The New Gods Library

Fanfare

Original text by Sean Walsh

New God Names + Inspirations

Jack Kirby was well-read, as evidenced by the references he made within his stories and in the names of his characters as well...

Armagetto
Derived from the New Testament’s Armageddon (in Revelation 16:16, the place of the final battle between good and evil).
The word "ghetto" which is the term used for the Jewish quarters of the city in Europe.
Bekka
Possibly derived from Rebekah, Isaac’s wife, mother of Esau and Jacob — Jack Kirby Collector
Big Barda
An amalgamation of Jack's wife Roz Kirby and singer Lanie Kazan.
The Black Racer
The Angel of Death compares to the Silver Surfer; he uses skis instead of a surfboard.
Darkseid
Inspired by the fascist dictators of the 20th century, especially Hitler and Stalin. Darkseid was also partly inspired by then-U.S. President Richard Nixon, for whom Kirby had an intense dislike. Mark Evanier commented, "Darkseid was the repository for everybody who'd ever been rotten to Jack, or everybody Jack ever percieved as being a selfish pig."
Desaad
After the Marquis de Sade, 18th century French noble, after whom the term "sadism" was coined.
Doctor Bedlam
After Bedlam, the infamous London insane asylum.
Deep Six
As a verb, to "deep six" means to put an end to something; from nautical lore, suggesting that anything greater than this depth would be difficult, if not impossible, to recover. A grave is customarily dug six feet deep.
  • Jaffar — possibly from the Arabian Nights
  • Trog — "troglodyte," a being that dwelled underground
  • Shaligo — there is the Shaliko Theatre Company in NY — perhaps Kirby was a fan?
  • Pyron — "pyro" is Greek for fire
  • Gole — the legendary Golem of Prague, a giant walking statue
Esak
Possibly after from the Biblical Isaac, or Esau from Genesis (who gave up his birthright).
Funky Flashman and Houseroy
Mockeries of Stan Lee and Roy Thomas. Funky's name is probably a take on the wealth and glamour that Stan Lee enjoyed as publisher of Marvel. "Houseroy" = Houseboy + Roy (a houseboy is basically a valet).
Mister Miracle's relationship with Funky is even parallel to Kirby's view of his relationship with Stan. Funky thinks he knows how to make Scott a star and improve his act. He gives unwanted advice in a positive, ingratiating way, but covertly forces contracts and gigs on Scott. Funky's corny speech-patterns sound just like Stan's "soapbox" banter and public persona.
 
Glorious Godfrey
Perhaps after Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi party's Minister of Propaganda. Godfrey's rally in Forever People #3 has Nazi overtones, and Kirby prefaced that story with a quote from Hitler.
Granny Goodness' Orphanage
After the orphanage in book Oliver Twist, mentioned in the DC texts by Kirby. Also reflected in the Dickensian names of Granny's charges: Virman Vundabar, Kanto, and Doctor Bedlam; George Orwell's 1984 for the Big Brother-like slogans on the walls: "Die for Granny — and she will live for you!", "You're not a liar, if you lie for Darkseid", and "You're not a beast, If you kill for Darkseid."
Highfather aka Izaya
In Marvel's Thor, the god Odin was called the Allfather. Isaiah was a major prophet of Israel and source for two famous poetical prophecies of peace: "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them." (Isaiah 11:6), "...and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."(Isaiah 2:4): the latter particularly applicable to Izaya.
Himon
Perhaps after Jack Kirby's father.
 
Kalibak
Caliban was the monster in Shakespeare's The Tempest.
Kanto
Of Italian origin, a "canto" is a division into which a long poem may be sectioned. Dante's Divine Comedy is divided into cantos. Kirby suggested that Kanto had Medieval history. Kanto looks like a ministrel common to Shakespeare's plays.
Justeen
After the novel Justine, by the Marquis de Sade.
Lonar
"Loner" — this New God found solice on the surface of New Genesis by himself, with his horse Thunderer.
Mark Moonrider
Rumored to be named after Mark Evanier, but Kirby denied this.
Metron
Metronome: an instrument designed to mark exact time by a regularly repeated tick.
Metatron: the most powerful of God's angels in rabbinical lore.
The scientific suffix -metry (telemetry, geometry) comes from the Greek "metron," meaning measurement.
Mister Miracle
Inspired by fellow comics artist and former magician, Jim Steranko. Scott Free took his stage name from Thaddeus Brown, as Harry Houdini did from the French conjurer, Robert Houdini.
Mobius Chair
The Möbius strip is an infinite loop with a half twist, making only one side, a topological oddity that parallels the oddities of time travel. Used by H.G. Wells in The Time Machine. Only described in the novel as a frame with a saddle, the 1960 George Pal movie elaborated it into a full Victorian chair in a frame with a spinning disk behind it.
Orion
The mythic Greek hunter, for whom a constellation is named.
Serifan
A "seraphim" is an angelic creature of the Bible who purifies with fire.
The Source and the Uni-Friend
The Source Wall on New Genesis is written upon by a fiery hand, the Uni-Friend. The flaming hand and letters are like those described in the Biblical book of Daniel, chapter 5. And from the translation of the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám: "The moving finger, having writ, moves on..."
 
