Darkseid (//) 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 officially debuting in Forever People #1 (February 1971). One of the most powerful beings in the DC Universe, along with Trigon, Nekron, Barbatos, Hades, Anti-Monitor, and Great Evil Beast, Darkseid serves as a staple Superman villain and is considered the archenemy of the Justice League.
Darkseid on the cover of Justice League vol 2 #23.1 Darkseid (November 2013). Art by Ivan Reis, and Joe Prado.
|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
|Notable aliases||Dark God|
Lord of Apokolips
As the tyrannical ruler and former prince of the planet Apokolips and extremely and supremely powerful and dangerous higher extra and inter-dimensional Demon God of Evil, Darkseid's ultimate goal is to obtain the Anti-Life Equation to eliminate all free will in sentient beings and remake the universe in his own image. He is the father of Orion, Kalibak, Grayven, and Grail, brother of Highfather, husband of Suli Tigra Myrina and Grayven's mother, and son of Yuga Khan and Heggra. 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.
The character has been substantially adapted into various forms of media, most notably being voiced by Frank Welker in Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show and The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians, by Michael Ironside in the DC animated universe, and by Andre Braugher in Superman/Batman: Apocalypse. After being referenced multiple times in the DC Extended Universe, Darkseid will make his live-action debut in the film New Gods.
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. According to writer Mark Evanier, Kirby modelled Darkseid's face on actor Jack Palance, while the villain's personality was inspired by Adolf Hitler and Richard Nixon.
Fictional character biographyEdit
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.
The Great Darkness SagaEdit
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.
The Seven Soldiers and "Boss Dark Side"Edit
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.
The New 52Edit
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 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. 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.
Powers and abilitiesEdit
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 and Diana were able to deflect them, Firestorm once used his powers to redirect 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 and immortal, having lived for several hundred thousand years, he is not invincible and has been killed on several occasions.
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.[vague]
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"
In other mediaEdit
- Darkseid first appears in the animated series Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show (1984) and The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians (1985), voiced by Frank Welker using a deep gravelly voice similar to the one used earlier for Doctor Claw from Inspector Gadget.
- Darkseid appears in the tenth and final season of Smallville. Producers of the series mentioned that the character would not be fully revealed at the beginning and would be a force that is going to be felt throughout the season and eventually materialize as the episodes progress. In the series version, he mostly appears as a non-corporeal being. In the two-part series finale, Darkseid is seemingly destroyed while possessing the Earth-2 version of Lionel Luthor as an avatar, having made a deal with the dying Lionel to restore Lex Luthor to life in exchange for Lionel's body; Lionel/Darkseid is destroyed when Clark achieves his full power, flying for the first time and colliding with Darkseid with such force that he tears Lionel's body apart. In the Season Eleven comic book continuation of the show, however, it is revealed that Darkseid had survived the encounter and restored his physical body.
- Darkseid appears in Batman: The Brave and the Bold, voiced by Michael-Leon Wooley. In the episode "Darkseid Descending!", Darkseid leads the forces of Apokolips in an invasion of Earth, only to be challenged by Batman and his new Justice League. After soundly defeating the League, Darkseid is goaded into a fistfight with Batman after the hero implies that he is simply a coward who hides behind his deity-like abilities. Though Darkseid subsequently wins this fight, he and his army are sent back to Apokolips by the Question having infiltrated Darkseid's cadre of minions and reversed the Boom Tubes that had brought them to Earth. Darkseid makes a cameo in the episode "Powerless!" where he appears in a training simulator to help Captain Atom fight crime after his powers were taken away by Major Force. However, the Darkseid simulation easily defeats Captain Atom.
