Darkseid (/dɑːrksaɪd/) is a fictional supervillain appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. Created by writer-artist Jack Kirby, the character made a cameo appearance in Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #134 (November 1970) before making his full first appearance in Forever People #1 (February 1971).
He is the father of Orion, Kalibak, Grayven and Grail. As the tyrannical ruler of the planet Apokolips, Darkseid's ultimate goal is to conquer the universe and eliminate all free will and sentient beings. One of the most powerful beings in the DC Universe, the character became a staple Superman villain and is considered the archenemy of the Justice League. Darkseid was ranked number 6 on IGN's top 100 comic book villains of all time and number 23 on Wizard's 100 greatest villains of all time.
Darkseid was voiced by Frank Welker in the animated series Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show and The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians, which became his first appearance in media other than comic books. The character was subsequently portrayed by Michael Ironside in the DC animated universe, Andre Braugher in Superman/Batman: Apocalypse, Steven Blum in Justice League: War, and "Weird Al" Yankovic in an episode of Teen Titans Go!
Darkseid in Final Crisis #6 (January, 2009). Art by Carlos Pacheco, Jesús Merino, and Alex Sinclair.
|First appearance||Cameo: Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #134 (November 1970)|
Full appearance: Forever People #1 (February 1971)
|Created by||Jack Kirby|
|Place of origin||Apokolips|
|Team affiliations||Darkseid's Elite|
Secret Society of Super Villains
Justice League Odyssey
|Notable aliases||Boss Dark Side|
Blackheart the Deatheater
God of Evil
Lord of Apokolips
Jack Kirby returned to 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 villain Darkseid who had a cameo in Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #134 (November 1970) with a full first appearance in Forever People #1 (February 1971) . 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, he continued to appear as a major villain in many DC Universe comic books, fighting both Superman and Batman.
The son of King Yuga Khan and Queen Heggra, Prince Uxas, second in line to the throne of Apokolips, plotted to seize power over the planet. When his brother, Drax, attempted to claim the fabled Omega Force, Uxas murdered him, and took the power for himself. The power transformed him into a rock-like creature, upon which he took the name Darkseid. At some point in time, he fell in love with an Apokoliptian scientist and sorceress named Suli, with whom he had a son, Kalibak; however, Suli was poisoned by Desaad on Heggra's behalf, as she believed that Suli was corrupting her son.
Following Suli's death, Darkseid's heart grew even colder, and he ordered Desaad to poison Heggra, and as soon as he did, Darkseid finally became the supreme monarch of Apokolips. Darkseid had briefly been forced by his mother to marry Tigra, with whom he also had a son. After murdering his mother, Darkseid ordered Tigra to eliminate their son, Orion, who was switched with the Highfather's son, Scott Free, so as to keep peace between New Genesis and Apokolips.
The destructive war with the rival planet, New Genesis, was stopped only with a diplomatic exchange of the sons of Highfather and Darkseid. Darkseid's second born son was surrendered to Highfather, while Darkseid received Scott Free. This eventually turned out to be a setback for Darkseid, with his biological son growing up to value and defend the ideals of New Genesis as a powerful champion in opposition to his father. The prophecy foretold that Darkseid would meet his final defeat at the hands of his son in a cataclysmic battle in the fiery Armaghetto of Apokolips. Likewise, Darkseid and his training minion, Granny Goodness, were unable to break Scott Free's spirit after years of torturous upbringing and the New God was able to escape Apokolips, taking with him the mightiest of the Female Furies, Big Barda, as his wife and came to Earth to become the master escape artist and superhero foe of Darkseid, Mister Miracle. Regardless, Darkseid anticipated that Scott would make such a move and used its occurrence as a pretext to declare the treaty with New Genesis abrogated and resume armed conflict.
Seeing other deities as a threat, Darkseid invaded the island of Themyscira in order to discover the secret location of the Olympian deities, planning to overthrow the Olympians and steal their power. Refusing to aid Darkseid in his mad quest, the Amazons battled his Parademon troops, causing half of the Amazon population's death. Wonder Woman was able to gain her revenge against Darkseid for killing so many of her sisters by placing a portion of her own soul into Darkseid. This supposedly weakened the god's power as he lost a portion of his dark edge.
