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Characters / New Gods Darkseid
aka: Darkseid

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Alter ego: Uxas

Species: New God

First appearance: Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #134 (December, 1970)

“I am the Revelation! The Tiger-Force at the core of all things! When you cry out in your dreams — it is Darkseid that you see!”
Darkseid, The Forever People Vol. 1 #3

The Dread Lord of Apokolips.
The Ultimate Big Bad of the DC Universe.
The God of Evil.

None can even begin to describe Darkseid — Darkseid IS.

Created by Jack Kirby, Darkseid (pronounced "dark-side") stands tall among the New Gods, ruling dread Apokolips as he wages a constant war for control of the universe and possession of the Anti-Life Equation, which will allow him to either conquer the universe or destroy it (or both), Depending on the Writer.

He first appeared in Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #134 (December, 1970) and later in New Gods and related titles. He was a character within the Fourth World, a Jack Kirby sub-universe of the DC Universe that was originally supposed to be self-contained and finite. Executive Meddling prevented the conclusion that Kirby originally intended, which would have killed most of the New Gods and ended their storylines, and Darkseid was drafted into the DCU at large along with the rest of the New Gods, with his first major usage being in the Legion of Super-Heroes storyline The Great Darkness Saga, written by Paul Levitz.


In popular culture, Darkseid hit the big time in the 1980s when the toy company, Kenner, decided he was perfect for their Super Powers action figure line as the product line's Big Bad who was effectively Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine in one as a believable challenge for even Superman.

Darkseid has served as the Big Bad for numerous DCU heroes and titles in the decades since his first appearance. Since Jack Kirby was never able to introduce the conclusion to the New Gods that he originally wanted, Darkseid has often drifted without clearly defined goals and roles within the DCU, and at times this results in rather drastic Badass Decay when authors try to fit him into stories for which he was not originally intended. This led writer Grant Morrison to put an end of it in Final Crisis — a Crisis Crossover in which Darkseid not only regains his badassery and motives, but even manages to Take A Level In Badass and become a God of Evil, who's been killing entire Universes just by existing.


For his Self-Demonstrating Article, go here.

Appearances in other media:

Darkseid has been featured in several works outside comics, primarily serving as an opponent to Superman and more recently to the Justice League while continuing his search for the Anti-Life Equation.

