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Darkseid

https://mediaproxy.tvtropes.org/width/350/https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/623110-darkseid_super.jpg

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.

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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 to 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.

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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.

    open/close all folders 

    Western Animation 

    Live-Action Television 

    Live-Action Film 

    Video Games 

Darkseid provides examples of:

    A-F 
  • Above Good and Evil: Being a god and an anthropomorphic personification, Darkseid likes to claim that conventional morality does not influence him, though he is openly proud of his position as the Lord of Tyranny. For one thing, he claims to have a sense of honor and standards, which are incredibly incomprehensible to mortal thoughts.
  • 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.
  • Achilles' Heel: Much like Superman and the Kryptonian race, Darkseid and the New Gods also have a deathly weakness to a radioactive element known as Radion. Darkseid uses a Radion-laced bullet to kill Orion, though he himself falls victim to the same exact same bullet at the hands of Batman.
  • Action Dad: He's far from an ideal parent, but make no mistake, he's one of the most powerful fathers in the DC Universe. His children, particularly Orion and Grail, are some of the most powerful New Gods as well, to the point where Darkseid tends to see Orion as the most credible offspring and the one most worthy of praising him, even if they always battle to the death.
  • 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 and more powerful 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 Early Appearance: In most iterations, Darkseid is usually encountered late by the heroes and tends to be steadily built up to be the DC Universe's greatest threat. In Post-Flashpoint, Darkseid is the Justice League's Starter Villain and the reason why the team was formed in the first place. That said, Darkseid does maintain his threat even after being defeated.
  • 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.
  • Aliens Are Bastards: The denizens of Apokolips are essentially extraterrestrial gods of the malevolent kind and Darkseid is, well...
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Not him, of course, but Darkseid does invoke his trope as part of his evil plan in Legends. Essentially, he sends several of his minions down to Earth to create anti-superhero sentiment in the hopes that the public will start to hate and turn on the heroes and thus take care of the heroes for him. This is very effective until one of the minions slaps a kid, snapping everybody out of it.
  • 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. However, Darkseid is certainly one of the most 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 providing 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.
  • I Am Legion: He goes through this phase in Final Crisis when Darkseid manages to possess the entire human population into his servitude and forcing them to attack any opposing heroes and submit to nihilism.
    Darkseid: "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!"
  • Ambition Is Evil: Darkseid is dedicated to finding the Anti-Life Equation and he has never stopped in his search. Considering the number of years he's spent fighting New Genesis and the superheroes of Earth, Darkseid has affirmed that he will retrieve the equation, no matter how long it takes or how hard it is, believing that succeeding in doing so would give him the decisive victory he needs against his opposition and becoming the ultimate source of authority in the multiverse.
  • Ancient Evil: Being a New God, Darkseid has existed for thousands of years, has made a large influence on the universe, and has even interacted with gods of other pantheons, including the Greek Gods.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: Darkseid is the living personification of tyranny.
  • Anti-True Sight: Darkseid's essence is so strong that Ultra Boy's penetra-vision, which has the ability to perceive the truth from anyone it makes contact with, is unable to go through the God of Apokolips and reveal more about him.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • To 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.
    • He's obviously the most personal foe of Orion and Highfather, with both of them representing the paragon of New Genesis's values and ethics whereas Darkseid is the best representation of Apokolips's depravity. Of course, he's biologically related to them, with Orion being second son and Highfather being his older brother in Post-Flashpoint.
    • Darkseid also personally fulfills this role towards Superman outside of Lex Luthor, Brainiac, and General Zod. Much like Orion and Highfather, Superman's values and ethics are a complete contrast to what Darkseid represents and the Lord of Tyranny has the notable distinction of being Superman's most hated enemy to the extent that he is more than willing to kill Darkseid at every opportunity they get.
  • 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.
  • Arrogant God vs. Raging Monster: He was the "Arrogant God" going up against the "Raging Monster" that was Doomsday in Superman/Doomsday: Hunter/Prey. In this case, Darkseid lost terribly, with even his Omega Beams doing little, if anything, to inflict a dent on Doomsday and the situation became so desperate that Darkseid had to make an alliance with Superman to stop Doomsday.
  • As Long as There Is Evil: After he was defeated in The Great Darkness Saga, Darkseid concedes his loss, but affirms that because his darkness has an influence on the hearts of humans, forming and destroying them on a constant basis, he can never truly be rid of.
    Darkseid: "But remember... The darkness cannot surrender. It is always with you, always on the fringe of the dawn... and the instant you gaze at it in fear... Your time will come."
  • Authority Grants 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 Armfold: In this case, it's a Badass Reverse Armfold, and it's Darkseid's most recurring posture, serving to further his authoritative, egotistic, and domineering nature.
  • 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!until he decides otherwise. Dare to question or fail glorious Darkseid? You DO NOT want to know.
  • Baddie Flattery: Despite their eternal enmity, this is how Darkseid usually treats Orion, complimenting him for his accomplishments, reputation, savagery, and for being a strong and capable warrior, basically admitting that despite him being a hero, Orion is the son that Darkseid likes the most.
  • 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.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: He shares the role with Mandrakk in Final Crisis, though Darkseid is the more active threat, what with him threatening to destroy the entire multiverse by allowing his dying Fourth World form to exit his world and arrive in the main DC Universe, immediately bringing it to the brink of collapsing the multiverse altogether, whilst Mandrakk is content with benefitting by using Darkseid's mayhem to further his own cause.
  • 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.
