Many consider Darkseid DC’s equivalent to Marvel’s Thanos – the big baddie seeking out the object(s) to impose his will over the unsuspecting universe. However, the two are actually quite opposite in terms of their motivations, rise to power, physiology, and overall origin. In this article, we’ll dive right into how Darkseid was born, and his complete origin story – or stories, if you will – from DC Comics.
Darkseid’s classic origin
We’ll start things off with what is known as Darkseid’s origin which is prevalent in the comics even today. Darkseid’s former name was Uxas, and he was a Prince of Apokolips. His mother was Heggra, a powerful, cunning woman who married Yuga Khan, the ruler of Apokolips and the mightiest of the Old Gods.
Darkseid was second in line to the throne behind his older brother, Drax, but he wasn’t going to let that stop him get the throne he wanted. In 1997’s ‘Jack Kirby’s Fourth World’ storyline, we learn that his brother Drax wanted to claim the Omega Force for himself, but before he could do it, Uxas murdered him in cold blood and took the power of the Omega Force.
The transformation led to Uxas turning into a stone-like creature, making his heart even colder and darker. Hence, he rechristened himself from Uxas to Darkseid and started his plot to take over the throne of Apokolips. In the meantime, Darkseid fell in love with Suli – an Apokoliptian scientist and sorceress.
The couple had a son together named Kalibak, but Heggra – Darkseid’s mother – refused to accept their relationship, and ordered DeSaad to poison and murder Suli because she believed that the sorceress was poisoning her son’s mind. Little did she know, he was the incarnation of pure evil right from the start, and no one had to poison his mind to become that.
The last bit of what was left of Uxas’ heart was ripped apart after Suli’s death – especially when Heggra forced him to marry Tigra, a woman whom he sired another child with – Orion. To avenge Suli’s death, Darkseid now ordered DeSaad to poison Heggra, opening the way for him to usurp the throne from Yuga Khan, whom he eventually also killed.
Now the ruler of Apokolips, Darkseid wanted to force Tigra into killing their son, Orion, as a prophecy foretold that his ultimate defeat would come from Orion’s hand. His plan was thwarted when a peace treaty was reached with another planet that Apokolips was at war with – the New Genesis.
The treaty included the swapping of the sons of the planets’ respective rulers – hence, Orion ended up on New Genesis where he was raised to live by their values and morals, whereas Darkseid and Apokolips got Scott Free, the son of Highfather (ruler of New Genesis) who later became the superhero Mister Miracle.
Darkseid did his best to break Scott Free’s spirit but failed, and the boy managed to escape after a long time in captivity, along with Barda – the mightiest Female Fury. She became his wife, and the couple escaped to live on Earth, while Darkseid used Scott Free’s escape and alleged betrayal as an excuse to break the treaty and go to war against New Genesis once again.
Darkseid’s alternative origin stories
After the 2011 DC Rebirth, most characters got new backstories, and so did Darkseid. In fact, Darkseid had several different origin stories, but the one that eventually stuck was the classic one we talked about earlier. Still, it’s important to mention these stories as well.
In ‘Darkseid’ #1, we learn that Uxas was a farmer on his distant planet who hated the vain deities of his world, known as the Old Gods. Uxas traveled to their mountain and used his cunning to plant the seeds of conflict while they were sleeping. Soon, the gods turned on each other and fought.
While in their weakened state, Uxas began slaying them one by one with his scythe. Once all the Old Gods were slain, his father, Yuga Khan, punished both Uxas and his brother Izaya for their horrible deeds against the Old Gods.
He used the Anti-Life equation to resurrect the fallen Old Gods – but it was all a part of Uxas’ plan, who then killed his father and stole all the power of the dead gods for himself. And so, Darkseid was born as the most powerful New God ever seen.
His brother Izaya, too, received a portion of the power from the Old Gods, and he confronted Uxas (now Darkseid), saying they should unite to lead their planet into a new, better, prospering age. Darkseid declined due to his hatred of the planet, killing everyone and everything on it but himself and Izaya. The planet was destroyed and was now known as Apokolips.
Another origin story was presented in ‘Green Lanterns’ #23 and later substantiated in ‘New Gods: Godhead’ #1. Here, Uxas and Izaya were gods living on Galactica, the Third World that was born out of the Living Atoms from the already-fallen Old Gods.
It was a peaceful life until Uxas decided he had had enough, and killed Izaya’s wife, which sparked a civil war between the gods. In seven days, the planet was demolished, but Uxas and his minions lost and were exiled. That is before he came back with a vengeance and eventually took over the planet, now dubbing himself Darkseid, the New God of Apokolips.
What is Darkseid’s ultimate goal?
Much like any supervillain in comics, Darkseid wants to rule and be the most powerful being he can be. However, that’s not all – there’s a reason why Darkseid is so feared, and why he’s considered one of the most powerful villains in DC history.
You see, whichever version or origin story you choose, Darkseid’s ultimate goal is the same. He is no Thanos – he is a million times worse. You see, Thanos had a plan – wipe out half of all life, and let the other half live in prosperity and harmony. However crazy, genocidal, and ludicrous that was, at least he had a goal that didn’t eradicate everyone and everything.
Darkseid, on the other hand, had a different plan. He was searching for the Anti-Life Equation, a hidden formula that would allow its wielder to take away all free will in each and every existing universe – not just one. Darkseid basically strived to become the only being in any sphere of existence that has any free will.
He would be the absolute ruler of even the most powerful cosmic entities – even the almighty Presence would succumb to his will.
Now, the Ani-Life Equation isn’t something just lying around for him to find.
Instead, the New God of Apokolips believed that the formula was fragmented and that every human being has a tiny fragment of the formula embedded into their subconsciousness. Therefore, his plan was to invade Earth and conduct brutal tests on every single human, entering their mind in hopes of finally piecing together the formula.
Darkseid, for what it’s worth, is DC Multiverse’s God of Evil. He is malevolence personified, with no redeeming qualities, and no nobility whatsoever. His only goals are selfish ones – to eradicate, and to rule. Have something to add? Let us know in the comments below!