This article contains major spoilers for Zack Snyder's Justice League. You have been warned.
- "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 the entire Multiverse, including Earth, by harnessing the unimaginable power of the Anti-Life Equation. He is the nephew of his former herald, General Steppenwolf.
Because of this tyrannical goal, he is the greatest arch-nemesis of the Justice League, the superheroic champions of the planet Earth, the only world that was able to resist his attempts at conquest.
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, Atlantans and Amazons and even managed to kill the Green Lantern Yalan Gur.
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 which Darkseid quickly ripped out but he was immediately staggered further by a shockwave from Atlan's trident. Then Zeus, King of the Old Gods and leader of the Earth alliance, 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 found himself 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, Ares furiously kicked him back several feet and moved to finish off the New God but was blocked by a contingent of Parademons, who dragged the severely weakened Darkseid back to the ship, forcing a retreat with his army, the Equation being taken from him as he did so along with the Mother Boxes being unintentionally being left behind in their haste. 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, the position of power he once held became almost nonexistent and the loss of Darkseid's influence ultimately 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 that had joined him on his failed crusade on Earth had all been wiped out. As a result, the exact location of Anti-Life and which planet that held it, and the whereabouts of the lost Mother Boxes, was forgotten by 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.
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 begin to reawaken due to Superman's death, alerting his exiled general Steppenwolf. In 2017, while in the process of gathering the Boxes to create 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 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 which fought back, had the Anti-Life Equation for which he coveted, and promised his exiled minion his redemption in return for making ready 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 the Dark Knight, 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, Martian Manhunter formally introduced himself to Batman, and warned that Darkseid was not through with Earth yet and that they need to find the Anti-Life Equation before he does.
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 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 somehow killed Lois Lane (which Batman failed to prevent), which made a devastated Superman susceptible to Anti-Life. Soon after, Darkseid invaded Atlantis and killed Aquaman (and later presumably Wonder Woman as well), and made Superman ruler of Earth, transforming it into a hellscape wasteland. Darkseid tasked Superman with using the Regime to take down the Insurgency, the human/metahuman rebellion against the forces of Apokolips. The Insurgency fought well, but after years of fighting, most Insurgents were either converted to Parademons or were dead, and Batman, the Insurgency founder and leader, 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 didn't execute Steppenwolf but rather exiled him.
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. Darkseid's current power seems to match or even surpass that of Superman.
- Superhuman strength: Darkseid is significantly stronger than Amazons or Atlanteans, with his incredible strength even 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 only surpassed by that of Zeus and Ares, but he has gotten stronger since then. Darkseid managed to effortlessly break Steppenwolf's second horn underfoot. In the Knightmare timeline, Darkseid's strength is enough to easily impale Aquaman with his own trident using one arm, piercing 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. However, his durability has its limits, as beings of superior strength such 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 on Apokolips, and Artemis could pierce his skin with her magical arrows, indicating that he is not impervious to all attacks and is most likely vulnerable to mystical weaponry.
- Superhuman speed: Despite his size and bulk, Darkseid is deceptively fast, able to keep up with the likes of Zeus and Ares in battle.
- 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 many eons.
- Omega beams: Darkseid can fire concentrated crimson energy beams from his eyes, much like Kryptonians under a yellow star. Unlike them, 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 incredibly powerful, potent enough to instantly kill Atlanteans, despite their physiology equipping them to withstand deep underwater pressure, as well as 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.
- Master combatant: Darkseid is an extremely powerful and skilled fighter, able to fight on par with the likes of Zeus and Ares, and swiftly outmatch Yalan Gur in combat and kill him with ease. He was however, bested by Ares and forced to retreat. His fighting prowess likely surpasses Steppenwolf's, as Steppenwolf never dared to challenge his nephew in battle.
- 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. 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.
- 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.
- In Zack Snyder's Justice League, Darkseid was portrayed by Ray Porter, providing the character's voice and motion capture.
- Zack Snyder Reveals Full Look at Young Darkseid in 'Justice League'
- 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
- Justice League Photos Reveal Deleted Invasion History Lesson & Darkseid