Batman Easter Eggs and References You May Have Missed
There’s a flapping of wings in the Batcave, and Alfred dabbles in fine china, as Matt Reeves The Batman takes off in theaters. Giving the Caped Crusader his first solo outing since 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises, Robert Pattinson steps into Batfleck’s shoes and hopes to give the brooding billionaire a whole new life.
Following in the footsteps of Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins, this is an origin story of sorts – one that follows a more junior version of the masked vigilante trying to save the crime-riddled streets of Gotham City. With this rumored to be the start of a new trilogy (and a sequel already confirmed), Reeves is doing his best to build the world one of the most complete Batman universes we’ve ever seen.
As with any movie these days, we’re left with a treasure trove of Easter eggs that even the Riddler himself would be proud of. From secret post-credit scenes to Batman villains waiting in the “wings,” the Batphone, to a certain Clown Prince of Crime, here are the Batman Easter Eggs you might have missed.
The Court of Owls
Much like 2019’s Joker’s Thomas Wayne, it seems Bruce’s dad wasn’t as clean as we all thought. There’s already wild speculation that Thomas may have been involved in the shadow of the Court of Owls – a mask-wearing society of Gotham’s elite.
The Court of Owls kidnap children and train them as deadly assassins called Talons, which is one way to use the various Gotham Renewal Project orphans and connect them to the Riddler for The Batman 2.
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During the film, the Riddler sends a series of cards to Batman. Each appears to be a subtle nod to a villain, with likenesses of Hugo Strange and Poison Ivy appearing on two of them. You don’t need the detective skills of Batman to guess what the owl card is alluding to.
Reeves has repeatedly said he’s a huge fan of the 1966 Batman movie, and it turns out there’s a deep cut in the campy caper hidden in plain sight in The Batman. Adam West’s era was full of wacky gadgets like the shark repellent, and while it doesn’t appear here, we do see the Batphone.
After the Riddler attacks Wayne Tower, Bruce phones to check on Alfred. He has his own butler in the form of Dory, the housekeeper. When she answers the phone, her retro styling and flashing buttons look a lot like the one West used 56 years ago.
Ice cream to meet you
Colin Farrell’s penguin only appears in a handful of scenes – presumably to set up his HBO Max spin-off series. Still, we learn a lot about the leader of the waddling mob, as The Batman gives us a pretty accurate version of Penguin.
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Much like the comics, Penguin runs a nightclub called The Iceberg Lounge, however, this is just a front in The Batman. The real action takes place at 44 Below, which is Penguin’s underground lair for Gotham’s rich and powerful to carry out their illicit dealings.
A little silence, please.
Setting up another big Batverse villain, a sneaky Riddler easter egg points to the arrival of Thomas Elliot, aka Hush. In the comics, Elliot was another billionaire baby and childhood friend of Bruce, who murdered his parents in a car accident and tried to take down Batman.
Along with blood on Thomas Wayne’s hands is a mention of a reporter called Edward Elliot, which seems too convenient a surname to ignore. There’s also a viral Riddler website that features Thomas Waye’s mayoral campaign and a flash of an image with the word “hush” scribbled on it.
Refresh your reading
There are a number of comics that influenced The Batman’s plot, but in particular we see significant nods to The Long Halloween, Zero Year, and No Man’s Land. Opening on Halloween night, The Batman also references The Long Halloween thanks to Carmine Falcone’s relationship with Thomas Wayne after the latter saved her life.
Zero Year featured a famously convoluted plot where the Riddler attempted to flood Gotham, while No Man’s Land was teased for the sequel to The Batman. The 1999 crossover had Gotham hit by an earthquake and the various villains cut it out for their own slice of the pie.
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Batman’s ending monologue sets that up, with a brooding penguin staring at a crumbling Gotham and ready to take advantage of the power vacuum. Any number of other thieves could be waiting in the wings; don’t expect Superman to pass like in the comics.
Another possible hint of what’s to come is Batman’s use of a secret serum. During his final battle, an injured Bruce appears to be screwed. The Dark Knight then pulls out a vial of green liquid and injects it into his veins via his suit.
With rage in his eyes, an over-excited Batman takes another breath and hammers out a growl from Riddler until Jim Gordon has to pull him away. It’s unclear what this mysterious liquid is, but it bears a strong resemblance to the Venom that gives Bane his super strength in the comics and 1997’s Batman & Robin.
It’s no longer an asylum
Both the Waynes and the Arkhams are known to have raised families in Gotham City, and if the name Arkham rings a bell, it’s because the famed asylum is known for housing some of the greatest and most gruesome enemies of all. Batman.
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We only get a brief glimpse of Arkham – which seems a million miles from the crumbling confines of Rocksteady’s games. Continuing with renovations, it is actually called Arkham State Hospital here. With Reeves confirming that one of The Batman’s many spin-offs will focus on Arkham, get ready to learn a lot more about villain lockdown.
The wonderful boy
Catwoman makes a brief reference to Bludhaven, which happens to be a certain Boy Wonder’s playground when he takes on the mantle of Nightwing. Just as The Dark Knight rises alludes to Batman’s partner in crime-fighting, The Batman carefully teases Robin’s impending arrival.
There are wacky theories that Jay Lycurgo’s nameless rogue could end up being Robin. If you need a reminder, Lycurgo was part of the make-up gang causing trouble. As the rest of his friends get beaten up by the bat, Lycurgo’s young child goes running scared. Ironically, Lycurgo is known for playing Tim Drake (the third Robin) in Titans, so it’s not like he wasn’t prepared to step into spandex.
the last laugh
You might recognize Barry Keoghan from Eternals as an inmate at Arkham. Even before The Batman hit theaters, the internet was going into overdrive and Keoghan would be playing The Joker. Reeves himself has confirmed that this is the Crown Prince of Crime, but not yet his fully formed version.
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Along with a potential return for the Riddler, Keoghan’s laughing maniac is destined to be a big part of Reeves’ proposed trilogy. Complete with a Joker-esque laugh, the Arkham inmate has a suitably disfigured face that Reeves says was inspired by the 2005 Batman: The Man Who Laughs one-shot. As icing on the cake, Mr J says: “One day you’re on top, the next day you’re a clown.”
riddle me that
Since the Marvel Cinematic Universe forces us to skip the credits under the hint of a post-credits scene, those who stuck around until the final curtain of The Batman will be disappointed that there isn’t a scene. post-credit… where is there?
In classic Riddler style, it turns out there’s a secret post-credits scene that can be unlocked. The final moments include the Riddler typing “goodbye”, a question mark, and the URL to rataalada.com.
If you go there, you can play Eddie’s game. To ask if you want to play, just press [Y] and get started. We won’t spoil the surprise here, but if you think you can outplay the Riddler, give it a try.
The Batman is currently in theaters. If you can’t get enough of the Dark Knight, check out our guide to The Batman 2 or the stories Matt Reeves could adapt in a sequel.