Darkseid vs. Galactus: The Hunger
By John Byrne
...review to come...
DC once used the term "Elseworlds" to classify stories set outside their mainstream continuity. This was during the post-Crisis era, when there was only one official universe and timeline.
Not all of the following stories were published under the 'Elseworlds' label, but all are considered outside mainstream continuity.
By John Byrne
...review to come...
By Laurie S. Sutton and Luciano Vecchio
In this unique format, the reader sees prose interrupted by sound effects. Then once per chapter, the story enters a "visual mode," providing one or more pages of comic book-style sequential art.
In this adventure (part of a series), Superman meets Atheena, the first freedom fighter from Apokolips to successfully defect and make her way off-planet. She's pursued to Earth by Parademons.
Superman returns to help her and they enter a secret passageway from within a Fire Pit. The way to her rebel base passes through the Necropolis — the ruins of the Old Gods – whose technology also helps mask their presence from above.
Their Dr. Zox has created a battle robot, which Superman upgrades and reproduces to make a small army. Once manned, the rebels hoped these would help give their forces the chance to escape from Apokolips. They have no Mother Boxes, but have found one of its precursors. It's a machine from the time of the Old Gods, which they dub the Grandmother Box.
On the surface they're attacked by Granny Goodness and the Female Furies (Lashina, Mad Harriet, Bernadeth, and Artemiz). Superman held off Kalibak and Darkseid long enough for the freedom fighters to teleport away to sanctuary on another world, a paradise.
Justice League: Gods and Monsters was a 2015 direct-to-video feature that presented an alternate version of DC's "trinity." Superman was Hernan Guerra, the son of General Zod and Lara; Batman was Dr. Kirk Langstrom (the Man-Bat in other timelines); and Wonder Woman was Bekka, the widow of Orion.
In the movie, Highfather and Darkseid's pact for peace was made by the engagement of Highfather's granddaughter, Bekka, and Darkseid's son, Orion. Despite his bloodline, Bekka sensed that Orion was a good man. He sent her an origami love letter on the eve of their wedding night, and he escorted her to a beautiful crystal forest on Apokolips. He was honorable, and believed that their union was the only hope for their worlds.
On the wedding day they were married by Granny Goodness. Bekka attempted to flee with her husband immediately, but Highfather ordered a suprise massacre of his enemies. Orion was killed held down by Lightray and killed by Highfather's staff. Bekka defied her grandfather and declared that she would betray him if given the chance. She was allowed to choose exile instead.
She left for Earth bearing an indestructible black sword that was outfitted with a Mother Box. (Justice League: Gods and Monsters)
She arrived in India in July of 1962. With Mother Box as her guide she explored Earth and settled in northern California. After the assassination of President Kennedy, she became a hippie activist. (Justice League: Gods and Monsters — Wonder Woman #1)
In New York, she fell in with Suzie Sunshine, Guitar Joe, and Doctor Psycho, and relocated to a commune called the Hairies. There she revealed the power of her Mother Box and enlightened others. Meanwhile Psycho was endangering people with experimental drugs. (#2)
She took followers away from there and established New New Genesis, but Psycho's evil followed them. She freed his victims then concluded that she must leave seclusion and find her true purpose among the greater society. (#3)
Also appearing: Big Barda, Big Bear, Desaad, Kalibak, Lashina, Lightray, Mantis, Mark Moonrider, Mister Miracle, Steppenwolf, Vykin.
The three heroes came together for the first time to oppose the famous recluse Jackson Alpert. He created the Eternity Institute to solve human mortality and imperfection (for millions of dollars, one could undergo his restorative process). His first public "creations" were the Forever People. (Justice League: Gods and Monsters #1) Alpert took three of them — Serifan, Dreamer, and Moonrider — out in their flying Whiz Wagon and colorful costumes, to Rio de Janeiro. (#2)
Alpert's activities drew the attention of Wonder Woman and Superman, who were invited in to meet the Forever People, which also included Big Bear, Vykin, and Sumo. Alpert revealed himself as an invalid, one whose genes resisted his own treatment. Superman submitted himself to the procedure only to have Bekka free him from it. (#3)
Elsewhere, Batman sought help from Doctor Luthor, who refused to help against Alpert. It became apparent that Alpert's procedure required renewals, at additional cost. Fastback learned that without it, she would die. (#4) Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman eventually teamed up to put an end to the scheme and Alpert unleashes the monstrous Never People, his first failures. (#5)
All-out war erupted in Mumbai where the three confronted Big Bear. Superman killed Serifan, and Batman poisoned Bear. After defeat, the remaining Forever People reverted to their original bodies and were attended by Luthor. (#6)
Alpert returned inside a great suit of armor, as Imperiex. He took control of — and "killed" — Bekka's Mother Box, (#7) but they managed to use its last remaining shard to strike a final blow. As the three of them gripped onto Bekka's sword, they channeled their wills into destroying Imperiex. Wonder Woman removed Alpert's head and Superman incinerated his body. To stave off a public relations nightmare, President Waller installed the League in a shiny new headquarters and dubbed them the Justice League. (#9)
Note: This series is unrelated to JLA: Gods & Monsters (2001), which was an in-continuity one-shot.
