Let’s be honest here. You either like the DC Comics Film Universe (formerly called the DCEU…I miss that name), or you don’t. Personally, I really like it. I loved Man of Steel, Batman V Superman and Wonder Woman. And I liked Suicide Squad and Justice League. I look forward to the Aquaman solo film, Wonder Woman 2, Flashpoint, SHAZAM!, and more. But, due to critical disapproval, and a disappointing (NOT A FLOP!) outcome at the box office for Justice League, a lot of things are in flux. Where does everything go from here? Well, as the end of Justice League proved, there are villains coming. But not from the stars, but rather, here on Earth. The Legion of Doom is coming.
…yes, I know Luthor said “League of our own” which could mean the Injustice League, but it’s more than likely the Legion of Doom, ok? So, here, I’m going to break down why this group needs to be the focus on the next Justice League film, and how DC Comics and Warner Bros should handle it.
Why Do They Matter?
So, why should the Legion of Doom be worthy enough to face the Justice League in the next film? More importantly, why should we care? Well, it’s the most base of reasons, this group exists to be the counter to the League. We already know that Luthor doesn’t trust Superman, and now that Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash, Cyborg, and Batman have all joined him, his paranoia about a “dependent Earth” is no doubt magnified. He wants them gone, or put in their place, and he’s going to assemble (that sounds familiar…) a team to take them down.
Speaking of Marvel, this is honestly something that they haven’t done in the MCU. In fact, they’ve been notorious for killing (or sending away) pretty much every villain in every film they’ve done. And the ones that are left can’t really form a group.
But here, with the villains we know exist, plus villains that are about to be revealed to the DC film universe, there’s an ability to make a truly daunting threat to the League. One that even Superman or Wonder Woman can’t handle alone.
We’ve already got Luthor, who no doubt will be searching the globe for more Kryptonite to power his legendary warsuit. But, he’s also a genius, so there is a chance that Bizarro could come into play as well. Then, there’s Deathstroke, who was no doubt brought in to counter Batman, and has done so on many occasions in the comics. Using these two as the building blocks, the Legion of Doom can be formed in a very meaningful way, and all it’ll take…is some after credits sequences.
How Should They Be Formed?
Given all the cuts that happened to Justice League, you have to wonder if Warner Bros put this scene in at the very end to ensure that people got talking about it. Well, it worked. But now, they should take this idea, this momentum, and apply it to every single DC Comics film that comes out before Justice League 2. And with each one, they either bring in a member to the Legion, or tease one that would be coming in a later DC Comics film. Allow me to share some scenarios.
First up, is Aquaman. This one is easy. We know that Black Manta is in the film, BUT, we also know from James Wan that the main antagonist is Ocean Master. Which likely means he’ll be defeated by the film with Manta teased as the next main villain. Why not take that, and apply it to the Justice League sequel via the end credits sequence?
Picture this. Black Manta is in his hideout (on land, naturally). When he suddenly feels a presence, he attacks, only to see Deathstroke matching his blade. “I have an offer for you,” he says. “You have nothing I want, assassin!” Manta shouts back.
These two duke it out for a while until Deathstroke notes that he can help Manta beat Aquaman. Intrigued, Manta stops attacking, “You have my attention.”
“Good,” Deathstroke replies, “now let me go introduce you to my employer. He has a plan, a plan to take them all out.”
And there you go, Manta is in the Legion of Doom, and we get an epic fight in the process.
Next up is SHAZAM!, this one is a little tricky, but we’ll make due. We don’t know if SHAZAM! will come into the League, but no doubt Luthor will take notice. Even if he doesn’t join the League, Luthor will look up SHAZAM! and the legend of the wizard, which…will lead to Black Adam. He could tell Deathstroke that “This Teth Adam figure could be quite useful. We’ll have to retrieve him. And I know just…the Squad.”
See what I did there? More than likely, Suicide Squad 2 will be the next film. Which has been rumored to be bringing Black Adam into the fold in some capacity. Luthor could trick Amanda Waller into bringing him Adam. But then, at the end credits sequence…he could meet Joker, who is also rumored to be coming back for the sequel. Luthor will offer him a chance to truly get revenge on Batman and his allies. And why would the Clown Prince of Crime deny the chance to do that? Ha…ha…ha…haaaaaaaa.
