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The New Gods from the planet Apokolips.
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"Evil does not sleep. It waits." - Hippolyta
"But the bell's already been rung. And they've heard it. Out in the dark among the stars..."
Lex Luthor

An alien species inhabiting the aptly-named world of Apokolips, a Death World ruled by the tyrannical Darkseid.

    In General 
  • Aborted Arc: The second invasion teased in Zack Snyder's Justice League was never followed upon, with the focus moving to the Shazam and Suicide Squad branches of the DCEU before ultimately being retconned with The Flash.note 
  • Adapted Out: They appear to have no connection to the DCEU's Intergang, when traditionally they're the group's main benefactor.
  • Aliens Are Bastards: They make a habit of violently conquering planets and twist them into the likeness of their own homeworld. And they're bastards to each other, with the only exception being their respect towards Darkseid out of fear of what he would do to them.
  • Alien Blood: In the theatrical cut of Justice League New God's blood is apparently purple, as can be seen after Superman punches Steppenwolf. In the Snyder Cut it's black.
  • Another Dimension: The Amazons and Atlanteans identify them as being from outside their own world. Lex luthor also states they live "beyond the stars".
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: They can function underwater as well as any Atlantean.
  • Bizarre Alien Senses: They're able to detect things and make assessments with minimal effort. Both Darkseid and Steppenwolf figured out where the Anti-Life Equation was just by touching soil, Steppenwolf could sense that Wonder Woman was an Amazonian demigoddess within moments of meeting her and Desaad noted that the Mother Boxes were destroyed by Superman and Cyborg when they were still physically intact.
  • The Chain of Command: Darkseid > DeSaad > Steppenwolf > Parademons. In the Knightmare timeline Superman replaces Steppenwolf.
  • Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: Played straight in the theatrical cut, leaving the names "Apokolips" and "Apokoliptians" have yet to be mentioned in the DCEU regarding Steppenwolf's homeworld. At least until Diana namedropped their homeworld in Zack Snyder's Justice League.
  • Dark Is Evil: They favor dark costumes and of course there is their leader's name...
  • Darkness Von Gothick Name: "Darkseid" (Dark side), "Steppenwolf" (German name for a breed of wolf, as well as [[Steppenwolf a Herman Hesse novel) and "DeSaad" (named after Marquis de Sade).
  • Demon/Devil Distinction: The New Gods are native to a realm outside of our own and the full extent of their power remains unknown. Their parademon army are mutated lifeforms sourced from various worlds whose powers are limited to flight, being stronger than the average human and relying on alien weapons.
  • Divine Conflict: They fought against the Olympians during the first Apokoliptian invasion of Earth, which they lost.
  • Dread Zeppelin: Their full-scale invasions of Earth involve smaller hovercrafts for transporting soldiers while a Mile-Long Ship looms overhead.
  • Enemy Civil War: Steppenwolf was originally part of a coup against Darkseid that lead to his exile. Word of God states that this kept Darkseid too occupied to return to Earth and by the time he'd reasserted his authority, Earth's location was lost. (Especially when you consider how many Earths there are across The Multiverse).
  • Evil Evolves: In their first invasion, the forces of Apokolips relied on flying saucers and close-quarter weapons, while their leader had no powers outside of his incredible strength. In the 21st century the New Gods now use Boom Tubes for transport, their weapons are now high-tech and Darkseid has acquired the Omega Sanction.
  • Evil Is Angular: The overarching design in all Apokoliptian outfits features sharp corners and jagged edges.
  • Evil Is Burning Hot: The terrain of Apokolips is ravaged by pillars of fire, Darkseid's Omega Beams can incinerate their targets and the Motherboxes scorch planets when fully synchronized.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Apokoliptians have a habit of speaking in long, expository sentences like characters in a Renaissance play. Given Jack Kirby's flamboyant writing style, this is to be expected.
  • The Evils of Free Will: Apokoliptians genuinely believe that Anti-Life is a good thing, citing the lack of harmony among the peoples of Earth as an example.
  • Failed a Spot Check: While they've documented Darkseid's failed invasion of Earth, none of them were able to confirm the planet's name until Steppenwolf rediscovered Earth in the 21st Century. Such a failure on their part ultimately cost them three Motherboxes, scores of Parademons and a frontline general.
  • Fire and Brimstone Hell: Apokolips strongly resembles such a place, with its pillars of fire, clouds of smog, red haze and monstrous denizens. Its "demons" also happen to be natives of the mortal realm damned into an eternity of slavery.
  • The Greys: Darkseid, Steppenwolf and Desaad are alien invaders who want to mine Earth for a valuable resource and they all have grey-to-ashen skin.
  • Higher-Tech Species: From what we've seen, the only other beings who can possibly rival their technological level in the known universe of the DCEU so far are Kryptonians, and the latter are extinct.
  • Horns of Villainy: The three male Apokoliptans seen - Darkseid, Steppenwolf, and DeSaad - have small horns growing out of their chins that resemble a Beard of Evil. Darkseid's are easy to miss as they are covered up by the guard on his jawline, while Steppenwolf's are the most prominent on top of the giant horns on the sides of his head and the smaller ones on his eyebrows.
  • Industrialized Evil: Their modus operandi is to destroy entire ecosystems and enslave the inhabitants. The Knightmare best demonstrates the kind of hellscape that Apokoliptians create with every successful invasion.
  • Mile-Long Ship: The flagship Uxas (Zack Snyder's Justice League) / Steppenwolf (2017's Justice League) used during his first invasion of Earth was gigantic.
  • Monstrous Humanoid: With the exception of Granny Goodness, all Apokoliptians that have appeared look outright terrifying. Darkseid looks like a towering grey ogre, Steppenwolf looks like a metallic minotaur, Desaad looks like a ghoul and the Parademons are a legion of bug-men.
  • Mordor: Apokolips is an industrialised world where the sky is filled with clouds and orange miasma caused by the pillars of fire erupting from the bowels of the planet.
  • Multiversal Conqueror: According to the Amazons, the New Gods come from another universe entirely. Steppenwolf explicity refers to Anti-Life as having the potential to control the entire multiverse.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: The planet itself, with its inhabitants (bar Granny Goodness) all having names meant to invoke danger.
  • Obviously Evil: They have a Horde of Alien Locusts for foot soldiers called Parademons, they look positively demonic, and their supreme leader (Darkseid) is described as a mind-breaking Eldritch Abomination. Then there's said leader's Glowing Eyes of Doom.
  • Order Versus Chaos: Apokoliptians see free will, individuality and the ability to exist without deferring to a higher power as inherently savage traits. Ironically, their method of turning inhabitants into Parademons stunts their evolution so that they can only ever be savages, albeit easily controlled savages.
  • Our Gods Are Different: The New Gods - like every other deity in the DC Multiverse - are beings that have lifespans beyond those of regular mortals and possess powers that elevate them above most other non-super species. They also use alien technology such as flying saucers and rayguns as opposed to magic.
  • Our Wormholes Are Different: The Boom Tubes are their primary method of transportation.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Apokoliptian clothing consists of metallic shards that resemble reptile scales, which when combined with their monstruous features looks extra sinister.
  • Rogues' Gallery Transplant: While Apokoliptians represent a threat for the DC Universe at large in the comics, (one could argue the New Gods were themselves a Rogues' Gallery Transplant in the main DCU since Jack Kirby's Fourth World stories in which they first appeared were self-contained), the Green Lantern Corps as a whole doesn't fight them due to a truce with the Guardians of Oa (which obviously doesn't apply to individual members such as the Justice League's Green Lanterns). Here, the Corps are enemies to Apokolips, sworn to defend any planet they try to conquer, such as the Earth when Darkseid/Steppenwolf tried to invade it thousands of years ago, as well as during the Knightmare.
  • Rubber-Forehead Aliens: A sizable number of native Apokoliptians have combinations of oddly-textured greyish skin, bone-like growths on their heads and faces, deformed hands and are around eight feet tall, but otherwise look like humans. This is notably in contrast to the source material, where (except for Darkseid) the majority were Human Aliens. Parademons gain the same skin tone (plus needle-like teeth) when they're transformed.
  • Scary Dogmatic Aliens: They are unflinchingly loyal followers to Darkseid. If Desaad and Steppenwolf's first conversation is anything to go by, all Apokoliptian rebels have long since been killed off with their sole survivor now cowed into obedience.
  • Sufficiently Advanced Alien: They are an immortal, god-like alien race with highly advanced technology at their disposal, unlike the Olympian Gods. And they call themselves "the New Gods".
  • Super Supremacist: The Apokoliptians think very little of any mortal race save for the Green Lanterns and Kryptonians.
  • Time Abyss: They have been around at least since the time the Olympian gods walked the Earth several thousand years ago.
  • Undying Loyalty: Any Apokoliptian who dared turn on Darkseid is either dead or suffering punishment by the time they formally appear.
  • Villain Teleportation: They use Boom Tubes to travel to other worlds. This was apparently developed sometime after failing to conquer Earth as they were shown using spacecraft back then.
  • Villain World: An industrialised hellscape where flames and smog belch from the surface of the planet and cloud the sky.

New Gods


Uxas / Darkseid
"If it is redemption you seek; Find the third box, synchronize the Unity and when this world is scorched, I will come for my great prize!"
Click here to see him as Uxas

Species: New God

Citizenship: Apokoliptian

Affiliation: Apokolips

Portrayed By: Ray Porter (voice and motion capture), Richard Cetrone (stunt motion capture)

Voiced By: Takaya Hashi (Japanese), Tilo Schmitz (German)

Appearances: Zack Snyder's Justice League

"I have turned one hundred thousand worlds to dust looking for Anti-Life, looking for those who robbed me of my glory. I will stride across their bones, and bask in the glow of Anti-Life, and all of existence shall be mine!"

The leader and most powerful of the New Gods, a ruthless conqueror of worlds and the evil ruler of Apokolips. Thousands of years ago, Darkseid invaded Earth and uncovered the Anti-Life Equation. His forces were repelled by the combined might of the Olympians, a Green Lantern and the united forces of Earth. Darkseid would retreat back to Apokolips and eventually ascended to the throne, now hellbent on attaining the power of Anti-Life.

See Alternate Timelines for information on his appearance in the Knightmare future.

