In our review of Justice League, we spoke about a number of the heroes starring in the film, but we didn’t discuss the importance of one newcomer: Cyborg.
[Warning: The following contains major spoilers for Justice League.]
Cyborg is more than just an angst-ridden teenager with daddy issues, trying to overcome his self-loathing by joining a team of extraordinary metahumans. Unlike the Flash or Aquaman, whose powers are more obvious, Cyborg’s true strength continues to expand throughout the movie. Everything is tied together by the power in his suit, but the closer Cyborg gets to the Justice League and their primary target, Steppenwolf, the more he understands just how important that specific technology is.
The same technology that makes up Cyborg’s exoskeleton and nervous system is derived from the energy that powers the Mother Boxes, which ties all of the Justice League together.
Let’s backtrack for a second.
In Justice League, Superman is “dead” and Bruce Wayne is preparing for an impending attack of some kind. He doesn’t know what that attack is, but he can feel it in the air. Enter Steppenwolf, an evil presence from the old guard, back when Atlantians walked on land and the Amazons worked with men. He’s on the hunt for three Mother Boxes that, when fused together, will give him the power to destroy the entire world.
The Mother Boxes are an interesting concept in Justice League, but were first teased in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in a brief moment when Wayne is studying Cyborg’s case. The Mother Boxes were the quintessential technological tool of the plantes of New Genesis and Apokolips, tying their existence back to Darkseid himself. Remember Darkseid? He was the potential future big bad hinted at in Batman v Superman, again, tying everything together.
So we know that Mother Boxes are Apokoliptian technology, and we also know that Steppenwolf is Darkseid’s uncle and controller of the Apokoliptian army. He’s a member of Darkseid’s elite, making his quest to reunite the three Mother Boxes a personal endeavor.
Here’s the gist of it: Cyborg and the Mother Boxes share the same technology and, because those Mother Boxes were created on Apokolips, Cyborg has insight into how the Mother Boxes work. This is also the role he played in the Justice League’s new origin story for the rebooted DC Universe in 2011: He’s the key figure in being able to stop the end of days from occurring on Earth. Only he can jack himself into the three boxes and figure out how to tear them apart, with a little bit of help from the resurrected Kryptonian god, Superman.
Cyborg is the unspoken hero in Justice League, and carries the burden of carrying alien technology around with him at all time. He understands that he has the sole ability of understanding what others can not, and as frustrating as that is for Cyborg, he sacrifices his own sanity and physical well being to protect the world he’s terrified won’t accept him.
Although Cyborg isn’t the focal point of Justice League (that falls on Batman), he is the unsung hero who takes the brunt of the responsibility without any complaint. Cyborg’s ability to understand and interact with Apokoliptian technology will progress the Justice League’s story forward and is key to winning future battles with bigger enemies. As a character, Cyborg may be the newest member of the Justice League, but he’s just proven himself to be one of the most important.
Justice League will be released on Nov. 17.