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    Western Animation 

    Live-Action Television 

    Live-Action Film 

    Video Games 

Darkseid provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents:
    • He's a hateful parent to all of his sons. He even killed his son Orion as part of his bid for conquering reality in Final Crisis. And Orion was the only son he remotely had any respect for. His treatment of his other sons is even worse. Kalibak is scorned by his father for being a simple-minded thug and reminding him of his deceased wife Suli; while Grayven is hated for constantly trying to usurp him (which he fails at every time).
    • Of course, Darkseid's own parents weren't exactly Mother and Father of the Year either. His mother had the only woman he ever loved poisoned, and his father is apparently an even worse tyrant than he is.
  • Actually a Doombot: In Final Crisis this is the case for Darkseid and the New Gods, where the versions Earth see are somewhat limited projections of the real gods which actually operate on a higher plane of reality. In other versions the Darkseid the reader sees is an avatar of the will of the real Darkseid, who is imprisoned, forever, on the Source Wall.
  • Adaptational Badass: Darkseid spent most of his existence as a character seeking out the Anti-Life Equation, and didn't find it until 2001. In the New 52, he starts off knowing the Anti-Life Equation and Earth 2 nearly falls because of it. Justified because he has the memories of his pre-Flashpoint self.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Like everyone else (thanks to 1980s network censors and parent groups), he was toned down, in terms of both personality and powers, for his appearances in Super Friends — his Omega Beams are an Agony Beam as opposed to Homing Lasers, and using them tires him quickly; Superman was only targeted twice by Darkseid with them, and while the first time Supes struggled with them, he completely shrugged them off the other time. This version of Darkseid also had a weird fixation on marrying Wonder Woman.
  • Affably Evil: Sometimes, Depending on the Writer, like in Justice League International. Most of the time, however, he's closer to Faux Affably Evil.
  • Alliance with an Abomination: Though he inevitably turns on them, Darkseid has allied with mortals from time to time. While the New Gods are from a higher plane of existence and have allied with mortals, Darkseid's just the most obvious case.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: There are only two beings he's afraid of: dear old Daddy Yuga Khan, the only being in Creation even worse than he, and the monster Doomsday, who kicked his ass with ease. Later on he loses the fear of Doomsday.
    • In a more meta-case, while he is often considered to be, and was actually designed to be, the Ultimate Evil for The DCU, there are a few villains who rival or even overshadow him in terms of scope, power, or influencenote , such as the Anti-Monitor, Nekron, Imperiex, arguably Krona, and Mandrakk, the latter of whom played Darkseid like a fiddle without the latter even knowing about it. Darkseid is certainly more evil than any of them, though, and still manages to remain one of the ultimate villains for the verse.
      • Conversely, in the New 52, the Anti-Monitor himself is terrified of Darkseid, and feels like he needs to devour more universes to even stand a chance against him. Needless to say, it didn't work.
    • In Evan Dorkin's one-shot, World's Funnest, Darkseid is comprehensively defeated by Mr. Mxyzptlk (with a little inadvertent help from Bat-Mite). The Omega Beam does nothing more than provide Mxy with a handy light for his cigar.
      "Thanks for the light, Frankenstein. Now it's MY turn."
    • During the Marvel crossover "The Hunger", he was stomped by (a hungry, thus weakened) Galactus. However, both were just getting warmed up, and were interrupted by Galactus completing his world-devouring machine.
    • In Emperor Joker, he was forced to seek help from The Quintessence to stop The Joker (who had Mr. Mxyzptlk's reality-warping powers) from potentially gaining the Anti-Life Equation, knowing the peril the cackling lunatic may cause to all of reality. Unfortunately, by the time he's presented his case, the Quintessence has already been reduced to imbeciles by the Joker. Realizing that the Anti-Life Equation is lost to him and that he's utterly powerless to fight the Joker, Darkseid surrenders to the Joker's madness.
    • In Justice League Dark: Apokolips War, despite never actually confronting each other in the comics, Trigon outclassed him in every aspect on his home turf of Apokolips.
  • Always Accurate Attack: His Omega Beam. The only way to successfully dodge it appears to be shoving something else in its way with perfect timing.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: Darkseid is the living personification of tyranny.
  • Arch-Enemy: To Orion, Highfather, the rest of New Genesis, the JLA, and the whole of the DCU. Darkseid is so evil and so powerful that he trumps almost all other villains, and is at the top of every hero's personal hit list. For his own part, Darkseid loathes and/or seeks to dominate everything that lives and has pursued personal vendettas against everyone at one point or another.
  • Archnemesis Dad: To Orion, one of the most notorious examples in comics. Darkseid himself dared not face his own father, Yuga Khan, who is even much worse than he is.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: He rules Apokolips for this reason. He's one of the only villains who can take on Superman in a fight with the Man of Steel holding nothing back and no Kryptonite Factor weakening him and his incredible intelligence makes him even more dangerous. When he shows up, it's likely going to take an enormous effort to bring him down.
  • Ax-Crazy: Darkseid is a simmering volcano of rage and bloodlust just waiting to go off at the slightest provocation. Only a great deal of self-control keeps him from slaughtering his own people on a whim — more than usual anyway. His son Orion inherited the bloodlust but lacks the control and needs a Mother Box to keep himself in check. The few times Orion is separated from his Mother Box he lives up to his title of "Dog of War" and literally foams at the mouth with bloodlust.
  • Back from the Dead: Believe it or not, yes. Darkseid has the power to resurrect the dead totally and without any catch — well, at least anyone he personally offed with his Omega Beams. He mostly uses this on his own followers, pulling a You Have Failed Me moment on them before having them Resurrected for a Job when they become useful again.
  • Badass Boast: He's very prone to these. After possessing half of humanity in Final Crisis:
    "I. Am. The. New. God. All is one in Darkseid. This mighty body is my church. When I command your surrender, I speak with three billion voices. When I make a fist to crush your resistance. It is with three billion hands. When I stare into your eyes and shatter your dreams. And break your heart. It is with six billion eyes. Nothing like Darkseid has ever come among you; nothing will again. I will take you to a hell without exit or end. And there I will murder your souls! And make you crawl and beg! And die! Die! DIE FOR DARKSEID!"
  • Badass Cape: Back during the Silver Age.
  • Badass Santa: No, not Darkseid himself. God, no. The real Santa Claus broke through the heavy defenses of Apokolips just to give Darkseid a lump of coal. As the rest of this page demonstrates, Darkseid really, really, really deserved that lump of coal.
  • Bad Boss: Speak out of turn? To the slave mines with you! Complete your assigned task? You are no longer needed![[…Resurrected for a Job until he decides otherwise]]. Dare to question or fail glorious Darkseid? You DO NOT want to know.
  • Bald of Evil: He has no hair, and is the meanest guy in the DCU.
  • Batman Grabs a Gun: It's notable that he is the exception for heroes who otherwise strictly adhere to the rule that Thou Shalt Not Kill. Both Superman and Batman will take the gloves off and kill him if the situation is dire enough - Batman will even shoot him dead. Darkseid is simply so high on the Sliding Scale of Villain Threat that, in Final Crisis, not killing him was not an option.
