Warning: SPOILERS for Justice League are ahead!
Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, Aquaman, Flash and Cyborg successfully stopped Steppenwolf from laying waste to Earth in Justice League, but there will soon be a new threat on their radar. In Justice League's post-credits scene, it was revealed that Lex Luthor had escaped Arkham Asylum and joined forces with Slade Wilson, a.k.a. Deathstroke, to form their own league to combat the allied heroes. This marked Joe Manganiello's official debut as Deathstroke in the DC Extended Universe, and it met with the approval of the character's creator, Marv Wolfman. When a fan noted how proud Wolfman must be of seeing his creation faithfully depicted, the comic book writer responded:
When it comes to stamps of approvals, this is among the best that Joe Manganiello's Deathstroke could have received. Marv Wolfman co-created Deathstroke with George Perez for 1980's New Teen Titans #2, and after years of appearances in comics, video games, animated series and live action TV (he is currently played by Manu Bennett on Arrow), Slade Wilson finally appeared on the big screen this past weekend on Justice League. It will be a while until we get an official screen capture of Manganiello's quick Deathstroke appearance, but the character's physical appearance closely matches how he looks in the comics, as seen below.
While Deathstroke's Justice League cameo may have come as a surprise to many, there was heavy speculation that he would appear in the movie after Ben Affleck posted test footage of the one-eyed villain last year. Let's also not forget when Zack Snyder shared a picture of himself looking at storyboard artwork that seemingly depicted Deathstroke meeting with Lex Luthor, which is ultimately what came to pass. Now that we know how Joe Manganiello's version of Slade Wilson looks, the next step is the DCEU showing us why he's one of the most feared mercenaries on the planet.
As for when we'll see Joe Manganiello's Deathstroke next, that's hard to say. While Lex Luthor and Deathstroke's Injustice League look like they could serve as Justice League 2's antagonists, it's unclear whether or not that sequel is still moving forward. Deathstroke was also supposed to serve as The Batman's main antagonist, but given that Matt Reeves has ben re-working that movie's story since he came aboard as director, there hasn't been any word on if he'll still be involved with that DCEU project. Fortunately for Deathstroke fans, even if either of those movies don't work out for the character, he'll still snag the limelight when he stars in his own standalone movie, which will be helmed by The Raid's Gareth Evans.
Keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more updates on Deathstroke's cinematic future, and be sure to read our Justice League review.