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  • September 18, 2022 7 min read

    Darkseid is a fictional character appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. The character was created by Jack Kirby and first appeared in Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #134(November 1970).

    Darkseid is the tyrannical ruler of the planet Apokolips, and his ultimate goal is to conquer the universe and eliminate all free will. As one of the most powerful beings in the DC Universe, the character became a staple Superman villain and a major enemy of the Justice League.

    Publication History (1)

    Jack Kirby debuted at DC Comics with Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #133 and immediately began establishing characters that would lay the foundation for his newly conceived Fourth World epic. The chief antagonist would be the Darkseid villain who made his debut in Jimmy Olsen #134 (November 1970) with subsequent appearances in issues #135 and #136. The character was originally designed to be the chief antagonist of the titles Forever People, Mister Miracle and New Gods, but after the cancellation of these titles, the characters along with Darkseid were incorporated back into the DC universe.

    According to writer Mark Evanier, Jack Kirby modelled Darkseid's face on actor Jack Palance. Kirby modelled Darkseid's character on that of Adolf Hitler and the world of Apokolips on Nazi Germany. Like Hitler, Darkseid is a jackboot-wearing megalomaniac and warmonger who, in fascist style, sees every citizen as an extension of the state and himself. His society is highly militant, with children being indoctrinated from a young age (à la Hitler Youth) to be warlike and utterly loyal to him.

    Fictional Character Biography(2)

    In another universe, the Old Gods were immortal beings who relied on the prayer of the mortals to remain on power, but nevertheless cared nothing about them. Soon the rebellious Uxas began putting lies and corruption in the minds of these Gods which sparked a war between them. As the gods began to die, Uxas began stealing the Gods' power for himself.

    In another universe, the Old Gods were immortal beings who relied on the prayer of the mortals to remain on power, but nevertheless cared nothing about them. Soon the rebellious Uxas began putting lies and corruption in the minds of these Gods which sparked a war between them. As the gods began to die, Uxas began stealing the Gods' power for himself.

    Eventually, when his father Yuga Khan came to strike down both him and his brother Izaya for their insolence against the Old Gods, he used the Anti-Life to revive the Olds Gods Uxas murdered, but was ultimately slain by his own son who took the fallen Gods' power to become the New God Darkseid.

    Izaya, too, received power from the Old Gods and confronted him, claiming they were New Gods who should unite too bring forth a new age, but Darkseid only felt disdain and destroyed their world, with only him and Izaya remaining.

    As eons passed, Darkseid created the hellpit of Apokolips and has remained as it's sole ruler, with the only force capable of opposing him being his brother Highfather and his forces of New Genesis. At some point, he captured an aspect of Death in the form of the Black Racer to become his greatest weapon, but he couldn't command it unless it were anchored to a sentient host.

    Darkseid conceived many sons, one became a brutal warrior of Apokolips and another was traded by Highfather's own in a promise of peace between both God planets.

    Some time ago Darkseid came across an Amazon from a parallel universe and conceived another child with her, a child that unbeknown to him was being raised to destroy him.

    The New 52

    In Justice League #1, Darkseid's name is invoked by a Parademon. He is later mentioned again in Justice League #2, and in Justice League #3 Darkseid makes his first appearance in the series, seen in a vision by Victor Stone after he is injured by an exploding Mother Box. In the final pages of Justice League #4, Darkseid himself appears. In Justice League #5, the League confronts him but they are overpowered by him, when he severely hurts Superman with his Omega Beams and breaks Green Lantern's arm. Finally, in Justice League #6, Darkseid is driven out when Cyborg activates the invaders' Mother Boxes and Superman forces him through a boom tube. The incidents that occur in these issues make Darkseid the very first foe the newly formed League faces as a team. The issue also reveals Desaad and Steppenwolf, referring to Darkseid's daughter and their ceaseless search for her across countless worlds. Darkseid's daughter escapes containment in Justice League of America's Vibe #7 after the dampeners on her cage are temporarily disabled.

    In DC's The New 52 continuity, there is only one set of New Gods across the 52 Multiverse. So as Darkseid invades Prime Earth in Justice League, he sends his lieutenant Steppenwolf to do the same, with greater success, on Earth 2, resulting in the deaths of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, and stranding Helena Wayne and Kara Zor-L on Prime Earth. Five years later, Darkseid once again invades Earth 2, which never fully recovered from his armies' earlier assault, and it is revealed that he and Highfather of New Genesis struck a deal allowing him the unchallenged right to invade Earth 2.

    In Darkseid #1, his background story was revealed. Formerly a farmer named Uxas, he hated the deities of his world. So he traveled up to their mountain while they slept and tricked them all into fighting each other, and as they were all weakened from the war, he killed them one by one with his scythe (similar to Kronos of Greek Mythology) and stole their power, before destroying his world and creating Apokolips.