  • Big Bad: Initially of the New Gods. He has since become this to the entire DC Universe and now in almost every adaptation, in every media, Darkseid's the villain.
  • Bodyguard Babes: The Female Furies, an Amazon Brigade of powerful women, most of them New Gods. Supergirl, Mary Marvel, and many other powerful girls have served on this team at some point, usually through Brainwashing.
  • Body Surf: His modus operandi on Smallville due to having no body of his own.
  • Breakout Villain: He's become the biggest bad guy in the entire DC Universe.
  • Cain and Abel: Darkseid killed his older brother to claim the Omega Effect for himself.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: He openly admits to being an evil god and that he desires to crush all happiness and free will in the Universe.
  • Character Tics: Almost always drawn with his arms folded behind his back.
  • The Chessmaster: A very competent and dangerous planner. He prefers to cause dissention among his enemies before sending in his footsoldiers to wipe them out. Typically speaking, actually fighting him directly tends to be a rare thing, but he is no slouch on that end either.
    Darkseid: If you won't be my knight, you will be my pawn.
  • Cold Ham: Rarely raises his voice, but invariably speaks in grandiose, almost operatic dialogue.
  • The Corrupter:
    • As the God of Evil, Darkseid dabbles in this from time to time. His greatest success was turning an innocent little boy into the twisted Mad Scientist Desaad.
    • Again, in Smallville this is his modus operandi and his ultimate goal for the entire planet Earth, since he can only possess people with darkness in their hearts.
  • Crapsack World: Apokolips, where the lowest slaves are kept in constant fear of torture, the highest commanders are kept in constant fear of Darkseid.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Remember how Darkseid used the Omega Sanction on Batman? Well, just in case his plan in Final Crisis failed, he would get his final revenge on Earth by sending Batman to the Stone Age and letting him get reincarnated over and over again, building up Omega energy in his body with each cycle. When he finally reaches the present... Earth-Shattering Kaboom. Fortunately, the heroes figured it out and saved the day.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: He will occasionally honor his bargains if it suits him. It's just the times he chooses to screw you over that you have to watch out for.
  • Dark Is Evil: It takes a special kind of subtlety to name a villain "Darkseid". Otherwise, though, darkness isn't a motif, except in Smallville.
  • The Dark Side: He is cruel tyranny personified.
  • Demonic Possession: During Final Crisis, with his original godly form destroyed, he's taken up human form, as Boss Dark Side. Problem is, these bodies keep burning out. And Dan Turpin is chosen as his next host.
  • De-Power: In the Justice League Beyond comics that take place after Unlimited Darkseid loses his sight and his Omega Force after gazing directly into the Source.
  • Dimension Lord: Apokolips and New Genesis occupy a different dimension.
  • Disappeared Dad: Darkseid's father Yuga Khan got himself stuck on the Source Wall for thousands of years. When he eventually freed himself, he immediately took back his throne from his son. Then he tried to invade the Source again and got re-imprisoned for his efforts.
  • Divine–Infernal Family: Not originally, but in the New 52 Highfather becomes his brother. As Darkseid's a God of Evil and Highfather champions the freedom loving gods of New Genesis, they come off as this trope.
  • Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: No, really. Don't. Make fun of him or hurl insults at him and he'll show exactly who you're messing with; you'll be lucky to walk away with your life. Best exemplified in Superman: The Animated Series when Dan Turpin throws some parting insults at him while he abandons his invasion of Earth in "Apokolips... Now!" and ends up dying almost in the time it takes Darkseid to look at him.
  • The Dreaded: With the raw power, influence and ruthlessness to back it up, anything involving Darkseid is an Oh, Crap! moment for the DC Universe at large. It's how he remained in charge for Apokolips for so long, instilling fear into the minds of his followers to prevent them from conspiring against him. Ironically, even he cowered before his own father.
  • Dystopia: He runs Apokolips as one, but it's also implied that Apokolips is a Crapsack World even without him. The difference is that without him to intimidate everyone into obedience and impose order they become a Planet of Starscreams who begin preying on each other and splinter into warring factions.
  • Dystopia Justifies the Means: The Trope Codifier. Darkseid's ultimate goal is to use the Anti-Life Equation to rob everyone in the universe of happiness and free will, turning them into nihilistic, despairful mind-slaves whose only purpose in life will be to worship him. Apokolips itself is a kind of hellish space-age Greco-Roman world where the majority of the populace exist as slaves working to build a never-ending supply of monuments to him; on the rare occasions when they rebel, Darkseid simply makes those slaves the new slavemasters and due to a lifetime of conditioning they are just as petty and cruel as their predecessors.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Jack Kirby made Darkseid a being from the Marvel Universe who had defeated the Norse Gods during Ragnarok. The reason for Boom Tubes? It was how he and other New Gods travelled from the Marvel Universe to the DC Universe!
  • The Empire: Rarely explored beyond Apokolips in most material, but as Galactic Conqueror, Darkseid does have a vast empire spanning the cosmos with countless planets under his control with Apokolips acting as it's throneworld.
  • Enemy Mine: Despite being a villain created for the purpose of uniting the entire universe against him, there were three villains that made even Darkseid need help. The first was created by the same writer, his own father, who had to be stopped by being stuck in The Source Wall, end/beginning of the universe itself. Second was the Anti-Monitor, a villain created by a different writer to unite the entire DC "multiverse" against him (basically Darkseid Up to Eleven). Then you have The Joker with Mr. Mxyzptlk's powers in Emperor Joker, which forced Darkseid to seek help from The Quintessencenote .
    • Okay, there were other examples, but they only fought watered-down "Post Crisis" Darkseid avatars, not the real thing.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: The only person Darkseid ever loved was Suli, who was poisoned by his mother for softening the big guy up. He also once disintegrated Desaad for almost killing Orion, though it could be interpreted as an Even Evil Has Standards moment considering Darkseid's contempt for Desaad.
  • Even Evil Can Be Loved: Though he never gets it, his son Kalibak loves him and lives for his respect. And his mother Suli loved Darkseid, which is why Darkseid shows the smallest amount of leniency with Kalibak.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Despite being the Ultimate Evil of the DC Universe, Darkseid is shown to have some standards, such as the fact that he is disgusted by Sleez, who uses his very useful power of mind control for perverted and petty reasons (The most infamous instance was when he forced Big Barda and Superman to star in a porno film). Despite being a Consummate Liar, he also admits he never lies without a purpose, even if that purpose is just petty enjoyment, and makes it clear his vision of a tyrannical universe ruled in his image is all for the sake of bringing order to a cosmos he sees as evil and chaotic.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: He really can't. Justified since he was born evil and grew up surrounded by nothing but evil. This guy honestly thinks that sometimes letting his enemies live a life of free will is a punishment (see Villain's Dying Grace below).
  • Evil Genius: One of the most intelligent, experienced and cunning beings in existence, and has on multiple occasions created schemes on a cosmic level and outsmarted his opponents.
