- "I have turned one hundred thousand worlds to dust, looking for Anti-Life. Looking for those who robbed me of my glory. I will stride across their bones and bask in the glow of Anti-Life. And all of existence shall be mine."
Lord Darkseid, once known as Uxas, is an ancient and all-powerful cosmic New God warlord and conqueror who reigns over the fiery, extra-dimensional planet of Apokolips, and desires to rule Earth and the entire multiverse by harnessing the unimaginable power of the Anti-Life Equation. He is the nephew of his former herald, General Steppenwolf.
Thousands of years ago, before mighty Darkseid took the Throne of Apokolips, he became obsessed with the unholy Anti-Life Equation, a transcendental mathematical formula that eradicates free will. After locating the Equation on the planet Earth, he traveled there with an enormous army, planning to take the power of the Equation and use the seemingly weak world as a test run for his new power.
Upon arrival, he gained access to the Equation, and prepared to put it to use, but unfortunately for him, the native beings of that world, four powerful races known as Humans, Atlanteans, Amazons, and Old Gods, formed their own army to protect their world, even calling in help from the Green Lantern Corps in the form of Yalan Gur. In the battle that followed, Darkseid personally led the charge of his forces and easily slaughtered countless humans, Atlanteans, and Amazons, and even managed to kill Yalan Gur after a brief bout.
As he did so, however, the Old Gods finally moved to meet Darkseid head-on. Artemis was the first to strike, shooting the warlord with two arrows; Darkseid quickly ripped one out; but before he could rip out the other, he was immediately staggered further by a shockwave from Atlan's trident. Zeus, the King of the Old Gods and leader of Earth's alliance, then stepped in to confront the Apokoliptian warlord personally; blasting him with a barrage of divine lightning, which Darkseid managed to block with his weapon, but subsequently found himself on the defensive and locked in place.
Spotting an opening, Zeus's son Ares sprinted forward, launched himself into the air with his axe poised over his head, and came crashing down upon Darkseid, slicing through his opponent's weapon and cleaving open Darkseid's shoulder, forcing Darkseid to his knee. As the warlord bellowed with pain and rage, the God of War then sent the Apokoliptian flying back several feet with a vicious kick, leaving Darkseid sprawled on the ground, gravely wounded and more vulnerable than ever.
Just as Ares moved to finish off the warlord, a flock of Parademons then appeared, sacrificing themselves to the Old Gods' wrath as another squad of Parademons grabbed the severely weakened Darkseid and dragged him back to his ship. With Darkseid out of action, the Apokoliptian forces buckled, splintered, and then broke altogether, forcing a general rout by the Parademons and securing a grand albeit costly victory for Earth's races, made all the more significant by the loss of the Mother Boxes when the mystics charged with protecting them were killed in the battle when the Unity was blasted apart by Zeus.
With this heavy defeat, Darkseid lost the Anti-Life Equation, millions of soldiers, and the three Mother Boxes, all in one fell swoop, all upon an anonymous, unnamed world among the countless of the Multiverse. A furious Darkseid, however, was undeterred and vowed to claim the Equation again.
However, by the time he recovered from the nearly fatal injuries on Apokolips, and likely due to losing against what the Apokoliptians deemed to be a primitive planet, the position of power that he once held became almost nonexistent, and the loss of Darkseid's influence resulted in a vicious war that by the time he came into a position of power once more, thousands of years had passed, and those who had joined him on his failed crusade on Earth had all been wiped out. As a result, the exact location of Anti-Life and the planet that held it, and the whereabouts of the Mother Boxes, were lost to Darkseid, who, after ascending as the ruler of Apokolips, began a search that spanned thousands of years and the conquering of countless planets in order to find Anti-Life once more.
Refocusing on the Terran populace
- "I told you Steppenwolf would fail."
"Yes. Yes, you did."
"My master, now that the Mother Boxes have been destroyed, how will you retrieve your great prize?"
"Anti-Life is found, DeSaad. And we will stop at nothing to possess it. Ready the armada. We will use the old ways."
- ―DeSaad and Darkseid[src]
Millennia later, in 2015, the Mother Boxes began to reawaken due to Superman's death, alerting his exiled general Steppenwolf. In 2017, while in the process of gathering the Boxes to create the Unity, Steppenwolf rediscovered the Anti-Life Equation on Earth. Darkseid was later informed that Earth was not only the planet that held the Mother Boxes, but also held the Anti-Life Equation that he had failed to acquire.
