Easter Eggs have become synonymous with comic book movies. Observant fans everywhere eagerly await both the obvious and more subtle Easter Eggs with each new release.
Marvel isn’t the only comic book powerhouse that hides Easter Eggs in all of its movies. Not to be outdone, rival DC’s cinematic universe has inevitably started hiding Easter Eggs in its films. Movie makers are paying attention to the slightest details, choosing to celebrate the DC Universe with clever nods, subtle references and even possible foreshadowing.
With the recent emergence of comic book movies as mega blockbusters with critical acclaim, inserting these Easter Eggs becomes a necessary step. It pleases both the die-hard fans and casual movie-goers, but it also ties together the complex comic book universe being created while laying the groundwork for something greater.
There are many decades of story lines and characters to explore, so inserting some sort of sneaky reference acknowledges the comic’s origins and embraces its history. The following are just fourteen of the cleverest DC Easter Eggs you may have missed.
14. Aquaman PJs – Superman Returns (2006)
People have mixed feelings about Superman Returns. It was a decent enough outing, but not the Superman movie people wanted in the 21st century. It was awkward, especially when viewers found out Superman was Lois Lane’s baby daddy.
During one of the final scenes, Superman visits his son. If viewers look closely, they’ll notice another member of the Justice League decorating the kid’s pyjamas: the familiar orange of Aquaman’s outfit. Superman’s kid prefers to wear pyjamas adorned by the king of Atlantis over his own deadbeat dad. Jokes aside, this is a fun little Easter Egg that makes us wonder if Aquaman will ever get his own feature film.
13. References to the DC Universe – Man of Steel (2013)
Two billboards stand out in the background during the epic showdown between Superman and General Zod. First off, there’s the Blaze Comics logo, a fictional comic-book publisher in the DC Universe that regularly publishes comics that feature Booster Gold as the protagonist. Booster is a glory-seeking hero from the future who’s a part-time member of the Justice League.
In another shot during the battle, a sign for Utopia Casino can be seen. In the comics, the owner of said casino, Tony Gallo, is the man responsible for bringing Superman into contact with Kryptonite.
Both are minor, sure, but little nods like these to the greater DC Universe leaves the door open for future appearances by these characters.
12. Bat Villains in the Nolan Universe – Batman Begins (2005), The Dark Knight (2008), The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
Some characters in the Batman lore are too cartoony or simply surreal to properly portray them in the Nolan Universe. That doesn’t stop the acclaimed director from slyly alluding to them in his Dark Knight trilogy.
In Batman Begins, one of Scarecrow’s “patients” is Victor Zsasz, a knife-wielding serial killer who carves a tally mark on his body for each of his victims. He is sentenced to serve time in Arkham Asylum; when he escapes, viewers get a peek of his infamous tally marks on his neck.
In The Dark Knight, when Lucius Fox is describing the new Batsuit, Bruce asks if the suit can withstand attacks from dogs, to which Lucius responds that it should be fine against cats, alluding to Catwoman.
Finally, in The Dark Knight Rises, there was a Killer Croc reference when the cops were joking about Commissioner Jim Gordon seeing an alligator down in the sewers.
11. Superman’s First Appearance in “Action Comics” – Superman Returns (2006)
A great little moment in Superman Returns occurs when the Man of Steel saves Kitty Kowalski, Lex Luthor’s assistant, when her brakes fail on her car. After crashing into everything, the car is eventually lifted off the ground and over Superman’s head.
The cleverly hidden Easter Egg here is the nod to Superman’s first ever appearance in a comic book. The iconic image in question is the cover of Action Comics #1, where Superman holds a car above his head, mirroring the scene from the movie. This served as a subtle tribute by the producers of the film in honor of the first time comic book readers everywhere laid eyes on Superman.
10. Riddler and Two-Face’s Coats – Batman & Robin (1997)
Joel Schumacher’s second Batman movie, Batman & Robin, was hilariously bad, but it did do some things well, including dropping a cool Easter Egg on the viewers.
When Bane is tasked to recover Mr. Freeze’s suit in Arkham Asylum in order to help him escape, a quick glance shows the familiar fluorescent green of the Riddler’s costume as well as the split design of black and pink tiger print of Two-Face’s ridiculous suit.
Although Schumacher pretty much butchered the original source for his Batman movies, it’s always good to see some acknowledgment of his previous film and the continuity of the timeline he created.
9. Weisinger Primary School – Man of Steel (2013)
This Easter Egg isn’t the most revelatory item, but it’s a pretty interesting little nugget that’s slyly hidden and provides a challenge to those Easter Egg hunters.
When Martha Kent is going through her photo album, there’s a picture of a young Clark Kent standing next to his father after just having won a prize in the science fair. Visible in the background is the school’s name: Weisinger Primary School. The name is a tribute to legendary editor Mort Weisinger, who oversaw the Superman comic during the Silver Age in the 1950’s and ‘60s.
Furthermore, the high school sports team at Weisinger Primary School is named the Spartans, another clever reference to director Zack Snyder’s film 300.
8. Two-Face Comic Origin – The Dark Knight (2008)
In the comics, Harvey Dent was a highly respected district attorney and one of Batman’s strongest allies in their war against crime. While on trial, Salvatore Maroni, one of the major mob bosses, throws acid in Dent’s face, scarring him both physically and psychologically, eventually turning into the supervillain Two-Face.
