This week we learned a few details about Steppenwolf, the villain of Justice League, from actor Ciarán Hinds — and while he played the PR game well, teasing just enough to keep the hype train rolling without dropping any major spoilers, his words might actually reveal something about #Darkseid and when we'll meet him. Specifically, before the end credits of #JusticeLeague.
Here's what we know so far: The villain of Justice League is #Steppenwolf, the military general of the planet Apokolips who, in the comics, is also Darkseid's uncle and second-in-command. Here he's performed in motion capture, with Hinds lending his likeness (eyes and mouth specifically) for facial VFX work. Remind yourself of his brief cameo in Batman v Superman below.
According to Hinds himself, this iteration of Steppenwolf is "old, tired, still trying to get out of his own enslavement to Darkseid [while] keeping on this line to try and take over [other] worlds." That's a slight departure from the comics, which portray Steppenwolf as being committed to the Apokoliptian cause, but actually makes sense considered Darkseid murdered half his own family in order to take the throne (it's all very North Korea). Hardly a surprise that there might be some bad blood there.
It's an interesting change which could give Justice League's villain some precious character development beyond "basic bitch bad guy," and I think it also opens the door to Darkseid's introduction. My theory is this...
The Final Scene Of 'Justice League' Features The Death Of Steppenwolf And
Make no mistake — he may ultimately serve Darkseid, but Steppenwolf is the primary villain of Justice League. It seems to be generally considered fact that the #DCEU is building toward the introduction of Darkseid in the Justice League sequel, even though nobody has actually confirmed it, but I think the audience will be introduced to the ruler of Apokolips in the final scene of this movie.
Considering Steppenwolf is literally immortal, the idea that even with their combined skillset the Justice League could actually kill him themselves doesn't exactly convince. If there's one person who might to kill him, though, or at least strip him of his power, it's his nephew.
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Presumably the League will succeed in wiping out the army of Parademons brought to Earth by Steppenwolf without actually killing their leader, forcing Steppenwolf to return to Apokolips to explain his failure to terraform Earth, and putting the Justice League squarely on Darkseid's radar.
That sets up the sequel neatly, but considering Darkseid's kill-happy nature it would be a surprise if he allowed a disgraced Steppenwolf to continue serving. My Justice League theory is that the movie's final scene takes place on Apokolips, where Steppenwolf returns knowing he'll be punished by death — perhaps even glad of the fact that he'll no longer be "enslaved" to his power-crazed nephew and leader.
That would be a highly effective way of introducing Darkseid, communicating instantly that a megalomaniacal warlord with no qualms about murdering his own family in cold blood now has Earth's greatest heroes in his sights and vengeance in mind.
Justice League arrives to terraform Earth and terrorize its protectors on November 17.
Do you think my Justice League theory could play out on screen, or will Darkseid remain an unseen puppetmaster until the sequel?