- Darkseid appears in the Young Justice TV show, voiced again by Michael-Leon Wooley. In the episode "Disordered", he is never explicitly named but Beautiful Dreamer of the Forever People refers to him as Desaad's master while Desaad simply calls him as 'Unspeakable'. At the end of the season 2 finale "Endgame", Vandal Savage, Desaad and G. Gordon Godfrey meet with Darkseid on Apokolips. Savage then shakes hands while quoting 'business as usual'. He is one of the main antagonists of season 3. In the season 3 episode "Evolution", it is revealed that Darkseid, along with the forces of Apokolips, invaded Earth in the 13th century. He came into conflict with Vandal Savage and his sons, who were some of the first meta-humans. Impressed, as well as thinking meta-humans might be integral in the Anti-Life Equation, Darkseid formed a partnership with Savage. The two have helped each other in their various battles for conquest of the galaxy over the years. Ultimately, when Earth and Apokolips are the only two words left in the galaxy, the two will have a final battle to determine the strongest figure in the universe. In the present, when an unknown alien force (later revealed to be an alien race taken over by Starro) attacks Earth, Darkseid sends Kalibak to destroy half of the invading force (using a kidnapped meta-human as a bomb), with Savage's daughter Cassandra destroying the other half using Warworld. In the episode "Unknown Factors", it's post-credits scene has Granny Goodness contacting Darkseid stating that she found the Anti-Life Equation which she believes to be inside of Halo. In "Into the Breach", when Granny's plot to acquire the equation and enslave the heroes fails, she reports that Vandal Savage was the one responsible. Darkseid later meets with Vandal in the season finale, "Nevermore", to discuss what happened, and mend their partnership while having Granny tortured for her failure.
- A doll resembling the appearance of Darkseid is frequently featured in the show Teen Titans Go!. Darkseid made a physical appearance in the half-hour length two-part episode "Two-Parter", voiced by "Weird Al" Yankovic. The two-part episode features the Titans and Justice League. He has captured the Justice League and the Teen Titans travel to Apokolips in order to battle him. The deep voice was the result of a cold he had and couldn't be taken seriously by the Titans after he took a cold drop, comparing his actual voice is similar to "Weird Al". Darkseid plotted to destroy Earth and "Weird Al", whom he considered more evil than himself for ripping off other music artists' works. While the other Titans were unable to defeat Darkseid, he ended up being defeated by Cyborg. In the episode "The Streak" Pt. 1, Darkseid was shown in Jump City having candy and threw its wrapper on the ground only for Robin to beat him up enough to throw the wrapper into the nearby garbage can. Darkseid also appears at the end of the direct-to-video movie Teen Titans Go! vs. Teen Titans.
- Darkseid appears in Justice League Action, voiced by Jonathan Adams.
- Darkseid is featured in DC Super Hero Girls, voiced by John DiMaggio. For his first appearances in the web show, Darkseid masqueraded as the math teacher "Dr. Seid". In "My So Called Anti-Life", Dr. Seid tricks the Super Hero Girls into solving the Anti-Life Equation for him by putting it on a test. Once it is solved, Darkseid reveals his true form, explains that previous attacks by Granny Goodness and her minions were his attempts to conquer Earth, and uses the Anti-Life Equation to slowly convert Earth's population into duplicates of himself. Batgirl, Harley Quinn, Bumblebee, and Raven, who managed to dodge the Equation's effects, manage to change the people back to normal by reminding them of their true selves, which they refer to as "adding new variables to the equation to change the answer". After a brief fight with the restored heroes, Darkseid retreats, vowing revenge.
DC animated universeEdit
- Darkseid first appears in Superman: The Animated Series, where he is depicted as the absolute ruler of the planet Apokolips who will stop at nothing to find the elusive Anti-Life Equation, which he plans to use to reshape the universe in his image. For aeons, Apokolips and its sister planet, New Genesis, have been at war with each other. They eventually formed a peace treaty by trading Darkseid's son (Orion) with Highfather's (Mister Miracle), whom Darkseid has shown great resent towards. During his first invasion of Earth (in the two-part episode "Apokolips...Now!"), Darkseid is confronted by the citizens of New Genesis, who deem Earth under their protection; if Darkseid ever attacked again, it would be a violation of their truce. To bypass his promise, Darkseid develops various schemes to destroy Earth indirectly, such as through the manipulation of Metropolis' criminal syndicate, Intergang. In the concluding two-part finale "Legacy", Darkseid attempts one final invasion of Earth which involves brainwashing Superman into thinking he is his adopted son. After causing much devastation on Earth, Superman manages to break free from Darkseid's control and confronts him on Apokolips. During their final battle, Darkseid beats and pummels Superman. But just as Darkseid attempts to use his Omega Beams to deliver the final blow, Superman covers the tyrant's eyes, causing a massive explosion which results in Darkseid's defeat. To Superman's shock, however, Darkseid's slaves willingly come to his aid after the battle by carrying his injured body away to recover. As he leaves, Darkseid explains to Superman that "I am many things, Kal-El, but here, I am God."
