Darkseid is to DC Comics what Thanos is to Marvel – and worse. He is often referred to as the God of Evil, stopping at nothing to conquer and oppress the entire multiverse, eradicating all free will and becoming the supreme being in all of existence. However, due to his humanoid appearance, and a rather confusing origin story, people tend not to think of him as a god. Well, Darkseid very well is a god, and we’re here to explain how and why.
Like many other characters in DC Comics, Darkseid has several different origin stories due to DC revamping their continuity a couple of times. We’ll quickly go over two of the most prevailing origin stories that are important to comprehend his status as a New God, and DC’s God of Evil, as he is commonly referred to.
In one of his origin stories, Uxas was not a god on his planet. Instead, he was a farmer, but unlike his brothers, sisters, and peers, he despised the gods of their world instead of worshipping them.
The Old Gods lived on a mountain on their planet, and they needed people to worship them in order to remain in power. Despite needing people to retain power, the Old Gods cared nothing for them. Angry and fueled by hatred, Uxas decided to pay the Old Gods a visit – but a visit with a devious plan.
As the Old Gods slept, Darkseid climbed up their mountain and planted seeds of doubt and conflict into their heads. They turned on each other and started a war – so when the Old Gods were weakened, Uxas used his scythe to slay them all and steal their powers. It turned his body into a stone-like creature and grew his hating heart even colder. That’s when Uxas – became Darkseid.
He sought more and more power and called himself the New God. His planet was destroyed and became what is now known as Apokolips.
The other, more prevalent origin story about Darkseid is that he was born into the royal family of Apokolips. Uxas, as he was originally called, was the younger son of King Yuga Khan, the ruler of the Old Gods and Apokolips, and his wife, Heggra.
His older brother, Drax, was meant to take over the throne after their father was lost in the Source Wall, but Drax was pacifistic, unlike Uxas who hated his brother’s ways. Instead, all of his life, Uxas plotted how to usurp the throne from Drax and Heggra, and once a connection to the Omega Realm was discovered, Uxas saw his opportunity.
Drax tried connecting to the Omega Realm, but Uxas disrupted the process to kill his brother and take the unfathomable power for himself. The process of connecting to the Omega Sanction had Uxas turn into a creature as hard and rigid as a rock, but incredibly powerful.
Finally, in ‘Jack Kirby’s Fourth World’ #5, Uxas took the name Darkseid, the most feared-upon name in Apokoliptian lore that no god or person dared to take for themselves. Instead of being enraged with Darkseid’s actions, his mother was happy with what he had done, as she long hated Drax’s pacifistic ways.
Through ploys of his doing, Darkseid caused a war to brew between Apokolips and the New Gods of New Genesis. Over time, he stole their powers, too, becoming even more powerful than he was before.
However, there was a moment when Darkseid almost stopped his tyrannical undoings – although his mother betrothed him to Tigra – a woman he had no interest in, but his mother Heggra did – Darkseid fell in love with a powerful Apokoliptian sorceress named Suli.
Suli was the diametrical opposite of Darkseid – she was a pacifist and made him question his ways. They even had a son together, Kalibak, before Heggra ordered Darkseid’s close associate DeSaad to poison and kill Suli.
Since then, Darkseid’s heart ran cold, and despite being eventually married to Tigra and having a son with her, he actually worked to get rid of her and the child. Once Darkseid learned about Heggra and DeSaad’s ploy to kill Suli, he ordered DeSaad to do the same to Heggra. She was poisoned, and Darkseid rose as the ruler of Apokolips once and for all.
Why does Darkseid call himself a god?
Whichever version of Darkseid’s origin story you take, you are not wrong to say that Darkseid is, in fact, a god in his own right. In the first one, although Uxas started as a mortal farmer, not only did he become an immortal god – he had taken the powers of several gods, making him even more powerful than any of the Old Gods that came before him.
In the case where he was actually Prince Uxas, Darkseid was the offspring of Yuga Khan, the most powerful of the Old Gods. Hence, he was a god himself. However, his actions made him even more powerful than anyone could imagined, and Darkseid is rightfully deemed one of the most powerful, terrifying gods in all of existence.
After all, he is immortal, impervious to almost any kind of damage, powerful beyond reason, and worshipped by his minions – be it their own free will, or the tyranny he bestowed upon them to make them worship him.
Now, Darkseid is often referred to as the God of Evil in DC Comics, and it makes absolute sense. There are no redeeming qualities left in him. He is ferocious, and sinister, and seeks nothing but power over everything and anything. One might say an even better name suited for Darkseid would be the God of Tyranny – but an evil god he is, nonetheless.
Why is Darkseid a New God?
Jack Kirby – the creator of Darkseid and the New Gods – never actually addressed what the moniker ‘New God’ means, and why Darkseid calls himself a New God, however, we can piece together a rather straightforward answer that makes sense on every level.
First of all, the Old Gods of Apokolips were the gods worshipped by the people of the Fourth World, and they were pretty much similar to the Olympian gods in Greek mythology – they were worshipped by mortals, but cared nothing for them, resided on a mystical mountain where they indulged in festivities, etc.
Darkseid, or Uxas, was a being that killed the Old Gods and took their powers. He didn’t feel like he was one of them – he was something greater. Something new. Something transcendent. That is why he referred to himself as a New God.
Now, is Darkseid truly a god, or does he only think of himself as one? That’s up to you to decide based on what you define as a god. Some say that the only god in DC is The Presence, the one that created everything, and holds it in the palm of his hand, and the only god in Marvel is The One Above All, who essentially has the same role in the Marvel Universe.
The truth is, the terminology isn’t important. Darkseid is a New God because he is powerful enough to deem himself so. Whether you believe it to be a fact or simply a name given to the powerful ruler of Apokolips is up to you.
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