    • He;s also capable of doing this in the comics, best shown in Final Crisis where his essence hops between his "Boss Dark Side" form and Dan Turpin.
  • Bookends: Specifically for the New 52. Darkseid is the first villain fought by the Justice League and one of the very last by Darkseid War before the DC Universe is rebooted again with DC Rebirth.
  • Boring, but Practical: His Omega Beams are downplayed case; while they do look flashy, Darkseid's repeated use, not to mention other characters like Superman having similar moves doesn't make them all that special. However, they are insanely accurate, being able to track their targets and even twist and bend their directions in case the target tries to outmaneuver them. Finally, the Omega Beams are powerful enough to outright obliterate their targets into nothing but atoms upon hit, and in the situation where they don't, they still inflict massive damage and pain.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Befitting his nature as a Control Freak, Darkseid is not above brainwashing others if it allows him to control them and have them submit to his will. It's why he has Desaad and Granny Goodness as two of his highest lieutenants as they are master practitioners of torturing others into submission, although Darkseid himself is quite adept in it. The most notable case is in The Great Darkness Saga where Darkseid manages to brainwash 3 billion Daxamites into his servitude and lead them in a battle against the Legion of Super-Heroes. And though his control over them is broken, it still left quite a mark on them, especially towards Ol-Vir who still remained frantically devoted to the Great Darkness.
  • Breakout Villain: Initially introduced as the main villain for the New Gods, Darkseid has since become the biggest bad guy in the entire DC Universe, having clashed against nearly every superhero, most notably the Legion of Super-Heroes and Superman. In fact, Darkseid is more well known for being one of Superman's Arch-Enemies than he is to Orion and Highfather.
  • Brought to You by the Letter "S": A handful of incarnations see the Greek letter Omega emblazoned on, or at least associated with him.
  • Cain and Abel:
    • Darkseid killed his older brother to claim the Omega Effect for himself.
    • In Post-Flashpoint, Darkseid and Highfather's relationship is retconned to the point where they are brothers. Of course, Darkseid is the Cain to Highfather's Abel.
  • 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. In one instance, Anarky tries to label him as evil, only for Darkseid to not only interrupt his speech but mockingly and shamelessly finish his sentence for him.
  • Character Tics: Almost always drawn with his arms folded behind his back.
  • The Chessmaster: A very competent and dangerous planner. He prefers to cause dissension 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.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Darkseid is willing to make alliances with friends or foes if there is something mutual to accomplish and is just as willing to throw their temporary alliance off the bridge once it serves his purpose. Of course, Darkseid plays it rather carefully, using Exact Words partly to deceive whoever he works with and partly to insult and troll them once the betrayal is unveiled. Heck, Darkseid is so familiar with this trope that he's aware of being on the receiving end of it by Desaad countless times, but considers the attempt beneath him as he's aware that Desaad is too weak and spineless to really carry out such betrayal.
  • Classic Villain: He ticks arguably all of the boxes you'd expect in an archetypal villain; he personifies pride and wrath, visually contrasts against the heroes with his differing color scheme, clothing style, and their motives, is a backstabbing manipulator, has often won against his adversaries or is at least one step ahead of them, engages in a climactic Final Battle that determines the fate of the verse, and many of his downfalls are due to his swollen hubris.
  • Clone Degeneration: His Servants of Darkness in The Great Darkness Saga are actually duplicate versions of the members of Legion. However, they are craggy, corrupted, and physically broken and while they pose a threat, they still go down quickly once their limit begins to reach.
  • Cold Ham: Rarely raises his voice, but invariably speaks in grandiose, almost operatic dialogue.
  • Combo Platter Powers: Immense strength, endurance, speed, reaction, highly intelligent and manipulative, can shoot incredibly powerful and accurate laser beams, teleport, energy projection, and impressive combat skills if he wants to take a fight seriously, Darkseid employs just some of them if he wants to employ a brutal beatdown on his opponents, rarely having to put in the full effort due to just how powerful he is if he does.
  • Contemplative Boss: On a vacant day, Darkseid would be doing this, overlooking the world of Apokolips with a stern face, hands folded behind his back, and thinking about his intentions of what he wants to do to the universe. Here's a picture of Darkseid doing just that in The Superman Adventures.
  • Control Freak: Being the intergalactic tyrant and the godly personification of tyranny would do that to you. he wishes to impose not just his rule, but his will, upon every single sentient being in the universe. He considers free will a threat to him, so he seeks the Anti-Life Equation to eliminate free will and impose only his own will upon the universe. He actually gets to use the Anti-Life Equation in Final Crisis, taking over The Multiverse in doing so.
  • I Control My Minions Through...: Fear, Slavery, Sadism, Divine Right, Blind Obedience and occasional Brainwashing. They all tie in quite well to Darkseid's nature as a tyrannical madman and paranoiac sociopath after all.
  • 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, and 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.
  • Crossover Cosmology: Darkseid has personally interacted with the Greek Gods and they despise and fear him just as much as everybody else does. To say nothing of his experience with the Amazonian Deities, with the end result with him having a daughter named Grail.
  • Crusading Widower: After learning about the death of Suli, which was caused by his mother Heggra out of concern that her son was becoming too soft and may stray away from becoming evil, Darkseid immediately follows it with a plan to poison his mother with Desaad's help. It's the one time where Darkseid actually acts out of justified revenge as Suli's death left him despondent, even if by that point, there was no turning back.
  • 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.
  • Darkness Von Gothick Name: Well, you can't get a name more evocative of darkness and dread than Darkseid.
  • Darkseid Duplicate: Darkseid has been a characteristic template for several galactic or overlord villains since his inception to the point where there's a trope on that. Perhaps the most famous of them is Marvel Comics' very own Thanos; the two even met one another during a special Marvel/DC crossover where Darkseid dismisses Thanos as a pale imitation.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: Darkseid is on the receiving end of the trope in The Great Darkness Saga when the Legion of Superheroes defeat him in the climax. However, considering he cannot be fully destroyed, Darkseid accepts his defeat and even lampshades the trope with some degree of amusement and being impressed.
