All Hail Darkseid
The original Steppenwolf is back, and he looks outright terrifying! A leak/tease for the revamped CGI art direction of Justice League’s main villain has been spotted by fans. We had an idea of what Steppenwolf looked like a few months prior, but never saw it actually rendered.
Steppenwolf was one of the biggest let downs of Joss Whedon’s Justice League edit. Firstly, because his character model and mocap work looked haphazard at best. Which threw a lot of people off, since typically Whedon had a good eye for CGI artists, at least if the MCU was any metric. Granted, Joss Whedon also ruined Justice League so it’s not that surprising.
Secondly, Steppenwolf was just not intimidating. At no point during Justice League’s runtime did we feel like he was any major threat. Getting outfought, out maneuvered and outmatched by every single Justice League member. Yet they called him Darkseid’s lieutenant, but he came off like a strange and creepy B-villain from Guardians of the Galaxy.
Thirdly, he looked so annoyingly different from his brief tease in BVS. This is one complaint that doesn’t seem to get as much traction, but people don’t seem to realize that Zack Snyder had already shown fans Steppenwolf.
This Isn’t Our First Look
Back in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, there was a brief cameo appearance from the villain. He finds one of the missing Mother Boxes and proceeds to teleport out of the crashed Kryptonian ship. In that scene, he looked much more like the new image that we saw as opposed to Whedon’s revamp.
Considering that Zack Snyder also tends to stray more heavily into emotional art direction and darker themes, his changes to Steppenwolf make sense. His villains have always either been freakishly scary or distressingly human. Just look at Doomsday compared to Watchmen‘s Ozymandias.
All of this would fall in line with the tone that was more present in his initial Justice League trailer, and his previous DCEU work. Man of Steel was much more about the emotions under the surface, and the concept of human casualties in a superhero war. Whereas BVS was all about the fallout of those casualties and the effect that it had on other hero’s psyches.
It was all a lot more nuanced and specific compared to the roundabout storytelling and horrible pacing that Whedon introduced into the edited theatrical version. There was always supposed to be a stronger story and a heavier emphasis on the characterization.
Make no mistake, Steppenwolf was supposed to be as much of a character as anyone else was. He’s the villain of the piece assuredly, but with the reintroduction of the cut Darkseid scenes and three plus hours of footage. Hopefully, this image tells the foreboding story of what we can expect from a scarier Steppenwolf.