Justice League (2017) released to mixed reviews and performed mildly for a movie of its caliber on a $300 million budget with a box office of around $650 million. It was less financial profitable than Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice though less divisive. Critics on Rotten Tomatoes gave it a “rotten” score of 40% while audience score was around 72%.
Despite its apparent shortcomings and its failure in establishing the DC Extended Universe, a vision of a shared universe of characters spearheaded by Zack Snyder and Deborah Snyder and godfather by Geoff Johns and Christopher Nolan, Justice League made some interesting developments.
One notable character development is that of Cyborg. Cyborg is portrayed by Ray Fisher. Justice League centers around Batman recruiting Wonder Woman, the Flash and Cyborg in his superhero fight team, “an alliance” to fight the alien invasion of Steppenwolf, a general of Apokolips’ armies, with the three mother boxes. During mythological times, Steppenwolf’s armies are fought off by the heroes and the gods of Earth – for the first time – and the three mother boxes are enthrusted to the Amazons, the Atlanteans, and the tribes of man.
Cyborg, is at the center of Steppenwolf’s conquest of Earth. Upon the death of Superman, darkness overcomes the Earth and Steppenwolf decides to invade the Earth: He hears the Mother Box’s call to invade the Earth possibly as a response to Superman’s passing, the over-bearing darkness on Earth, and the creation of Cyborg by scientist Silas Stone with the Mother Box. In DC comics science-fiction, mother boxes are sentient computers used by the New Gods in order to connect to the Source and grant them highly advanced and technological abilities.
Cyborg is presented as the breakout character in Justice League. Though Superman and his death figure as the prominent centers of the movie, in fact, the heart of the movie, and the motivation to revive him, to restore hope to the world, Cyborg is the one who actually moves many of the story plot points forward.
Cyborg might be the only character who truly develops throughout the movie. He goes from being a complete loner, presumed dead, and who isolates from society to being part of a superhero team, and learning how to work with others and trust others. He is the true genius of the team and though Batman makes the executive decisions and Wonder Woman the tactical and the battle field decisions on the team, Cyborg is the technological genius of the team, the one who orchestrates everything. An interesting theory is the fact that the creation of Cyborg by Silas Stone and not simply the signal sent by Lex Luthor to Steppenwolf in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice is the signal that attracts finally Steppenwolf to Earth.
Cyborg may be considered in this fact, an agent of Apokolips, Steppenwolf calls him “a child of chaos”. In the resurrection of Superman, Cyborg is the one that actually attacks Superman first though due to his armor’s defense systems over-powering him. It can be stated that, Cyborg is the character who is the most mysterious since we do not know how much of his allegiance lies with Apokolips, how much control the Mother Box has on his mind, and how much he is willing to commit to the Justice League.
Justice League paints Cyborg as heroic who intervenes at pivotal points in the film plot. He is instrumental in the formation of the Justice League, in locating Steppenwolf and the Parademons under Gotham Harbor, in resurrecting Superman, in locating Steppenwolf and the Parademons’ base in Russia, and in ending the threat of the Mother Boxes by helping to separate all three, despite the “blowback”. Cyborg’s only flaw or hubris in the movie, is his link to the Mother Boxes, to an Apokoliptian technology that in theory should have killed him from his fatal injuries but that ended creating him with “cybernetic enhancements”, a Cyborg. He is veritably “a child of chaos” who is able to solve the problems that the Justice League is facing: the absence of Superman and an alien invasion from Apokolips.
In the end, Cyborg is the breakout character. The fact that he is African-American is consistent with the comics, that he is a genius and capable of solving crises shows that the DC Extended Universe is able to portray diverse characters in a positive light. And this, is a sign of hope.