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Reading Guide: In The New Gods Chronology, Darkseid Schemes

 

READING GUIDE

Writer(s)

Jack Kirby


Penciler(s)

Jack Kirby


Inker(s)

Vince Colletta


Cover

Jack Kirby


Publisher

DC Comics


Publication Date

March, 1971

IN READING GUIDES, LISTS, REVIEWS

THE CANCELLED NEW GODS MOVIE

Originally, Director Ava Duvernay and Mister Miracle writer Tom King co-wrote the script for the movie. In fact, the New Gods movie had begun filming. In 2021, New Gods was removed from the DC Extended Universe film slate with little explanation.

In our Reading Guide, we show why the Kirby-created franchise is space opera and can take the DC Extended Universe to the next level. Here is our New Gods chronology since their first appearance in 1970 containing the mainstream continuity titles.

DARKSEID’S FIRST APPEARANCE (1970)

*Collect Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen #133-152.

Before debuting the New Gods, legendary writer and artist Jack Kirby introduced new characters to the series Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen called the Newsboys Legion. At the head was Morgan Edge, who headed Galaxy Broadcasting System, owned the Daily Planet where Jimmy Olsen and Clark Kent worked. Secretly, he operated a criminal organization called Inter-gang. In order to get rid of both Clark and Jimmy, he sent Jimmy on an assignment to uncover the secrets of the Mountain of Judgment.

Namely, Jimmy and The Newboys, filmed their journey through the Zoomway. Indeed, they discovered that the Mountain of Judgment was actually a gargatuan space vehicle. There, they discovered a scientific society called the Hairies led by a man called Jude. Fortunately, the Newsboys discovered that Morgan Edge planted alpha-bombs in their cameras to destroy the Hairies. And he was doing so in service of his alien master, Darkseid. Though the plan failed.


In reality, the Hairies were not New Gods. Instead, they were genetically modified humans by a secret government organization called the DNA Project. Indeed, it was run by the original Newsboy Legion, who were the parents of the current Newsboys. The Project had mastered the human genome and could clone humans from cells. In Post-Crisis Continnuity, The DNA Project was used under the name of the Cadmus Project.

 

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THE NEW GODS (1971-72)

*Collect New Gods #1-11.

In 1971, New Gods debuted. In the first issue, Jack Kirby introduced the New God Orion, who with his friend Lightray came from the paradise New Genesis. Together, they lived on the hovering city called Supertown where Highfather, in contact with the Source received messages on the wall.

The Source prophesied that in order for Orion to stop Darkseid’s quest for the Anti-Life Equation, he had to journey to Apokolips then to Earth. On Apokolips, Orion found four people whom Darkseid believed held a fragment of the Anti-Life Equation. He freed them, then returned them to Earth. On his travels to Earth, Darkseid used Mother Box to hide his face and adopt a civilian identity called O’Ryan.


Originally, the war between New Genesis and Apokolips started when Darkseid’s uncle, Steppenwolf, murdered Avia, Izaya’s wife. In retaliation, the ruler of New Genesis invaded Apokolips which was ruled by Queen Heggra, Darkseid’s mother. In the shadows, Darkseid gave Metron Element X so that he would assist. In return, Metron created the Boom Tube which Darkseid used to teleport to Apokolips. Desperate, Izaya pled and the Source evolved him into Highfather. Then, a truce was made where both rulers would exchange their sons, Scott Free and Orion.

LEGENDS (1986)

*Collect Legends #1-6, Superman #3, Adventures of Superman #426, Action Comics #586, Action Comics #592-593, Action Comics #600, Justice League #1–42, Superman v.2 Annual #2.

After the Crisis On Infinite Earths reboot, John Ostrander and comic legend John Byrne re-launched the New Gods. Though, the New Gods continuity was maintained. In Legends, Darkseid schemes against the heroes of Earth to undermine their credibility. To this end, the God of evil unleashes two monsters from Apokoips, Macro-Man and Brimstone. Prominently, the Justice League launched its high profile series.