- Darkseid returns in the Justice League animated series, where he is given a stylistic revamp, now featuring a more streamlined build. In the two-part episode "Twilight", Darkseid seeks the Justice League's help in stopping Brainiac from downloading all of Apokolips' information before destroying it. Superman opposes helping his nemesis, but the rest of the League agrees in order to take down Brainiac once and for all. But after defeating Brainiac's forces and following the android back to his base, the League discover that Darkseid and Brainiac have been working together all along. As part of their arrangement, Darkseid would bring Superman to Brainiac, and in exchange, the supercomputer would spare Apokolips. However, Darkseid later betrays Brainiac by hacking his circuitry, rendering all of Brainiac's machinery under his control to find the Anti-Life Equation. But Superman is freed with Batman's help while Orion battles Darkseid. After Darkseid defeats his son, his exit blocked by Superman, intent to finish Darkseid once and for all. This time, the angered Man of Steel actually manages to defeat Darkseid, but is prevented from killing him as the base begins to collapse, forcing Batman to bring Superman and Orion to safety via a boom tube. Buried under the rubble, Darkseid looks on and nonchalantly says "Loser" before being killed in the explosion of the base.
- Darkseid makes his final and last appearance in Justice League Unlimited. When the Legion of Doom travel into deep space to the location of Brainiac's destroyed base from "Twilight", Lex Luthor sacrifices both the ship's power and Tala to fuel a device that will mystically draw Brainiac's essence from the debris in an attempt to resurrect the android. However, Darkseid was resurrected instead, now more powerful than ever due to merging with Brainiac's technology. After destroying the Legion's ship, Darkseid returns to Apokolips and reunifies his warring minions to claim revenge against Superman, and launches an assault on Earth. This forces the Justice League and the Legion to work together to stop the Parademons' invasion. Most notably, Batman becomes the first-ever being to avoid getting struck by Darkseid's Omega Beam. Superman then confronts Darkseid once again and is ultimately defeated when Darkseid paralyzes him with the agony matrix. But before Darkseid can kill his nemesis, Luthor, having visited the Source Wall and found the Anti-Life Equation, steps in and sacrifices himself to stop Darkseid. Both Darkseid and Luthor then touch the Equation and disappear in a flash of light. Though several heroes speculate that they may not have seen the last of them, series writer Dwayne McDuffie confirmed that Darkseid and Luthor now form part of the Source Wall, as do all who solve the Anti-Life Equation.
- In 2014, film director Bryan Singer revealed that during the early development of the scrapped Superman Returns sequel, Darkseid was considered to be the main antagonist.
- Darkseid appears as the main antagonist in the direct-to-video animated film Superman/Batman: Apocalypse, voiced by Andre Braugher. When Darkseid learns of Kara Zor-El's presence on Earth, he orders his minions to have her brought to Apokolips as a possible candidate to lead the Female Furies after Big Barda's departure. After using a horde of Doomsday clones to distract Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, Darkseid's forces manage to capture Kara and bring her to Apokolips, where Darkseid brainwashes her into becoming the captain of the furies. When Superman arrives, Darkseid unleashes the corrupted Kara in hopes of using her to kill the Man of Steel. However, Batman activates all of the Hell Spores and threatens to destroy Apokolips, issuing Darkseid an ultimatum: free Kara and promise to leave her alone in exchange for deactivating the Spores. Darkseid then relents, releasing Kara from his control. However, Darkseid later ambushes them at the Kent Farm (he had promised to leave Kara alone, but not Superman or Earth). After using his Omega Beams to blast Superman into orbit, Darkseid overpowers Kara and is pummeled mercilessly by a furious Superman until he manages to restrain him. He unleashes the power of his Omega Beams on Superman, blackening his face until Kara then uses Darkseid's Mother Box to activate a Boom Tube, allowing Superman to blast him into it and transport him to an unknown part of space where he ends up frozen.
