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Steppenwolf

Steppenwolf in Earth 2 #1 (July 2012).
Art by Nicola Scott and Trevor Scott

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Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceNew Gods #7 (February 1972)
Created byJack Kirby
In-story information
SpeciesNew God
Place of originApokolips
Team affiliationsDarkseid's Elite
Notable aliasesGeneral of Apokolips
Abilities
  • Armor with the capability of reshaping itself
  • Enhanced superhuman strength, agility and endurance
  • Exceptional warrior and military leader
  • Wields nigh-indestructible Electro-Axe

Steppenwolf (German for "Steppe wolf") is a supervillain appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. Created by writer-artist Jack Kirby, the character first appeared in New Gods #7 (February 1972).[1] A New God and military general from the planet Apokolips, Steppenwolf is the brother of Heggra and therefore the maternal uncle of Darkseid. He is commonly depicted as Darkseid's subordinate, commanding his army of Parademons in conflicts against Superman and the Justice League.

The character is featured in the DC Extended Universe and made his live-action debut in the film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice with the use of computer-generated imagery, before being portrayed through motion capture by Ciarán Hinds in both the theatrical release and the director's cut of Justice League.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Steppenwolf is a New God who is the younger brother of Heggra (Darkseid's mother) and the uncle of Uxas (Darkseid). He is also a thành viên of Darkseid's Elite. He leads the military forces of Apokolips and rides hounds bred for battle.

Steppenwolf is one of the earliest survivors of Doomsday, the monster who once killed Superman. Two hundred forty-five thousand years ago, Steppenwolf takes an Apokoliptian shuttle with Darkseid, Master Mayhem and a small crew to tướng the planet of Bylan 5. The planet holds delicate natural materials Apokolips needs for weaponry, material which would be destroyed in the sự kiện of an invasion. The forcible marriage of Darkseid to tướng the planet's princess comes to tướng an kết thúc when Doomsday attacks. Master Mayhem is swiftly torn apart. Darkseid ignores Steppenwolf's orders to tướng use omega beams and engages the creature in hand-to-hand combat. Steppenwolf sees that the destruction that has been wrought has doomed the planet, and all who live on it. He teleports Darkseid out of harm's way, agreeing with Darkseid not to tướng mention this to tướng anyone. Doomsday escapes by stowing away on the Apokoliptian shuttle.[2]

Most of Steppenwolf's appearances under the pen of Jack Kirby are in flashbacks. His debut, in New Gods #7, was a flashback story in which he helps Darkseid murder the wife of Darkseid's hated rival, Highfather. Highfather later tracks down and kills Steppenwolf in retaliation, and the murder reignites the war between the two sides.[3] However, Steppenwolf appeared in the seemingly non-canon (despite Jack Kirby's involvement) Super Powers (1985) mini-series, and his entry in Who's Who in the DC Universe clarified that he had been resurrected by Apokoliptian technology.[4]

Steppenwolf appears when Mister Miracle (Scott Free) gains godlike powers over life and death. Steppenwolf torments him over his role in killing Scott's mother (or alleged mother figure as is claimed) and in return is physically tortured. Free ends up healing him, instead of killing him as he desires. He is sent away with Darkseid's legions.[5]

He is seen in New Gods (vol. 2) #6, with a new costume (a Kirby redesign for the figure's Super Powers action figure). Though considered a "mockery", Steppenwolf is given the job of running Darkseid's military forces. He is later seen fighting the Flash (Barry Allen) and the Justice League of America.[6]

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In Terror Titans #2, Steppenwolf appears as a thành viên of the board of the Dark Side Club. He is killed by Clock King, who was using the club for gladiator fights and cruel amusements.

The New 52[edit]

With The New 52 reboot that followed the 2011 Flashpoint limited series, a new version of Earth-2 (home of the Justice Society of America) is introduced. In the continuity of that parallel world, Steppenwolf leads a massive invasion of the planet by Darkseid's parademons. Earth's heroes successfully repel the invaders, but that world's Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman are killed in battle.[7] Five years later, Steppenwolf is apparently hiding on Earth-2, and there is a $300 million reward for him. He is eventually killed by Bizarro, whom Steppenwolf had employed as a soldier and indoctrinated into fighting for Apokolips.

Steppenwolf also appears briefly in an issue of Justice League within The New 52. He participates in the torture of Superman on the Prime Earth.[8] Steppenwolf is seen as tư vấn for Darkseid when he moves to tướng attack the Anti-Monitor.[9]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Steppenwolf is an immortal with vast superhuman strength, endurance and tốc độ, capable of lifting about 10,000 tons and jumping huge distances easily. He has superhuman reflexes and a high degree of invulnerability, which increases with his battle armor and allows him to tướng resist most physical and energetic attacks.

He is an experienced military leader, having served as the head of Apokolips's armed forces, and when going into battle personally often commands units of the dog cavalry — warriors riding enormous dogs, known for the carnage and mass deaths he causes when he leads forces.

Steppenwolf wields several weapons, including a cable-snare in which he can entrap opponents and from which he can fire lethal radion beams. His main weapon is his electro-axe. He is a master swordsman and a formidable hand-to-hand combatant forged in hundreds of battles.

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In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

Steppenwolf as depicted in Superman: The Animated Series
  • Steppenwolf appears in the Superman: The Animated Series two-part episode "Apokolips... Now!", voiced by Sherman Howard.
  • Steppenwolf makes a cameo appearance in the Justice League two-part episode "Twilight", voiced by René Auberjonois.
  • Steppenwolf appears in Batman: The Brave and the Bold, voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson. This version is a champion gladiator in Mongul's Warworld.
  • Steppenwolf appears in the Justice League Action episode "Under a Red Sun", voiced by Peter Jessop. This version's design takes inspiration from that of his Superman: The Animated Series incarnation.
  • Steppenwolf appears in the Harley Quinn episode "The First Person to tướng Come Back From a Business Conference Without Chlamydia", voiced by Keith Ferguson. This version is an openly gay, intergalactic businessman whose design is a composite of his original and modern comics designs and that of his Zack Snyder's Justice League incarnation (see below).[citation needed]

Film[edit]

An alternate universe incarnation of Steppenwolf makes a non-speaking cameo appearance in Justice League: Gods and Monsters.

