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This Justice League Featurette Shows the Fourth World Mystique of Steppenwolf

Steppenwolf in Justice League.
Steppenwolf in Justice League.
Image: Warner Bros.

Steppenwolf, as he came to be in Justice League, wasn’t really the most compelling villain, but he could have been more interesting than the film let on.


In this featurette from Justice League, online via Flashback Filmmaking, the creators of the film (sans, of course, Snyder and Whedon, whose conflicted roles are quietly avoided in the special features) run down what makes Steppenwolf interesting to them, and in the process they get at what could have made Steppenwolf interesting in the film.

He’s a fixture of Kirby’s wild Fourth World, uncle of Darkseid and yet his servant, caught in a cosmic Shakespearean conflict for power, prestige, and dominance over all life. All of which is really interesting stuff, and that consideration makes this featurette worth watching, if only to imagine what could have been.


Instead, the Steppenwolf on film will go on down as a guy who... really likes Mother Boxes, I guess?


io9 Weekend Editor. Videogame writer at other places. Queer nerd girl.

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Matthew Catania

Ciarán Hinds as Steppenwolf may be the biggest waste of an actor on a villain since Christopher Eccelston as Malekith, the difference being that nobody was a fan of Steppenwolf in the comics. He was picked because of Snyder’s axe fetish & they didn’t want to rush to his nephew, Darkseid. They still could’ve given him a personality & armor more distinct from Ares’s. His horned helm & command of cannon fodder aliens draw unfavorable parallels to Loki in The Avengers.