  • Evil Is Petty: Often. An early appearance in Forever People has him terrifying a small child for no other reason than that he can.
  • Evil Overlord: Well, duh. He provides the page quote.
  • Evil Plan: Seeking the Anti-Life Equation so he can dominate everything in existence.
  • Evil Sounds Deep:
    • In any animated or live-action adaptation, expect him to have a deep, commanding voice.
    • Outright parodied on Teen Titans Go. His deep, echoing, gravelly voice terrifies the Titans...and then it turns out he's just had a cold for a long time. One lozenge later, he turns into Weird Al.
  • Evil Uncle: Subverted with Darkseid's uncle Steppenwolf. While Steppenwolf is an evil bastard, he's also a loyal evil bastard. That, and Darkseid is exponentially more powerful and evil. Also worth remembering that Steppenwolf is one of the few evil New Gods not particularly interested in ruling Apokolips, preferring his hunts and idle leisure. He opposed Darkseid's ascent less out of desire to reign than out of principle that someone could take something from him.
  • Evil Versus Evil:
    • During a crossover with Marvel, Darkseid had a throwdown with Galactus when the Devourer of Worlds came to consume the lifeforce of Apokolips.
    • As noted under Enemy Mine, Darkseid has fought against other large-scale villains such as the Anti-Monitor, as well as playing the role of the larger villain other villains join forces against. During the finale of Justice League Unlimited, Lex Luthor and the Legion of Doom went straight to Superman and the Justice League for help after Darkseid returned from death and announced his plans to invade Earth.
    • In the New 52 origin, Darkseid is a Villain Protagonist rebelling against the extremely callous and uncaring Old Gods.
  • Eviler Than Thou: In Justice League, Justice League Unlimited and Final Crisis he embodies this trope by enslaving, killing and defeating everybody, no matter evil or good - for him they're all just insects. Heck, both in JLU and FC, Superman opposes him alongside Lex Luthor.
  • The Evils of Free Will: Darkseid's motive to gain the Anti-Life Equations-he plans to enslave everyone else to "bring order to this chaotic universe". This is Depending on the Writer though, with a second possibility that he's uncomfortable with free will itself.
  • Exact Words: If he pulls a double-cross, he might pull this. Case and point in Justice League Heroes:
    Batman: You tricked Brainiac into freeing you from your extra-dimensional prison.
    Darkseid: I promised him he would unleash power beyond imagining. I fulfilled our bargain. To the letter.
    Zatanna: Yeah, and he was also promised great knowledge.
    Darkseid: And I delivered. What higher lesson is there than is this: Never trust Darkseid.
    • In the DCAU, he's if anything, even more adept at it.
      Bruno Mannheim: You said you'd make me a king!
      Darkseid: (leaving him in a reactor set to explode) And so you are. A King of Fools.
  • Eye Beams: The Omega Beam homes in on his targets, chasing them relentlessly, bending and curving around obstacles, until they finally hit. Only Batman has ever dodged one, and even then he had to maneuver a Parademon to take the hit to completely avoid it. Victims are typically vaporized, although Nigh Invulnerable folks like Superman can get away with third degree burns (according to Darkseid, the Omega Beams attack the inherent weaknesses of its target; the very very few beings with no weakness treat it as a No-Sell). A variant of his technique, the Omega Sanction, traps whoever it hits in a neverending cycle of death and rebirth, with each life worse than the last.
  • Fate Worse than Death:
    • Life on a hellish Death World under the heel of an immortal evil tyrant with the power to kill and resurrect people on a whim isn't exactly fun for anybody. Fortunately for his subjects most of them are too fanatically loyal to care.
    • Also the point of the Omega Sanction, which forces the target to live a series of increasingly more pointless and soul-breaking lives. Mister Miracle escaped because he's the world's greatest escape artist, and Batman because he's resourceful.
  • Fighting a Shadow: If you think you've beaten Darkseid, you've probably just beaten one of his avatars. The real Darkseid spent much of his life stuck in the Source Wall, but didn't let this stop him from ruling his planet. The Avatars are aware they are not the real deal and consider themselves subordinate to him, though above everyone else of course. This isn't always remembered in the stories, though it's actually been part of the character for quite a while.
  • Fights Like a Normal: Despite possessing a multitude of powers such as telepathic mind control, telekinesis, matter manipulation, erosion blasts, teleportation, and chronokinesis, the majority of Darkseid's fights against Superman will almost always see him ignore those other abilities in favor of fighting the Man of Steel with his bare hands (with some occasional Omega Beams of course).
  • Foil: A large part of what makes him such a great villain is his strong thematic basis, meaning he has more than one foil for a writer to take advantage of.
    • His son Orion is living proof of Kirby's conception that evil is never In the Blood. He's inherited his biological father's temper, but being raised right by Highfather has taught him that he, or anybody, has the freedom to choose what they do with their life regardless of their origins.
    • Mister Miracle is Darkseid's polar opposite. Scott Free is explicitly not only immune to every effort by Darkseid to break his spirit, one such attempt backfired horribly, leading to the most powerful Female Fury defecting from Darkseid and marrying Scott because of The Power of Love. As his name implies, too, Scott Free's life has been about embracing freedom. Kirby designed both characters to embody opposing ideals, but never had them directly oppose each other.
    • Superman is based on the idea that the strong have an obligation to protect the weak, and that people should not be led, but trusted to do what's right themselves. Darkseid is the perfect counter for the idea of a good man who essentially has the powers of an alien god, by being an alien god who knows exactly how to prey on the evils of man. Superman also represents Hope, while Darkseid embodies unrelenting Despair.
    • Highfather serves as another foil. Darkseid seeks to master The Source to crush everyone and make them entirely dependent on him as nothing more than cogs in a machine. Highfather serves The Source and guides people to reach their full potential as individuals. According to Kirby himself, Darkseid is everything a leader should not be. Highfather is everything a leader should be.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Before the whole Crisis on Infinite Earths thing led to retcons that screwed up continuity, Darkseid was shown to have been dead for so long that people began to forget who he was during The Legion of Super-Heroes era. A Superman museum existed though, suggesting that not only would Darkseid die, but that the contemporary superheroes would outlive him.
  • Formula for the Unformulable: The Anti-Life Equation is a MacGuffin in The DCU, normally sought out by Darkseid. What, exactly, it is varies Depending on the Writer, but it's generally a mathematical formula for complete mind-control. Somehow.
  • Freudian Excuse: Downplayed-Darkseid was always an evil being ought for conquest. However it was the death of Suli, the only person he ever loved, that not only drove him to the edge, but would make him a monster who wished not only conquest, but to crush the spirits and wills of all he ruled.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Forever Evil (2013) reveals his new origin in the New 52. Many millennia ago, Uxas was an ordinary mudfarmer, who put the Old Gods against each other, and when they were weakened by their war he took the opportunity to kill them and take their power for himself. Izaya was married to Darkseid's sister, who got critically hurt during the Old Gods war with each other and he begged his god to save her. Due to Izaya still having faith, The Lord of The Sky passes on one final blessing to him. Since then, Izaya was the Highfather and him and Darkseid were the New Gods.

