Wonder Woman is officially a massive hit, racking up $100 million at the box office and enthralling critics. And, in terms of the cinematic universe it’s set in, it’s largely self-contained. Bar a note from a certain billionaire, who sends the original photo Diana was hunting for in Batman V Superman along with a flirty note, we don’t see another DC superhero or even many nods to DC Comics in the movie. But, if you know your DC Comics, there are some hints at what may be happening next. Spoilers, of course, below.
The central conceit of Wonder Woman is that Ares is the last of the old gods. As we learn early on in the movie, Ares, angry over Zeus’ love for man and believing humans were monstrous, fought a war with the gods that even he barely survived. That leaves Ares as the last of the old gods, and, as our own Donna Dickens noted, that the old gods were shown resembling the Justice League, and that Aquaman turns up carrying a variation on Poseidon’s trident, isn’t a coincidence. But this also ties into DC’s grander mythology, if you know your comics.
The DCEU has been dropping a lot of hints about the arrival of the New Gods. Originally created by Jack Kirby, the New Gods are a rather trippy concept about beings who live outside normal time and space, and are divided between two planets: The “good” gods live on the idyllic New Genesis and the “evil” ones on dystopian Apokalips. Kirby’s sprawling epic was essentially a retelling of mythology couched in cosmic ’70s terms, as supposedly good men are corrupted by vengeance, and the sons of the heroic Highfather and Satanic Darkseid learn their pasts intertwine.
Justice League has made it fairly clear we’ll be seeing some New Gods; the main villain is Darkseid flunky Steppenwolf, who’s leading an invasion force to Earth. One thing that’s not clear, though, is why, exactly, and Diana might be the answer. Diana, as the movie reveals, is the God-Killer, a god created as a weapon to put Ares down for good. That also likely makes her the only person who can take down a New God, putting her squarely in Darkseid’s crosshairs.
Of course, Diana’s not the only one with a tie to the New Gods. Cyborg’s enhancements are made out of technology called a Mother Box the New Gods use to communicate and teleport, basically their smartphones. In fact, you can see Joe Morton’s Silas Stone see a Mother Box freak out right before an Apokolips foot soldier called a Parademon appears in his living room in the most recent trailer. We’ve yet to learn anything about the past of the Flash or Aquaman, but it wouldn’t be entirely unlikely they’ve got connections to the New Gods, or the old ones, somehow as well. As for Batman, hey, who needs godhood when you’re a billionaire ninja detective? We’ll find out what Diana can do against Darkseid in November, when Justice League arrives.