    Darkseid: "It seems there is more to you than I dreamed, youths. You have done that which is beyond imagining. You have shattered the dream of a god."
  • 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.
  • Determinator: Regardless of the innumerous amount of vices he has, Darkseid has never stopped from his accomplishing his ultimate goal of obtaining the Anti-Life Equation. He will go through as many universes as he could, fight as many heroes and villains as he has to, and endure any loss and humiliation, so long as he finally gets what he wants. In short, Darkseid has never backed away from his goal since the character's inception.
  • Dimension Lord: Apokolips and New Genesis occupy a different dimension and Darkseid holds a dominant iron fist on the former.
  • Dirty Coward: Deep down, he is neither a gambler nor a believer in fights he hasn't stacked. This is why he chooses Dan Turpin as his host in Final Crisis rather than Batman, who would have struggled far too much for his liking.
  • 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 Conflict: As the leader of Apokolips and the God of Tyranny, he and his planet have been clashing against New Genesis ever since their inception. Despite a truce involving Highfather and Darkseid giving away each others' sons, their war restarted once Mister Miracle escaped from Darkseid's grasp.
  • 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, desperate 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!
  • Eldritch Abomination: This is the nature of Darkseid's true form, being an anthropomorphic construct who dwells in Fourth World, embodying tyranny and anything associated with it. What makes it an abomination is not just the vast amount of power it holds, but also its size and destructive potential, as if Darkseid was to ever allow it's true self to exit Fourth World, the entire multiverse would collapse from his sheer size and power.
  • 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 its 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.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: Despite his misanthropic perspective on life, Darkseid is willing to align and work with others temporarily for a mutual goal and regardless of their alignment, reputation, and effectiveness, if mainly to further accelerate his own goals and would gladly toss the alliance aside once he's got what he wants.
  • 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.
    • Speaking of which, Suli was a good woman even before she met Darkseid. The two had a good relationship with each other regardless and Darkseid credits Suli as the only person he ever truly loved. In fact, their affection was so potent that it could have potentially strayed Darkseid from becoming the DC Universe's equivalent to Satan, but Heggra put a stop to that
  • 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.
  • Even the Loving Hero Has Hated Ones: Darkseid is the recipient; he is unquestionably Superman's most hated enemy because he is the absolute antithesis to everything Superman stands for as well as Darkseid aiming for conquest, enslavement, and suffering above everything else. It tells enough when Superman actually forgoes his no-kill policy and thinks it's best to kill Darkseid off as quickly as he can.
  • 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 Counterpart:
    • Naturally, he and Highfather are similar as much as they have their differences. They're both godly leaders with massive influence and command great power. However, where Highfather represents freedom and has always advocated for nurture and harmony, which comes from being a great paternal figure, Darkseid is a paranoiac control freak who wants to enforce slavery and represents abuse in nearly every way imaginable.
    • He's Superman's greatest antithesis outside of Brainiac and General Zod. Both are incredibly powerful beings who are revered and looked up to and are two of the most influences figures in the DC Universe. That said, Superman is a humble man beneath all his grand power and heroic prestige, would do anything to help others and is one of the most compassionate, loving, and inspirational figures anyone would ever come across. Darkseid is a being who boasts about being the embodiment of evil, does everything he can to press his subjects into despair and meaninglessness and is an extreme sociopath willing to endanger everybody for the sake of advancing his own agenda.
  • 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 Gloating: Being an unabashed good who represents tyranny and always being theatrical about his nature. This is to be expected. Case in point...
    Darkseid: "When I am done, everything that lives shall live only if it is as I wish it to be."
  • Evil Is Bigger: Darkseid is shown to be the tallest among his peers in Apokolips and he rules the planet with a tyrannical iron fist. If that isn't enough, he takes it to extreme levels with the fact that the New Gods are actually a billion times bigger than Earth and they use Boom Tubes to readjust their size. So even taking his normal size into account, Darkseid effortlessly dwarfs Earth.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Being a God of Tyranny, it's natural for Darkseid to be operatic and dramatic about his divinity and power. He expresses it in a reserved, controlled, and eloquent tone, which serves to further assert his authority as well making him more unconventionally threatening. He's a lot more louder in Final Crisis.
  • Evil Is Petty: It comes in the territory of being the premier evil being in the DC Universe after all.
    • An early appearance in Forever People has him terrifying a small child for no other reason than that he can.
    • He forces his minions into murdering their pet animals as a way to teist and corrupt their minds into serving him, as demonstrated with Desaad.
    • He will kill his followers for simple missteps like speaking out of turn.
    • He'll target his enemies' relatives and close ones if they ever dare to interrupt and foil his evil plans.
    • He'll abolish his slaves, only to sign them up for taking care of the next batch. Darkseid does this right in front of a group of heroes just to show how much of a shameless asshole he is and to display how they will become just as cruel as their master.
    • Mister Miracle (2017) takes the cake, though; the series culminates with Darkseid offering Scott Free a ceasefire in the war between Apokolips and New Genesis, even giving up the Anti-Life Equation, and all Scott has to do is... hand his newborn son over to Darkseid to be tortured and raised as his heir, thereby recreating the most traumatic event in his life, this time in the role of the father. When you're willing to give up universal domination to hurt one man in a way that only you can, you're petty, to say the least.
  • Evil Overlooker: There are a lot of covers with Darkseid glancing over a world with a menacing glare on his face.
  • 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 Takes a Nap: By the time The Great Darkness Saga takes place, Darkseid is rendered in a slumbering state after New Genesis and Apokolips destroyed each other in a climactic final battle. Unfortunately, he's awakened by several scientifical probes investigating his long-dead world and he immediately sets out to engulf the universe in darkness. Given how long Darkseid had been out of commission, the Legion of Super-Heroes are not prepared for the onslaught he was about to unleash.
