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While comic book superheroes are all the rage at the movie theater, they quite often overshadow comic book villains in a big way. Many early reviews have been critical of the big bad in Justice League, and a surprising person seems to agree. Recently, Joanna Robinson with Vanity Fair took to Twitter to call Steppenwolf, the new villain of this weekend's superhero team-up movie, the absolute worst of all time. Lots of people liked the tweet, but one of them was Joss Whedon, the man who came in directed part of the movie after Zack Snyder stepped away. Needless to say, lots of people are unhappy. Here's what started it all.
As you might expect, some passionate fans are taking the like at face value and are none too happy with Joss Whedon for what they're seeing as a betrayal. Joss Whedon took over the directing of Justice League during post-production, handling reshoots among other things, after Zack Snyder was forced to step away in order to deal with something personal. Many feel that Whedon's apparent endorsement that Steppenwolf is a bad villain is an attack on Snyder and DC and that Whedon is trying to intentionally distance himself from the project he was involved in. This is only one of a number of harsh call outs of Whedon on Twitter.
To be fair to Joss Whedon, the fact that he clicked on the little Twitter heart doesn't necessarily mean that he's endorsing the statement of the tweet. It's possible that he liked the tweet by accident or that he's trying to be professional about the whole thing and acknowledge the criticism without necessarily agreeing with it. His like could be meant as a joke. Since "like" is the only button available as a passive response, it gets used in a variety of different ways by different people.
As far as the actual statement goes. Comparing Steppenwolf to Malekith the Accursed is pretty harsh. Especially since, if the tweet hadn't included a picture, I probably wouldn't even remember who Malekith the Accursed was. It's unlikely that Steppenwolf will become quite so forgettable, if only that he's the villain in the first ever Justice League movie.
If Joss Whedon is fully endorsing the idea that Steppenwolf is a bad villain, it is odd, considering the fact that the movie isn't even out yet. While filmmakers often accept that certain aspects of their movies might not have worked as well as they wished, this is usually done long after release. Of course, the same could be said for those being hypercritical of Whedon's response, since the vast majority haven't seen the movie yet, don't know how the character is portrayed, and don't actually know Whedon's feelings on the matter.
Fandoms can get very passionate and the one behind DC clearly is. We'll all get to see the truth behind Steppenwolf when Justice League arrives in theaters on Friday.