And so on, and so forth. Through these scenes, the Legion will be formed, all the while building up the Justice League and their allies. No extra films needed, just a few minutes at the end. With each new piece, or tease, or addition, the building to Justice League 2 will be just as hyped as any Avengers film ever made (and for the record, I love the MCU, so I can honestly and fairly say that).
However, one must now ask…
Who Else Will Be In The Legion Of Doom?
That is the question, isn’t it? Let’s pretend that I’m right so far in who will be added. So we have Luthor, Deathstroke, Black Adam, Black Manta, and Joker. That’s five, and not a bad roster. But, it’s not enough, not for the League and their powers and abilities.
At present, there isn’t a counter for Wonder Woman, Flash, or Cyborg (I’m counting Luthor against Superman for now). Wonder Woman is tricky to counter, even Batman has admitted that. The gods are dead in this universe, so that rules them out. I know there have been rumors of Circe, but I’m not sure they’ll go that route. So, who could challenge her? Cheetah is a well-known villain, but when she faces Wonder Woman, it’s often one-sided. However, the New 52 did do a better job of making her a threat, making her abilities more magical in nature, which could be a good counter.
Personally, though, I like the idea of Giganta. It’d be a unique character to bring in via her size manipulation, and that size gives her super strength and durability. What’s more, being that most depictions have her being a “science experiment”, I could see Luthor as a cause of her origin, or at the very least, knowing the man who created her.
Flash is easy, more or less. Flashpoint is going to be his first film (and is rumored to be starting soon). Reverse Flash will be in that film no doubt. So, why not have him in the film, but “get away” instead of dying like he did in the comic. Then, after he fails, he will go to Luthor willingly and offer to join the Legion of Doom. After all, he’s from the future, so he likely knows all about the Legion, so he would no doubt be up for joining up to change history as it were.
Cyborg is by far the hardest one to do. As most of the villains’ people associate him with are connected to other heroes, not purely Cyborg. Even his solo comics haven’t done the best job of this. There is one option that could work, but it’s dependent on a solo film for him. During the New 52, there was an event called “Forever Evil”. In the event, we find out that the technology that helped make Cyborg who he is (the Mother Box, which was his origin in the Justice League film) harbored a dangerous AI that was connected in a way to Apokolips (long story). Anyway, this AI eventually took over Cyborg’s body. Or more accurately, detached his human form from his metal form. Thus becoming…The Grid.
Now, how this could work is that in the Cyborg solo film, we could find Victor Stone still adapting to his abilities (which plays into what happened in Justice League), and fighting certain functions like his “auto-attack” that we saw in the film. His father, Silas Stone, could determine that a fragment of the Mother Box is embedded in Cyborg’s code, and throughout the film (with whatever villains they put in it) he could work on trying to purge it. He’ll succeed in getting it out of Cyborg’s body, but he won’t realize that he didn’t kill it. The sentient code could find itself to Lex Luthor, and offer to help in return for a body to inhabit.
Now, there are still some wild cards here. We don’t know if SHAZAM! will be in the League, or whether Hal Jordan and John Stewart will arrive in time for the sequel. SHAZAM! is taken care of via Black Adam, and as for the Green Lanterns, the obvious choice is Sinestro. So that’ll work out should they all come to the party.
Injustice For All
The Legion of Doom is an important part of DC Comics history. They were the main villains in the Superfriends cartoon and the second season of Justice League Unlimited, they were put into Legends of Tomorrow (though admittedly only with four members), and even starred in their own animated film. Their place is history is respected, but to bring them to the DC Comics film universe? Would be epic. It would be a true clash of wills and powers to see the Justice League go against the Legion Of Doom.
Now, I don’t know if it’ll go this way, I can only speculate and hope. But, as a writer of comics myself, I truly think that this is the best way to go about it. Because this way, EVERYONE will be looking forward to each end credits sequence to see who will be brought into the Legion of Doom next. Plus, it won’t require any more films, as all the buildup will be done within the main films themselves.
So why not go this way Warner Bros? Focus on the team right now, then, in 2022 (I’m willing to wait), you can launch the result of all of this work. Justice League: Legion Of Doom.