  • 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 a 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.
    • However, he himself has been on the receiving end of this trope to show how much of a threat these villains are. Examples are Pre-Crisis Anti-Monitor, Doomsday, Mandrakk, Barbatos, pre-Heel–Face Turn World Forger, the Batman Who Laughs, Doctor Manhattan, Perpetua, and the Great Darkness. The Great Darkness in particular he actually initiated the Final Crisis to try to draw out and enslave because he recognized its extremely immense power. But when he, after merging with all his past and present incarnations and thus becoming the most powerful he's ever been, went to confront the Great Darkness head on, he finds out he's still way, way out of his depth.
  • 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.
  • Expy Coexistence: For one, there's Mongul, who is DC's version of Thanos, who himself is Marvel's answer to Darkseid, though Mongul and Darkseid have never really had any meaningful encounter or interaction with each other. There's another expy in Tartarus, an Evil Overlord from Earth 8, who's more clearly based on Thanos and even has his own version of the Infinity Gauntlets. He and Darkseid do battle, but Tartarus is ultimately overcome and killed by the Lord of Tyranny.
    • Thanos would actually get to meet and fight Darkseid in a special comic crossover between Marvel and DC, where the two wager on who would come out victorious. Darkseid wins and later on, the two are merged into a being known as "Thanoseid".
  • 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.
  • Eye Scream: He was in the receiving end of it in Justice League (2011), where Wonder Woman and Aquaman use their sword and trident respectively to pierce Darkseid's eyes in an effort to disable him from using his Omega Beams.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: While Darkseid may be one of the most dangerous foes in the multiverse, the fact of the matter remains that he's ultimately destined to lose. Justifiable, since any story that ends with him having any kind of victory will cast too much gloom on the DC Universe. Final Crisis, Justice League Dark: Apokolips War and some glimpses of the Bad Future in Zack Snyder's Justice League at least show that his defeat will come at a cost.
  • Faster Than They Look: His rocky skin and enormous build combine with his usual tendency to move slowly and ominously and let his Powers Do the Fighting to make it easy to assume that he's a Mighty Glacier. He's not - he's a true Flying Brick Lightning Bruiser just like Superman, and anyone who expects their Super Speed to let them outmaneuver him is in for a very rude awakening.
  • False Flag Operation: In Action Comics #600, he tried to take out Superman and Wonder Woman by sending Kalibak, disguised by Apokolips tech as Superman, to attack Wonder Woman, and Amazing Grace, disguised as Wonder Woman, to attack Superman. His plan was to get Superman and Wonder Woman to each believe the other to be an enemy in disguise, so that they would fight each other when they next met. And indeed they did fight each other...all the way to Darkseid's throneroom, whereupon they dropped the act. As Superman told Darkseid, "Just because we're mere mortals, that doesn't mean we're stupid!"
  • Faster Than They Look: Darkseid usually gives out the impression of being a Mighty glacier, being lax with his combat stance, and not putting much effort into his speed. In reality, he's ridiculously fast and reflexive; he deliberately half-asses his effort because he's aware that he's too powerful to be fought back by most enemies he comes across, hence his supposedly slow fighting style.
  • Fatal Flaw: His overconfidence, which neatly ties in with his pride. Sure Darkseid has the bark to justify his immense power and fearsome authority, but he's not immune to understanding others and indulging in being a petty sadist. As a result, he's been beaten a number of times because he doesn't take his threats and opposition seriously at that time.
  • 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.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Darkseid tends to speak very formally and there are some refinements and a clear understanding in his speech that he presents to the point where one would assume him to be rather approachable to interact with. Of course, it's all a facade to veil behind the power-hungry, destructive sociopath that he really is.
  • 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).
  • Flying Brick: He tends to slowly float around or teleport with Boom Tubes more often than he flies, but he has the complete package of powers necessary for this trope, and can fight in aerial duels on even-or-better terms with any other DC Flying Brick who gets past his Omega Beams.
  • 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.
    • One can also make comparisons between him and the Anti-Monitor. Both of them are the most feared beings in the DC Multiverse, hold immense power, and have come close to destroying all of existence at some point. The main difference comes from the fact that the Anti-Monitor desires the destruction of everything so that he could thrive in a world where Antimatter is the only thing left whereas Darkseid would rather crush individuality and enslave everyone into his brutal and unforgiving servitude. Despite their grandiosity, the Anti-Monitor is impersonal and is laser-focused on his goals, seeing everything as an obstacle to fight against, whereas Darkseid has developed personal enmities with various heroes, especially Orion and Superman.
    • He is one to Thanos as well, with Darkseid even dismissing him as a "pale imitation" upon meeting with him. Both are Galactic Conquerors who are the most infamous and terrifying figures among the cosmos, command a grand army of followers, are prominent enemies to a team of superheroes, and desire something to advance their ultimate goals. However, Thanos desires absolute destruction in an effort to impress Death and had a humble background before becoming the Mad Titan. Darkseid, on the other hand, desires absolute subjugation, and his origins are very fantastical.
  • 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.
  • Forgot About His Powers: Darkseid has a massive list of powers and his experience should place him under the Superpower Lottery. However, the full extent of his abilities is either poorly understood or unacknowledged by most writers, which results in Darkseid usually being seen as mainly a hand-to-hand combatant, with the Omega Beams being added in for extra measure. Though Final Crisis have have tried to explain this as a way to state that those times when Darkseid was participating in combat were just avatars of his true selves, hence why they don't use any of their other powers.
  • 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.
  • For the Evulz: Though more elegant and charming than most other versions of this trope, Darkseid is ultimately defined by his desire to hurt others because he can, and he often takes the time to do so in small or grand ways.
  • 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 mud farmer, 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 he and Darkseid were the New Gods.