  • Aborted Arc: Due to the restructuring of the DC Extended Universe into the DC Universe, Darkseid's proposed second invasion of Earth will remain without any sort of conclusion.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Darkseid in most comics or shows is known for executing bearers of bad news or holding people who disagree with him and/or criticize his decisions in contempt. DeSaad in particular often finds himself getting fried and then resurrected for even the slightest agitation. Here however, after Steppenwolf's head is delivered to his feet by the League, DeSaad reminds Darkseid that he did warn Darkseid that Steppenwolf would fail and Darkseid simply acknowledges that his henchman was right in a resigned tone.
  • Adaptational Skimpiness: The comics tend to go back and forth on whether or not Darkseid wears sleeves and pants with his tunics, with some colorists making him appear to be wearing Nude-Colored Clothing. Here Darkseid's outfit is inspired by Ancient Greek armor, so the upper portions of his arms and legs are exposed. Not to mention his first scene shows him going to war topless.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Darkseid's armor seems a much darker shade of blue than what he normally wears in the comics and cartoons, thought it's usually because of the lighting.
  • Adaptation Explanation Extrication: Darkseid has black eyes with orange irises and needs to use a halberd during his first invasion of Earth but has Glowing Eyes of Doom and the ability to fire course-changing Eye Beams in the modern day, implying that he acquired the Omega Effect at some point after he lost the Mother Boxes.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Though Word of God confirms that Darkseid was once named Uxas, he was already going by the god-name Darkseid by the time he invaded Earth thousands years ago. Unlike the comics, this happened before he acquired the Omega Effect.
  • Agitated Item Stomping: With Steppenwolf's conquest a total failure, Darkseid expresses his frustration by stomping on his general's decapitated head.
  • Aliens Are Bastards: He's a genocidal tyrant who is responsible for hundreds upon thousands of planets being decimated and their inhabitants either wiped out or enslaved solely to appease his ego.
  • Alternate Self: Darkseid has an avatar on Earth-167. note 
  • Alien Invasion: Darkseid personally led hundreds of thousands of these on worlds across the universe, his last personally-overseen one being that of Earth. He gives the go-ahead to DeSaad to ready his forces for another one of these after Steppenwolf's failure.
  • Ambition Is Evil: It certainly is when you're willing to wipe out over 100,000 planets in order to have all life in the multiverse at your beck and call.
  • Ancient Astronauts: Darkseid tried to invade Earth with an armada of spaceships in ancient times. An ancient fresco above the three Mother Boxes on the walls of an ancient crypt in Greece depicts him looming over Earth's armies.
  • Ancient Evil: Darkseid's presence was recorded in a long-hidden location by the Amazons, with the implication being that they were even more reluctant to tell Diana of his existence than they were of Ares. The Atlanteans are also well-versed in the history of the invasion. The painting in Lex Luthor's study implies that while humanity's knowledge of Darkseid diluted over millennia, his legend was enough to influence their idea of the infernal world.
  • Annoying Arrows: Uxas is durable enough to be repeatedly shot in the chest by a hunting goddess and suffer only mild fatigue.
  • Armor Is Useless: Darkseid's metal coverings appear to just be for decoration, since Ares was able to cleave through his neck armor and leave him bleeding out. Though considering Ares is a War God, anyone's armor may be useless against him. And it did stop Ares from cleaving him lengthwise, which bought Darkseid enough time to be salvaged and healed.
  • Badass Boast: As demonstrated by his headline quote.
  • Bad Boss: Darkseid really doesn't care for Steppenwolf all that much, having exiled him for his role in a coup from long ago, until he brings him the discovery of The Anti Life Equation itself. And what happens with Steppenwolf when he fails to activate the Unity and gets his head chopped off in the process? Darkseid squishes it without a second thought!
  • Bald of Evil: He doesn't have hair and he's evil personified.
  • Beard of Evil: His alien helmet that reaches around his jawline gives this effect, and if his McFarlane figures and some concept designs are any indication, he has a set of horns growing from his chin much like Steppenwolf.
  • Big Bad: For the entire DC Extended Universe. Darkseid was the leader of the first Apokoliptian invasion of Earth and wants to retrieve the Mother Boxes so he can harness the Anti-Life Equation, allowing him to rule the entire universe.
  • Bizarre Alien Senses: He ascertained the Anti-Life Equation's whereabouts just by touching soil.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: In his younger days Uxas had black sclerae, which when combined with his sunken, shadowed eyes and bright orange irises looks similar to Glowing Eyes of Doom, foreshadowing his eventual upgrade.
  • Body Horror: As Uxas in his younger days, he had the Omega symbol molded into his chest.
  • Brutish Character, Brutish Weapon: Uxas used a spear in his younger days, which coincided with his taciturn and savage disposition at the time.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: One that proved to be a critical oversight to his ambitions. If Darkseid had bothered to learn the name of the planet that carried the Anti-Life Equation, he could have re-invaded Earth at any point between the death of the Olympians and Kal-El's arrival. He instead ended up waiting thousands of years for Steppenwolf to stumble upon the planet once more, at which point he tells Darkseid that the planet's name is "Earth".
  • Carry a Big Stick: His polearm, which was durable enough to withstand a direct blast of Zeus' lightning, but not strong enough to block the God of War's surprise attack.
  • Chest Insignia: Darkseid's tunic bears an upside-down Omega symbol, which echoes the cavity in his chest.
  • Cold Ham: While operatic with his delivery, Darkseid remains calm at all times, never raises his voice, and is downright eloquent.
  • Conflict Killer: All inhabitants of Earth and even the Old Gods ceased their conflicts and banded together to counter Darkseid's first invasion of Earth ages ago.
  • Cult of Personality: Darkseid's palace on Apokolips is adorned with stained glass windows depicting his face.
  • Dark Is Evil: He has grey skin and is clad entirely in a very dark blue suit of armor. And, well...he's Darkseid.
  • Dark Messiah: Darkseid's a god that's so awe-inspiring he's revered by other gods, regardless of his open disdain for anyone except himself. All other lives in the Multiverse are viewed as inferior beings that need to be indoctrinated into living only for Darkseid.
  • Death Glare: Darkseid’s default way of looking at anyone or anything, with his unblinking Glowing Eyes of Doom really adding to that effect.
  • Depending Upon the Undependable: DeSaad smugly tells Darkseid that Steppenwolf would have inevitably screwed up, to which Darkseid concedes his point. Downplayed in that Steppenwolf did in fact synchronize the Unity and decimate Earth, but the Flash was able to rewind events just far enough to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
  • Desecrating the Dead: His reaction to Steppenwolf's decapitated head landing at his feet? To crush it under his heel.
  • Despotism Justifies the Means: Darkseid's aspiration to have all of existence at his beck and call seems quite short-sighted when you consider that he allows the planets his potential slaves inhabit to be turned into barren balls of dust that couldn't possibly sustain living beings for long-term purposes. Eventually Darkseid's empire would crumble in what would seem like an instant for a being with his lifespan. Then again, he probably doesn't care about his quantity of followers so long as they all serve him.
  • Determinator:
    • Darkseid's will was great enough to stall a Green Lantern ring after he'd killed its previous host.
    • Now that Steppenwolf has confirmed Darkseid found the Anti-Life Equation on the same planet as the three Motherboxes which suddenly called out to Apokolips, Darkseid will focus all of his attention on this version of Earth.
  • Dimension Lord: He rules over Apokolips, which exists outside of normal time and space.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: To the Olympians. They successfully drove him away from Earth, but would be destroyed from within by Ares.
  • Divine Conflict: He personally fought against Zeus and Ares.
  • The Dreaded:
    • Lex Luthor's frightening words at the end of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice imply the Earth would have very good reasons to fear him.
    Luthor: He's hungry, he's found us, and HE'S COMING!
    • Diana shivers when looking at the ancient fresco depicting Darkseid. The very same Diana who fearlessly took on an Olympian god and Doomsday.
    • The parademons in Steppenwolf's company instinctively bow down seconds before Darkseid's image is projected.
  • Enemy to All Living Things: Over 100,000 worlds were decimated on his account so he could obtain a power that would grant him absolute control over all minds in the multiverse.
  • Establishing Character Moment: When DeSaad summons him to speak with Steppenwolf, the nearby Parademons all instinctively gather to bow in fear and respect before he even shows himself, and his mere appearance sends Steppenwolf stepping back in terror before retracting his armor and kneeling himself.
  • Eternal Villain: Darkseid's first invasion of Earth was recorded in ancient art, both consciously (the hidden fresco in Greece) and unconsciously (the Paradise Lost-style painting in Lex Luthor's study).
  • Evil Colonialist: Darkseid scours the Multiverse looking for Anti-Life, decimating planets and turning the surviving inhabitants into monstrous soldiers.
  • Evil Evolves: Originally Darkseid's powerset was limited to physical strength and the kind of durability that goes hand-in-hand with a millennia-long lifespan. When he resurfaces in the present day he has glowing eyes that hint at his ability to fire Omega beams.
  • Evil Is Bigger: Darkseid's the evilest of the Apokoliptians and naturally also the tallest.
  • Evil Is Not Pacifist: Darkseid uses the full might of the Apokoliptian army to conquer worlds, which he refers to as "the old ways". In the present day he was willing to sit back and let Steppenwolf sneak around Earth trying to find the Motherboxes, but when that fails Darkseid concludes that charging head-on is the preferable method of conquest.
  • Evil Is Petty: Darkseid punished Steppenwolf's betrayal by forcing him to conquer tens of thousands of planets in the name of Apokolips. Since everyone is surprised that Steppenwolf was able to uncover the Anti-Life Equation, it's clear that Darkseid's reason for punishing Steppenwolf in this way was less about expanding his empire and more about tormenting an insubordinate minion. Billions — if not trillions — of lives were either wiped out or enslaved purely because Darkseid wanted to make just one individual suffer.
  • Evil Overlord: Darkseid rules over an entire planet, but aspires to conquer the entire multiverse. 100,000 worlds have already perished under his reign.
  • The Evil Prince: It's stated that the Defiance happened before Darkseid ascended to the throne, meaning he was not the top ruler of Apokolips when he first invaded Earth.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: As befitting the muscle-bound Evil Overlord who rules over a Death World, his voice sounds very deep, courtesy of Ray Porter.
  • Evil Wears Black: Much like Superman in Man of Steel, Darkseid wears his classic outfit with a much darker shade of blue than normalnote . The film’s color palette and lighting makes his armor seem black more often than not.
  • Eye Beams: His trademark Omega Beams are capable of changing direction mid-blast to reach their target. While he doesn't appear to have them during his first invasion of Earth, he uses them in a "Knightmare" vision to kill Vulko without having to turn around to face him and used them offscreen to execute Lois before Superman's eyes.
  • Face-Revealing Turn: When it seems like Superman has turned the tide, a Boom tube opens behind him and the Justice League see Darkseid turning around to face them.
  • Familial Foe: Hippolyta fought against his army thousands of years ago and her daughter Diana would continue the fight in the present day against his relative.
  • Foe-Tossing Charge: He's strong enough to fling a group of soldiers just by swinging his weapon.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • While he does not actually appear in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Batman has a dream about Superman (and his personal army) being helped by Parademons, which comic fans will readily recognize as Darkseid's handiwork. The giant Omega symbol that was carved on the wasteland in Batman's nightmare also didn't leave doubt about Darkseid's presence in the setting at the time.
    • A closeup of the painting in Lex Luthor's mansion shows that the leader of the demonic hordes has a face that looks a lot like Darkseid's.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: There's numerous shots of Darkseid looking directly at the audience.
  • Frontline General: In Zack Snyder's Justice League, Uxas (a younger Darkseid) led the Apokoliptian invasion of Earth in ancient times. He was replaced by Steppenwolf in the theatrical cut.
  • Galactic Conqueror: 100,000 worlds were decimated either by Darkseid or by servants in his name. Given how many planets are confirmed to be devoid of life — along with several planets that were previously colonised by Kryptonians — it's entirely possible that they were decimated in the name of Darkseid. Earth is the only planet with warriors that can resist him. As an incarnation of Darkseid appeared in Smallville and his aspirations are stated to affect the entire multiverse, he can also be considered a Multiversal Conquerornote 
  • The Ghost: Darkseid never appears in the theatrical cut of Justice League, but Steppenwolf identifies Darkseid as his master who exiled him thousands of years ago and it's possible he was the one who teleported Steppenwolf back home in the climax of that cut.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: In the present, Darkseid's eyes are shown emitting a piercing light that was not present in his younger days. The fact that he's also The Unblinking makes his eyes all the more ominous especially in the Knightmare sequence where he kills Arthur, and also when he "comforts" Clark.
  • God-Emperor: Darkseid rules an entire planet with his fellow gods submitting to his authority.
  • God of Evil: Darkseid is a member of the godlike Apokoliptan species and the main antagonist of the DC Extended Universe. In the source material, he's specifically singled out as the personification of tyranny.
  • God of Order: Darkseid represents tyranny, though he still isn't considered the embodiment of absolute order as he requires the Anti-Life Equation to bend all of existence to his will. The number of planets he's conquered and the countless populations he's enslaved have certainly helped him gain this reputation among his fellow New Gods.
  • Graceful Loser: While he's clearly furious at Steppenwolf's death and failure, Darkseid doesn't take issue with DeSaad reminding him that he predicted Steppenwolf would fail. Instead, Darkseid decides to switch from passively awaiting the Unity to immediately executing an all-out invasion of Earth.
    DeSaad: (smirking) I told you Steppenwolf would fail.
    Darkseid: Yes... yes you did.
    DeSaad: My master, now that the Mother Boxes have been destroyed, how will you retrieve your great prize?
    Darkseid: Anti-life is found, DeSaad, and we will stop at nothing to possess it! Ready the armada... we will use the old ways.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: For the whole DCEU, being the true power behind Steppenwolf and the widely feared Galactic Conqueror of Apokolips. While not directly involved, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice foreshadows Darkseid as the greatest evil in the setting, with villains like Zod and Lex Luthor being small fries in comparison.
  • Have You Seen My God?: Darkseid stays out of the main plot of Justice League, though Steppenwolf and DeSaad acknowledge his presence every chance they get. It isn't until Steppenwolf confirms that the planet which hosts the Anti-Life Equation is Earth that Darkseid decides to step out of the shadows once more. Steppenwolf treats Darkseid's second coming to Earth as...well, the Second Coming.
