One of the many amazing things that the much-awaited Snyder Cut did for fans was to stay as close to the comics as possible. This included making Darkseid the primary villain instead of Steppenwolf, who had been focused on more in the theatrical cut. Snyder delivered so much of what the fans wanted, and one of those was introducing Martian Manhunter as a significant character.
While short, Martian Manhunter’s cameo was quite the plot twist. If not for him, Lois Lane might have stayed in her apartment and not been there to help Superman remember who he was! So there’s obviously a lot resting on Martian Manhunter’s shoulders, as we also find out later in the Epilogue chapter of Snyder Cut.
Let’s dive into who this character is and what he could have done in the Justice League sequels.
1. Who is Martian Manhunter?
Simply put, Martian Manhunter is the seventh founding member of the Justice League. His abilities are quite similar to those of Superman (some of them even stronger!), making him a powerful tool in the Justice League arsenal.
While Martian Manhunter does not get a detailed introduction in Snyder Cut, we do discover one of his most potent abilities, i.e., shapeshifting.
He first appears right before Superman is resurrected, albeit disguised as Martha Kent to meet Lois and convince her to return to “the living world.” He implores her to come back to the world that needs her, which leads her to be present when Superman is resurrected and begins attacking the other Justice League members, allowing her to stop him.
This saves pretty much everyone’s lives. To think he’d been scrapped from the theatrical cut! Blasphemy.
Martian Manhunter then only shows up in the Epilogue chapter of Snyder Cut to warn Bruce Wayne that Darkseid would be back for the Anti-Life Equation. More importantly, given that Superman may be turning corrupt under Darkseid’s influence after succumbing to the Anti-Life Equation, Martian Manhunter would perhaps be the only person capable of standing up to an evil Superman.
A. In the DCEU
As a founding member of the Justice League, Martian Manhunter would definitely be appearing in the sequels if they ever go on floors. This is also clearly hinted in Snyder Cut‘s Epilogue, not just when Martian Manhunter shows up after Bruce wakes up from a dream of the Knightmare, but also when Bruce buys a building that he wants to make the Justice League headquarters. He tells Diana and Alfred his plans of how the League members would converge:
“Six chairs, right there.”Bruce Wayne
“And room for more.”Diana Prince
This leaves a significant spot open for many other League members, and possibly, Martian Manhunter. Should the sequels come to life, we might get to see a lot of him in the future.
B. DC Comics Origins
In the DC comics, Martian Manhunter isn’t known commonly as Martian Manhunter. He is J’onn J’onzz, a manhunter, i.e., Martian police officer, whose powers include shapeshifting, invisibility, toxic immunity, superhuman strength, flight, etc.
He’s also one of the most powerful telepaths in the universe. During a telepathic plague on Mars, J’onn loses his entire family, becoming the only survivor on Mars.
“I am Mars’ sole survivor. There is a reason for that.”Martian Manhunter
He comes to earth when a scientist Dr. Saul Erdel develops a device through ancient Martian technology, the beam of which reaches J’onn across space-time, leading him right to Earth. Whether this origin story will be explored in detail in any Justice League sequels, remains to be seen. But Snyder did outdo himself in the Easter egg area. Read on to find out how!
2. General Swanwick in Man of Steel
While we saw the first real mention of Martian Manhunter in Snyder Cut, the character had been hinted at way back in Man of Steel. Actor Harry J. Lennix plays this fan-favorite character, who also appeared in Man of Steel as General Swanwick, i.e. one of the human forms of Martian Manhunter in the DCEU.
Fun fact, Lennix didn’t even know he was going to play Martian Manhunter back when he filmed Man of Steel!
Here’s a recap: General Swanwick appears in the film when Superman is taken by the US Air Force. He’s put in an interrogation room in handcuffs to talk to Lois Lane, being watched by high-ranking officers from behind the glass panel, which Superman can see through because, well, he’s Superman. Later on when he uncuffs himself while approaching the glass panel, some of the officers back away, save for General Swanwick. Remember how I said Martian Manhunter is the only one who could go up against Superman if he turned evil?
3. Snyder’s “Unite the Seven” Campaign
Back in 2015 when Snyder was still fully working on Justice League, he had tweeted a picture of Aquaman, played by Jason Momoa, with #UniteTheSeven, referring to the seven primary members of the Justice League. This campaign was picked up again soon after the release of Snyder Cut, with fans wanting to see more of Martian Manhunter.
Snyder spoke to IGN about the character.
“I think he’s been on Earth, we talked about it a lot, he’s been on Earth for quite a while, a long time. Generationally long. And we believe he’s taken different forms over the course of history, he’s been around, kind of knocking around a little bit but always in the shadows.”Zack Snyder
With the cameo of Martian Manhunter scrapped in the theatrical cut of Justice League, the Snyder Cut effectively fulfilled the director’s promise of uniting the seven. The addition of Martian Manhunter officially presented us with the seven founding members of the Justice League.
4. Snyder Cuts 2 & 3
Martian Manhunter is quite a vital character in the DCEU, if we’re looking through the Snyder lens that is. So what would Martian Manhunter be doing in Snyder’s sequels?
For starters, since the sequels were supposed to take place in the Knightmare space with an evil Superman, Martian Manhunter might just be the League’s biggest weapon.
Martian Manhunter’s cameo set the sequels in motion—but whether or not they do get to see the light of day remains a mystery. But never say never. If the fans could make Warner Bros. give us the Snyder Cut at long last, who knows how much more power they have?
This leads us to the next point.
Just like fans were all for supporting Zack Snyder to release his cut of Justice League, they’re gathering up yet again to bring the entire SnyderVerse to fruition! Given the sheer force of the fans in pretty much having Warner Bros. bend to their will for giving them the Snyder Cut, it doesn’t seem like such a far-fetched idea to hope that the SnyderVerse could be restored.
After all, who wouldn’t want to see a Snyder version of the Justice League sequels if he gave us an opus so memorable?
Twitter has been buzzing with activity over this week regarding the Snyder Cut, and when the fans of superhero movies and comics want something, you better believe they’re going to do whatever it takes.
#RestoreTheSnyderVerse has been trending on Twitter for the past couple of days, with fans actually having started petitions.
6. About Justice League Snyder Cut
Co-produced by Warner Bros. and DC Films, Justice League Snyder Cut is the fifth film of the DC Extended Universe and based on the DC Comics superhero team. As the theatrical release, Zack Snyder’s Justice League features an ensemble cast that includes Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, and Ray Fisher.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League follows the Justice League—Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg—as they attempt to save the world from the catastrophic threat of Steppenwolf and his army of Parademons.
Although fans have asked for Snyderverse to continue Warner Bros has no such plans.
Let us know in the comments below what you think about the ongoing petitions to bring Zack Snyder’s DCEU back!