Who Is Steppenwolf, the Potential 'Justice League' Villain?

'Justice League' may have an official villain, but who is he?

DC Comics

Despite the rough reception to Batman V Superman, Zack Snyder’s Justice League is going forward and is filming right now in London. Superhero films are part of big multiverses now, and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice hinted the big cosmic baddie Darkseid, an all-powerful and intelligent warlord and dictator, would be the villain for the likes of Superman and Batman to fight in 2017’s Justice League - Part 1.

Well, that may not end up being the case.

Birth.Movies.Death reported today that the villain in next year’s Justice League - Part 1 will in fact be Steppenwolf, one of the New Gods and member of Darkseid’s Elite, the Apokalips ruler’s most powerful entourage. Whether or not BMD’s sources check out — they have on occasion — you’re probably more concerned about who the heck this Steppenwolf fella is what he’s all about.

Created by Jack Kirby, Steppenwolf (German for “coyote”) made his debut in New Gods #7 in February 1972. He is the brother of alien monarch Heggra, uncle to Darkseid, and military leader of Apokolips, the dark opposite planet of New Genesis. He carries a nifty energy axe and generally looks like a viking cosplaying as an Edgar Rice Burroughs villain.

In comics, he was one of the few survivors of the fight with Doomsday, the monster that “kills” Superman in 1992’s The Death of Superman. If you saw Dawn of Justice, Doomsday was the hulking garbage of noise and CGI that Superman manages to kill in the ending fight. In the 2011 New 52 comics reboot, Steppenwolf leads an invasion of Parademons, which were seen in Dawn of Justice’s dream sequence. He’s later killed by Bizarro seeking a fat $300 million reward after Steppenwolf recruited him as a soldier.

Steppenwolf in the New 52

He’s not nearly as near complex like other DC villains. He’s suitable for a Greek epic but too flat if he’s to be a memorable villain in a modern superhero blockbuster, which suffer from a lack of decent antagonists. In Dawn of Justice Steppenwolf is in a deleted scene that was released online, and was entirely CGI and devoid of personality. Let’s hope Justice League isn’t lacking in personality either, although that could be asking for too much.

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