Darkseid: Getting To Know The God Of Evil

Michael Whitlatch ComiConverse
September 10th, 2016

A Super Empowered Community.

Darkseid is looming over the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), much as he has traditionally loomed over much the DC Comics universe. For those of you who may not be up to speed on the threat posed by Darkseid, we have prepared a complete guide so that you can experience the appropriate levels of anxiety. Darkseid is out there, and we have all you need to know about him here on ComiConverse!

Darkseid: Getting To Know The God Of Evil

Darkseid Final Crisis

Credit: DC Comics

Darkseid: A Brief History

Darkseid is the God of Evil and the undisputed Lord of the planet Apokolips. He is classified as a member of the Jack Kirby's "New Gods" and is, without question, the most powerful villain within the DC Universe. First appearing back in 1970, inside the pages of Jimmy Olson #134, Darkseid was always meant to embody the worst aspects of the human condition.  Jack Kirby modelled Darkseid on Adolph Hitler, and wanted him to be surrounded by legions of followers that had fallen under his megalomaniacal spell. That aspect of the character has remained consistent throughout the decades and remains one of the most ominous character themes in all of comics.

Although Darkseid has now become one of the main antagonists for the heroes of the main DC Comics universe, that was not his initial purpose. Jack Kirby wanted the character to be the Big Bad within his Fourth World, and the primary opponent for Orion, Highfather and the other inhabitants of New Genesis.

What Is This Fourth World You Speak Of?

Darkseid New Gods Fourth World

Credit: The Kirby Museum

The Fourth World was a 1970's story arc by Jack Kirby, which went on to become an often used setting in the DC Comics universe.   The defining characters of Kirby's story were the New Gods, some whom dwelled on the optimistic and morally upstanding world of New Genesis and others who lived on the bleak hellscape of Apokolips. Throughout their clashes, Darkseid is constantly seen to be searching for the "Ant-Life Equation"; a formula which would allow for the enslaving of every living soul.

The series introduced characters like Sunbeam, Forager, Mister Miracle and Orion, who have gone on become household names amongst many comics fans. Jack Kirby's creative genius in creating the Forth World has provided a remarkable sandbox for subsequence DC Comics writers to play in.

Why Is Darkseid So Evil?

Darkseid DC Comics

Credit: DC Comics

To be fair, Darkseid had an embattled childhood.  Born under the name Uxas, he was the second son of the ruling family of  Apokolips. When his older brother tried to claim the power of the fabled Omega Force. Uxas murdered him and took the Omega powers for himself. The consequence was that his appearance was altered to its current dark and forbidding tones.

Darkseid, if he ever had a heart in the first place, had it broken for good when his only love, an Apokoliptian scientist and sorceress by the name of Suli, ended up being poisoned by one his family's servants - Desaad.  Rather than seeking vengeance on Desaad, who had been acting on orders from Darkseid's mother - the Queen - Darkseid instead ordered Desaad to poison his parents in return; making him the unchallenged Dictator of Apokolips.

Launching a war on New Genesis, Darkseid unexpectedly allowed himself to be drawn into a truce. Having realized that war with New Genesis carried an equal risk of annihilation to both sides, Darkseid, agreed to a peace with Highfather, which was cemented with a swap of sons.  The trade involved Scott Free (Mister Miracle) being sent to live on Apokolips, while Darkseid's own son, Orion, was to be raised on New Genesis. Both sons grew up to be major thorns in the side of Apokolips and its ruler.

All of this was an effort to free-up Darkseid to pursue a back-door to control of the entire universe - The Anti-Life Equation.

What Is The Anti-Life Equation?

Darkseid Anti-Life Equation

Credit: DC Comics

It appears Darkseid first began his ceaseless pursuit of the equation in Martian Manhunter vol.2 #33, when he learned that Martian society had a spiritual connection to something called "The Life Equation". Postulating that there must then be an "Anti-Life Equation", the ruler of Apokolips started to put the pieces together.

The Anti-Life Equation has been shown to dwell, in whole or in part, within different individual characters throughout DC Comics history. Sunny Sumo, Empress and the Pied Piper have all been connected to the equation, while others like Orion and Mister Miracle have also been said to have knowledge of it, at various times.

Most DC Comics story arcs involving Darkseid merely make reference to his continuing search for the Equation, while others show him finding individual pieces of it.

The one time that Darkseid came into full possession of the Anti-Life Equation, and was able to use it to full effect, was in DC's Final Crisis by Grant Morrison in 2001.

But Wait, Didn't Darkseid Die Sometime Before That?