In the crossover event, the New Gods begin to feature prominently in Superman titles. Importantly, Darkseid transported Superman to Apokolips with his Omega Effect. There, he was transported to Armagetto where he was an amnesiac though a hero to the Lowlies. Orion and Lightray traveled to Apokolips to rescue Superman who had been indoctrinated by Granny Goodness. With the Mother Box, the sentient computer, Superman was restored. After a fight with Darkseid, Superman managed to outrace th Omega Effect, hitting Darkseid. Then, the Man of Steel was sent back to Earth.

 

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THE NEW GODS (1989-91)

*Collect New Gods v3. #1-28.

In 1989, New Gods debuted its third series. Particularly, it followed the events after the Cosmic Odyssey four-issue limited series. The new series centers on the struggle between New Genesis and the Insect Empire for Supertown’s governing power. In addition, it tells of Apokolips’ attempts to continue its war on Earth. Again, the central protagonist is Orion of NewGenesis.

THE NEW GODS (1995-97)

*Collects New Gods #1-15

Legendary artist and writer John Byrne debuts on New Gods vol. 4. The premise of the series is the end of Darkseid’s quest for the Anti-Life Equation. Now convinced that it does not exist, the ruler of Apokolips seeks to control the Source. After unleashing a wave of darkness across the universe, Darkseid’s plan is foiled by Orion. In an anticipated showdown, Orion heads into space to confront his father. In the Source, the New Gods duel until one final victor emerges: Orion.

Catastrophically, Darkseid’s death sent shockwaves through New Genesis and Apokolips. Indeed, both planets were destabilized by the imbalance between Good and Evil. In order to prevent the unleashing of the Old God S’ivaa, Highfather started a self-imprisonment in an asylum. However, S’ivaa who slumbered in the eternal sea, was free! After he began his dance of universal destruction, Highfather recruited Superman and Orion to hold it off. Successfully, S’ivaa was imprisoned on the Source Wall though Darkseid and Highfather melted in its fire.

JACK KIRBY’S FOURTH WORLD (1997)

*Collect Jack Kirby’s Fourth World #1-8, Genesis #1-4, Jack Kirby’s Fourth World #9-12, Darkseid Villains #1, Jack Kirby’s Fourth World #13-20, New Gods Secret Files #1.

Legendary artist and writer John Byrne created a unified origin story for the New Gods and the Old Gods. In the beginning, there was a First World seedless and ormless. Then, there was a Second World home of the Old Gods. After, the Godwave seeded the universe with divinity and the potential for super powers. Also, there was a Third World where the gods having attained adulthood warred for thousands of years. Then, it exploded into two planets, Apokolips and New Genesis called the Fourth World.

JUSTICE LEAGUE (2011)

*Collect Justice League #1-6.

In 2011, the New 52 re-launch rebooted the DC Universe with 52 parallel universes. For this reason, many characters’ origins were changed while others were removed. In the new origin of the Justice League, Darkseid invades Prime Earth in its first alien invasion with his arm of parademons.

EARTH 2 WORLD’S END (2012)

*Collect Earth 2 #1, #8, #11; World’s Finest #10-26; Earth 2 Annual #1; Earth 2 #14, #15, #15.1, #16, #23, #25, #28; Earth 2 World’s End #1-12.

In 2012, Darkseid continues his conquest of the DC Multiverse. On Earth-2, he sends Steppenwolf to conquer it. There, he finds opposition from Superman though Wonder Woman loves him. On Apokolips, Big Barda falls in love with Scot Free and the two escape. They are randed as traitors. In the battle for Earth-2, Steppenwolf impales Wonder Woman and kills Superman. After the invasion, the Earth is left cratered and Steppenwolf and his armes escape to Earth-0.

JUSTICE LEAGUE: DARKSEID WAR (2015)

In 2015, acclaimed writer Geoff Johns worked on the final storyline of the New 52. Justice League: Darkseid War is a masterful crossover that adds to the New Gods mythology. According to Amazon prophecy, the child of Darkseid and Myrina Black is going to usher a new darkness on Earth. Known as Grail, she summons the Anti-Monitor in order to conquer Earth and kill Darkseid. In his quest for the Anti-Life Equation, Darkseid invades Earth though it leads to fatality. Caught between a godly war, Wonder Woman and the Justice League must save Prime Earth or become gods!

