It wouldn’t be a stretch to claim that the theatrical edition of Justice League boasts one of the worst villains ever seen in a big budget comic book blockbuster. Steppenwolf is literally a hulking beige blob of nothingness, and poses virtually no real threat to the titular team in the slightest, with his muddy motivations and on-the-nose agenda ultimately seeing him devoured by his own Parademons in fittingly underwhelming fashion.
Not only did the bad guy get a flashy new redesign for the Snyder Cut, though, but he was a much more effective presence as well. Admittedly, he was still far from a terrifying or even memorable one, but it was definitely a better representation of the character nonetheless. Darkseid’s minion was essentially cast as a low-level employee working for a company that specializes in attempting to enslave the universe.
Having been demoted, he holds several virtual meetings with middle management’s DeSaad in an effort to speak to the boss who isn’t willing to take his calls, so he decides to put in the extra work on his own dime to convince the boardroom that he’s worthy of getting his old job back.
It’s a surprisingly relatable arc for an inter-dimensional threat with huge horns attached to his head along with a penchant for bloody murder, and in a new interview, Zack Snyder explained why Steppenwolf ended up being exiled to Earth in the first place.
“I feel like there was a coup sometime, a small coup attempt. I don’t know how involved Steppenwolf was. I don’t think he was like deeply involved or the kingpin, but certainly there might have been a negotiation that he was involved with. He slaughtered those traitors, he responded correctly, but in that small hesitation I don’t think Darkseid was down with the notion that there would even be a hesitation.”
Of course, things didn’t go so well for Steppenwolf in the end after his head was cleaved clean off by Wonder Woman, leaving Darkseid to glare in disgust at his disembodied cranium. Those Justice League sequels might not end up happening, but if they do, you can guarantee that the big bad will tighten up the interview process for his minions.