Warner Bros. still refuses to move their upcoming Batman/Superman movie from its May 2016 release date, putting the Man of Steel sequel-slash-Batman reboot-slash-Justice League backdoor pilot on a collision course with Captain America 3. But the studio keeps on adding more superheroes to the movie. Henry Cavill’s Superman, Ben Affleck’s Batman, and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman have now been joined by a fourth character with a name familiar to comic book fans, Saturday-Morning-Cartoon aficionados, and no one else: Theater actor Ray Fisher will play Victor Stone, a young man who is better known as the superhero Cyborg, because he is a cyborg.
Now, Important Note: We don’t really know anything about the still-untitled movie, besides the fact that it will somehow feature a gridiron showdown between bitter collegiate rivals Gotham City University and Metropolis State University. It’s possible that Fisher’s role in the movie will be one single scene, where Superman and Batman are hanging out at S.T.A.R. labs with a serious-looking scientist, and then Fisher walks in and says “Hey, dad, pay attention to me! I might become a superhero named Cyborg someday!” and then his dad shoos him away. (See also: Curt Connors in Spider-Man 2 and 3.)
Still, even if Cyborg isn’t around long enough to become an actual Cyborg, his addition further cements the fact that Man of Steel 2 is really Justice League 0. Cyborg isn’t as well-known as some DC heroes. He was created by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez as a member of the Teen Titans in the glory days of the 1980s, which led to his starring role in the wonderfully overcaffeinated Teen Titans cartoon series. (He was also played by the late Lee Thompson Young in Smallville, a series which looks more and more like the blueprint for the post-Man of Steel DC movie franchise.)
But the character makes for an interesting counterbalance to his godlike teammates. Formerly a star high school athlete, he suffers brutal injuries that leave him with a mostly prosthetic body. In a sense, Cyborg’s a very Marvel-esque character – and he’d be a good addition to a lineup heavy on larger-than-life personalities. Like Batman and Superman, Cyborg has a troubled relationship with his father; unlike Batman and Superman, Cyborg’s dad isn’t dead. (Not for nothing, Cyborg is a character who won’t be played by a white dude named Chris.)
Of course, we’re not talking about a Justice League movie. We’re talking about a superhero sequel which seems to sprout new superheroes every few weeks – the kind of top-heavy ensembling that Marvel Studios mostly avoided after Iron Man 2. Although rapid expansion is the hot new thing in superhero franchises. (See: Neo-Goblin. See also: Blink.)