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The Entire DCEU Timeline Explained

Contains spoilers for "The Flash"

Although it hasn't yet achieved the sprawling scope of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the DC Extended Universe is gradually building its own multilayered world populated with super-powered characters whose stories occasionally intersect and overlap. Beginning in 2013 with "Man of Steel," the DCEU now consists of 14 films all sharing the same universe, with many more still on the way. Some highlights from the collection include "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice," "Suicide Squad" and its spin-off "Birds of Prey," as well as two "Wonder Woman" films, "Aquaman," "Shazam!," and the team-up movie "Justice League."

While the first few movies were released in mostly chronological order, the World War I-set adventure of "Wonder Woman" threw a wrench into the timeline, and since then, the events of the DCEU have skipped around a fair amount. So how should one mentally sequence the collective events of the DCEU, and do they actually all fit together in a way that makes sense? While it's not exactly clockwork, we'll do our best to unravel the DCEU's millennia-spanning timeline, from before the dawn of humanity all the way up to the modern day.

The DCEU gets started with ancient gods and three civilizations

Around 200,000 years before the main events of the DCEU began to play out, the gods ruled the Earth. The deity Zeus decided to create a new species similar to the gods, but Ares, the god of war, interfered with Zeus' plan and corrupted the newly made human race. In response, Zeus created the Amazons, an all-female race of noble warriors who would "influence men's hearts with love and restore peace to the Earth," according to Queen Hippolyta.

These two civilizations — humans and Amazons — lived together in peace, alongside the Atlanteans, for thousands of years before the Earth was invaded by Steppenwolf, leading a Parademon army. The forces of Earth banded together and ultimately managed to defeat and drive out Steppenwolf and his forces, although he left behind three Mother Boxes when he fled. Each of the three main races on the Earth took one of the Mother Boxes with the intent of keeping it safe.

Years later, the War of the Gods broke out, in which Ares killed all his fellow Olympians, but Zeus managed to create the island of Themyscira for the Amazons before he died. He also fathered Diana with Hippolyta, although the child was born after he passed away, leaving her with no knowledge of her true father. Later, Atlantis sank into the ocean, and the Deserters left and formed their own kingdom. At some point while all these major events were playing out, the Enchantress was born and imprisoned alongside her brother, Incubus. Plus, the Dreamstone was created by the god Dechalafrea Ero, and the wizard Shazam imprisoned the Seven Deadly Sins in the Rock of Eternity, where he remained to guard them.

The first defender of Kahndaq was born 5,000 years ago

According to 2022's "Black Adam," around 5,000 years ago, the Middle Eastern nation of Kahndaq was the first major civilization. However, it was ruled by an evil despot named King Ahk-Ton (Marwan Kenzari). Luckily, the wizard Shazam (Djimon Hounsou) and his fellow Council of Wizards granted magical powers — to wit, super-strength, super-speed, flight, lightning hands, etc. — to a young slave boy named Hurut (Jalon Christian), who led a proletariat revolution against the evil king. This is similar to what the wizard Shazam will do for teenager Billy Batson centuries later, though the names of the gods that grant the heroes their powers differ. Instead of the Greek gods used to power Billy, it's the Egyptian gods that Hurut draws his powers from (whose acronyms still improbably sound out "Shazam" for some reason).

Later, to protect and save his father, the weak-willed Teth-Adam (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson), Hurut grants Adam his god-like Shazam powers. Unfortunately, since Hurut is temporarily de-powered at that moment, he gets killed by a hidden assassin's arrow. This enrages the newly super-powered Teth-Adam, and in his rage, he murders King Ahk-Ton in cold blood, but he also loses control of his powers and destroys a large part of the kingdom itself, inadvertently killing many innocent people of Kahndaq as collateral damage. Adam is then stripped of his powers by the Council of Wizards and is sentenced to be held in a magical prison inside a secret cave in Kahndaq, supposedly forever.

Diana enters the human world in 1918

All is largely quiet on the gods and superheroes front for the next couple thousand years. And then World War I comes along, which leads Steve Trevor to crash-land on the hidden shores of Themyscira after stealing a German plane. Unfortunately, German soldiers follow Steve, and humans invade Themyscira for the first time. A battle breaks out on the beach, and although the Amazons are victorious (aided in part by Steve), Hippolyta's sister, Antiope, is killed in combat.

Grieving and convinced that Ares is ultimately behind the Great War, a naive Diana decides to accompany Steve back to the human world, determined to root out and defeat Ares. In the process, Diana winds up falling in love not just with Steve but with humanity itself, and she enthusiastically embraces much of what human culture has to offer while still remaining true to her Amazonian roots. Ultimately, although Diana is successful in defeating Ares and ending the war, Steve sacrifices himself in the process. Mourning his loss, Diana decides to remain among humans permanently while continuing to work as a superhero.

Several important origin stories begin in the 1970s and early '80s

On Christmas Day in 1974, a young Thaddeus Sivana is on a drive with his father and his older brother, Sid, when he sees the symbols of the wizard Shazam appear in his Magic 8-Ball. Immediately following this, Thaddeus' surroundings begin acting strangely, and he perceives that he and the car have been transported to a strange new place, which turns out to be the Rock of Eternity. There, Thaddeus Sivana has his first encounter with Shazam, who tells him that he's seeking a champion to inherit his magic. However, Thaddeus proves himself unworthy of the wizard's magic, and he's expelled from the Rock of Eternity. Thaddeus' resulting confusion distracts his father, who's still driving, thus causing a car accident. As a result of all this, Thaddeus vows to one day find his way back to the Rock of Eternity and claim Shazam's power for himself.

Several years later, in 1980, the baby Kal-El is born to Jor-El and Lara Lor-Van on the planet Krypton, shortly before the planet's destruction. Kal-El's parents successfully manage to send their son to Earth before the planet implodes, killing Jor-El and Lara along with the rest of the Kryptonian race. Several months later, Kal-El's spaceship crashes in Smallville, Kansas, where the baby is discovered by Jonathan and Martha Kent, who adopt him to raise as their own. The following year, Bruce Wayne's parents are killed by a mugger, leaving young Bruce in the care of the family butler, Alfred Pennyworth.

Wishes are fulfilled in 1984

Since World War I ended in 1918, Wonder Woman has been operating ostensibly in secret, although she's not particularly good at it since she'll still publicly save people and take down bad guys in extremely flashy ways. By day, though, Diana Prince works as an anthropologist at the Smithsonian Institute, using her lived experience to inform her specialty in ancient Mediterranean civilizations and cultures. There, she meets her coworker, the largely forgettable Barbara Minerva, who sparks Diana's interest when the hero notices the Dreamstone in her office.

Curious to learn more about the Dreamstone, Diana and Barbara begin to form a friendship, but everything goes sideways when they both wind up unknowingly making wishes on the stone. Diana wishes for Steve to come back, while Barbara wishes to be more like Diana, resulting in her receiving Diana's powers. The stone eventually falls into the hands of oil tycoon Maxwell Lord, who tries to use it to gain power and success for himself by essentially becoming the Dreamstone. Barbara then allies herself with Lord, who bestows cat-like powers upon her, turning her into Cheetah. Ultimately, though, Lord's plans collapse in on themselves. The Dreamstone's power is lost and all of its wishes are eventually renounced, including Steve's resurrection, and he and Diana say goodbye yet again.

Family secrets permeate the late '80s and mid-'90s

After the chaotic events of the early '80s, the second half of the decade is much calmer, although it still carries some major developments. In 1986, Arthur Curry is born to human lighthouse keeper Thomas Curry and the Atlantian queen, Atlanna. Unfortunately, while Arthur is still a baby, Atlantian guards attack the Curry home, determined to return Atlanna to Atlantis in order to marry King Orvax. Heartbroken, Atlanna leaves her family behind to keep them safe, and Arthur is raised as a human by his father.

Also in the late '80s, Clark Kent begins to realize he has superpowers, which causes him great distress. As his powers continue to emerge and grow, his parents urge him to keep them to himself, and they finally tell him the truth about his origins. Clark initially follows their wishes, but their desire to keep his identity secret ultimately winds up leading to Jonathan's death, even though Clark could've saved him. Around the same time, while Clark is discovering and struggling to come to terms with his powers, Bruce Wayne adopts the secret superhero identity of Batman, and he begins practicing his own unique brand of justice in Gotham.

Starro is discovered by astronauts in 1990

In 1990, NASA astronauts encounter an alien creature floating in space. The alien creature has bright pink and blue skin and is shaped like a starfish with a single human-like eye in the middle of its body. Once inside the shuttle, the alien starts attacking and killing off the astronauts with the ability to release smaller duplicates of itself, which attach themselves to a host and control their actions. Nonetheless, Starro is eventually captured by the United States government, which makes a deal with the corrupt fictional South American government of Corto Maltese. In exchange for funds and turning a blind eye to human rights violations, the Corto Maltese government agreed to illegally house the dangerous creature and experiment on it in a secret facility dubbed "Jotunheim." Meanwhile, the Herrera regime that controlled Corto Maltese at the time used Starro to torture, kill, and control political dissidents such as protestors, freedom fighters, and independent journalists.