Upon learning this, Darkseid ordered his uncle to prepare for his arrival, and to terraform the planet with the Unity. He became stunned upon learning that Earth, the world that fought back, held the Anti-Life Equation for which he coveted, and promised redemption to his exiled minion in return for preparing the surroundings of his prize.
While Steppenwolf managed to open a portal to summon Darkseid, he was defeated and slain by the Justice League before Darkseid could come across. He could only watch his enemies, lead by Batman, see that his three Mother Boxes on Earth were disabled.
An undeterred Darkseid resolved to come via "the old ways"; by direct warfare against Earth, tasking his servant DeSaad with preparing the Apokoliptian invading forces. Later on Earth, the Martian Manhunter formally introduced himself to Batman, warning him that Darkseid was not through with Earth yet and that they needed to find the Anti-Life Equation before he did.
This article or section is about the Knightmare future. This is a potential future that may not necessarily follow the primary timeline.
In a possible dark future, after making it to Earth and tirelessly fighting the Justice League, Darkseid got his hands on the Anti-Life Equation again, and continued his conquest of the Multiverse. While fighting the League this time, Darkseid brought about the demise of Wonder Woman, converging upon Themyscira with his troops to wipe out the women there, even as they mourned for their princess. Soon after, he invaded Atlantis and killed Aquaman at his throne, impaling the king clean through his chest and heart with his own Trident. He then unleashed his iconic Omega Beams, incinerating Nuidis Vulko where he stood helplessly. Making his way to Gotham City, Darkseid incinerated Lois Lane to a charred skeleton, rendering a devastated Superman susceptible to Anti-Life. He convinced him that Batman's inability to prevent this made them mortal enemies, and proceeded to make Superman ruler of Earth, transforming it into a primordial hellscape of an apocalyptic wasteland.
When Batman founded the Insurgency as a human/metahuman rebellion against the forces of Apokolips, Darkseid tasked Superman with using the Regime to bring them down. The Insurgency fought well, but after years of fighting, most Insurgents were either converted to Parademons or were dead, and Batman was killed by Superman, leaving only the Flash and Cyborg to stand against Darkseid.
- "If it is redemption you seek, find the third box, synchronize the Unity, and when this world is scorched, I will come for my great prize."
- ―Darkseid to Steppenwolf[src]
Ever since he was raised on Apokolips, Darkseid has been famously known for his tremendous megalomania, seeing in himself as the true ruler of the entire Multiverse. Darkseid is therefore the ultimate walking power of malevolence, terror, and destruction, expressing his power over nearly all who dare face him. Indeed, even Wonder Woman showed fear when first learning of him.
Deeming himself as the one who turned thousands of planets into dust while looking for the one planet which has defeated him already, Darkseid is incredibly formidable and held great confidence in his abilities. This was evident during his past invasions where he personally led the charge against his enemies head on before his minions would. It is unknown if Darkseid still holds the same confidence in his battle prowess after his near death experience by the hands of Ares. Since his first defeat, he had began wearing body armor and even stopped personally leading invasions into other worlds.
Additionally, Darkseid is extremely obsessive and this prevents him from having any forbearance, especially with gaining his goals. Upon discovering the existence of the Anti-Life Equation, he developed a zealous obsession with it and sought to expend every resource at his disposal in order to acquire of this new power. He is also quite cunning and manipulative, knowing how to outsmart Superman into submission. This was seen in the Knightmare timeline, Darkseid has already conquered Earth with the Anti-Life Equation, as well as Superman himself (replacing the now-dead Steppenwolf with him). However, Darkseid seems to love his family to some degree and possesses a level of mercy and forgiveness, as he didn't execute Steppenwolf for his treason after he tried to amend for it by helping him take down his opposers, but rather exiled him. He also was willing to allow Steppenwolf to return to Apokolips if he could synchronize the Unity so Darkseid could arrive on Earth and claim the Anti-Life Equation.
Powers and abilities
- New God physiology: As the ruler of Apokolips, Darkseid is considered to be the most powerful of all the New Gods, far superior to even Steppenwolf, who would not dare challenge him despite having grown tired from being subservient to Darkseid. Indeed, Darkseid's power was completely unmatched by Humans, Atlanteans, Amazons and Green Lanterns with only the strongest of Old Gods and monstrous creation Doomsday were said to be comparable, making him slightly stronger than even Superman.
