We always knew that Justice League‘s troubled production resulted in a movie that was tonally mismatched with the past entries in the DC Extended Universe, as original director Zack Snyder’s signature style was replaced with Joss Whedon’s relentless quipping and less desaturated cinematography. However, one piece of dialogue you might have missed reveals that it doesn’t even match up with the story previously established in the DCEU, either.
As Screen Rant notes, at one point in the movie, Ray Fisher’s Cyborg explains his origins to his new super-friends. He reveals that the Mother Box that restored his life after his fateful car crash only activated once Superman died at the end of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. In case you forget, here’s his exact wording:
“My father called it the change engine. It was found by the British during World War I. They studied it… but they couldn’t even date it. It’s so old. It was shelved, until the night Superman died. Then she lit up like Christmas. They brought it to STAR Labs… where my father recognized it… as a perpetual energy matrix.”
Seems innocent enough, right? As well as calling back to BvS, this is also a neat nod to a deleted post-credits scene from Wonder Woman which would have seen Steve Trevor’s crew being sent to collect what we know as Mother Box. Unfortunately, the problem with Cyborg’s speech is that it totally conflicts with the first account of his origin, as viewed by Diana in the infamous laptop scene from BvS.
As well as watching CCTV footage of Aquaman and Flash, Wonder Woman viewed a video diary of Silas Stone’s which revealed the moment the Moment Box activated and healed his son, Victor. That part’s fine, but the Justice League explanation doesn’t make any sense when you remember that Diana saw this video before Superman’s climactic fight with Doomsday.
There’s simply no way to align these two accounts together, unless we assume that Cyborg just has his digital memories a little muddled and he’s misremembering what happened. Clearly, though, Joss Whedon, or maybe Geoff Johns, or whoever wrote this exchange in Justice League forgot what had previously been established in Batman V Superman. You could argue that it isn’t a big deal, and that’d be somewhat fair, but it does suggest that DC doesn’t have much respect for their own movies.