The main scientist heading the project was Gaius Grieves, aka The Thinker (Peter Capaldi), who has a comically large bald head, with brain-enhancing cybernetics sprouting from it. Grieves abused Starro, even derisively dubbing the creature by its comic book name, "Starro the Conqueror" (though he gets his bloody comeuppance a few decades later).

This is similar to real-life instances of the United States government interfering with the governments of developing nations, especially in Latin America. This meddling includes assassinations, secret military bases, and condoning — or often even endorsing — the subjugation of a nation's democracy and autonomy if it helps US interests.

Complicated childhoods and dysfunctional relationships in the late '90s and 2000s

As Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent each circle their superhero destinies in the early 2000s, other eventual heroes and villains are just beginning to embark on their origin stories. Right before the turn of the century, Arthur Curry begins training with Atlanna's advisor, Vulko, working to unlock and hone his Atlantean powers so that he can one day take the throne as king of Atlantis. Several years later, in 2004, Billy Batson is born, but he's abandoned by his mother when he's four years old, leading to him being placed in the foster system. At the time, he believes that he was accidentally separated from his mother, and he vows to find her again someday.

In the late 2000s, psychiatrist Harleen Quinzel gets a job working in Arkham Asylum and winds up falling in love with her patient, the Joker. The Joker convinces Quinzel to help him escape, but in return for her efforts, he subjects her to electric shock therapy and pushes her into a vat of chemicals, which alters her physical appearance and mental state. After emerging from the chemicals, Quinzel adopts the name Harley Quinn, and she and the Joker become two of Gotham's most notorious criminals. During roughly the same time frame, archaeologist June Moone is possessed by Enchantress while exploring the Tres Osos Caves in Peru.

In 2013, Superman takes flight

After wrestling with his mysterious origins for years, Clark Kent finally discovers his true identity in 2013, when he goes to investigate a mysterious object in northern Canada and finds the ruins of a Kryptonian ship. There, he learns his true name of Kal-El, and he also meets Lois Lane, using his powers to save her life. Later, she agrees not to print the truth of who he is, after he tells her how his father died. Upon finding the answers he'd always been searching for, Clark finally embraces his powers, becoming Superman.

Soon after, the Kryptonian General Zod, one of few survivors of the destruction of Krypton, demands for Clark to be turned over to his care. Concerned for the people of Earth, Clark voluntarily surrenders, and Zod attempts to persuade him to join him in his mission to create a new Krypton on Earth. Clark refuses and battles with Zod, destroying much of Smallville and Metropolis in the process. That includes the Wayne Financial Building, where a nearby Bruce Wayne looks on in dismay. The battle eventually ends when Clark kills Zod. Later, Clark begins working at the Daily Planet, where he's reunited with Lois, who continues to keep his secret.

2015 ends with a tragic DCEU death

Following the destruction of Metropolis and the public reveal of Superman, Lex Luthor and his company, LexCorp, begin looking into metahumans — or individuals with heightened abilities — which leads them to the discovery of kryptonite in the Indian Ocean. LexCorp soon begins working to develop weapons technology using kryptonite, and it throws a fundraising gala to raise money for the opening of the Metropolis Library. Bruce Wayne, Clark Kent, and Diana Prince all attend this gala and meet briefly, though none of them realize the others' secret identities.

Later, Bruce Wayne plots to kill Superman using kryptonite, blaming him for the destruction of Metropolis. But before he can take action, Lex Luthor bombs the U.S. Capitol during Superman's Senate hearing. In the process of investigating LexCorp, Bruce and Diana discover the metahuman files, which includes info on Aquaman, Cyborg, and the Flash. Bruce then attempts to carry out his vendetta against Superman, but when Lex Luthor creates Doomsday, the heroes ultimately team up to fight the monster together. Doomsday is defeated by Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman, but Superman is killed in the effort, and a disgraced Lex Luthor is sent to Arkham Asylum.