Steppenwolf
Possibly after from the title of Hermann Hesse's 1927 novel of the same name, which found a fan base in the late 1960s. A band of the same name performed the 1968 hit "Magic Carpet Ride."
Takion
A "tachyon" is a theoretical faster-than-light particle.
Virman Vundabar
"Wunderbar" means "marvelously" in German. Virman equates to "vermin," or parasitic animals.

Credits: Walt Simonson, Mario Di Giacomo, Ben Herman (the originator of this idea on the Orion Message Board), "DONAR," "Stcantave" and the Jack Kirby Collector.

He-Man = New Gods?

Top: He-Man emerges from a portal much like a Boom Tube. Below: Warriors attack from gliders like Mister Miracle's aero-discs. From Masters of the Universe (1987).

From The Scrolls of Grayskull: Issue 12 > Jack Kirby's Fourth World

Fans drew parallels between the New Gods and the live-action presentation of the Masters of the Universe (1987). In an interview from Comic Shop News #497 (1996), John Byrne talked about the movie:

"The best New Gods movie, IMHO, is 'Masters of the Universe'. I even corresponded with the director [Gary Goddard], who told me this was his intent, and that he had tried to get [Jack] Kirby to do the production designs, but the studio nixed it.

"Check it out. It requires some bending and an occasional sex change (Metron becomes an ugly dwarf, The Highfather becomes the Sorceress), but it's an amazingly close analog, otherwise. And Frank Langella's Skeletor is a dandy Darkseid!"

Director Gary Goddard admitted that he grew up on Kirby's comics and confirmed his influences in a letter appearing in John Byrne's Next Men #26 (1994):

"Your comparison of the film to Kirby's New Gods was not far off. In fact, the storyline was greatly inspired by the classic Fantastic Four/Doctor Doom epics, The New Gods and a bit of Thor thrown in here and there. Wikipedia

Some similarities between the New Gods and the Masters of the Universe movie...

  • He-Man = Orion
  • Skeletor = Darkseid
  • Gwildor = Metron
  • The cosmic key = Mother Box
  • The cosmic key's portal = Boom Tube
  • Beast Man = Kalibak
  • Evil Lyn = Desaad/Granny Goodness
  • Blade = Kanto
  • Air centurion skiffs = aero-pads
  • The Eye of Greyskull = the Source Wall
  • The power of Greyskull = the Source
  • The term "metrons" is even used in the movie!

New Gods on TV

This article lists the episodes of each show in which Fourth World characters make appearances.

Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show (1984-1985)

In 1984, after a four-year absence, the Super Friends cartoon series returned to television in a series that pitted them against the evil minions of Darkseid, ruler of Apokolips. In two stories per half hour. — Data source: Wikipedia

» SEE: For the best episode guides, visit The Superman Homepage

  • Episodes 1–2. "The Bride of Darkseid" (8 Sept. 1984). Darkseid pursues Wonder Woman as his bride.
  • Episode 3. ""The Wrath of Brainiac" (15 Sept. 1984). Brainiac allies with Darkseid but wind up at odds.
  • Episode 5. "No Honor Among Super-Thieves" (22 Sept. 1984). Lex Luthor proposes an alliance to Darkseid, who is prepared for Luthor's double-cross.
  • Episodes 9–10. "Darkseid's Golden Trap" (6 Oct. 1984). At an intergalactic auction, Darkseid seeks to buy gold kryptonite.
  • Episode 13. "The Case of the Dreadful Dolls" (20 Oct. 1984). Darkseid plots to use the gold kryptonite on Superman.
  • Episode 14. "The Royal Ruse" (20 Oct. 1984). Darkseid lures the Super Friends into a trap.

Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians (1985–1986)

This second season featured fewer appearances by the New Gods.

  • Episode 1. "The Seeds of Doom" (7 Sept. 1985). Cyborg joins the Super Friends after helping battle Darkseid and his Parademons.
  • Episode 2. "The Ghost Ship" (14 Sept. 1985). Darkseid continues his pursuit.
  • Episode 4. "The Darkseid Deception" (28 Sept. 1985). Darkseid captures Wonder Woman by impersonating Steve Trevor.
  • Episode 6. "The Wild Cards" (12 Oct. 1985). Darkseid employs a new super-villain, the Ace—who turns out to be the Joker.
  • Episode 9. "Escape from Space City" (2 Nov. 1985). Darkseid takes over Star City, a gigantic orbiting earth colony.
  • Episode 10. "The Death of Superman" (9 Nov. 1985). Darkseid kills Superman and takes over the Earth, but Superman is later brought back to life.
From Superman: The Animated Series, Season 2, Episode 15, "Father's Day."
From Superman: The Animated Series, Season 2, Episode 25-26, "Apokolips Now!"