» SERIES: Note: All the related comics series were digital-first. Three digital issues were collected per single print issue.
By Mark Waid and Alex Ross
Kingdom Come was an "Elseworlds"-branded limited series that presented the DC Universe 20 years in the future. Superman has retired, having gone into seclusion following the death of Lois Lane. Filling that void is a new generation of reckless young metahumans. While Wonder Woman tries to bring Clark out of retirement, the Batman has amassed an underground army to keep the likes of Lex Luthor at bay.
When Superman finally agrees to return, he reforms the Justice League which begins policing its own metahuman community. They contract with Scott Free and Big Barda to create a metahuman prison called the Gulag. (This prison resembles the Legion of Doom's headquarters on the classic Super Friends cartoon.)
Scott and Barda have a daughter, Avia Free (the name of Scott's Mother). Avia wears a costume featuring elements from both her parents'.
Superman also seeks help from Orion, who has taken over from his father as ruler of Apokolips. Orion uses Metron's Moebius chair as his throne, and has given up using his Mother Box to alter his facial features. Orion refuses to intervene on Earth. In this series, Ross draws Orion with hints of Darkseid's features. (Kingdom Come #2)
Highfather appears as a member of "The Quintessence." This group watches over the events on Earth and includes Zeus, the Phantom Stranger, the wizard Shazam, and Ganthet. (#3)
In the end, the United States government votes to detonate a nuclear bomb on the Gulag and many heroes and villains perish. It's unclear whether the New Gods survived. They do not appear again. (#4)
This reality was so popular that it became designated as Earth-22 when the DC multiverse was restored. The Supeman of Earth-22 became a member of the Earth-0 Justice Society for a time.
By Chuck Dixon and Jon Bogdanove
In 2002, DC and Dark Horse Comics co-published a sequel to Superman/ Aliens. In God War, Apokolips was beset by an alien craft. Troops led by Dr. Jinn took down the ship and they discovered both dead and gestating aliens aboard. Desaad used Jinn as a test subject and it killed Jinn instantly. Meanwhile, Superman was visitsing New Genesis, meeting again with Orion, Lightray, and Barda. (Superman/Aliens 2: God War #1)
Darkseid used the aliens to weaponize an attack force of Parademons. The horde descended on New Genesis, and Superman identified the threat — he'd seen it before. (#2) After Orion was infected by a parasite, he and Superman took the battle back to Apokolips. Barda led a troop of men (including the brutish Jigundus) to eradicate the menace below ground, where the Forager and his Bug people stepped in to help. (#3)Superman and Orion fought their way to the Hivequeen beneath Armagetto and were greeted by Darkseid himself. He obliterated the queen with an Omega blast and also used it to destroy the seed within Orion. Darkseid later revealed to Desaad that he spared his son in hopes that Orion would eventually ponder this kindness, and question his loyaty to Highfather. Darkseid and Desaad retained an army of infected Parademons in containment. (#4)
By Karl Kesel and Jon Bogdanove
This 50-page one-shot was co-published by DC Comics and Image Comics. The issue was not actually branded as "Elseworlds" and nothing in the story contradicts greatly with the contemporary Superman continuity. It proceeds as if Superman has met the Savage Dragon before.
In the story, Superman and the Dragon investigate the murder of several homeless people, which leads to Apokolips. Karl Kesel used many Fourth World characters in his story, including Dan Turpin, Jimmy Olsen, and the Newsboy Legion; and villains such as the Female Furies, Virmin Vunderbar, Kalibak, Kanto, and Darkseid.
Four new male villains were introduced. They drew the heroes into battle on Apokolips and were Lurker; brothers Bully Boy and Runt; and their leader, Killroy, the son of Steppenwolf.
A second team-up followed in 2002: Superman and Savage Dragon: Chicago, which was set in the Savage Dragon's home city.
By John Byrne
1925 Parademons appear in Smallville and Saturn Girl to warn Superboy. Army drives them off. SG erases their memories of the event.