DC Extended Universe[edit]

Steppenwolf as depicted in the theatrically-released Justice League (top) and in Zack Snyder's Justice League (bottom).

Steppenwolf appears in films phối in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU).

  • He makes a holographic cameo appearance in the extended edition of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) via CGI effects.
  • Steppenwolf appears in the theatrical cut of Justice League and the director's cut, Zack Snyder's Justice League, voiced and motion captured by Ciarán Hinds. For his performance, Hinds consulted Liam Neeson, who had done similar motion capture work in A Monster Calls.[10][11][12]
    • In the theatrical release, Steppenwolf was exiled from Apokolips by Darkseid for failing to tướng conquer Earth a millennium prior after his forces were defeated by a united front of humans, Amazons, Atlanteans, Olympians, and Earth's then-active Green Lantern, who subsequently took and scattered the three Mother Boxes he used in the invasion. In the present, Steppenwolf returns to tướng Earth in the hopes of renewing his invasion and regaining Darkseid's favor. Despite reclaiming the Mother Boxes, he runs afoul of the Justice League, who resurrect Superman to tướng defeat him once more. Overwhelmed with fear, Steppenwolf is then attacked and dragged back to tướng Apokolips by his Parademon army.[citation needed] This depiction of Steppenwolf was negatively received by critics and fans alike, with criticism directed at the character's poor computer-generated design and generic demeanor. It was later reported that Steppenwolf's appearance and personality were drastically altered during Joss Whedon's retooling of the film, which was criticized by Screen Rant for being "too family-friendly" and "forgettable".[13] Additionally, Hinds has expressed frustration with the theatrical cut, which trimmed down much of his character's development and personality.[14]
    • In the director's cut, Steppenwolf was banished from Apokolips for attempting to tướng betray Darkseid and owed him a debt of fifty-thousand worlds before he can return. Additionally, the Mother Boxes were left on Earth following Darkseid's failed invasion of Earth aeons ago. After the Mother Boxes are reactivated in the wake of Superman's death, Steppenwolf travels to tướng Earth to tướng seek them out. In the midst of this, he finds the Anti-Life Equation and reports his discovery to tướng DeSaad. Darkseid gives Steppenwolf a chance at redemption by uniting the Mother Boxes to tướng prepare for his arrival. Steppenwolf and his Parademon forces overwhelm the Justice League until a resurrected Superman arrives and defeats him. Nonetheless, the Mother Boxes are synchronized, allowing Steppenwolf to tướng terraform Earth. However, the Flash taps into the Speed Force and reverses time to tướng undo his victory, leading to tướng Aquaman, Superman, and Wonder Woman killing Steppenwolf and sending his corpse back to tướng Apokolips.[citation needed] This depiction of Steppenwolf received a more positive reception from fans and critics, with praise directed at his monstrous and alien design, more menacing and sinister presence, and greater level of character depth and development in contrast to tướng his theatrical counterpart.[15][16]

Video games[edit]

Steppenwolf appears as a playable character in Lego DC Super-Villains, voiced again by Peter Jessop.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cowsill, Alan; Irvine, Alex; Korte, Steve; Manning, Matt; Wiacek, Win; Wilson, Sven (2016). The DC Comics Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to tướng the Characters of the DC Universe. DK Publishing. p. 288. ISBN 978-1-4654-5357-0.
  2. ^ Doomsday: Year One Annual
  3. ^ New Gods #7
  4. ^ Who's Who in the DC Universe #22
  5. ^ Mister Miracle (vol. 3) #4 (July 1996)
  6. ^ The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #9
  7. ^ Earth-2 #1 (July 2012)
  8. ^ Justice League (vol. 2) #6 (April 2012)
  9. ^ Justice League (vol. 2) #43–45 (2015)
  10. ^ Kendrick, Ben (June 21, 2016). "Justice League Movie Villain is Steppenwolf Not Darkseid". Screenrant.com. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  11. ^ Muncy, Julie (October 8, 2017). "The Shadow of Superman Looms Large in New Justice League Trailer." Gizmodo. Retrieved February 12, 2020.
  12. ^ Mottram, James (March 29, 2017). "Ciaran Hinds on Bleed for This, playing a supervillain in Justice League and asking old friend Liam Neeson for motion-capture performance tips". The Independent. Archived from the original on 2022-05-25. Retrieved April 11, 2017.
  13. ^ Gunning, Cathal (2020-11-24). "Zack Snyder's New Steppenwolf Design Fixes Justice League's Biggest Issue". ScreenRant. Retrieved 2021-04-07.
  14. ^ "Ciarán Hinds Not Happy With the Theatrical Cut of Justice League – DC Comics Movie". Retrieved July 13, 2021.
  15. ^ Laman, Douglas (July 5, 2020). "Zack Snyder Confirms Steppenwolf's Original Design for HBO Max Cut". CBR.com. Comic Book Resources. Retrieved November 3, 2020. Zack Snyder has confirmed that his forthcoming cut of Justice League will feature the original design of the film's villain, Steppenwolf.
  16. ^ Maverick, Myck (27 March 2021). "Justice League: 10 Ways The Snyder Cut Saved Steppenwolf". ComicBook Cast. Retrieved April 12, 2021.

External links[edit]

  • DCU Guide: Steppenwolf