KIRBY SPECIALS (2017)

*Collect The Newsboy Legion and Boy Commandos Special #1, Manhunter Special #1, The Sandman Special #1, The New Gods Special #1, Darkseid Special #1, The Black Racer and Shilo Norman Special #1.

The Kirby Specials are six one-shots released to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Jack Kirby.

Mister Miracle (1971–74)

Return of the New Gods • 1977 Revival (Earth-17)

Mister Miracle, 1977 Revival (Earth-17)

The New Gods v.2 (reprint series, 1984) +
The Hunger Dogs Graphic Novel (1985)

The Forever People v.2 (limited series, 1988)

Cosmic Odyssey (1988)

Mister Miracle v.2 (1989–91) + Justice League International (1986–90)

Mister Miracle v.3 (1996)

Takion (1996)

Orion (2000–02) + JLA (1998–2000)

Seven Soldiers + Death of the New Gods + Final Crisis (2005–08)

Mister Miracle v.5 (2017)

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A FaN OF DARKSEID? TO #COLLECTDIGITALLY, CLICK ON BUY ON AMAZON TO COLLECT JACK KIRBY’S THE NEW GODS (1971-1978) #1.

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LINKS

History of the New Gods in Cosmic Teams.
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DC vs Marvel: Darkseid or Thanos, Who Is The Better Villain? (And First Appearance)

Darkseid vs Thanos in 'DC Versus Marvel.'
 

DC VS MARVEL

DEATH BATTLE!

IN SUPERVILLAINS

THE TOP A-LIST VILLAINS AT DC AND MARVEL

Darkseid vs Thanos in 'DC Versus Marvel.'

Last month, we ranked the formidabilities in a potential Darkseid vs Thanos battle. And we looked at the characters in continuity at their highest powers: Thanos with the Infinity Gauntlet and Darkseid with the Anti-Life Equation.

Now, this month, we look at who between both A-list villains is the better villain.

To this end, we have come up with a villainy score that compares both characters in eight categories: Sales, Origin Story, Character Evolution, Cast, Quality Opponents, Villainy, Power, Popularity. Before we compare our villains let’s list some rules.

  1. The Villainy Score is rated out of 8 points.
  2. For Thanos, we list only the Earth-616 continuity and for Darkseid Post-Crisis, Post-Flashpoint and Rebirth.
  3. Since we are comparing Sales and Popularity, we include the villains’ performance in other media and their Google Search Results.
  4. For Power, we list their highest achievements across Earth-616, Post-Crisis, Post-Flashpoint and Rebirth continuities.

So, let’s compare Darkseid and Thanos in the villainy department.

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VILLAINY SCORES

Darkseid.

VILLAINY SCORE: 4

SALES

For sales, Darkseid lags behind Thanos. In the comic medium, it appears the God of Evil is selling top dollar. In 2009, Final Crisis ranked 14 on the Top Comics of the year with an estimated 127,000 units sold.

Later, in 2020, the Justice League Dark: Apokolips War animated film made $5,474,989 in Total Estimated Domestic Video Sales. In the movie department, the success of Zack Snyder’s Justice League is not sufficient to overcome the Disney juggernaut.

Thanos.

VILLAINY SCORE: 4

SALES

Though Thanos does not have Darkseid’s level of presence in comics and animation, with fewer comic appearances than Darkseid overall.

At the same time, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has made the villain a pop icon. Together, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame have brought in about $4.8 billion worldwide.

Likely, this is more than the revenue of all the movies in the DCEU combined.

ADVANTAGE: THANOS

ORIGIN STORY

In some respects, Darkseid’s origin story has been changed over DC continuity.

Post-Crisis, he was Prince Uxas who killed his brother Drax and claimed the Omega Effect. In the New 52, Darkseid was a peasant who ascended to the throne of Apokolips.

For the most part, the New God’s story deserved to be more known.

ORIGIN STORY

Really, Thanos’ origin story is better known. In true Marvel fashion, he is given a character flaw.

Namely, being a Deviant among the perfect Eternals of Titan. For the most part, this explains his descent into villainy. And his affection for the embodiment of Death.

Definitely, he is more fleshed out in his motivations.

