The Deathstroke of Zack Snyder’s Justice League wears a Halo emblem

If you’ve seen the initial, non-Zack-Snyder-endorsed release of Justice League, you understand that DC supervillain Deathstroke, represented by star Joe Manganiello, makes an after-credits cameo with Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor. What’s not apparent from that video footage is that the assassin is a hardcore Halo multiplayer fan.

However Deathstroke’s love of the Halo computer game series was exposed openly today, thanks to an exhibit that flaunts the character’s outfit as included in Zack Snyder’s Justice League. The extended, four-hour cut of the DC superhero movie even more checks out the “Knightmare” dreamscape initially meant in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. In Zack Snyder’s Justice League it’s where Jared Leto’s Joker resurfaces. And at AT&T’s Discovery Park in Dallas, Texas, fans of Zack Snyder’s DC cinematic universe can see the initial Knightmare world outfits utilized in the director’s superhero legend.

That’s where one fan found a symbol on Deathstroke’s sword, which was presumed to be a referral to Batman bad guy Ra’s al Ghul and his League of Shadows (aka League of Assassins). Deathstroke belongs to that league, along with characters like Bane and Talia al Ghul.

One fan, Geoff Reeves, published his discovery on Twitter:

Nevertheless, another Batman fan, @TheBatstan, challenged that finding, explaining that the icon on Deathstroke’s hilt is in fact a symbol from Bungie’s Halo video games.

“Ra’s al Ghul logo my ass,” The Batstan included.

So how did a Halo multiplayer icon end up in Zack Snyder’s Justice League (even if it might not appear noticeably on screen)? One dominating theory is that somebody associated with the outfit or weapon’s style did a Google image look for “Ra’s al Ghul logo.” The very first outcome is that image, after all.

But that runic icon is originally from Halo, just very slightly modified. Here’s the icon’s creator, veteran Bungie artist Christopher Barrett pointing out that he designed that emblem (with the original Adobe Illustrator file to prove it) decades ago:

But how did that emblem be come to be associated with Ra’s al Ghul at all? A fan-fiction creator may be responsible. An author on the fandom-crossover wiki Comic Crossroads used that slightly modified version of the Halo runes icon to represent the League of Shadows in their creation, an alternative comics universe named Earth-5991. In that universe, a fusion of Marvel’s Daredevil and DC’s Batman, Matt Murdock (not Bruce Wayne) becomes the Dark Knight. Here’s the synopsis of that fan creation:

When the young Matt Murdock witnesses his parents being killed in front of him by a mugger, he vows to never allow such thing to happen with the innocent. Departing from his home of Gotham City, Murdock masters both his body and mind across the world, returning to avenge his parents and his city by waging a one-man war against crime as Batman, the Man Without Fear.

The creator of Earth-5991, who goes by Draft227 on Comic Crossroads, has been contributing DC crossover fan fiction work since at least 2014 — well before the 2017 release of Justice League. Draft227 is also the name of a frequent contributor to Halopedia, a contributor-run wiki about the Halo franchise, which would explain how they came across the icon in the very first place. Draft227 has actually likewise written a series of Halo canon fan expansion stories, dubbed the New Timeline. Now, it appears, their influence has actually made it into Zack Snyder’s Justice League in a little, strange method.

You can attempt to construct out what’s on Deathstroke’s sword in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, where the supervillian will get a bit more screen time, when it premieres on HBO Max on March 18.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.