- Darkseid appears in the DC Animated Movie Universe based on his New 52 portrayal, where he conquers world after world after each one has run out of resources, and he has the natives turned into Parademons for his army.
- He first appears in the film Justice League: War, voiced by Steve Blum, as his forces attempt to invade and terraform Earth. Per Green Lantern's idea, Flash and Wonder Woman gouge Darkseid's eyes out to prevent him from using his Omega Beams. Cyborg and Shazam get the boom tubes open to send all of the Parademons back with Darkseid. After receiving a massive beating from Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Flash, and Wonder Woman, Darkseid is finally thrown back into the portal and returned to Apokolips.
- Darkseid appears in Reign of the Supermen, voiced by Tony Todd. In the movie's storyline, Darkseid is revealed to had caused the events of the previous film The Death of Superman, unleashing Doomsday on Earth as a living weapon to soften up the planet's defences, also converting Hank Henshaw into his agent - Henshaw having been a casualty of Doomsday's entry to Earth when the meteor carrying Doomsday destroyed Henshaw's shuttle - with Henshaw's manipulations allowing him to apparently destroy the Justice League and orchestrate a second invasion.
- Darkseid will be the main antagonist in Justice League Dark: Apokolips War.
- Darkseid appears as in the animated film Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League vs. Bizarro League, voiced again by Tony Todd. He takes advantage of Bizarro's new Bizarro League.
- An alternate universe version of Darkseid appeared in a flashback scene of Justice League: Gods and Monsters, voiced by Bruce Thomas. Bekka was supposed to be wed to his son, Orion as part of a truce between New Genesis and Apokolips only for Highfather and his army to kill him and his followers. Unlike the comics and any incarnations, this version of Darkseid is shown to be a good parent to Orion and possibly Kalibak, as seen by Orion when he saw his father killed by Highfather and Orion is shocked to see his father dead in front of him.
- Darkseid appears in Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League: Attack of the Legion of Doom, with Tony Todd reprising the role. After Lex Luthor and the Legion of Doom fail, Darkseid decides to take matters into his own hands by allying himself with Brainiac.
- In the DC Extended Universe Darkseid was mentioned in Justice League while events in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice hint at his existence; there were plans for Darkseid to make an explicit appearance in Justice League, but his scene was cut. In Zack Snyder and Chris Terrio’s original script for Justice League, completed before the release of Batman v Superman, the film was going to explore a distant future where Darkseid had taken over the Earth. After murdering Lois Lane, he brings Superman under control of the Anti-Life Equation which leads to the Knightmare sequence in Batman v Superman. But after the negative critical and financial reception to the theatrical cut of Batman v Superman, Warner Bros. executives became nervous and asked them to rewrite parts of this script, which led them to remove these plot points to save for a later film. This effectively cut Darkseid’s role down to a cameo while his lieutenant Steppenwolf took over the role of central villain. With Snyder’s departure and Joss Whedon’s extensive reshoots, any reference to the Knightmare sequence and distant future, as well as Darkseid’s cameo, were discarded for a more streamlined, self-contained approach. Actor Ray Porter was even cast as Darkseid. Snyder released an image of Darkseid in the history lesson on his social media site Vero. Darkseid and his invading forces even originally appeared at the end of the final battle from a boom tube after Steppenwolf is killed by Wonder Woman, in which both sides have an exchange before the team destroy the Motherboxes and close the boom tube on Darkseid.
- Ava DuVernay revealed that Darkseid will appear in New Gods. It is unknown if Ray Porter will reprise his role from the original cut of Justice League.
- Darkseid appears in Superman: The Game.
- Darkseid appears in Justice League Task Force, voiced by the game's composer Matt Uelmen. He attacks the Earth and destroys military bases which leads to the Justice League fighting him.
- Darkseid appears in the 1999 Superman video game, voiced by Michael Ironside. He is encountered in Lex Luthor's virtual Metropolis and is sighted in a level where he is merely standing around in a parking garage. The player (uncharacteristically) easily takes him out with one punch and then has to deliver him to the police.
