The DCEU hinted at the existence of off-screen characters such as Supergirl, the original Doomsday, Robin, Lex Luthor Sr., the Penguin, Hawkgirl, the Riddler, and Carmine Falcone.
Other lesser-known characters like Bat-Mite, Matter-Eater Lad, and Kite Man were referenced in Peacemaker, showcasing the DCEU’s wide range of characters.
The DCEU confirmed the existence of various famous DC characters that never got the chance to appear on screen. During its 10-year run, the DCEU introduced dozens of iconic DC heroes and villains. From the dark iterations of Batman and Superman to the silly portrayals of Polka-Dot Man and Weasel, the franchise grew populated by a wide variety of characters with their own complex backstories and their own unseen allies and enemies.
Several obstacles kept the DCEU from reaching its true potential and brought an early end to the franchise. Hence, important characters from DC lore will likely remain undiscovered. Iconic villains such as Brainiac, Mr. Freeze, and Gorilla Grodd, as well as iconic heroes such as the Green Lanterns, Zatanna, and Mr. Miracle may exist somewhere out there in the DCEU, but their physical appearance and their role in the universe will remain a mystery. However, other unseen characters were a little luckier, as the DCEU left a few hints at their existence.
10 Man of Steel’s Supergirl
One of the earliest teases at an off-screen DCEU character came in Man of Steel, an otherwise standalone opening installment for the franchise. When Superman is discovering the Kryptonian scout ship hidden in the Arctic, an open pod can be spotted inside. The 2013 Man of Steel: The Prequel tie-in comic reveals that Kara Zor-El did in fact come out of that pod thousands of years before Clark Kent arrived, but the DCEU never confirmed to what degree said tie-in comic is canon to the franchise. Nevertheless, it’s possible that the original Supergirl is alive in the DCEU’s main universe, and she may also look very similar to Sasha Calle’s alternate-universe Supergirl in The Flash.
9 The Original Doomsday
Zack Snyder included another hint at an off-screen character in Man of Steel. According to the director, Krypton’s destroyed moon is a Doomsday easter egg meant to tease the villain as an ancient threat that the Kryptonians had to deal with at some point. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice introduced a seemingly unrelated version of Doomsday created by Lex Luthor with the help of General Zod’s body. However, the Kryptonian scout ship warns Lex, “It has been decreed by the Council of Krypton that none will ever again give life to a deformity so hateful to sighted memory. The desecration without name.” This line suggests that the Kryptonians created the original Doomsday that destroyed their moon.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice established Batman’s pent-up resentment with the reveal of Robin’s defaced suit in the Batcave. Without the need for any line of dialog or flashback scene, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice confirmed that the Joker killed Robin years before Superman’s arrival, and suggested that Robin’s death motivated Batman to become more brutal in his justice-seeking methods. In 2018, Zack Snyder confirmed that Dick Grayson is the Robin that died in the DCEU — a big change from DC’s Death in the Family and Under the Red Hood storylines, which feature Jason Todd as Joker’s victim.
7 Lex Luthor Sr.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice also confirmed the existence of an unseen villain. When Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor talks to Senator Finch at his mansion, he mentions that he left everything in his father’s room exactly as it was before Luthor Sr. left. Lex Luthor Jr. makes it clear that he holds a grudge against his father, as he later tells Superman that his father used to abuse him physically and psychologically when he was a kid. While one version of Alexander Luthor is a heroic Earth-Three hero in DC Comics, it’s possible that the DCEU’s off-screen Lex Luthor Sr. is similar to the usually older, cool-headed Luthor Jr. from the source material.
6 The Penguin
Ben Affleck’s veteran Batman likely faced many of Gotham’s famous villains before he fought Superman. In Justice League, Alfred Pennyworth seemingly confirms one of those iconic foes’ identity when he says “one misses the days when one’s biggest concerns were exploding wind-up penguins”. This is a clear reference to Oswald Cobblepot a.k.a. the Penguin, who usually utilizes penguin-themed weapons to torment Batman and Gotham City. Considering Batman’s focus on world-ending threats, it’s possible that the Penguin and other Gotham villains have already been completely neutralized.
Black Adam introduced the Justice Society and confirmed thousands of years’ worth of DC lore along with it. At some point in the DCEU timeline, Aldis Hodge’s Hawkman was born as the human archaeologist Carter Hall, one of the many reincarnations of the Egyptian prince Khufu. In the source material, Hawkman shares his eternal reincarnation process with Princess Chay-Ara a.k.a. Hawkgirl, which means that while Black Adam never confirms it, it’s highly likely that the DCEU’s Hawkgirl is either active as an independent superhero or about to reincarnate in a new human form.
4 The Riddler
Like the Penguin, the Riddler was also confirmed to exist in the DCEU’s version of Batman’s rogue gallery. The official Suicide Squad props for Amanda Waller’s top secret filesstate that “in his time as a crime boss, [Killer] Croc employed such experienced henchmen as the Riddler and Penguin“. While these props’ canon status isn’t entirely clear, Peacemaker confirmed that the Riddler is an official part of Batman’s DCEU past when Peacemaker’s neighbor lists some of the Dark Knight’s coterie of supervillains: “Joker, Riddler, Mad Hatter…”. Little is known about the DCEU’s Riddler, but these references depict him as a rather small threat in comparison to other versions of the villain like Paul Dano’s terrorist genius Riddler in The Batman.
3 Carmine Falcone
The Flash‘s infamous “baby shower” action sequence is caused by Alberto Falcone, whose plan to unleash a dangerous virus upon Gotham City is stopped by Batman, Flash, and Wonder Woman. Apparently, Al Falcone inherited his villainous tendencies from his father, the powerful Gotham crime lord Carmine Falcone. Despite his lack of superpowers or gadgets, Carmine Falcone is an influential criminal who has threatened the likes of Batman, Harvey Dent, Catwoman, and the Penguin — and lived to tell the tale. Like the Riddler, Carmine Falcone appeared in The Batman as one of Bruce Wayne’s enemies, played by John Turturro.
2 Green Arrow
Peacemaker featured many references to DC heroes and villains, including the DCEU’s Justice League and other comic book figures, who are depicted in a rather negative light by Peacemaker and Vigilante. Between rumors of Aquaman’s intimacy with fish and Batman’s incompetence, Peacemaker tells Vigilante that Green Arrow “goes to Brony conventions dressed in the back half of Twilight Sparkle.” This might be another rumor Peacemaker repeats in order to feel better about his own heroic efforts, but the fact that Oliver Queen has the same kind of overblown rumor as Aquaman suggests that Green Arrow is a well-known hero in the DCEU.
1 Bat-Mite And Other Obscure DC Characters
The rest of off-screen DC characters that Peacemaker references are a little more obscure. Just like the aforementioned Mad Hatter is namedropped in the same breath as the Riddler and the Penguin, John Economos lists Bat-Mite in the same breath as The Suicide Squad‘s Harley Quinn and Weasel, describing him as “a two-foot-tall interdimensional imp who stans Batman”. Likewise, Peacemaker tells Murn about the time he witnessed Matter-Eater Lad eat an entire restaurant because “they took too long with his fries”, and tells a group of elementary students the story of how he defeated Kite Man with his Desert Eagle and two rocket launchers.
Key Release Dates
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom
Joker: Folie a Deux
The Batman – Part II
The DCEU introduced more characters than it seems. Read More