2016 brings a different kind of super team

In the wake of Superman's death, Amanda Waller — the director of the Advanced Research Group Uniting Superhumans (A.R.G.U.S.) – becomes worried that equally powerful but malicious metahumans could become a major problem for the U.S. In response, Waller gets the idea to assemble a team of expendable, superpowered individuals to resist such a threat, which she dubs Task Force X. These individuals are selected from among incarcerated metahumans, and the inaugural members of Task Force X are Harley Quinn, Deadshot, Killer Croc, El Diablo, Captain Boomerang, and Slipknot. The team is led by special operative Rick Flag, who's assisted by his sword-wielding bodyguard, Katana.

The team is deployed in response to the reemergence of Enchantress, who also releases her brother, Incubus. Task Force X — nicknamed the Suicide Squad by Deadshot — confronts Enchantress and Incubus, but the group's disorganized and scattered nature leads to the team nearly disintegrating. However, the members eventually reassemble to fight the supernatural villains, and our antiheroes are ultimately victorious. Rick Flag kills Enchantress, freeing June Moone from her possession, and the rest of Task Force X returns to prison with improved conditions — although the Joker soon breaks Harley free. Separately from these events, Bruce Wayne sends Diana Prince a photograph of her during World War I with Steve Trevor.

The Justice League comes together in 2017

About 5,000 years after his previous defeat, Steppenwolf returns to Earth in search of his three missing Mother Boxes. He locates the first in Themyscira and attacks, and while Queen Hippolyta and the Amazons do their best to hold him off, they're unsuccessful. Hippolyta warns Diana of Steppenwolf's presence on Earth, and Bruce Wayne and Wonder Woman locate metahumans from LexCorp's files, including Arthur Curry (Aquaman), Victor Stone (Cyborg), and Barry Allen (the Flash). The group battles Steppenwolf in Gotham, but they're unable to defeat him.

While Steppenwolf attacks Atlantis in order to retrieve the Atlantean Mother Box, the newly formed Justice League uses the third box to revive Superman, thinking he's the key to defeating this overwhelming villain. At first, Superman has no recollection of his former life, but his memories eventually return to him upon seeing Lois Lane, and he joins forces with the Justice League. Together, they manage to defeat Steppenwolf at Pozharnov, saving Earth. While the team is now all on good terms, they part ways, each returning to their own lives. Shortly thereafter, Lex Luthor escapes from Arkham Asylum.

An aquatic battle and unexpected powers mark 2018

The son of Atlantean King Orvax Marius and Queen Atlanna, Prince Orm Marius attacks the surface world, hoping to unite the seven sea kingdoms and destroy the land, which he blames for his mother's banishment. His betrothed, the Xebelian Princess Mera, opposes Orm's plan but can't get him to listen to her, so she heads to the surface to ask Arthur for help. Together, the two go to Atlantis in search of the Trident of Atlan, and their journey eventually takes them to Sicily. There, they fight Black Manta, who carries a grudge against Arthur for refusing to save his father when he was dying.

After narrowly escaping Black Manta, Arthur and Mera continue their search for the Trident, leading them to the Hidden Sea at the Earth's center. There, Arthur is reunited with his mother and then goes to face the mythical Karathen, who dubs him worthy of the Trident, giving him control over the seven seas. With his new power, Arthur defeats Orm and becomes King of Atlantis.

Meanwhile, in Philadelphia, Billy Batson is placed into the Vasquez foster home, and soon thereafter, he's transported to the Rock of Eternity, where he's given the powers of Shazam. Although he's initially confused, Billy quickly adapts to his new powers and basks in the excitement of being a superhero. Around the same time, Thaddeus Sivana finally completes his quest to locate the Rock of Eternity and unleashes the Seven Deadly Sins upon Philadelphia. Determined to stop him, Billy passes Shazam's powers on to each of his foster siblings, and together, they defeat the demonic baddie. At some point afterward, Billy as Shazam meets Superman and convinces him to stop by his school for lunch with his best friend, Freddy Freeman.

2020 introduces the DCEU's first all-female team

The year 2019 is a fairly low-key in the DCEU, although a few important events occur. Captain Boomerang escapes from prison, making him the second member of the Suicide Squad to regain his freedom after the Joker freed Harley in 2016. However, Harley and the Joker's romance is ultimately doomed, and the two eventually break up, prompting Harley to blow up the Ace Chemicals building in her distress. Meanwhile, detective Renee Montoya begins investigating Roman Sionis, owner of the Black Mask club and a ruthless local crime lord.