- Superhuman strength: The most powerful of the New Gods, Darkseid possesses extraordinary divine levels of superhuman strength, significantly stronger than Amazons or Atlanteans and far surpassing that of his uncle Steppenwolf, who possessed enough strength to overpower most of the Justice League single-handedly. A young Darkseid's immense strength was already enough to easily defeat entire armies of Amazons, Atlanteans and humans, a single attack from his trident sending them flying and casually lifting a full-grown man with one hand, instantly overpowered and stabbed Yalan Gur despite his efforts to hold him back and was only surpassed by that of Zeus and Ares, but he has grown stronger since then. Darkseid managed to effortlessly break Steppenwolf's second horn underfoot. His strength was even compared to the likes of Doomsday, which would make Darkseid slightly stronger than Superman. In the Knightmare timeline, Darkseid's strength is enough to easily overpower and kill Aquaman, casually impaling him with his own trident using one arm with such force as to pierce clean through Arthur's armor and entire torso and pinning his corpse to his throne.
- Nigh-invulnerability: Darkseid is immensely durable, far superior to his uncle Steppenwolf and other beings such as Amazons, Atlanteans, and metahumans, and is almost similar to the likes of divine beings like the Old Gods and solar-powered Kryptonians. Due to this, a blast of energy from Yalan Gur only irritated the New God and he was even able to withstand Artemis's arrows piercing his chest with only mediocre injury and a powerful shockwave from the Trident of Atlan only slightly irritated him. However, his invulnerability still has it's limits, as Ares was able to severely wound Darkseid with his axe to the point the wound rendered him unconscious moments after being dragged onto his ship, nearly dying in the process before he recovered back on Apokolips.
- Superhuman speed: Despite his size and bulk, Darkseid has deceptive levels of great superhuman speed, able to effortlessly outmaneuver and defeat several opponents in the form of Atlanteans, Amazons, and Humans before they could react, easily surpass Yalan Gur's speed to attack him twice, and even keep up with the likes of Zeus and Ares in battle. In the Knightmare timeline, Darkseid was able to easily stab Aquaman with his own trident before he could attack him.
- Superhuman reflexes: Darkseid's speed also extends to great reflexes, despite his bulk, as he was able to easily dodge a close-range blast from Yalan Gur and even react to Zeus's divine lightning attack and shortly afterwards managed to bring his staff to intercept Ares' attack, though in vain as Ares managed to destroy it and cut him in the shoulder.
- Superhuman stamina: Darkseid is able to breath underwater for extended periods of time without using any type of respirator.
- Immortality: Darkseid is immortal, having ruled Apokolips for at least three millennia, seemingly without aging or weakening at all.
- Omega beams: Darkseid can fire concentrated crimson plasma beams from his eyes, much like Kryptonians' heat vision. Unlike Kryptonians, he can control these beams at will, and his unerring aim allows them to travel in straight lines or bend, twist or curve around to strike and lock onto his target. The beams are extremely lethal and powerful, potent enough to instantly vaporize Atlanteans, rendering only bones left. These beams are very high in temperature, as they boiled the water after being fired.
- "The leader of the invasion was a being called Darkseid. A name cursed and feared in every universe."
- ―Wonder Woman[src]
- Gifted intellect: As the ruler of Apokolips, Darkseid is exceptionally intelligent, given his tremendous lifespan.
- Expert leader: Darkseid was always an extremely skillful leader, able to expertly command armies of Parademons during his invasion of Earth, requiring the combined efforts of every defender of Earth to form a force powerful enough to repel his invasion. Over the years, his leadership skills only grew as he managed to not only regain his position of power that he lost due to his defeat on Earth but also managed to take the throne of Apokolips, earning the full and absolute respect and loyalty of his New God subjects.
- Expert manipulator: Darkseid was highly manipulative, to where he managed to swiftly manipulate Superman into submitting and pledging his allegiance to him by using the extreme grief he felt over the death of Lois Lane and using the Anti-Life Equation to make Superman believe Batman killed Lois instead of Darkseid, effectively turning him against the people of Earth and the Justice League.