  • Galactic Conqueror: Across countless worlds, for countless eons, not a voice is raised in hope or joy. Across these worlds, these infinite lands throughout the cosmos, there is only Darkseid.
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: In his first, almost non-verbal role in the New 52.
  • Genius Bruiser: Darkseid considers himself above physical combat, preferring to let his minions or Omega Beams do the dirty work. Get too close to him, however, and Darkseid is only too happy to deliver a Curb-Stomp Battle.
  • A God Am I: Rather justified, as he's one of the New Gods that arose after the destruction of the Old Gods in Ragnarok. Darkseid takes it even further. It's not enough that he's a god, he considers himself to be the God.
  • God Couple: Par for the course among the New Gods; however, he also tried to hook up with Dark Phoenix.
  • God of Evil: More specifically, the God of Tyranny. By virtue of being the ruler on a planet incarnating evil. His father on the other hand was the genuine article.
  • Gods Need Prayer Badly: In Forever Evil (2013), the mudfarmer Uxas discovers that this is the source of power of the Old Gods.
  • God of Gods: It's often forgotten that nearly all of Darkseid's senior minions and citizens — Desaad, Granny Goodness and the rest — are all technically gods in their own right, being members of the New Gods race. Darkseid however has made himself God unto even them, and can back it up too as he possesses far greater strength and power, with a chasm of difference between him and whoever his nearest rival would be.
  • Godzilla Threshold: He obliterates that line merely by existing.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Darkseid's mother Heggra wanted him to be an evil bastard that would rule Apokolips with an iron fist. When Darkseid fell in love with the kind-hearted scientist Suli, Heggra realized her influence was turning him into a nicer person, so she had Desaad kill Suli with poison. As a result, Darkseid arranged for her to be poisoned by Desaad as well and went on the path that would make him the monster he is today.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: He has become eventually this to all the DC Universe.
  • Happiness in Slavery: Most of Darkseid's subjects revere him so much that they honestly don't care about the crap he puts them through every single day. The others are (quite rightly) too scared to do anything about it. Superman underestimated this once when he physically defeated Darkseid only to see his slaves rescue him. Probably less happiness in slavery than dependence in slavery. Happiness has no place in the world of Darkseid; indeed he goes out of his way to make everyone as miserable as possible. The citizens of Apokolips have more of an extreme version of Stockholm Syndrome; they are no longer capable of functioning without Darkseid's dominance.
  • Hero Killer: Has killed countless numbers of unimaginably powerful beings, we just aren't privy to most of them.
  • Hidden Depths: One of his concubines sees an inherent sadness in Darkseid, which he acknowledges grimly. He then vaporizes her because no one may know of any weakness in him.
  • Homing Lasers: His Omega Beams. They Robotech as absurdly as they do (frequently bending away from the target only to circle back later) just so Darkseid can make the point that they hit whatever he wants them to hit and you can't do anything about it.
  • Humanoid Abomination: From Final Crisis onward.
  • I Lied: If you're stupid enough to trust him, he might pull this. He'll usually follow his word, if he feels like it, but don't count on it.
  • Informed Attribute: He's said a few times to be the DCU's ultimate villain both in-universe and out. This continued even after Superman thrashed him several times solo (most notably in Apokolips Now!), with other characters like Doomsday occasionally doing the same thing, and after big threats like the Anti-Monitor, Imperiex, Brainiac 13, Superboy-Prime, Mandrakk, and Future's End Brainiac constantly upstaged him. Given that Apokolips' technology isn't that impressive compared to several other civilizations in the universe, and Darkseid's physical prowess of "nearly as strong as Superman" became nothing special in the context of the high-tiers (several characters in Superman's own rogues gallery could match or overpower him such as Doomsday, Brainiac, Mongul, Zod, and Cyborg-Superman, to say nothing of other heroes on his level like Captain Marvel)... his reputation became hard to take seriously. Final Crisis was partly dedicated to explaining away his previous defeats by putting forward the idea that the "true" Darkseid existed as a multiversal being and the Darkseid that the heroes (and readers) actually encountered was an avatar. Though this hasn't really been referenced since.
  • Immortality: As a New God, Darkseid is immortal and has an extended lifespan which allows him to exist indefinitely.
  • Inadequate Inheritor: He doesn't seem to think any of his lieutenants are worthy of ruling his empire once he's gone - especially not his son, Kalibak.
  • Individuality Is Illegal: Live for Anti-Life. Die for Darkseid.
  • In the Blood: This arguably applies not just to him, but the entire population of Apokolips. Most noticeable is Orion, who without the Mother Box exhibits his father's Ax-Crazy nature, but not his self-control.
  • Invincible Villain: Problem with the character is that its either Badass Decay or this trope, more commonly the latter. Even when written right, Darkseid is so powerful that most things can't even phase him, much less beat him. Read the Earth-2 series for an example of this trope in full force.
  • It's All About Me: An example- In a crossover with Marvel Comics, Galactus tried to take over Apokolips. After a long battle between two of the most powerful beings in comics, Galactus triumphed and began to eat the planet. Only then he realized there was no life force in Apokolips to feed on. So he asks Darkseid why he fought so hard and tooth and nail, sacrificing legions of his troops, despite knowing the fact Galactus wasn't actually a threat. Darkseid says, basically, "It's What I Do", and then gives a "Not So Different" Remark to Galactus: both of them are slaves to their nature.
  • Jerkass: It's pretty rough when the ruler of your entire planet who also fancies himself a god is a douchebag to boot.
  • Kick the Dog: He never stops.
    "Had I known one human's death would pain you so, I would have killed more."
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Desaad is a frequent victim of his anger. Considering how horrible Desaad is, it's hard to feel sorry for him.
  • Kill the God: He tries to do this to every god he meets other than his New God underlings, as he sees other gods as obstacles in his conquest of the universe. In Walt Simonson's run on Orion, it's revealed he launched deadly pogroms against the alien gods of other cultures of other worlds to acquire their power and increase his own, something he nearly accomplished with the Olympian Gods of Earth more than once.
    • In his origin, revealed in Forever Evil (2013), he was a simple farmer who killed the Old Gods and took their powers to himself.
  • Knight of Cerebus: If he shows up in any adaptation, everything becomes much more serious.
  • Kryptonite Factor: The rare element Radion can and does in Final Crisis kill Darkseid just like it can kill any other New God.
  • Lack of Empathy: Pity, mercy, remorse... all these words mean nothing to him.
  • Large and in Charge: Darkseid is one of the tallest New Gods on either world, perhaps the tallest. But there's another element to this- Boom Tubes adjust the size of whoever is traveling in them so that they shrink or grow to fit the normal size of the average humanoid on whatever planet they are traveling to. Apokolips and New Genesis are about a billion times bigger than Earth or many other planets, and Darkseid or any other New God is naturally big enough to hold one of these ordinary sized planets in one hand.
  • Large Ham: He might not be over-the-top like Doctor Doom or the Joker, but just this page's image shows he is no quiet guy. Helps he's always boastful and prone to Bold Inflation - when referring to himself, expect it to be spelled Darkseid!
    • Darkseid has two iconic poses. The one which isn't this trope is standing with feet wide apart, head slightly bowed, arms folded behind his back. The other is Milking the Giant Cow (see page image).
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Darkseid's corruption of Desaad eventually leads to the death of the only woman Darkseid ever truly loved (see below).
  • Leotard of Power: His classic outfit is that most sinister of garments, the hooded leotard. More modern interpretations have often seen fit to spare the universe the sight of the Lord of Apokolips's bare, craggy thighs, but not always.
  • Light Is Not Good: Final Crisis reveals that his essence is as colorful and radiant as any New God's, but that doesn't make it any less evil.
  • Love Redeems: This almost happened to him when he fell in love with Hot Scientist Suli. His mother Heggra had Desaad poison her to put an end to that. Darkseid would later return the favor with Desaad's aid. The only remnant of this past love is Darkseid's relative leniency with his and Suli's son Kalibak. Yeah, Darkseid will brutalize and vaporize Kalibak just like any other minion, but he'll also always bring him back to give him another chance — eventually.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: To Orion.