  • Hero Killer: Uxas killed a Green Lantern during the ancient battle for Earth, no easy feat in and of itself.
  • Hitler Cam: Darkseid marks his first onscreen appearance with such a shot, assisted by his sheer size.
  • Homing Lasers: His Eye Beams follow their target.
  • I Control My Minions Through...: Various resources such as his own sheer power, the Omega Sanction and using the Motherboxes to mutate innocent beings into his slaves. The Anti-Life Equation would allow him wider control of all living things without having to conquer planets one-by-one.
  • It's All About Me: Darkseid's vanity defines his entire character. He can't stand the idea of sentient life existing with no reverence for him and will force them into subservience through any means he can acquire.
  • It's Personal: As stated in his page quote, Darkseid holds a grudge against the forces of Earth for not only besting him in combat but also keeping him from obtaining Anti-life.
  • Joker Immunity: Darkseid took a battleaxe to the torso and bled out hard enough to lose consciousness as soon as he was brought back to his ship. By all rights he should have died regardless of how durable he may be, but Darkseid managed to outlive all of the Olympians by a century.
  • Karma Houdini: Darkseid caused untold death and destruction in his quest to subjugate all of existence. Aside from the wounds he sustained during the Defiance, Darkseid has suffered no consequence for his villainy and quite possibly never will.
  • Keystone Army: He made a tactical error trying to invade Earth with only parademons and no combat-ready New Gods beyond himself. Once he's taken out of commission the parademons find themselves overpowered and are either killed or forced to retreat.
  • Kick the Dog: As a fresh reminder of who DC's God of Evil is, Darkseid needlessly crushes the severed head of Steppenwolf, a devoted follower of his and his uncle to boot.
  • Kneel Before Zod: When the parademons sense Darkseid's appearance via hologram, they all preemptively cower. Steppenwolf follows as soon as he sees the metal slab form into Darkseid's likeness.
  • Large and in Charge: During his appearance via Boom Tube during the climactic battle, he is surrounded by hundreds of obedient Parademon soldiers and dominates everyone with his towering height, massive presence, and Glowing Eyes of Doom.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Witnessing the Justice League thwart and kill Steppenwolf convinces Darkseid that he'll need to bring out some bigger guns.
    "Ready the armada. We will use the old ways."
  • Made of Iron: As shown in the "history lesson" flashback, Darkseid could take several of Artemis's arrows to the chest and back, and still keep fighting, keep in mind her arrows can travel across the Mediterranean Sea. While Ares was able to deal the decisive blow on Darkseid, it was while his father Zeus was holding the New God's attention and gaining little ground doing so. And despite the Olympian's coordinated assault, Darkseid still survived. Unlike his uncle Steppenwolf however, he didn't wear armor back then.
  • Malevolent Mugshot: His palace has stained-glass windows bearing his likeness. They resemble the sculpted face that adorned the Palazzo Braschi, known as the headquarters of Benito Mussolini.
  • Milking the Giant Cow: Darkseid gesticulates while giving Steppenwolf his Motive Rant. His body language is much more subdued in his last scene, possibly hinting that coming so close to victory only to face another setback has mentally exhausted him for now.
  • The Minion Master: Darkseid's armies are made of various alien races forcibly converted into his slaves.
  • Monstrous Humanoid: Unlike Steppenwolf, Desaad and the Parademons who all resemble assorted beasts melded into humanoid forms, Darkseid matches the standard description of a human, but his features are far too horrific to actually pass for a genuine human.
  • Motive Rant: His communication with Steppenwolf segues into one where he goes on about his quest to obtain Anti-Life and defeat his enemies.
  • My Greatest Failure: It's well known that Darkseid once got close enough to the Anti-Life Equation to claim it, but was thwarted by a united front and lost track of which planet the Equation was bound to.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Darkseid. His own subjects are hesitant to say it out loud unless they're praising his name. The latter half of his name also sounds like the suffix "-cide", which signifies killing something, making his name loosely sound like "dark killer".
  • Near-Villain Victory: Darkseid has had to suffer two setbacks thanks to the defenders of Earth, with the Olympians wounding him and splitting his Motherboxes, then again when the Justice League broke the Motherboxes and killed Steppenwolf. Both times he came within a hair's breadth of absolute victory.
  • Never Bareheaded: Darkseid has been wearing the same Signature Headgear for thousands of years.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Bringing the Motherboxes to Earth worked in humanity's favour, as Silas Stone managed to stir one up long enough turn a grievously wounded Victor Stone into Cyborg. If Darkseid had kept the Motherboxes on his ship during his first invasion, the Justice League would have been short one member, which they definitely could not spare during Steppenwolf's campaign.
  • No Brows: Though given his face is set in a permanent glare, it's not as if Darkseid needs any hair around his eyes to emote.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: After his first loss, Darkseid sends his servants to fight his battles for him.
  • Obviously Evil: He's a large, sinister-looking extraterrestrial with a constant scowl on his face who is attended by some ghoulish acolytes and commands a legion of locust-people.
  • Offing the Mouth: Defied - while Darkseid is rather famous for doing this in the comics, he's in too glum a mood to inflict this upon DeSaad when the latter esentially says I Told You So regarding Steppenwolf's failure. Although Darkseid's response at least carries an implicit "Choose your next words carefully", which Desaad does.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: He states that he has "turned 100,000 worlds to dust" and wishes to subjugate all of existence with the power of Anti-Life.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Darkseid's conquering days presumably came to an end once he was crowned the official ruler of Apokolips. Now he makes Steppenwolf conquer worlds in his stead. Once Steppenwolf is killed, it's implied Darkseid will go back to fighting on the front lines.
  • Out of Focus: Despite preparing for invasion mere moments after losing to the Justice League, Darkseid's conquest is never explored in any future films as Executive Meddling stymied any attempt at a follow-up before a soft reboot was ordered.
  • Perpetual Frowner: That scowl you see up there? That's his default expression. His emotional range goes from that to grimacing, screaming, and grunting in combat, but aside from a malicious sneer when he tried to steal a Green Lantern ring, Darkseid never smiles.
  • Pet the Dog: When Steppenwolf tells Darkseid he's pinpointed the location of the Anti-Life Equation, Darkseid offers to cancel his debt and reinstate his position if he succeeds in forming the Unity. Rather than prove that even Darkseid has Hidden Depths, this actually serves to show how little concern he has for anyone but himself, as it confirms all those planets he made Steppenwolf decimate were little more than senseless punishment for his previous insubordination.
  • Planet Baron: The sole ruler of Apokolips.
  • Position of Literal Power: If the Knightmare sequence is anything to go by, his rule over Apokolips shows that he's not one to be trifled with. As a measure of how potent Darkseid is, Steppenwolf — who had cleaved through the Amazons and several Atlanteans — drops to his knees at the sight of him.
  • Predecessor Villain: Long before the likes of Ares, Black Adam and possibly Enchantress, Darkseid launched his invasion of Earth, compelling men, gods, Amazonians, Atlanteans and a Green Lantern to band together and repel him.
  • Red Baron: He's occasionally referred to as "The Great One", or simply acknowledged with male pronouns said in an ominous tone.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Darkseid's eyes turn bright red when his Omega Beams are unleashed.
  • Returning Big Bad: An invader from ancient times who was defeated soundly enough to ensure several thousand years free of his disturbance. That is until the Last Son of Krypton died, stirring the Motherboxes and setting up a chain of events that would lead to Darkseid's eventual return to Earth.
  • Reverse Arm-Fold: Wouldn't be Darkseid without it. He's briefly seen in this pose from behind as the Boom Tube from Apokolips to Earth opens, just before he turns to face the action with DeSaad and Granny Goodness.
  • Satanic Archetype: To counter Superman's role as a Messianic Archetype, Darkseid is described by Luthor as a devil of some kind. Within his mansion, Luthor kept a painting of a war between angels and devils, only the painting is turned upside down, referencing Luthor's words that devils come from the sky, further relating Darkseid's role. For a more straightforward example, Darkseid is presented as the ruler of a fiery hellscape whose main army is composed of flying demons led by a general with big devil-like horns. That's without mentioning his status as a literal God of Evil (Tyranny to be precise). Unlike other examples of Satanic Archetypes, Darkseid isn't portrayed as a figure of rebelliousness, but as the ultimate authority.
  • Scars Are Forever: A variant of this trope, since it applies to his clothes, but the mark of his fight with Ares, which is present on his right shoulder armor, is still there several millennia after his failed invasion of Earth.
  • Scary Teeth: The few times Darkseid bares his teeth, they look to be as weathered and foul as the rest of his face.
  • Sequel Adaptation Iconic Villain: He appears in the (intended) third movie of the story arc that started with Man of Steel (he was cut from the theatrical version).
  • Serkis Folk: Thespian Ray Porter voiced him and did some motion capture as well.
  • Shirtless Scene: When invading the Earth as Uxas in the ancient past, he went bare-chested to better show off the Omega-shaped formation on his chest.
  • Signature Headgear: Darkseid wears a metal headpiece that covers his jawline, ears, the back of his head and wraps around his neck.
  • Sleeves Are for Wimps: He wears a sleeveless armored tunic in the present day, much like in the comics and most previous depictions.
  • Slouch of Villainy: His preferred method of sitting on his throne. Also resembles a Thinker Pose.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: Darkseid's vow to take Anti-Life by force and subsequent order to prepare their invasion are spoken in a hushed tone of voice.
  • Staying Alive: Not even an axe-wound to the neck courtesy of Ares himself was enough to kill Darkseid. To add insult to injury, Darkseid managed to outlive Ares by close to a century. Apparently the Olympians and their allies anticipated such a scenario, as they kept Darkseid's Motherboxes hidden or heavily-guarded in case he or one of his minions ever came back.
  • Stunned Silence: His reaction to the Justice League dumping Steppenwolf's corpse at his feet is to just stare them down before closing the portal to their world in a Tranquil Fury.
  • Super Supremacist: Darkseid sees himself as the only lifeform deserving of recognition. His subjugation ranges from mortals all the way to his fellow New Gods, who see him as a god of gods.
  • Super-Toughness: He's been struck with arrows, blasted with lightning and cleaved through the shoulder with a battleaxe and still managed to survive. And that's not even mentioning his attackers all being gods. Even as he was on the berge of blacking out from blood loss, Darkseid still had enough grit to try and fight back.
  • Take Over the World: Take over the Multiverse in this case. Darkseid has already decimated 100,000 worlds by the time he appears in Justice League and if it wasn't for Steppenwolf confirming the Anti-Life Equation was on Earth, he would have had his servants continue to scorch planets until the entire Multiverse was devoid of life.
  • Takes One to Kill One: Downplayed. He was able to take hits from three gods at once and merely passed out from blood loss. If it wasn't for his parademons providing cover he would have likely died on the battlefield. Given that Darkseid is now revered by his fellow New Gods, it's implied he's since reached an even greater level of power regardless of how many parademons he has at hand.
  • Three-Point Landing: How Darkseid arrives on Earth. While his hand is planted on the ground, he takes the time to rake his fingers through the soil and deduce that he's on top of the Anti-Life Equation.
  • Time Abyss: His invasion predates the death of the Olympians, the exodus of the Amazons and the collapse of Atlantis, with humanity's records of his existence being lost to time outside of at least one mistranslated mythology.
  • Tranquil Fury: Just about every line he says comes off across as if he's boiling with rage inside, especially since his face is stuck on "angry".
  • Took a Level in Badass: Implied. As Uxas, he could take on entire armies on even footing, but he didn't have homing Eye Beams or Glowing Eyes of Doom, with the implication that he harnessed the Omega Effect after invading Earth and gained a serious upgrade.
  • Top God: All other Apokoliptians fear Darkseid. With the Olympians all dead, Darkseid is now the most powerful known being in the multiverse.
  • Trauma-Induced Amnesia: Despite pinpointing the location of the Anti-Life Equation thousands of years ago, Darkseid managed to forget that it was on the same planet as the lost Motherboxes. invokedWord of God clarified that the near-fatal injury Darkseid got from Ares and subsequent bleeding out contributed to his memory loss.
  • The Unblinking: He stares right at you though those intense glowing eyes until he wants to look away.
  • The Unfettered: Not even an axe wound to the shoulder and copious blood loss would stop Darkseid from trying to obtain the Anti-Life Equation. He even states as much when DeSaad questions if Anti-Life can even be obtained after their second defeat.
  • Unseen No More: Darkseid's presence was hinted at in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and namedropped in the theatrical cut of ''Justice League. The release of the Snyder Cut provided his first real appearance.
  • Villain Cred: DeSaad and Steppenwolf say his name with utmost reverence, to the point that when either one uses a pronoun to describe Darkseid you can almost hear it capitalized. To say nothing of how Darkseid was able to unite every being on Earth and Olympus under one banner in spite of their differences.
  • Villainous Cheekbones: His are so prominent that they would make his head resemble a skull if he wasn't wearing his helmet.
  • Villainous Vow:
    "I will stride across their bones and bask in the glow of Anti-Life and all of existence shall be mine!"
    "Anti-Life is found DeSaad and we will stop at nothing to possess it!"
  • Voice of the Legion: His voice has a very deep reverberation to it, especially in person.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Uxas used to go bare-chested.
  • We Have Reserves: Darkseid witnesses Steppenwolf's death and his parademon army were wiped out, but then he turns and walks down his chamber's hallway, revealing he has hundreds of other parademons in attendance, with his "ready the armada" line hinting that this might just be a fraction of his full military power. As Diana mentioned, parademons are formed from the mutated survivors of planets that have been decimated by the Unity and Darkseid has already conquered 100 thousand worlds, so his armada could possbily be in the billions.
  • Worthy Opponent: When Darkseid witnesses the Justice League kill Steppenwolf, he's especially fixated on Superman.
  • Wrecked Weapon: The glaive that Uxas used in his first invasion hacked in two when Ares got the drop on him. This was while Uxas was simultaneously holding off a lightning blast courtesy of Zeus, so it's implied that his weapon was unable to endure the offensive power of two gods at once.
  • You Have Failed Me: Downplayed. Darkseid's reaction to Steppenwolf's death isn't to give him a proper burial. It's to crush his severed head under his boot. He doesn't even bother arguing against DeSaad's smug dismissal, even apparently sharing it.



