Justice League: The Atom's Superhero Origins Revealed In Snyder Cut

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Posted:
Justice League The Atom

Warning - This article contains spoilers for Zack Snyder’s Justice League.

It's no secret that Zack Snyder's Justice League had a long and tough journey over the years, but all the hardships have now been erased due to the film's game-changing debut on HBO Max. The four-hour-long version of Snyder's vision ultimately delivered on the promise of focusing more on the different story beats of the characters while also doubling down on the action .

On top of that, the Snyder Cut also included a slew of new characters such as Elinore Stone and Harry Lennix's Martian Manhunter . Admittedly, the addition of these figures helped improve the story that the visionary director is trying to tell, mainly because it propelled the arcs of the core members of the League in a meaningful way.

While Snyder did confirm that his version of Justice League is not canon to the DCEU, the film still managed to tease the arrival of a future hero.


Choi Atom
Zack Snyder's Justice League

Zack Snyder's Justice League featured an appearance from Dr. Ryan Choi a.k.a. The Atom of DC Comics.

The character was played by Ryan Zheng, and the future DC hero was portrayed as one of the scientists of STAR Labs.

At the end of the film, Choi was promoted to be the director of nanotechnology, and he was also given access to the Kryptonian ship from Man of Steel . This is a sure at the beginning of the heroic transformation of the size-altering character in the DCEU.


Zack Snyder's Justice League

Ryan Choi has been heavily teased as part of Snyder's self-campaign for his cut over the years, but it's good to finally see the character within the confines of the DCEU. After being scrapped from the theatrical cut, Ryan made a triumphant return in Zack Snyder's Justice League , and his brief appearance could simply serve as a tease for bigger things to come for the character down the line.

Snyder himself recently confirmed his plans for a spin-off movie that would've featured a Chinese cast in a Chia setting.

For context, Ryan is actually the third Atom from the pages of DC Comics, since Al Pratt and Ray Palmer are the original heroes. Ryan served as Palmer's longtime protégé, ultimately assuming his mentor's place as the size-shifting superhero.

In the Snyder Cut, Palmer was clearly absent, which prompts the question of whether a comic-accurate portrayal of the character's origin would be featured in the DCEU. At first glance, some would assume that Silas Stone is the one mentoring Ryan in the film, but it was established that the pair are nothing but colleagues.

It's possible that Ray Palmer exists in the Snyderverse somewhere, and his transformation into the Atom has yet to happen in the timeline. This means that Ryan's transition into a full-blown hero will be years in the making in this version, but the fact that he is already the director of nanotech in STAR Labs could tease that he will become the original version of the Atom instead of Palmer.

Interestingly, this isn't the first time that Ryan Choi has been portrayed in live-action, since the Arrowverse did it first by including Osric Chau's version in the massive Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover event.

No doubt, Ryan Choi has a bright live-action future under the confines of the DC multiverse, and it will be interesting to find out if Ryan Zheng will return in a future project to continue his Snyderverse story.

- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.