  • Matricide: He ordered his own mother poisoned. Not that she didn't deserve it.
  • Meta Guy: A limited version. Neither Crisis on Infinite Earths or Flashpoint affected Darkseid's memories, since he's been seen to remember events and beings wiped out by both Cosmic Retcon events after the fact.
  • Morality Pet: It WAS Suli, his first wife. Unfortunately for everyone else, she was murdered by Darkseid's mother.
  • Multiversal Conqueror: Sometimes ascends to this, such as in Final Crisis.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Darkseid, Lord of Apokolips. He actually took the name from old Apokoliptian writings, as the New Gods choose a new name for themselves once they reach a certain "godly" level. We're not told exactly what Darkseid means... only that it's the most feared and evil name out of all the thousands that Uxas could have chosen.
  • Narcissist: Darkseid's mindset can be compared to "overt/grandiose narcissism", given that one of his habits is to present himself with grand, epic speeches about himself and his ambitions. He also overlaps with "malignant narcissism" as Darkseid lacks empathy and manipulates and leads unsuspecting victims astray without a hint of remorse.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: Jack Kirby specifically designed him, and his empire, to be the Nazis taken Up to Eleven. Clues to this include Darkseid's thigh-high jackboots and Granny Goodness's Orphanage, which serves the same purpose as the Hitler Youth.
  • The Nicknamer: Tends to categorize everyone who is not from Apokolips. For example, calls Superman "Kryptonian" and Galactus "Star God".
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: On the rare occasion he finds himself in a physical confrontation he can administer these, and really the only people capable of taking it are Orion and Superman. But perhaps the most impressive one was the one he received in Orion's series (by Walt Simonson), after Orion announced "The time for talking is over!" and proceeded to beat his dad's ass into the dirt for the entire issue... and win.
  • No-Nonsense Nemesis: There is no depravity or quirks in Darkseid, just tyranny and subdued homicidal rage.
  • Not So Above It All: Uxas may be Darkseid, but there's a reason Darkseid sitting on a couch is a meme: despite being a dramatic Large Ham, he doesn't feel anything is beneath him. Just the opposite — he feels he elevates the mundane simply by being a part of it.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Darkseid openly admits this of him and Galactus, saying that they both do what they do because they are slaves to their nature.
  • Obviously Evil: There's his name, and his... well, his everything.
  • Offing the Offspring: In Final Crisis, Darkseid murders his son Orion with a time-traveling, god-killing bullet. Later on, Batman uses the same bullet to mortally wound Darkseid.
  • Oh, Crap!: Gives one when Barry Allen and Wally West lead The Black Racer to him.
    • Provokes one in his Badass Boast, above, and earlier when the JLA visits an alternate future where they sacrificed the MacGuffin to stop Lex Luthor from having it. It's so bleak that the surviving heroes happily destroy the universe just to be absolutely sure they're killing Darkseid, too.
    • In the series detailing Doomsday's origin story, he has one when he realizes Doomsday is nigh-indestructible.
      Darkseid's internal monologue: Long, long ago, Darkseid and Master Mayhem trained together as warriors on Apokolips. Darkseid saw his friend defeat countless foes beneath the burning blaze of the planet's fire pits — and always assumed his friend unkillable. As he watches the Armageddon creature tear his friend limb from limb with a swift brutality unimagined until this day — Darkseid experiences the very first twinge of fear in his life.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: As he never tires of telling everyone who will listen (and even those who won't), he will tear down the current universe to rebuild in his own image, and he will destroy everything to make it happen. He's even the page picture.
  • Orcus on His Throne: In spite of his incredible power and intelligence, he leaves the day to day running of Apokolips to his underling, Desaad. Darkseid's more content to lounge on his throne and commission statues of himself.
  • Papa Wolf: Yes, believe it or not. Darkseid had once disintegrated Desaad for seemingly having a hand in almost killing Orion.
  • The Paranoiac: Shows many signs of a paranoiac Sadist. Though always a total bastard, Darkseid became insanely mistrustful and paranoid after his mother Heggra, who had manipulated and controlled him his entire life, murdered the only woman he ever loved via Darkseid's own underling Desaad, with Darkseid responding by ordering Desaad to murder Heggra back, and then treating him and every other underling with even more cruelty and mistrust than before. Questioning Darkseid is an instant death-sentence, and his ultimate ambition is to control all life everywhere and eradicate The Evils of Free Will including love, happiness and hope, turning it into a bleak, miserable dystopia where everyone suffers and worships him as God. He fits six of the seven criteria; the only thing he misses out on is Conspiracy Theorist, and that because everyone on Apokolips is conspiring against him, but most are far too terrified to actually try anything, so he rarely takes such plots seriously.
  • Parental Favoritism: Out of his three sons, he only has a grudging respect for Orion, but only because he's the strongest and most competent of the three.
  • Perpetual Frowner: When not making a Psychotic Smirk, this is Darkseid's default expression.
  • Pet the Dog: There is a single, SINGLE, redeeming trait in Darkseid's evil soul. He truly did love Suli, the mother of Kalibak. The fact that Queen Heggra had her killed was both a bad move for herself and for the universe at large, as it seems that Suli had been able to temper some of Darkseid's nature.
  • Physical God: His exact nature depends on the author, with some of them actually having him as a god, whereas others simply have him as a powerful alien, but all give him the power and authority to compete on this level. He might be both a Sufficiently Advanced Alien and a Supernatural Deity at the same time, considering how the Belief, Magic, and such works in the DC Multiverse.
  • Power Copying: Darkseid is vastly more powerful than all other New Gods, for two reasons- first, the Omega Force, an evil energy that he and only he is wicked enough to contain, which he stole for himself; and second, waging war on the pantheons of other worlds, slaying those gods, and stealing all of their powers for himself. He tried to do the same to the Olympian pantheon at least once as well, but was beaten back before that Evil Plan could be completed.
