Darkseid’s greatest hitsPosted: December 11, 2008
Darkseid. A name I was introduced to on my 9th birthday when my cousin gave me a pack of DC trading cards. Though I initially had trouble with pronouncing his name (Dark Seed?) I found the concept of a being more evil than Satan – who totally rules, by the way – to be as compelling as it was improbable. However, after begging my parents to buy an old Superpowers toy of the Dark God of Apokolips at a flea market, and saying prayers (curses?) to him every night, I finally read the comics and found him to be less than threatening. Kirby tech, while cool to 70’s audiences, was more than dated by the ‘90s, and even a 9-year-old could see that the depictions of the Dark One did not live up to that initial description on the back of the trading card.
However, in the pages of Final Crisis, the Dark God has finally been living up to my childhood conception. I only had to wait 16 years.
In this vein, I’d like to list some of my favorite moments in Darkseid history.
1. Enslaving 3 billion Daxamites
I’ve never read it, but I understand in the Great Darkness Saga, good Ol’ Stoney-Faced Darkseid enslaved 3 billion Kryptonian expatriates. Too bad the current run of Super-books does not tie into Final Crisis at all, because the possibility of the residents of Kandor becoming Justifiers is kind of cool, and even more dystopic…
2. Vaporizing Supergirl
Back in the day when I could still be bothered to read Jeph Loeb-penned stories, I was a fan of Superman/Batman. However, I must admit to being skeptical of the inclusion of a trendy, needlessly scanty clad, Supergirl into the mix. Fucks with the whole “Last Son of Krypton” mythos, and she is always a harbinger for other residents of aforementioned bottled cities. In any case, the story did manage to be vaguely interesting, though the thought of Batman threatening to destroy a whole planet – even a planet that is the DCU’s equivalent of Mordor – when he can not bring himself to kill the Joker was a bit much.
However, when Darkseid boomtubes into the Kent’s farm near the end of the story and completely obliterates Supergirl, that was totally awesome. It made me forget that effing Michael Turner – may he rest in peace – was drawing the comic.
The only downside is that Kara came back, though Johns and Robinson have used her well of late, IMHO.
3. Superman’s agony, Darkseid’s ecstasy
Two words. Agony Matrix. In the final episode of Justice League Unlimited, where after a lengthy battle with Superman, where Kal unleashes his full fury at Darkseid during an Apokoliptian invasion of Earth, Darkseid unleashes his secret weapon: The Agony Matrix. This device stimulates every nerve in the body to its highest degree of pain, and does this forever. As Darkseid gloats in Michael Ironside’s voice, he draws out a kryptonite-bladed knife to cut out Superman’s mighty heart. Only the timely intervention of Lex Luthor, who arrives with the anti-life equation, saves Superman. Great end to a fantastic cartoon show.
4. DIE FOR DARKSIDE!
Darkseid escapes the destruction of the Fourth World by hiding in the body of a mob boss called, Boss Dark Side – much cooler, and more palpably sinister incarnation than a goofy Kirby drawing already – who is spreading the word on Anti-Life. Morrison is able to use the Anti-life Equation in a much more menacing way than Kirby perhaps envisioned, turning it into a metaphor for consumerism, porn addiction, drug abuse and any other compulsive, mindless pleasure seeking.
When Shiloh Norman, himself now an avatar of New God Mister Miracle (who is the avatar of freedom), comes into contact with Dark Side, the dark god begins to systematically destroy everyone he cares about, until finally exposing Shiloh, at this point the last New God, to the equation. Shiloh beats it, but when he returns to confront Dark Side, is shot in the head. Dark Side visits Shiloh’s grave, proclaiming victory, and heralding the Final Crisis.
5. “Darkseid wishes he had more hands, so he could give your world 3 billion thumbs down.”
Mummified mobsters. Time-traveling God Bullets. Word Weapons that use the internets to enslave half the population of the Earth (apparently most of the still-living half), and the corruption of DCU’s stalwart detective and Jack Kirby-analogue, Dan Turpin, Final Crisis has been a tour de force for Darkseid. But my most favoritest part is the dawn of the Fifth World, the Earth collapsing into a gravity well of soul-murdering despair where all is one in Darkseid. Proclaming that the heroes of the Multiverse had only faced “the idea of a god” in previous battles, Darkseid now lives in the souls of everyone who has heard the Anti-life equation: 3 billion people whose bodies are now his. One of the more chilling moments I’ve read in an event book.