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Wonder Woman 1984: The Maxwell Lord Moment That Means More Than You Think

Contains spoilers for Wonder Woman 1984

Wonder Woman 1984 is here, and the people who have had the chance to see the most shoulder-padded installment of the DC Extended Universe are already busy studying its small details and meaningful cameos, as well as the various unanswered questions that will hopefully get an answer in the recently announced Wonder Woman 3

The sequel to 2017's Wonder Woman pits Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) against the deadly duo of the sleazy, wish-fulfilling wannabe oil mogul Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) and friend-slash-foe Barbara "Cheetah" Minerva (Kristen Wiig). As one might expect, both characters have a lot more going on than what meets the eye, and even Pascal's infomercial-happy 1980s businessman has more layers and hidden tragedy than one would assume from his smarmy appearance. One of said layers is, of course, the fact that he's the movie incarnation of a comparatively little-known but nevertheless long-running DC comic book villain — and the movie takes time to include a cool, sneaky reference to the character's history. 

Here's the Maxwell Lord moment in Wonder Woman 1984 that means more than you think.

Maxwell Lord's nosebleed in Wonder Woman 1984 is a reference to his comic book powers

Pascal's quintessentially 1980s take on Maxwell "Max Lord" Lorenzano in Wonder Woman 1984 differs somewhat from his comic book counterpart Maxwell Lord. However, there is one obvious similarity in that both characters are untrustworthy businessmen who eventually gain superhuman powers. Wonder Woman 1984 pays homage to the Lord of the comics in the scene where Max meets the U.S. President. Granting the wish of the world's most powerful politician turns out to be a bit more difficult than anything Lord has done up to that point, and it physically strains him to the point that a small stream of blood gushes from his nose. 

A seemingly ordinary storytelling trope? Sure. However, it's also a reference to "Invasion!," a major DC comic book event from 1988. In the aftermath of the events, a "gene bomb" activates Lord's latent superpower that enables him to control people's minds — with side effect of giving him a nosebleed whenever he uses his powers. Talk about a neat Easter egg for fans of the comics.