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Darkseid Duplicate

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Not separated at birth, mind you.L - R 
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Just as Superman is often considered to be the prime example of what a Superhero should be, Darkseid pretty much defines what a "big league" villain looks like. They have a towering presence, a low-octave voice, a strong jawline, and a bald head.

Beyond design, Darkseid Duplicates often aren't just the archenemies of a particular superhero; they are broad-based villains who are foes to all of the local universe's hero community at large, and are either The Dreaded or at least extremely powerful — the "ultimate evil" so to speak. In order to have the clout needed to go with that status, they usually operate as a Galactic Conqueror or Omnicidal Maniac, much like the trope namer himself. They also have the ego (think A God Am I) and hamminess to match, and it is not uncommon for them to describe their superiority in great detail. Never content with the vast power they already have, they normally have an obsession with a particular artifact of power to further their might. Often this singular obsession is their downfall.

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Darkseid himself is actually a comparatively young character (he first appears in 1970, as opposed to Superman, who dates from 1938) and only starred in a disconnected DC work (New Gods) which was not meant to be used outside that story. He has nonetheless proven so iconic that he (and the entire New Gods mythology) were incorporated into mainstream DC continuity, with Darkseid starring in nearly every DC universe adaptation since, often as the Big Bad. Numerous fictional works in the Superhero genre have since made at least one Alternate Company Equivalent or expy based on him. These expies always have at least a few of the following traits:

  • They are heavily-built villains who are designed to be bald and have their face entirely exposed, with an inhuman skin color.
  • They have large-scale ambitions and often come into conflict with a large amount of the resident franchise's heroic characters.
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  • Their power is usually vast in scope, a threat to entire planets, galaxies or even universes and beyond.
  • They have massive resources at their disposal.
  • They desire a MacGuffin of some sort that acts to further their already vast power, such as the Anti-Life Equation for Darkseid or the Infinity Gauntlet for Thanos.
  • They have a very high opinion of themselves and will let anyone in a ten-mile radius know it.
  • They are ancient and feared.
  • They hold a nihilistic and/or social Darwinistic philosophy which they believe justifies all their actions.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Frieza from Dragon Ball Z ticks most of the boxes. He's a bald Galactic Conqueror trying to collect the Dragon Balls so he can wish for immortality and at the time of his introduction was considered the single most powerful being in the universe. Though his second form has Darkseid's size, he tends to get smaller as he turns into more powerful forms. Most of Frieza's family and ancestors (particularly his father) would fit the trope as well.
  • Zorc Necrophades from Yu-Gi-Oh! heavily takes after Apocalypse who in turn is based off Darkseid. He's a towering muscular humanoid with dark skin, a cynical view of humanity's potential to be cruel, his existence predates Ancient Egypt and he wishes to acquire the 7 Millennium Items so he can cast a shadow over all of existence.

