a look at 13 Easter Eggs and DC references that you might not have caught first time around in Dawn Of Justice.
1. A Joker Tribute (Part I)
When Batman is at Gotham Docks, lying in wait at the wheel of his monster vehicle as the kryptonite is unloaded from the White Portuguese, the warehouse the Batmobile is hidden in bears the name Nicholson Trading Co. This is an awesome shoutout to Jack Nicholson's legendary take on the Joker in Batman (1989).
At least, I think it was. It was definitely Nicholson-something company, but I was so caught up in the intensity of this sequence and the epic chase that followed that I can't guarantee it. Can a more eagle-eyed fan confirm?
2. 'Good morning, Smallville!'
Perry White's words at the Daily Planet, spoken in jest to Lois Lane, pay obvious homage to the classic CW series Smallville, whose Lex Luthor (Michael Rosenbaum, with considerably less hair than Jesse Eisenberg) is still perhaps the most popular screen portrayal of Superman's nemesis to date.
3. The Familiar Voice Of Krypton
When Lex infiltrates the Krypton ship, the voice of the robot who instructs him not to create Doomsday is provided by Carla Gugino, who also voiced Kelor in Man Of Steel. You could argue that this is not technically an Easter Egg and that all Krypton robotic systems share one voice, à la Siri, but Snyder uses Gugino in most of his projects — she was the original Silk Spectre in Watchmen — so it still plays out as an homage to the duo's habit of working together on superhero flicks.
4. Hey, Steve Trevor!
One of my favorite sequences in Dawn Of Justice was the truly epic moment in which Bruce hacks into the Justice League file to discover the photograph, circa 1918, of Wonder Woman posing for the camera — with Steve Trevor at her side! We knew nothing of this Chris Pine cameo in this movie, which made that scene even more of an epic surprise.
5. DC Comics Shoutout (Part I)
S.T.A.R. Labs is a research facility originated in Superman #246 some 45 years ago, and currently a key component of CW's The Flash TV series. While the lab was also the employer of Silas Stone in Teen Titans — and it's Silas who we see creating Cyborg at the lab in that truly spine-tingling video recording on Diana's laptop — I like to think that this was Snyder's way of acknowledging The Flash as we currently know him, in contrast to the DCEU's reinterpretation of the scarlet speedster.
And while we're on the subject...
6. A 'Terminator 2' Throwback
Joe Morton, who plays Silas Stone in the S.T.A.R. Labs video footage, has a very similar role in Terminator 2: Judgment Day as Miles Bennett Dyson, the genius responsible for the creation of Skynet, the AI that functions as the movies' main antagonist. It goes without saying that Snyder would've been a huge Terminator fan, so you know that's no coincidence.
7. A Joker Tribute (Parts II And III)
Ready for another? When Batman takes on Superman in the dilapidated building, getting the better of him with the use of the Krypton spear, one of the pillars is adorned with "J" graffiti and a smiley face. Good to know that the Joker has enough spare time to skulk around Gotham doing his best Banksy.
And on that note...
“The city and me, we just have a bad history with freaks dressed like clowns.”
Bruce's words to Clark Kent at the plush event hosted by Lex Luthor. Seriously, the Clown Prince is all over this movie. I'm super stoked to see him interact with Batman in Suicide Squad.
8. DC Comics' Shoutout (Parts II And III)
DC villain Kirk Langstrom used a serum to transform into a bat creature, took the name Man-Bat and became a member of the Secret Society Of Super Villains. In one of Bruce's many dream sequences in Batman V Superman, he visits his parents' grave and finds blood seeping out from their enclosed tombstone, before a terrifying bat creature swoops at him from inside the tomb.
Another: Alfred's remark that "the next generation of Waynes will inherit an empty wine cellar — not that there will be a next generation of Waynes" seems to allude heavily to the prospect of Damian Wayne appearing in a live-action DC movie for the very first time. Here's hoping.
9. The Very First Superhero
In the dramatic, gorgeous opening sequence, just before Bruce's parents are murdered in the street, we see the Wayne family emerging from a theater, outside of which is a poster for Zorro, a character created in 1919 and often considered the very first American superhero. A century on, superhero superfan Snyder seems to be paying homage to the one who started it all.
10. 'Gone Girl' Parallels
In 2014's black crime mystery Gone Girl from David Fincher, Affleck uses testimony from an ex-boyfriend of his wife Amy — she accused the innocent ex of rape and he was sent to prison, his life ruined — as motivation in his attempt to expose Amy's ruthlessness.
In Dawn Of Justice, the Batfleck uses the fate of his former employee, who lost his legs during Superman's battle with Zod, as motivation to expose Superman's recklessness. The drop? Both the ex and the employee are played by actor Scoot McNairy. Next time, can he play someone with a slightly less shitty life?
11. We're Off To See The Wizard...
The Wizard Of Oz is not the first thing you'd expect to see referenced in a superhero movie, but Batman V Superman managed to slip not one, but two references in, also cleverly playing on Superman's childhood spent growing up in rural Kansas.
The first, another Perry White zinger:
"Does he just click his heels and go back to Kansas?"
He says this upon finding Clark Kent's desk deserted once again. Later, in the fight with Doomsday, Snyder's camera captures a shot of Superman's red feet sticking out from beneath the memorial statue, right before they take the fight up into space — a clear nod to Dorothy's iconic red shoes. That's pretty cool.
12. The Lex We Know And Love
A pretty obvious one here: The final moments of the movie find Lex Luthor in prison, and we see Eisenberg's hair being shaved off, aligning him with his classic visual in both Smallville and the comics. Of course, Eisenberg's Luthor hair was so upsetting, the guards were basically doing a public service.
13. Rewinding To 'Watchmen'
You didn't really think Snyder could resist the temptation to pack Batman V Superman with references to his controversial R-rated cult classic, did you?
The most obvious callback to Watchmen is the recurring visual motif of Martha Wayne's pearls, torn from her neck and falling slo-mo into the gutter, mirroring the way the Comedian's blood-splattered, yellow smiley-face badge falls with him from the window of his apartment to the ground hundreds of feet below.
Just as Martha's pearls symbolize Bruce's loss and the rise of crime in Gotham City, the ironically smiling badge symbolizes the brutality faced by the Minutemen — and of course, Jeffrey Dean Morgan plays a key role in both sequences.