 

DARKSEID’S FIRST APPEARANCE IS IN SUPERMAN’S PAL JIMMY OLSEN #134 CGC 8.0 FIRST APPEARANCE OF DARKSEID 1970 DC COMIC BOOK

THANOS’S FIRST APPEARANCE IS IN STAN LEE & JIM STARLIN SIGNED THE INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #55 REPRINT COMIC BAS SLAB

ADVANTAGE: THANOS

CHARACTER EVOLUTION

In many respects, both characters have evolved over the years. Namely, it took Darkseid millennia before finally obtaining the ALE.

In the New 52, Darkseid was conquering the DC multiverse, killing versions of Superman in order to find the ALE and Grail.

After Infinite Frontier, DC Comics revealed True Form Darkseid.

CHARACTER EVOLUTION

In addition, Thanos has evolved speedily. Once a third rate villain, he arose to prominence with the conquest of the Cosmic Cube.

Then, he set his sights on the Infinity Gauntlet. Post-IG, the Mad Titan attempted a path of redemption.

However, Thanos Wins revealed a possible future where the villain has eliminated all the heroes in the Marvel Universe.

ADVANTAGE: THANOS

 

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CAST

Really, this is where Darkseid truly separates himself.

Indeed, as a New God and ruler of Apokolips, Darkseid has a colorful cast of characters.

From Desaad, to Granny Goodness, the Female Furies, and his immediate family like his uncle Steppenwolf.

During Jack Kirby’s Fourth World, the cast exemplified the type of cosmic opera that the New Gods can be.

CAST

Tragically, Thanos has remained a solitary figure. As a space conqueror, he has assembled the Black Order and conquered civilizations.

In Infinity, he comes to Earth looking for his Inhuman son Thane.

Despite his power, the Mad Titan has often had poor advisors that sought to dethrone him.

ADVANTAGE: DARKSEID

QUALITY OPPONENTS

For the most part, Darkseid has had God in Heaven or Abstracts in the Nil, namely the Monitors, as his quality opponents.

Though it occurred off-panel, Darkseid successfully waged war on Heaven and gained the Anti-Life Equation.

QUALITY OPPONENTS

Unfortunately, Marvel: The End is non-canon. At the same time, with the IG Thanos has successfully conquered the Marvel Universe.

ADVANTAGE: DARKSEID

VILLAINY

In this department, Darkseid figures as pure evil. First, with the Omega Effect he can erase and resurect life.

Second, with the ALE, he can erase free will. Finally, Darkseid constantly evolves into his True Form.

Let’s also add that Darkseid’s Desaad is an expert in torture and mind control.

VILLAINY

In reality, Thanos is psychotic.

Indeed, his lust for power has plagued him with a hubris that ultimately convinces him to be unfit for ultimate power.

In the end, we are assured Than conquers the Marvel Universe. But, Thanos seeks to be a God whereas Darkseid is a God.

ADVANTAGE: DARKSEID

 

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POWER

See our Formidability rating in the previous article.

POWER

See our Formidability rating in the previous article.

ADVANTAGE: DARKSEID

POPULARITY

Generally, Darkseid is more popular in the comic medium. In the Post-Crisis continuity, he boasts 456 Appearances.

However, Google Search Results yield 4,340,000 results.

POPULARITY

In order for Thanos to match his popularity, we must add the Disciple of Death’s 362 Appearances to his 139 Minor Appearances.

As the winner, Google Search Results yield  46,700,000 results.

ADVANTAGE: THANOS

VERDICT:

Though Thanos is more popular and successful in sales, Darkseid is a classic villain who seeks to re-fashion the DC multiverse in his image. Tie.

And that’s our ranking! Don’t forget to leave comments if you liked the DC vs Marvel.


ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE


In 'JLA' (1997) #3, Flash remembers the Flash fact to use the infinite mass punch against Zum.

Feat: Flash, ‘JLA’ #3

 

In ‘JLA’ (1997) #3, Flash uses the infinite mass punch against Zum, a White Martian. Let’s look at the super-strength feat.



LINKS

2009 Comic Book Sales to Comics Shops in Comichron.
Justice League Dark: Apokolips War (2020) in The Numbers.
Top Lifetime Grosses in Box Office Mojo.


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