There were a number of new characters featured in Zack Snyder's Justice League, who didn't make their way into the film's 2017 theatrical cut. Among them were supporting characters like Iris West and an unnamed single mother whose story intersects with Cyborg's. But there were also a number of characters to appear in the movie, whose roles with the Justice League in the comics were much bigger than anything that happens onscreen in the movie. That isn't to say there were no plans for more; certainly, for instance, Snyder has said that he had more plans for Ryan Choi down the line, and the character was given a specialty in-story that mirrors his comics destiny.
It's probably no surprise this happened; Man of Steel featured throwaway characters like Kenny Braverman, and there were so many Easter eggs packed into Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice that people were still finding them two years later when Justice League hit theaters. But given that so much of this stuff never made its way into the "first" version of the movie makes it pretty fascinating.
You can check them out below -- and let us know if we forgot anything!
Ryan Choi - The Atom
The director's cut of Justice League features a lot more footage filmed at STAR Labs, fleshing out stories not only for Silas and Victor Stone, but also introducing fans to Ryan Choi, Silas's right hand and the man who has to run STAR when Silas is off the board. The character, played by Zheng Kai, is actually a costumed superhero in the comics. As one of a number of heroes who went by the name of The Atom over the years, Ryan could be seen as DC's version of Ant-Man (although The Atom came first -- but if you know that, then you probably don't need us to explain who Ryan Choi is, whereas casual fans are more likely to have seen the Avengers movies).
In Zack Snyder's Justice League, Choi doesn't really give any inkling that could be in his future -- although he is an expert in nanotechnology, which makes sense for a shrinking hero. This marks the character's feature film debut -- and would have been his live-action debut if he had appeared in the theatrical cut of Justice League. Instead, he's now the second live-action version, behind Osric Chau's Choi, who appeared in the 2019-2020 CW event "Crisis on Infinite Earths."
Prior to his becoming one of the Paragons that would help keep the multiverse safe during the Crisis, Choi had been mentioned on an episode of The Flash, referenced as a scientist in the future who engineered Barry Allen's Flash ring and costume. In comics, Ryan was created by Gail Simone and Grant Morrison, and first appeared in DCU: Brave New World #1. He's the longtime protege of Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh's character on DC's Legends of Tomorrow) and, after Palmer disappears, Ryan moves from Hong Kong to Ivy Town and takes over Ray's place teaching at Ivy University. Once there, Ryan follows Ray's clues and discovers a "bio-belt" and becomes the new Atom.prevnext
Crispus Allen - The Spectre
A scene set in the Gotham City Police Headquarters features Commissioner Jim Gordon having a conversation with Detective Crispus Allen, played by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith. The character isn't named out loud in the theatrical cut, but in the Snyder Cut, he's "Crispus," making it pretty clear that this is the man who would eventually become The Spectre in the comics.
Allen debuted as a Gotham cop in the pages of Detective Comics #742 by Greg Rucka and Shawn Martinbrough, and later became a prominent character in Gotham Central by Rucka, Ed Brubaker, and Michael Lark.
The character has also appeared on Gotham played by Andrew Stewart-Jones, and by Rob Brown in The Dark Knight Rises.
In the comics, Allen was murdered by the corrupt cop Jim Corrigan (not the one who became The Spectre, but his descendant) in the pages of Gotham Central, becoming the new human host for the Spectre during the Infinite Crisis event. Though the character has not been seen since the 2011 New 52 reboot, his prominence in the fan-favorite comic Gotham Central has made him a fan favorite character.prevnext
There's a quick glimpse at a space suit and a longer look at some cryo-sleep pods full of Kryptonian corpses in Zack Snyder's Justice League, which may -- or may not -- have been a nod to Supergirl. The character, recently cast and set to appear in 2022's The Flash, has not yet been referenced in any of the Snyder movies, but appeared in a comic book tie-in that featured those exact visuals.
Contrary to what a lot of fans had long theorized, Snyder teased in 2018 that the empty cryo-sleep pod in the Scout Ship from Man of Steel wasn't for Kara Zor-El -- or at least, it wasn't that simple.
"The open pod was something more," Snyder said cryptically, then left fans on social media to their wild speculations.
Kara Zor-El -- first seen in the Man of Steel universe as part of a tie-in comic book sold digitally at Wal-Mart -- never got powers in that story, and would be thousands of years old. Kara, in the David Goyer/Jerry Ordway version of the Man of Steel world, crash-landed on Earth thousands of years ago amid a pitched battle with Dev-Em, her ship later being unearthed and serving as Superman's Fortress of Solitude in the movie.
