Warning: This story contains spoilers for the post-credits scenes in Justice League.
Justice League had two post-credits scenes, both of which were arguably more entertaining and coherent than the film itself. The first is a foot-race between Superman and the Flash, and while it’s a cute moment, it doesn’t have any hidden meaning. We’re here to talk about the second scene, which teases the future of the franchise.
The scene begins in prison, where we learn that Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) has been replaced by a body double. The real Luthor has escaped to a luxury yacht, where he meets with a masked man in a red-and-black costume: Deathstroke. It’s easy to mistake this guy for Deadshot (Will Smith’s character in Suicide Squad) or Marvel’s Deadpool, because they’re all mercenaries who wear very similar costumes. To make matters more confusing, Deathstroke’s real name is Slade Wilson, while Deadpool is Wade Wilson. Comics!
Deathstroke pulls off his mask to reveal Joe Manganiello with a white goatee and an eyepatch. He was cast in 2016 as the main villain in Ben Affleck’s Batman, and while there were rumors that he’d been cut from the franchise, he’s clearly still involved. Here’s what Manganiello’s Deathstroke looked like in early test footage, posted by Ben Affleck last year:
Deathstroke has superhuman strength and enhanced combat training, often appearing as a villain in Batman and Teen Titans comics. He’s also a recurring character in the CW’s Arrow, played by Manu Bennett.
Both Batman and Justice League 2 have been delayed, so we don’t actually know which film will come first. However, this scene suggests that Lex Luthor will return for at least one of them. Speaking to Deathstroke, Luthor announces his plan to form “a league of our own,” with Deathstroke as the first supervillainous recruit.