The Aftermath of Maxwell Lord’s Plot
After Maxwell Lord brings the world to the brink of total annihilation through the power of unchecked wish-granting, Wonder Woman saves the day by making Max and the rest of the world understand the true cost of this power. Diana is able to restore the world to normal (more or less) by convincing everyone to renounce their wishes.
However, there do seem to be lingering effects from Max Lord’s flirtation with godhood. The world still seems to remember everything that happened, which raises all sorts of difficult questions we’ll touch on in our upcoming “Wonder Woman 1984′s 7 Biggest WTF Questions” piece. And for at least one character, life doesn’t appear to be reverting to normal.
The last we see of Barbara Ann Minerva, she’s seemingly reverted to human form and survived her violent clash with Wonder Woman. However, it’s unclear whether Barbara Ann actually renounced her wish. While she may have lost her secondary set of powers granted by Lord, she may still possess the strength and agility she gained from her original wish. Or perhaps she can switch between her human and feline forms now.
Cheetah’s status quo has always been in flux in the comics, from her powers to the fact that multiple women and men have taken up the mantle. The door is certainly open for Cheetah to remain an antagonist in future Wonder Woman or Justice League sequels. Whether or not she still has powers, we doubt her jealousy of Diana’s gifts has faded.
Which also begs the question – how many other people across the world didn’t rescind their wish? Are there other humans who might now have extraordinary powers thanks to Maxwell Lord? Will Wonder Woman 1984 serve as a backdoor origin story for more DC villains? Only time will tell on that front.
Does WW84 Have a Post-Credits Scene?
Short answer: yes, Wonder Woman 1984 has an after-credits sequence, and it answers a small question you may have been left with while watching the movie as well as features a fan-favorite cameo appearance.
Wonder Woman 1984 features a small but important subplot where Diana dons the golden eagle armor of a fallen Amazonian warrior named Asteria. Asteria held the line for her fellow Amazons when they retreated from the outside world, seemingly sacrificing her life so her sisters could make it safely to Themyscira. Diana tells Steve she spent years searching for Asteria after the events of the original movie. Diana did find Asteria’s armor, but not her body.
WW84 features an end credits scene that ties up the Asteria loose end. We see a cloaked figure who seems to be Diana walking through the street and rescuing a young girl from a falling telephone pole. It turns out this savior isn’t Wonder Woman, but Asteria, played by none other than Wonder Woman TV series star Lynda Carter. Like the Arrowverse before it, the DCEU is paying homage to DC’s live-action movie/TV past by bringing back iconic actors in new cameo roles. It turns out Asteria wasn’t killed saving her sisters, but instead went into hiding and has been protecting the innocent ever since.
Sidebar – this armor is directly inspired by an Alex Ross-designed costume introduced in the 1996 graphic novel Kingdom Come, which features older versions of Wonder Woman and her fellow Justice Leaguers struggling to deal with the rise of a newer, more violent generation of heroes. That armor later made its way into the present-day DCU in writer Gail Simone’s Wonder Woman run.
Speaking of which, this isn’t the first time Carter has appeared in a recent live-action DC project. She also played a recurring role on The CW’s Supergirl as President Olivia Marsdin, an alien disguised in human form. Her brief appearance as Asteria is now her third time playing a DC character. HBO Max also just debuted the Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman series two days before WW84’s release, so clearly they’re also hoping everyone is sticking around for the Wonder Woman 1984 mid-credits sequence and understand the reference.
A Bridge to the DC Multiverse?
On the surface, Wonder Woman 1984 seems like a fairly self-contained movie without much bearing on the larger DCEU. That’s more or less been DC’s approach ever since 2018’s Aquaman, and it makes sense for a film specifically set decades before the events of Man of Steel and Batman v Superman. However, the ending to WW84 has some intriguing implications for the future of the DCEU. Could the fallout of Maxwell Lord’s failed plot and the surprise Lynda Carter cameo be a small taste of things to come for this shared universe?
As we’ve explored, the movie is purposefully vague as to whether Barbara Ann still has her Cheetah powers. But the possibility is certainly there. And there’s still the question of how many other people across the world refused to give up their wishes. Just how many far-reaching changes have been introduced as a result of WW84? Could these wishes be used as a catalyst for introducing other DC villains? We could see other major Wonder Woman rogues like Doctor Psycho and Giganta or even Batman villains like Deathstroke or Joker having origin stories rooted in the events of WW84. Much like how the Arrowverse relies heavily on the STAR Labs particle accelerator explosion of 2014 as the catalyst for its metahuman characters, WW84 could be the foundation on which countless heroes and villains are built.We also have to wonder whether Wonder Woman 1984 might work hand-in-hand with 2022’s The Flash in broadening the the DCEU and building to a true big screen DC multiverse. The Flash has long been rumored to be based on 2011’s Flashpoint, a story wherein Barry Allen screws up the DC timeline after travelling back to save his mother. The Flash is reportedly dabbling in the DC movie multiverse with the return of Michael Keaton’s Batman, a move that seems primed to truly open the doors of the multiverse.
WW84’s ending doesn’t necessarily make a lot of sense in the larger context of the DCEU, but maybe that’s the point. Warner Bros. is clearly trying to find a different direction for this cinematic universe, one that focuses less on strict continuity between films and more on celebrating multiple incarnations of iconic heroes. That’s why Robert Pattinson is starring in a Batman reboot even as Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton’s Batmen are both appearing in The Flash. Together, WW84 and The Flash may be part of a concerted effort to change the scope of the DCEU and allow for a much wider assortment of heroes and villains.
And with Carter playing a small role in WW84, we can only hope some future DCEU movie will allow her to reprise her classic version of Diana Prince. If not, what’s the point of a superhero multiverse in the first place?
Jesse is a mild-mannered staff writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter.