Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins takes an understated approach to Easter eggs and those sly nods to the DCEU that fans expect — so low key that you may well have missed most of them. The hit movie starring Gal Gadot takes a much subtler approach than, say, the huge truck marked “Sullivan Truck & Tractor Repair” that appears in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel as a not-so-subtle reference to the Chloe Sullivan character from Smallville. DC’s main rival Marvel’s copious use of Easter eggs is an expected part of the experience.
But Wonder Woman set out to be a different kind of movie, one with a solid story that stood on its own, rather than serving largely as a setup for the next set of superhero stories. That’s what spurred Jenkins to make all those details a real part of the story without taking away from it even for a second. The box office numbers prove that a lot of fans buy the movie’s winning combination of action and heart.
We’ve gathered up a set of 15 Easter eggs and secret references that will help you enjoy the movie that much more the second and third time you see it. Spoiler alert!
15. Zack Snyder Cameo
Director Zack Snyder broke new ground for DC fans with his reboot of the Superman saga as part of the larger DC Extended Universe. He’s gotten a co-writing credit on Wonder Woman and makes an appearance to solidify the links between the DCEU. Snyder shared the pic of himself in full World War I uniform with a gun on the Vero social media site, but it wasn’t clear where he’d show up. In the movie, he makes a brief appearance just after the huge scene where Diana and Steve cross No Man’s Land. But there’s more. In shots of that iconic BW photo from a different angle, he also appears in the background by a tank. It’s not the first time he’s taken on a quasi-military background part in his own movies. In Watchmen, he appeared in a Vietnam War scene and was a state trooper in Dawn of the Dead.
14. General Ludendorff
The evil general of the Wonder Woman movie turns out to have a basis in history. The real Erich Friedrich Wilhelm Ludendorff was born on April 9, 1865 and died on December 20, 1937. The choice of Ludendorff in the movie does have some historical basis. Along with winning the Battle of Tannenberg in what was known as East Prussia early in the war, the general was noted for his win at the Battle of Liège in Belgium, which took place in 1914. The real general went on to become Quartermaster General of the German army, a post he held until just before the war ended in 1918. There’s not much known about him personally, but what we do know does paint an unflattering picture. After WWI, he became a vocal proponent of the so-called “stab in the back” theory, which said that Communists and Jews caused the German Army to lose the War. He also participated in Adolf Hitler’s infamous Beer Hall Putsch of 1923, a failed coup d’etat by the then fledgling Nazi party.
13. Mister Miracle
When Diana and Steve first arrive in London, Diana is all agog at the life she sees on the streets of the city. In one of those shots, she walks by, among other things, an escape artist. He’s shackled. She walks by him, obscuring him from our view as the audience. By the time she’s on the other side of him, however, he’s escaped the shackles and chains. Just a minor detail? A little extra color thrown into the scene? As any fan will tell you, there are no minor details in a superhero universe movie. This one may just refer to a DC character known as Mister Miracle, a master escape artist, among other things. He’s part of the New Gods series of characters created by comic book legend Jack Kirby in the 1970s and resurrected in 2007. The very brief yet intriguing appearance in the movie may just be laying the groundwork for the introduction of the New Gods into the Justice League movies. They’re an alien race who come from New Genesis and Apokolips and live in the Fourth World, a place without the usual restrictions of time and space. The New Gods also include Darkseid and Steppenwolf. To bolster our case for Mister Miracle, for the Wonder Woman movie, Warner Bros. debuted a new introduction for the DCEU movies with a superhero group shot, and Mister Miracle is in the group.
12. The Photo Sent By Bruce Wayne
This one is the exception in that it is fairly obvious and comes right at the beginning of the movie. In the modern day, Diana Prince works at the Louvre Museum in Paris, and she receives a package that’s delivered by a man in a Wayne Enterprises uniform from a truck with a Wayne Enterprises logo painted on the side. By itself, it’s a small detail, but it’s also Wonder Woman’s sole connection to the DCEU. She opens the package, and it’s a black and white photograph, showing her in full WW garb, flanked by men with guns, including Chris Pine as Steve Trevor. The backdrop looks to be a city in wartime with damage from shells. The photograph was last seen in Batman vs Superman. In one scene, Diana is looking at the same image on a computer screen, and it’s said that the image means a lot to her. If you recall BvS, (and we certainly sympathize if you don’t,) Diana attended Lex Luthor’s party to try and steal a flash drive with information about metahumans like the Man of Steel and herself. When Batman gets hold of the drive, he finds the picture on it. Is the photograph part of an invitation to JL? We’ll have to wait and see.