Species: New God

Citizenship: Apokoliptian

Affiliation: Apokolips

Portrayed By: Ciarán Hinds (voice and motion capture)

Voiced By: Féodor Atkine (European French), Bruno Marcil (Canadian French), Humberto Vélez (Latin-American Spanish), Sergio Fortuna (Brazilian Portuguese), Haruhiko Jo (Japanese)

Appearances: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Ultimate Edition cut only) | Justice League | Zack Snyder's Justice League

"For Darkseid!"

A New God from Apokolips, and both the Uncle and Herald of Darkseid. He lands on Earth in search of the three lost Mother Boxes after the death of Superman in order to conquer the planet in Darkseid's name, and becomes the first major threat the newly put-together Justice League has to confront.

There are two versions of the character with markedly different designs and personalities, one appears in the theatrical version of Justice League (design that Zack Snyder and Joss Whedon had to use out of Executive Meddling in 2017) and the other appears in Snyder's Director's Cut of the film (the model Snyder originally intended to use, which was teased all the way back in the extended version of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice).

  • Adaptational Ugliness: In the New 52 comics he's primarily based on, Steppenwolf looks human (though his skin and eye color may vary). Here, his skin resembles scar tissue and he has chin horns.
  • Armored Villains, Unarmored Heroes: He is more armored than any hero of the Justice League. Particularly true when he goes against Wonder Woman, who doesn't wear a helmet and whose limbs are not fully covered in armor.
  • Arrow Catch: Catches an arrow shot at him by Hippolyta during the battle on Themyscira. Later in the film, he proves strong enough to catch a military-grade rocket fired from Batman's crawler mech.
  • Artifact of Doom: He comes back to Earth to gather the three Mother Boxes and terraform the Earth with their combination.
  • Bad People Abuse Animals: When chasing the Amazons that are carrying a Mother Box, Steppenwolf injures several of their horses in ways that would require mercy-killings. In the Snyder Cut, he bludgeons several Amazons by swinging horses at them. The fact that he may have impaled a few of these steeds with his spiked armor makes it worse.
  • Beard of Evil: He has horns on his chin, and they look like a beard from a distance.
  • Big Bad: He's the main villain for both cuts of Justice League with Darkseid as the Greater-Scope Villain. His hunt for the Mother Boxes drives the plot and necessitates the formation of the titular League to stop him.
  • Break Them by Talking: He tries to psychologically break Wonder Woman by telling her that he slaughtered a significant number of Amazons.
  • The Brute: A lumbering hulk of muscle who spearheads invasions on behalf of Apokolips and relies on brute strength.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist:
    • Lex Luthor was an Earthling who used his genius intellect to challenge Superman, Steppenwolf is an otherworldly being who relies purely on strength.
    • While Steppenwolf and Ares are both gods that are adept in combat and both share similar powers and - in the case of the theatrical version - character designs (full black plate armor with horned helmets), Ares had a set of principles and was mainly a threat because of his skills at manipulation and persuasion; his physical power is downplayed, as he does not even kill a single person in the whole movie outside of a flashback, and only gets physical in his first and last scenes. Steppenwolf has no principles, cares little for free will, and is also The Brute who uses violence as a first resort and is only really threatening because of his doomsday weapon.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: He's completely outmatched next to the revived Superman in both cuts of the movie.
  • The Dragon: A chief enforcer for Darkseid. Or rather, he used to be, until Steppenwolf betrayed Darkseid and was exiled to conquer 100,000 worlds in his name as a form of penance. DeSaad even mockingly points out how he could have been Darkseid's right-hand had he not let his pride get the better of him.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: In the Ultimate Edition cut of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, a holographic projection of him appears to Lex Luthor inside the Kryptonian ship.
  • Elemental Motifs: Electricity, specifically lightning. He wields a high-tech axe (which releases lightning in the Snyder Cut), leaves a path of destruction in his wake and enters every scene by dropping from the sky, often in close proximity to a Motherbox.
  • Evil Is Bigger: He's over eight feet tall with a heavy muscular build to match. In the theatrical cut, both Flash and Batman share Gallows Humor about his great height.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Played With. On the one hand, his voice is so heavy, he makes Batman's voice modulator sound like a 6-year-old. On the other hand, it's not the traditional "ominous gravelly menacing voice" type of deep; it's more of a weary, otherworldly vibe. His actor Ciarán Hinds describes him as "old" and "tired". The latter tone is more prevalent in Zack Snyder's Justice League as the film makes him less of a sadist.
  • Evil Uncle: He is Darkseid's uncle and a feared destroyer of worlds, alongside a warmongering killing machine. That said, he ends up taking orders from his nephew, who is far more menacing than Steppenwolf could ever hope to be.
  • The Exile: In the theatrical cut, it is implied that he has been exiled from Apokolips due to his failure to conquer Earth and losing the Mother Boxes in the process. In Zack Snyder's Justice League, he is instead forced to invade other worlds to pay off his debt to Darkseid, with 50,000 more left by the events of the film; his punishment for a past betrayal motivated by "self-pride", as DeSaad puts it.
  • Frontline General: He commands an elite Parademon force, but isn't afraid to get personal in the fight. He even insists on fighting Wonder Woman by himself, though he does eventually order for a Parademon to finish her in the theatrical cut.
  • Galactic Conqueror: He's been conquering worlds on Darkseid's behalf for millennia before he comes to Earth.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Once he gains all three Mother Boxes and combines them, his eyes emit a bright light.
  • Ground-Shattering Landing:
    • He makes his appearance on Earth this way, with a stone floor cracked from him dropping out of a Boom Tube on the isle of Themyscira.
    • He uses this to cause massive explosions and Shockwave Stomps with his axe by jumping very high and striking the ground with it upon landing.
  • The Heavy: He is the plot relevant villain of both versions of Justice League, with Darkseid as the Greater-Scope Villain in the Snyder Cut. Although, it is implied that this second attempt at Earth is something he's doing from exile. So it's either his own initiative or some second chance from his master. Either way, he's the villain that shows up.
  • Hologram: How he appears to Lex Luthor at the end of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
  • I Shall Taunt You: Both versions do this to the Justice League, but for different reasons and one does it less than the other.
    • The 2017 version is extremely smug and thus constantly taunts the Justice League and boasts about himself nonstop, all just for the hell of it.
    • The 2021 version is far less self-elevating and is much more strategic. Whenever he taunts anyone openly, Justice League included, it's to get under their skin and throw them off their game, and he does it most to those he sees as the greatest threat.
  • Implacable Man: Nothing can stop him in his quest to gather the Mother Boxes, be it the Amazons or Atlanteans.
  • In a Single Bound: He can jump very far and really high.
  • Large and in Charge: Personally leads the invasion against Earth, and towers over both the heroes and his Parademon legions.
  • Lean and Mean: Despite his height, he's unusually lanky with a narrow waist (likely to contrast against the heavily muscled Darkseid and other similar CGI creations like Doomsday). Even moreso in the Snyder Cut.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Possesses literally godlike levels of Super-Strength and Super-Toughness, and can jump so high and far it might as well be flight. None of his physical gifts can even hold a candle to Superman's, though.
  • Movie Superheroes Wear Black: Originally depicted in bright green robes in Jack Kirby's New Gods comics and subsequent appearances like Superman: The Animated Series, Steppenwolf's outfit in the Theatrical cut is composed of silver and bronze armor with streaks of red, based on his New 52 appearance. His appearance in both Batman v Superman and Zack Snyder's Justice League have him wearing what appears to be a skintight outfit made of metal.
  • My Greatest Second Chance: Villainous version. He has a second chance at conquering Earth and redeeming himself among his peers, with the Amazons, Atlanteans and humans no longer united, and no Olympians, Lanterns or Kryptonian to help stop him.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Becomes the victim of this after the arrival of Superman, who leads a beatdown that also involves Wonder Woman and Aquaman. For good measure though, Superman later proceeds to punch him in the face again, fly up and punch him back down to the ground, slam into his chest while he's down, punch him one more time to keep him from resisting or moving and fire heat vision directly into his face before giving him one last punch.
  • No-Sell: The weapons of the Amazons are of no use against him. Nor the Knightcrawler's military armaments.
  • Older Sidekick: He's The Heavy to his nephew, Darkseid.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Downplayed - Steppenwolf has destroyed countless worlds, but only in service to Darkseid, the real maniac.
  • One-Man Army: Wiping out an entire army of Amazons with ease is just his Establishing Character Moment. Later in the film, he proves more than capable of taking on the entire League (most of them examples of this trope in their own right) by himself with minimal visible effort, though in the theatrical cut he recognizes that actually killing them would take more effort than he's willing to invest and teleports out. Once Superman arrives, though, the tide turns against him in a span of seconds.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Steppenwolf is genuinely powerful, to the point where Aquaman and Wonder Woman need to fight as a team to have a real shot at beating him. Still, he is completely overshadowed by the resurrected Superman.
  • Physical God: The highest of the New Gods after Darkseid himself, and in the theatrical cut considers himself superior to the Old Gods (Zeus, Ares, etc.).
  • Serkis Folk: The character was rendered using motion capture and CGI.
  • Smug Super: Both versions of the film have him making verbal jabs at Wonder Woman over how he dominated the Amazonian forces, which only serves to make her angrier.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: Has no issue fighting (and screaming) in Atlantis.
  • Super-Strength: Easily overpowers Wonder Woman and Aquaman (in the theatrical cut, he was even able to stop Aquaman's attempt to stab him with a trident by stopping it and pushing him back with one hand, while Aquaman was using both arms and putting his entire body into a downward thrust with superior leverage), as well as a dozen Amazons who try to hold him down, though doesn't come within a mile of Superman.
  • Super-Toughness: Blows from Wonder Woman and Aquaman don't really damage him, nor do the machine guns on the Knightcrawler, or Cyborg's sonic cannon.
    • In the theatrical cut, Zeus's lightning, something that could heavily wound Ares, is brushed off with little issue.
    • In both versions, he is able to survive an extended beating from a revived Superman, who is also assisted by Wonder Woman and Aquaman, with his resilience being much more pronounced in Zack Snyder's Justice League, where Superman continues to beat and Eye Beam him into the ground for at least a full minute, and he still gets up afterward, ready to keep fighting before being Impaled with Extreme Prejudice by Aquaman.
  • Teleportation: He teleports himself to Earth using a Boom Tube that was summoned by the Mother Box the Amazons were guarding on the isle of Themyscira. He also teleports himself to the other Mother Boxes to pick them up.
    • In the theatrical cut, he presumably gets beamed back to Apokolips by Darkseid in the climax after the failure of his terraforming plan.
  • Tin Tyrant: A fully armored warlord.
  • Three-Point Landing: This is how he ends up after exiting the boom tube - every time.
  • The Worf Effect: He can lay waste to the Amazons and keeps the Justice League on their toes, but once Superman shows up he gets swatted around in the most humiliating way.
  • Worthy Opponent: Seems to consider Wonder Woman this, even commanding his Parademon minions to hold back to he can fight her personally during the battle at the factory.
  • Wrecked Weapon: Superman freezes his axe, then shatters it himself in Zack Snyder's Justice League, while Wonder Woman does so instead in the theatrical cut.

