Justice League was intended to be just a single chapter in an epic superhero saga. Zack Snyder’s 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 with the Apokalyptian God of all Evil, Darkseid as he invaded Earth in the next movies.
We saw a peek at what these sequels would have been like in the Snyder Cut, which showed a new post-apocalyptic League fighting a desperate battle against a corrupted Superman on a Darkseid-controlled Earth. But, as we all know, Warner Bros. executives got cold feet and it’s looking unlikely that this story will be resolved on film. Even so, the brief taste we got of the character has left us hungry for more.
Now, we have a fresh alternate take on the villain courtesy of concept artist Jerad Marantz that shows Darkseid without his signature helmet, which the artist describes as:
“Here’s a very early version of Uxas I did for Zack Snyder’s Justice League. I wanted to try something A little different and ceremonial. My earliest versions of him did not have the classic Darkseid helmet.”
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This design links him very closely to Steppenwolf, giving Darkseid similar reactive Apokalyptian armor that we saw used to deadly effect in his battle with the Amazons. Seeing him in such a good light also highlights some of the cooler aspects of his physique, like his collarbones forming a rough omega symbol on his chest.
It’s arguable that Darkseid shouldn’t be too heavily armored, as his natural power is way beyond practically everybody else in the DC Universe, though the character just isn’t the same without that Jack Kirby metal jaw. Then again, considering we saw him almost get unceremoniously dispatched by Ares’ axe in the flashback sequence, perhaps he learned the lesson that some protection can be useful.
Unfortunately, the chances of Darkseid’s returning are slim, but then again, Zack Snyder’s Justice League once seemed an impossible dream as well.