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Comic Book / Darkseid War

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Good God, y'all.

"The Darkseid War" is a story arc in the New 52 Justice League series. The story is the culmination of Geoff Johns' Justice League work (including the main Justice League (2011) ongoing, Justice League of America (2013) and Forever Evil (2013)) and features the Justice League being caught in the middle of a conflict between Darkseid and the Anti-Monitor.

     Comics involved in "The Darkseid War" 

Main story:

  • Divergence (one-shot) — A comic released on Free Comic Book Day 2015 that includes a prelude to the story (among other material) written by Geoff Johns.
  • Justice League #40-50 — Where the main story takes place. Written by Geoff Johns with art by Jason Fabok.


  • Justice League: The Darkseid War — Batman (one-shot) — Featuring Batman in Gotham adjusting to his new role as the God of Knowledge. Written by Peter Tomasi with art by Fernando Pasarin.
  • Justice League: The Darkseid War — Flash (one-shot) — Featuring Barry Allen as the Black Racer, the God of Death. Written by Rob Williams with art by Jesus Merino.
  • Justice League: The Darkseid War — Green Lantern (one-shot) — Featuring Hal Jordan and John Stewart defending Oa from an onslaught of Parademons. Written by Tom King with art by Doc Shaner.
  • Justice League: The Darkseid War — Lex Luthor (one-shot) — Featuring Lex Luthor. Written by Francis Manapul with art by Bong Dazo.
  • Justice League: The Darkseid War — SHAZAM (one-shot) — Featuring Shazam! with the power of the Gods of New Genesis. Written by Steve Orlando with art by Scott Kolins.
  • Justice League: The Darkseid War — Superman (one-shot) — Featuring Superman as the God of Strength. Written by Francis Manapul with art by Bong Dazo.
  • Justice League: The Darkseid War Special (one-shot) — Featuring the story of Grail, the daughter of Darkseid. Written by Geoff Johns with art by Ivan Reis and Joe Prado.

The story also serves as a sort of lead-in to the DC Rebirth relaunch, helmed by Johns. It received a follow-up in James Robinson's run on Wonder Woman (Rebirth).


"The Darkseid War" contains examples of:

  • Apocalypse How: Either Class Z2 (Omniversal 404) or Class Z3 (Omniversal Negation) is gonna happen to reality, courtesy of the Anti-Monitor, according to the Amazonian prophecy.
    • Flash learns that destroying The Black Racer would seemingly trigger a Class X4; without the Black Racer, Death itself is free to destroy everything across the universe.
  • Big Bad: Grail, Darkseid's daughter and the one pulling everyone's strings.
  • Bookends: Played with. The New 52 iteration of the League technically ends the same way it began: With the team going up against Darkseid. However, this time it's not another Apokoptic incursion, but rather the Anti-Monitor vs. Apokolips (with the League and Earth caught in the middle).
  • Call-Back: Once again Volthoom is killed by an entity of death.
  • The Cameo:
    • While Barry is running in the last issue of the story, a voice calls out to him. It's revealed in DC Rebirth to be the original Wally West.
  • Cessation of Existence: Fate of reality, as noted above.
  • Advertisement:
  • Composite Character: The New 52 Black Racer has more in common with Black Flash.
  • The Corruption: Since Apokolips is devoid of yellow sunlight, Luthor drops a weakened Superman into a Hellpit, believing its solar energies would rejuvenate him. While it does work, the energies also invert Superman's colors and turns him into a KnightTemplar version of himself. It supercharges him to where his body cannot handle it.
  • Dark Is Evil / Evil Costume Switch: Superman. While Evil is a strong word, the dark coloration shows
  • Don't Fear the Reaper: The possessed Flash makes this case for the Black Racer.
  • Deity of Human Origin: Most of the Justice League took up Godhood. Batman becomes the God of Knowledge by taking Metron's place on the Mobius Chair. Flash becomes the God of Death by being possessed by the Black Racer. Shazam becomes the God of Gods when his pantheon gets replaced by a new one. Superman becomes the God of Strength when he gets corrupted by the Hell Pits on Apokalips. Lex Luthor becomes the God of Apokalips when he is infused with the Omega Effect. Grail becomes the Goddess of Anti-Life when she steals the Anti-Life Equation upon separating it from Mobius.
  • Discard and Draw: The death of Darkseid screwed up Billy Batson's connection with the gods that made him Shazam and so the Wizard had to get some new ones, resulting in a few new powers at the loss of others (Billy lost his super speed and flight, but got some fire powers from the Martian God of Fire. However, the whole SHAZAM theme is kept:
    • The strength of S'ivaa, Urgrundian God of Strength
    • The fire of H'ronmeer, Ma'aleca'andran (Martian) God of Fire, Art and Death.
    • The instinct of Ate, Greek Goddess of Impulse
    • The Source manipulation power of Zonuz, better known as Yuga Khan (Darkseid's father) and God of Evil. He's also the only one forced into this, as a result of Billy beating him after Zonuz tried to usurp the other gods' power.
    • The compassion of Anapel, Koryakian (an indigenous Siberian people) goddess of Birth and Reincarnation.
    • The thunder of Mamagaran (aka The Wizard), Dreamtime god of thunder.
  • Disney Death: Jessica is brought back to life by a Green Lantern Ring.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Just before Jessica's Heroic Sacrifice a disembodied speech bubble calls out to Barry, based on the colors, yellow background and red text, it's clearly meant to be the original Wally West, making a vocal appearance ahead of DC Rebirth.
  • Enemy Mine: The Justice League and Crime Syndicate are forced to work together to fight Mobius.
  • Evil Counterpart: Grail to Wonder Woman, more so than even Superwoman.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Darkseid vs. Anti-Monitor, if not to mention some other beings.
  • Evil Power Vacuum: After Darkseid's death, the universe desperately tried to fill the void left by his demise, by giving godhood to half of the Justice League and turning Lex Luthor into the "New Darkseid"
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: Lex Luther for the citizens of Apokolips. He claims to be their prophesied savior, when it is actually Superman.
  • A God, I Am Not: Green Lantern (see Refusing The Call). Also, Mobius was motivated by this.
  • God of Evil: Darkseid is portrayed as such, but after his death we get some background on his father Zonuz, the former "Dark God", who was even worse than his son
  • Grand Finale: Of Geoff Johns's JL work, Justice League (2011), and the New 52 era as a whole.
  • Grey-and-Grey Morality: We start out with the league getting caught in the middle of a fight between Darkseid Vs the Anti-Monitor then half the heroes are corrupted and the ones who aren't forced to team up with the Crime Syndicate.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Jessica Cruz manages to overcome Volthoom's control of her body and leaps in front of the Flash-pursuing Black Racer. Her death allows the Black Racer to disappear.
  • Heroic Willpower: Jessica overpowers Volthoom long enough to perform a Heroic Sacrifice (see above) earning her a Green Lantern ring.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: When facing the now bloodlusted God of Strength Superman, Wonder Woman resorts to this by using her Lasso of Truth
  • Lesser of Two Evils: Lampshaded by Wonder Woman when she frees and recruits the Crime Syndicate.
  • More Than Mind Control: The Black Racer gets The Flash to comply by showing him what would happen if he didn't.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Myrina has this reaction after seeing how evil Grail has become.
  • Named by the Adaptation: The Anti-Monitor is named Mobius, as the original owner of Metron's famous Chair.
  • Oh, Crap!: At the end, Owlman gets a turn on the Mobius Chair, demands to know the secrets of the universe and promptly panics mere moments before he comes a splotch on the chair, a victim of a certain blue-skinned god-like being.
    • Batman reveals that there has been at least three jokers.
  • Only Sane Man: Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and Shazam are the only ones who manage to remain uncorrupted through the whole event.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Everyone gets a moment of this.
  • Paint It Black: Unlike everyone else, all Superman gets when he ascends to God of Strength is his entire body becoming a black and white photo negative.
  • Pregnant Badass: Downplayed with Superwoman whose pregnancy prevents her from fighting but is still able to keep up with the rest of the league, not too mention Give birth in the middle of the battlefield in a matter of minutes.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Myrina
  • Ret-Gone: Fate of reality, as noted above.
  • Refusing The Call: The entire Green Lanterns corp refuse the Mother Box (having fused with the Green Lantern Core) and the offer to become a God. Hal, being Hal, mentions this because of the morality, but rejects the caution and becomes the God of Light. He restores everything to normal before the Parademons arrive before giving up godhood since it would mean giving up Will.
  • The Reveal:
    • Steve Trevor is not the first man to set foot on Themyscira, and therefore not the Chosen One of the prophecy. That honor goes to Jason of Themyscira, Diana's twin brother, whose existence she did not even know about until Myrina revealed it prior to her death.
    • What Batman learned of the Joker: three different people have been the Clown Prince of Crime.
  • Sadist: Why did the Anti-Monitor want to be reborn so badly to his original "Mobius" self and be freed from the Anti-Life Equation? Just so he could enjoy killing everything and everyone close and personal. He even claimed he found it "unsatisfying" when he killed Lex Luthor's Parademons because they felt no pain or emotion and that he "thirst[s] for suffering". His fight with Ultraman, and what he says to him before he kills him, makes his sadistic nature very clear.
    Mobius: See, this is what I missed. Being a god. Looking down from above. It's all so removed. It's all so isolating. Killing billions in a blink is so unsatisfying. But down here, with all of you... it's much more fun.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After Superwoman's son is born and transformed into a new incarnation of Darkseid by Grail, Owlman hijacks the Mobius Chair, which Grid uploads himself into, and flees.
  • Smug Super: What Batman, Superman and Lex Luther become when Drunk on the Dark Side.
  • A Storm Is Coming: "I see a War between the Dark God and the Anti-God!"
  • Wham Episode:
    • Justice League 45. Using the Black Racer combined with Anti-Life, Mobius kills Darkseid and thereby rattles the cosmos.
    • Justice League 50. Among many whams, the clincher is Grail killing Superwoman and using her newborn child—son of Mazahs—to absorb the Anti-Life Equation, all of the powers from the Justice League gods (sans Batman), and initiating an ancient Amazonian ritual to resurrect Darkseid through Superwoman's child. Whom Grail can control, thanks to the Anti-Life Equation.
  • Wham Line: After the event, Hal Jordan asks Batman what the Möbius Chair said to him when he asked who the Joker was. Batman's response turns everything we know about a classic character on its head:
Batman: The chair didn't give me a name. It said there were three.
  • Wham Shot: The final panel of #50 has Owlman and Metron getting incinerated by an unseen entity, tying into DC Rebirth.