Tropes Applying to Zack Snyder's Justice League's Steppenwolf (2021)
"The Mother Boxes will be found and united. No protectors here. No Lanterns, no Kryptonian. This world will fall, like all the others."

"This world is divided. They are a primitive species, unevolved and at war with one another. Too separate to be one. Their free will must be ripped from them like the other worlds. Given absolution in one glorious belief. To serve Him."

  • Adaptational Badass: Zigzagged. He's still able to take on multiple superhumans, but he also gets knocked around a lot more and is quick to retreat once he feels things are going bad. And while Superman arriving does turn the tide, it's mostly by breaking his axe and stripping off his armor with Clark, Diana, and Arthur ganging up on him. And unlike the theatrical cut, he goes down fighting.
  • Adaptational Intelligence: Compared to his insane theatrical counterpart, Steppenwolf is very much of sound mind here.
  • Adaptational Personality Change:
    • The theatrical version of Steppenwolf was insufferably smug, needlessly sadistic and revealed to be a coward at heart, while this version is sterner, more of a No-Nonsense Nemesis and fears no one except Darkseid.
    • Steppenwolf of the comics lives to conquer and has no interest in the throne of Apokolips. This incarnation was banished for playing part in a coup and has grown sick of the endless conquering he has to do for Darkseid to let him return home.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul: Steppenwolf is one of Darkseid's most trusted servants in the comics because he doesn't want the throne of Apokolips. Here, Darkseid has no faith in Steppenwolf's abilities and even less trust in him after Steppenwolf joined a coup against Darkseid, and banished him from his empire. The most telling difference is that Darkseid went out of his way to resurrect Steppenwolf after he was killed in the comics, but simply crushed Steppenwolf's severed head under his boot in the movie.
  • Adaptational Sympathy: Whereas the 2017 version of him was a typical villain with no real personality beyond "evil" and seemingly no real goals other than destroying planets for the fun of it, with his exile being only hinted at in one scene, this Steppenwolf desperately wishes to be allowed to return home and only destroys planets to pay his debt to Darkseid. His views on humanity imply that he'd have a higher opinion of them if they were willing to conform. In addition, when he retrieves the final Mother Box from STAR Labs, he doesn't go out of his way to kill the civilians there, though that might be more due to Pragmatic Villainy than Pet the Dog. He's still a planet killer and evil alien conqueror, but he's got a bit more depth to him that makes him at least a little bit sympathetic.
  • Aim for the Horn: This incarnation of Steppenwolf had one of his horns lasered off by Superman at the conclusion of the battle. His other horn snaps when a pissed-off Darkseid steps on his decapitated head.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Steppenwolf comes off as far more sympathetic compared to his theatrical counterpart in regards to his motivations. His wide-eyed expressions when pleading before Darkseid's court and comments from his actor Ciarán Hinds indicate that Steppenwolf is an ageing, disgraced warrior desperate to return home to his family's side rather than one who revels in conquest. Conquering Earth is more of him trying to pay back an impossible debt to his master than a personal vendetta, and he is ecstatic at the notion of Darkseid arriving personally. As his mission ends in failure before the Justice League, his saving grace is finally returning to Apokolips albeit a decapitated corpse and spared a more painful fate from Darkseid's wrath.
  • Animal Motifs: Contrary to the more... “human” looking design in the Theatrical Cut, this Steppenwolf looks and feels much more animalistic and feral. The name “Steppenwolf” probably fits better in this iteration than any others before it.
    • He’s got an ape-like face, legs that resemble the hindquarters of a predatory mammal, razor-sharp teeth like a shark, reptilian features and skin, clawed fingers, horns that are actually part of his head (and not a helmet) and not unlike a lion, he even *roars* towards the sky at some point (which is an extension of his newer voice sounding much deeper and growling). When outside of his armor, he kinda resembles a hairless cat rather than a pale white human. More humorously, he also has Puppy-Dog Eyes, as listed below.
    • Also extends to his armour. The spiked shards rise and shift when entering “battle mode” like a porcupine trying to look threatening and can deploy a spider-like robot for scanning the minds of his hostages.
  • Art Evolution: The original Steppenwolf design was discarded in favour of the one from the theatrical version, then reverted for use in the director's cut. The theatrical version was maybe a little closer to the comics (specifically the Earth-2 Steppenwolf), but this version looks a lot meaner and his metallic reactive armor mirrors the design of the Mother Boxes. In an interesting twist on this Trope, this was actually the version WETA had planned on using for the original release before the reshoots happened and the design changed to the one shown in the Whedon cut (albeit with more detail added for the Snyder Cut, as the first glimpse of Steppenwolf looked more streamlined).
  • The Atoner: From an Apokoliptian point of view, Steppenwolf is just trying to make amends for a past incident. Too bad none of his fellow New Gods appreciate his efforts.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: On Wonder Woman. He easily recognizes her as an Amazon, but can immediately detect that she's stronger than the other Amazons. After fighting her for a bit, he figures out that she's of Olympian God ancestry. He then somehow figures out that one of the Amazons is her mother, and implies that he knows it's Hippolyta.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: At the end of the day, he just wants to go back to Apokolips. He gets sent through a portal as he dies, being beheaded by Wonder Woman just as he gets his wish.
  • Bizarre Alien Limbs: His hands each have two extra fingers, one half-way down from the pinkie, and the other at his wrist.
  • Break the Haughty: Implied to have happened to him in the past. DeSaad's taunting of him implies he tried to betray Darkseid out of pride, but by the time of the film Steppenwolf is completely broken and has become an ardent supporter of Darkseid, even seeming to outright worship him at times.
  • Break Them by Talking: When faced with an opponent he sees as a threat, he'll do this to throw them off their fighting game. He does this to Wonder Woman most out of the entire Justice League, seeing her as the biggest threat among them.
    "You weren't there to protect (your sisters) from me and sadly you could have."
    "I watched you islend burn, your sisters begging for their lives. As did your mother."
  • Clothing Damage: The moment Superman enters the battle, Steppenwolf gets trounced so hard his armor begins to break off from sustaining each blow from the Man of Steel. By the time of his ultimate defeat, most of the armor from his upper waist had been broken apart.
  • Cold Ham: This version is much less boastful than his 2017 counterpart, while still talking with gravitas.
  • Collapsible Helmet: Steppenwolf's armor can be shifted by his own will. He takes it off before speaking with Darkseid, presumably through mere thought. Word of God on the matter is that the armor itself is "living and breathing".
  • Combat Pragmatist: Steppenwolf has no qualms with using every advantage he has in order to achieve his goal. He fights only when necessary, keeps his presence as low as possible, retreats as soon as possible, and avoids letting the heroes gang up on him by keeping them separated. He thinks tactically and efficiently, like a soldier at the head of a vanguard scouting territory.
  • Composite Character: His doomed desperation to please Darkseid is closer to Kalibak than Comics' Steppenwolf.
  • Defiant to the End: Even after getting his axe broken, his armor seared off, and suffering grievous injuries he doesn't back down. It takes Arthur impaling him and Diana taking his head off to finally stop him.
  • Dramatic Irony: He actually accomplishes both of the goals he set out to.
    • He buys enough time for the Motherboxes to sync and terraform the surface of Earth. Only for Flash to undo it through Time Travel.
    • He finally gets to go home. For a good five seconds, and in separate pieces.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Steppenwolf seems to genuinely believe that Earthlings would be better off under the effects of the Anti-Life Equation, as their sense of freedom has led to rifts among various societies.
  • Eye Lights Out: The glowing eyes he got from interacting with the Motherboxes only dim several seconds after his head has been lopped off to pinpoint the exact moment when he dies.
  • Feeling Their Age: According to Ciarán Hinds, working for Darkseid is wearing down on Steppenwolf. Being forced to conquer tens of thousands of planets just so he can come home has taken its toll on Steppenwolf's morale.
  • Flowery Elizabethan English: "DeSaad! DeSaad! I call to thee!"
  • The Heavy: His job is to conquer worlds on Darkseid's behalf.
  • Horned Humanoid: This Steppenwolf's horns are part of his head, instead of a helmet in the theatrical version. Superman burns the right one off with his Heat Vision and Darkseid snaps off the left one by stepping on his head.
  • Horns of Villainy: His horns make him look like a devil of sorts. For good reason.
  • Hotter and Sexier: Subverted. This version of Steppenwolf shows off a well-toned build with broad shoulders, a narrow waist and square jaw, which is highlighted by his shining, skintight armor. All of these conventionally attractive traits manage to look quite menacing and inhuman on him. When he sheds his armor, the lack of body fat that would typically flaunt his muscular build only serves to make him look even more monstrous.
  • Hypocrite: A large part of his motivation is to finally repay his debt to Darkseid and return to his family, and he's seen desperately pleading with DeSaad about it. However, when Howard begs him not to kill him because I Have a Family, Steppenwolf immediately declares that makes him weak.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Arthur stabs him with his trident, followed by Diana taking his head off.
  • Light Is Not Good: He's clad in gleaming silver and wields an axe that emits lightning, yet he's the enforcer to Darkseid. Juxtaposing this are Batman, who always wears black and grey and Superman, who wears an all-black suit when he confronts Steppenwolf.
  • Karmic Death: His death at Diana and Arthur's hands can count considering his previous attacks on Themyscira and Atlantis. Diana dealing the killing blow especially, given how he'd antagonized her the most out of the League.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • While interrogating an Atlantean soldier he captured about the location of the Mother Box, the soldier refuses to tell him anything and proclaims he would never betray his people. Steppenwolf uses a device to scan his mind to learn its location, and coldly tells the soldier that this counts as a betrayal before presumably killing him.
    • In the final battle, he taunts Wonder Woman for not being there to save her Amazonian sisters from being killed by him.
  • Made of Iron: Steppenwolf takes several armor-piercing arrows to the chest and back when he fights the Amazons, yet not only does he remain unfazed, but he manages to throw several horses overhead with minimal effort. Even when fighting the Justice League it takes a lot to faze him and he's quick to recover.
  • Mean Boss: Downplayed. At one point he tosses a Parademon up in the air by the neck while ordering their next command, and it promptly flies towards the demanded direction. But outside of that instance, he never harms or belittles any of his Parademons, even when being completely furious.
    • He actually crosses over into Benevolent Boss at one point. While the Parademons are slaves, Steppenwolf does give them credit for being an effective search party.
  • Mistaken for Misogynist: When he wants to have a duel with Diana, saying the phrase "She is mine", she reacts as if he had said something misogynistic.
  • No-Nonsense Nemesis: Unlike the theatrical version, this Steppenwolf doesn't engage in self-aggrandizing boasts or meaningless insults. He taunts the heroes at times, but as a psychological tactic to get under their skin.
  • No-Respect Guy: He does everything right to conquer the Earth in Darkseid's name (only seeing his victory snatched away by the Flash's last second Time Travel), and still earns zero respect from anyone on Apokolips (it's canonically a World of Jerkass, after all), especially from jerk supreme DeSaad. While discovering the Anti-Life Equation on Earth did him some favors, in the end however they knew he would fail and were probably glad to be rid of him anyway. Noteworthy is that Desaad interrupts him when he's giving a long-winded speech, which Apokoliptians are in the habit of making.
  • Noodle Incident: Something happened in Steppenwolf's past that led Darkseid to distrust him. It's implied that Steppenwolf may have tried to prevent Darkseid from using treachery to ascend to the throne.note 
    Steppenwolf: Let me make a plea to him, that I may come home after I take this world in his name.
    DeSaad: You betrayed him! Your own family!
    Steppenwolf: I saw my mistake! I slaughtered those who sought his throne!
    DeSaad: You still owe the Great One 50,000 more worlds! He will hear your plea when you pay your debt.
  • Nothing Can Stop Us Now!: Downplayed, with his assessment of the situation on Earth before invading it. It's said more like a plain evaluation rather than a boast.
    "No protectors here. No Lanterns. No Kryptonian. This world will fall, like all the others!"
  • Obviously Evil: With his monstrous face and his armor full of spikes, he's certainly not going to fool anyone about his villainy anytime soon. Lampshaded by Flash the first time he sees him:
    Flash: Okay, I'm guessing... that's the bad guy.
    Batman: Good guess.
  • Off with His Head!: Diana finishes him off by decapitating him.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: When he discovers the Anti-Life Equation is on Earth and he manages to get Darkseid to talk to him personally, with Darkseid announcing he will come to Earth, Steppenwolf is giddy and ecstatic, a stark contrast from his depressed demeanor throughout the film and showing just how big a deal this is.
  • Our Minotaurs Are Different: Steppenwolf's design and characterization both bring to mind the Greek legend of the Minotaur. He's got horns like a bull and is trapped in a system that's designed to lock him out of his society's way while they benefit from his violent tendencies.
  • Psychotic Smirk: In his only instance of smiling throughtout the whole film, Steppenwolf is shown to be smirking once he obtains the third Mother Box, which would effectively allow him to form the unity and scorch the planet.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Steppenwolf really doesn't take all that much pleasure in conquering Earth, just viewing it as another step on the way to repaying his debt to Darkseid and being allowed to return home and coming off as more tired and desperate than anything. The only point he actually seems happy to do it is when he realizes that Earth has the Anti-Life Equation, and only because it has the potential to get Darkseid to let him come back home early.
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: Suprisingly, yes. Steppenwolf may be an evil alien conqueror, but he's also a sad, old man who has been forced away in exile from his home and family. So when he discovers the Anti-Life Equation, something he can use to come home early, his eyes are big and hopeful. He seems to be on the verge of tears when Darkseid offers him redemption if he succeeds in creating the Unity.
  • Rasputinian Death: He's Impaled with Extreme Prejudice by Aquaman, then he's Punched Across the Room by Superman, then beheaded by Wonder Woman, and finally has his head crushed by Darkseid.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: His mentioned "betrayal" of Darkseid, the resulting absurdly time-consuming punishment he's given for it and the clear contempt his "allies" show towards him gives off the vibe that he was sent away mostly to not have him around - only enforced by DeSaad fully expecting he would fail and no-one really minding his death.
  • Shock and Awe: His axe emits flashes of lightning when he swings it.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: A rare villainous example. When Steppenwolf discovers the Anti-Life Equation, he reports back to Desaad and gives him exposition on the history of Darkseid's motives as New Gods seem inclined to do, only for Desaad to interrupt him. Steppenwolf then drops his compliant demeanour and tells Desaad that he's found what Darkseid was looking for in a manner that shows he's had enough of Desaad's attitude.
  • Spikes of Villainy: Upon landing in Themyscira, a series of metallic spikes spread across his body, with the largest set flaring out from his back. He may or may not have impaled a few Amazons and horses with them during the field battle. His armor's spikiness comes and goes throughout the film, often flattening when he's not in danger, quivering when he's alert and becoming spikier whenever in the presence of danger, especially when he sees someone who he realizes is a serious threat.
  • The Starscream: According to DeSaad, he betrayed Darkseid sometime in the past, earning him exile from Apokolips until he can redeem himself.
  • The Stoic: He's almost perpetually dour, and it takes a lot to get him to show any emotion other than a resigned acceptance to everything happening around him.
  • Underestimating Badassery: According to him, the Earth has "no protectors" in the absence of Superman and any Green Lanterns.
  • Villainous Breakdown: After the Justice League stops the Unity from happening, he's reduced to little more than enraged roars.
  • Villainous Valor: Say what you will about Steppenwolf, but he just does NOT back down. He tanks arrows, swords, tridents, lasers and missiles just fine, but when hes presented to the one being that presents a physical threat to him smashes his weapon and kicks him to the wall? He pounds the ground with a fist and gets back up, charging towards Superman and trying to hit him multiple times. After bein tossed around by Wonder Woman and Aquaman too, Superman has to use *heat vision* to keep him down, burning one of his horns. Then when the Unity fails and Steppenwolf is left without a horn, what does he do? He roars preparing to attack *again.* It took nothing less than a decapitation to put him down for good, and the whole being in the film shown to be able to instill fear in him is Darkseid.
  • Vocal Evolution: His voice is much deeper than in the theatrical cut, and he speaks in a tone that just oozes with tiredness.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: He's only conquering planets because Darkseid forced him to. By the time he reaches Earth, Steppenwolf has lost his passion for the job and resorts to begging to be allowed back home.

