"New Genesis is a stinking cosmic sewer. I have fouled paradise beyond repair and broken in the mire the shining cities of the gods. I have won! Is this vanity? Then I will remake the entire universe in the image of my soul, Desaad. And when at last I turn to look upon the eternal desolation I have wrought, I will see Darkseid, as in a mirror, and know what fear is."
—Darkseid, JLA #13
None can even begin to describe Darkseid (pronounced dark-side) -- Darkseid IS. His birth name is Uxas.
A creation of Jack Kirby (though made famous by Legion of Super-Heroes writer Paul Levitz, in "The Great Darkness Saga"), Darkseid 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, Depending on the Writer.
First appearing in Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #134 (December, 1970), Darkseid is a character within the Fourth World, a Jack Kirby series that was originally supposed to be self-contained and finite. However, 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. 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 and Character Derailment when authors try to fit him into stories for which he was not originally intended. This led writer Grant Morrison to put an end of it in Final Crisis - a Crisis Crossover in which Darkseid not only regains his badassery and motives, but even manages to Take A Level In Badass and become God Of Evil, who's been killing entire Universes just by existing.
Darkseid has been featured in several works after his comic introduction, primarily serving as an opponent to Superman while continuing his search for the Anti-Life Equation. These series include:
- The DCAU:
- An episode of Batman the Brave And The Bold
- Smallville, which featured the first live-action adaptation of the character as the Big Bad of Season 10.
- Young Justice hasn't featured the man himself, but Apokoliptian and New Genesis characters and technology have appeared in some episodes, so his presence is assured.
- Zack Snyder's Justice League
- 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 son he liked. His treatment of his other sons is even worse.
- 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 arguably even worse than he is (but, thankfully, completely uninterested in anything except the Source itself).
- Affably Evil: Sometimes, Depending on the Writer.
- Faux Affably Evil: However, this is his most common trait.
- A God Am I: Justified in itself, being that he is one of the New Gods that arose after the destruction of the Old Gods in Ragnarok. But Darkseid takes it further still; not satisfied with being a god, he considers himself to be the God.
- Always a Bigger Fish: Of all the multiverse's greatest monsters, there's only one he fears: dear old Daddy Yuga Khan, the only being in Creation even worse than he.
- Back in the day, Darkseid also had a crippling fear of Doomsday. He met the creature once when he was much younger and far weaker, and the encounter left him thoroughly shaken. Nowadays, Doomsday may be able to take on one of Darkseid's avatars with ease, but Darkseid himself no longer harbors any fear for the monster.
- In a more meta-case, while he is often considered to be, and was actually designed to be, the Ultimate Evil for the DC Universe, there are a few villains who overshadow him in terms of scope, power, or influence, such as the Anti-Monitor, Nekron, Imperiex, arguably Krona, and Mandrakk, the latter of whom played Darkseid like a fiddle without the latter even knowing about it. Darkseid is certainly more evil than any of them, though, and still manages to remain one of the ultimate villains for the verse.
- In Evan Dorkin's one-shot, "World's Funnest", Darkseid is comprehensively defeated by Mr. Mxyzptlk (with a little inadvertent help from Bat Mite). The Omega Beam does nothing more than provide Mxy with a handy light for his cigar.
- "Thanks for the light, Frankenstein. Now it's MY turn."
- Always Accurate Attack: His Omega Beam.
- Arch Enemy: Orion and Highfather in the "New Gods" stories. Superman in everything else. Appropriately enough, it's Superman who lands the killing blow on him in Final Crisis when he destroys what's left of Darkseid's consciousness.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: He rules Apokolips for this reason.
- 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.
- Badass: Darkseid is, without a doubt, one of the most evil beings in all of comics but this does not make him any less of a badass (when he's written correctly). He's one of the only villains who can take on Superman in a fight 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.
- Badass Boast: And how! 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!"
- Let's not forget
"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!"
- Or the simpler
"There was a war in heaven. I won."
- There is possible justification in his Darkseid is!. The name of Judeo-Christian God means "I am". Compare the two and think of it.
- On his first appearance on Superman: The Animated Series, he easily defeats Superman and presents him, bound and exhausted (both physically and mentally), in the center of Metropolis, while addressing every single person on the planet: "People of Earth, I am Darkseid, Lord of Apokolips! Here is your savior, cowed and broken. I have crushed him as easily as I have crushed all who have dared to oppose me throughout the cosmos. I am power unlike any you have ever known: absolute, infinite, and unrelenting. You have no choice but to prepare as a long dark future as my subjects and my slaves."