In The Dark Knight, a witness to the Maroni case pulls out a gun against Dent; the gun locks and no bullets are fired. It’s a quick little tease to the demise of Harvey Dent and the birth of Two-Face: it creates a tense scene that foreshadows what’s to come while paying homage to the comic book origin story.
7. The Empty Pod – Man of Steel (2013)
When Superman enters the Kryptonian scout ship beneath the ice surface – which later becomes his Fortress of Solitude – there are a bunch of pods that have skeletons in them, most likely remnants of his ancestors. One pod, however, is open and empty.
This has led viewers to believe that a Kryptonian besides Superman is alive. Everyone’s guess is that Kara Zor-El aka Supergirl occupied that empty pod, opening the door for her appearance in future films. The hypothesis was confirmed when the Man of Steel comic book prequel was released, detailing how the scout ship crash landed on Earth with Supergirl in it.
6. Robin Hint – The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
There were rumors running rampant that Joseph Gordon Levitt’s character Blake in The Dark Knight Rises would turn out to be Batman’s sidekick Robin. The twist at the end confirmed the rumor, but an incredibly subtle Easter Egg referenced the Boy Wonder before his final reveal.
During the Gotham Rogues game in which Bane takes the city hostage, a bunch of fans are seen holding the letters to the name of their home team in support. The “R” in Rogues has a familiar font: it’s the exact same as the Robin logo.
Apparently, it was the extra holding the “R” who created his own little Easter egg and brought it to the film set. True or not, it’s easy to see why Nolan would include it in his movie.
5. LexCorp – Man of Steel (2013)
Lex Luthor is arguably Superman’s greatest nemesis. While we hoped to see the bald-headed business magnate in Snyder’s Man of Steel, we weren’t holding our breath because the focus was on General Zod. We did, however, hope to have some hint or clue as to Lex Luthor’s presence and influence on Metropolis.
We lucked out with these awesome little Easter eggs spread throughout the film. There are many instances where we see the Lexcorp logo on various things, such as on trucks and on buildings. During the epic fight between Zod and Supes, a Lexcorp building is featured prominently. We also see the logo on a tanker that was kicked at Superman by Zod.
4. Ozymandias’ Computer and TVs – The Watchmen (2009)
One of the most intriguing characters in The Watchmen universe is Ozymandias. Nicknamed “The smartest man on the planet”, his sexual orientation has always been ambiguous as the pleasures of the human body seem to be beneath his high intellect.
It’s thus very disturbing when one of the folders seen on Ozymandias’ personal computer is labeled as “BOYS”. Viewers can’t be certain of the meaning behind this folder, although it’s safe to assume it’s sexual in nature.
What makes the whole situation even weirder is the scene in which Ozymandias is sitting in front of numerous television screens, watching things such as The 300 Spartans, Tweety, Marvin the Martian and… porn? That’s right, there are a few screens showing pornographic images of women. Very curious, Ozymandias…
3. Carol Ferris and Star Sapphire – Green Lantern (2011) & Man of Steel (2013)
Initially the Green Lantern’s on again-off again love interest, Carol Ferris becomes the villain Star Sapphire when an extra-terrestrial race of female warriors known as the Zamarons brainwash her.
In the Green Lantern film, Carol Ferris is the vice president of Ferris Aircraft and the Green Lantern’s boss. Early in the film when she’s piloting an aircraft, we see the symbol of her alter ego, the star sapphire, on her helmet. This type of nod is always appreciated; had the film been a success, this sort of foreshadowing could have led to seeing Star Sapphire on the big screen.
On top of that, in Man of Steel, a military captain proclaims that Superman is “kinda hot”. The captain’s name? Carrie Farris. Make of it what you will, but it’s fairly evident that the name wasn’t chosen at random.
2. Superman vs Batman – Man of Steel (2013)
When Man of Steel came out with the notion that it would be the first film in the new DC Movie Universe, people were clamouring to see some reference to the Dark Knight. Lo and behold, Snyder delivered: while in space, one of the satellites destroyed by General Zod had the Wayne Enterprises logo on it. Fans’ hopes of DC superheroes sharing the same world were answered.
In another instance during the battle in Metropolis, another sneaky Easter egg lets the viewer know of Batman’s existence in this universe: a poster plastered on a wall can be seen saying “KEEP CALM AND CALL BATMAN”.
1. Bruce Wayne Doesn’t Become Batman – The Watchmen (2009)
Fans either loved or hated The Watchmen movie. What was universally loved and heavily praised, however, was its awesome opening credits sequence, a montage giving the viewers some backstory to the characters set to Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changin”.
So why is this the number one Easter Egg on the list? The original Nite Owl is seen punching out an armed criminal attempting to rob a rich couple outside a theater. Does that sound familiar?
That’s right, Nite Owl prevents the murders of Thomas and Martha Wayne, the trigger that led young Bruce Wayne down the path of crime fighting. While it’s obviously not explicitly said, there are many clues in this short shot that lends credence to the assumption. Besides the Waynes and Joe Chill, their assassin, there are old Batman posters hanging on the wall. The theater is called the “Gotham Opera House”, which is showing “Die Feldermaus”, or “the Bat”, a play referenced in the Batman universe.
Coincidence? Of course not. The very first shot of the credits in Watchmen completely undoes the whole Batman mythos.