Tropes Applying to the Justice League's Steppenwolf (2017 Theatrical Version)
"You're all too weak to see the truth!"

"I know, Mother, you've waited too long for the Unity. I know, but you will feed. And my exile will come to an end. I will take my place among the New Gods!"

  • Adaptational Badass: In most other portrayals, Steppenwolf... was actually relatively weak for a New God, to the point where Superman or Wonder Woman alone could usually handle himnote . The past (in the theatrical version) had him strong enough to justify the Atlanteans, Amazons, Green Lantern Corps, and various other forces of man unite to take down his invasion.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: His eyes are brown, as opposed to a glowing red as they are in the comics.
  • Asshole Victim: He gets assaulted by the very Parademons that he was leading the moment he started to show signs of fear and was sent back to Apokolips immediately after, likely to be punished and/or killed by Darkseid for his failure. Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.
  • Badass Boast: He has a few:
    • "My axe is slick with the blood of your sisters!" (to Wonder Woman)
    • "So, you have the blood of the old gods in you... Old gods died!" (to Wonder Woman again)
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: After working to earn back his place in Apokolips for the entire film, he's dragged back through a Boom Tube at the last second before he is torn apart by his own Parademons. Of course, Darkseid really doesn't take kindly to those who fail him.
  • Blood Knight: Steppenwolf is described as this by Diana. She notes that in his first invasion, he had technology that far outclassed Earth, and yet he wasn't content with simple subjugation but wanted to lead armies and slaughter people in person. He's more cautious the second time, but he is thrilled when he gets to battle, first the Amazons, and then Diana. In the finale, when Diana goads him to battle, he willingly jumps in.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: He submits the kidnapped STAR Labs scientists to this. When Silas Stone insists that he will die before he tells him where the Mother Box is, Steppenwolf gloats about how Silas doesn't whine but he's going to scream. This is pretty accurate since the one thing all Apokoliptans have in common in the comics is a love for torture.
  • Combat Pragmatist: In contrast to his Blood Knight and straightforward methods during the first invasion (and likely, his previous wars of conquest), Steppenwolf recognizes that he doesn't have anywhere near the necessary forces to conquer a much more populous and advanced Earth conventionally (his army only seems to consist of several thousands on top of being lightly equipped, tactically deficient, and very much vulnerable to small arms). So he settles for building a base in secret in an obscure area (the wilderness of northern Russia), from which he can use an Artifact of Doom to usher in global extinction before anyone knows what's happening. He makes extensive use of his teleportation via Boom Tubes to the maximum possible effect in order to put said artifact together as fast as possible, at one point even Boom Tubing to grab the Justice League's own Mother Box while they're distracted fighting Superman and then quickly teleporting away. It should also be noted that the sole reason he comes to Earth in Justice League is that Ares killing the Olympians and Doomsday killing Superman has left Earth bereft of powerful figures who could quickly track down and stop him.
  • Composite Character: He borrows traits from several other New Gods: his desperation to please Darkseid comes from his great-nephew Kalibak, being the first foe of the newly-assembled League comes from the New 52 version of Darkseid, and his appearance resembles his brother Yuga Khan. His chin horns resemble those of Blue Devil meanwhile.
    • Retrospectively, his cruelty and smugness are very similar to the Snyder Cut version of Dessad, who doesn't appear in the theatrical cut.
  • Cool Helmet: He wears a helmet with two big horns, which was inspired by his New 52 counterpart. It's the only thing left behind when Darkseid forcibly teleports him back to Apokolips after his invasion of Earth fails.
  • Defiant to the End: Even when his plan lies in shambles and there's nothing to gain from continuing to fight, he still keeps trying to kill the heroes. It ends up being his undoing, as they trounce him so thoroughly that he gets overwhelmed by fear and swarmed by his own Parademons.
  • Dirty Coward: He has the gall to cry out "No! Leave me!" when he realizes the Parademons recognize fear in him and proceed to attack him, a pathetic contrast to the battle-hungry warmonger that he was portrayed as throughout the film.
  • Dirty Old Man: He mentions that he wants to turn Themyscira into his own personal harem and that Hippolyta will "love him" as will all the rest of the Amazons.
  • The Dreaded: He is called "The End of Worlds" among the Amazons and his attempted invasion on Earth is what propelled numerous factions who were otherwise not affiliated with one another, to unite with the shared objective of stopping him.
  • Early Installment Character-Design Difference: Steppenwolf's holographic image wore streamlined armor and his helmet-horns curved out behind his head. When he's revealed in person, he's wearing bulky armor and the horns on his helmet point straight up. He also looked distinctly more monstrous and alien, with less human-like features (notably his helmet-horns weren't part of his helmet), which can be seen more clearly in concept art. That design ended up being used in Zack Snyder's Justice League.
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: Played With. There is no given reason why Steppenwolf wanted to conquer Earth in the first place besides him coming from Apokolips which is a Planet of Hats of evil conquerors... that is, for his initial invasion in the flashback. His motive in the movie proper is expounded on slightly more as he briefly mentions that he has been in exile since his initial failure and this is his chance to get back in Darkseid's good graces again.
  • Götterdämmerung: He invokes the death of "the Old Gods" (the Olympian gods) when confronting Diana. He fought against them during his first invasion attempt on Earth, and they were apparently killed by Ares some time after said invasion. Said gods and their allies stopped him the first time he came, and he can't help but gloat about how they aren't there anymore:
    "So, you have the blood of the old gods in you. Old gods died!"
  • Hate Sink: He's a despicable warlord who makes snide, disgusting remarks towards everybody, has nothing in the way of redeeming qualities, and is generally a warmongering asshole. He serves to be the main point of vitriol and hate in the film's narrative.
  • Hero Killer: He is legendary among Amazons for killing hordes of their sisters, and other heroes, Atlanteans, and even a Green Lantern, who he slaughters and brings down in the flashback while gazing bemusedly at the ring flying away into space from the fallen GL.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The same Parademons that he commands to attack Earth and prey on their victims' fear turn against their master when he is overwhelmed by fear of the Justice League.
  • Hypocritical Humor: At one point, he smugly taunts the Justice League by calling them "primitive beings"... Despite the fact that his primary weapon is an axe.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: He gets creepy like this when Queen Hippolyta is at his mercy once he gets his hands on the Amazons' Mother Box, especially with his "You will love me!" line, although he vanishes soon after.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Aquaman runs him through with his trident several times over the course of the climax. Steppenwolf's so tough it never seems to do more than annoy him.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Heavily downplayed, but one can at least make out a hint of Ciarán Hinds beneath the CGI in the theatrical release compared to Zack Snyder's more monstrous version.
  • It's All About Me: His last rant against the Justice League. By this point he's been degraded from a planetary threat to a petulant manchild.
    "I am the End of Worlds! Who are you to deny me?! This world is my right!"
  • It's Personal: Steppenwolf seems to have a personal grudge against the Amazons on the whole, and during all his interactions with the League, he focuses on Diana the most, mostly because her ancestors (the Amazons and the Olympians) played a major part in defeating him and sealing him away.
  • Jerkass: He's perpetually smug, callous, sociopathic, and perverted, on top of just generally behaving like an asshole to anyone he encounters.
  • Jerkass Gods: He’s not only a god, but also a perverted sociopath.
  • Lack of Empathy: His ruthlessness is best illustrated when he lifts a man who begs for his life and that of his coworkers, bringing their families in the discussion.
    Man: Please, we have families!
    Steppenwolf: Why does everyone keep telling me that?
  • Might Makes Right: He declares to Cyborg, "Power is the only law!"
  • My Greatest Failure: His failed invasion of Earth, which led to his banishment and Sanity Slippage.
  • Noodle Incident: In the film he implies having knowledge of Earth's Kryptonian, and sees his death as his window for return, since Superman's death led to an escalation of fear and despair, perfect for strengthening his Parademons, and by extension himself. He gets noticeably shocked at seeing Superman in the finale, calling him "The Kryptonian".
  • Old Soldier: He already attempted to invade the Earth thousands of years before the present-day.
  • Smug Smiler: Seems to be something of a default expression with him.
  • Smug Super: Steppenwolf rarely goes a full scene without sporting an arrogant smirk and his power shows that it's not without cause.
  • The Sociopath: Pushes all three buttons. Lack of Empathy? Didn’t give a shit about families. Lack of morals? Considering how he’s a cold and ruthless being, check. Lack of conscience? Doesn’t hesitate or feel regret about his atrocious actions even at least for once. There’s also the fact that he’s completely incapable of forming emotional attachments to anyone.
  • This Cannot Be!: Utters "This cannot..." in shock when Wonder Woman smashes his axe to pieces after Superman freezes it. Then he starts feeling fear, and his own Parademons start swarming him.
  • Uncertain Doom: His Parademons turn on and start feasting on him, but a Boom Tube teleports him and them away so he may have survived, albeit likely badly injured. That said, Darkseid tends not to take failure well.
  • Undying Loyalty: In keeping with his comic counterpart, despite Darkseid exiling him for his failure to conquer Earth, Steppenwolf still wishes to be in his nephew's good graces and attempts another conquest (with significantly fewer forces) so that he may go back home.
  • Very Punchable Man: He responds to every bit of opposition with an arrogant smirk and unlike his theatrical incarnation the audience is given no reason to feel bad for him. After tangling with Superman, his face is bloodied and bruised to an almost comical degree.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Two-fold.
    • First, he doesn't take it well when his first invasion of Earth fails, to the point his forces actually have to restrain him from fighting a battle he can't win.
    • Then, after the Justice League separate the Mother Boxes and his Parademons turn against him, he screams in fury.
  • Villains Want Mercy: When the Parademons sense fear in him after his axe is shattered and his goals rendered moot, Steppenwolf's first response is to pathetically whine "No! Leave me!" before being swarmed and dragged back to Apokolips.


