- "I see, Mother. I see why you waited to summon me. The Kryptonian's death plunged this timid world into such terror. Amazons, Atlanteans, each stands and falls alone. I know, Mother, you've waited too long for the Unity. I know. But you will feed. And my exile will come to an end. I will take my place among the New Gods. Find the last one! Its power will cleanse this world. For the Unity! For Darkseid."
Ordered by his nephew and superior, Darkseid, to invade Earth thousands of years before the Battle of Metropolis, Steppenwolf and his vast army of Parademons attempted to conquer the planet but were forced into retreat by the combined armies of the Humans, Amazons, Atlanteans, and the Olympian Gods, losing 3 Mother Boxes with him.
Subsequently, exiled from his people, the New Gods, Steppenwolf returned to Earth 5 millennia later in search for the lost Mother Boxes after the death of Superman at the hands of Doomsday. Steppenwolf waged war against Earth's first line of defense, the Justice League, but was defeated during their final battle by the recently resurrected Superman. After his defeat, he exhibited fear for the first time in millennia, driving his own army of Parademons to attack him. They were all then sucked into a Boom Tube, leaving Steppenwolf's fate unknown.
As millennia passed, Steppenwolf would proceed to carry out Darkseid's bidding by invading and taking over other worlds. In the process, he would encounter and battle members of the Green Lantern Corps resistance, and ultimately would prevail every time. On his first Earth stint, he easily took out and killed an alien Green Lantern who came to the aid of the Amazons.
- "They called him Steppenwolf, the end of worlds. He lived only to conquer. Millions fell before his blade, or rose again as his Parademons. Nightmare creatures who feed on fear."
- ―Diana to Bruce Wayne[src]
During the first Invasion of Earth over 5000 years ago, his master Darkseid ordered Steppenwolf to conquer Earth, and he faced the united alliance of human, Amazon and Atlantean armies, along with at least one Green Lantern, as well as Zeus, Ares, and Artemis of the Old Gods. Steppenwolf began to combine the Mother Boxes into the Unity, in order to terraform the planet into an extension of Apokolips and convert humans into Parademons. Ultimately, however, while Steppenwolf successfully slays the Green Lantern, his invasion fails - his battleships are brought down by Artemis, and Ares wounds him in combat, while Zeus blasts apart the Unity, kills several Apokoliptian Priests, and defeats Steppenwolf, forcing the New God into retreat without enough time to collect the Mother Boxes. Darkseid viewed this defeat humiliating as Steppenwolf had clearly underestimated the Earth's defense to the point of ill-equipping his army and exiled Steppenwolf until the latter could reclaim the lost Mother Boxes and conquer Earth, thereby restoring his honor.
Steppenwolf was hesitant to re-invade quickly, however, knowing that the Old Gods would only repel him again, so he bided his time, waiting until Earth was free of sufficiently powerful defenders. After the Old Gods' deaths, he still waited, due to Earth now being protected by the godlike alien Superman, who could also potentially repel him.
Communion of Earth
After Lex Luthor accessed Scout Ship 0344's database, he made contact with Steppenwolf, the New God teaching Lex of three important Mother Boxes on Earth. However, Lex was interrupted, breaking contact. On Darkseid's orders, Steppenwolf then began his journey to Earth to search for the Mother Boxes, bringing with him a vast army of Parademons.
Return to Earth
- "No protectors here: no Lanterns, no Kryptonian. This world will fall — like all the others."
In the present, the world is in mourning following the death of Superman, and sensing humanity's fear, Steppenwolf and his Parademons return to Earth to resume their hunt for the Mother Boxes through kidnapping several employees of S.T.A.R. Labs, which are in possession of one of the boxes.
Hunting the Mother Boxes
- "Mother, millennia in exile, searching, at last, you call me home..."
- ―Steppenwolf speaking to the Mother Box[src]
Steppenwolf returns to Earth to hunt for the Mother Boxes, arriving first in Themyscira to collect a Mother Box within an Amazonian temple. He attempts to grab the Mother Box, but is quickly intercepted by the Amazons led by Hippolyta who uses a lasso to swipe the Mother Box and escape the temple.
When Hippolyta escapes the temple the Amazons close the temple and try to trap Steppenwolf and the Parademons, but he escapes and chases down the Amazonian Queen, but before he can grab the Mother Box, she hands it to an Amazon Warrior. However, as they try to escape, Steppenwolf catches up with them and finally retrieves the Mother Box, and before he teleports away, tells the Queen that she and everyone will love him when the Unity is complete.
