Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Who's Who: Darkseid

by Russell & Siskoid

Real Name: Darkseid
Super-Power(s): Super-strength, invulnerability, Omega beams; in the 30th Century, force blasts, force fields, levitation, teleportation, and mind control.
Planet of Origin: Apokolips
Relationship to Legion: Villain

Legion Log
Darkseid is, literally, a god of evil. He is the leader of those New Gods who reside on the planet Apokolips, He leads them in their eternal battle with those New Gods who reside on New Genesis.

Darkseid was active as dictator on Apokolips and would-be ruler of the universe for untold eons. He first came to the attention of Earth during the late 20th and early 21st centuries, when he was consistently stopped in this invasion plans by the New Genesis New Gods and by other forces for good such as the Justice League.

In an untold tale sometime in the (relatively) near future, Darkseid somehow "retired" and placed himself in a state of suspended animation. He "slept" for perhaps 1,000 years, until the "darkness" of Shadow Lass (as a native of Talok VIII) inadvertently awoke him. He quickly began to absorb power and energy from 30th Century sources as he made plans to rule. During this time he learned of the planet Daxam from native Mon-El; using his psionic powers, he brainwashed the population and turned them into his super-powered slaves. Eventually the Legion of Super-Heroes was able to rally the United Planets to defeat him. He retreated to some unknown location, intent on sowing the seeds of evil from behind the scenes instead of as an active protagonist. (Read our review of this storyline here: Great Darkness Saga.)

A few months later when Saturn Girl and Lightning Lad had their twin sons, Darkseid snuck in under the cover of darkness and kidnapped one of them. He used his powers to alter and age the boy into the monstrous creature Validus, then sent Validus back in time to join the Fatal Five.

Eventually Validus' parents learned the truth about their son. Saturn Girl begged Darkseid to restore Validus to normal, and in a rare moment of generosity (pity?), Darkseid did so. He thereafter stayed on the periphery of the Legion's universe, never openly confronting them again.

After the so-called Five-Year Gap... Darkseid struck again at the heroes of the 30th Century, this time covertly, experimenting on twin children created by a "Gemini Matrix", which may have been a formula for the Anti-Life Equation. The daughter, Aria, escaped and was rescued by the Legion. Darkseid hired Lobo to recapture her. The experiment successfully merged Aria with her brother Coda to create a being called Gemini, which Darkseid then apparently goaded into erasing him from existence.

After the Reboot, the Legion also ran into Darkseid after inhabitants of Apokolips abducted a 15-year-old Clark Kent from the 20th Century. In an echo of the original history, Darkseid perverted various 21st-Century heroes into minions set on restoring him to full power. They took over the Time Institute and created stargates to the past, allowing Darkseid to collaborate with his younger self, and erasing that past. But the younger Darkseid betrayed his older self. The Legion prevented the younger New God from killing the elder, but their interference undid the damage to the timeline, and Darkseid was battered into his former stasis.

Darkseid's history did not intersect with the Legion's after the Threeboot.

After Infinite Crisis... Darkseid's history with the Legion has presumably been more or less restored.

Defining Villainous Moment: 

Legion of Super-Heroes Annual (v1) #3 (1984)
 (reprinted in The Great Darkness Saga TPB)
Darkseid kidnaps the Legionnaires' son and turns him into Validus

Important Darkseid (Legion) Stories:

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #287
 (reprinted in The Great Darkness Saga TPB)
Shadow Lass & Mon-El inadvertently revive Darkseid from his eons-long slumber

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #290
 (reprinted in The Great Darkness Saga TPB)
Darkseid sends his minions out to absorb power from Excalibur, 
the Metachem Rod, and other magical talismans in order to revitalize himself

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #291
 (reprinted in The Great Darkness Saga TPB)
Darkseid absorbs power from Mordru, the Time Trapper, and the Sorcerers' World

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #292
 (reprinted in The Great Darkness Saga TPB)
Darkseid gets stronger, and hits on the idea of enslaving the planet Daxam. 
Meanwhile, the Sorcerers' World conjurs up...a baby? 

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #293
 (reprinted in The Great Darkness Saga TPB)
Darkseid mind-controls the entire planet of Daxam, 
switching it into a yellow-sun universe so that they are his super-powered slaves. 

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #294
 (reprinted in The Great Darkness Saga TPB)
The entire universe working together with High Father manages to repel Darkseid's invasion attempt

Legion of Super-Heroes Annual (v1) #3 (1984)
 (reprinted in The Great Darkness Saga TPB)
Darkseid kidnaps and transforms the son of Saturn Girl and Lightning Lad into Validus

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #18 
Darkseid saves Validus during The Crisis Of Infinite Earths

Legion of Super-Heroes Annual (v2) #2 (1986)
Darkseid shows mercy on Validus, returning him to normal

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #21-24
Darkseid is back, cultivating the Anti-Life Equation in Aria AKA Gemini

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #24
Darkseid begs for "the Quiet Darkness", his death at the hands of Gemini

The Legion #19
The Reboot's Dream Girl has a premonition about Darkseid

The Legion #28-30
Darkseid attempts to rewrite history to his advantage but is stopped
by his younger self, the Legion, and a young Clark Kent


  1. LSH 293 may be my favorite cover.

    It also ends with my favorite "Next Issue" page (of all time) with Darkseid, the Child, the final servant and the Daxamites crashing through the LSH symbols.

  2. "DARKSEID" !

    His name pretty well sums it up !

  3. I think the idea of Darkseid makeing Validus completely nonsensical. What plan of his did it move forward? How did creating Validus help Darkseid ultimately conquer the Universe or hope to help him conquer the universe?
    (No wonder he turned him back to normal, he probably realized he must have had a senior moment when he created him).

    1. Yeah, I thought it was a great idea but handled very very badly.

    2. It was the Curse against The "purest" of the Legion (Saturn Girl and Lightning Lad). It not only deprived them of a son, but they later found out that son killed one of their best friends (Lyle), and Garth very nearly killed him. Imagine how that would weigh on them, even after he was restored, they knew their son committed horrible crimes, often against them. It also forced Saturn Girl to supplicate herself in front of Darkseid, which is likely pleasing to a fading God.