'Justice League' Post-Credits Scene Explained

The DC cinematic universe has avoided post-credits scenes thus far. The closest they've come is a mid-credits scene in last year's Suicide Squad. But Justice League, WB's biggest superhero movie yet, is taking a page out of the Marvel playbook: it features a mid-credits scene and a post-credits scene. Since the movie is in theaters now, let's talk about what those scenes entail and how they set up things to come.

Warning: spoilers for Justice League and both of its credits scenes lie ahead.

Mid-Credits Scene

In the middle of the movie, The Flash (Ezra Miller) realizes that Superman (Henry Cavill) also has super speed. It's a wholly unfamiliar feeling for Flash, who's used to being the fastest man in the room, and the shocked face Miller makes when the realization hits him is one of the few jokey moments in the movie that works pretty well.

The mid-credits scene features the two of them out on a deserted country road, side by side as they prepare for a race. (Races between The Flash and Superman happen multiple times throughout the comics.) The talkative and neurotic Flash says it's a competition, not a dick measuring contest, and Superman jokes that Flash will be kicked off the team if Supes wins the race. As Flash stretches out, the pair agree to the actual terms: if Superman wins, The Flash has to take the league to brunch (another callback joke from earlier in the movie), and if The Flash wins, he gets to tell the whole team that he won the race. They take off toward the camera in poses that echoes the comic cover seen above.

Joe Manganiello is Deathstroke

Justice League Post-Credits Scene

In the high-security prison where we last saw Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) at the end of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, an Arkham Asylum guard tells Lex that it's time to come out of his cell. But the guard's in for a shock: there's a different bald guy standing in Lex's cell, dressed in prison garb, and laughing maniacally – Lex has somehow escaped.

There's a theory floating around about how The Joker (Jared Leto) might be involved in Lex's escape, citing this guard's laughter as a possible side effect of the Joker's laughing gas. We don't see anything that really supports this theory (outside of the laughter itself), but I suppose if you consider that the end of Suicide Squad involves The Joker breaking Harley out of Belle Reve, then it's theoretically possible that he orchestrated Lex's freedom.

We see a mercenary ride up to a yacht where the real Lex is resting comfortably. Some general audience viewers might think this is Deadpool from the similar silhouette, but it's not the Marvel loudmouth, but DC's own Deathstroke. (Note: the footage we see of Deathstroke is different than the video Ben Affleck shared on Twitter in August of 2016).

The mercenary removes his mask to reveal actor Joe Manganiello – who'd been cast in the part a year ago, but we weren't sure when he'd pop up – and Lex says something along the lines of, "If they have a league, shouldn't we have a league of our own?" A league of their own, huh? You know what that means: Rosie O'Donnell, Madonna, and Geena Davis are confirmed for Justice League 2!

I kid, I kid. But Lex's tease does have some interesting implications for the future of the DC cinematic universe. Deathstroke is the alter ego of Slade Wilson, a mercenary assassin who's gone toe to toe with Batman and Green Arrow in the comics. He's a fantastic martial artist and is trained in combat techniques, and thanks to an experimental serum he has enhanced speed, stamina, endurance, and reflexes. Oh yeah, and he also has an accelerated healing factor, which gives him a one-up on the Dark Knight. The character is rumored to be getting his own spin-off movie from The Raid director Gareth Evans.

Secret Society of Super Villains

In the comics, Lex is always forming teams of supervillains for one nefarious reason or another. One of them was called the Injustice League, which might be what Lex was referring to with his "league of our own" reference. That original team consisted of characters like Luthor, Deathstroke, Catwoman, Bane, Two-Face, Scarecrow, Reverse Flash, Black Manta, and more. Another is the Legion of Doom, which you may remember from the old Super Friends animated series. Those names seem a bit too goofy to make it into a DC movie, but another is the Secret Society of Super Villains, which now just goes by the Secret Society. That seems a bit more in line with the grittier vibe of these movies, so if I had to guess right now, that would be my pick for what this team will ultimately be called.

In the comics, Darkseid is the one who puts the Secret Society together, and as we briefly saw in Batman v Superman, Lex seems to know that Darkseid's arrival is imminent, so perhaps he's doing this on Darkseid's behalf. Since the world of heroes opens up in Justice League with brief glimpses of Green Lantern Corps members and what appears to be a precursor to Shazam during an epic flashback battle, what new villains can we expect to see moving forward? One incarnation of the Secret Society included Gorilla Grodd, a Flash villain, and since that character has a planned solo movie coming up, maybe we'll see that oversized creature make an appearance as a precursor to joining this new villain squad. And while I'm not fully convinced the Arkham guard's laughter means The Joker is involved in Lex's breakout, it'd be silly for WB/DC to create a supervillain team that doesn't involve the Joker. So I'd bet we'll be seeing more of Leto's Crown Prince of Crime.

Who else would you like to see join the DC universe's baddie brigade? Let us know below.