The DCEU has introduced over a dozen Justice League heroes to the big screen across multiple films since 2013. When Man of Steel came out in 2013, it was just the beginning of Warner Bros.’ own DC cinematic universe that would consist of multiple integrated franchises. Several beloved heroes from the DC Universe have made the jump from panel to screen for almost a full decade and continues to do so today. Even though the DCEU has gone in other directions since 2017, various Justice League members are still coming to life. Despite the Justice League coming together in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, it may be a while until the team is seen again cinematically.
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Even if the team is not always together on the big screen, the DCEU is still heavily consisted of canonical members. Whether it was in the Golden or Silver Age of comics or in the modern books, the team keeps adding more characters to the line-up, even villains who have been reformed. Aside from the characters who have shown up in the films, there have also been many Justice League-inspired Easter eggs or references to heroes that exist in the DCEU. While things are unclear just how interconnected the DCEU will be in coming years, Warner Bros. is still creating franchises based on Justice League heroes.
The longer the DCEU goes on, the more opportunities there will be for other characters who have a history with the beloved DC Comics team of heroes. Who knows what other Justice League members will be in the DCEU within the next 5-10 years? For the time being, which Justice League heroes and members have the DCEU introduced over the years, whether it be in prominent or more minor roles?
Since the Justice League’s inception in the comics, Superman has been one of the founding members, which is why it made perfect sense to have the DCEU kick off with him. Henry Cavill’s Clark Kent may not have been alive when the Justice League was founded, but at least Superman is the reason the team was created within the context of the DCEU.
Bruce Wayne may not have superpowers, but Batman has proven time and time again that he may be the Justice League’s most dangerous member due to how calculated he can be. Ben Affleck’s version of the Dark Knight is so far the oldest cinematic iteration fans have seen, as this Batman had been operating for over 20 years in the DCEU. Affleck’s next (and maybe final) appearance in the DCEU will be in The Flash movie.
Even though Man of Steel came out before Wonder Woman, Gal Gadot’s Diana Prince is essentially the DCEU’s first superhero as she has not only lived longer, but she began her journey as a heroine hundreds of years ago. The Wonder Woman franchise has focused mostly upon Diana’s life prior to the modern DCEU era. However, through Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League, Wonder Woman helped create the team with Bruce.
One of the metahumans Lex Luthor was monitoring was Barry Allen, a.k.a. The Flash, with Ezra Miller playing the DCEU iteration of the beloved Justice League speedster. Besides having a cameo in Suicide Squad, Barry’s biggest role was in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, with the theatrical cut not representing what the director had planned to do originally. However, Miller’s Barry will finally be getting his own adventure in The Flash movie.
Victor Stone, a.k.a. Cyborg, may not have been a founding Justice League member in the original comics, as he was best known as being part of the Teen Titans. However, The New 52 changed all of that in 2011 when DC rebooted their continuity. That led to the DCEU following a similar route with Ray Fisher’s Cyborg, who got introduced in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice before his bigger role in Zack Snyder’s Justice League.
The third member that Bruce and Diana recruited for the DCEU’s Justice League was Arthur Curry, a.k.a. Aquaman, who was also part of founding the team in the original comics. Portrayed by Stargate: Atlantis‘ Jason Momoa, Arthur was initially reluctant to join Bruce and Diana’s new band of heroes. But eventually, Arthur joined the team before the events of Aquaman took place, where he became King of Atlantis.
When Harry Lennix first joined the DCEU in Man of Steel, he was playing General Swanwick, an original character for the movie. However, Snyder ended up retroactively changing Lennix’s role within his DC Universe by having him revealed to be J’onn J’onzz, a.k.a. the Martian Manhunter. Despite the Snyder Cut not being DCEU canon, had it been released in 2017 as originally planned, it’s not like other films couldn’t use Lennix’s Martian Manhunter.
Wonder Woman isn’t the only Justice League heroine who exists in the DCEU as there is also Mera, as played by Amber Heard. In Zack Snyder’s Justice League and the theatrical cut, Mera was briefly introduced prior to Aquaman’s storyline, where she played a much bigger role.
While the DCEU’s version of Billy Batson may not have come into contact with the whole Justice League yet, Shazam is one of the primary members in the comics. However, 2019’s Shazam did establish how much the Justice League is known within the DCEU through multiple references and Easter eggs. Even if it wasn’t Cavill in the suit, Zachary Levi’s Shazam did manage to befriend Superman as he showed up at the school in the final scene.
In Zack Snyder’s Justice League, one of the restored characters that got cut from the 2017 film was Ryan Choi, played by Zheng Kai. Ryan was working heavily with Dr. Silas Stone at S.T.A.R. Labs before the latter’s passing. By the end of the Snyder Cut, Ryan got referenced as the director of nano-technology, alluding to his role as The Atom in the comics. After the 4-hour cut was released, Snyder had revealed that he had initially pitched an Atom spinoff which would have seen Ryan become his Justice League comic counterpart.
Even though fans didn’t get to meet him in the present time, Zack Snyder’s Justice League did introduce one of the Green Lanterns through the Knightmare sequence. As Cyborg had a vision of the apocalyptic future, the Green Lantern Kilowog’s dead body was seen in the ruins of the Hall of Justice. Even though Kilowog is primarily known as an Emerald Knight, he has served on the Justice League in the comics.