Steppenwolf then goes to Atlantean Vault where he attacks Mera and Xebellian Soldiers. Mera tries to stop him by using a water tornado to hold him but Steppenwolf is able to escape, where he is challenged by Arthur Curry. Steppenwolf throws his Axe at Arthur, but he dodges it and attacks Steppenwolf by kneeing him, but the New God gets the upper hand by blocking one of Arthur punches and throws him into a wall. Steppenwolf charges at Arthur and hits him through the wall. Steppenwolf grabs the sinking Mother Box and flees with his prize.
Obtaining the two Mother Boxes
- "Find the last one! Its power will cleanse this world. For the Unity! For Darkseid."
- ―Steppenwolf to the Parademons[src]
- "Ah, you were born of her. A creature of chaos."
"Not how I see it."
"Give it time."
- ―Steppenwolf and Cyborg[src]
The Justice League receives intel from Commissioner James Gordon that the Parademons are traveling underground, which the team goes to find. The team finds Steppenwolf interrogating S.T.A.R. Labs employees about the final Mother Box. First, he grabs a female employee and questioned her about the Mother Box's whereabouts. But she failed to answer when she said she had a family, so Steppenwolf denied the answer and snaps her neck by crushing her to death. Then he grabs Howard Jensen and questions him about the whereabouts of the Mother Box, too, but Howard said he and the employees have families, much to Steppenwolf's annoyance.
Flash and Cyborg save all the hostages and Silas tells his son that Steppenwolf cannot get the final Mother Box. Whilst Wonder Woman is distracted by Steppenwolf, she's knocked out by a Parademon who takes her by surprise. Batman's Knightcrawler is attacked by Steppenwolf, while Barry helps Wonder Woman get her sword so she can help Batman.
Flash and Wonder Woman get attacked by Steppenwolf and the Parademons before Batman helps her by killing one of the Parademons. Cyborg then falls into the Knightcrawler and hacks it is under his control, which he uses it against Steppenwolf, but fails when Steppenwolf caught a missile and threw it against the wall, then caused the factory to flood and allows Steppenwolf himself to escape.
- "At last. Praise to the unity! The three as one. Praise to the mother of horrors."
Cyborg retrieves the last Mother Box from S.T.A.R. Labs for the group to analyze. Batman decides to use the Mother Box to resurrect Superman not only to help them fight Steppenwolf's army, but also to restore hope in humanity. Wonder Woman and Aquaman are hesitant about the idea, but Batman forms a secret contingency plan.
Clark Kent's body is exhumed and placed in the waters of the Kryptonian ship, and Allen provides a strong energy blast to activate the Box and resurrect Superman. Superman, however, possessing few memories, attacks the group after Cyborg accidentally launches a projectile at him. On the verge of being killed by Superman, Batman enacts his contingency plan: Lois Lane. Superman calms down and leaves with Lois to his family home where he reflects and tries to recover his memories. With the last Mother Box unguarded, Steppenwolf retrieves it with ease.
The final battle
- "You're not worthy to touch Mother! She's power, and power is the only law! You're all too weak to see the truth."
"Well... I believe in truth. But I'm also a big fan of justice."
- ―Steppenwolf to Cyborg, and Superman and Aquaman[src]
Without Superman to aid them, the remaining five heroes traveled to a remote location in Russia, where Steppenwolf planned to unite the boxes once again and reshape the world for his lord and master Darkseid. The team fought their way through the Parademons to reach Steppenwolf, although they were unable to stage a significant enough distraction for Cyborg to separate the boxes.
Alerted by Wonder Woman, who had arrived in the nuclear plant and questioned about what conquering Earth was, Steppenwolf mockingly told her that she and the Justice League are his to defeat, while Aquaman quickly barged in and fought him and the two engaged in combat.
Before he could kill Cyborg, Superman arrived in the nuclear plant telling the New God General he believed in truth and justice, and punched him onto a wall. Steppenwolf gotten back up and knew the Kryptonian was resurrected, so he tried to give him a big punch, but Superman swiftly moved and punched Steppenwolf to the ground farther to let Aquaman and Wonder Woman distract him.
- "I am the End of Worlds! Who are you to defy... this world is my right!"
- ―Steppenwolf to the Justice League[src]
Following the separation, an enraged Steppenwolf entered the Apokoliptian construct where he grabbed Flash by the head and threw him at a wall of the nuclear plant as the New God General got stabbed in the shoulder by Aquaman's trident and punched by Aquaman long enough for Steppenwolf to get beaten to the ground. He was confronted by Superman, who easily overpowers the New God. The Kryptonian used his ice breath to freeze Steppenwolf's axe, which Wonder Woman shattered with her own sword.