"My master, now that the Mother Boxes have been destroyed, how will you retrieve your great prize?"

Species: New God

Played by: Peter Guinness (voice and motion capture)

Voiced By: Mugihito (Japanese)

Appearances: Zack Snyder's Justice League

"Mighty Steppenwolf, who might have sat here by the side of The Great One, but undone by his self pride."

A highly ranked servant of Darkseid.

  • Accuser of the Brethren: DeSaad rubs Steppenwolf's previous betrayal in his face, in spite of Steppenwolf having repented as early as his punishment was meted out.
  • Adaptational Ugliness: While rarely portrayed as beautiful, most versions of DeSaad at least look human. In the DCEU he has a particularly monstrous appearance.
  • Alternate Self: He has an avatar on Earth-167.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: On a detailed image of DeSaad shared by WETA, his hands have four Creepy Long Fingers and two tumor-like appendices, one of them looking like a sharp tooth.
  • Black Cloak: He wears thick dark robes adorned with silver spikes.
  • Black Speech: DeSaad chants an incantation to summon Darkseid upon finding out that Steppenwolf has uncovered the Anti-Life Equation.
  • Co-Dragons: When Darkseid walks through his court, DeSaad and Granny Goodness walk side-by-side behind him, hinting that he holds them in higher esteem than his other servants.
  • Creepy High-Pitched Voice: Unlike Darkseid and Steppenwolf, Desaad has a voice that sounds similar to Starscream.
  • Dress-Coded for Your Convenience: Desaad wears black robes with a hood and silver spikes arranged into a High Collar of Doom.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: He's disgusted that Steppenwolf would turn on his own family, though it's possible he's just using that as an excuse to berate an underling.
  • Evil Brit: He speaks with a British accent, and he's definitely not a nice guy.
  • Evil Wears Black: DeSaad wears black robes.
  • Gratuitous Latin: When summoning Darkseid after Steppenwolf tell him that he found the Anti-Life Equation on Earth, DeSaad speaks a Latin phrase (Dominae, qui infernum conflegrit. Aventi undati) that roughly translates to "Lord who shattered hell, grant me an audience".
  • Hate Sink: Desaad's sole purpose in Justice League is to be a nasty piece of work that makes Steppenwolf look sympathetic by comparison.
  • High Collar of Doom: DeSaad's collar resembles a set of teeth that envelops his whole head.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: DeSaad says something to this extent during one of his meetings with Steppenwolf, acknowledging the latter's prowess in the most condescending manner possible.
  • I Warned You: When Steppenwolf dies and the Mother Boxes are destroyed, he reminds Darkseid that he said that Steppenwolf would fail. Darkseid, for his part, doesn't disagree and merely replies that he did.
  • In the Hood: Standard for the character, he wears a dark hood.
  • Jerkass: Most of his conversations with Steppenwolf consist of DeSaad insulting him to his face and tearing down his accomplishments.
    • New Gods seem to be in the habit of speaking in an overly expository manner, so DeSaad interrupting Steppenwolf when he was about to do likewise comes across as quite rude.
    • That being said, when Steppenwolf reported that the Anti-Life Equation was on Earth, DeSaad did actually allow him to talk to Darkseid in what could only be best described as a moment of pragmatism.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: DeSaad has precisely 0% respect and faith in Steppenwolf and wholly expects him to fail. When they're presented with his decapitated head and no Mother Boxes, DeSaad's reaction basically amounts to an "I told you so." to Darkseid.
  • Lean and Mean: Judging by his face and forearms, he's quite skeletal underneath those bulky robes.
  • Mean Boss: DeSaad takes every chance he can get to put down Steppenwolf. When Steppenwolf does get something right, DeSaad is noticably irritated.
  • Movie Superheroes Wear Black: In the comics, DeSaad wore varying shades of purple and magenta. Here, his robes are black with metal decorations, But has some white on his back and some of the front, which is a slight inversion.
  • Mouth of Sauron: Usually speaks for his master whenever Steppenwolf contacts Apokolips.
  • Nerves of Steel: Credit where it's due, it takes some serious brass balls to give a snide "I told you so" to freaking Darkseid, a villain infamous for condemning those who serve him to horrifying fates for looking at him sideways.
  • No Sympathy Between Mooks: He thinks very little of Steppenwolf.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: "You still owe the Great One 50,000 more worlds. He will hear your plea...when you've paid your debt!"
  • Oh, Crap!: He doesn't seem too excited upon hearing that Darkseid hasn't been discouraged from invading Earth, likely realising that there's no way to beat the Justice League without sustaining further losses.
  • Sadist: Expanding on his torture technician role in the comics, DeSaad also savours a bit of schadenfreude, reminding Steppenwolf of his past mistakes just to break his confidence. He's positively gleeful when Steppenwolf fails in his mission.
  • Secretary of Evil: DeSaad is a middle-manager between Darkseid and his offworld minions. It's implied he doesn't get that much joy out of the job unless he can lord it over his inferiors.
  • Smug Snake: He's clearly savouring his authority over Steppenwolf, using their interactions as a reminder that the latter has to earn Darkseid's good graces while DeSaad can sit at his right hand. He even smirks when Steppenwolf is killed.
  • Spikes of Villainy: DeSaad wears a raised collar that resembles a Venus flytrap enveloping his head. He also has several needles interwoven into his hood.
  • Thin Chin of Sin: One that forks at the end like a snake tongue.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: He’s visibly worried by the prospect of invading Earth again.
  • Treachery Is a Special Kind of Evil: DeSaad uses this as an excuse to judge Steppenwolf, though given his disposition it's questionable if he actually has any values.
  • Villainous Cheekbones: Befitting his God of Pain status from the comics, DeSaad's got a hatchet-face.

    Granny Goodness 

Granny Goodness
Click here to see her concept art

Species: New God

Appearances: Zack Snyder's Justice League

A New Goddess and highly ranked servant of Darkseid.


Apokoliptian Mystics

Species: New Gods

Played by: Steve West and Laura Waddell

Appearances: Justice League | Zack Snyder's Justice League

Attendants of Darkseid / Steppenwolf during the first invasion of Earth.

  • Black Cloak: They wear black robes, which are a tad less thick than DeSaad's.
  • Cult: The fact that there are several of them wearing similar Black Cloaks and that they are seen chanting something while channeling the Mother Boxes' Unity invokes a cult.
  • In the Hood: Their robes are hooded, like DeSaad's again.
  • Squishy Wizard: Unlike Darkseid and Steppenwolf, the mystics have no combat abilities. The Amazons easily manage to kill a few of them, while the rest were vaporized when Zeus blasted the Unity.
  • Summoning Ritual: They were in charge of the Unity of the Mother Boxes during the first invasion, and the pose they took invoked this.
  • Terrible Trio: Three mystics each carry a Motherbox, making for a total of nine when they perform the Unity.




Species: Parademons

Appearances: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice | Justice League | Zack Snyder's Justice League | The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive

"All who live become servants of Darkseid, alive but drained of life."

Six-foot-tall creatures serving as foot soldiers of the Apokoliptian forces.