- Master combatant: Darkseid is an extremely powerful and skilled fighter with thousands of years of combat experience. A young Darkseid already had the skill to easily defeat entire groups of Atlanteans, Amazons and Humans and swiftly outmatched and killed the highly skilled Green Lantern Yalan Gur, as well as contend with Zeus and Ares, both being among the most powerful and skilled of the Old Gods. He was however, bested by Ares and forced to retreat. His fighting prowess far surpassed Steppenwolf's, who could outmatch Wonder Woman and Aquaman in battle simultaneously, to where Steppenwolf never dared to challenge his nephew in battle. In the Knightmare timeline, Darkseid's combat prowess allowed him to easily defeat Aquaman, disarming him of his trident and killing him with it, and he also presumably killed Wonder Woman as well.
- Staff mastery: Darkseid proved immensely skilled with his staff, using it to effortlessly take down numerous opponents and cut off the arm of Yalan Gur and kill him.
- Indomitable will: Darkseid has tremendous willpower, very nearly emerging victorious in the War for Earth. Even after being conquered and humiliated, the grit and spirit of Darkseid endured. Indeed, his unbreakable resolve greatly contributed to how the Parademons answered to him, and despite his malevolence, his bravery and willpower was such that after he killed Yalan Gur, the Green Lantern's Power Ring actually considered him a worthy candidate and he would have successfully acquired it had he not been interrupted by Artemis. Moreover, Darkseid was capable of remaining steadfast and focused in his agenda. It was his willpower and absolute belief in his goal that made him such a tremendously dangerous opponent.
- Intimidation: Darkseid is widely feared throughout the Universe and Amazons, Atlanteans and men were all terrified of the day he would return. Even Diana was frightened at the thought of him invading Earth.
- Mother Boxes: Darkseid and his forces utilize Mother Boxes to travel throughout space and terraform conquered planets.
- Staff: In the first Invasion of Earth, Darkseid wielded a staff with an axe-head (notably used to slice the ring hand off of Yalan Gur) in combat. The weapon was shattered by Ares when he was in combat with the God of War, and it is unknown if the weapon was ever remade to be used in the present-day.
- Anti-Life Equation: During the first Invasion of Earth, Darkseid almost harnessed this mathematical formula to increase his power to nearly unimaginable levels. In the Knightmare timeline, Darkseid succeeds in fully harnessing it, and is able to bend nearly all in the Multiverse to his will. However, it seems that beings of tremendous willpower, like Superman, are resistant to the Equation, since Darkseid only took over the Kryptonian's mind after the death of Lois Lane.
Behind the scenes
- In DC Comics, Uxas, the younger pre-Darkseid version of the character, was pure hatred personified. He was the son of Yuga Khan (the ruler of Apokolips) and Heggra. Uxas wanted the throne for himself even though his brother, Drax, was next in the line of succession. Turning on Drax, Uxas stopped him from gaining the power of the Omega Force and claimed the power for himself, becoming the ruler of Apokolips taking the name "Darkseid". A merciless tyrant who demanded unwavering devotion and abject fear from all his subjects. He was a major player in the cosmic war that was the "Final Crisis".
- Darkseid in the DC Extended Universe is the second live-action incarnation of the character, following an incarnation made by CGI. That being said, the seeds have been laid in the Arrowverse for Darkseid and the New Gods to appear for some time.
- Storyboard details of Zack Snyder's original cut of Justice League shows that Darkseid was supposed to be introduced in the film. The storyboard shows an alternate storyline, in which Superman had a vision of the Mother Boxes successfully merging to form the Unity and destroy the Earth, leading to the dark possible future Batman witnessed in his vision.
- A deleted scene from Justice League showed Diana visiting Themyscira and learning about Darkseid and Steppenwolf's previous invasion on a mural.
- "‘Justice League’ Director Zack Snyder Confirms Young Darkseid Concept Art" - Heroic Hollywood
- "OFFICIAL Justice League Teaser Breakdown with Zack Snyder by VERO True Social." - YouTube
- Terrio, Chris, Beall, Will (writers) & Snyder, Zack (writer and director) (March 18, 2021). Zack Snyder's Justice League.
- "Deleted Darkseid Scene From 'Justice League' Revealed In Zack Snyder Storyboard" - Comicbook.com
- "Justice League Photos Reveal Deleted Invasion History Lesson & Darkseid" - Screen Rant