    G-L 
  • 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.
  • I Gave My Word: In the Marvel Versus DC crossover, he and Thanos both will keep the literal word of any agreement, but they are not above violating the spirit of an agreement. This is common for supervillains who want to appear to have some degree of honor to set themselves above others but can twist it to still be villains. So even if they give their word you cannot trust them.
  • 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.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: It's not enough that Darkseid's eyes are red, but they're always glowing and there's a wisp of steam stemming from them anytime he's either enraged or is about to engage in battle. And considering what the Omega Beams are capable of, well...
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: Amusingly, Darkseid has this relationship with Ambush Bug, to the point where he sees Ambush Bug as the only individual whom he is able to have some leisurely fun with that has nothing to do with tyranny or sadism. Heck, try to imagine Darkseid performing karaoke with Ambush Bug.
  • Goal in Life: The Anti-Life Equation is his life's ambition and Darkseid would not rest nor compromise until he finally obtains it and succeeds in eradicating free will.
  • 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-Emperor: He's a God of Tyranny and governs a planet that is DC's equivalent to Hell. Apokolips is essentially a hellish kingdom and it's populace worship and revere Darkseid as their gracious ruler.
  • 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 of the DC Universe.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: Played for Horror; this is essentially what the Omega Sanction does to those who are dragged into it via a hit from an Omega Beam. One would wake up to an ideal world, but eventually, they come to realize something is wrong with it before misfortune continues to build up before the affected is subjected to a Cruel and Unusual Death and the process is repeated with continuously worse results over time.
  • Hand Blast: He wields a weaponized glove named the "Killing Glove". Designed by Desaad, it allows Darkseid to project and fire energy blasts from his fingers onto his opponents.
  • Happily Married: Darkseid's wife, Suli was the one being that he truly loved, and it was to the extent where her affection was the one thing that could overcome Darkseid's evil. This trope was the reason why Heggra conspired to have Suli killed as she felt that her love for Darkseid was making him weak. Once Suli died, Darkseid conspired back to kill Heggra, cementing his permanent stance in being the God of Tyranny. And while Kalibak is not well treated, Darkseid keeps him around as he is the last physical reminder of the love he had with Suli.
  • 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.
  • Hated by All: With the exception of his followers who are too emotionally and mentally crippled to stand up against him and only a few equally evil villains who either look up to him or see him as an ally for their own ends, everybody, hero and villain included, either despise and/or is afraid of Darkseid. Considering the inhumane treatment of his followers and subjects, his goals of wanting to eradicate individuality, his being willing to destroy planets if necessary, and his callous sociopathy towards every living being, it's not hard to see how Darkseid is among the most infamous being in the DC Universe, with the only notable competition he has in this department being The Joker. Put it in this perspective; Superman has nothing but outright contempt and scorn towards Darkseid, seeing him as his most hated enemy and arguably his top Arch-Enemy, was it not for Lex Luthor's persistence.
  • Hates Everyone Equally: Darkseid despises every single living being in existence, no questions asked. The fact that they have individuality disgusts him and this drives him to further his cruelty and desire to take away free will. The only exception to this rule is his first wife, Suli, who's long since been dead, and, to a much lesser degree, Orion, whom Darkseid sees as a Worthy Opponent at most.
  • Hell Invades Heaven: After countless years of being in endless warfare against them, Darkseid's Apokoliptian forces finally invade New Genesis in Final Crisis and although he comes out victorious, he's left dying. Not wanting individuality to remain after his death, Darkseid decides to destroy the multiverse in response.
    Darkseid: "There was a war in Heaven, Mister Turpin, and I won."
  • Hero Killer: Has killed countless numbers of unimaginably powerful beings, we just aren't privy to most of them.
  • A Hero to His Hometown: A morbidly twisted and dark example; most of the denizens of Apokolips are tortured and mentally emancipated slaves due to the horrors that Darkseid subjects them to, but they still somehow revere and worship him as their patron deity.
  • 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.
  • Hope Crusher: As a Lord of Tyranny, Darkseid makes a point to make as much effort as he can to crush the hopes and spirits of everyone he comes across to further instill his misery and force them to submit to the meaninglessness of life. Part of the reason he desires the Anti-Life Equation is that it would allow him to spread the destruction of hope and expectations on a multiversal scale.
    • A more direct example occurs in Superman/Supergirl: Maelstrom where Maelstrom, one of Darkseid's elite fighters believes that she can destroy Superman's spirit by killing Supergirl. Darkseid allows her to carry on, with the award that her being successful would make her the God of Tyranny's eternal slave, or eternal banishment if she fails. Shortly after, Desaad asks Darkseid why he is entertaining Maelstrom's delusions, Darkseid explains he cannot properly destroy her hopes if she is not hoping for anything.
      Desaad: I apologize, master, but my curiosity is piqued, and I cannot fathom why you would entertain that woman's desires.
      Darkseid: I wouldn't expect a lowly dog as yourself to comprehend my reasons for doing anything.
      Desaad: I beg for enlightenment on this particular matter. To give her false hope...
      Darkseid: Only to see it crushed? Maelstrom will fail in her quest and that will cause her more pain and suffering than any torture device you could imagine.
  • Horrifying the Horror: He's on both ends of the trope; his presence and reputation terrifies everyone, hero or villain and Darkseid is all to happy to enforce that.
  • Humanoid Abomination: He is revealed to be this from Final Crisis onward. The Darkseid from the Post-Crisis timeline and even back in Pre-Crisis is just an avatar projected by the true Darkseid that dwells in Fourth World, who is anthropomorphized energy being who cannot leave his realm unless the sheer evil and power he possesses jeopardizes the entire multiverse.
  • 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 working any better than an outright betrayal.
  • Immortality: As a New God, Darkseid is immortal and has an extended lifespan which allows him to exist indefinitely.
  • 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.
  • In Their Own Image: One of the reasons he desires the Anti-Life Equation is that, in addition to robbing everyone of their individuality, Darkseid would be free to do whatever he likes and mold the multiverse to his liking without any opposition, in addition to enslaving everyone into blindly worshipping him.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Invincible Villain: The problem with the character is that it's 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 Gods: As a God of Evil, being personally abrasive and unpleasant in any given social situation is just proper attention to detail in spreading as much misery as possible, and he happily obliges.
  • Karmic Death: In the Post-Crisis universe, Darkseid's ultimate demise was initiated when he was shot by a Radion bullet courtesy of Batman. The same Radion bullet that Darkseid used to kill Orion.
  • Kick the Dog: Again, God of Evil. 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.
    • Darkseid had his own mother killed to assume the throne. Since said mother had the only person he ever loved killed to ensure he'd be heartless, it's hard to blame Darkseid for doing so.
  • 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.
  • Kinslaying Is a Special Kind of Evil: If being a terrible boss isn't bad enough, he's an even worse parent, treating Kalibak like shit and sometimes vaporizing him for any failure he commits, only to resurrect him and repeat mistreating him. He also killed his older brother in order to obtain the Omega Effect, arguably the first really evil act he committed. Subverted with his mother, whose death instead came off as deserving as she killed someone innocent, namely Darkseid's first wife, Suli, and Darkseid killed her out of rage and grief.
  • 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.
  • The Lost Lenore: Darkseid had one person he cherished above all else and that was his first wife, Suli, whose influence was strong enough to overcome Darkseid's evil. Even after her death which solidified Darkseid remaining an intergalactic Evil Overlord, Suli always brings him rather bittersweet memories to the extent that Darkseid vaporizes one of his henchwomen when she brings it up, aware that the knowledge of this relationship and the pain Darkseid suffered from that loss might be a weakness that his enemies would use against him.
  • Love Redeems: This almost happened to him when he fell in love with 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.