  • Power Creep, Power Seep: Darkseid was initially intended to be, and frequently features as, the Greater-Scope Villain of the entire DC universe. He proved so popular, however, that he also makes semi-regular appearances outside of such a context. Thus, Depending on the Writer, he's a threat that has literally required rewriting reality to defeat, or he's easily defeated in a few panels. This is especially jarring when writers forget that Darkseid rarely gets involved in personal combat not because he's weak, but because most characters aren't stupid enough to try.
  • Pragmatic Villainy:
    • There are very few methods he won't resort to to conquer or destroy the universe. Time Travel, however, is one of them. There are simply too many ways it can go wrong to justify its use.
    • His disgust of Desaad isn't because Even Evil Has Standards. It's because Desaad is a petty sadist while Darkseid has far grander goals in mind. He thinks Sleez is a moron because he once mind-controlled Superman yet the best he could come up with was making him star in a porno.
  • Psychotic Smirk: As long as he keeps his self-control, this is the extent of emotion he shows normally.
  • Punny Name: Par for the course for the New Gods, of course (see: Desaad).
  • The Quest: A villainous inversion; practically anything he does is related to his search for the Anti-life Equation.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: His Start of Darkness, according to the New 52. The reason the Old Gods are dead? Uxas got pissed at them constantly amusing themselves by fighting and causing massive collateral damage to the mortals like him who lived at their feet, so he killed them all and stole their power, becoming Darkseid.
    Uxas: The gods don't give a damn about us!
  • Raise Him Right This Time: The finale of Darkseid War saw his daughter Grail kill him only to revive him as her pawn using the Anti-Life Equation. After she was tricked into killing him, he was separated from the Equation and reverted back to a baby. Grail vowed she would raise him with love, just as her mother did her, but we can only speculate whether it will work out — and his smoldering red-orange eyes aren't exactly a step in the right direction. Ultimately, in Wonder Woman, it turns out that he still has his adult mind, so he grows up in pretty much the same way as he always has.
  • Rasputinian Death: In Final Crisis. First Batman shot him with a god-killing weapon. Then, Barry Allen and Wally West tricked him into hitting himself with the Omega Beam. Then Black Racer destroys his body until nothing is left of it. Then Wonder Woman binds his essence. And it still takes Superman singing the musical equivalent of The Multiverse, with the help of the Miracle Machine, to kill him!
    • Even that is a Subverted Trope. As shown in the reboot of Justice League, Darkseid wasn't just rebooted from Flashpoint. If the mental tortures and memories given to Superman in the new Origins Episode of the League are to be considered, he was just transferred into the DCnU.
      Superman: The images they pumped into my brain. The death and torture Darkseid's spread across a... multiverse. I think I saw... me.
      • This is actually a carryover from the previous reboot, Crisis on Infinite Earths, which apparently did not affect the New Gods at all and allowed them to remember the old multiverse. Darkseid even creates the Post-Crisis Rudy Jones version of Superman's enemy the Parasite because he remembers the Pre-Crisis Max Jensen version and notices his absence from the new Earth.
  • Really Gets Around: Seriously, and a decidedly dark take on the concept. Darkseid has three sons that we know of and each were born from different mothers but there it has been stated that he has even more children scattered throughout the cosmos. There has also been at least two women Darkseid has taken as mistresses but it is doubtful they are the only ones. Furthermore, he has killed or ordered the killing of at least two of those women.
    • And creepier still was when Eclipso tried to pawn Mary Marvel to him so that she might become his concubine in Countdown to Final Crisis, though in Darkseid's defense he was more interested in her potential as a powerful minion.
    • Earth-2 has him involved with the Fury Death, the last survivor of Mars, and she even bears/bore his child.
    • Justice League in the New 52 showcases how he begat a daughter on Apokolips who causes nothing but chaos everywhere she goes; ironically enough it was her capacity to travel between realities that set his sights on terraforming every universe he comes across into an extension of his hell world.
      • Interestingly enough, he may have chanced upon Prime Earth home of said Enemies who had halted his incursion into their reality long before he ever met them; as he had fathered yet another child named Grail to a rogue Amazon. At the very same time Diana of Themyscera was born no less.
  • Related in the Adaptation: Come the New 52 Highfather is retconned into being the son of Yuga Khan, and thus Darkseid's brother.
  • Religion of Evil: The Church of Crime, complete with "Crime Bible," the belief system of Intergang, Libra, and other disreputable sorts, is secretly backed by Darkseid. Also, "would you like to be free of choice, uncertainty, fear, pain, and confusion?" "Oh, Suzy... that would make me so happy!"
    • Darkseid is himself the focus of his own Religion of Evil. All of Apokolips revolves around the eternal worship of him, and he is pretty up front about the fact that he is a God of Evil so virtues like compassion, peace, joy and the rest are actively stamped out in it. He's also worshiped by other beings throughout the cosmos, most notably Malefic, Evil Counterpart and brother of the Martian Manhunter.
    • The Return of Bruce Wayne series implies that a coven of witches who lived in the forests outside of Gotham City unknowingly worshiped Darkseid, who they understandably mistook for Satan. This would mean that Darkseid's religion has been a subculture on Earth since at least the Colonial Period.
  • Resurrected for a Job: Does this repeatedly to his servants. Usually after he kills them.
  • Roboteching: His Omega Beams are capable of bending to collide with his target. And it's not a particularly subtle bend either, often being a 90 degree turn.
  • Rogues Gallery Transplant: At various points in his history, Darkseid has been primarily associated with the New Gods, the Legion of Super-Heroes, Superman, and the Justice League of America. He's also been the Big Bad of at least three Crisis Crossovers involving the entire DCU.