Darkseid's goal was to eliminate all free will from the universe and reshape it into his own image. To this end, he sought to unravel the mysterious Anti-Life Equation, which gives its user complete control over the thoughts and emotions of all living beings in the universe. Darkseid had tried on several other occasions to achieve dominance of the universe through other methods, most notably through his minion Glorious Godfrey, who could control people's minds with his voice. He had a special interest in Earth, as he believed humans possess collectively within their minds most, if not all, fragments of the Anti-Life Equation.
Darkseid intended to probe the minds of every human in order to piece together the Equation. This has caused him to clash with many superheroes of the DC Universe, most notably the Kryptonian Superman. Darkseid worked behind the scenes, using superpowered minions in his schemes to overthrow Earth, including working through Intergang, a crime syndicate which employs Apokoliptian technology and later morphed into a religious cult that worships Darkseid as the god of evil.
One thousand years in the future, Darkseid has been absent for centuries and is almost completely forgotten. He returns and comes into conflict with that era's champions, the Legion of Super-Heroes. After using both scientific and magical methods to enhance his power, Darkseid transposes the planets Apokolips and Daxam—which places Daxam under a yellow sun and gives each of its inhabitants Kryptonian-like superpowers equal to those of Superman. Placing the Daxamites under his mental thrall, he uses them in a massive attempt to conquer the known universe. However, he is eventually defeated by the Legion and many of its allies.
In Grant Morrison's 2005 Mister Miracle limited series, it was revealed that Darkseid had finally discovered the Anti-Life Equation, which he then used to destroy the Fourth World altogether. The New Gods fled to Earth, where they hid. Highfather and his followers were now a group of homeless people. Metron used a wheelchair, the Black Racer was an old white man in a wheelchair, DeSaad was an evil psychiatrist, Granny Goodness was a pimp (or "madam") for the Female Furies and Darkseid himself was now an evil gang leader who is referred to only as "Boss Dark Side". It is revealed that Darkseid actually gave the Sheeda North America in return for Aurakles, Earth's first superhero. This was, in turn, purely in order for Darkseid to get Shilo Norman, whom he considers the "Avatar of Freedom", in his clutches so that he could eventually destroy the New Gods.
As prophesied, Orion returns to Earth via boom tube for his final battle with Darkseid. During the massive fight, Orion ultimately kills him by ripping his heart out, which created a firepit of Apokolips from Darkseid's chest cavity (in reference to the prophecy of their final battle). As Darkseid dies, a battered, wounded Orion walks away from the battlefield having "won" the battle against his father once and for all. However, Darkseid's life essence endured even the death of his body and fell back in time, where he was reborn as "Boss Dark Side", aided by his resurrected minions and the supervillain Libra.
Once again bound to the form of a human, "Boss Dark Side" began to appear in a number of titles in the run up to Final Crisis. In Flash (vol. 2) #240, he led an army of fanatics, their will broken by the "spoken form" of the Anti-Life Equation, to kidnap the Tornado Twins. In Birds of Prey #118, he runs his Dark Side Club where superhumans fight to the death, brainwashed by drugs produced by Bernadeth. In Teen Titans #59, it was revealed that he had employed the Terror Titans to capture the Teen Titans and use them in his club fights.
In Final Crisis, Darkseid has begun to take over Earth and corrupt the Multiverse with the aid of his herald Libra, a reborn supervillain and antichrist-like figure who soon converts much of the Secret Society of Super Villains to his cause with the aid of the Crime Bible and the Holy Lance. Darkseid is also joined by the souls of his fellow evil New Gods, who, like Darkseid, now possess either modified human bodies or the bodies of other superpowered beings, such as Mary Marvel.
