Zack Snyder’s Justice League story ended with Superman taking on Darkseid.
Zack Snyder’s two-liner Man of Steel hinted at his eventual ending in Snyder’s planned five-film arc. Publication: 2013 Man of Steel introduced Henry Cavill as the Last Son of Krypton. However Man of Steel proved a polarizing retelling of Superman’s origin, both it and its follow-ups Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Zack Snyder’s Justice League continue to have a powerful presence in the superhero movie landscape.
The first twenty minutes of Man of Steel focus on Krypton’s downfall, culminating in the planet’s destruction as warned by Superman’s father Jor-El (Russell Crowe). As Krypton is on the verge of exploding, Kal-El’s mother Lara Lor-Van (Ayelet Zurer) speaks her dying words to her son rocketed to Earth, saying “Make a better world than ours, Kal.” Superman would go on to do exactly that in Snyder’s intended story, as shown in a whiteboard layout of the plans for the Justice League sequels which accompanied the release of the Justice League Snyder Cut.
Per Snyder’s outline, after The Flash (Ezra Miller) had been sent back in time to undo the apocalyptic Knightmare future, Earth still faced the impending invasion of Apokolips led by Darkseid (Ray Porter). With Superman leading the Justice League, the armies of mankind along with Themyscira Atlantis would join forces in Earth’s final battle against the invasion. Snyder’s blueprint makes the scale of this clear with the words “The entire world becomes a Justice League“. With the worldwide alliance happening through the leadership of Superman, this builds upon Lara’s belief that her son could make a better world than Krypton had been.
How Man Of Steel Teased Superman’s Snyderverse Fate
Lara wasn’t alone in Man of Steel in teasing Superman’s destiny as a leader of Earth. Under the guidance of Jor-El, Superman’s Kryptonian father believed his son could embody the hope of his suit’s S-shield and lead Earth from facing the same doom as Krypton. As Jor-El put it, “You will give the people of Earth an ideal to strive towards. They’ll race behind you, they will stumble, they will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun, Kal. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders.“
Under Snyder’s direction, Superman’s arc was also to run parallel to Batman’s, who spearheads the formation of the Justice League and the resurrection of the dead Superman in Zack Snyder’s Justice League to fight the invasion of Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds). Though Superman would be brought under Darkseid’s control with the Anti-Life Equation in the Knightmare timeline, Batman’s plan would stop this from happening with The Flash’s aforementioned time-travel. Batman would ultimately sacrifice his own life fighting alongside Superman against Darkseid, with the son of Superman and Lois Lane (Amy Adams), Bruce Kent, becoming Bruce Wayne’s Batman successor twenty years later.
With Superman as the core of Snyder’s five-part story, it makes sense that he would plant seeds for multiple pay-offs by the story’s conclusion. With Man of Steel, Snyder made some early, cryptic teases of the role Superman would take leading the whole world against Darkseid with the words of his parents. By the end of Snyder’s Justice League arc, Superman would have fulfilled the wishes of both of his parents, making a better world than Krypton as Lara wanted, and as Jor-El foretold, helping the people of Earth accomplish wonders.
NEXT: Why Snyder’s Man of Steel Has The Best Superman Theme
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