The End Credits Scene Of Justice League Has Been Bugging Me

When I first saw the end credits scene of Justice League, it was incredibly exciting. The scene sets up some intriguing possibilities for the future of the DC universe and does so with several surprises. However, the more and more I've thought about it over the past few days, the more and more it's been bugging me.

Image: Warner Bros.

If you are still planning on seeing Justice League and haven't had the final tag ruined, you should probably stop reading now.

To recap, the scene reveals that Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) has escaped from prison and asked the villain Deathstroke (Joe Manganiello) to come to his yacht. There, Luthor explains that since the heroes have formed a League, the two should work together to form a league of their own.

It's a cool scene. There's no doubt about it. And in this video, we explored the possibilities it raises. Those still stand.

Justice League's Post-Credit Scene Is One Hell Of A Tease

So far, most of Warner Bros.' films based on DC Comics characters haven't had the kinds of ending credits sequences that are staples of Marvel's movies. That all changes with Justice League, with a major hint about a future challenge to the team's heroes.

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But here's my question: Why Deathstroke? Deathstroke is not a character that's been on the big screen before. He also isn't an instantly recognisable DC villain, unless you watch the CW shows. Besides the mention of his real name, the only thing that a small sliver of the audience might key into is that Joe Manganiello was originally scheduled to play the role in Ben Affleck's Batman solo film. That film has since been radically changed, so we don't even know if Deathstroke will still be in that hypothetical movie any more.

Plus, 99 per cent of people watching don't make that connection. All they see is the Sofia Vergara's husband dressed up like an orange Deadpool. And that's confusing. It's especially confusing when just last year, DC released a whole movie of super villains called Suicide Squad. Why didn't that come into play? Take any one of those characters, put them in Deathstroke's role here, and that scene is immediately, and infinitely, better. Even with a smaller character it works. If Captain Boomerang or Killer Croc showed up, that would at least link the moment to that other hit movie. But imagine it was Deadshot, Harley Quinn or, gasp, the Joker? Holy crap! That would have been insane.

And if you still want to introduce Deathstroke, great. Put him on a couch next to Luthor. He's there, he's coming, and he's still being teased. Don't introduce him to audiences as if it's some massive revelation. Hell, even the opposite would have worked. The scene plays out the same way, but you see the Joker or Harley in the background. Pandemonium!

Now, of course, there are several things working against this idea. The first is it feels more and more like Suicide Squad is an uncertain piece of whatever the DC universe becomes in the coming years. It's already been floated as becoming possibly four totally different future movies: Suicide Squad 2, Harley and Joker, Gotham City Sirens and/or Deadshot. So putting any of the characters into Justice League might be too constricting to characters and stories that are still up in the air.

Then there's the brass tacks of it: Scheduling and money. All of those Suicide Squad actors got paid a lot of money and had to go through a lot of physical preparation to play those roles. They're also in very high demand. So maybe Will Smith, Margot Robbie or Jared Leto aren't in DC shape right now, or they didn't have time available to shoot the scene. That feels like the most logical and believable reason to not do the scene that way.

On the other hand, Joe Manganiello is no slouch either. He didn't show up or change his appearance for free. Deathstroke also has his own movie in development with Gareth Evans. Putting him in this movie has stakes. Plus, in reality, they literally needed one shot. As long as Eisenberg is on board, production could have filmed almost all of the scene over-the-shoulder or with a stand-in and then, just for one shot, you cut to a medium or close up of the actor's face. That's it. Half-day max!

Anyway, I'm sure there are reasons for this not being the choice. Hopefully DC has an explanation for why Deathstroke is the first person Lex Luthor called for this mission. Maybe he's the only person Luthor trusts to recruit the Suicide Squad. Maybe it's a test for the Deathstroke movie. And either way the scene is still pretty damn cool. It's just been bugging me because it could have been so much cooler.


    "... dressed up like an orange Deadpool."
    THIS is the most important issue about these murmurs of Deathstroke being a major character in a DC film. These characters are similar in appearance and were/are obscure to the vast majority of people. Deadpool got a movie first and that's why Deathstroke can't have one. Most people will interpret him as a Deadpool knock-off.
    The truth of how long Deathstoke has existed as a character isn't relevant, it's all about perception. People may come to terms with and accept he's been around a long time, but it won't be until after the damage has been done at the box office.

    I would have preferred a Green Lantern or Martian Manhunter end credit scene tbh.. I just felt it... eh

      Yeah I was really hoping for a big Green Lantern tease at the end. Oh well, at least there was one in the flashback war scene.

    Deathstroke is useful because he can somewhat tango with all of the Justice League members, short of being submerged with Aqua man or in flight with Superman. The choice is simple because it will hopefully allow for fights to seem more integrated rather than what normally happens in superhero movies where the fights happen separate from one another as each hero overcomes their individual adversary.

    Deathstroke is not a physical match for most of the the League, but he is more than a match in terms of combat versatility, especially with Luthor giving him an arsenal designed to counter each member.

    Deathstroke, like Batman is a force of nature with the right tools.

      This. And also, I would point to the CWs Arrow as being the reson why this is happening. SSquad went down badly, and was in no way a 'hit', and as such, DC are probably not keen on bring them back yet, if they can help it, so what better way to go than to bring one of the popular CW ones in to the big screen?

      Also, 99% of people who go to see the movies don't stay for the end credit scenes, so that point is pretty invalided. Only those who know DC or Marvel will actually stay behind, so they are going to know who Deathstroke is.

