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What is the Anti-Life Equation?

Warning, the following article may contain spoilers for Zack Snyder’s Justice League.

During Zack Snyder’s Justice League the Anti-Life Equation is often mentioned and teased throughout the film, but what is the Anti-Life Equation you may ask? No need to worry because throughout this article I will go through what the Anti-Life Equation is, its origins and what it could have potentially led to in the DC Cinematic Universe.

First introduced in Jack Kirby’s Fourth World comic series which spanned from 1970-1973 published by DC Comics, the Anti-Life Equation is an ancient mathematical formula where if found, the user has the ability to bend the wills and minds of any sentient race. Just as Thanos has his Infinity Gauntlet, Darkseid has the Anti-Life Equation, where it is his primary goal to obtain this equation to have every being under his control; even if it means scouring the entire universe for this powerful knowledge.

In Zack Snyder’s Justice League Steppenwolf is tasked by Darkseid to locate and obtain three mother boxes and merge them in a ceremony called The Unity which will give the ability to terra-form the Earth into another version of Apokolips, the homeworld of Darkseid. Throughout Steppenwolf’s quest, he discovers that Earth has the equation to Anti-Life embedded in the Earth’s surface. In Grant Morrison’s comic mini-series Seven Soldiers: Mister Miracle he wrote out the equation as the following:

loneliness + alienation + fear + despair + self-worth ÷ mockery ÷ condemnation ÷ misunderstanding x guilt x shame x failure x judgment, n=y where y=hope, n=folly, love=lies, life=death, self=dark side

Thankfully Zack Snyder’s vision of Darkseid is a lot more simpler than the comic equation and it is just a vague concept which will give him the ability to completely control everything and everyone and from the Knightmare scene in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Zack Snyder’s Justice League it can be seen that Darkseid completed his goal in obtaining the Anti-Life Equation as the Earth has been terraformed into Apokolips and Superman being under his control.

What the Anti-Life Equation could have meant for the DCEU.

Ben Affleck as Batman during the Knightmare sequence in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Ben Affleck as Batman during the Knightmare sequence in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

As briefly touched upon above, the epilogue to Zack Snyder’s Justice League sees the Knightmare vision in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice become reality as Darkseid has achieved his goal in obtaining the Anti-Life Equation and planet Earth succumbing to his rule.

Zack Snyder has stated that his sequel plans would have seen Lex Luther create the Injustice Squad and eventually finding the Anti-Life Equation, this would have obviously garnered the attention of Darkseid who would come and obtain it for himself. Lex’s purpose for the equation would have been to destroy Superman. Darkseid on the other hand would have used his all mighty omega beams to murder Lois Lane and use the equation, forcing the mighty Kryptionian (who is destroyed by his grief for his loved one) bend to his will and take over the world which would eventuate into the Knightmare vision foreseen by Batman.

With Superman under Darkseid’s control this would leave Batman with no choice but to team up with The Flash, Cyborg, Mera, Deathstroke and his arch nemesis Joker to thwart Darkseid’s plans and help Superman return to his pure self.

Unfortunately the executives at Warner Bros. has stated that they will no longer be continuing with Zack Snyder’s vision of this DC universe and they will be creating a new path for this franchise which could be potentially rewritten in the upcoming Flash movie which is most likely to be based on the iconic comic of The Flashpoint Paradox. That being said we were also told that Zack Snyder’s vision of the Justice League would never see the light of day so the old saying of “never say never” could come into fruition. Hopefully one day we will be able to witness the complete and true vision that Zack Snyder had actually planned for this universe.

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