Superhero Film Theories That Change Everything

As DC and Marvel duke it out for costumed hero supremacy at the box office, we've collected a lot of questions and theories about their respective cinematic universes, and some could significantly change how you look at your favorite character or the world they live in. It's time to put the Justice League and Avengers on the sidelines as we speculate on superhero film theories that change everything. As you'd expect, there are spoilers ahead. 

Stan Lee is Uatu the Watcher

This theory might explain Stan Lee's cameos during all the Marvel films—and blow some True Believers' minds. Stan Lee's filmed a ton of cameos in Marvel Universe movies, playing an intergalactic ladies' man, a security guard, a retired military officer, a postman, a librarian, and even a strip club DJ. Tony Stark even mistook him for Larry King and Hugh Hefner in different Iron Man films. There might be a legitimate reason why Stan Lee's always popping up around MCU superheroes: he's actually Uatu the Watcher.

The Watchers are some of the oldest beings in the Marvel Universe, tasked with compiling as much info as possible on the galaxy at large, and Uatu is the Watcher keeping an eye on our particular solar system. The Watchers, as you might have guessed from their name, aren't supposed to interfere with events (though they occasionally do for the sake of avoiding catastrophes), and they usually stay in the background—which is basically where Stan Lee is found during his many MCU appearances. Marvel's Chairman Emeritus using Uatu's cosmic powers to jump from role to inconspicuous role and learning as much as he can about the superheroes of Earth, in case he ever notices something majorly out of whack? That's yet another reason to love the guy.

Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and their races are all Kryptonian

Wonder Woman, her tribe of Amazons, Aquaman, and the people of Atlantis could all be from Superman's home planet of Krypton, according to this theory. We're not saying they directly evacuated the planet like Kal-El did, but that they're descendants of Kryptonians who arrived on Earth a long time ago. Remember that the Kryptonians tried to establish outposts on different planets and developed terraforming equipment for establishing new homes. In Man of Steel, Clark Kent found one of these scout ships on Earth and retrieved his Kryptonian garb from it, later using it for his Superman costume. The ship had been sitting in ice for over 18,000 years when he discovered it, which begs the question: what if ancient Kryptonians landed in the water before it froze and used their tech to establish an underwater colony which eventually became Aquaman's home of Atlantis? This underwater colony could have easily tried to expand, with an all-female group ending up on Themyscira. It'd be pretty strange if Superman, Aquaman, and Wonder Woman were all descendants the same race—but it could also help streamline the DCEU.

Jared Leto's Joker is Jason Todd

Suicide Squadisn't even out yet, but folks on the internet have already had plenty to say about Jared Leto's unique take on The Joker. Leto's version of the iconic character is decked out in tattoos and a Kid Rock-esque wardrobe, sporting rings on his fingers and necklaces that would make Razor Ramon proud. He's also got a shiny grill to cover/replace what we're guessing is a set of front teeth knocked out by Batman. Throw all of this together, and you have a version of the Clown Prince of Crime quite different from what we've seen in the comics, video games, cartoons, and movies.

Now, what if we were to say that this wasn't even The Joker at all? In Batman v Superman, Bruce Wayne's Batcave had a memorial set up for what was presumably the last Robin. The painted message on the costume suggests that the Joker killed Bruce's sidekick, which resulted in Dawn of Justice's Batman growing ever more brutal in his pursuit of vigilante justice. In the comics the second Robin, Jason Todd, is horribly beaten with a crowbar by and blown up by the Joker just as Batman shows up to rescue him. Batman mourns the boy's loss for a long time, until a new villain shows up calling himself the Red Hood (which was a disguise Joker used before falling into the chemicals that made him who he is today). This Red Hood turns out to be a crazed Jason Todd, who actually survived his ordeal and is out for revenge.

What if Leto's Joker is a crazed Jason Todd, taking up the mantle of the villain who ruined his life? Those knocked-out teeth could've been lost in the crowbar attack. The Joker never really felt like the type of villain to tat his catchphrases and smiles all over his body to send a message, but would rather carve them into a victim instead—like, say, Todd. Also, a tattoo on Leto's left cheek matches up with a branding Jason Todd received from the Joker during Batman: Arkham Knight.

We've already met Star-Lord's dad in Guardians of the Galaxy

One of the biggest plot threads left dangling in Guardians of the Galaxy is the identity of Peter "Star-Lord" Quill's father. While we're expecting to get the answer in the sequel, fans have tossed out all kinds of crazy theories—including the idea that we actually saw Star-Lord Senior in the first Guardians.

Don't forget, Quill's father is an alien. Star-Lord had the ability to hold an Infinity Stone (in this case the Power Stone) and use it to destroy Ronan the Accuser without killing himself in the process. If you kept your eyes peeled as the Guardians walked through the Collector's museum of oddities, you should've noticed a ginormous slug-like thing resting in one of the glass cages. While it looks like one of the monsters from Tremors, this is actually meant to be some kind of cocoon.

As some fans have noted, that cocoon looks a lot like the healing pod used by Marvel Comics hero Adam Warlock, whose powers include the ability to manipulate and use cosmic energy—and might have made the Power Stone more volatile when the Collector and the Guardians opened its container. If you look closely behind Howard the Duck during the movie's post-credits scene, it looks like there's a broken cocoon in the shattered cage behind him (which would make sense, considering the explosion that happened during the movie). Whether or not Quill's dad is Warlock, here's hoping they're finally reunited soon.

The Red Skull is still alive

The last time we saw the Red Skull, the HYDRA leader was fighting Captain America in a plane for control of the Tesseract, a.k.a. the Cosmic Cube. The Skull grabbed it, only to realize its powers were too much for him to handle—and then it opened a portal and pulled him into it, wiping him out of existence as the Cube dropped into the ocean.

So where did the Red Skull go? There are all kinds of possibilities, as the Tesseract is capable of opening interdimensional gateways to any part of the universe. The Red Skull isn't just tough in hand-to-hand combat—he's also a strategic expert, Machiavellian-level schemer, and a diabolical political mastermind. Wherever he ended up (even an alien planet), he'd likely rise to power, and it wouldn't be for good. We wouldn't be surprised if he shows up during the Infinity War, or in a future Captain America movie, with an army of aliens recruited to fight for HYDRA.