    The Darkseid War

    Darkseid comes into conflict with the Anti-Monitor. Darkseid's daughter, Grail, leads the Anti-Monitor, who is revealed to be a scientist named Mobius, to Darkseid for the former to kill the latter. Mobius believes that with the death of Darkseid, he will be free from being the Anti-Monitor. After an intense battle, the Anti-Monitor fuses the Black Racer with Flash and sends it after Darkseid. Using the fused Flash and his own powers, he kills Darkseid. With Darkseid dead, the universe is unbalanced as it has lost its God of Evil. Later, Lex Luthor would be merged with the Omega Sanction, becoming the new ruler of Apokolips.

    After killing the Anti-Monitor using an anti-life equation powered Steve Trevor, Grail would later resurrect Darkseid through the newborn child of Superwoman. The child has the same powers as his father Mazahs, with the ability to steal the powers of others. Stealing the new "God" abilities of the Justice League, Grails fuses them with the child and brings Darkseid back to life. However, he is under her complete control. Grail later attempts to redeem herself by seemingly killing Darkseid with the anti-life equation. However, it is later revealed that she reincarnated him back as a baby with the intention of teaching him to be good instead of evil.(3)

    Powers and Abilities

    Darkseid being one of the most powerful beings in the DC Multiverse has a number of abilities including superhuman strength, speed and durability, projection of Omega beams, flight, telekinesis, energy and mass manipulation and immortality.

    From the race known as New Gods, his main power, the Omega Beams, is a form of energy that he fires from his eyes or hands as either a concussive force or a disintegrating energy which is capable of erasing living objects and organisms from existence. Some super-beings, such as Superman and Doomsday, have proven to be resistant to the beams, although in the case of Superman, with a great deal of pain. Also, Orion was able to deflect it, and in a crossover story, Galactus was unaffected by it. These beams stem from a cosmic energy source called the "Omega Effect." The Omega Beams can also resurrect fallen beings, depending on the Dark Lord's will. Darkseid has pinpoint control of this energy, and his unerring aim allows the beam to travel in straight lines, bend, or curve around corners and even pass through matter or other forms of energy. He can also teleport himself or others through time and space. His Omega Sanction traps organisms in a series of alternate realities, each one worse than the previous. During the Final Crisis, Darkseid used his Omega Beams to grant power to Mary Marvel, with her powers then being based on Anti-Life rather than magic.

    Darkseid is a being whose super-strength and invulnerability can only be challenged by the likes of Superman, Doomsday, and Orion. He can also move with great speed, as he has been able to catch Superman off guard, and he is known to be able to react in nanoseconds. He also can increase his physical size. Darkseid also has additional powers of telepathy and telekinesis, and he can create psionic avatars. Since Darkseid is a deity, he is also immortal, having lived for several hundred thousand years.

    He has also periodically shown the ability to produce a psionic shield surrounding himself, able to withstand light, magic and conventional types of attacks as seen in Superman Batman Apocalypse.

    In "The Great Darkness Saga," Darkseid displayed a range of awesome deity-like powers, such as transposing the positions of two planets in different solar systems, taking mental control of the entire population of a planet, instantly absorbing all the information from another being's mind, manifesting the worst fears of other beings as realities, easily defeating incredibly powerful beings such as Mon-El, Mordru, and the Time Trapper, and pronouncing a curse.

    Despite his extraordinary physical powers, Darkseid rarely engages himself personally in confrontations, as he prefers to use his superhuman intellect to manipulate or control others to his ends. Darkseid has displayed his godly abilities by sensing the death of his son Orion and fluctuations of the energy of the "godwave". Darkseid also commands all of the military and technological resources of Apokolips.

    In Superman/Batman: Apocalypse Darkseid has also shown the powers of flight.(4)

    Supporting Characters


    Darkseid has a number of allies including Steppenwolf, Orion, Kaibak, Kanto, Big Barda, Granny Goodness and many more.








    Over the years Darkseid has made a number of enemies who are mostly superheroes. His enemies include the entire Justice League, The Anti-Monitor, Grail, Myrina Black, Metron, Ardora, Athena and many more.






    Notable Comics(5)

    Comics Writer(s) Artist(s)
    Legends John Ostrander, Len Wein John Byrne, Karl Kesel, TomZiuko
    Final Crisis Grant Morrison J.G.Jones, Doug Mahnke
    New Gods #7 Jack Krby Jack Kirby, Mike Royer
    JLA: Rock Of Ages Grant Morrison Howard Porter, John Dell, Pat Garrahy
    Legion Of Superheroes: The Great Darkness Saga Paul Levtitz, Keith Giffen Keith Giffen,
    Justice League: The Darkseid War Geoff Johns Jason Fabok, Brad Anderson

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