Darkseid also arranges for detective Dan Turpin to be lured into the Dark Side Club, where Turpin is turned into Darkseid's "final host", as his Boss Dark Side body has begun to mummify due to Darkseid's foul astral presence. With his legion of followers and allies aiding him as he undergoes his latest "rebirth", Darkseid successfully conquers the Earth with the unleashing of the Anti-Life Equation onto mankind. However, the rebirthing process is still far from complete as Dan Turpin's mind and soul, while corrupted by Darkseid's essence, still remains in firm control over his body. However, at the same moment Shilo Norman, the "Embodiment of Freedom" is shot by S.H.A.D.E. operatives, thus signalling the "Victory of Evil". Darkseid wins control over Turpin's body, now twisted in a close copy of his Apokoliptan former appearance, and wearing an updated version of his battle armor. Darkseid then gains the fullest of his power, his "fall" having the effect of compressing and crumpling space-time around Earth.
After escaping from captivity, Batman shoots Darkseid with the same radion bullet that killed Orion, while Darkseid simultaneously hits Batman with the Omega Beam, sending back in time and then "infecting" Batman with Omega energy that will cause him to jump forward in time, with disastrous results when he reaches the present. Darkseid is mortally wounded, but not before his Omega Sanction teleports Batman into prehistoric times. Remains believed to be Batman's (later revealed to be the last of the many Batman clones that Darkseid created) are found by Superman, who confronts Darkseid. As Darkseid mocks his old enemy for failing to defend Earth, it emerges that in Darkseid's fall through the multiverse, he created a doomsday singularity that now threatens all of existence. When Superman attempts to physically assault him, Darkseid reveals that he now exists inside the bodies of all those who fell to the power of the Anti-Life Equation and that killing Darkseid will kill humanity. Darkseid then reloads the gun that was used to shoot him, to kill Orion by way of firing the bullet backwards in time (a move Superman deems to be suicide due to the paradoxical nature of his actions: the bullet used to kill Orion is ultimately fired at him by Batman and is now poisoning him to death).
Before Darkseid can use the Omega Effect to kill Superman, Barry Allen and Wally West lead the Black Racer to Darkseid and making contact with him frees Turpin from Darkseid's control. Wonder Woman (having been freed from possession by one of Darkseid's minions) then uses her lasso of truth to bind Darkseid's spirit form, effectively freeing humanity from the Anti-Life Equation and being controlled by Darkseid. In his final effort, Darkseid's disembodied essence appears and tries to seize the Miracle Machine Superman has created; however, Superman uses counter-vibrations to destroy him. Furthermore, the last piece of Darkseid's plan fails when Batman, thanks to the actions of the new Batman (Dick Grayson), Red Robin (Tim Drake), Robin (Damian Wayne), and the Justice League, is able to return safely to the present, consuming the Omega Energy in his body without damaging the time-stream further, thus becoming the second individual, along with Mister Miracle, to escape the Omega Sanction.
Doctor Impossible later manipulates the Crime Syndicate of America into helping him resurrect Darkseid via a machine that draws energy from the Multiverse itself. The resurrection backfires, and instead creates a new being known as the Omega Man.
In September 2011, The New 52 rebooted DC's continuity. In this new timeline, Darkseid's name is first invoked by a Parademon in Justice League #1. 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 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. 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.
In Justice League: The Darkseid War (after the retirement of the "New 52" imprint), 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, Grail 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 differently.
Darkseid (as a baby) appears in DC Universe: Rebirth #1 where Grail tells him of Wonder Woman's long lost brother, Jason.
Baby Darkseid reappears in Dark Nights: Metal where it is shown that Batman stole him from Grail and intends to use the Omega Beams to send himself back in time. This never comes to fruition and Darkseid is either returned to or retrieved by Grail.
Sometime afterwards, Darkseid matured into a toddler, and using telepathy, demanded that he needed to feast on Old Gods to return to his former self. After killing A.R.G.U.S. agents that were hunting them down, Darkseid and Grail began hunting down and taking the life force of Zeus' demi-god children, killing several including Perseus and Hercules, and growing into the size of a child. After recruiting Jason and luring Wonder Woman to him, Darkseid ages once again into a young man. He fights Wonder Woman himself and as he starts to drain her life force, he is betrayed by Jason. When Zeus appears and transforms into his true form, Darkseid fights the Olympian God, destroying their surroundings in their brawl. When they take a Boom Tube to Manila, Philippines, Zeus grabs onto Darkseid and unleashes bolts of lightning on him. However, Darkseid reveals that he planned for this and that his true target was Zeus himself, and he begins to drain and kill him, restoring Darkseid back to his original self. When the rest of the Justice League arrive, Darkseid decides it's best not to fight them as he doesn't want to risk revealing his greater plans, and promptly leaves through a Boom Tube with Grail.