    M-R 
  • Make an Example of Them: Darkseid's abysmal and abusive treatment of his followers are a way for them to be reminded of just how cruel and violent he can be if anyone dares to fail an objective and they would do their best possible to accomplish their task and press on with them, fearing of what Darkseid could do to them.
  • Make Way for the New Villains: He he's introduced in The Great Darkness Saga where off-screen, he brutalized Mordru and the Time Trapper to establish just what kind of threat the Legion of Super-Heroes are going to go up against.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He's one of the most devious manipulators in his universe and likes to play mind games with his opponents, if mainly because he likes to demoralise them and crush their spirits before killing them. Darkseid also employs several tricks to deceive his enemies and followers into going along with his plan and while he would inevitably betray them, be also likes to keep his word literally just to be an even bigger dick.
  • Mask of Sanity: Almost all the time, Darkseid has a stoic, reserved expression and it's notes that has an immense amount of control and tempering over his thoughts and emotions. Underneath all of it however, Darkseid is a bloodthirsty, sadistic, misanthropic nihilist who doubles as a sociopath wanting to attack and spite all of life by enforcing his dark thoughts into them.
  • 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.
  • Misanthrope Supreme: Darkseid makes it very clear that not only does he see all of existence as being beneath him, fellow gods included, but he also treats them with such brutal violence and cruelty that is goes beyond just simple hate. The fact that he actually thinks life and individuality is meaningless does all but outright state that Darkseid is a hateful misanthrope who wants to spite all of existence with the Anti-Life Equation.
  • Monochromatic Eyes: In addition to being deep red in colour, Darkseid's eyes also don't tend to have irises, which furthers his nature as a morally detached monster. On the rare occasion that he does have irises, they're difficult to notice due to their color schemes blending in with the eyes' background.
  • 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.
  • Necromancer: He's a strange variation of one. While the Omega Effect has given him the ability to atomize beings into nothingness, Darkseid can also interact with the deceased and souls in various ways with his powers. These include mind control and even bringing back the dead into his complete servitude, effectively making them zombies if he wants to.
  • The Nicknamer: Tends to categorize everyone who is not from Apokolips. For example, calls Superman "Kryptonian" and Galactus "Star God".
  • Nigh-Invulnerable: While he is a god, Darkseid can be injured and even killed, as demonstrated by the efforts of Orion, Superman, and the Justice League on a number of occasions. However, unless you are very powerful and can keep up with his powers, good luck even getting to reach up to him, let alone make a scratch on him.
  • Nude-Colored Clothes: Darkseid's outfit is mainly dark blue or a darker shade of indigo. His skin color happens to be rather close to that of his clothing, and Depending on the Writer, the outfit and skin may blend in too much, or there's an effort to distinguish them with the outfit being given shades of purple.
  • 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 it in his own image, and he will destroy everything to make it happen. He's even the page picture.
  • The Omnipotent: He is evil/tyrannical omnipotency incarnate as shown in Final Crisis. Also, because the Anti-Life Equation is a mathematical equation to rob free will by convincing the universe's populace of the meaning of life, Darkseid essentially wants to seek omnipotent authority towards all of existence as his end goal.
  • One-Hit Kill: Darkseid Omega Beans are arguably among the most powerful beams in all of fiction. To sum it up, one zap from said beams obliterates it's targets into nothing upon contact, or they teleport them into the Omega Sanction for eternal torment. If the beams don't immediately kill on contact, then they'll be sure to leave a painful mark on their targets.
  • One-Man Army: He's taken on entire armies and still comes out on top victorious. Furthering this, Darkseid takes on various superhero teams and gods, with many of their own members being one-man armies themselves, a display of just how tremendously powerful the Lord of Tyranny is. There's a reason he's the Justice League's Arch-Enemy after all.
  • 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.
  • Physical Religion: In Apokolips, the only religion that is tolerated there is the worship of Darkseid, where he is revered physically in the clear presence of others. After all, Darkseid IS.
  • Planet Baron: He has ultimate authority over Apokolips and governs it with as much savagery and brutality as he could, ensuring that the planet maintains its nature as DC's planetary version of Hell.
  • Polite Villains, Rude Heroes: He has this dynamic with Orion, which furthers them as foils. Darkseid is the more composed and self-controlled one, though this is an effective shell to contain the misanthropic sociopath he actually is whereas Orion is very Hot-Blooded, abrasive, and prone to being violent, but deep down is a good man who wants to do the right thing.
  • 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.
  • Powers Do the Fighting: Since he's got incredibly powerful, versatile homing Eye Beams, he can deal with most adversaries simply by opening his eyes (not necessarily in their direction) and letting the carnage ensue. Even getting him to throw a punch is an impressive achievement, if also generally a deeply unwise one.
  • Pragmatic Villainy:
    • There are very few methods he won't resort 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 of Darkseid having standards but 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.
  • Pretender Diss: He comes to view Thanos as this during the Marvel Versus DC event in 1996.
    Thanos: "A disciple of Death... versus a lord of destruction. Tell me then, Darkseid... would you care to make a wager on the outcome?
    Darkseid: "I wager, you pale imitation of me... that you will lose."
  • Pride: Well, yeah. He's proud to declare himself the ruler of Apokolips and the God of Tyranny, not to mention he makes several remarks about his power, authority, and influences, which are certainly not ones to be scoffed at.
  • 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).
  • Purple Is Powerful: Darkseid is either clad in blue or shades of purple and, as a New God, is one of the most powerful beings in the DC Universe.
  • 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.
  • Reality Warper: As a Physical God, he's on more personal terms with the fabric of reality than most people. The most direct manifestation of this is the Omega Effect created by his Eye Beams, which gives him near-perfect control of reality as it pertains to anything struck by them. He normally just uses it to obliterate his victims, but he can get far, far more creative if he so chooses.
  • 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.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Darkseid's eyes are always shown to be glowing a deep red shade, indicative of his rageful and shamelessly malicious nature as well as the main sign of him possessing the Omega Effect. His Eye Beams are also typically red, and they're some of the deadliest and most effective optic blasts in all of fiction.
  • Red Is Violent: While Darkseid doesn't wear any red, the Omega Effect is almost always shown with red-orange outlines and Darkseid's eyes usually have a steam of red flowing outwards whenever he's angry or serious. It should be noted that beneath his stoic composure, Darkseid holds a raging storm of contempt towards all of existence.
  • 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. As for his roles, he either serves as the main antagonist and/or the Arch-Enemy of someone, namely Orion and Superman, who personally hate Darkseid more than anyone else. He's also been the Big Bad of at least three Crisis Crossovers involving the entire DCU.

