On Self-Indulgence and Self-Correction: Zach Snyder’s Justice League

1 Right so there is probably a disability narrative amid Cyborg’s arc that is going to piss people off. Victor was going to die. His father “fixed” him. As a result, Victor starts the movie as someone who doesn’t fit in in and is at odds with himself. “Fixing” a person is a notion that pisses people off. Despite that, and against all expectations, I think Snyder did a masterful job with this arc.

From where I sit, people who aren’t born with their disabilities, who acquire them through misfortune, tragedy, or bad luck – people like me – have the right to feel broken. They live because an external force acted and continues to act on them. Their bodies become reminders of a lack of wholeness. Present existence is constantly juxtaposed against a dominant or longed after past self.

Moreover, the experience of feeling lesser than in a world that demands wholeness can drive a person to contemplating existential solutions. Victor looks at his cybernetic self and does not want to be that person. That person doesn’t fit. That person was beyond his choosing or control. There is a breaking in that realization. Victor’s journey from breaking to wholeness would not have been possible in a two hour movie. There’s too much introspection to make it work when each beat has to cram in more and more plot.

On a more personal note, I do not feel seen in superhero movies. I typically feel condescended unto. In the Snyder Cut’s treatment of Cyborg, I saw a narrative that was honest and resonant. Some of us get broken. Some of us beg to be fixed. And some of us have to learn how to find peace in reconciling the past and present versions of ourselves. I did not expect this type of delicacy and nuance from Zach Snyder.

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