2025 Supergirl Red and Supergirl Blue (Lara and Lois) go out for the first time with Knightwing. Great-granddaughters of Superman. Superman meets Batman. Luthor's bodiless brain escapes imprisonment, seeks out Parademons. Trailed by OMAC. Lightray, Highfather troubled. "Gurard against tomorrow... gurad against the dark side..." Threat of Darkseid ended forever. Both he and Orion taken by Black Racer. Metron comes sensing dark energies troubling the Source. JLA convene, Blackhawk, Batman, Flash Jay, Hal, Wonder Woman. Supergirls find Luthor uses kryptonite and reverts OMAC to a boy Buddy Blank. Superman makes Boom Tube with others to New Genesis. Apokolips extinguished 25 years prior. IZaya warns Superman off. Luthor sets off explosion using Brother Eye.
2125 Kamandi and Sulton are in long dead ruins of Metropolis. They're watched by Morlocks from before the ruin, who work with other heroes. Superman has been missing 100 years, they outfit his grandson Clark (Supergirls' dad) as Superman. His family call themselves the Eloi. B.J. outfits his father as Batman again. Kamandi is the original's son. He also has a daughter, Kam.
2225 Supergirls take dead Wonder Woman home to Paradise Island, to Queen Diana. She orders Von Gunther try to revive her daughter which works but may be brain damage. Diana returns as WW to fight armada of Paradeemons. Army of OMAC clones joins in. Skarg kills his ground trouops. New Genesis, for 200 years they've been closed off. Superman has married Beautiful Dreamer. She tries to get at the root of his recurring dream, repressed memories. They find the Legionnaires when he was Superboy. Now he knows their warning.
2325 Batman and WW a couple, just finished another war. B.J. seriously injured. His mother died in 2008, left a will. Batcave is in storage. It tells them B.J. isn't Bruce's son. They investigate and meet Talia, on good terms. B.J. goes into Lazarus pit again, its defects fixed. He dons a Robin garb, then to England. Meet Eartl of Wordenshire, Cyril whose father was the Knight. They find second hologram she admits it was a lie in order to goad B.J. into using the Pit. Now B.J. refuses life saving measures. The ghost of Kara joins him as he goes to the afterlife.
Lara fights wither her lover Ator, alien Green Lantern. Clark and Lois meet J'onn J'onzz who tells them someone is psychically screaming on Earth. It is Luthor unearthed by workmen. Granny rages at Desaad, with Kanto, Virman. They have a sarcophagus with Darkseid's body. Virman activates it ... too soon? He emerges. Lara and Batman find yellow kryptonite in the ocean, strips her power and she's unable to save her lover when he calls for help.
2525 Superman prepares to leave New Genesis. He has a son Lar-El. Now gone 500 years. Metron asks that he keep a device and return it to him when next they meet. He's made a small Boom Tube. Superman returns to Earth. Immediately encounters Batman and Lara in Smallville. Batman has super strength. Clark and Lois have died from Luthor's radiation. Gold K changed Lara made her immune. She took her powers back and empowered Batman with K powers toog. Return to Smallville find Saturn Girl's remains. Desaad and crew have brounght Darkseid back to life but he's not right
Superman leaves for the future and returns just as soon. He was prohibited from future thrown to the past. Arrives in Smallville 50 years before his arrival, meets Scott Free and Metron, returns Metron's device. Scott escaped 65 years prior is sherriff now. Meets Jonah Hex, and his own mother, Martha Clar,. Metron warns Superman not to interfere in the next day. His father is going up against Hex in shoot out. Stray bullet strikes Martha instead. She lives but will never have children. She and Johnathan intend to marry. Darkseid readies something, he sees temporal corkscrew to attack enemies deeper into the past. In this helix, shock troops. The heroes won't remember regressive attacks because they haven't happened yet.
2625 The JLA knows when the Parademons will attack. Commander Kartak is killed. One Parademon wanders into wilderness meets Lara in disguise, tells origin. A new breed of Parademon was made . When Orion battled his father they both suffered and Darkseid summoned all the power of Apokolips, the fire pits and Orion drew all his astro force. The resulting blows charred the planet. The New Gods left it for dead but the Elite survived. They descended deep to the core of Apokolips where Desaad drew Darkseid's essence back but Virman activated him too soon and it took much longer to restore him. They created new Parademon brain capable of independent action.