11. The Museum
Diana Prince’s job in the movie as an antique weapons expert at the Louvre has its precedent in Wonder Woman comics. In Wonder Woman Vol. 2 # 101 (September 1995): “Second Genesis” by John Byrne, Wonder Woman finds herself in Gateway City, a town along the California coast. It is also — and not coincidentally — home to the largest collection of Greek artifacts outside Greece. Diana Prince meets Helena Sandsmark, an archaeologist, and her daughter Cassie. Cassie goes on to become Wonder Girl. In the meantime, however, Helena is the curator at the Gateway City Museum of Cultural Antiquities, and she gets Diana a job as a visiting lecturer on (what else?) Greek and Roman mythology. In the comics, the museum is attacked by Wonder Woman’s enemies, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed for the Louvre.
10. The Ice Cream Scene
Of all the memorable scenes in the Wonder Woman movie, the critics seem universally enchanted by the one that depicts Diana Prince’s first encounter with ice cream. A lot of the humor in the film comes from the Amazon’s encounters with the strange realities of Man’s World, but this one adds a childlike quality and a real heart to her character as she tells the ice cream seller he should be proud of his creation. It really is a great scene, and it’s lifted straight from both the comics and DC-animated films. It first appears in DC Comics’ 2011 New 52 reboot, Justice League: Origin. The story revolves around the characters as young adults, first trying out their superhero roles. In the comics, Diana is walking around downtown Washington, DC and encounters a young fan named Raquel, who introduces her to the frozen treat. The scene is repeated in Justice League: War, a Warner Bros. Animation direct-to-video version of the same story. It was the beginning of WW’s by now famed love of ice cream, an element that has showed up from time to time in the Wonder Woman series.
9. Dodging Bullets
Director Patty Jenkins goes beyond the current crop of DCEU movies in making an homage to Richard Donner’s 1978 Superman flick starring Christopher Reeve. It’s appropriate. The movie reintroduced the Man of Steel character to modern era audiences, beyond the 1950s TV version that looks cheesy in comparison. In the movie, when Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor first get to London, they end up in an alley with — naturally — some bad guys in the form of Nazi assassins out to get Steve. Steve, being a gentleman, thinks he’s going to take them on, but then Diana astounds him by deflecting a bullet headed for his heart with her wrist gauntlets. It’s a reference to a scene in Donner’s Superman, where Reeve’s Clark Kent saves Lois Lane from a mugger’s bullet by grabbing it out of thin air. Diana goes on to decimate the gang of thugs while Steve watches in admiration.
8. The Villain Fausta
Diana, Steve, and his team of Sameer the spy, Charlie the expert marksman, and Chief the smuggler, travel to the Western Front of the war in an attempt to get closer to the evil General Erich Ludendorff. They eventually discover that the General will be attending a gala party at a castle, so they go to infiltrate it. At this point, Diana is convinced that Ludendorff is actually Ares. She finds a snobby German woman and steals a blue dress from her so that she can get into the party herself. That woman, as it turns out, is none other than Fausta Grables, the Nazi operative and famous German athlete that super fans of DC comics may be familiar with. She appears once in Comics Cavalcade #2 (Spring 1943): “Wanted By Hitler: Dead or Alive.” The character also showed up in the Wonder Woman TV series starring Lynda Carter in an episode from 1976 called “Fausta: The Nazi Wonder Woman,” where Diana foils Fausta’s plot to kidnap Steve.
7. Summoning Zeus’s Lightning
Gal Gadot’s Diana summons lightning, the weapon of her father Zeus, to defeat the enemy in Wonder Woman. That use of lighting is one of a few references in the film to the Wonder Woman series of the 2000s by Gail Simone. In Wonder Woman Vol 3 #39, “Warkiller, Finale: Dawn Before Darkness” (February 2010) by Gail Simone, Diana is reunited with her mother Hippolyta, as well as Zeus, in a long and complicated story line. After fighting off other creatures and evildoers, Wonder Woman summons lightning through her wrist gauntlets to defeat Cottus, a giant monster from Greek legend. The movie’s link to Zeus also reflects the way that Diana’s origin story has changed over the years in the comics. In the beginning of the movie, the Amazonian Princess believes that she was created out of clay by her mother, Queen Hippolyta. That’s the story that was told in the very first Wonder Woman series first published in 1941. But as Diana comes to know later on in the movie, she was actually the love child of an affair between Hippolyta and Zeus. In the comics, that origin story became canon in 2011 with the New 52 relaunch of Wonder Woman by writer Brian Azzarello.