Darkseid is among the most powerful beings of the DC Universe 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 them, and in a crossover story, Galactus was unaffected by them. These beams stem from a cosmic energy source called the "Omega Effect". The Omega Beams can also resurrect fallen beings previously killed by them, depending on the Dark Lord's will. He will sometimes use this as punishment upon those who fail him but are too valuable to kill outright. 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, and her powers afterwards were based on Anti-Life rather than magic.
Darkseid's strength is depicted as immensely high, effortlessly breaking a lantern ring with his bare hands. He has easily overpowered two Kryptonians at once, and the entire Justice League. 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. Even without his full power and strength, Darkseid has shown to be able to hold out his own against an Olympian God such as Zeus. He can also increase his physical size. Darkseid also has additional powers of telepathy and telekinesis, and he can create psionic avatars. While Darkseid is a deity, he is not truly immortal and has been killed on several occasions. However he does possess longevity, having lived for several hundred thousand years.
In "The Great Darkness Saga," Darkseid displayed a range of 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". As the ruler of Apokolips, Darkseid has access to all of its military and technological resources.
Darkseid has shown to be able to drain the life force of other godly beings in order to rejuvenate himself and/or return to his full power. Demi-gods are capable of slowly rejuvenating Darkseid but a god (such as Zeus) can return Darkseid back to his original form by draining them.
Darkseid makes his first official appearance in Chapter Twenty-Two of the Injustice: Gods Among Us Comic on Apokolips. He is seen overseeing the torture of an unseen figure as his son Kalibak approaches him. Kalibak informs his father of Superman's worldwide ceasefire on Earth. Darkseid muses if Superman has begun to soften before Kalibak asks to take a war party to personally investigate. When Kalibak sees just who it is Darkseid is torturing, the lord of Apokolips confirms the man's identity before saying, "He made a mistake." When Kalibak asks if he can be killed, Darkseid chides his son, "Of course not. Who would come for him?" He then allows Kalibak to go, bidding him to kill the Kryptonian and take the Earth. Darkseid grins to himself as he asks to be left alone with his prisoner: Black Racer, death himself, as Darkseid resumes his torture. In the Injustice Annual, Darkseid hires the bounty hunter Lobo to go to Earth and kill Superman in retaliation for the death of Kalibak at the Man of Steel's hands. However, Lobo returns some time later after a 'therapy' session with Harley Quinn, and brazenly challenges the Dread Lord to a battle. Later, under Darkseid's command, Ares manipulates the Justice League into battle with the Greek Gods. The attempt, while initially successful, is defused by Batman and Highfather's intervention. The Greek Gods depart with no further conflict and Superman brings Ares to Darkseid to torture in exchange for Darkseid, Ares and their underlings to "never step foot on Earth"
The 1984 Kenner "Super Powers Collection" toy line featured the first Darkseid action figure. The toy company felt that he and his minions provided the ideal larger than life collection of villains for the toy line.
Kenner released a Darkseid figure in their Total Justice toy line.
A Darkseid figure was released in the Justice League Mission Vision toy line, based on his appearance in the DC Animated Universe. This figure was later re-released in a three pack and a six pack.
DC Direct has released multiple Darkseid action figures and toys. He was featured in their Batman/Superman series (based on the artwork of Michael Turner), in a two-pack boxed set with Orion, a stylized Blammoids art toy figure, and most recently a figure based on his New 52 incarnation.
Mattel released a Darkseid figure in fourth series of their Retro-Action DC Super Heroes line, a homage to the vintage Mego action figures of the seventies which utilized 8" bodies with cloth outfits.
Funko has released a Darkseid as part of their Pop! line of Vinyl figures.