2725 New Genesis is banished from normal space. Scott gave up his god power and spends most time in stasis. Still looks young. They've lost half their population separated so long from the Source, only the strongest survived. Darkseid finds them. Lar-El and Vara alive too. Thomas Wayne has died, Lara's son lived normal life, didn't inherit K powers. Metron comes, beaten, through boom tube. Gives Superman one way passage to NG as Metron dies. He finds planet in ruins, attacked by his son. Celestial City survived. He'd tried for centuries to return to no avail. Metron only succeeded by giving him the homing device when he left. In 1800s, Superman went into suspended animation until he reemerged at the point he left. Dreamer is dying. Lightray, Mark, Vykin, Serifan dead. As Parademons attack again at NG, Superman shunted back to Earth after Darkseid killed the rest of the gods; kills Dreamer in front of him then Omega zaps him back to Earth.
2825 Lana and Lois emerge from Time Bubble to Superman Museum. Darkseid's backwards campaign mnade time barrier kept anyone from going forward in time, excep tthe bubble. They return the girls to 1925 and meet the Kents and Saturn Girl who again removes everyone's memories and plant message in Superboy so he'll remember eventually, but prevent SG's death. They put machine back where the girls have to bump into it. They can follow the bubble's path back to the future because the path was created before Darkseid began his spiral back.
Meet Cosmic Boy and Chameleon Boy in ruins meet Green Lantern Jordan Kelley and Diana. Parademons number less. Superman and Batman have been gone for 100 years. They activate their helix and scorch the earth as they leave. Lara dies from it, imparting wisdom, challenging Batman to change the past. Kelley opens portal to New Genesis. Darkseid awakes and asks for a new breed of Parademon. They detect the heroes stargate and engage. Granny blasts Batman, Kanto poisons Wonder Woman. Superman throws Desaad into path of Omega tackles Darkseid pummels him until base explodes. Time resets to previous: With Kal, Bruce and Lana
By John Francis Moore and Kieron Dwyer
Kal-El's rocket is diverted via Boom Tube to Apokolips where its discovered by two Hunger Dogs Marta and Jono but when they approach his heat vision kills them. Darkseid arrives and takes him with Metron as witness. He iwll mold him into chengine ofdestruction, object of fear. On New Genesis years later Orion and Lightray face the Bugs, chasing Forager who seeks food o raid. Highfather stops Orion and protects the bugs. On Apokolips, Scott Free flees from Parademons and runs into Barda for the first time. Desaad alerts about a Boom Tube generator stolen by Free. He doesn't worry instead has faith in his superman who may pass for a New god, loyal to DArkseid, called a son. Dons special armor to conduct geothermal energy from the Heart of the planet to give strength and stamina. Hes to be D's ultimate weapon against New Gen. In a gladiator match Kalibak resembles Doomsday in the killoseum. Granny, Bedlam, Granny, Kanto, Virman, Suli. Lashina, Harriet, Stompa and Barda worry they'll be next. Darkseid brings forth Superman, a susprise to all. He defeats him and D sanctions the kill. Scott Free goes to find Himon, he wants to use tube to escape. Himon wants him to help overthrow D. He's intercepted by Superman who pummels him, he teleports at last moment. The pact is nullified and Darkseid readies an Omega bomb delivered by Superman. He questions the mission, boeres into the core of the planet but does his duty. The New Gods must flee and Highfather transports his people to Earth. Orion doesn't want to give up on NG. Superman finds them and HF is powerful enough to oppose him, shows him the words of the Source: "the war will end when destroyer becomes creator." Shows Kal-El his birth world's fate then sends him to Earth. Superman is found by Lois Lane. Darksied looks for sign of Kal on NG.
