Zack Snyder Justice League is out on HBO Max now. The movie is definitely a level up from the 2017 version of the Justice League. Snyder also decided to introduce some new characters. 2017’s Justice League failed miserably. The fans instantly demanded Zack Snyder’s cut of the Justice League. The entire movement was so massive that it actually happened. To support this further, the reviews for Snyder’s Cut have been outstanding. So let’s talk about the Anti-Life equation.
The formula was revealed to be carved into the Earth’s surface is the very reason that Darkseid descended onto the planet. The addition of Darkseid was one of the changes the Snyder Cut saw from the theatrical version of Justice League. The movie chronicles the team-up of classic DC Comics heroes-Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman, Cyborg, and Superman as they band together to fight threats facing Earth.
Darkseid, portrayed by Ray Porter, plays the CGI Darkseid in a handful of scenes, but he also has a small cameo as a human that eagle-eyed viewers can spot early in the film. Returning to Justice League was deeply personal for Snyder, and he crammed its 4-hour runtime full of Easter eggs, cameos, and other small tributes to DC comics, personal references, and more. Many of these teases were designed to set up future films in the DC Cinematic Universe, although plans for the future of DC films have changed dramatically since the Justice League script was written.
Others seem to be more personal tributes or in-jokes, and Porter’s appearance certainly falls into this category. Zack Snyder’s Justice League establishes that the three Mother Boxes, which Steppenwolf seeks to control, were divided among the three races of ancient Earth: Amazons, Atlanteans, and humans. As part of this millennia-spanning flashback, the film portrays the humans hiding their Mother Box by encasing it in a metal shell and burying it.
Standing behind the sand-forge is a blacksmith portrayed by Ray Porter. It’s a small background role, but it’s the only time the audience gets a glimpse of Porter’s actual face. Snyder is known for his use of cameos and Easter eggs throughout all of his films, either set up a larger universe or as a treat for fans. For instance, he’s been teasing a possible Supergirl introduction since Man of Steel, and the Snyder Cut features set-ups for characters like Ryan Choi and Martian Manhunter.
As Darkseid, Porter is a menacing presence, but the character’s skin and face are portrayed through motion-capture and CGI, so the live-action cameo for Porter was a way for Snyder to actually get the actor’s face onscreen. Porter is an experienced voice actor and audiobook reader with a long history of smaller parts on films like Argo and TV shows like It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Sons of Anarchy. Having a small non-CGI role could be a way to pay tribute to the work Porter put into Justice League, and leave a visual reminder of his work on a major franchise movie.
Steppenwolf acted as the threat in the original version of the film. But the Snyder cut revealed that Steppenwolf was working for Darkseid all along. In the DCEU, the Anti-Life Equation is one of the most powerful forces one can wield. Whoever speaks the Equation possesses domination of those who hear it, breaking their spirits in the process. But for being such a powerful weapon, Snyder provides no context as to how it ended up carved onto the Earth’s surface. But the reason for that is simple — that question was supposed to be answered in the since-abandoned Justice League trilogy. The Anti-Life equation is carved into the Earth. But this was not always the case.
Darkseid has been for searching for this Anti-Life Equation, even before his ascension to the throne, as the ruler of the planet Apokolips. Steppenwolf finds this equation on a primitive planet, which he has just discovered. And how the entire Anti-Life Equation has been etched across the surface of this primitive planet, that he just discovered while searching for the Mother boxes. Since its debut, the Anti-Life Equation has been known to exist in the DC universe, in several distinct forms including the manifestation into a living form in one particular issue. The Anti-Life Equation has been also known to make several appearances across numerous events, including the ‘Final Crisis’.
Porter’s long hair and beard also gave him the perfect look for an ancient blacksmith. If Snyder’s original vision for Justice League had made it to the screen and been successful, we likely would have seen a lot more of Porter as Darkseid. At the conclusion of Zack Snyder’s Justice League, Darkseid, and his henchman DeSaad set off for Earth with their legions, intending for a frontal assault to find the Anti-Life Equation. While the Snyder cut leaves a lot left to be resolved, Snyder says DC has no current plans to continue the story.