    Comic Books 
  • Blackmass, the despotic ruler of planet Hellikost and grandfather of Captain Victory in Jack Kirby's Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers is a disembodied spirit who appears as a Darkseid-like shadow. As far as Kirby was concerned, Blackmass was Darkseid, even if copyright issues prevented him actually saying so. When Dynamite Entertainment got the rights to Kirby's creator-owned characters, they introduced a version of Blackmass as the Big Bad of the steampunk Massive Multiplayer Crossover Legenderry. This version of Blackmass feeds on souls and resembles Darkseid with shoulder-length hair.
  • DC Comics:
    • The reason Mongul is often seen by fans as a B-rate Darkseid is that he's an expy of Marvel's Thanos, himself an Expy of Darkseid. Mongul bears a relatively close physical resemblance to Darkseid and is a Galactic Conqueror who rules over a planet-sized weapon called the War World. Even if he isn't as grand an antagonist as Darkseid, he is considered plenty formidable in his own right.
    • The Anti-Monitor has a similar build to Darkseid and is a higher-scale threat than Darkseid himself, and his New 52 redesign gave him a bald head to further replicate Darkseid.
    • Tartarus in Justice League Incarnate is from the Cast of Expies pseudo-Marvel world of Earth-8, and is very much presented as that world's Thanos, complete with ersatz Infinity Stones. Darkseid calls him "an echo of a whisper of my weakest moment" and then snaps his neck.
  • Marvel Comics
    • Thanos is Darkseid's Alternate Company Equivalent, with Jim Starlin having explicitly based him on Darkseid at the editor's suggestion (he originally wanted to adapt Metron instead). Thanos has the same imposing physique (baldness included), Omnicidal Maniac ambitions, and desire for the same McGuffin Darkseid has (specifically the Infinity Gauntlet, although the Cosmic Cube makes do just fine if need be). He is considered to be one of the top contenders for the title of the Marvel Universe's overarching Big Bad. That being said, Thanos has enough distinctive traits and backstory to him that he has managed to make a name for himself. It was also lampshaded when the two met in Marvel Versus DC, where Darkseid called Thanos a "pale imitation for [him]".
    • Apocalypse is an X-Men foe. His design is similar to Darkseid, and is one of the oldest, most powerful and most fearsome mutants. Though he has never really expanded himself into being a major player for the entire Marvel Universe, he nonetheless is the closest thing to a Big Bad in the various X-titles under Marvel's banner.
    • Terrax, one of Galactus's Heralds, has a design reminiscent of Darkseid. As a Herald, he has tremendous power, and unlike Galactus' other Heralds he lacks morality ( which is why Galactus picked him, as his other Heralds kept betraying him). Though not a Galactic Conqueror in the traditional sense, he does view delivering worlds to Galactus as "conquest". His title as herald of Galactus has brought him into conflict with most of Marvel's cosmic stable of heroes as well as the heavy-hitting earthbound ones such as Hulk and Sentry, the latter a Superman Substitute himself.
    • The Regent, a C-list Spider-Man baddie, is a "mere" Corrupt Corporate Executive who uses technology to steal superpowers from metahumans he imprisoned. In spite of his obscure status, his plan to absorb all metahuman powers allows him to gradually imprison Marvel's entire A-list earthbound superhero stable outside of Spider-Man and Iron Man. In his case, metahumans themselves are arguably the MacGuffin he desires, as the more he captures, the more he can derive powers from. Notably, he was an A-List villain in his debut story, conquering the whole world note  in his home dimension, but in the main Marvel universe, he's become more of a shnook.
    • D-List Iron Man bad guy The Controller has a design reminiscent of Darkseid, but with the caveat that he actually wears an exoskeleton which gives him Mind Control powers. He is more of a Mad Scientist than anything else. Although firmly a foe of Iron Man, he has clashed with S.H.I.E.L.D. and Captain Marvel as well. Not to mention he used to serve under Thanos himself.
  • The Amalgam Universe crossover had Darkseid merge with Thanos to become Thanoseid.
  • Darkthorn from Image Comics' Youngblood was created to serve as an antagonist for the Team of Superheroes of the same name, being a physically imposing conqueror who rules his one planet of D'khay. His costume is more brightly colored than Darkseid's, using gold and purple instead of blue and gray.
  • Blackstar from Jupiter's Legacy is a bald, green, alien Flying Brick who was wanted for genociding an alien race and was a struggle for the human brick heroes to take down together.
  • Twilight Guardian has Slaughterdammerung, a Wagner-themed Thanos expy of all things.
  • MAD magazine's parody, Avenjerks: Is This Ever Gonna End-Game? had a Thanos expy called Th'anus who was in a gay relationship with his Infinity Gauntlet glove puppet.
  • Anti-God from Black Hammer is a gigantic Darkseid with shades of Galactus. His brother Black Hammer belongs to a team of Superhero Gods based on the New Gods.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • New Gods was a major influence on the early Star Wars franchise. Darth Vader has a lot of visual and thematic similarities to Darkseid.
    • Darth Vader's boss Emperor Palatine looks very similar to Darkseid's mook, Desaad though the master/dragon relationship is reversed.
    • Vader being in charge of the Death Star Planet Spaceship has similarities to Darkseid's weaponized City Planet, Apokolips.
    • Interestingly, the 1980 Superman story, War World debuts the Thanos expy, Mongul who's after a Planet Killer Death Star style mobile planet called Warworld.
  • Gary Goddard admitted he was heavily influenced by the works of Jack Kirby, New Gods included when directing Masters of the Universe. This is why he had the action moved from Eternia to Earth and essentially put Skeletor in the role of Darkseid.
  • The final form of the Big Bad in The Keep is a large hulking humanoid with glowing red eyes who seeks to escape his prison so he might harness the latent evil of mankind and Take Over the World. Visually, he's a near splitting image of Darkseid.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Sentinels of the Multiverse: There are two primary Darkseid-based characters in the game's comic-book-themed Cast of Expies, Firstly. Grand Warlord Voss, a mix between Darkseid and Mongul a tyrant whose fleet has been spreading across the galaxy for years, conquering planets and subjugating the native species. He has bright pink craggy skin, as well as a headdress and bare-armed uniform reminiscent of Darkseid. His attempted invasion of Earth is something of an early wake-up call that brings together a number of the disparate heroes in the metafiction. Mechanically, the fight with him is meant to represent thousands of his troops landing all over the planet while the heroes fight their way through to Voss, who is effectively invulnerable with enough minions in play, but wades into combat wielding fire and energy gauntlets when his thralls are taken out. Following this, we have the setting's ultimate Big Bad, classic "Crisis Villain" OblivAeon who in turn represents the cosmic evil god/overvillain aspect of Darkseid, with the expected craggly skin, helm and armor reminiscent of more modern Darkseid designs,who seeks to destroy all realities, bringing out not only all the heroes and villains of the main timeline, but also all of their alternate universe counterparts in one last desperate battle to stop him that marks the Grand Finale of the card game, following which the multiverse splits into different reboot continuities.
  • Omega, Avatar of Entropy, in Freedom City is the ruler of a dimension called the Terminus, from which he plots the destruction of the multiverse. In his last assault on Earth, he killed Centurion, Freedom City's Superman Substitute. Physically, he resembles Darkseid in being a large figure in dark armour with an omega symbol, but has a skull for a head.

