Today's proving to be quite the day for DC fans. Movie Pilot was given access to the set of Justice League, and we learned a lot about the future of the DC Exptended Universe. Perhaps one of the most interesting things we learned was the identity of the movie's villain.
Here's the shocker: eagle-eyed DC fans have already seen this villain! Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice had a deleted scene, to be released on the Ultimate Edition, in which we got a cameo of Steppenwolf. But, to fans' delight, Warner Bros. chose to release this early online as a teaser of what's to come. Take a look!
Yes, this is how Lex Luthor knows Darkseid's name. He's already met one of Darkseid's best...
Who Is This Steppenwolf?
There's an irony in that the first villain to face the assembled might of the Justice League is a character created by Jack Kirby, Stan Lee's legendary colleague who shaped so many of the iconic Marvel superheroes we know and love.
Steppenwolf is one of the New Gods, hailing from the planet Apokolips. He's the uncle of Darkseid, perhaps the most powerful villain in the DC Universe, and commander of Darkseid's military forces. We now know that he'll be leading an army of Parademons — the creatures Batman glimpsed in his vision in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice — in an invasion of Earth.
Although Steppenwolf is a comparatively lesser-known character (Kirby mostly used him in flashbacks), he is a powerhouse. He's a military commander whose genius makes him a formidable for for the Earth's greatest defenders. On one parallel Earth, an army he led almost took the planet, and all three of DC's famous Trinity — Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman — died going up against him. Physically, like all the New Gods, he's a tremendously dangerous figure, capable of giving the strongest of the Justice League a run for their money.
Of course, Steppenwolf doesn't stand alone. As well as Apokolips's legions of Parademons, he typically leads the so-called Dog Cavalry — powerful warriors who sit astride ferocious canine beasts.
What Will Steppenwolf's Role Be?
We know that Darkseid's goal is to acquire three Mother Boxes — essentially the film's McGuffins. We've already seen one Mother Box in Dawn of Justice, when Batman saw an object of alien origin create the Cyborg. In the comics, these Mother Boxes are among the most powerful artifacts in the universe, created by an Apokoliptic scientist. Three Mother Boxes found their way to Earth, although it's unclear how. Somehow Darkseid knows of them — and he wants them back.
As commander of Darkseid's army, Steppenwolf's role will be to capture the Mother Boxes. We know his quest will take him to all three realms of the DC Universe — one Mother Box is in the possession of the Amazons, another the Atlanteans, another the humans. The connection between the Mother Box and Cyborg's creation suggests Cyborg will play a particularly important role and likely be one of Steppenwolf's targets.
Making Steppenwolf the Big Bad of Justice League is a fantastic decision on DC's part. It means this first film will confront the team with the horrors of Apokolips — yet they won't go head to head against Darkseid himself. DC Films is playing the long game, bringing in a powerful and competent threat who is subservient to the biggest Big Bad, and preparing the ground for what comes next. Given the rest of the announcements, it's not difficult to be optimistic for the future of the DC Expanded Universe.
Are you excited to see Steppenwolf in the DC Expanded Universe?