BY John Carter JR
SPOILER WARNING: this review contains spoilers
Almost in reconciliation for the travesty that was the 2017 release of Joss Whedon’s The Justice League, Warner Bros and DC in conjunction with Zack Synder released the former’s version of what is now a four-hour film on HBO Max. While there are many director’s cuts of films out there, this film more than doubles the length of the original, thus altering not only the very core of the film but also adds a massive slew of content for fans to enjoy. Here we will examine the new film, all the new content, and speculate on the future of the DCEU.
Zack Snyder has been hyping up this version for a long time now, stoking the fire in passionate fans’ hearts to not only deliver but over-deliver on promises. Let’s first take a look at some of the new additions to the already packed roster of popular characters. While the original film featured multiple Justice League members (Wonder Woman, Cyborg, The Flash, Superman, Batman, and Aquaman) this version introduces new characters to the fray.
The first major reveal was in the war scene featuring the inhabitants of Earth and their allies. On the side of The Atlanteans, Amazons, and Humans were some of the DC Greek Gods (Zeus, Artemis, and Ares) and a Green Lantern.
One of the glaring omissions from the original Whedon version, other than Cyborg representation, was the lack of the Martian Manhunter. Martian Manhunter was a highly anticipated reveal for the fans and the film does not disappoint with the two scenes dedicated to him. The only thing that could have made this film even better in terms of hero appearances was John Stuart Green Lantern, a fan favorite whom Zack Synder wanted for his version of the film.
While the potential future of the Syderverse is in the hands of Warner Bros and HBO Max, the former needs to take a page from Synder’s book and support films about more people of color and John Stewart Green Lantern is a character deserving of a story. The proverbial ball is in Warner Bros court, lets see if their upcoming static shock film can take it and maybe even give us that character.
While the Syndercut gave us new heroes, it also gave us new villains to work with. Darkseid, a highly anticipated villain makes his DCEU debut and moreover, he brings other villains with him. Desaad, the aforementioned Darkseid’s right-hand man plays a major role in the new film being a guiding hand to the redesigned main antagonist Steppenwolf. Also making a cameo appearance is the DCEU’s Granny Goodness, a well-known DC villain who serves Darkseid. On Earth, we have appearances from Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor, Deathstroke, and even the Joker portrayed by Jared Leto.
Race, Cyborg, and Ryan Choi
As, mentioned before, one of the most glaring omissions from this film was none other than the entire story arc dedicated to Cyborg, his father, and his mother. While there have been allegations certain omissions to the 2017 release of Justice League were racially motivated, others have denied those allegations. However, it’s hard to ignore the obvious cuts from the 2017 film. Not only was a heartfelt story about a black father and son missing from the original cut of the film but so was another character of color. Ryan Choi, known as one of the incarnations of the atom in DC Comics, makes an appearance as a STAR labs scientist in Snyder Cut.
In conclusion, the original cut of the film is not only underwhelming overall in comparison to the Snyder Cut, but the Snyder Cut offers a wealth of additions for HBO Max to extend into the future with new stories and new characters. Zack Snyder’s Justice League sets up many opportunities for new stories to be told and new characters to be added. Not only does the Snyder Cut give fans an opportunity to see more people of color on the screen but also opens the doors for new people of color to be represented in future films. While it is disappointing that the Snyder Cut might not continue we look forward to new projects featuring a multitude of characters of different backgrounds.