I never saw the big deal about Darkseid before. Seriously. Never did. On Justice League and Justice League Unlimited, he existed to get slapped around by Superman. In the comics, he fared no better. He was humiliated over and over again. He was beaten up by Superman, shot by Batman… hell, he got smacked around by Jimmy Olsen.
This is just a small sampling. The guy seriously gets slapped around a lot. He just doesn’t come off as that much of a threat. Sorry, he doesn’t. When Darkseid shows up, he’s just a tall muscular grey dude with eye-beams. The only reason why anyone considers him a threat is because we are told he is. “Oh noes! It’s Darkseid!” they shout when he shows up, not realizing that he’ll just get stomped on my someone in the next three to four panels. I get that he’s supposed to be this master manipulator, but man… unless his plans consist of losing, he’s not very good at his job.
DC Comics finally changed that with their new series titled Earth 2. In this series, I can truly believe Darkseid is the most threatening being in the entire universe. And the cool part…. he hasn’t even appeared yet. All we are seeing is the results of his plans, and it is devastating beyond belief.
Supergirl and Robin also were believed to be killed, disappearing (it looked like they disintegrated) into a portal. We also learn Metropolis was destroyed by the attack, but that’s never shown. They do show this though:
This is our starting point, believe it or not. This isn’t where the story ends. We begin with Earth’s three greatest heroes dying trying to protect the planet. And all throughout this, Darkseid’s name is never said. But the reader can feel his overwhelming presence on every single page.
This is exactly what you do to establish Darkseid as a threat. But if you don’t believe that’s enough…..
Yes. Darkseid brainwashed Superman. And yes, it’s as bad as it sounds. I don’t mean bad as in bad writing. I mean bad as in Earth 2’s heroes are screwed. Green Lantern is beaten to death. Flash has his ankle broken. Dr Fate’s helmet is crushed. Other heroes are just flat out killed.
Yes, it is dark. But it isn’t darkness for the sake of darkness. Everything makes sense in it. Because of Darkseid, new heroes had to rise up to replace the ones that fell (more on them in a future blog post). We even ended up with a new Batman and Wonder Woman (more on them in a future blog post). The entire Earth changed because of Darkseid.
That’s how you make Darkseid a threat.