Bleeding and thus knowing he has been defeated, Steppenwolf was overwhelmed with fear, thus seeing as his parademons begin to attack him. Turning on him, he fought them as he and Parademons alike, are whisked away via Boom Tube, leaving nothing but his helmet.
- "After the Unity, you will join my legion and you will know the righteousness of power. You will love me. You all will."
Steppenwolf had become old and tired after millennia of invading, taking over, and terraforming other worlds with the Unity, while also creating more Parademons from the native inhabitants. He seeks to be free of Apokolips' ruler, Darkseid, and to regain his place of respect among the New Gods, but Steppenwolf is neither foolish nor powerful enough to disobey or challenge Darkseid. In fact, Steppenwolf seems to admire his master, as he loudly proclaims that he will conquer Earth in the name of Darkseid and the Unity. Thus, Steppenwolf continued to serve Darkseid as the latter's right hand and continued to conquer and invade other worlds for him, eventually carrying out the Invasion of Earth. He appears to also have a disdain for Kryptonians and Green Lanterns, due to having battled them in the past.
- "Please! We have families!"
"Why does everyone keep telling me that?"
- ―Howard and Steppenwolf[src]
Steppenwolf is an extremely ruthless, destructive, cold, and sinister being, showing neither fear nor mercy towards his enemies and prisoners, most notable in the fact that he utilizes the Unity to transform planets' native inhabitants into loyal and soulless Parademons. Much like General Zod, Steppenwolf has trained his entire life to become a great warrior and defeat his enemies. Hence, Steppenwolf relishes battle, and never holds back his divine might. Indeed, when none of the kidnapped scientists are willing to reveal the Mother Boxes' location, Steppenwolf intends to murder them, only being stopped by the timely intervention of Flash and Cyborg. Steppenwolf is not only merciless but also sadistic, being unimpressed with the S.T.A.R. Labs scientists' pleas to return to their families, sadistically mocking Wonder Woman with the deaths of her fellow Amazons and the Old Gods, and gleefully predicting that the Mother Box-empowered Cyborg is destined to become "a creature of chaos."
Much like Lex Luthor, Steppenwolf hates the mere idea of losing, so despite having his ships destroyed by Artemis, being wounded by Ares, and defeated by Zeus, he remains determined to fight on, which forces his own Parademon army to drag Steppenwolf away from certain death. Steppenwolf is bitter at his first defeat, so he jumps at the chance to invade Earth again, as soon as the Mother Boxes alert him of the deaths of Zeus, Ares, Artemis, and Superman, since now the planet lacks defenders powerful enough to repel him. However, with Superman's timely resurrection, Steppenwolf has defeated again, and when Wonder Woman breaks his battle ax, Steppenwolf feels fear for the first time in millennia - the fear of failure, and of never having the chance to regain his place among the New Gods. Sensing this, Steppenwolf's Parademon army is again forced to drag their leader away from certain death.
The only things Steppenwolf seems to care about is returning to Apokolips after the exile, and regaining his standing among the New Gods. Additionally, he seems to adore the Unity, affectionately referring to it as "Mother," and he is delighted to see that Cyborg has been "born of her," proclaiming that Cyborg is destined to become "a creature of chaos," like the soulless Parademons. However, Steppenwolf also has a grudging respect for individuals of exceptional bravery, like Silas Stone (who talks back to his threats) and Wonder Woman (who fearlessly battles him).
Powers and abilities
New God physiology: As a New God, Steppenwolf is a phenomenally powerful divine being, to the point that he has conquered many planets with his Parademon army, and it took the combined might of Amazon, Atlantean, and human armies, Yalan Gur, as well as three Old Gods to drive Steppenwolf and his forces off of Earth during the first Invasion of Earth. The only known beings to at least rival his might are Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Artemis and also the combined might of several Green Lanterns, while Darkseid, Zeus, Ares and Superman are known to surpass him.
