In the 2017 movie Justice League, Steppenwolf is looking for the Motherboxes that are located on Earth for Darkseid.

A few times, when looking at a Motherbox, Steppenwolf refers to some "mother".

Who is that mother?

I always assumed that, since the boxes are powerful artifacts, the "mother" in their name meant "main" (as in "motherboard") and there were less powerful "daughterboxes" related to them.

The sequel may answer this question, but since it seems that this plot point is taken from Justice League mythology, an answer from the comics is fine.

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    “I always assumed that... "mother" in their name meant "main" (as in "motherboard") and there were less powerful "daughterboxes" related to them.” Does my laptop have a daughterboard? Commented Nov 22, 2017 at 15:06
  • 3
    @PaulD.Waite: nope. But it has daughtercards...
    – Taladris
    Commented Nov 22, 2017 at 17:02
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    @PaulD.Waite its very possible your laptop has a daughterboard on it, they're primarily used to conserve space in places where a traditional expansion card (that slots perpendicular to the motherboard) wouldn't fit.
    – KutuluMike
    Commented Jul 25, 2018 at 3:39

2 Answers 2


"Mother" is used to refer to Heggra, Steppenwolf's mother who (per the original script) is trapped in the Mother Boxes and whose energy is what powers them. Heggra created Cyborg, hence why Steppenwolf laments that he was 'born from her'. Mother is also what the New Gods refer to their MBs as in the comics.

The original script for JL had Steppenwolf gathering the three boxes so he could release Heggra, which, due to the explosion it would create, resulted in the apocalyptic Earth we saw in BvS. Releasing Heggra would've given him the edge over Darkseid to overthrow him.

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    Welcome to SF.stackexchange! That seems to be a great answer. And that would have been a better plot than the bad-guys-invade-earth plot we had. Do you have a source (interview, original script,...) to support your answer?
    – Taladris
    Commented Jul 24, 2018 at 18:20
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    @Taladris - Not sure where the answerer read it, but Googling it seems to show multiple references on-line, such as this one. (I had the same question, as this is pretty far off the comics' version of things)
    – RDFozz
    Commented Jul 24, 2018 at 18:27
  • @RDFozz: good finding.
    – Taladris
    Commented Jul 24, 2018 at 20:24
  • but isn't Heggra the sister of Steppenwolf? I thought Darkseid's mother was Heggra and not Steppenwolf's.
    – MycrofD
    Commented Mar 22, 2021 at 19:27

Based on the comics:

"Mother" is just the box itself. There are no "daughter boxes" but the mother boxes are occasionally referred to as just "mother" in the Fourth World corner of the D.C. universe. The boxes are living computers, which are individually constructed by their owners and share a empathic rapport with those users.

They were invented by Himon, an underground/dissident inventor from Apokalips, although they are more associated with users from New Genesis, since constructing them requires tapping into the Source, the existence of which has (some of the time) been denied by Darkseid's regime.

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