    Video Games 
  • Mortal Kombat has Shao Kahn. Ancient, conquered multiple realms, had a beloved deceased wife, has two daughters, one loyal to him, other opposing him, and nearly conquered Earthrealm on more than one occasion. As an added bonus, in Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe he ends up fusing with Darkseid himself, resulting in Dark Kahn.
  • StarCraft II: Amon acts as the Greater-Scope Villain of this installment, overshadowing all other villains at this point. They are a threat to all life in the entire universe, they come into conflict with many of the heroes of the setting, they're boastful about their accomplishments, they seek to inhabit a powerful host body to bring their phenomenal power to bear against the universe, they can gain a significant amount of supporters through Mind Control abilities, and they are an ancient and fearsome fallen Xel'naga who wishes to annihilate the universe to remake it as they see fit. They also have red glowing eyes for even more similarities.
  • World of Warcraft: Zovaal, better known as the Jailer, and the universe's version of Satan. He's a towering, bald figure who is the ancient ruler of a Fire and Brimstone Hell known as the Maw, which he was banished to after rebelling against the other Eternal Ones who rule the Shadowlands, and seeks to obtain their sigils to regain his lost power. After obtaining the last sigil held by the current Arbiter, he changes to a more menacing armored form and sets out to recreate all of reality with him as its ruler.

    Webcomics 
  • In Ennui GO!, Darcy takes a lot of cues from Darkseid. Physically, she's very tall, muscular, and imposing, with a rather masculine face defined by a strong jaw; even her haircut is very reminiscent of his rounded hood/headdress. She has a massive ego and is imperious, ruthless, and coldly confident, imposing her will over any situation she's in. Some of her dialogue is based on direct quotes from Darkseid, such as here — and when her family is finally revealed, they are all expies of Darkseid's family and associates on Apokolips.
  • Killroy (originally from Killroy And Tina, though he's better known now as a recurring bad guy in The Non-Adventures of Wonderella) is the imposing blue-skinned despot of a galactic empire. Played with, given that he initially wore a helmet that made him appear bald, but removing that helmet reveals he has a long, flowing mane of black hair.