    S-Y 
  • Sadist: As the God of Tyranny, he embodies sadism. Spreading pain and suffering wherever he can is both his foremost duty and his foremost pleasure.
  • Satanic Archetype: While there are more clear Satan analogues in the DCU, he certainly fits this trope to a t, being a God of Tyranny, a clear practitioner of spreading misery and despair towards others, plotting to take over all of existence, and having more of an overall impact towards the verse than most other characters. The fact that his reputation is a clear contrast to Superman's also highlight Darkseid's Satanic overtones.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Had his mother Heggra assassinated.
  • Shadow Archetype: He's among those who could be considered Superman's ultimate antithesis. Both have immense power and inspire great influence, except that one is a humble man driven to do good whereas the other is a tyrannical sociopath who wants to instill oppression and mass slavery. Essentially, Darkseid is what Superman could be if he chose to become a tyrannical dictator and had a desire to be seen as an all-powerful god by the populace.
  • Sibling Murder: He murdered his brother, Drax because he was the one who was appointed to possess the Omega Effect and Uxas wasn't going to let that happen. This is the moment where Uxas becomes Darkseid.
  • 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.
  • Smug Super: Darkseid is extremely prideful and haughty about his position as a God of Tyranny, the authority and misery he spreads, and the amount of power he holds. Nobody ever takes his words lightly; Darkseid really is that powerful and that much of a threat to the DC Universe.
  • So Proud of You: He has this opinion towards Orion, which is surprising as not only do they fight to the death anytime they meet, but Orion despises Darkseid just as much as Superman does. Despite having no compunctions on killing his son, Darkseid credits Orion for being accomplished and strong as well as earning those merits through his own work and commitment, which is the reason why he sees Orion as his favourite son in spite of his opposition.
  • 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 to 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.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Infamously, towards Wonder Woman in Superfriends.
  • Starter Villain: Darkseid is the very first villain the Justice League fights against in the Post-Flashpoint timeline. In fact, Darkseid is the reason why the Justice League was formed in the first place.
  • Starter Villain Stays: Of course, being the first villain the Justice League fights against isn't going to slow Darkseid down. If anything, he doubles down on his efforts for multiversal conquest, killing off differing multiversal versions of the League in an effort to gain more power and leading up to his showdown with the Anti-Monitor in Darkseid War.
  • 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, complied to Batman's request, and even took time to offhandedly shame him and the human race for trying to destroy a whole world for victory.
  • A Storm Is Coming: When warned about the arrival of an upcoming storm, Darkseid simply responds with "I am the storm!".
  • Straw Nihilist: When your ultimate goal is to essentially eradicate free will and individuality from every living being because you legitimately believe it to be a bad thing, this is your perspective on life in a nutshell. Darkseid is a misanthropic nihilist and is utterly shameless about it to the point where he would do whatever he can to shove his philosophy onto others as his way of spiting others and proving his point.
  • Strong and Skilled: One of the reasons why Darkseid is so feared; in addition to being overwhelmingly powerful and destructive, he also has just as much control and experience with his powers and he personally doesn't need to use his full powers to get the job done, instead reserving it and using the necessary powers he needs to use to get his objectives done. And when he encounters someone who could potentially challenge his authority and power, Darkseid would proceed to demonstrate just why he is the most feared being in the DC Universe.
  • Story-Breaker Power: Darkseid is one of the most powerful beings in the DC Universe and plays an active role in terrorizing the verse with his relentless search for the Anti-Life Equation and waging war against the New Gods of Genesis and DC's superheroes. As a result, he is sparingly used because not only are his powers enough to rival Superman's, but he can also alter reality to an incomprehensible level if he wills it. This was prevalent in Pre-Crisis and while Post-Crisis would see him becoming a punching bag of sorts, Final Crisis would rerail him as a godly multiversal threat who could destroy entire multiverses if he felt like it. By Post-Flashpoint, Darkseid is, again, sparingly with reasons similar to his Pre-Crisis portrayals.
  • Stupid Evil: A serious occupational hazard and Drama-Preserving Handicap for him. He may be an incredibly formidable Genius Bruiser, but he's a God of Evil who exists to spread misery and suffering, and he just isn't all that capable of keeping his urges in check through Pragmatic Villainy when they become dangerously self-destructive. There's a reason he's the ruler of a Fascist, but Inefficient mess like Apokolips.
  • 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.
  • Superpower Lottery: While the full extent and list of his abilities are rarely ever shown, Darkseid is still a clear winner, having insane levels of power, dexterity, defenses, and heightened intelligence as well as the Omega Effect giving him even more powers like molecular manipulation, beams that can inflict massive damage and have near-flawless accuracy, govern and even create a torturous death-realm, and even necromantic powers.
  • Super Reflexes: In addition to him being able to handle speedsters reasonably well in close combat, it's almost impossible to ambush him without instantly getting a face full of Omega Beams.
  • Super Speed: Not one of his most prominent superpowers - he tends to come across as a terrifyingly inexorable Mighty Glacier - but whenever he encounters an adversary with Super Speed, he can do a disturbingly good job of keeping up.
  • Super Strength: This guy can trade blows with Superman and occasionally come out on top. He's in the absolute top tier of DC bruisers.
  • Super Toughness: In addition to being roughly as strong as Superman, he's also considerably more durable. It takes a lot to incapacitate him, let alone kill him, to the point where it borders on the metaphysical - As Long as There Is Evil, there is also Darkseid. To make matters worse, he isn't usually depicted with a consistent or useful Kryptonite Factor (maybe there'll be a weapon that's particularly good for god-slaying in a story featuring him, but it's far from guaranteed to exist or be effective), meaning that heroes facing him usually have to bring him down the hard way.
  • Taking You with Me: Realizing that he is dying and that he may never be able to accomplish his goal of robbing existence of free will, he decides to do this to all of realityin Final Crisis. On a more personal note, he kills Batman shortly after being shot by a Radion bullet, effectively securing his demise in the Post-Crisis world.
  • 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.
