Justice League hits cinemas this week and DC’s latest movie outing leaves much to be desired (if you don’t believe me, just read the reviews), but that doesn’t mean we don’t care about it. After all, it’s part of a wider superhero universe - one which includes Wonder Woman - and despite its scriptural shortcomings, we all love a good metahuman dust up. As expected, there are a fair few questions which need answering after seeing Justice League and - given that it leads onto the Aquaman movie, the Flash’s solo film, and potentially Wonder Woman 2 (depending on where the sequel falls in the timeline) - we need answers! Only read on though if you’ve seen the Justice League as there are plenty of spoilers to follow.
1. What causes the Mother Boxes to awaken?
The Mother Boxes are at the centre of the Justice League story and we find out pretty early on that they’ve been on Earth for quite some time. Steppenwolf tried to use them to take over the world way back when humanity was still pretty primitive, so why have they only awakened now? We find out from the Amazonians that the boxes (or at least the one they’ve been guarding) have been dormant for thousands of years until the day they start to vibrate and eventually split open, calling Steppenwolf to their location.
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I don’t think it’s Steppenwolf who is waking the Mother Boxes up because at one point in the movie he says he now understands why they’ve waited so long to “call” to him. The reason he thinks the Mother Boxes have awoken is because Superman is dead and the earth is vulnerable again, BUT Superman hasn’t been around for as long as the Mother Boxes have so that doesn’t make much sense either. Why wouldn’t they just call to Steppenwolf 50 years before Clark Kent ever existed? The earth would have been just as vulnerable. Perhaps it’s the presence of another alien entity on earth, Superman himself, which initially wakes up the Mother Boxes, but they wait until he’s gone to call Steppenwolf because they know Superman can defeat him.
I’ll be honest, this is me reading a lot into a storyline which isn’t really there, but I’m trying to make this movie’s plot make sense, so work with me here, ok?
2. What is the transport technology Steppenwolf uses and where does it go?
You know that big, bright, tube thing that Steppenwolf uses to get around? Sort of like a cross between an alien abduction ray and a wormhole? Yeah… what is that? Presumably, it’s some kind of alien technology which he uses to get around, but it would have been good to see where it led. After his defeat, the tube just bursts out of the sky and sucks him (and all the parademons) up into the sky. So where did he go? Back to a ship? Just up into the clouds? The transport tube can find its way to the hidden civilisations such as Themyscira and Atlantis so it’s obviously better than your usual GPS and we never see anything of it other than the bright beam which appears from nowhere! Very mysterious...
3. Why doesn’t the Flash break his dad out of prison?
The Justice League isn’t just a superhero team-up. It also properly introduces the Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg to the DCEU for the first time, but the downside is that there’s not really enough time to go deep into their backstories leaving us with many unanswered questions. Like, why doesn’t Barry Allen just break his dad out of prison? He clearly has the power to do so and he obviously believes his dad is innocent, so why doesn’t he just bust him out?
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Morals perhaps? Technically, the ‘right’ thing to do is to prove someone is innocent so they can be released rather than breaking them out. (Seriously, I checked.) And Barry does seem like a pretty straight-laced teenager. Plus, I don’t think his dad would approve. He wouldn’t want Barry to do anything which would endanger him or see him breaking the law even if it was to get him out. And it would mean a life on the run for them both… of course, Barry’s pretty good at running! I guess this is just one of the many questions which will hopefully be answered in the Flash’s solo movie.
4. Why did Superman attack everyone when he first came back?
The Justice League knew there was a chance that Superman would come back ‘wrong’ when they attempted to resurrect him, but it sounded like they were concerned he would mutate into someone or something completely different and potentially evil like Doomsday. Luckily, this didn’t happen and once resurrected, the Man of Steel looked like his regular, old self - so why did he then attack everyone?
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Could the dangerous process of bringing him back mean that although his body was intact, his consciousness was replaced with a sinister and evil entity which wanted to destroy the world? Well, no, not really... because once he claps eyes on his beloved Lois Lane he starts acting like Superman again, which means he is himself and not evil. Phew! So, again, why did he attack everyone? I think we might have to put this one down to just feeling majority disoriented after being brought back from the dead. It’s bound to throw you out of whack, and to be fair, Superman didn’t throw the first punch, that was Cyborg.