- Superhuman strength: Steppenwolf has a tremendous level of superhuman strength, which is further amplified by his electro ax, surpassing that of Cyborg and Aquaman, rivaled only by that of Wonder Woman and Artemis while only surpassed by the likes of Zeus, Ares, Darkseid, and Superman. Hence, Steppenwolf was able to overpower the Amazon and Atlantean forces during the first Invasion of Earth, defeated and slew numerous more Amazons on Themyscira, swiftly tore off Cyborg's biomechatronic limbs, easily killed Yalan Gur, overpowered Mera's hydrokinesis attack, swiftly overpowered Aquaman (collapsing a large Atlantean structure in the process), defeated Wonder Woman in every one of their prolonged duels, gained the upper hand against the combined might of Wonder Woman and Aquaman. Steppenwolf's incredible strength extends to his legs, making him able to jump immense vertical and horizontal distances.
- Nigh-invulnerability: Steppenwolf is incredibly durable, which, combined with his armor which makes him almost invulnerable. Hence, Steppenwolf was only irritated by Mera's hydrokinesis attacks, was only slightly affected by direct blasts from Cyborg's arm cannon (though it caused him momentary burning pain), withstood mighty blows from Wonder Woman and Aquaman, by Aquaman stabbing him in the chest with his trident, and later by Wonder Woman slashing his leg with her Sword of Athena, Steppenwolf wasn't much affected by those wounds. Indeed, Steppenwolf was only ever visibly hurt by a blast of Zeus' divine lightning, Ares' hacking blow, and by Superman's tremendous blows, a single one of which made him bleed.
- Superhuman speed: Steppenwolf can move at considerable superhuman speeds, going toe-to-toe with Wonder Woman and Aquaman's speed during their final fight, even outmaneuvering them on several occasions, despite his muscular physique and heavy armor. While underwater, Steppenwolf's combat speed is barely affected, as he swiftly overcomes Aquaman, despite the latter catching him off-guard. However, his speed is still no match for that of Superman or Flash.
- Superhuman agility: Steppenwolf's agility, dexterity, balance, and bodily coordination make him a great warrior for battle. He moves with incredible grace and speed despite his considerable size and body density.
- Superhuman stamina: Steppenwolf's advanced musculature is considerably more efficient than that of a human. As a result, his muscles produce practically no fatigue toxins during physical activity compared to those of humans. His virtually inexhaustible stamina enables him to exert himself at peak capacity for an undefined period of time without tiring at all.
- Superhuman senses: Steppenwolf has at least a superhuman sense of smell, as he could smell the scent of the Mother Box on people.
- Longevity: As a New God, Steppenwolf has unlimited lifespan, and seemingly has not aged at all in 5 millennia, since the first invasion of Earth and until his rearrival on Earth in the 21st century.
- Aquatic respiration: Steppenwolf, much like an Atlantean, is able to breathe underwater, thus successfully invading Atlantis and regaining another Mother Box.
- "They called him Steppenwolf, the end of worlds. He lived only to conquer. Millions fell before his blade, or rose again as his Parademons."
- ―Wonder Woman to Batman[src]
- Master tactician: Steppenwolf, despite usually winning through sheer divine power and the massive size of his Parademon forces, is a very skilled tactician as well. Hence, he bides his time, and only attacks Earth again after the Mother Boxes alert him of the deaths of all of the Old Gods and Superman, since only then does the planet lack defenders powerful enough to repel him. Steppenwolf also almost kills the Justice League with sheer tactics - he catches a Knightcrawler missile and redirects it towards the harbor wall (while boom-tubing himself), with only Aquaman's timely arrival saving the League from drowning. However, Steppenwolf's overconfidence makes him unable to account for the resurrection of Superman, which leads to his second defeat on Earth.
- Expert leader: Steppenwolf, due to him being Darkseid's herald and second-in-command on Apokolips, as well as having millennia of experience invading and taking over other worlds, is an extremely skilled leader, able to successfully command a vast Parademon army in both of his attempted first invasion of Earth, with Steppenwolf's forces only being defeated when Earth amassed Amazon, Atlantean and human armies, Yalan Gur and three Old Gods into a united force powerful enough to send him into retreat.
- Master combatant: Steppenwolf is an extremely skilled, fierce, and formidable combatant (particularly with his fearsome electro axe), with centuries of combat experience. As such, Steppenwolf was able to kill Yalan Gur with relative ease, to swiftly overpower numerous Amazons, Cyborg, Mera, and Aquaman, to defeat Wonder Woman in each one of their one-on-one duels, and even stalemate the God of War Ares, though Steppenwolf notably got wounded in the process. Indeed, the only known ones to ever defeat Steppenwolf in a one-on-one fight are Zeus and Superman.