  • To the Pain: Befitting for a God of Tyranny and as a relentless hope crushing sadist, Darkseid likes to spell out his punishments in as much detail as possible should he find out that one of his followers has failed an objective. He also does this to his opponents once Darkseid beats them into submission.
  • Too Powerful to Live: After suffering Villain Decay throughout most of Post-Crisis, Darkseid finally crossed the line in Final Crisis where it's revealed that he's a cosmological construct and anthropomorphic personification of tyranny and he can and will destroy the multiverse if he cannot get to conquer it before dying.
  • Touched by Vorlons: Darkseid wasn't born with the Omega Effect. He killed the rightful bearer — his own brother — for it.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Again, it's a very twisted example, but despite how badly he treats him, Darkseid keeps Kalibak alive or resurrects him shortly after killing for two reasons; he's unfailingly loyal despite his incompetence and, more importantly, he's the last living reminder of his wife, Suli, who was the one being Darkseid loved above all else.
  • 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.
  • Trespassing to Talk: He does this often when he wants to tempt/make a deal with someone. If they're on Earth, you can bet he'll be on their couch.
  • Troll: He's a master of these, particularly when he technically fulfills any bargains he makes with temporary alliances by promptly backstabbing them and telling them about how he followed through with their agreement to the letter and now that it's done, Darkseid is more than welcome to tell them their alliance's expiration by being as much of a dick to them as possible.
  • Tube Travel: Boom Tubes are a creation of the New Gods that are shaped like, well, tubes. This is Darkseid's preferred way of traveling, casually creating Boom Tubes if he wants to exitApokolips and enter another world.
  • 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 up and carry him off to be healed.
    "I am many things, Kal-El. But here, I am God."
  • Unholy Matrimony: Surprisingly subverted with his relationship with Suli, whose influence actually made Darkseid a better individual. Too bad Heggra took issue with this and killed Suli, feeling that her presence was making her son too soft.
  • 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.
  • The Unfettered: No matter who he faces off against, what is holding him back, whether everyone sees him in suspicion and revilement, and if he has other objectives to complete, Darkseid will never stop in his quest to find the Anti-Life Equation and will do whatever it takes to achieve his goal, even if means endangering his fellow New Gods, his own followers, and the entire multiverse.
  • Unknown Rival: He has one in his youngest son, Grayven, who seriously wants to prove his worth by being the "next" Darkseid. In an interesting take on this trope, Darkseid fully acknowledges Grayven's existence, but couldn't care less about his efforts because he's basically a "lesser" version of him and there's nothing special or unique about Grayven that makes him stand out from Kalibak and Orion to really gain any significant attention or commending from Darkseid.
  • 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.
  • Villains Never Lie: Well, technically. While Darkseid is willing to betray any alliances he makes, he also makes sure to fulfill his bargain literally by letter-to-letter. He doesn't spell out lying as part of the ploy.
  • 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.
    • He shows a surprising amount of respect to Access in Unlimited Access, as instead of trying to kill him once Access has saved the day Darkseid instead yells at him to stand up straight when he cowers since he refuses to be beaten by someone like that. He goes on to explain that he actually sees many similarities between him and Access, as both of them have their domains which they must control while using other characters to fight their battles instead of going into combat themselves.
    • Subverted when he met Thanos, calling him a pale imitation while disregarding the infinity gauntlet as useless since it doesn't work outside the Marvel universe.
  • Villain Team-Up: Few that aren't subordinate to him try like Brainiac but it ends poorly.
  • Villain Teleportation: One of the abilities the Omega Effect has bestowed upon Darkseid is near-instantaneous transport to any place in the universe, very akin to teleporting. Darkseid uses this quite liberally, either to arrive at his preferred destination or for combative purposes.
  • 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.
  • Villainous Legacy: As the embodiment of evil and tyranny, it's safe to say that Darkseid has left a massive mark on the DC Universe. For one, there are several non-Apokoliptian villains who either loom up to or worship Darkseid as a patron deity like Malefic, drive the Greek Pantheon to near-extinction, and leave behind a wreckage of destroyed universes for everyone to see and be terrified of.
  • 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.
  • Wolverine Publicity: The New Gods is not a popular franchise for DC Comics, despite their in-lore importance. Darkseid is unquestionably the most famous and popular character in the series, but that's because he's also seen himself being a major antagonist for the Legion of Super-Heroes and as one of the greatest foes the Justice League and Superman tend to deal with. Even if the New Gods are featured in the story, Darkseid is the one with the most focus, even if he serves as the main antagonist and the one with the most marketing.
  • 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.
  • Wrath: Beneath his seemingly impenetrably stoic shell is a wrathful storm of rage, hate, and contempt towards all of life. That said, unlike most examples, Darkseid's wrath is very well-managed and controlled and while many can deduce that he's in a perpetually angry state, he never lets it overtake his common senses, which, if anything else, makes his wrath all the more frightening and unpredictable.
  • 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 be 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.
  • Your Size May Vary: Having complete control over his molecular structure, Darkseid is able to alter his mass and size in however way he sees fit. Because of his titanic size in his home world, he has to minimize his size to even fit properly into the DC Universe, but can choose to be just as big as a kaiju if he feels like it.
  • Your Worst Nightmare: At some point during their final battle in The Great Darkness Saga, Darkseid beats nearly all Legionnaires at once by making their worst nightmares real: Lightning Lad loses his arm again, Duplicate Girl sees her third body die again, Timber Wolf loses his humanity, Dream Girl her beauty...
  • You're Not My Father: He's on the receiving end of this from Orion, who's made his enmity towards Darkseid as personal as he could. In fact, during the final battle between New Genesis and Apokolips, Orion proclaims his differences to his father whilst punching him in the chest.
    Orion: "I am nothing like you!"


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-ho-ho-ho-hoh!
Darkseid: What fools are these? So weary of life that they take the name of Darkseid, My Name, in vain? Are you truly so feeble 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-ho-OH CRAP!

Alternative Title(s): Darkseid

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