- Darkseid appears in Superman: Shadow of Apokolips, voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson. He is in collaboration with Lex Luthor to enhance Intergang with Interbots.
- Darkseid appears in Justice League Heroes, voiced by David Sobolov. In this continuity, he has at some point been trapped in another dimension, and thus remains behind the scenes for most of the story as he manipulates Brainiac with promises of unleashing great power and knowledge in exchange for acquiring a Mother Box from the Justice League Watchtower. Using the power of the Mother Box and the sensory field matrix that served as his prison, Darkseid is able to escape – saying that he has fulfilled his bargain to help Brainiac unleash great power, with the great knowledge being that one should never trust Darkseid – and remake Earth into a new Apokolips. He subsequently attempted to destroy the League with his Omega Beams, but Mother Box was able to save the League by altering the Omega Effect to send them to another dimension filled with a strange ambient energy that renders the Omega Beams useless. Now protected from Darkseid, the League return to Earth and defeat him, Wonder Woman subsequently using her Lasso of Truth to learn that only the hypercube that imprisoned Darkseid originally can imprison him again. The league activates the cube and Superman defeats Darkseid, imprisoning him once again. With Darkseid defeated, Mother Box restores Earth to normal, with Green Lantern promising to take Darkseid's hypercube somewhere where it can never be discovered and Darkseid released again.
- Darkseid appears in Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, voiced by Perry Brown. He appears in the opening of the DC side of the Story Mode having been defeated by Superman. Attempting to flee via a boom tube, Darkseid is struck by Superman's heat vision. Unknown to both of them at the same time, Raiden is blasting Shao Kahn with lighting as the villain attempted to flee in a portal. These two events link together, merging both villains into an entity known as Dark Kahn. This results in both realities beginning to merge. The creature spreads its will through both realities, increasing the Rage of every fighter to the point that they become delusional and mistake friends with enemies. Confronted by both Raiden and Superman, Dark Kahn explodes and both realities separate. Darkseid ends up in the Mortal Kombat universe by accident, being imprisoned in Nether Realm. In Darkseid's ending the sorcerer Shang Tsung attempt to take Darkseid's soul to gain strength, but the villain had the process reversed on him, empowering Darkseid instead.
- In Mortal Kombat 11 Darkseid was used as a DLC skin for Geras.
- Darkseid appears in Puzzle & Dragons. He is the final boss in the "DC Universe Collab" dungeon.
- Darkseid appears in DC Universe Online. He is the final boss in the "Darkseid's War Factory" raid.
- Darkseid appears in Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, voiced by Travis Willingham. In the "Bizarro League" DLC, Darkseid attacks Bizarro World causing the Bizarro League to defend it from Darkseid's forces.
- Darkseid appears as the main antagonist in Lego DC Super-Villains, voiced by Michael Ironside. He is revealed to have summoned the Crime Syndicate of America to his reality to help find the Anti-Life Equation. It takes a combination of the Justice League and the Legion of Doom to send the Crime Syndicate of America back to their Earth and defeat Darkseid. Shortly after his defeat, the Rookie uses his/her powers to turn Darkseid and the other Apokolipians with him good. In a post-credit scene, Darkseid is confronted and attacked in his throne by a new foe.
- Darkseid appears in Injustice: Gods Among Us. Darkseid sits in his throne room until any hero or villain is teleported to Apokolips from the Hall of Justice via a Boom Tube. He beats whoever appears and then hits the character with his Omega Beams which sends them flying back into the Boom Tube, teleporting the character back to the Hall. The character is also available as a playable character in the iOS version of the game.
- Darkseid is featured as a DLC character in the 2017 fighting game Injustice 2, with Michael-Leon Wooley reprising the role. In Darkseid's ending, Darkseid vaporizes Brainiac with his Omega Beams and then does the same to Superman to avenge Kalibak's death. Upon Desaad torturing Supergirl into submission, Darkseid used her Kryptonian DNA to create a new line of Parademons to conquer the universe.
The 1984 Kenner "Super Powers Collection" toy line featured the first sad action figure. The toy company felt that he and his minions provided the smaller 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.
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