In 2020, Dinah Laurel Lance, a.k.a. Black Canary, got her cinematic debut with Jurnee Bell bringing the Justice League heroine to life in Birds of Prey. This take on Dinah was initially a singer for Roman Sionis’s Black Mask Club before eventually getting out of his criminal claws. While Black Canary is commonly associated for her roles on the Birds of Prey and in the Green Arrow family, Dinah is one of the most iconic Justice League members, having even been the group’s leader at times.
Another Birds of Prey member that got the cinematic treatment was Helena Bertinelli, a.k.a. the Huntress, portrayed by Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Huntress is introduced as a vigilante who was going after the mobsters who executed her entire family when she was a child. Even though Helena is heavily known for her ties to the Birds of Prey, Huntress has been part of the Justice League over the decades.
While Birds of Prey depicted Cassandra Cain as a teenager, Ella Jay Basco’s DC character also has a history with the Justice League in the comics. Since DCEU’s Cassandra was introduced as a kid, she was neither Batgirl nor Orphan at this point. However, as Cassandra had a target on her back, she is the reason why the Birds of Prey come together in the end. Whether or not DCEU’s Cassandra will become Orphan remains to be seen, especially as the movie ended with her becoming Harley’s partner.
Even though the mainstream audience may know of Harley Quinn as The Joker’s partner-in-crime or a member of the Suicide Squad, her comic counterpart has actually been a Justice League member in recent years. Margot Robbie’s iteration in the DCEU may not have joined forces with the Justice League, but she has gone into the role of an antiheroine. Through the Suicide Squad franchise and Birds of Prey, Robbie’s Harley has become more than just Joker’s on-and-off-partner in crime.
Superman’s archnemesis Lex Luthor will forever and always be one of DC’s biggest villains, but even he has gone on to have a brief run as a superhero on the Justice League. Luckily, the DCEU’s take on Lex, played by Jesse Eisenberg, would never be considered for membership on the team. After pitting Batman and Superman against each other and creating Doomsday, it is hard picturing the Justice League ever wanting him on the team, even if temporarily.
The DCEU may have introduced Tatsu Yamashiro, a.k.a. Katana, in 2016’s Suicide Squad, but she is also another canonical Justice League hero. Since Karen Fukuhara’s version of Katana has only been in one film, very little is known about the DCEU take on Tatsu.
Despite thinking it was Jason Todd’s Robin costume that was hanging in the Bat-cave, it turns out the DCEU killed off a different Boy Wonder instead. At some point before the events of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Bruce lost Dick Grayson, who The Joker murdered in this continuity.
While Vixen has not physically shown up in the DCEU, Mari McCabe does actually exist in this continuity. Time Out Shortlist Gotham and Metropolis was a tie-in for the Turkish Airways marketing that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice did leading up to the film’s release. This described the DCEU iteration of the Justice League heroine as a famous Gotham City supermodel.
Another piece of tie-in marketing for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was WIRED’s interview with Lex. The interview revealed a slew of other Justice League members that exist in the DCEU. As several companies were brought up, Kord Industries was one of them, which belongs to Ted Kord, a.k.a. one of the Blue Beetles in the comics.
While Kord Industries was one of the companies the WIRED interview referenced, Queen Industries was touched upon as well. Queen Industries is the name of Oliver Queen’s company, confirming that the Green Arrow is in the DCEU. Whether or not Oliver is the Emerald Archer at this point or not remains to be seen. Perhaps future Justice League or other DCEU films may finally bring him in down the line.
Even though Black Adam has not come out yet, Dwayne Johnson’s character technically already exists in the DCEU. Not only is his film set before the present DCEU timeline, but Shazam even alluded to Johnson’s Black Adam as a fallen champion. While he is Shazam’s main villain, the DCEU will depict Black Adam as an antihero. In the comics, Black Adam did actually join the Justice League for a period of time.
Black Adam will see the cinematic debut of the Golden Age group, Justice Society of America, consisting of multiple iconic members who have also been on the Justice League. One of them is Kent Nelson, a.k.a. Doctor Fate, portrayed by Pierce Brosnan. In multiple comic iterations, Doctor Fate has been on several teams outside the JSA, with Justice League being one of them.
Another Justice Society member that is joining the DCEU in Black Adam is Hawkman, with Aldis Hodge playing the winged warrior. So far it’s unclear if Hodge is playing the Katar Hol or Carter Hall version of Hawkman. However, both of the comic heroes have been part of the Justice League in the DC lore. While these are the heroes and villains who have been on the Justice League in the comics, the DCEU has more characters on their way to the big screen.
- The Suicide Squad (2021)Release date: Aug 06, 2021
- The Batman (2022)Release date: Mar 04, 2022
- DC League of Super-Pets (2022)Release date: May 20, 2022
- Black Adam (2022)Release date: Jul 29, 2022
- The Flash (2022)Release date: Nov 04, 2022
- Aquaman 2 (2022)Release date: Dec 16, 2022
- Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023)Release date: Jun 02, 2023
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