Easily the biggest surprise in Justice League directed by Zack Snyder is how funny it is. But no big comic book movie debuting footage at San Diego Comic-Con can be complete without some nerdy as hell comic book stuff, and the teaser for Justice League delivers: before you see Batman crack a joke, there are shots of the New Gods and a Mother Box, cementing the cosmic world that threatens Earth. There has to be a reason for the Justice League, after all.

But who are the New Gods and just what the heck is a Mother Box? Fret not, for we can explain. (Then maybe you can finally start reading some damn comics.)

Who are the New Gods?

The New Gods are a powerful alien race from two planets: New Genesis, and Apokolips. New Genesis is nice and pleasant. Apokolips is a nightmare ruled by the evil-genius supreme being Darkseid. Guess which one is invading Earth.

While Darkseid is a distant endgame for the DC cinematic universe, his uncle Steppenwolf is on his way to Earth in Justice League, after his deleted scene in Batman v Superman with Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor.

Steppenwolf, one of the New Gods and main bad guy in 'Justice League.'

Some New Gods are seen in the trailer, trying to bury a box. That thing is actually a Mother Box. I know, I know, you might be wondering…

What the heck is a Mother Box?

A Mother Box, as seen in 'Justice League.'

Created by the legendary writer and artist Jack Kirby, Mother Boxes are sentient, portable supercomputers. Their true origins remain unknown, but these little things can do everything from data storage to teleportation to energy manipulation to basically being a cosmic GPS to making force fields to miraculous healing. I don’t know if it can make breakfast, though.

Mother Boxes are sometimes assigned to an individual, and they develop such a strong bond to their “owner” that they’ll self-destruct when their owner dies. Essentially, they’re a souped-up, lovable Roombas that can love you back; something that’s as average as a kitchen appliance or a pet turtle to the New Gods.

Metron, one of the New Gods, holding a Mother Box.

We’ve already seen one Mother Box, in the aforementioned deleted scene from Dawn of Justice. Not sure why New Gods would want to bury one, though, but you’ll have to wait until November to figure out that grand mystery. Watch the clip again below:

Photos via DC Comics, YouTube.com/Warner Bros. Pictures