  • Action Bomb: In the theatrical cut of Justice League, one detonates itself to avoid capture, though the detonation doesn't seem to be strong enough to do much damage to anything nearby, and no other Parademons do so from that point on.
  • Adaptational Intelligence: The Parademons in the theatrical cut weren't much smarter than trained animals and would lose all self-control if they detected fear. In the Snyder Cut this flaw is never present and aside from not being able to speak they seem to be as intelligent as a standard biped.
  • Adapted Out: Their origins as enslaved beings who were forcibly converted into monsters isn't shown onscreen in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, due to Snyder not being able to shoot his preferred scene where this takes place and refusing to use any footage shot by Joss Whedon. It's also implied that none of the humans who fought back in the first invasion were converted.
  • Airborne Mook: They can fly, and they die in droves against the Justice League.
  • Alien Blood: Green and glowing in the theatrical cut, as evidenced when Flash runs through several of them during the Final Battle of that version.
  • Bugs Herald Evil: The parademons are typically deployed before any of the Apokoliptians appear. Bruce has visions of them before the New Gods are officially introduced to the DCEU and a troupe of parademons appears before the Amazons when Steppenwolf invades Themyscira.
  • Composite Character: Their origin as aliens forcibly mutated into bipedal insectoids is similar to the bugs from Jack Kirby's Fourth World series.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: In the theatrical cut Batman initially has a hard time beating just one, at the end of the movie they are killed in waves.
  • Demonic Invaders: Any Earth record of a Parademon sighting depicts them as winged humanoids who come from the darkness, much like conventional portrayals of demons.
  • Demon of Human Origin: At least some of them seem to be previously examples of other, conquered species.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: They are briefly seen in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in Batman's apocalyptic dream, but they are not related to that film's antagonists (Lex Luthor and Doomsday). They appear as mooks of the New Gods in Justice League.
  • Easily Thwarted Alien Invasion: Not particularly threatening individually, to the point where one Badass Normal with an armored car manages to mow down dozens of them, seemingly lacking any form of armor or air support (besides the spaceship-walker hybrids seen in the flashback), and nowhere near numerous enough to conquer a planet with Earth's population size. In the theatrical cut, they instantly retreat when Steppenwolf becomes the victim of a Curb-Stomp Battle from Superman and starts to feel fear, while in the Snyder Cut, it is suggested that Batman had completely wiped them out off-screen. Out of all the large threats of the DCEU thus far, the Parademon invasion has resulted in the least damage, certainly less so than Zod's attack or Enchantress and Incubus'.
    • That being said, that one Parademon who was able to blindside Barry would have guaranteed Darkseid's victory if Batman didn't prevent it from scoring a second hit.
  • Emotion Eater: In the theatrical cut of Justice League they are stated to be attracted to and even feed on the fearful. They completely lack this trait in Zack Snyder's Justice League.
  • Enemy Rising Behind: In Zack Snyder's Justice League a Parademon is waiting for Silas Stone at his home to kidnap him, and rises behind him.
  • Evolutionary Levels: The majority of Parademons that operate as soldiers for Darkseid and Steppenwolf all look like alien humanoids wearing uniforms that give them an insectoid aesthetic. In Bruce's Knightmares, some of the Parademons have further mutated into creatures that look like giant alien locusts with extra limbs. At least one in the present day (the one that broke into STAR Labs) has already reached this stage.
  • Fearless Fool: They don't seem to have any real fear. This comes to the detriment of their ability to stay alive.
  • Foreshadowing: The painting inside the living room of Lex Luthor's father foreshadows their arrival on Earth, as it features winged demons.
    Lex Luthor: Devils don't come from hell beneath us. No, they come from the sky.
  • Glass Cannon: One of them was able to give Batman a proper fight, but then Batman kicked it in the torso and it fell to its death.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Best seen on the Parademon that kidnaps Silas Stone.
  • Horde of Alien Locusts: They're born from the survivors of worlds that were decimated through the Unity and they assist the Apokoliptians continue their onslaught against other worlds.
  • Insectoid Aliens: Their wings and armor are reminsicent of insects. A few of them even have extra limbs and insectoid faces.
  • Meaningful Name: "Para" as in "paratroops", since they are airborne.
  • Mooks: They are an army of numerous and expendable shock troops in the service of the New Gods of Apokolips.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: A few Parademons have mantis-like limbs near their abdomens.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Despite of be fodder, In two occasions a Parademon was able to wound the Flash in spite of his super speed, showing that they can be legitimately dangerous when one's guard is down.
  • Our Demons Are Different: Parademons are an example of Demon of Human Origin that are virtually mindless, follow malevolent gods, can fly with their wings and have Plasma Cannons.
  • The Pawns Go First: They guard their commander through a combination of artillery and brute force.
  • Plasma Cannon: Their main weapons are plasma rifles firing red bolts. They don't appear to be very effective, doing little visible damage to unarmored humans and Amazons hit by them (though their insides were probably cooked since they seemed to instantly die), and actually struggling a lot to kill even lightly armored men and vehicles. The Batmobile, an armored car, more or less does a No-Sell against dozens of Parademons (forcing them to Zerg Rush it and physically tear it apart with their Super-Strength).
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: They are hostile creatures and they have red eyes.
  • Scary Teeth: Their teeth are visible, and it makes them all the more frightening.
  • Serkis Folk: They are created through Motion Capture with stuntmen doing their movements.
  • Shoot the Mage First: The Parademons ensured Steppenwolf's victory the moment one of them injured the Flash. Unfortunately for them, Batman killed them all and the Flash used the Speed Force to undo their damage.
  • Super-Strength: They're pretty strong. For example, one tosses the 240-pound Batman across over twenty feet with one hand. Another rips a machine gun off the Batmobile and crushes it. They're also prone to pulling off the Neck Lift.
    • In the theatrical cut, a couple dozen of them together are even able to restrain Steppenwolf, as seen in the opening flashback and climax.
  • Truer to the Text: Appearance-wise, these Parademons have the closest resemblance to Jack Kirby's original designs, being the shape and size of a regular adult human rather than looking like large grotesque beasts as seen in other adaptations. They still lack the human features and sapience that Jack Kirby intended them to have.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: The Parademon that felled the Flash wasn't quick enough to score a precise hit on him, so it just repeatedly blasted his path until one of the shots clipped hte Flash.
  • Was Once a Man: Apokoliptians have technologies or powers to turn creatures from the worlds they invade into Parademons. That includes humans. According to Wonder Woman, this happened to the forces that Darkseid and Steppenwolf conquered on other worlds.
  • We Have Reserves: The army that Steppenwolf brought with him are eventually shown to be a mere fraction of the full armada, as Darkseid's court is teeming with Parademons.
  • Winged Humanoid: They all have pairs of insectoid wings, allowing them to fly and hover.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Much like the Eyes of the Adversary, they are slain without hesitation by the heroes who unlike Task Force X are more traditionally heroic and avoid human fatalities for the most part.note 
  • Zerg Rush: Their guns have little effect against Batman's heavily armored Batmobile. So what do they do? They charge right through his heavy machine gun fire, taking large casualties in the process, in an attempt to physically swarm and rip apart the Batmobile with their bare hands.

    Mother Boxes 

Mother Boxes
"We've been waiting for you Victor. My broken boy."

Appearances: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice | Wonder Woman | Justice League | Zack Snyder's Justice League

"They're change machines. The Boxes don't think in terms of healing or killing, alive or dead. They rearrange matter at the will of their masters. Regenerate, reinstate. A box has the power to reinstate anterior particle relationships."
Victor Stone/Cyborg

Mother Boxes (also called "Change Machines" by Silas and Victor Stone) are sentient perpetual energy matrices. They are the primary tools of the New Gods and take the form of metal cubes.

Three Mother Boxes were brought to Earth by Steppenwolf or Darkseid (in the theatrical and Snyder cuts respectively) during their attempted invasions thousands of years ago and were subsequently left in the hands of the Atlanteans, Amazons and humans after the invasion was repelled. Millennia later, following the death of Superman, Steppenwolf comes back to Earth to find them and finally conquer the Earth to earn his place back in Darkseid's court.

  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • In the comics, Mother Boxes are a technology used by the Gods of New Genesis; the Apokoliptian equivalent is a Father Box. If we assume they were stolen and corrupted, this could explain why Darkseid never seemed to own more than three.
    • The boxes were purely a Plot Device in the theatrical cut. In the Snyder Cut, they are revealed to be very much malevolent, as seen when they reveal to Steppenwolf where to find the Anti-Life Equation and an attempt to entice Cyborg into joining Darkseid.
  • Alternate Company Equivalent: The Mother Boxes are the DCEU equivalent of the Infinity Stones from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (important MacGuffin objects that grant the user ultimate power which can cause outright devastation of entire planets and coveted by the villains to achieve their goals). The fact that they're cubes - with one of them having a blue aura that was in possession of the Nazis at one point - is even more damning, considering that description is beat-for-beat like the Tesseract, the first Infinity Stone featured in the MCU.
  • Artifact of Doom: The combined power of three of them ("the Unity") allows New Gods to perform Hostile Terraforming through giant crystalline tentacles, turning planets into new Apokoliptian worlds. In Zack Snyder's Justice League, they instead achieve this by detonating a massive global energy wave that decimates the entire planet in a matter of seconds. This comes to pass during the climax, forcing Barry to tap into the Speed Force and rewind time in order to undo the catastrophe.
  • Black Box: They have great powers, but the true extent of them is unknown to most Earthlings. So far they've been shown to resurrect the dead, convert radiation and pollutants into solid materials, project images of future events and of course terraform entire planets when fully synchronized. Silas was able to replace Victor's destroyed body parts with cybernetics just by stirring one, with the implication being that it could possibly regenerate his bones and tissue if it was fully awake.
  • Companion Cube:
    • In the theatrical cut, Steppenwolf personifies his relationship with the Mother Boxes, addressing their combination as a religious artifact and calling it "Mother" and so on, when among New Gods, Mother Boxes are just massive supercomputer AIs. It's perhaps a sign of his insanity.
    • In the Snyder Cut Steppenwolf has an interaction with one of the Motherboxes, which shows him where the Anti-Life Equation is located.
  • Create Your Own Hero: The human-entrusted Motherbox rebuilt Victor's destroyed bodyparts at his father's behest and later resurrected Superman. Both individuals foiled the Unity and likely fried their interior systems.
  • Death by Adaptation: In the theatrical release after Steppenwolf's defeat, the Mother Boxes are returned to their respective guardians. In the Snyder Cut, DeSaad says the Mother Boxes have been destroyed forcing Darkseid to invade Earth the old-fashioned way.
  • Dismantled Macguffin: Zeus, the king of the Gods of Olympus, separated the Unity into three Mother Boxes when Steppenwolf or Darkseid were defeated. The Amazons, Atlanteans and humans were all given one to keep hidden, and Steppenwolf came back millennia later to find them all and recreate the Unity.
  • Doomsday Device: What they turn into when fully synchronized.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The Mother Boxes were shown on several occasions before they became the Plot Device of Justice League.
    • In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, one is seen in the footage showing Victor Stone's reconstruction and empowerment, with the denomination "US government object 6-19-82". Its powers rebuild Victor with cybernetics, turning him into Cyborg.
    • In Batman v Superman again, there's the (Ultimate Edition cut) scene in which Steppenwolf communicates with Lex Luthor via a Kryptonian hologram, showing him the three Mother Boxes.
    • In Wonder Woman, the Box that would create Cyborg over one century later is seen on a drawing in the home video-released stinger. Etta Candy, Chief, Sameer and Charlie are secretely tasked to find it (which they apparently succeeded to do, given the fact that Cyborg mentions it was "found by the British during World War I"). Said drawing ends up in Lex Luthor's possession about one century later. In Justice League, it is revealed that Batman and Alfred Pennyworth kept it after Luthor was arrested.
  • Empathic Weapon: They must have some sort of sentience of their own since Steppenwolf talks to them on a regular basis, calling them "Mother" in the theatrical cut. Zack Snyder's Justice League instead depicts their sentience by showing their temptation of Cyborg as he tries to stop the Unity.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: The motherboxes tried to appeal to Victor's grief by offering to resurrect his parents and restore his body, but the offer doesn't sway him even for a moment because the surrounding simulation resembles an uninhabitable hellscape.
  • Faux Affably Evil: When assuming the forms of Victor's dead parents, they act unnervingly cheerful. It's clearly a facade to keep him from interfering with the Unity.
  • Glamour Failure: They assume the form of an unscathed Victor Stone and his living parents in an attempt to lure Cyborg into working for Darkseid. He doesn't take their offer, at which point they transform into shrieking hags.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: Steppenwolf wants to find them to reform the Unity and terraform the Earth with it.
  • Imported Alien Phlebotinum: They're Apokoliptian tech that was brought to Earth and one ended up being used by Silas Stone for his experiments and to "rebuild" his crippled son.
  • Lost Superweapon: Darkseid lost all three on Earth thousands of years ago and they were separated in order to avoid triggering another Unity. After Superman's death the Motherboxes all wake up in unison and call to either Darkseid or Steppenwolf. Thus the Earth is put in peril of being decimated unless the Justice League can stop them.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: They trap Cyborg in one just as he's about to disrupt the Unity. Cyborg fights back.
  • Mook Maker: In the Snyder Cut Diana states that the Unity turns populations into Parademons.
  • Mythology Gag: "US government object 6-19-82" is a reference is to the first time Cyborg's origin was committed to the page, which was first published on June 19, 1982, in of Tales of the New Teen Titans #1.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: They use the excess radiation in Pozharnov to construct a fortress, making the whole area safe for humans to inhabit. This ends up working to the advantage of the Justice League who thwart Steppenwolf's plans and overwhelm the Motherboxes.
  • Nightmare Face: They can appear as hags with Glowing Eyes of Doom, which Cyborg discovered when he interfaced with them.
  • Ominous Cube: They are alien cubes that, when united, are capable of terraforming a planet into a Death World like Apokolips.
  • Plot Device: They drive the plot of Justice League since Steppenwolf is after them.
  • Power Glows: They glow and start animating themselves when they're activated.
  • Shout-Out: Their glowing cubed texture is based on the Allspark artifact from Transformers.
  • Super-Empowering: One of the Boxes empowered Victor Stone, giving him cybernetics with a wide range of powers.
  • The Weird Sisters: Their true forms are reminiscent of the witches from Macbeth.

Alternative Title(s): DCEU Darkseid, DCEU Steppenwolf