Lego has released a set under the DC Super Heroes theme in 2015 named "Darkseid's Invasion", containing 545 pieces and including Darkseid as a large Lego figure.
The Anti-Life Equation is a fictional mathematical equation appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. In Jack Kirby's Fourth World setting, the Anti-Life Equation is a formula for total control over the minds of sentient beings, that is sought by Darkseid, who, for this reason, sends his forces to Earth, as he believes part of the equation exists in the subconscious. Various comics have defined the equation in different ways, but a common interpretation is that the equation is a mathematical proof of the futility of living.Apokolips
Apokolips is a fictional planet appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The planet is ruled by Darkseid, established in Jack Kirby's Fourth World comic book series, and is integral to many stories in the DC Universe. Apokolips is considered to be the opposite of the planet New Genesis.Apokolips is a large planet covered entirely by a city (an ecumenopolis). The war that destroyed the Old Gods and created New Genesis and Apokolips separated the Fourth World from the rest of the universe, leaving it only accessible by a form of travel called a boom tube.
The boom tube, it has been revealed, converts individuals that pass through to proportions fitting the destination, i.e., when a New God passes from Apokolips (or New Genesis) to Earth, they are shrunken in size, while someone going the other way would grow larger. If someone somehow reaches the Fourth World by other means, he will discover that its denizens are giants.Black Racer (DC Comics)
The Black Racer is a fictional character, a deity and avatar of Death in the DC Comics universe who often hunts those affiliated with the Speed Force. The character first appears in New Gods #3 (July 1971) and was created by Jack Kirby.Desaad
DeSaad is a fictional comic book supervillain, appearing in books published by DC Comics. He is one of the followers of Darkseid from the planet of Apokolips in Jack Kirby's Fourth World meta-series.As DeSaad serves as Darkseid's master torturer, his name refers to Marquis de Sade. At one point DeSaad had an assistant named Justeen, a reference to de Sade's novel Justine, although she bore little resemblance to the title character.Female Furies
The Female Furies are a group of fictional women warriors appearing in comics published by DC Comics.Glorious Godfrey
Glorious Godfrey is a DC Comics supervillain who is part of The Fourth World series of comic books in the early 1970s.Granny Goodness
Granny Goodness is a fictional character, a deity and supervillain published by DC Comics.Heggra
Heggra is a fictional character, and extraterrestrial monarch and supervillain in publications from DC Comics. The character first appeared in New Gods volume 1 #7 (February 1972), and was created by Jack Kirby.Kalibak
Kalibak () is a fictional deity and supervillain appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. Kalibak is the eldest son of Darkseid, the half-brother of Orion and Grayven, and one of the main enemies of Superman and the Justice League of America.Kanto (comics)
Kanto is a fictional extraterrestrial assassin published by DC Comics.Lashina
Lashina is a fictional character and Goddess warrior woman published by DC Comics.Metron (comics)
Metron is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics.New Gods
The New Gods are a fictional race appearing in the eponymous comic book series published by DC Comics, as well as selected other DC titles. Created and designed by Jack Kirby, they first appeared in February 1971 in New Gods #1.Orion (comics)
Orion is a fictional character, a superhero that appears in comic books published by DC Comics.Parademon
Parademons are a fictional group of extraterrestrials appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. They are monstrous shock troops of Apokolips used by Darkseid to maintain order on the planet.Steppenwolf (comics)
Steppenwolf is a fictional supervillain appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. The character was created by Jack Kirby and made his first appearance in New Gods #7 (February 1972). Steppenwolf (which is German for "steppe wolf") is one of the New Gods, the uncle of the supervillain Darkseid, the brother of Heggra, the great-uncle of Kalibak and Orion, and a member of Darkseid's Elite.
The character made his live-action debut in Zack Snyder's Justice League film, played by Ciarán Hinds.Wizard (magazine)
Wizard or Wizard: The Magazine of Comics, Entertainment and Pop Culture (previously titled Wizard: The Guide to Comics and Wizard: The Comics Magazine) was a magazine about comic books, published monthly in the United States by Wizard Entertainment from July 1991 to January 2011. It included a price guide, as well as comic book, movie, anime, and collector news, interviews, and previews.