- "I am many things, Kal-El...but here, I am God."
- "This is where you belong, Superman. Under. My. Heel."
- ""I hope you appreciate, Kal-El, that everything that happens from this point on will be on your head. The skies will rain fire, the oceans will boil, the streets will run red with the blood of billions. Only then, after your last pitiful hope is extinguished, will I end your life. Let's go." (And yes, this is a kids show.)
- "Let the universe howl in despair, for I have returned!"
- Say what you will about the Smallville but he's good at these too: "Are you sure you can win against me? You know what I am. You know the doubt in your heart. You so-called heroes are false gods, all of you, and when people stop believing in you, you'll shatter like glass."
- Badass Santa: Santa Claus broke through the heavy defenses of Apokalips 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! Dare to question or fail glorious Darkseid? You do not want to know.
- Bald of Evil
- Big Bad: In almost every adaptation, in every media, Darkseid is the villain.
- Fittingly, he was the Big Bad of the final season of Smallville. Whether he lived up the hype as "the greatest threat Clark has ever faced"...
- Was more or less the undisputed Bigger Bad of the DCU following the Crisis on Infinite Earths. With Darkseid's death in Final Crisis, Nekron appears to have replaced him.
- In the DCU reboot, Darkseid is the first Big Bad the new Justice League faces.
- 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.
- Cain and Abel: Darkseid killed his older brother to claim the Omega Effect for himself.
- Captain Ersatz / Expy: A curious case. Marvel Comics' Thanos is an intentional rip-off of Darkseid -his creator has admitted it. He would then later create the Superman villain Mongul, who is obviously based on Thanos.
- 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.
- 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... Earthshattering Kaboom. Fortunately, the heroes figured it out and saved the day.
- Dimension Lord: Apokolips and New Genesis occupy a different dimension.
- Disappeared Dad: Darkseid's father Yuga Khan got himself stuck on the Source Wall for thousands of years. When he eventually freed himself, he immediately took back his throne from his son. Then he tried to invade the Source again and got re-imprisoned for his efforts.
- Dystopia: Apokolips
- Dystopia Justifies the Means: The Ur Example. Darkseids ultimate goal is to use the Anti-Life Equation to rob everyone in the universe of happiness and free will, turning them into nihilistic, despairful mind-slaves whose only purpose in life will be to worship him. Apokolips itself is a kind of hellish space-age Greco-Roman world where the majority of the populace exist as slaves working to build a neverending 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.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Darkseid really did love Hot Scientist Sulli. It's the only reason he always gives their son Kalibak another chance to prove himself.
- Subverted hard when one of his concubines recognizes his Hidden Depths. He promptly kills her because she found them, and no one must see Darkseid's emotional weakness.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Even when you're the god of evil, you have to draw the line at Sleez hypnotizing people so he could film sex tapes with them.
- 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 Overlord: He provides the page quote.
- 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.
- This was Kirby's intent when designing Darkseid, which makes later Villain Decay much less forgivable. Kirby's express purpose for Darkseid's place in the DCU was as its ultimate evil, implacable and cruel, so that if he ever truly unleashed his full might, the DCU would be forced to ally against him. While this hasn't always worked out into good stories, it's worth noting that Darkseid is to date one of exactly two of DC's Crisis Crossover event antagonists to have had multiple crossovers with him in a primary role, with Darkseid being the primary or biggest name villain in each of Legends, Genesis, Our Worlds at War, and Final Crisis, while having significant appearances in several others. The other guy? The Anti-Monitor, whom Darkseid significantly weakened in the Crisis, and who spent his second crossover appearance trapped inside Nekron's power battery.
- Evil Uncle: Subverted with Darkseid's uncle Steppenwolf. While Steppenwolf is an evil bastard, he is also a loyal evil bastard. That, and Darkseid is exponentially more powerful and evil than Steppenwolf.
- Also worth remembering that Steppenwolf is one of the few evil New Gods not particularly interested in ruling Apokalips, preferring his hunts and idle leisure. He opposed Darkseid's ascent less out of desire to reign than out of principle that someone could take something from him.
- 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 been enough of a grade-A badass to dodge 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. 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.
- The Omega Beam has so many uses that it is practically a combo platter power in and of itself. In addition to the aforementioned disintigration and Omega Sanction, they can also be used to teleport targets (including Darkseid himself) through space and time, transmute targets into other things, and completely resurrect people it has previously disintegrated.
