“A cruelly malicious person who is involved in or devoted to wickedness or crime; scoundrel; or a character in a play, novel,or the like, who constitutes an important evil agency in the plot”
Credit: Random House Abridged Dictionary
His name is Darkseid and he is quite simply DCs biggest Hell Raiser! Ruler of the Planet Apokolips, Darkseid was a creation of Jack "King" Kirby during his time in DC comics after his unceremonious departure from Marvel. Kirby's many creations at Marvel were in his mind hijacked and his frustration in getting credit and compensation for his work led to the Kings departure from Marvel to the main competition..DC Comics. The many concepts he had been tinkering with in comics like Thor and Inhumans he did not hand over and saved for his work at DC. Thus was created the celebrated Fourth World consisting of creations like The New Gods, The Forever People, and Mr. Miracle. Kirby was an architect of the comic world! Much of the Marvel Universe in its early days was created by Jack Kirby and now Kirby was world building again at DC! The worlds of New Genesis and Apokolips were introduced. Being involved in World War 2 Kirby drew plenty of inspiration for his characters and costume design from war related examples. In an interesting note Darkseid himself was modeled facially by golden age western Star Jack Pallance and the Darkseid regime was modeled after Adolf Hitlers Nazis. Hitler was ever the inspiration for Darseids wardrobe. Check out those boots, belt and gloves folks!
Darkseid had one of comicdoms least interesting debuts in the pages of Dc Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen i 1970 Darkseid made a very inauspicious cameo that looking back may be one of the worst debuts for a high-profile Villain of all time..but dont take my word for it let the Satellite show you exactly how it went down..
Kirby who had held back a stack of unused characters that he did not hand over to Marvel while he worked with them took his creations to DC with full intentions of pushing his characters to get their own books. In the mean time Kirby took his assignment of a third string SuperMan title named “Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen” and used it as a launching pad for his Fourth World characters! If you get a chance to scour any back issues of Jimmy Olsen when Kirby takes the reigns creatively it takes a ride off of the deep end! Gone were the stories of Superman’s little buddy getting into some hijinks only to be rescued at te end of the story. No. Kirby brought an other worldly approach to the book and it almost became unrecognizable to the previous reader..but in a good way! So with his cameo out of the way..just who or what in the hell is Darkseid?
Darkseid was born from Royalty on the planet of Apokolips, the son to King Yuga Khan and Queen Heggra. He was originally Prince Uxas who had a Monarch Complex in which he dreamed of having absolute power over everyone to one day rule Apokolips.
Prince Uxas on his quest for power attempted to gain power by possessing the legendary “Omega Force” by killing his own brother. Upon gaining possession however Prince Uxas was transformed into the Rock faced Monster named DARKSEID!!
Darkseid fell in love with a fellow Apokoliptian, a scientist named Suli. She would bare his first child Kalibak. Darksieds mate Suli was poisoned at Darkseids mothers authority by Dessad who felt that Suli was corrupting Darkseids mind.Heggra , Darkseid’s mother “found” him a new companion named Tigra. This however would be Darkseids undoing. Darksied having enough of his mother interference killed his own parent, and his newly appointed wife Tigra. During the union with Tigra however Darkseid was the father to his second son, New God Orion! Upon Orion’s mothers death at the hands of his father Orion was switched with Scott Free, (Mr. Miracle) a son of the HighFather to keep the proverbial peace.
It was at this point Darkseid was now the unofficial ruler of Apokolips. Another problem arose however when Darkseids son grew up in a world of order and discipline with the Gods firmly entrenched in morals and strong values that his father had lacked. It would be the prophecy that one day Darkseid would fall in a battle with his own son Orion in the “Fiery Armagedon Of Apokolips” *Hint* Keep this point in mind for later!!
Anyways, now that the important context is out of the way..on to what Darkseid means to me!! Being a child of the 80s Darkseid was the crown jewel in the Super Powers action figure collection! His figure towered over all of the other DC Super Powers figures and even had additional members of Darkseid’s landing party to purchase as well with figures available of Dessad and Kalibak!
As an avid figure collector I nabbed as many Super Powers as I could and even managed a great Darkseid!! Loved the toy..loved it even more when Darkseid became the main Villain on the last incarnation of the Super Friends series “The Legendary Super Powers” Being in Canada I missed out on the Super-Friends cartoon until they became available on VHS tapes long after cancellation. I had seen them on vacation trips to the U.S occasionally but for all intents and purposes I had only seen stills, photos and merchandise of the old show so when Super powers launched on TV on my cable package I was all in!! This group of Super Friends contained my favorite incarnation of the team with FireStorm and Cyborg on the team!! Perfect!! Darkseid caused all kinds of grief for the Super Friends/JLA!
Darkseid was the Ultimate heel in this show and was a constant thorn in the side of the Super Friends. The show was a great introduction to me in what Darkseid was all about. I had seen him in several comics growing up but this set the tone of his voice in my head and gave him resonance to my teenage mind. I will not lie the show is remembered better than it actually plays out re-watching it today! Still Galactic Guardians is my Super Friends.
My main exposure to Darksied however was not on TV ,VHS, not even in action figure form, but rather my favorite meduim..COMICS!! It was 1980 something and I sat in front of a stack of coverless treasures from a stack of throwaway comics from a store my Mom worked at. Each week the store would rotate all their comics and magazines and staff were free to take them as along as the covers were stripped so they could get credit back to the store. I remember this particular day thumbing through these books over and over (I didn’t really read many of them) and one caught my eye! Legion Of Super-Heroes! I had taken a big interest in Lightning Lad! It was the 80s and this guy was powered by electricity..this guy was HUGE in my opinion people! My fascination with the Legion had grown as years went on and I collected back issues at various shops and through trades with friends. SuperBoy/ Superman was a big deal so I always had several of these comics on hand. The Legion were often featured in the pages of SuperBoy/Superman and played a big role in his DC life through the 60s, 70s and 80s.
Being a fan of DC’s, Adventure Comics Digest I grew up watching Super Boy attempt to join the Legion. I watched the team mature as the industry story writing standards grew up with us.The LOSH frequently fought corn ball villains that for the most part were “One and Done” after an issue of two. Such Luminaries as The Time Trapper, and The Legion Of Super Villains were standard fodder for the Legionnaires who always managed to get one up against tough odds. the Legion usually outsmarted their adversaries or bested them in a fight. The Legion were unprepared when something from the distant past awakened..Now the Darkness arrives. Now begins THE GREAT DARKNESS SAGA..
Be sure to visit all of these Super-Blog Team Up Members on May 21st for their own installments dedicated to The Bad Guys!! See you there!!
12. SuperHero Satellite: (Hey you are already here!!)