The Kara introduced in the digital comic was a member of the Kryptonian Explorers Guild, and organization tasked with seeking out suitable planets for terraforming and later colonization by Kryptonians...which basically means she wanted to do exactly what Zod wanted to do, except that back when she first arrived there wasn't a thriving human civilization.
Assuming a follow-up would retain the canon from the comic -- which seems unlikely for a variety of reasons at this point, including that it's not clear how many people actually ever saw the book and, after all, it wasn't onscreen -- the question of how to deal with Kara would be baked into the story. Is she truly an ancestor of Superman's, who came here thousands of years ago? If so, did she remain alive by returning to the ship's cryo-stasis devices, or was she rendered functionally immortal by her powers on Earth? If the latter, does that mean Superman is destined for the same fate?
While it would be easy enough to dismiss the comic as likely non-canonical, bear in mind that the space suits worn by Kara, Dev-Em, and others made a brief cameo in a scene deleted from the theatrical cut of Justice League but restored in the director's cut, suggesting that someone working on that film still understood the comic to "count."prevnext
J'Onn J'Onzz the Martian Manhunter gets to "suit up" in the movie, showing off his superheroic look and even offering his services to Batman in the epilogue.
Here, he's been posing on Earth as General Swanwick -- but in the comics, he's usually John Jones, a cop who is secretly the last surviving Green Martian.
He's most notably been played by David Harewood on Supergirl.prevnext
The Green Lantern Corps
In Zack Snyder's Justice League, there are two different occasions -- neither in the main, present day storyline -- where members of the Green Lantern Corps show up. While Snyder would have had it differently in a perfect world, neither of the GLs are human, but both of them are characters who have a history in the comics -- one significantly more than the other. The first of these two characters shows up in the History Lesson segment, wihch sees the heroes of the past teaming up against Darkseid and repelling him. The second appears in the Knightmare sequence, dead on the ground.
The first of the two is Yalan Gur, whose death is seen during the History Lesson segment. The character, who protected Sector 2814 in the distant past, was theoretically a part of the theatrical cut of the movie, but his appearance was trimmed back to being just a burst of green light, whereas here we get to see him close enough to identify him.
The other Lantern seen in Zack Snyder's Justice League has significantly more appearances to choose from, and even popped up in Green Lantern (the Ryan Reynolds movie) and the Green Lantern animated series. That would be Kilowog, of Bolovax Vik and Sector 674, whose appearance is only as a corpse in the Knightmare sequence at the end of the movie.
Kilowog was one of the handful of Green Lanterns rumored to appear in Zack Sndyer's Justice League, and at one point it was even rumored that a Green Lantern (possibly Kilowog) had been cast for a cameo. A t-shirt released to benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention even featured a small Green Lantern logo alongside the emblems for the Justice League members and Martian Manhunter.
Kilowog long served as the trainer/drill sergeant for the Green Lantern Corps, a role that he was well-suited for. During Geoff Johns's run on the title, Kilowog left that post to go back into regular field combat (not that he had ever stayed out of it for long). He hails from a world that was, broadly speaking, socialist, with the collective good being prized over individuality. When his race died out, he took their consciousnesses into his ring and carried them with him.prevnext
The New Gods of New Genesis
There's a whole world of heroes that doesn't show here -- but because of the nature of the story, their existence is implied.
That's the New Gods of New Genesis, the "good" world to the bad world of Apokolips. We see Steppenwolf, DeSaad, Darkseid, and more, so it stands to reason that, like in the comics, their opposite numbers (Orion, Lightray, Highfather, etc.) also exist.prevnext
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In Zack Snyder's Justice League, determined to ensure Superman's (Henry Cavill) ultimate sacrifice was not in vain, Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) aligns forces with Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) with plans to recruit a team of metahumans to protect the world from an approaching threat of catastrophic proportions. The task proves more difficult than Bruce imagined, as each of the recruits must face the demons of their own pasts to transcend that which has held them back, allowing them to come together, finally forming an unprecedented league of heroes. Now united, 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, DeSaad and Darkseid and their dreadful intentions.
You can see Zack Snyder's Justice League -- in color, or in the black-and-white "Justice is Gray" edition -- on HBO Max.prev