DC Comics fans awoke to a treat when Wonder Woman and Wonder Woman 1984 director Patty Jenkins revealed the first-ever official image from the film. The image, featuring Chris Pine as Steve Trevor, confirms that yes, he will be coming back. But even more interesting was a second image released by Wonder Woman herself, Gal Gadot.
In the image, we see Diana staring at a block of screens showing various facets of culture from the 80s. Commercials, what looks like scenes from the Soap Opera Dallas, National Lampoon’s Vacation, and more. As with any official image that gets released, the fans have absolutely torn into this, digging, scrounging, and searching for any possible clues … and one eagle-eyed fan may have found it.
The image bears some similarity to a DC Comics panel from 1987, specificially in “Justice League #1” from 1987. In the panel, a man sits back and watches events unfold on a similarly colored bank of television screens. That man is Maxwell Lord.
Lord is an interesting character from the comics, not really a hero OR a villain, but more often than not a master manipulator with or without his on-again, off-again mind control powers, whose played even the Justice League like puppets. In the panel in question, he’s plotting against the Justice League, manipulating them in various ways.
As for how Lord could fit in the film, Lord could easily be portrayed as manipulating Wonder Woman, or Cheetah, or both against each other. These days superhero films with only one villain are few and far between. Even Wonder Woman featured Dr. Poison, General Ludendorff, and Ares as the real big bad. And, to date, the only villain confirmed for Wonder Woman 1984 is Kristen Wiig’s Cheetah.
In fact, we may have an even bigger hint about Lord appearing in the movie: a character description that would fit the character perfectly. Back when Pedro Pascal was added to the cast, Jeff Sneider (then of TheTrackingBoard) revealed that Pascal was playing one of two characters: “slippery con-man,” Rex, or an “intimidating American businessman.“
Ultimately, Sneider bet on Pascal playing Rex the Con Man, a seemingly original character unless that name is a decoy. However, the description of an intimidating American businessman would line up perfectly with Lord, even though Sneider described it as a small role. That would also be a perfect fit for Riz Ahmed, who was rumored to have joined the cast around the same time. That casting was never confirmed, however.
On the other hand, some like Christopher Campbell, aka thefilmcynic on twitter, have theorized that it might just be a reference to the 1984 film Splash. In the film, Daryl Hannah’s character, a Mermaid, learns English from watching a bank of TVs. On paper, that definitely seems like a simpler and more direct answer, especially given the relation to 1984.
Wonder Woman 1984 is set to hit theaters November 1st, 2019.