SnyderVerse: Why Martian Manhunter Didn’t Appear in Man of Steel & Batman v Superman

Zack Snyder’s Justice League premiered on HBO Max on 19th March and the world hasn’t been the same since.  The long-awaited film sees Justice League director Zack Snyder return to finish off his vision after he had to leave. The project was incomplete, and Joss Whedon was brought in to finish the movie. The Justice League Snyder Cut has even received a traditional blockbuster food tie-in themed around The Mother Box.

Snyder had been mentioning Martian the Manhunter, every now and then. This was instantly noticed by the fans. Before the premiere of the film, 2021’s Justice League director Zack Snyder said that the hero has secretly been manipulating Superman (Henry Cavill) and Lois Lane (Amy Adams) behind the scenes for his own, not-so-nefarious purposes. “If you notice the way he’s manipulated both Lois and Clark to do their best, to be the best they can be, because in this incarnation he wants humanity to do it themselves and/or this new hero, in Superman. I think that that’s kind of the way I see it – that they have the same voice, Snyder told IGN.

We see Martian the Manhunter in Zack Snyder’s Justice League. We see him having a conversation with Batman as he tells him that he’s here to help with the war that’s coming with Darkseid. He said, “I have a stake in this world, and it’s time I started fighting for it.” This indicates that J’onzz is finally ready to reveal himself to the world as the powerful being and hero he truly is. His lack of direct assistance in past films came from a reluctance to take more overt action than what he was already doing as Swanwick.

Why Martian Manhunter Didn't Appear in Man of Steel & Batman v Superman?

J’onn J’onzz also revealed to Bruce Wayne that’s he’s taken on many forms and gone by many names. This suggests that maybe he’s done much more to orchestrate events for the sake of good beyond what’s been seen in any of the past DCEU films. Having Martian Manhunter offering to fight alongside the League would normally be very exciting, as far as what that would mean for the team’s dynamics with J’onzz in future Justice League films from Snyder. First, we saw Martian Manhunter is portrayed by Harry Lennix, who played the military general by the name of Calvin Swanwick in 2013’s Man of Steel, who then became a senator by the time of 2016’s Batman v Superman. Martian Manhunter (real name J’onn J’onzz ) is a shapeshifter, and the Snyder Cut has confirmed that Swanwick is the Manhunter’s primary human form.

Martian Manhunter WB

Being in such high levels of power and influence within the government, it seems as though Martian Manhunter seemed content to play at being a human while doing good when he could behind the scenes, presumably not wanting to risk being exposed as an alien life form from Mars. Furthermore, an example of his efforts in Zack Snyder’s Justice League sees the Martian Manhunter taking the form of Superman’s mother Martha Kent in order to encourage a grieving Lois Lane to get back into the world, apparently knowing how important she is for the present and future of the DCEU. However, those plans are extremely uncertain at the moment, as they were canceled in the years after the 2017 theatrical release of Justice League. At this juncture, it seems unlikely that the rest of the SnyderVerse will be restored, despite the incredible teases made for future Justice League installments at the end of Zack Snyder’s Justice League.

Why Martian Manhunter Didn't Appear in Man of Steel & Batman v Superman?

It’s still an incredible treat to see the Martian Manhunter in all his glory as his true self, even if his time to fight was meant to be later in the DCEU’s future. Zack Snyder has revealed which DC superhero Martian Manhunter (Harry Lennix) replaced from an earlier version of the director’s Justice League cut. Unlike the film’s theatrical cut, Zack Snyder’s Justice League ends with an epilogue in which Bruce Wayne/Batman (Ben Affleck), fresh off another dream/vision of a post-apocalyptic future in which Darkseid has laid waste to Earth, receives a visit from Martian Manhunter.

Why Martian Manhunter Didn't Appear in Man of Steel & Batman v Superman?

He congratulates Bruce on uniting the League and promises to do his part in the battle to come. “We shot a version of this scene with Green Lantern, but [Warner Bros.] really fought me and said, ‘We really don’t want you to do Green Lantern,’” Snyder told Vanity Fair. “So I made a deal with them, and they let me do this [instead].” Snyder then confirmed he was referring to John Stewart.

Did you enjoy Zack Snyder’s Justice League? Let us know in the comments below!
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