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The Parademons In Justice League Explained

Unless you've been stuck under a rock for the latter half of the past decade, you are likely familiar with 2017's "Justice League" and the Zack Snyder cut of the film released on HBO Max in 2021. "Justice League" serves as a DC's answer to Marvel's Avengers by bringing together the previously seen Batman (Ben Affleck), Superman (Henry Cavill), and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot). The film introduces audiences to many new characters, from an entire world of villains under Darkseid (Ray Porter) to a collection of heroes assembled to combat them. One set of characters introduced are Parademons, an army of bloodthirsty minions controlled by Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds). What are these terrifying beings? And where did they come from?

In Snyder's movie, the Parademons are advance scouts collecting scientists and scouring the globe for anyone who may have seen one of the three Mother Boxes needed to create a portal, allowing Darkseid to come through to Earth from his homeworld, Apokolips. The terrifying creatures are seen kidnapping Silas Stone (Joe Morton) and battling the heroes as they protect Steppenwolf. However, these beings have a history in the comics reaching back half a century.

Comic book origins

The Parademons were created by Jack Kirby and first appeared in the comic "New Gods" #1, published in 1971 (via DC Database). In the DC Extended Universe, Parademons are genetically modified beings created through the use of the Mother Boxes (via DC Extended Universe Wiki). Also known as Change Engines, Mother Boxes deconstruct and repurpose genetic material from dead or captured enemies. The result is a subservient soldier with only the goal of serving their master, Darkseid. They defended the planet Apokolips from Orion as he attempted to stop Darkseid from finding the Anti-Life Equation. They possess powers such as energy projection, superhuman strength, and flight. In their original creation, the Parademons were both a labor force and an elite guard (the latter comprised of the most sociopathic and cruel specimens and accompanied by hounds). "New Gods" was a pivitol comic that debuted not only Parademons but also the New Gods, Apokolips, and New Genesis. It is part of what is known as "Jack Kirby's Fourth World."

In the 2011 reboot of the DC Universe ("The New 52"), the Parademons were first seen attacking Earth and battling with Batman and Green Lantern (via DC Database) in "Justice League" (Volume 2) #1. This issue focuses on a single Parademon as the two heroes chase it through Gotham. Later in the series, they kidnap humans and take them to conversion stations to turn them into new Parademons (via DC Database). Their arrival was the catalyst for the creation of the Justice League.

The thing of nightmares

While the Parademons were a formidable enemy to the heroes, by the time they arrive on-screen in "Zack Snyder's Justice League," they are more scouts and minions. That may not have always been the case, though, since early concept art shows how truly terrifying they could have been. A month after the film was released, concept artist Jerad Marantz revealed a more frightening look at the characters on his Instagram. The art shows a character with armor that closely resembles Steppenwolf's, hinting at something fiercer than what we ended up seeing in the movie.

Zack Snyder himself commented on concept art showing the repurposing of humans into Parademons, a scene that was left out of the movie for being "to [sic] scary" (via Batman News). In the art in question, Batman is seen discovering what could only have been a conversion station, with "pods" reminiscent of cocoons hanging in an industrial building. Thousands of these hatching and attacking the heroes could have been a dangerous enemy in their own right, but the inclusion of all the villains from Apokolips in the "Snyder Cut" thankfully overshadowed what could have been the thing of nightmares.