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- NOTE: This article is about the incarnation of Darkseid from the DC Extended Universe. The mainstream version can be found here: Darkseid.
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|“||I have turned one hundred-thousand worlds to dust looking for Anti-Life. Looking for those who robbed me of my glory. I will stride across their bones and bask in the glow of Anti-Life. And all of existence shall be mine.||„|
|~ Darkseid to Steppenwolf.|
|“||Anti-Life is found, DeSaad. And we will stop at nothing to possess it. Ready the armada. We will use the old ways.||„|
|~ Darkseid ordering another invasion of Earth to take the Anti-Life Equation.|
Darkseid, born as Uxas, is the main antagonist of the DC Extended Universe, serving as the unseen overarching antagonist in the 2016 superhero film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, a background character in the 2017 film Justice League, and the overarching antagonist of its 2021 director's cut Zack Snyder's Justice League.
He is an ancient and all-powerful cosmic warlord who reigns over the New God planet of Apokolips and desires to rule the multiverse with the Anti-Life Equation. After he invaded Earth thousands of years ago in which the planet contained the Anti-Life Equation, he was beaten and lost the three Mother Boxes used in the invasion in his retreat. He then tasked his exiled uncle and herald, Steppenwolf, to retrieve the boxes and finally take over Earth after Superman’s death. He is the arch-nemesis of the Justice League. In a potential dark future known as the Knightmare, Darkseid was successful in activating the Anti-Life Equation, using it to corrupt Superman and turn the Earth into a hellish wasteland.
He was portrayed by Ray Porter, who also played Count Grisham in The Scarecrow, The Whale in Monk, Hestler Jones in Justified, the Nightmare Train in The Little Engine That Could, King Saul in Animated Stories From the Old Testament, and Satan in Animated Stories From the New Testament.
Much is unknown about Uxas' life, but what is known is that he was born on the hell-like planet of Apokolips and has since grown up to become its tyrannical ruler. Uxas was then joined by his uncle, Steppenwolf, a general of the Apokoliptian Armada who became his herald. Uxas then also appointed the torturer and chief scientist DeSaad to be his majordomo and his right-hand man, as well as Granny Goodness to be the commander of his Female Furies. Together, they became a part of his Elite which then gave them the power to command an army of Parademons, normal people turned corrupted monsters that feed on fear.
First Invasion of Earth
Thousands of years ago, Uxas found the Anti-Life Equation on Earth and traveled there with his Elite team and his Parademon army to test the planet. Once they attacked, Uxas was able to overpower the Human natives of Earth in order to give himself enough time activate the Unity and terraform the planet into one similar to that of Apokolips.
However, the planet's resistance, consisting of the united armies of Humans, Amazons, and Atlantis, as well as the Olympian Gods and even beings from other planets (namely a Green Lantern sent by the Guardians). Despite being ill-equipped and totally lacking weaponry, Uxas and his forces managed to inflict heavy casualties for the Earth force with nothing but brute strength and bare hands.
Uxas managed to activate the Unity and kill the Green Lantern, but was defeated by Ares and was forced to retreat with his army, the Equation being taken from him as he did so. A furious Uxas was undeterred and vowed to claim the Equation again as he then renamed himself Darkseid to show that he was above failure. After he returned to his homeworld, Steppenwolf attempted to betray Darkseid in order to usurp his throne, causing him to be exiled as a result of this, only being able to return should he conquer enough planets for his nephew.
Refocusing on the Terran populace
A millennia later, Darkseid was informed (possibly by Steppenwolf or Lex Luthor) that Earth was defenseless and prepared to return to the planet and retrieve it. Lex Luthor then alluded to Batman that with Superman’s death, “they heard it” and that they will come. With the Knightmare dream and Lex Luthor’s warning, Batman begins to prepare for Darkseid’s second coming.
Second Invasion of Earth
Midway through the film, Steppenwolf finds out that the planet that has the Anti-Life Equation is Earth, the same planet he is trying to take over. Realizing this, Steppenwolf contacts DeSaad in order to inform him about this. When he tells him this, DeSaad summons Darkseid in order to talk to Steppenwolf. Impressed by his uncle, Darkseid promises to lift the exile on Steppenwolf and makes plans to come to Earth himself, but only if Steppenwolf is successful in forming The Unity. Overjoyed that Darkseid will come to Earth, Steppenwolf becomes even more determined to make the Unity happen.
During the final battle with Steppenwolf, while Superman is pummeling the former, Darkseid appears during the battle via a boom tube, causing Steppenwolf to rejoice that his master has come. After Flash uses his time travel to reverse the Unity formation and to make it to Cyborg in time to help him connect inside the Mother Boxes, Cyborg and Superman stop The Unity by pulling The Mother Boxes apart. When this happens, Steppenwolf is then killed by Wonder Woman when she cuts his head off after Aquaman stabs him with his trident and uses it to throw him through the boom tube, which causes Darkseid to partially crush his uncle's head in anger upon the head falling in front of him.
