Zack Snyder’s Justice League has several new characters that were not in the theatrical version of the 2017 film. Among them are minor characters like Iris West and an unnamed single mother whose story intersects with Cyborg’s. But there are also characters in the film whose role in the Justice League in the comics is far more important than anything that happens on screen in the film. That’s not to say there weren’t other projects; for example, Snyder said he had other plans for Ryan Choi, and the character was given a role in the story that mirrored his fate in the comics.
This is probably no surprise; Man of Steel had dropped characters like Kenny Braverman, and Batman v Superman had so many Easter Eggs: Dawn of Justice that people will find them again two years later when Justice League hits theaters. But when you consider that much of this was never included in the first version of the film, that makes it a pretty fascinating subject.
You can check them out below – and let us know if we missed anything!
Ryan Choi – Atom
(Photo: DC / WB)
The Justice League director’s cut includes much more STAR Labs footage that not only delves deeper into the stories of Silas and Victor Stone, but also introduces fans to Ryan Choi, Silas’ right-hand man and the man who will have to lead STAR when Silas leaves the ship. The character played by Zheng Kai is actually a costumed superhero from the comic books. As one of the heroes who was named Atom over the years, Ryan could be considered the DC version of Ant-Man (although The Atom was there first – but if you know that, you probably don’t need to explain to us who Ryan Choi is, while regular fans have probably seen the Avengers movies).
In Zack Snyder’s Justice League, Choi doesn’t really give hints about his future, despite being a nanotechnology expert, which makes perfect sense for the shrinking hero. This is the character’s feature film debut – and he would have made his live action debut had he appeared in the theatrical portion of Justice League. Instead, he became the second live-action version after Choy Osric Chow, who appeared on The CW’s Crisis on Infinite Earths in 2019-2020.
Before he became one of the paragons of multiple security during a crisis, Choi was mentioned in an episode of The Flash as the scientist from the future who developed Barry Allen’s Flash ring and Flash suit. In the comics, Ryan was created by Gail Simone and Grant Morrison and first appeared in DCU: Brave New World #1. He is a protégé of Ray Palmer (Brandon Root’s character in Legends of Tomorrow). After Palmer’s disappearance, Ryan moves from Hong Kong to Ivy Town and takes Ray’s place as a professor at Ivy University. Once there, Ryan follows Ray’s directions, discovers the bio-belt and becomes the new Atom.
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Crispus Allen – Spectrum
On the stage of the Gotham Police Department, Commissioner Jim Gordon talks to Detective Crispus Allen, played by Cobna Holdbrook-Smith. In the theatrical film, the character is not mentioned out loud, but in the Snyder Cut, Crispus, making it clear that this is the man who eventually becomes the Spectre in the comics.
Allen debuted as a Gotham cop in the pages of Greg Rucka and Sean Martinbrough’s Detective Comics #742 and then became a major character in Rucka, Ed Brubaker and Michael Lark’s Gotham Central.
The character also appeared in Gotham, played by Andrew Stewart-Jones and Rob Brown in The Dark Knight Rises.
In the comics, Allen was killed by the corrupt cop Jim Corrigan (not the one who became the Spectre, but his descendant) in the pages of Gotham Central and became the new human host of the Spectre during the Infinite Crisis event. Although the character hasn’t been seen since the 2011 New 52 reboot, his prominence in the fan-favorite Gotham Central comic has made him a popular character.
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We get a brief look at the spacesuit and a longer look at Kryptonian pods filled with Kryptonian corpses in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, which may or may not be a reference to Supergirl. The character, who was recently filmed and will appear in The Flash in 2022, has not yet been mentioned in Snyder’s films, but he did appear in a comic book with the exact same visual effects.
Contrary to what many fans have long suspected, Snyder teased in 2018 that the empty cryo-sleeping pod in Man of Steel’s exploration ship wasn’t meant for Kara Zor-El – or at least not as easily.
The open pod was something important, Snyder said cryptically, before leaving fans to their own devices on social media.
Kara Zor-El, first seen in the Man of Steel universe as part of a comic book sold digitally at Wal-Mart, has never had power in this story, nor will she for the next several millennia. In the David Goyer/Jerry Ordway version of Man of Steel, Kara crashed to Earth thousands of years ago in a thrilling battle with Dev-Em. His ship was later found and used by Superman in the movie Fortress of Solitude.