    Western Animation 
  • Ben 10 has Vilgax, who is a Galactic Conqueror, The Dreaded, and a major foe to any and all heroic factions that exist in the setting. Fittingly, he is Ben's Arch-Enemy, and like Darkseid lusts for a MacGuffin, in this case, the Omnitrix Ben wears on his wrist. Alien Force ups the ante by giving Vilgax remote-controlled eye beams just like Darkseid, as well as turning him into a hulking but fully-organic mass of muscle. That being said, he also draws inspiration from the Cthulhu Mythos, and at one point becomes the servant (and The Starscream) to a Cthulhu Expy.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door: While Grandfather lacks Darkseid's physical build, he shares a lot in common with him in terms of character and tone. A god-like Evil Overlord who tries to bend everyone to his will, he makes his subjects decrepit slaves and darkens the tone of the story when he shows up — though unlike Darkseid, he does have a comedic side, seen in such things as his love of tapioca pudding. His relationship with his sons is similar to Darkseid's relations with his sons Orion and Kalibak; he respects his heroic son Monty despite being his enemy, while being dismissive towards his evil yet loyal son Father.
  • Danny Phantom: Pariah Dark, the Big Bad of the first TV movie Reign Storm, has been stated to be an Expy of Darkseid per Word of God. Notably, Pariah Dark, like his inspiration, was a conqueror of his native realm and widely feared.
  • Fantos the Amassor from Kid Cosmic is a big purple alien warlord who combines aspects of Thanos, Ronan The Accuser and Galactus. The Cosmic Stones of Power he's collecting are basically analogous to the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Infinity Stones.
  • The titular character of the Random! Cartoons short "The Infinite Goliath" is as overt a Darkseid expy as it gets. He's a brawny, grey-skinned, red-eyed alien of intimidating stature who is clad in dark blue armor and has a reputation of being a vastly powerful supervillain who has laid siege on countless worlds.
  • Rick and Morty: "Vindicators 3: The Return Of World Ender" has the titular Worldender as the supposed antagonist. The staff has noted that "if Thanos fucked Darkseid and, like, had a baby, and that baby then fucked some other giant creature monster, that's Worldender". Like Darkseid, he's a hulking and feared Omnicidal Maniac who has conquered and destroyed many worlds. When his minions are found dead, the Vindicators assume he has Darkseid's tendency to kill his own minions for petty reasons.... Turns out that he and his minions were killed by a drunken Rick just to show the Vindicators up.
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power: Gives us a revamped version of Horde Prime. He's definitely ancient, top-heavy but has cyber tentacle hair, has glowing eyes but they're green, and a completely different color scheme from most orthodox examples. But he's a legitimate Galactic Conqueror with massive resources of manpower and material that comes with that. Makes use of Mind Control chips to cow populations and subvert resistances and seeks a Super Weapon in the Heart of Etheria that he intends to use to destroy the universe. His multitudinous prior successes justify his arrogance and pride even as it ultimately proves to be his undoing. Against most others his design leans directly into the religious metaphors you would expect with a wannabe god.
  • The Simpsons episode "Bart the Bad Guy" has Bart watching a movie called Vindicators: Crystal War with a Big Bad called Chinnos who looks like Thanos with several chins voiced by Marvel Studios president and Marvel Cinematic Universe producer Kevin Feige.
  • Dark Kat from SWAT Kats is one the primary enemies of the duo, if not the Big Bad of the series. He's a big, powerful cat with Evil Minions (weird demon-like creatures called "Creeplings" that work for him, akin to Darkseid's Parademons) that tries multiple times to turn Megakat City into a conquered land of chaos. He even makes alliances with various members of the Kats' Rogues Gallery to take them down.
  • Thundarr the Barbarian: Gemini, the only villain to appear twice on the show, is physically almost identical to Darkseid and has a similar personality and powers. Notably, the cartoon was created by Jack Kirby.
  • Ultimate Spider-Man (2012) turns Korvac into a Galactic Conqueror alien, clearly based on Thanos.

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