- The effectiveness of Darkseid's Omega Beams are also perhaps the greatest indicator of the degree of Villain Decay (lower on the page) he has suffered at a given time. Originally they were absolutely accurate and relentless, being not only able to change their own trajectory but could warp through space to hit their target, and they didn't simply vaporize targets but erased them from existence. As Darkseid became more popular as a villain making more appearances and fought more heroes his powers were downplayed as they'd be too much of a Game Breaker in most situations or if writers simply forgot. Perhaps the lowest point is in Countdown to Final Crisis, where Mary Marvel blocks the beams with her bare arms with no damage done and Darkseid makes a horribly inaccurate shot at Superman which doesn't even bend but hits the ground.
- Darkseid has successfully teleported Superman with his beams, but for some reason whenever he tries to kill Superman he never thinks of teleporting him into, say, a red star or a black hole, preferring Good Old Fisticuffs instead.
- To miss with Eye Beams implies that he failed an attempt to look directly at a relatively large person.
- 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, y'know. Batman.
- 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 subodinate to him, though above everyone else of course. This isn't always remembered in the stories, though its actually been part of the character for quite a while.
- Foil: While Superman and Orion are traditionally shown as Darkseid's arch-enemies, Jack Kirby designed Mister Miracle/Scott Free to be his complete 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 Free. As his name implies, too, Scott Free's life has been about embracing freedom, and especially from Darkseid's reign. Kirby designed both characters to embody opposing ideals, but never had them directly oppose each other.
- 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.
- Genius Bruiser
- God of Evil: More specifically, the God of Tyranny.
- 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 Apokalips 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.
- 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 dependance 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.
- Hero-Killer: He's a toughie, that's for sure.
- Hey, It's That Voice: So far in animation and video games, Darkseid's been voiced by:
- Ray Porter on Zack Snyder's Justice League.
- Frank Welker on Superfriends, using the same voice Welker used for Dr. Claw and Soundwave. (Among Welker's many other roles on Super Friends was also Darkseid's son, Kalibak).
- Michael Ironside on Superman: The Animated Series and Justice League
- David Sobolov (Depth Charge) in Justice League Heroes.
- Perry Brown in Mortal Kombat VS. DC Universe.
- Andre Braugher (Frank Pembleton) in Superman/Batman: Apocalypse.
- Michael Leon Wooley (Louis the Aligator and Twayne) in Batman the Brave And The Bold (and like Welker before him, he also voiced Kalibak).
- Homing Projectile: His Omega Beams.
- Humanoid Abomination: Final Crisis onward.
- In the Blood: This arguably applies not just to him, but the entire population of Apokolips. Most noticable is Orion, who without the Mother Box exhibits his father's Ax Crazy nature, but not his self-control
- 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.
- 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 tough and nail despite the fact Galactus wasn't actually a threat. Darkseid says, basically, "It's What I Do", and then gives a Not So Different to Galactus: both of them are slaves to their nature.
- Jerkass: It's pretty rough when the ruler of your entire planet who also fancies himself a god is a douchebag to boot. Death would probably be more fun.
- Kick the Dog: He never stops.
- 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.
- 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.
- Large and In Charge: Darkseid is one of the tallest New Gods on either world, perhaps the tallest. But theres 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 in his naturally size is big enough to hold one of these ordinary sized planets in one hand.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Darkseid's corruption of Desaad eventually leads to the death of the only woman Darkseid ever truly loved.
- Love Redeems: This almost happened to him when he fell in love with Hot Scientist Suli. His mother Heggra had Desaad poison her to put an end to that. Darkseid would later return the favor with (ironically enough) 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.
- 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 its the most feared and evil name out of all the thousands that Uxas could have chose.
- Obviously Evil
- Offing the Offspring: In Final Crisis, Darkseid murders his son Orion with a 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 Maguffin 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.
- Omnicidal Maniac: As he never tires of telling everyone who will listen (And even those who won't), he will tear down the current universe to rebuild in his own image, and he will destroy everything to make it happen.
- 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.
- 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 Olypmpian pantheon at least once as well, but was beaten back before that Evil Plan could be completed.
- Pragmatic Villainy: His disgust of Desaad isn't because Even Evil Has Standards. It's because Desaad is a petty sadist while Darkseid has far grander goals in mind
- Psychotic Smirk: As long as he keeps his self-control, this is the extent of emotion he shows normally.
- 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!
- And even then, an Unpleasable Fanbase argued that it wasn't a good enough kill.
- Any bets on when he'll be resurrected?
- So far, he's looking to be staying dead for the foreseeable future. Final Crisis was intended to reboot the New Gods franchise, but despite a strong start, a Broken Base left DC uncertain whether or how to continue from there.
