Justice League is hitting theaters next year. The highly-anticipated film is a direct continuation to the events of Batman v Superman, as Bruce Wayne gathers a group of heroes to defend Earth from the incoming threat of Apokolips. While that seems like a big-enough storyline to be a film by itself, there's one big elephant in the room that will be addressed in the superhero team-up: Superman's resurrection.
The biggest question mark in the DC Extended Universe is the Kryptonian Growth Codex, which we first saw in Man of Steel. You know, the strange-looking but powerful artifact in which all knowledge of Krypton's highly-advanced society is resting. Forgotten by many, this device can open the doors for pretty important storylines in the DCEU. But, what is it exactly? And how will it directly affect the events of Justice League? Let's find out.
What Is The Kryptonian Growth Codex?
Kryptonians were an incredibly advanced, techno-organic species. As such, they no longer had the normal gestation process where babies grow in their mothers' wombs. Instead, they grew and developed in a machine called the Genesis Chamber. Through this device, Kryptonians controlled their future generations.
They did this with the help of the Growth Codex, which belonged to a predecessor species of theirs. The skull-like device analyzed the genetic code in the babies gestating in the Genesis Chamber and determined a role for them in society, whether it was a soldier, a scientist, or a doctor. However, it not only analyzed the genetic material but also stored it, meaning the Codex has every single Kryptonian's DNA for years back.
While the Codex stirred up its fair share of controversy in the beginning, it became commonplace in Krypton for thousands of years. Surprisingly, the norm of artificially-grown babies was upended by Jor-El and his wife, Lara, with the birth of their son, Kal-El (who would later be renamed Clark Kent after being sent to Earth). It was Krypton's first natural birth in...well, a really long time. In a way, this made Jor-El and Lara somewhat rebellious, as it showed that their orderly society could succeed without choosing what role its members would play before they're born.
So Where Is The Codex Now?
Desperate to save his race and free his son from Krypton's inevitable destruction, Jor-El stole and subsequently merged the Codex with his son's DNA, hoping that one day, Superman would resurrect the Kryptonian race and be the bridge between them and the people of Earth.
The importance of the Codex is because of its storage of Krypton's genetic material. That's why Zod wanted it in the first place in Man of Steel, to bring back his people. And now, thanks to Jor-El, Superman has that priceless genetic material stored in his DNA. Krypton essentially lives inside the Big Blue Boy Scout.
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The problem is that he can't mentally conceive every Kryptonian with simply a thought or use it whenever he pleases. Think of the Codex as a flash drive storing gigabytes of information that can't be accessed unless you have a receptor, like a computer. Superman would need a specialized device to activate the Codex inside him. How could he do that?
The Genesis Chamber From Man of Steel
As mentioned before, the Genesis Chamber provided babies with their gestation period, submerged in amniotic fluid, where Aquabots were in charge of the unborn children and took care of the structure while at the same time preventing anyone from getting in.
The Kryptonians, being such an advanced species, sent thousands and thousands of scout ships across the universe to find new worlds to conquer. Inside each of those ships was a Genesis Chamber and a Growth Codex, so explorers could continue to breed their race in the far reaches of the universe.
Zod and the others had one in their ship and, not knowing the Codex was inside Kal-El's DNA, planned to use the Genesis Chamber to kickstart the Codex and give new life to the genetic material stored in it.
So How Will The Codex Tie In To Justice League?
Many fans have speculated that the Codex will be the reason behind Superman's resurrection in Justice League. I gave it a lot of thought and realized that the Codex itself doesn't have any of Clark's DNA. Clark's DNA is there because there's a body. So what would happen if someone from Krypton were brought back to life using their genetic material stored in the Codex is that they would return as babies, as the Codex would have no other genetic reference from that person from adulthood.
Superman is in a state of hibernation at the end of Batman v Superman. What if the Codex is activated in Kal-El's body, which is probably not able to heal on its own, by him being placed inside a Genesis Chamber to fully restore? You might be asking yourself what Chamber could be used, as Superman's Fortress of Solitude was destroyed during Zod's attack on Earth. This is where the scout ship where Doomsday was born could come into play. It clearly contains a Genesis Chamber and, with the Codex already being in Superman's body, his resurrection could be managed.
The question now becomes: How could the Codex restore Superman's body if his DNA was never actually in the Codex in the first place? Well, Kal-El's DNA may not have been in it but his ancestors' surely was. And, with Supes already being an adult, what if the Codex uses Kal-El's ancestors' genetic material to simply heal his body and fill in the gaps instead of completely recreating it? I know I'm getting into far-fetched speculation territory but I'm simply following the imaginative trail of breadcrumbs the movies have left for us.
A process like this would successfully bring the Man of Steel back to fight another day and join the Justice League.
How The Codex Could Come Into Play In Future DC Extended Universe Films
Superman activating the Codex inside him could bring a myriad number of possibilities for the DC Extended Universe. One in particular would be introducing Superman's long-lost cousin, Supergirl. In Man of Steel, when Clark finds several escape pods full of corpses, he notices one that is mysteriously open and empty. Fans speculated that this was a reimagined version of Kara Zor-El, a.k.a. Supergirl, lost on Earth for thousands of years.
That was indeed the case. The Man of Steel official prequel comic revealed that Kara was on a mission with a group of other Kryptonians to expand Krypton with the help of their respective Genesis Chamber and Codex. The ship they were in is the one Superman eventually finds.
But that happened thousands of years ago and, with no shown adoration for a flying goddess with super strength and invulnerability throughout history, it's possible that Kara's not alive in the current DCEU.
Now, the Codex inside Superman undoubtedly contains her genetic material, so what if the activation of it somehow causes Supergirl's rebirth in modern times? A story like this would retain the essence from the comic books of her being older than Clark and could be a cool way to address the huge burden that Superman carries. Could she appear in the now confirmed Man of Steel sequel?
I know this is more far-fetched than anything else but, what if the Codex somehow opens the door for a version of Superboy using Superman's ancestors' DNA? I don't know about you, but he's an awesome character that deserves a chance in the DC Extended Universe.
The Codex Will Shape The Future Of The DCEU
That's everything you need to know about the Codex and Genesis Chamber. The Codex is undoubtedly a valuable asset when it comes to future Superman storylines in the DC Extended Universe, that will most likely start paying off in next year's Justice League.
Do you think it will have big ramifications for the future of the DC Extended Universe?