- Master swimmer: Despite his large size, Steppenwolf is an extremely skilled swimmer, on par with an Atlantean, as he was notably able to overcome Mera's underwater whirlpool, and overpower her. While underwater, Steppenwolf's combat speed is barely affected, as he swiftly overcomes Aquaman, despite the latter catching him off-guard.
- Steppenwolf's armor: Steppenwolf used a gray armor, during his two invasions to Earth, to protect himself in battle. The Armor is strong enough to withstand arrows and spears, as well as withstand the damage of the blows of Superman and Wonder Woman.
- Electro Axe: Steppenwolf's primary offensive weapon, which the New God uses to blast and obliterate much of the area surrounding him at a given time. It also notably amplified the strength of Steppenwolf to the point where he could go toe-to-toe with Wonder Woman. The ax's red-hued energy is also capable of infecting humans, turning their skin a pale grey while lengthening and sharpening their teeth, seemingly transforming them into the zombified Parademon soldiers of Apokolips. In addition, the ax is seemingly indestructible, as it can go up against Wonder Woman's weaponry. However, it was ultimately destroyed after being frozen by Superman's Arctic breath, which made it become brittle, thus allowing Wonder Woman to shatter it with her Sword of Athena.
- Mother Boxes: Steppenwolf's other main weapons, which, when fused together as the "Unity", terraform any planet into the likeness of his native planet Apokolips. Steppenwolf successfully does so to many planets, only failing on Earth, twice. While not in his possession after the first Invasion of Earth, the Mother Boxes lit up after Superman's death, alerting their former master of how Earth now lacks defenders strong enough to repel him (due to the Old Gods also having all perished, and no Green Lanterns being close to Earth), and how the planet has now been plunged into fear. The Unity is pried apart first by Zeus' lightning, and then by Superman and Cyborg.
- Steppenwolf, Lex Luthor, Orm Marius, and Thaddeus Sivana are the only main antagonists of the DCEU to survive their initial debut.
- However, it is unknown if Steppenwolf survived getting eaten by his Parademons, so this could be false or might not be.
- Steppenwolf's character was constructed completely from CGI, with actor Ciarán Hinds wearing only a motion-capture suit for his performance.
- Hinds also didn't perform any of his scenes with any of the cast.
- Steppenwolf's blood is purple, as witnessed when the Justice League battled and injured him. It is unknown whether or not other New Gods share this characteristic.
Behind the scenes
- In the original cut of Justice League, after collecting the Atlantean Mother Box, Steppenwolf "talks" to the Mother Box, which contained his mother, Heggra, whom he was attempting to release to defeat his nephew Darkseid.
- In the original Zack Snyder cut, Steppenwolf ends up impaled by Aquaman's trident and Wonder Woman decapitates him. His head then ends up rolling at Darkseid's feet after going through a Boom Tube.
- Director David Ayer revealed that he originally planned to have Steppenwolf appear in Suicide Squad. The Enchantress was under the control of a Mother Box with Steppenwolf prepping an invasion with a Boom Tube.
- Steppenwolf's original design was drastically different than the final film's version, like concept art and leaked pre-visualizations for the film revealed the design having a much more menacing and alien design. It is believed that Warner Bros executives ordered Joss Whedon (who was also ordered to reshoot and recut Snyder's original cut of the film) to change Steppenwolf's design to make it more appealing to younger audiences. The original design was much closer to Steppenwolf's original design that was briefly teased in the Ultimate Edition of Batman v Superman, therefore creating more continuity between the films.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Ciaran Hinds Reveals Steppenwolf's Main Goal - Comic Book Movie
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Justice League & Wonder Woman get new plot synopsis - Cosmic Book News
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 ‘Justice League’ Villains and Mother Boxes Teased by Zack Snyder - Collider
- ↑ 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 Terrio, Chris, Whedon, Joss (writers) & Snyder, Zack (director) (November 17, 2017). Justice League.
- ↑ Heinberg, Allan, Snyder, Zack, Fuchs, Jason (writers) & Jenkins, Patty (director) (June 22, 2017). Wonder Woman.
- ↑ Goyer, David S., Nolan, Christopher (writers) & Snyder, Zack (director) (June 14, 2013). Man of Steel.
- ↑ Goyer, David S., Terrio, Chris (writers) & Snyder, Zack (director) (March 25, 2016). Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
- ↑ Read Zack Snyder's Version and All Deleted Scenes of Justice League
- ↑ Steppenwolf Was Originally a Huge Part of Suicide Squad
- ↑ ‘Justice League’ concept art reveals a scarier version of Steppenwolf