  • Satanic Archetype: While there are more clear Satan analogues in the DCU, he certainly fits this trope to a t.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Had his mother Heggra assassinated.
  • Sleeves Are for Wimps: Darkseid is not only a high-tech Galactic Conqueror but a brutally powerful Physical God, and his clothing is usually cut to show off his impressive physique. Some of his outfits cover his thighs. Few cover his massive, muscular arms.
  • Slouch of Villainy: Not only does he spend most of his time on the traditional Orcus throne, but more than a few heroes have had the misfortune to return home to find Darkseid chilling out on their couch.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Infamously, towards Wonder Woman in Superfriends.
  • The Sociopath: Darkseid is a cold, remorseless and brutal being who desires cruelty and misery towards all others and he will do whatever it takes to extort that. He possesses no sense of personal affection for anybody (at least after Suli's death), will make it a goal to assert authority to his subordinates and slaves in the most abusive manner possible, particularly towards Kalibak, has a grandiose sense of ego and will constantly twist his words into manipulating others with no care, only to stop occasionally, simply gloat to them about how they fell for his machinations. Whatever sort of interest he has towards anybody is only determined by his standards of what is worthy and commendable, otherwise, anything and everything can just be destroyed or subjected to agony.
  • The Stoic: Most of the time Darkseid is always in control of his emotions.
    • Not So Stoic: Several times. When Batman threatened his whole planet Darkseid trashed him so hard he needed a motherbox to heal from it. He regained composure quickly after that, comply to Batman's request and even take time to offhandedly shame him and the human race for trying to destroy a whole world for victory.
  • Sufficiently Advanced Alien: He uses technology and science (well, comic-book science) for his powers, but there are few who dare tell him that they are not advanced enough. In an issue of Swamp Thing, he chastises Metron, New God of Science, for ignoring magic, and proposes alliances with magical heroes and villains in Cosmic Odyssey. This implies Darkseid's familiar with magic, he just prefers his own methods.
  • Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum: In Final Crisis, Darkseid is dying and, unable to comprehend being unable to rule the universe within his grasp, decides to unleash his true form outside of Fourth World, which would result in the destruction of the entire multiverse if not stopped.
  • Super-Persistent Missile: His Omega Beams work in this fashion, chasing after their targets until it reaches them.
  • Super Strength: This guy can trade blows with Superman and occasionally come out on top.
  • Taking You with Me: Willing to do this to all of reality after being mortally wounded in Final Crisis.
  • Time Abyss: Has existed for at least 15,000 years, exists 1000 years from now and if DC One Million is any indication will still be around dozens of millennia beyond that.
  • Too Powerful to Live: Finally crossed the line in Final Crisis.
  • Touched by Vorlons: Darkseid wasn't born with the Omega Effect. He killed the rightful bearer — his own brother — for it.
  • Tranquil Fury: Darkseid embodies this. He is every bit as bloodthirsty and Ax-Crazy as his most vicious minions (if not more). Yet he hardly ever raises his voice except to give grand speeches. He just calmly makes absolutely certain that his enemies suffer and die. It's rare indeed to see someone send Darkseid into Unstoppable Rage. Batman had a Moment of Awesome when he made Darkseid have a minor Villainous Breakdown (and got pummeled for it) by threatening to blow up Apokolips and revealing that he had the means to do it. Which Darkseid then subverts after agreeing to Batman's terms by saying that had Superman or Wonder Woman tried that, he'd have called their bluff since they "do not have the strength of character to destroy an entire world." But Batman is a human, a species that kills their own kind to win battles, which he considers admirable.
  • Ultimate Evil: On Smallville.
  • Undying Loyalty: With very few exceptions, most of the inhabitants of Apokolips fanatically worship Darkseid, even the downtrodden Lowlies. One of those exceptions is Desaad, whose loyalty to Darkseid is based entirely on his fear of the tyrant. Desaad is still very loyal to Darkseid because Darkseid is just that terrifying. This is best shown in the finale of Superman: The Animated Series. Superman has Darkseid beaten to a bloody pulp, and tosses him to the mercies of his slaves... who pick him and carry him off to be healed.
    "I am many things, Kal-El. But here, I am God."
  • The Un-Favourite: Darkseid hates all three of his sons. But he hates the youngest, Grayven, most of all. Probably because Grayven is basically Darkseid-lite; there's nothing he can do that Darkseid can't do better and he tries to be The Starscream. Kalibak may be an incompetent brute, but at least he's loyal. Darkseid also begrudgingly respects his second son Orion even though he is prophesized to kill him and so has no problem trying to kill him.
  • Villain Decay: He was created to be the villain the entire DC comics universe would have to unite against if they were to have a shot at beating him, but eventually became one that a sufficiently motivated Superman could defeat by himself after the Cosmic Retcon that was Crisis On Infinite Earths.note  This was undone with another cosmic retcon, Final Crisis, that revealed every single appearance Darkseid made since the end of the first crisis event was in fact an avatar and that he was still the villain the entire universe would have to unite against to have a shot at beating.
  • A Villain Named Khan: Yuga Khan is the father of Darkseid and the only being in creation considered more evil than he is. However, he's only concerned with the Source itself rather than universal domination.
  • Villainous Breakdown:
    • When Batman forced Darkseid to release Supergirl by threatening to blow up Apokolips (and proving to Darkseid that he wasn't bluffing), Darkseid didn't take it very well. He vented his frustration by beating the crap out of Batman (who only survived thanks to a Mother Box) before giving into Batman's terms.
    • Darkseid had an even bigger one during the Our Worlds at War event, in Wonder Woman Vol. 2 #173, after Wonder Woman and Raven restored his powers, and did it in such a way that a bit of Wonder Woman's inherent love and compassion found its way into Darkseid's soul. Darkseid could only stand still, shocked to silence, when he realized that Wonder Woman had hurt him in the worst way possible.
  • Villain's Dying Grace: Sometimes, Darkseid sentenced his enemies to... the torment of life as a being with free will. He even turned Young Justice's Secret back to a normal human girl as a form of this once she betrayed him. However, since Evil Cannot Comprehend Good he missed that he was actually giving her exactly what she wanted in the first place. The application of this varies, of course. The Suicide Squad earned this once he realized they dared to invade Apokolips, but the survivors were pretty much made of Survivor Guilt from then on, most notably with Amanda Waller, who's become borderline suicidal with some of her risktaking since. Similarly, in the DCAU, this is Darkseid's vengeance on Superman at the end of his series, with implications that humanity never wholly trusts Superman again. Unlike in mainstream continuity, this does last in DCAU, and leads to one of Superman's closest friends in his series to join Project Cadmus in JLAU.
  • Villains Out Shopping: One story shows that he buys and watches Earth porn. And he even shared it with his adopted son, Scott Free! Said porn tape starred Scott's mind-controlled wife.
  • Villain Respect: While Darkseid relationships with his sons are all negative, he admits that the most commendable one is Orion, who, ironically enough, ended up being a hero and the offspring most opposed to him. This is mainly because of all of his sons, Orion was the only one who could have proved his own merits and feats without any incompetence, which Kalibak and Grayven don't possess at all.
  • Villain Team-Up: Few that aren't subordinate to him try like Brainiac but it ends poorly
  • The Worf Effect: A subverted one. Darkseid sometimes succumbs to this when writers want to show that their new villain means business. Doomsday, Imperiex, the Anti-Monitor, and Brainiac 13 have all threatened and (in Doomsday's case) frightened the God of Evil. It's a subversion since Darkseid did play a critical role in eventually defeating them all.
  • You Have Failed Me: Darkseid is a big fan of this trope, as you might expect. If you don't succeed in a task he's given, even if you're one of his lieutenants, you can expect to pay dearly for it.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Depending on his whims (and the writer), Darkseid may outright kill servants whose services he no longer needs. Of course, since he can bring people Back from the Dead, this may not by the end of their service to him, as he may bring them back if he ever thinks they'll have further use at some point in the future.
  • You Kill It, You Bought It: In Kingdom Come, Orion killed Darkseid and took his place. Unfortunately, he tried an election and won by what he called "an obscene plurality". He realized despite his good intentions, he and Darkseid were not so different, something Superman is disappointed by. Orion is more philosophical about it in a Like Father, Like Son kind of way. Actually, the problem there was that the people of Apokolips are as insanely evil as their fallen lord, and giving them freedom just resulted in them preying on each other worse than before. So yes, killing Darkseid just made Apokolips worse.

Waldorf: So I hear this guy is always looking for the Anti-Life Equation.
Statler: He sure came to the right place. Nobody has a life around here!
Both: Do-ho-ho-ho-hoh!
Darkseid: Are you truly so foolish as to not value your miserable existence? Know then that your suffering will be slow, agonizing, and painful beyond recognition. Blood will be spilt, armies will fall, and all of existence will soon know that Darkseid IS. As for you fools, it is my will that you will receive the honor of learning such knowledge firsthand. (Activates Omega Effect)
Both: Ho-ho-OH CRAP!

Alternative Title(s): Darkseid