The Fourth World (THE FOREVER PEOPLE vol. 1, #1-11, 1971-1973, NEW GODS vol. 1, #1-11, 1971-1972, MISTER MIRACLE vol. 1, #1-18, 1971-1974)
Darkseid first appeared in a cameo in SUPERMAN’S PAL, JIMMY OLSEN #134, with his first full appearance taking place in the first issue of THE FOREVER PEOPLE. Together with NEW GODS and MISTER MIRACLE, these series constituted the so-called “Fourth World” line of titles, in which Darkseid and his minions were the main antagonists.
Battling the Justice League and the Justice Society (JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA vol. 1, #183-185, 1980)
After years plaguing heroes like the Forever People, and sometimes Superman, Darkseid finally made his presence known to the Justice League of America. With the help of the Injustice Society, Darkseid attempted to destroy the Justice Society of America’s home of Earth-2 and replace it with his own hellish homeworld, Apokolips. It took the combined forces of the JLA, the JSA and the New Gods of New Genesis to stop his scheme from destroying an entire planet.
The Great Darkness Saga (LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES vol. 2, #290-294, 1982)
In the 30th century Darkseid had seemingly been forgotten by most of the universe, in a time when peace and cooperation between worlds resulted in the formation of the United Planets.
The protectors of the galaxy in this era were the teenage Legion of Super-Heroes.
During this time powerful shadow beings began taking out the strongest villains of the 30th century, like the wizard Mordru and the mysterious Time Trapper, and draining them of their power. These shadow beings were servants of Darkseid, who’d reemerged in the future to attempt to conquer the galaxy once again. With the power of these villains at his disposal, he took over the minds of the entire population of the planet Daxam—a world whose inhabitants were as powerful as Kryptonians under a yellow sun.
With this army of three billion unstoppable beings in his thrall, Darkseid seemed poised to finally take the universe for himself. Only the appearance of his ancient enemy Highfather, who aided the Legion in their epic battle against Darkseid, turned the tide. After the Daxamites were freed from Darkseid’s control, he vanished once again, along with his newly returned world of Apokolips.
Pitting Earth Against Its Heroes (LEGENDS #1-6, 1986-1987)
During the fallout of the epic Crisis on Infinite Earths, Darkseid took advantage of the chaos by sending his minion, Glorious Godfrey, to Earth in the guise of television personality G. Gordon Godfrey. Using his powers of persuasion, Godfrey, with Darkseid pulling the strings, sought to convince America that its heroes were false idols who needed to be destroyed. Ultimately, the human population saw through Godfrey’s powers of persuasion, and a new Justice League formed as a result—which turned the Dark Lord’s plan against him.
The Anti-Life Equation Strikes Back (COSMIC ODYSSEY #1-4, 1988-1989)
The Lord of Apokolips was forced to call a truce with his hated enemies from New Genesis and the Justice League when the New God known as Metron accidentally unleashed four sentient aspects of the Anti-Life Equation upon the known universe. Their goal? Collapsing the Milky Way galaxy in on itself. Wanting the galaxy to remain intact (so he could conquer it), Darkseid and the heroes of Earth succeeded by working together, although Darkseid felt sullied by working with what he considered “lesser beings.”
Death and Rebirth (DEATH OF THE NEW GODS #1-8 and FINAL CRISIS #1-7, 2007-2008)
In 2008 the New Gods, long thought immortal, were murdered one by one. It turned out the culprit was none other than the Source itself, from which the New Gods drew their power. Darkseid made one final stand against the Source, which unleashed the spirit of Darkseid’s murdered son Orion against him. New Genesis and Apokolips were merged into one new planet—the Fifth World.
After the New Gods’ final battle, Darkseid’s soul settled on Earth, where it, like the spirits of the other evil gods of Apokolips, resided in the body of a human being. Darkseid became a crime lord known as “Boss Dark Side,” and ultimately found a way to possess the body of detective Dan Turpin. He unleashed the Anti-Life Equation on Earth, making the population his mindless slaves. But Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Truth forced Darkseid’s essence from Turpin’s body and, together with the Flashes, ended the threat of Darkseid forever. Or so it seemed.
The Darkseid War (JUSTICE LEAGUE vol. 2, #40-50, 2015-2016)
In the post-Flashpoint DC Universe of the New 52, there was only one iteration of Darkseid across the 52 known parallel universes, and he wanted all of the universes for himself. He also searched the Multiverse for his long-lost daughter, Grail. After nearly conquering Earth-2, Darkseid invaded Prime Earth, causing the formation of the Justice League in this timeline.
Grail appeared on Prime Earth, the daughter of Darkseid and an Amazon from Themyscira. She drew her father to Earth, and Darkseid was caught in a war with the Anti-Monitor, the ancient being responsible for the Crisis on Infinite Earths. During the Crisis, Darkseid had helped defeat the Anti-Monitor, who now returned to seek vengeance. The Justice League was caught in the crossfire of this battle between ancient, evil deities, both far more powerful than the League.
Although Darkseid was seemingly killed by the Anti-Monitor, he was reborn as the child of Superwoman, a member of Earth-3’s Crime Syndicate. Grail took the child, hoping to raise him to be the scourge of the universe, but this time molded by her vision.
God vs. Amazon (WONDER WOMAN vol. 5, #31-37, 2017-2018)
In the Rebirth DC Universe, Darkseid remained an infant in the care of his daughter, Grail. Together, they killed several children of gods, including Hercules. As they took each demigod down, infant Darkseid absorbed their energy and used it to grow stronger. Upon reaching adulthood, he killed Zeus, bringing him into conflict with Zeus’ daughter Wonder Woman. Restored to full size and strength, Darkseid was then ready to battle the heroes of the DC Universe once again.