So, now we know for sure that Steppenwolf is the main supervillain the Justice League will be facing in their first movie. Who’s Steppenwolf, though? A company of actors in Chicago? The classic rock band behind “Born to be Wild?” Nah. This Steppenwolf belongs to a race of “New Gods” from the planet Apokolips, and the confirmation of his role already says a lot about where this movie-verse could be going. If your DC knowledge hasn’t covered the New Gods yet, here are a few quick facts to grok.
There’s always hierarchy to super-villainy, and while Steps might be the big bad for the first League flick, fans know he’s only going to be a “mini-boss” by the end. That’s because he serves Darkseid, the biggest bad in this whole cosmology, who will most likely fit the same role in the DC movie-verse that Thanos fills in the MCU. The two are both brawny, butt-ugly alien tyrants with cunning minds, always plotting to not only rule the universe, but also snuff out a massive percentage of it. Thanos worships the personification of Death, while Darkseid strives to solve the “Anti-Life Equation.” The two masterminds even battled during the 90s Marvel vs. DC crossover.
While Thanos roves the galaxy, Darkseid has a permanent base of operations as the sovereign of Apokolips (a planet named for its pleasantness as a vacation spot). Steppenwolf is just one servant in an entire army of villains. The winged foot-soldiers of this outfit, the Parademons, cameo’d during Batman’s “Knightmare” in BvS. And there are still more bizarre baddies in Darkseid’s court, like the bestial Kalibak, the fork-tongued Glorious Godfrey, and the demented mother superior, Granny Goodness. So, if the ‘Seid isn’t actually the heavy in Justice League Part 2, there are still countless minions the Leaguers could battle through before getting to him.
Steppenwolf was surrounded by some odd-looking cubes when he had his first on-screen pow-wow with Lex Luthor in BvS‘ bonus scene. Said cubes looked suspiciously similar to the one that complete Cyborg’s heroic transformation, too. These doohickeys are, in fact, Mother Boxes–sentient mini-computers with an awesome range of powers. They only communicate in mysterious chimes, too, so imagine smartphones with apps that enable teleportation among many other niceties. Steppenwolf will apparently be hunting for missing Mother Boxes on Earth.
Apokolips has an idyllic sister planet, New Genesis, and is perpetually in conflict with of the pantheon of heroic New Gods populating it. These do-gooders include the high-flying Lightray and Darkseid’s opposite, the Highfather. Future Justice League flicks could even see the team roster expand with heroes from these colorful deities’ ranks. The female fury Big Barda, master escape artist Mr. Miracle, and Darkseid’s estranged son Orion have all served in the League at different points. There are so many, and their adventures are so storied, an entire movie series could be devoted just to them.
The King of the New Gods
Darkseid, Steppenwolf, and every one of the New Gods were created in the 70s by Jack Kirby, a cartoonist whose other works you may be familiar with. He co-created the Avengers. Interestingly, Kirby intended this opus to be an unofficial/spiritual sequel to the stories he told in Thor. The New Gods are the far-out heirs to a universe created after the Old Gods (i.e. the Asgardians) fall during Ragnarok (note that’s the title of the next Thor movie). It was often about the End Times with ol’ Jack.
Which New Gods do you hope to see on screen next? Would you have a prefered a different minion of Darkseid as the first foe for the League? Sound off in the talkback!
Image Credits: DC Comics