The closing moments of The Avengers teased the likelihood of Thanos as the primary antagonist in Joss Whedon’s sequel (and possibly in Guardians of the Galaxy before that). However, if a new rumor is to be believed, Marvel isn’t the only studio searching the cosmos for a villain to menace its 2015 tentpole.
According to Latino Review, Warner Bros. executives apparently realize they need a threat far greater than Lex Luthor or Captain Cold to bring together the likes of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and The Flash in Justice League, and so they’re turning to Darkseid, one of the most powerful beings in the DC Universe. (Starro the Conqueror undoubtedly will be displeased.)
The Jack Kirby-created conqueror of worlds is a logical choice: He’s so powerful that an alliance of DC’s greatest superheroes wouldn’t come across as contrived; indeed, the Justice League has fought him on several occasions. As ruler of Apokolips, he has a vast and interesting supporting cast, from the Parademons to the Female Furies to Desaad, ripe for small- and large-scale battles — Superman versus Kalibak! Wonder Woman versus Mad Harriet! The Parademons versus everyone! — and intriguing subplots. What’s more, Darkseid is familiar to an audience beyond the small comic-book fanbase; he’s appeared on several animated television series, ranging from Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show to Young Justice, and on Smallville, as well as in numerous video games.
However, one has to wonder whether with The Avengers, Whedon & Co. didn’t limit what Warner Bros. can do with Darkseid if he does appear in Justice League: Ignoring their physical similarities and cosmic origins — Jim Starlin’s Thanos was inspired by Kirby’s New Gods — there’s the matter of the Chitauri fleet invading Earth via a Tesseract-created portal, strikingly similar to a horde of Parademons arriving through a Boom Tube. How can Warner Bros. use some of the fixtures of Darkseid mythos without audiences feeling as if they’ve seen them all before, in The Avengers?