Justice League: New SDCC Trailer Breakdown & Analysis

We pored over the new Justice League trailer for hints, clues, and speculation. Here's what we found!

At their enormous Hall H panel at this year’s San Diego Comic Con, Warner Bros. brought a new trailer for November’s Justice League. The world’s greatest heroes unite to fight a new Apokoliptian threat known as Steppenwolf. More on him in just a bit.

In keeping with tradition, Den of Geek has gone through the new trailer frame by frame for any easter eggs, references, or clues about the meta narrative of the DCEU. 

Before we get started, did you miss the trailer? Check it out below:

Okay, so let’s talk about what we found:

It kicks off with that horrible nu-metal cover of “Come Together”(and I think it’s actually a cover of Aerosmith’s version, not the Beatles one.  Uuugh *shivers*). But on the plus side, it also starts with Wonder Woman doing Wonder Womany (Wonder Womannish?) things, like dodging bullets and doing that sliding sweep kick on a guy holding a museum class trip hostage for their robbery. From story hints and this trailer, it looks like the Amazons have a huge role to play in the movie.

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Incidentally, what is the “age of heroes” that Bruce thought “would never come again” that Diana refers to? Is this our first hint that the DCEU had a Justice Society in the early part of the 20th Century? Or is this a reference to general mythology?

We get a look at the world in mourning after Superman’s death in Batman v. Superman, including what looks like some love for Kal-El on London Bridge.

It’s interesting that the news broadcasts we’re hearing refer to him as “the Superman” which seems a little impersonal, but it’s good to see they’re putting the name front and center for the first time in ages.

You can also hear, during talk of all the horrifying crime going on in his absence, a mention of some kind of violence going down at Arkham Asylum.

And we jump to Themyscira, where Diana’s people (including Connie Nielsen’s Hippolyta) are guarding what looks like a Mother Box in their armory when a pretty spiffy boom tube effect pops in. 

And that’s when Steppenwolf, the Apokaliptian villain of the movie, shows up. Steppenwolf was created by Jack Kirby back in 1972. He’s Darkseid’s uncle, and leader of Apokalips’ military. He’s a pretty bad dude, and he wields a pretty baller axe.

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The New Gods and their Apokaliptian counterparts occupy an odd place in current continuity. Basically, they exist separate from and outside of the Multiverse, but they appear different in each alternate universe, like facets of their true selves projected down on them. 

We also get a look at Aquaman underwater in Atlantis. The hair effects must have cost a fortune.

Every trailer makes Cyborg look better and better. He’s now well past N64 polygon mapping, and into something resembling motion capture.

As we move through these looks at each Leaguer, we get voice over from someone (possibly Steppenwolf, but it sounds a little too old) that says, “No protectors here. No Lanterns. No Kryptonian.” We know from past SDCCs and this one that the Green Lantern Corps is a priority. This is the first time we’ve had a sense of where they’d fit in, though.

This is actually a shot from what’s my biggest concern about this movie. The TV version of Flash has some pretty outstanding effects. For TV. Here, though, Ezra Miller’s Flash goes through a window at super speed and it looks like he’s splashing a pond with one finger as he starts to go through it. This is just cool

Steppenwolf brings his axe down on bare ground and causes lava to spider out from it, almost like he’s making an Apokolips-esque fire pit on Earth. Apokolips is a pretty awful place to live, where after a hard day making fire at the fire pits, the peasants get to come home to worship their tormentors. 

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Nothing terribly revelatory here. It’s just a group of Parademons waiting on orders from Steppenwolf. The Parademons are Darkseid’s foot soldiers, disposable flying monsters with little brains who die easily.

The Parademons attack, and that’s when we get to see Batman’s fun Batcrawler in action. At some point, apparently Cyborg takes it over and controls all its functions using some Borg tubes or something.

This shot is notable because it means we’re going to get an underwater fight scene as Steppenwolf crashes Atlantis. Pretty interesting that two of the locations he hits up are two of the most magically charged in the DCU – Themyscira, deeply connected with the Greek gods, and Atlantis, a country full of magicians that got sunk into the ocean for hubris.

Good close up look at a Parademon’s face as it gets its ass beat by Batman.

Interestingly, this is the closest we get to a look at any villain’s face. This trailer does a good job of putting the focus squarely on the heroes, which complements the message pushed in the dialogue: the heroes bring us hope and will save the world.

Batman in front of a red sky. Red skies in DC comics ALWAYS means something’s going wrong with the multiverse – first in Crisis on Infinite Earths, then in every subsequent Crisis event. It makes sense that the Flash movie is going to adapt Flashpointif they’re already screwing with the multiverse four movies in.

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The trailer closes with Alfred in the cave talking to someone he was “told would come.” If you look really close (and my screen cap is garbage, so I apologize), in the bottom right corner of the screen it looks like a reddish cape on the shoulder of the person talking to Alfred. WHO COULD THAT BE?

By the way, Alfred gets all the best lines in this trailer. His crack about “exploding wind-up penguins” is a nice little piece of world-building. We know that this version of Batman has had a long career, and it’s good to know that at least some of it resembles the bat-weirdness we know and love.

Read and download the full Den of Geek SDCC Special Edition magazine here!