Kal sees his first sunrise. Lois investigates Ingergang, Karl Mannheim working with Bedlam. She gets in trouble but Kal followed her saves her. He bleeds from a gunshot. Dan Turpin and SCU comes in to clean up. Maggie Sawyer calls Kal Steve Reeves. He clashes w SCU and they manage to take him down. Kal is taken in by Bibbo and Jimmy Olsen. Luthor helps police, turned STAR Labs around. Fire breaks out and Kal saves people. He and Lois track the New Gods with his Mother Box to Loewy Island former site of a World's Fair. They're ambushed Orion incredulous that the Source favors Superman, who's troubled by his actions but loyal to Darkseid. Orion takes them to another place, fleeing from Apokolips forces. Barda orders him to snap out of it and he returns with her. Lex analyzes Superman's armor. He is aided by Scott Free who is quadriplegic from hitting a wall when he boomed to Earth. Barda and Kal search for his armor in the waters, find it's gone then ambushed by Lex's men and he flies for the first time. Darkseid comes to claim him with Granny. He offers the Mobius Chair to Scott in return for his allegiance. Desaad finds Kal has new levels of power, Darkseid thinks his father hid secret to Anti-Life in the boy, brings forth a message from Jor-El, who hoped his son would rebuild Krypton, he encoded in his DNA that secret and intended for him to land on Earth. Desaad unlcoks the secret (#2)
Darkseid takes over Metroplolis with the Equation but the New Gods are immune for their Mother Boxes. Carlo Mannheim presumes too much and is killed by Omega. Superman escapes from Desaad and reclaims his Box, shaped like his S shield. Lois and Bibbo find the New Gods, who meet Scott Free, in Metron's chair tells Orion for the first time their shared origin. Others are shocked to learn Orion is DArkseid's son. Superman bests Granny, who has Lex as a slave, runs into Barda who tries to convince him to stay with her and leave Apokolips. Instead she gives him the Boom Tube code and kisses him farewell to Earth. At Source Wall, Scott seeks knowledge, finds Wotan, is overwhelmed. Superman commits to fighting Darkseid, leads New Gods and Forever People against the Elite. Superman's power stands up to the Omega Beams. Orion returns with Bug army and blasts a great machine, the transmitter. He unveils the Anti-Mother Box to take out theirs and Orion is fatally struck but Kal powerful enough without it. Scott provides distraction while Lightray gives solar pwoer to Superman, must give everything his has, even his life, which helps Kal defeat DArkseid. Afterwards the New Gods settled on Earth making new borough in Metropolis with an iarborne city, bugs and all. Orion survived and is with Lois. Superman returned to Apokolips to reunite with Barda and destroy Darkseid's Armagetto, free the citizens, beocming a savior, bringing new life to a dead planet, fulfilling the Source's prophesy of creator, intends to reseed New Genesis. (#3)
By Walt Simonson
In a joint publishing venture, Marvel and DC produced "Amalgam," an event that mashed together their characters into hybrids that had charcteristics from both. The results were surprising and in Thorion, Marvel's Thor was combined with DC's Orion.
To New Gods fans, the connections went deeper — Jack Kirby was well known for his work on Thor during his seminal time at Marvel (in fact, the origin of the New Gods was seeded by Kirby in the pages of Thor).
Creator Walt Simonson
By Jack Kirby
Jack Kirby created Captain Victory for Pacific Comics in 1981. The character's origin story was told in Captain Victory #11–12 (June–Oct. 1983) and it presented Victory as a thinly-veiled version of Orion's son. (In DC's Fourth World, Orion has never had a son.)
Mark Evanier was asked whether he thought Captain Victory was continuation of Kirby's Fourth World. He said that the series was not conceived as such but allowed that Jack probably found an opportunity to explore some of his old ideas once again.
» SEE: Orion > Captain Victory
By Batton Lash, Dan DeCarlo, and Mike Royer.
In this series, featuring Simpsons universe character Radioactive Man, each issue parodied a comic book of a certain era. Issue #9 presented an adventure from 'Radioactive Man #197, (1971).'
The premise of the fiction was that this issue was written and pencilled by Morty Mann (Jack Kirby), who created the New Guards in 1971. Mann had also worked on Radioactive Man in the Golden Age era, when the character was originally called "Radio Man." The second tale in the book is a 'reprint' of a Radio Man story from 1943 by 'Mann.'
In the letters column (by 'editors' Evan Marvier and Sherm Stevens) faux fans fawn over Mann's work and reference his characters. The editors quip: "Morty Mann is totally taken with the great Jack Kirby! The King's Fourth World books are always around the office."
In the main story, Backseid (Darkseid) and Markee (Desaad) watches Radioactive Man from their home world of Ragnarokaway. Yentah overhears that he is plotting to overtake Earth, and rushes back to New Gentry to tell Obrian (Orion).
Obrian opens the portal (a Kroonzakaga) to Earth, arriving in the city of Zenith. Claude Kane, aka Radioactive Man, and his fellow reporter, Gloria Grand, notice the commotion and the hero confront Obrian. Obrian introduces himself as one of the New Guards, but suspicions lead the two to engage in battle. Obrian hoped that revealing his true, savage face to his quarry would end their fight but it merely provoked more violence — until his Brother Box soothed him back into a more peaceful state.
Back home, some prophetic graffiti warns their leader, the High-King (Highfather), to question his son Obrian's trip to Earth. He sends some New Guards to collect Obrian, including the Whatever People, Flightrisk, Metronome, Cashbak, Phat Phree aka Mssr. Magnifique the escape artist, and Seagramm. His friends take Obrian home and promise to try to broker peace with Backseid.