He briefly has a stare-down with Superman before the boom tube closes. While disappointed that Steppenwolf failed, Darkseid takes joy in knowing where the Anti-Life Equation is located and tells DeSaad to ready the Parademon Armada so they could begin traveling to Earth, albeit by the old ways rather than the boom tubes.
After numerous attacks on the Justice League, Darkseid finally got his hands on the Anti-Life Equation and he used it on Earth in order to begin his conquest of the universe.
While fighting the League this time, Darkseid had killed Lois Lane, allowing Superman to succumb to the Anti-Life Equation and become the ruler of Earth and Darkseid’s slave, transforming it into a hellscape wasteland with Superman as his leading general as a replacement for his late uncle. Darkseid then created the Regime to take down the Earth rebellion, the Insurgency.
The Insurgency fought well, but after years of fighting, most Insurgents were either converted into Parademons or were killed, and Batman, the Insurgency founder and leader, was killed by Superman, leaving only the Flash and Cyborg to stand against Darkseid's tyranny.
Darkseid appears to be the ultimate living personification of destruction, megalomania, ruthlessness, and above all, tyranny. He appears to be a being of pure and utter malevolence, seemingly focused solely on his own mission to obtain the Anti-Life Equation, which in turn would enforce the submission of all life in the universe. His malevolence has caused him to lose anything even resembling empathy or compassion, even to his own family. This is shown in his interaction with his uncle, Steppenwolf, who he cast out after he tried to usurp his throne.
Powers and Abilities
Darkseid is an extremely powerful member of the New Gods, one of (if not the) mightiest beings in the entire multiverse of the DCEU. His most iconic ability is the utilization of his infamous Omega Beams. He is also vastly intelligent, ruling Apokolips with an iron fist and making Superman think Batman had taken Lois Lane from him, albeit in a dark possible future implied to have taken root in the present day.
|“||Steppenwolf: My lord.
Darkseid: Oh, Steppenwolf.
Steppenwolf: My lord, I am but your humble servant.
Darkseid: Can it be true that you have found it?
Steppenwolf: I have, great one. The lost world is Earth. Anti-Life is here.
Darkseid: If it is redemption you seek, find the third Box, synchronize the Unity, and when this world is scorched, I will come for my great prize.
Steppenwolf: You will come to Earth?
Darkseid: I have turned one hundred-thousand worlds to dust looking for Anti-Life. Looking for those who robbed me of my glory. I will stride across their bones and bask in the glow of Anti-Life. And all of existence shall be mine.
Steppenwolf: It shall be so, my master.
|~ Darkseid communicating to Steppenwolf.|
|“||DeSaad: I told you, Steppenwolf would fail.
Darkseid: Yes. Yes, you did.
DeSaad: My master, now that the Mother Boxes have been destroyed, how will you retrieve your great prize?
Darkseid: Anti-Life is found, DeSaad. And we will stop at nothing to possess it. Ready the armada. We will use the old ways.
|~ DeSaad and Darkseid discussing Steppenwolf's failure and Darkseid ordering another invasion of Earth to take the Anti-Life Equation.|
- In the original script for Justice League, Darkseid and Steppenwolf were brothers, the children of Heggra, but the final version has Darkseid as Steppenwolf's nephew.
- After Batman leaves Lex Luthor in his cell, Luthor screams that "he" is coming and that "he" is hungry (It has been confirmed by Zack Snyder that he was talking about Darkseid and not Steppenwolf).
- Darkseid was originally going to physically appear in Justice League. However, when Joss Whedon entered into the project to do some reshoots ordered by Warner Bros. after Zack Snyder exited out the project in the wake of a family tragedy, he cut Darkseid's scenes. Many fans then started to sign petitions to get Snyder's original cut from the film to be restored, which they succeeded in early 2020.
- Upon being cast as Darkseid, Ray Porter was guided by Zack Snyder and writer Chris Terrio with their comic book lore about Darkseid, as Porter was unfamiliar with the character. Porter portrayed the role through motion capture and had to go "through a few different vocal gymnastics trying to figure out the voice" until he succeeded.
- Darkseid's behind-the-scenes role in Justice League is similar to that of Thanos in Marvel's The Avengers: being the superior of the main antagonist (Loki Laufeyson for Thanos and Steppenwolf for Darkseid).
- It was confirmed that Darkseid would be appearing in the upcoming The New Gods film, but it was unknown whether Ray Porter will reprise his role or if Darkseid will be recast, though Porter has expressed his interest in returning. However, on April 1, 2021, the movie was officially cancelled by Warner Bros.
- This is the first Darkseid to be featured in a live-action film and the second one to be featured in a live-action format, the first being Darkseid from Smallville.