Introduced in the digital comics, Kara was a member of the Kryptonian Explorers Guild, an organization whose mission was to find planets suitable for terraforming and subsequent colonization by Kryptonians… which basically means she wanted to do exactly what Zod wanted, except that there was no thriving human civilization when she arrived.
Assuming the sequel retains the comic book canon – which seems unlikely at this point for a number of reasons, including the fact that it’s unclear how many people actually saw the book and that it wasn’t ultimately brought to the screen – the question of how Kara should be treated would be addressed in this story. Is she really an ancestor of Superman who came here thousands of years ago? If so, did she stay alive by returning to the ship’s cryostasis equipment, or did her powers on Earth make her functionally immortal? If so, does that mean Superman suffers the same fate?
It would be easy to dismiss the comic as probably non-canonical, but remember that the spacesuits worn by Kara, Dev-Em, and others were briefly seen in the scene that was deleted from the Justice League feature film, but reinstated in the Director’s Cut, suggesting that someone working on this film still understands what the comic is based on.
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(Photo: DC / HBO MAX)
The Martian hunter J’Onn J’Onzz gets to show off his superhero look in the film and even offers his services to Batman in the epilogue.
Here on Earth he pretends to be General Swanwick… but in the comics he’s usually John Jones, the agent who is secretly the last surviving green Martian.
He was played by David Harewood in Supergirl.
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Green Lantern Housing
There are two different places in Zack Snyder’s Justice League film – neither in the main plot nor in the modern plot – where members of the Green Lantern Corps appear. While things would be different in Snyder’s ideal world, neither GL is human, but they are both characters who have a history in the comics – one much more than the other. The first of these two characters appears in history class, where he sees the heroes of the past unite against Darkseid and drive him out. The second appears in an oppressive sequence, dead on the ground.
The first of these is Yalan Gur, whose death is covered in History class. The character who defended Sector 2814 in the distant past was theoretically part of the feature film, but his appearance was so cut that he’s just a flash of green light, whereas here we see him up close enough to identify him.
The other Lantern, seen in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, seems to be much more selective and even appears in Green Lantern (the movie starring Ryan Reynolds) and the Green Lantern animated series. They are Kilowog, Bolovax Vic and Sector 674, whose appearance at the end of the film resembles a corpse in a nightmare sequence.
Kilowog was one of the many Green Lanterns rumored to appear in Zack Snyder’s Justice League film. At one point, it was even rumored that a Green Lantern (possibly Kilowog) had been chosen for a cameo. The T-shirt, which was made to benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, even featured a small Green Lantern logo, as well as the emblems of members of the Justice League and the Martian Bounty Hunter.
Kilowog had long served as a drill sergeant and gunner in the Green Lantern Corps, a role for which he was well suited. During Jeff Jones’ title run, Kilowog left that position to return to his regular duties on the field (he didn’t stay away from it for long). He comes from a generally socialist world where the collective good is placed above the individual. When his race became extinct, he took his consciousness to his ring and carried it with him.
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The new gods of new Genesis
(Photo: DC Entertainment)
There is a whole world of characters who do not appear here, but whose existence is implied by the nature of the story.
They are the New Gods of New Genesis, the world of good to the evil world of Apokolips. We see Steppenwolf, DeSad, Darkseid and many others, so it makes sense that, just like in the comics, their counterparts (Orion, Lightbulb, Highfather, etc.) also exist.
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…to the left… ?
In Zack Snyder’s Justice League, Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) is determined to get the ultimate sacrifice from Superman (Henry Cavill). He teams up with Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) and seeks to recruit a team of metahumans to protect the world from a threat of catastrophic proportions. The task proves more difficult than Bruce imagined, as each of the recruits must face the demons of their past to overcome what holds them back, so they can unite and form an unprecedented league of heroes. Now reunited, Batman (Affleck), Wonder Woman (Gadot), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Cyborg (Ray Fisher) and the Flash (Ezra Miller) may be too late to save the planet from Steppenwolf, DeSad and Darkseid and their terrible intentions.
You can watch Zack Snyder’s Justice League – in color or the black and white edition of Justice Is Grey – on HBO Max.
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