Orion Darkseid DC Comics

Credit: DC Comics

Well... Yes.  And here's where the Darkseid's story morphs into its most modern adaptation. The prophesy was that Darkseid would be defeated and killed by one of his sons. Traditionally, this was always suspected to be Orion.  In the year 2000, DC Comics gave fans the showdown they had always dreamed of, as Orion boom-tubed into a battle with Darkseid and ended the contest by ripping our his father's heart.

Battered and bruised, Orion would seem to have won, yet Darkseid could not be vanquished so easily.  As DC Comics approached their Final Crisis, it was revealed that the fallen New Gods of Apokolips were reincarnating in human bodies.

This is the adaptation that, in our humble opinion, vaulted Darkseid into the very top of DC's volume of villainy.

He cannot be killed. He is the living embodiment of the spirit of evil. Destroy his body and his essence will eventually seek out another vessel to corrupt. His powers will largely remain intact.

So Darkseid Can Be Different People?

Darkseid Batman Final Crisis

Credit: DC Comics

Darkseid HAS been different people.

During Final Crisis, Darkseid was able to transfer his essence into the human forms of "Boss Darkseid" and Dan Turpin. In the event's aftermath it was revealed that he was also attempting to reincarnate inside the form of Doctor. Hurt - Batman's then current nemesis.

That transition came about from the fact that Batman himself slew the version of Darkseid that had inhabited Dan Turpin in Final Crisis, by shooting him with the same bullet that was used to kill Orion earlier in the story.

Grant Morrison took pains to allude to Doctor Hurt in vague and mysterious ways, which included references to both Darkseid and the Devil.

Thus began the final part of Darkseid's modern-day adaptation, an expansion of his mythology that includes connections to Christian notions of good and evil.  Could Darkseid actually be the Devil?

So That Was What All That Bible Imagery In Batman v Superman Was About?

Batman v Superman Darkseid

Credit: Time Warner

It was hard to miss wasn't it?  Although it hasn't been proven that Darkseid will be entering into the plot of future Justice League films within the DCEU, his arrival is a major part of the initial Justice League stories in DC's New 52 comics reboot.

We do know with certainty that Darkseid's uncle Steppenwolf will feature in upcoming DCEU film plots and for that reason, Darkseid's arrival seems fairly inevitable at this point.

The religious and devil imagery that was laced throughout Batman v Superman seemed intent on highlighting Grant Morrison's work in connecting Darkseid to the Devil.  So we are left with a universe in which Darkseid is the Dictator and ruler of a far-off hell-like world, an Adolf Hitler-like tyrannical despot intent on enslaving the galaxy and quite possibly the Devil himself.  He is the God of Evil, and wherever life dwells it seems, evil is there to rear its ugly head.

What Are Darkseid's Power Sets?

Darkseid v Superman

Credit: DC Comics

If Darkseid does show his face in the DCEU, Earth's defenders are going to have their hands full.  Darkseid commands legions of para-demons, which are basically slaves that have been genetically modified to become powerful demon-like warriors. Armies of these and other creatures are at his call on Apokolips and have often accompanied him via boom-tube during his attempted conquests of Earth.

Darkseid's lieutenants are themselves hugely powerful creatures that would be a worthy match for any of the Justice League. Steppenwolf, Desaad, Kalibak and Granny Goodness are all powerful enemies in their own right; each has been responsible for plots that have given the Justice League problems on numerous occasions.

Darkseid usually likes to let his followers do most of the fighting for him and prefers to use his evil genius to manipulate people and situations to his advantage. His seduction of Mary Marvel in Final Crisis is only one such example.

If and when Darkseid does choose to get personally involved, their are very few that can match him. His Omega beams can incinerate most life forms in an instant, with the added threat that he can control their direction, in order to follow enemies as they attempt to dodge and weave away from them. His Omega Sanction acts as a kind of temporal curse, which sends people's souls back in time in order to experience an endless series of increasingly painful deaths.

Darkseid himself is supremely powerful. Members of the Marvel family and Superman have been shown to occasionally give him trouble in physical confrontations; however, most other heroes would need to depend on teamwork - or luck - when confronting the God of Evil.

At different times, Darkseid has been shown to have a variety of additional power sets that range from telekinesis to almost impossible god-like feats, such as shifting planets around the galaxy.

In most instances, it requires the work of more than one DC Comics hero to even get close to him, let alone defeat him.

Darkseid is one of the most evil characters ever to inhabit the pages of fiction, so it pays to be prepared.

We hope our guide has been useful in getting you ready for his next appearance.


What are your favourite storylines involving Darkseid?

Do you think he will have a deep involvement in the plots of the DCEU?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.


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Source: DC Comics

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