Superman: The Animated Series (1996–2000)

  • Season 1, Episode 12. "Tools of the Trade" (1 Feb. 1997). Kanto offers Bruno. "Ugly" Mannheim weapons from Apokolips. Dan Turpin and Maggie Sawyer are on his tail. Mannheim follows Kanto through a Boom Tube to Apokolips and meets Darkseid.
  • Season 2, Episode 15. "Father's Day" (3 Oct. 1997). After Desaad fails to defeat Superman with a killing machine, Kalibak attacks Superman hoping to gain Darkseid's favor. He fails and Darkseid dispatches him with his Omega beams. Darkseid blasts Superman as well, then departs. Darkseid casts Mannheim into his slave pits.
  • Season 2, Episodes 25–26. "Apokolips...Now!" (7 & 14 Feb. 1998). Darkseid reinstalls Mannheim with Intergang on Earth. Orion comes to warn Superman and his Mother Box tells the story of Apokolips and New Genesis. Orion fights with Superman when Steppenwolf leads Darkseid's hordes to Earth. Highfather counters with warriors from New Genesis (Barda, Metron, Mister Miracle, Black Racer, Lightray, Forager). Darkseid retreats but kills Dan Turpin.
  • Season 2, Episodes 27–28. "Little Girl Lost" (2 May 1998). Granny Goodness sends the Female Furies (Lashina, Mad Harriet, and Stompa) after Superman, Supergirl, and Jimmy Olsen.
  • Season 3, Episodes 13–14. "Legacy" (5 & 12 Feb. 2000). Superman is brainwashed into thinking he's the son of Darkseid. (This parallels the story in Superman: Dark Side, 1998)

Justice League (2001–04) 

  • Season Two, Episodes 27–28. "Twilight" (5 July 2003). Darkseid, Orion, Lightray, Highfather.

Justice League Unlimited (2004–06)

  • Season Two, Episode 15. "The Ties that Bind" (12 Feb. 2005). Mister Miracle, Big Barda, Oberon.
  • Season Two, Episode  22. "Question Authority" (25 June 2005). Mantis.
  • Season Three, Episode 31. "Flash and Substance" (11 Feb. 2006). Orion.
  • Season Three, Episode 38. "Alive!" (8 Feb. 2006). Darkseid.
  • Season Three, Episode 39. "Destroyer" (18 Feb. 2006). Darkseid.

Batman: The Brave and the Bold

  • Season One, Episode 21. "Duel of the Double Crossers" (12 June 2009) Steppenwolf, Lashina and Stompa are fighters employed by Mongal (not Darkseid).
  • Season One, Episode 22. "Last Bat on Earth!" (19 June 2009). Mister Miracle and Big Barda.
  • Season Two, Episode 48. "Cry Freedom Fighters!" (12 Nov. 2010) Mantis.
  • Season Two, Episode 49. "The Knights of Tomorrow!" (19 Nov. 2010) Darkseid and Kalibak

Smallville, Season 10 (2001–11)

  • Episode 203. "Abandoned" (12 Nov. 2010). Glorious Godfrey, Desaad, Granny Goodness
  • Episode 204, "Patriot" (19 Nov. 2010). Darkseid
  • Episode 209. "Masquerade" (18 Feb. 2011). Darkseid, Desaad
  • Episode 211. "Scion" (4 Mar. 2011). Darkseid
  • Episode 214. "Dominion" (29 Apr. 2011). Darkseid
  • Episodes 216–217, "Finale" (13 May 2011). Darkseid

Young Justice (2010–13)

  • Season One, Episode 17, "Disordered." The Forever People, Infinity Man, Desaad
  • Season Two, Episode 20, "Endgame." G. Gordon Godfrey is recurring character throughout the second season. Darkseid finally appears onscreen in the finale episode.

Action Figures

» SEE ALSO: References + Links

Super Powers Action Figures (1985–86)

Series 2 (1985): Darkseid • Desaad • Kalibak • Mantis • Parademon • Steppenwolf  

Series 3 (1986) • Mr. Miracle • Orion

» SEE ALSO:

DC Direct Action Figures

Set: Mister Miracle, Big Barda, and Oberon (1998). 6 in. Includes Mister Miracle's removable cape, Big Barda's removable helmet Big and Mega Rod, and two sets of Aero-Discs.