    Did you have the same issue when Nick Fury showed up to offer Tony Stark membership to the Avenger Initiative? This is, after all, the exact same situation (one could actually argue it's almost the exact same scene realistically... character arrives into a location, a shady figure offers him a deal to join an elite group...)

      Wouldn't the fact that Tony Stark was an established character in the movie universe be substantially different from a "new" character's first time appearance?

      Using myself as an example. I saw Justice League with my dad. I've never read an actual comic book while my dad did basically. My dad's response when Deathstroke showed up? "Who is he?" My response? "I think I recognise him from that Batman game trailer. Death-something. And oh my god did they name the Deadpool look-a-like Wilson as well?"

      I expected Deathstroke to have different humans under the mask throughout his time in comics and to have different names they could have chosen from to not call him "Wilson".
      I googled and learnt different, but they still could have introduced him as "Slade" instead.

        Your facts are a bit backwards there. You may be recalling Tony showing up in the Incredible Hulk. I'm specifically talking about Nick Fury showing up in Iron Man 1. This was the first time Tony Stark was in the MCU and the first time Nick Fury was too. Tony Stark was never established prior to that, infact it was a massive gamble, Iron Man 1, it was actually, in some circles, expected to potentially flop (The MCU was actually not a thing then, Iron Man was the leaping off point).

        Tonys first time: Iron Man 1
        Meets: Nick Fury end of Iron Man 1
        Lex's first time: BVS (Established character here)
        Lex's second time: JL
        Meets: Deathstroke (announced as 'Wilson')

        Announcing the character as 'Wilson', isn't an issue, it's simply a teaser. Most of the moviegoing audience also had zero idea who Thanos was at the end of Avengers, until they saw a giant purple guy and ran out to google him, in the process infecting the world with a billion sudden Thanos experts.

        It's how they follow it up that counts. They've established him to look like a badass, to potentially be a badass and to be aligned with the badguys. Where they go from here is up to them. With people having a reaction like yours, they're now going to do the same, they're going to look up who Deathstroke is (possibly even watch Manu Bennets awesome rendition on Arrow) and learn all about how he's basically the bad-Batman.

        Saying to call him 'Slade' instead of 'Wilson' is really just neither here nor there, "Slade sounds like Wade!" would simply be the replacement for the complaint. The only other way would be to say 'Hi Deathstroke' in the movie, which, would be preferable, but probably not Luthors style (and to be honest, Eisenberg was far more tolerable there than he was in BVS lol).

        But in the end, it's a tease, it teased, it got you to look him up, so you're pretty much a prime example of why the tease worked.

          I wasn't sure about timeline so I'm going to believe you. And you're right the 2 movies have more similarities then I gave them credit.
          I still feel that in Marvels example having the "known" Super-Hero meet the "unknown" human is reasonably different from DCs "known" human meeting the "unknown" Super-Villain.
          Because while both the human character and super character are important, basically only the super character gets their own movie. As much as I like Alfred it's always going to be a Batman film.

          And because of a weird impulsive defensive feeling, I want to say that while the tease did make me look up Deathstroke, what I'm looking forward to is watching the DC movie universe crash & burn. I've probably had more fun, making fun of BvS Martha then I've had watching WW and JL. Although the pro-female chatter about WW made me actually analyse it for myself and I can't quite reconcile what I think about WW with what the internet seems to think about WW.

            Deathstroke is getting his own movie (allegedly). Gareth Evans (The Raid) is directing it.

              Oh I'm sure, my point was Luther/Nick Fury aren't

                Honestly, the less Eisenbergs Luthors in, the better ;) lol

          Yeah except Iron Man 1 didnt suck.

            Irrelevant, the quality of the films isn't what's being discussed.

        I'm pretty sure that Deadpool was a copy of Deathstroke, Marvel done it for a bit of fun and it just never went away. I prefer Deadpool tbh, more entertaining (comics and on screen)

          yeah correct, Deathstroke had been around for about 10 years prior to the creation of Deadpool.
          Both of them are really cool characters.

    Lol don't over think these piece of crap movies. Seriously... nothing is planned. They aren't thinking anything through and the sooner they reboot them and get it done right, the better.

    I can't believe someone is actually arguing for more Suicide Squad. That... I hesitate to even call it a movie, should be scrubbed from history in general, much less further integrated into the DCU.

    Deathstoke is a weird choice unless he's getting paid.

    The only thing that bugged me about it was "... oh Christ, not dipshit Luthor again?!"

    I was hoping the post credits scene would reveal Lex Luthor Sr. instead of Eisenberg as his shonky take on the character.
    They badly need a new Luthor and a new Joker to avoid sucking. I know both actors playing these characters are somewhat acclaimed, but let's face it, each took it too far and became strained, particularly forced performances.

      I want Cranston Luthor, damn it!

      ... Failing that, they should have shown someone leading the human army against Steppenwolf in the flashback. Then have him reappear as the guy hiring Deathstroke - boom, it's Vandal Savage. He knows the group who took down Steppenwolf can screw up his own schemes, so he's aiming to get rid of them quick.

      Instead we got the twitchy twerp back again, who has no overall goal and just does shit because he's bored.

        This would've been a far better way to do it. Show the guy throwing lightning in the battle, who we believe to be Zeus... come back to him in a few scenes, alluding to him being Zeus...

        Then like you said, SURPRISE it's Vandall Savage!

    Really this is the thing that you had issues with? not the part where in WW the Amazons said they couldnt leave the Island but then they leave the island to fight Steppenwolf the first time?

    Or the fact that WW could have taken on Superman by herself.

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