In early 2020, teenage pickpocket Cassandra Cain is arrested by the Gotham City PD after being caught stealing. Sionis, in turn, hires Harley to recover a diamond that Cassandra swiped, but upon realizing that the young girl has swallowed the gem, Harley breaks her out of jail instead and waits for her to pass the diamond, knowing Sionis and his henchmen won't be so patient or merciful. Gradually, Harley and Cassandra develop a friendship, and they eventually wind up crossing paths with Huntress, Black Canary, and Renee Montoya, coming together to form an unlikely alliance. Together, the group manages to defeat Sionis and his henchmen, killing the gangster in the process. Later, while the five of them talk about staying together as a group, Harley and Cassandra go off on their own, and the remaining three continue to fight crime as the Birds of Prey.

In 2021, Harley Quinn is sent back to The Suicide Squad

At the end of 2016's "Suicide Squad," we saw The Joker, Harley Quinn's regrettably tatted-up pudding, rescuing her from Belle Reve and the clutches of Amanda Waller. Then, we saw her colorful misadventures with the ill-fated Birds of Prey in, well, the 2020 "Birds of Prey" film by director Cathy Yan. At the end of "Birds of Prey," we even see Harley and her mischievous protege Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco) driving off into the sunset.

However, it seems not too long after her escapades in "Birds of Prey" that Harley Quinn is once again caught (off-screen) in the clutches of Waller's Task Force X. She is then sent on a dangerous mission storming a beach in Corto Maltese alongside her former comrades Rick Flag and Captain Boomerang, as well as a few others (most notably The Weasel and Michael Rooker's Savant). However, it's quickly discovered that they were all just decoys sacrificed to draw fire from the main group, which includes Bloodsport (Idris Elba), Polka-Dot Man (David Dastmalchian), Peacekeeper (John Cena), and Ratcatcher 2 (Daniela Melchior).

Harley and Rick find themselves the only survivors of the initial assault on the beach, though both eventually meet up with the main team. Everyone then discovers and fights off a giant Starro, saving the citizens of Corto Maltese. After Amanda Waller is subdued by her underlings back at headquarters, it seems Harley has seemingly escaped The Suicide Squad for good.

2022 is the year Black Adam reappears in Kahndaq

By 2022, Kahndaq is no longer the epicenter of civilization. Instead, a high-tech private military group called Intergang has taken over the struggling Middle Eastern nation and its people for their resources — in this case, the fictional "Eternium." The plot is reminiscent of the West's various real-life misadventures in pursuit of Middle Eastern oil. 

Anyway, Teth-Adam's magical prison cave is eventually found by an archaeologist and freedom fighter named Adrianna Tomaz (Sarah Shahi), who summons Adam to save Kahndaq from the Intergang paramilitary group. When Adam awakens, Tomaz is attacked by Intergang thugs. In full demi-god mode, Adam easily destroys them, then sets out to use his powers to fight them off and protect Kahndaq.

However, Teth-Adam's violent nature gets the attention of Amanda Waller and the US government, which summons the Justice Society of America (not to be confused with The Justice League) to stop him. The team includes Hawkman (Aldis Hodge), Dr. Fate (Pierce Brosnan), Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell), and Atom Smasher (Noah Centineo). The heroes and anti-hero fight for a while, while a descendant of King Ahk-Ton takes control of an ancient magical artifact that turns him into a powerful demon named Sabbac.

Teth-Adam and the JSA decide to put aside their differences, leading to the defeat of Sabbac, but at the cost of Dr. Fate's life. Afterward, Teth-Adam — who finally decides to go by Black Adam — is then forced to be confined to Kahndaq by the US government, with Waller threatening him with the presence of Superman to keep him in line.

The Gods return to fight Shazam in 2023

After the infamous War of the Gods that led to the death of the Greek pantheon, the previously defeated Titans took over in the power vacuum. This included Atlas, whose vicious tyranny eventually led to a human uprising. The humans were helped by the wizard Shazam and the Council of Wizards, who — after defeating Atlas and the Titans — created a magical barrier between the human world and the Gods' Realm, which was left to rot.

Unfortunately, in the first "Shazam!" film, Billy Batson — as the superhero Shazam — broke the magical staff that the wizards used to trap the gods in an attempt to stop the (at the time) super-powered Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Mark Strong). Batson succeeds in defeating the villain, but also erodes the magical barrier between the gods and man.

This leads to the daughters of Atlas — Kalypso (Lucy Liu), Hespera (Helen Mirren), and Anthea (Rachel Zegler) — entering the human world and exacting revenge for killing their father Atlas. Together they seek the fabled Golden Apple to sprout The Tree of Life and create a new world for the gods to reside in, which would kill all human life.