5. Where was Batman when the League were fighting Superman?
Also, where was Batman when the rest of the Justice League were getting their arses handed to them by a momentarily confused Superman? He didn’t turn up for ages! He is getting on a bit so, maybe it took him longer than the rest of the League to run from the Kryptonian ship to Superman’s monument?
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It’s possible that Wonder Woman told Batman to hang back because of, you know, that whole awkward disagreement they had in Batman v Superman. Fair enough, he’s maybe not the first person Superman would have wanted to see upon waking up, but he didn’t exactly hide away during the resurrection process, just when all the fighting kicked off. I think he just didn’t want to admit to Diana that she was right.
6. Where is the rest of humanity?
I don’t know if you noticed this, but the entirety of humanity in this movie seems to be made up of people related to the heroes... and one Russian family. Think about it, which humans do we see on screen for more than a few seconds? Alfred is Batman’s family, Lois Lane and Martha Kent are Superman’s family, Henry Allen is the Flash’s dad, Silas Stone is Cyborg’s dad... and that’s kinda of it.
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Yes, there’s a few other S.T.A.R. Labs employees in need of rescue (specifically a janitor who even gets lines!) and Commissioner Gordon puts in a cameo, and I think I remember Diana talking to a colleague briefly… but in terms of humanity, AKA, civilians, AKA, the characters that make us care about the world ending, the movie only ever focuses on a Russian family who live near Chernobyl. We see them throughout the movie, witnessing the arrival of the parademons, hiding from them, and eventually fleeing their home and being pushed to safety by the Flash. Now, I’m not saying that they’re not worth saving, I’m just asking, where the hell is everyone else?
7. Where did the Mother Boxes go?
Yes, that’s right, we’re back on those pesky Mother Boxes again. Not only did they miraculously wake up at the beginning of the movie with seemingly no explanation, but they also disappeared right at the end as well! Once Cyborg and Superman succeed in pulling them apart and preventing the apocalypse, we never see them again. Where did they go? Did they just roll off to the side and everyone forgot about them? Guys, these are potentially world-ending mystical weapons, you need to keep track of them.
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I don’t want to mention the M word, but a certain other cinematic universe makes a big deal about keeping an eye on its powerful *cough* stones *cough* so why can’t you? It just feels like sloppy story-telling at this point - the Mother Boxes turn up when there needs to be a threat and disappear when there needs to be a happy ending. All it would have taken was one scene showing Batman putting them away in a vault somewhere, a la Raiders of the Lost Ark. Instead, they’re probably just lying around Chernobyl like junk waiting for Steppenwolf to come back and get them.
8. Does Aquaman have superpowers on land then?
Another new character, another question about who exactly he is. Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought Aquaman’s super powers were water-based? Except, in Justice League, he does a fair amount of fighting on land. Ok, he has to, Steppenwolf isn’t taking things to the sea, but then I need to know what kind of land-based powers Aquaman has because he’s holding his own against the big bad and a momentarily confused Superman, as well as standing with the rest of the Justice League.
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Does he have super strength like Diana? He crashed through a building without a scratch on him so it seems pretty likely. He also appears to be able to jump (but not fly) pretty far, and he can definitely run faster than Batman who needs his gadgets to keep up with the League. Again, I’m hoping this will be answered in the character’s solo movie, which is coming soon, along with why he’s never met Mera before… that was weird, right?
9. What was that post-credits scene all about?
One of the best things about the Justice League movie is its two post-credits scenes. One was a light-hearted mid-credits sequence featuring the Flash and Superman having a little banter, but the other one has potentially huge repercussions for the rest of the DCEU.
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Featuring Lex Luthor who - shock, horror - has escaped his imprisonment, Deathstroke makes his DCEU debut as his joins the criminal mastermind on his yacht and listens to a pitch from the bald-headed baddie about how they should form a league of their own. Yes, that’s right, the villains are teaming up! Didn’t we already get that in Suicide Squad? If you’re looking for a more in-depth analysis of the Justice League’s post-credits scenes and what they mean for the DCEU, check out our breakdown.