Justice League was intended to be just one chapter in what could’ve been the most epic cinematic superhero adventure ever. Zack Snyder’s original plan was to launch the DCEU with Man of Steel, establish other heroes in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, bring them together in Justice League and then have them face off against the Apokalyptian God of all Evil, Darkseid as he invaded Earth in the sequels. This storyline would have meant that JL‘s big bad Steppenwolf was a mere prelude to his sinister master, with the Knightmare sequence in Batman V Superman teasing a dark future for the DCEU.
But, famously, Warner Bros. executives got cold feet and Joss Whedon’s reviled theatrical cut excised almost all trace of Darkseid. With the Snyder Cut – now officially known as the Justice League Director‘s Cut – coming in March, though, the God of all Evil will finally make his debut in the DCEU. We’ve already seen him in the first trailer, of course, but now we’ve got a great look at his design courtesy of some official T-shirts available in the DC Store, and you can check them out below.
To me, these seem extremely reminiscent of the Darkseid we saw in Grant Morrison’s epic Final Crisis arc published over 2008-2009. This saw the villain successfully invade Earth and convert most heroes to his evil cause, only eventually being beaten after Batman shot him with a time bullet and Superman sang a song (it sounds lame, but it kicked ass).
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It’s looking like the Snyder cut will flesh out Darkseid’s character, too, showing a younger version of him rising to power on Apokalips and revealing why he desires to subjugate the universe. Everything we know suggests that this arc won’t be resolved in the four-hour extravaganza we’re getting in March, but I’m still holding out hope that we’ll get to see Snyder’s full DCEU plans realized on screen one day.
You might think that’s just wishful thinking, but then again, a year ago, the idea of Warner Bros. giving Zack Snyder $30 million to finish his cut of Justice League would have been met with the same snorts of derision. Roll on March!