This is the week. It’s finally here. Zack Snyder’s Justice League is now just days away from releasing on HBO Max but the surprises don’t stop coming. It was already known that characters like Darkseid, Cyborg, Barry Allen, Iris West, Green Lanterns, and Martian Manhunter (who we last saw in Batman V Superman) will all get more screen time, something which never made it to the 2017 version. But while we have seen the other characters already, the final Snyder Cut trailer brings with it its first proper and rather surprising look at the Martian Manhunter.
We met the Martian Manhunter, played by Harry Lennix, for the first time in Man of Steel as General and then Secretary of Defense Calvin Swanwick. While fan theories were circulating, these films never confirmed that he was indeed a superhero. After Joss Whedon heavily edited Justice League released and received majorly negative reviews, Snyder confirmed that he had planned to reveal Swanwick transforming into the DCEU’s Martian Manhunter in the film.
Evidently (and thankfully), Snyder has stuck to his original plans. In the final trailer released by HBO Max, not only do we get a lot more of Darkseid, The Flash, and Cyborg in action, we also see Martha Kent eyes glowing red after she leaves Lois Lane’s apartment. This goes well with the storyboard Snyder had shared in 2019 where he had revealed a scene including the Martian Manhunter that never made it to the theatrical cut. In the storyboard, it was seen that Martha’s eyes briefly glow red and then she first transforms into the Martian Manhunter before becoming General Swanwick, confirming that the superhero from Mars had been living in disguise on Earth all along.
When Joss Whedon took over as director of Justice League back in 2016, he reshot the scene and dumped the entire Martian Manhunter revelation. In its place, we saw the infamous scene where Lois Lane and Martha Kent were reminiscing about Clark Kent, with the latter remembering that her son called Lois, “the thirstiest women he’s ever met” for her passion for journalism. She then hastily rectified it to “hungriest” while Lois let out an uncomfortable chuckle. The decision to change this to accommodate the original plan- of introducing Martian Manhunter- is already a huge step up from Whedon’s version of the film.
We also see Green Lantern Yalan Gur in action, which is a major leap from his blink-and-miss cameo in 2017’s Justice League. But no matter how different or better the Snyder’s Cut is, the truth at the end of the day (which even the director has accepted) is that his version of the film will not be considered canon by the Warner Bros (not that there exists a thing called “continuity” in the DCEU). The fact remains that there will be no sequels or solo movies that will explore the cliff-hangers his Justice League will end on, which means that even if the film furthers the Martian Manhunter’s or any of its other characters’ stories, we will sadly never get to see what Snyder next had in store for them. You can check out the final trailer of Zack Snyder’s Justice League in the youtube above.