Set: Orion and Darkseid (2001). 6 in. Includes: removable helmet and Astro harness, and an interchangeable Orion head to show face rage. Darkseid features battery-operated light-up eyes.

Justice League + Justice League Unlimited Action Figures (2004-11)

These were sold in many different combinations, ranging from single figures to two- three- and six-packs of figures: This series was rebranded in 2008 for sale in Target.

» SEE ALSO:

Justice League
  • Series 5 ("Mission Vision", 2004)
    • Darkseid (Dark Gray Face)
    • Darkseid (Light Gray Face)
  • Four Packs (2004): The Rise of Apokolips - Superman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Darkseid
Justice League Unlimited
  • Target Exclusives (2005): Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, Orion
DC Superheroes: Justice League Unlimited
  • Series 4 (2006), Singles: Orion
  • Series 5 (2007) 3-Packs: Lightray, Amazo, Nemesis
  • Series 7 (2007), 3-Pack: Deadshot, Big Barda, Martian Manhunter
  • Series 10 (2007), 3-Packs: Mr. Miracle, Orion, Darkseid

DC Universe: Justice League Unlimited
  • Wave One (2008): Attack from Apokolips: Mr. Miracle, Superman, Forager, Mantis, Darkseid, Lashina
  • Wave Five (2009), 3-pack: Cyborg, Plastic Man, Mister Miracle
  • Wave Seven (2010), singles: Big Barda (w/ Mega Rod)
  • MattyCollector.com Exclusives (2010), two-packs:
    • 2 Parademons 
    • Darkseid & Kalibak 

DC Direct Action Figures (2008–09)

These came in two waves:

DC Universe Fan Classics (2008–12)

This series was produced by Mattel, not DC Direct. Some waves had a "Collect and Connect" gimmick. If you boughtr all the figures within a series, youwould have the pieces to assemble another figure as well. Darkseid and Kalibak could be assembled in this way. » SEE: DC Universe Classics

  • Wave One: Orion
  • Toys "R" Us 2-packs: Orion & Lightray
  • Wave Six: Mister Miracle
  • Wave Six: Doctor Impossible (variant, a human villain/version of Mister Miracle)
  • Wave Six "Collect and Connect": Kalibak
  • Wave Seven: Big Barda (two versions)
  • Wave Eight: Parademon (two versions)
  • Wave Twelve: Desaad
  • Wave Twelve "Collect and Connect": Darkseid

DC Collectibels: New 52 (2012-15):

  • Darkseid Deluxe Figure, 13-inch (2012)
  • Parademon (2012)
  • Orion with Astro-Harness (2014)
  • Darkseid , 7-inch

Ame-Comi Girls (DC Direct)

Big Barda (2011). Non-articulated PVC statue stands approximately 9.25" high and includes a display base. Designed by Jim Fletcher and Jon Buran Sculpted by Jonathan Matthews.

Barda and her Pirate Furies appeared in the comic book version of Ame-Comi Girls, digital issues #21–22 (repackaged for print in Ame-Comi Girls v.2 #6-7).

Justice League: Heroes Unite, by Mattel

Action figure 6-pack. Includes 5" figures for Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Cyborg, Wonder Woman and and oversized Darkseid figure. $51.99.

Retro-Action DC Super Heroes, by Mattel and EMCE

Series 4: Darkseid (8"). Nostalgic action figure in cloth like the figures from the 1980s.

Sideshow Collectibles, Darkseid 26 inch (2016)

DC's most dangerous villain, Darkseid, stands ready to destroy all life in his quest for the Anti-Life Equation in this upcoming Sideshow Collectibles statue. The 26-inch tall statue stands with arm raised out in front of him ready to crush any and all adversaries. If you pick up the Sideshow exclusive version, you'll get an even angrier looking swap-out head. 26" H x 14" W x 20" L.

Collectibles

» SEE ALSO: References + Links

Posters

Promo posters for the New Gods reprint series and The Hunger Dogs graphic novel (1984).
Left: Promo poster. Right: From the DC DC is the caption for Layout Figure Tag

DC Comics New Gods promotional poster (1984). 17 x 22 in.

DC Comics Hunger Dogs promotional poster (1984). 17 x 22 in.

DC Super Powers Calendar, February (1988). Features Darkseid and his Elite.

Mister Miracle promotional poster (1988). 20 x 30 in.

New Gods "Boom Tube" promotional (1991). 12 x 17 in. Art comes from Who's Who in the DC Universe #11 (July 1991); art by Rick Hoberg and Will Blyberg.

DC Comics 50th Anniversary poster: Mister Miracle (1989). 14 x 18 in. This poster was made from the cover of Mister Miracle #2 (1971), part of an anniversary series.