DCEU character Artemis shows up twice in the movie, and she’s played by women’s boxing legend Ann Wolfe. Artemis has her own story in the DC Comics universe, and the name has applied to multiple characters. In the Diana of Themyscira storyline, she’s Artemis of Bana-Mighdall, a warrior and largely, but not always ally, of Wonder Woman. Artemis comes from an Egyptian tribe of Amazons called the Bana-Mighdall. She first crosses paths with Diana when Wonder Woman is looking for her stolen gold Lasso of Truth. Ann Wolfe has held world boxing titles in three different weight classes at the same time. Highly respected in the world of boxing, she’s arguably the best fighter in the history of women’s boxing — a worthy ally for Gal Gadot’s Diana Prince.
5. Doctor Poison
Doctor Poison’s lab coat and goggles from the comics make their appearance in Wonder Woman on Dr. Maru, as played by Elena Anaya. In the comics, Doctor Poison is part of Villainy Inc., a consortium of criminals that plague Wonder Woman. The first version as Princess Maru happened in Sensation Comics #2 (February 1942). She came back as Marina Maru in Wonder Woman #151 Vol. 2 (December 1999). The persona may be slightly different, but the expertise is the same: pathogens, poisons, toxins, and plagues. In Wonder Woman the movie, Isabel Maru is a Spanish chemist with a talent for toxins. The green lab coat is one element taken straight from the original comic. But, it’s the goggles that sit on top of her head that truly cement the Doctor Poison link.
4. Paradise Island
The reference to Diana’s origins in the comics doesn’t come with a flag to let you know they’re there. You just realize that the little details you’ve noticed add up to something. That’s the case when Steve Trevor jokingly calls Diana’s home of Themyscira “Paradise Island.” The original Wonder Woman character was created by William Moulton Marston in 1941. He called the home of the Amazons “Paradise Island” to coincide with his concept of Diana’s homeland as a pristine island that had never been touched by men. It wasn’t until 1987 with the launch of Wonder Woman Vol 2 #1, which rebooted the storyline, that the island became known as Themyscira. The city of Themiscyra, home of the Amazons, is taken straight from the ancient Greek mythology in an area that is now part of modern-day Turkey.
3. The Blackhawks
Actor Saïd Taghmaoui plays Sameer the super spy, and while it’s never actually stated in the film, it appears that Sameer is part of the Blackhawk Squadron. Now, this secret is so secret it wasn’t even mentioned in the Wonder Woman movie. Instead, the clues come from Saïd’s Instagram account, where the actor posted a picture of himself in character. Next to his own pic in a composite, he added the character of Andre Blanc-Dumont, a soldier of fortune and leader of the French Resistance during World War II — and another member of the Blackhawks — along with the caption “Coming soon..!” In the DC Comics world, the Blackhawk Squadron operates during World War II and is led by Janos Prohaska, a Polish pilot who became known as Blackhawk for his skills in the air. Adding the Blackhawks, The Squadron first appears in the New Earth series in 1986.
2. God Of Truth
Gail Simone is one of the comic book world’s most popular writers, and her Wonder Woman contributions from Vol 3 #14-44 & Vol 1 #600 (January 2008 – July 2010) are among the iconic hero’s most well-loved stories. There’s a pivotal moment near the end of the movie that references her work. Ares, disguised as Sir Patrick Morgan, is evil, but as he explains to Diana, he doesn’t compel people to be evil; he just offers them evil choices and lets nature take its course. He tries to persuade Diana that humankind just isn’t worth the effort. He also tries to persuade her that he’s not so much the God of War as the God of Truth. That echoes an exchange between the two from Wonder Woman #37 from 2009. In that comic, Ares is Diana’s grandfather, and he explains to her, “War is truth, princess.”
1. Sensation Comics #1
Sensation Comics #1 was published in 1942 , the first issue that introduced Wonder Woman to the DC roster. There are several references to that first series, illustrated by Jon L. Blummer, in the movie. When Steve Trevor’s plane goes down, he loses consciousness. When he wakes up, his plane is on the water, and he gets his first image of Wonder Woman in glorious backlighting as she stands on the wing. That scene is taken from the comic. Back to the movie, there is a song called Angel on the Wing playing underneath the scene. In the Sensation Comics #1, Steve calls Diana “Angel” after he wakes up on her Invisible Plane, and that’s what he calls her throughout the Golden Age comics. In the movie, while Steve and Diana are in London, they end up in a pub, and Diana, naturally, but to Steve’s surprise, joins in the melee. She takes one of the bar thugs by the wrist, pausing slightly before launching him across the room. That’s just how the scene unfolds in the comic, Wonder Woman: “Wonder Woman Arrives in Man’s World.”