In the end, Billy (as Shazam) sacrifices himself to stop the goddesses and allows Anthea — who had rebelled against her sisters to help humanity — to take the Golden Apple and rebuild her own realm. Luckily, after being buried in the Gods' Realm, Billy is able to be resurrected by Wonder Woman due to her demi-god status, which allows her to fix the magical staff.

In 2023, The Flash attempts to fix time

The classic superhero the Flash, aka Barry Allen (played in the DCEU by Ezra Miller) is a speedster who wears a skintight-red costume and runs really, really fast. That's because he can tap into what is dubbed "The Speed Force," which allows him to sprint faster than the speed of light. This also allows him to do many great feats beyond just jogging quickly, such as vibrating his molecules to phase out of traps, healing super quickly, and even traveling back in time. Furthermore, Barry feels that with his powerful time-traveling ability he can finally undo the tragedy of his past by preventing the death of his mother (Maribel Verdú) and by exonerating his imprisoned father (Ron Livingston), who was falsely convicted of her murder.

However, like all good time-travel stories, his temporal excursion leads to drastic unforeseen consequences, "Back to the Future 2"-style. For instance, Barry unwittingly travels to a different timeline where Zod attacks a world with no metahumans, Kara Zar-El as Supergirl (Sasha Calle) replaces Kal-El as Superman, and Batman is older and played by Michael Keaton (explicitly reprising his role from the Tim Burton-directed Batman films from the early '90s).

Barry also befriends and teams up with an alternate-world version of himself, which leads to obvious complications in the space-time continuum. Furthermore, like "The Flashpoint" comic book event from 2011 that "The Flash" film is loosely based on, his time-traveling adventures will have a lasting and wide-ranging impact on the whole DC cinematic universe going forward.

Alternate universe created by Barry Allen

At the end of the 2023 "The Flash" film, Barry Allen realizes that going back in time to save his mother has damaged the space-time continuum so much that it is going to eventually rip the multiverse apart and destroy everything if he doesn't go back to make things right. We even see universes that include the George Reeves Superman, the Christopher Reeve Superman, the Nicolas Cage Superman (from the unmade "Superman Lives" film), the Adam West Batman — and much, much more — about to collide with each other. Unfortunately, in this case, "make things right" means Barry (heroically?) lets his mother get murdered. However, while Barry does that, he makes one small change that — when he goes back to the present — allows his father to be freed from prison.

Unfortunately, that "one small change" has universe-wide repercussions, since when he meets Bruce Wayne he's not played by Ben Affleck or Michael Keaton, but rather George Clooney from 1997's "Batman & Robin." Clooney's Wayne seems to recognize Barry, but Barry is shocked and confused.

Then, in an after-credits scene, we see that Barry has found Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa), who is belligerently and comically drunk and doesn't really believe what Barry is telling him. Barry does mention, though, that all the Aquamen he's seen so far look like Momoa — seemingly confirming that Momoa will remain Aquaman even after James Gunn takes over the DCU.

Bruce's post-apocalyptic vision, date unspecified

The canonicity of Zack Snyder's bloated, four-hour (!) cut of 2017's "Justice League," which was dumped onto HBO Max in 2021, is dubious at best. However, for completeness' sake, we'll count it. The farthest in the DECU timeline we ever see is a future vision or fever dream (it's not made clear) that Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) has, where he witnesses a post-apocalyptic Earth ruled by the evil god-like overlord Darkseid, who uses a corrupted Superman (Henry Cavill) as his powerful enforcer.

In his vision, Bruce is joined by Mera (Amber Heard), The Flash, Cyborg (Ray Fisher), and an apparently reformed Deathstroke (Joe Manganiello), who are all adorned in cliché, drab "Mad Max"-esque versions of their outfits. They're seen traveling together through the deserted ruins of some big city to find The Joker, once again played by Jared Leto, reprising his role from 2016's "Suicide Squad," though his face is no longer tatted and he seems to be wearing a straight jacket. Anyway, The Joker claims he knows how to beat Superman. This tidbit gets a little lost amid the barbs and insults he trades with Batman, such as The Joker mockingly mentioning the death of Robin, and Batman implying he killed Harley Quinn. This also leads to the infamously goofy f-bomb dropped by Batman.

The future vision then ends with an evil Superman flying down to their location. However, before Superman can attack, Bruce finally wakes up from his dream in the present day. The Martian Manhunter (Harry Lennix), who had been hiding on Earth as General Calvin Swanwick this whole time, then appears to Bruce. It makes about as much sense in context as well.