- Oh, hey, guess what? Darkseid lives again thanks to the reboot of the entire DCU!
- Maybe. The reboot comic he appears in is the Justice League Series, which takes place retroactively far, far back that it is the first meeting (and creation of one of) the heroes in the league. It is unknown yet if Darkseid has died an Infinite Crisis style death between then and the "present" in the comics.
- 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 worshipped by other beings throughout the cosmos, most notably Malefic, Evil Counterpart and brother of the Martian Manhunter.
- 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.
- Self-Made Orphan: Had his mother Heggra assassinated.
- The Stoic: Most on the time.
- 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: Final Crisis
- Super Strength: This guy can trade blows with Superman and occasionally come out on top.
- Taking You with Me: Willing to do this to all of reality after being mortally wounded in Final Crisis.
- 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 possiblity that he's uncomfortable with free will itself
- Too Powerful to Live: Finally crossed the line in Final Crisis.
- Touched by Vorlons: Darkseid wasn't born with the Omega Effect. He killed the rightful bearer—his own brother—for it.
- Tranquil Fury: Darkseid embodies this. He is every bit as bloodthirsty and Ax Crazy as his most vicious minions (if not more). Yet he hardly ever raises his voice except to give grand speeches. He just calmly makes absolutely certain that his enemies suffer and die. It's rare indeed to see someone send Darkseid into Unstoppable Rage. Batman had a Moment of Awesome when he made Darkseid have a minor Villainous Breakdown (and got pummelled for it) by threatening to blow up Apokolips and revealing that he had the means to do it.
- In the DCAU, this sets up a Crowning Moment of Awesome for Darkseid. Throughout Superman's series, Darkseid relied primarily on his minions for his dirty work, and often simply observes them, hands clasped behind his back and seemingly passive. Then Superman punches Darkseid... and Darkseid not only takes it, he proceeds to give the only Curb Stomp Battle in the series with Superman on the receiving end. Superman only barely survives by a desperation move that hurts both of them so much that the fight cannot continue.
- Later on, however, Superman returns the favor and beats Darkseid to a bloody pulp.
- The Unfavorite: Darkseid hates all three of his sons, but he hates the youngest, Grayven, most of all.
- Undying Loyalty: With very few exceptions, most of the inhabitants of Apokolips fanatically worship Darkseid, even the downtrodden Lowlies. One of those exceptions is Desaad, whose loyalty to Darkseid is based entirely on his fear of the tyrant. Desaad is still very loyal to Darkseid because Darkseid is just that terrifying.
- This is best shown in the finale of Superman: The Animated Series. Superman has Darkseid beaten to a bloody pulp, and tosses him to the mercies of his slaves... who pick him and carry him off to be healed.
"I am many things, Kal-El. But here, I am God."
- 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.
- However if you go meta, he gets his revenge anyway, as writers soon forgot about her (and might as well never existed).
- The application of this varies, of course. The Suicide Squad earned this once he realized they dared to invade Apokalips, 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.
- However, since Evil Cannot Comprehend Good he missed that he was actually giving her exactly what she wanted in the first place.
- 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 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 howl in impotent fury when he realized that Wonder Woman had hurt him in the worst way possible.
- Villains Out Shopping: In fact 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. Jerry Jerry Jerry!
- What Could Have Been: Darkseid, I would have words with thee. The New Gods were originally conceived by Jack Kirby at Marvel for use in the Thor comics. Darkseid could have easily ended up being the Thor big bad.
- 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.
- World of Cardboard Speech: He inspires the Trope Namer, delivered by Superman.
- Curiously, the Trope Namer is also a subversion. While Superman initially appears to have the upper hand, Darkseid simply changes tactics, effortlessly incapacitating him.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Darkseid epitomizes the Bad Boss tendencies, he will throw you off the cliff the second your contract expires.
- Another case of Depending on the Writer: Sometimes this is an honest reward (would YOU like to continue working for someone like this?), and sometimes, Darkseid promotes or otherwise favors his lieutenant, such as with Granny Goodness.
- Being thrown off a cliff for succeeding is actually the best outcome you can hope for when working for Darkseid. And you get to live the longest amount of time too. Considering what he does to those who fail him, you best not screw things up.
- In maybe the sickest twist of this Trope, Darkseid has the power to resurrect the dead, so it's not uncommon for him to tell his lieutenants You Have Outlived Your Usefulness, only to bring them back to life when it appears they'll be useful again. Over and over again....
- 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.