The New Gods Library

History of the New Gods

Part 4: Post-Zero Hour (1994–2004)

Original text by Sean Walsh

» SEE ALSO: Fourth World Continuity: Zero Hour

Guardians of Metropolis (1994)

For several years there were no New Gods titles but a subset of Kirby's creations continued to guest-star across the Superman family of titles. The Guardian, the Newsboy Legion, Dubbilex, and the DNA Project were reintroduced in 1988's Superman Annual #2. These characters had formed the bedrock of Kirby's run on Jimmy Olsen and their original story was tweaked for post-Crisis continuity. Writer Roger Stern retained a good bit of Kirby's premise about the secret government facility called the DNA Project, which was renamed the Cadmus Project (after King Cadmus who grew warriors from teeth of a dragon). The original members of the Newsboy Legion were the founders of Cadmus and experts in the science of cloning and DNA manipulation. They cloned themselves and their hero, the Guardian (Jim Harper), after he was murdered. When the clone Newsboys escaped, the Guardian was sent to reclaim them, and this chaos drew the attention of Superman and Jimmy Olsen. The clones were confused; they believed they were the originals and that it was 1943. Superman and Guardian followed the clones in their Whiz Wagon back through the Habitat and the Zoomway that led to Cadmus. They were swallowed by the giant vehicle called the Mountain of Judgment and greeted by Jude and his group of Hairies. Elsewhere Sleez had enslaved Dubbilex but Superman overpowered him and Sleez appeared to disintegrate. The case ended with a very awkward meeting between the Newsboys clones and their "fathers." (Superman v.2 Annual #2)

The people of Project Cadmus. From Who's Who in the DC Universe #12 (1991); art by Dan Jurgens and Dennis Janke.
The Newsboy clones are confused by their situation. From Superman Annual #2 (1988); art by Ron Frenz and Brett Breeding.
The original Newsboys and their clones come to grips with the situation. From Superman Annual #2 (1988); art by Ron Frenz and Brett Breeding.
Dabney Donovan unleashes Lupek on the Guardian. From Guardians of Metropolis #2 (1994); art by Kieron Dwyer and Mike Manley.

Dan Turpin reveals that he was "Brooklyn" of the Boy Commandos. From Guardians of Metropolis #3 (1995); art by Kieron Dwyer and Mike Manley.

The Guardian's niece, Roberta becomes a member of the Newsboy Legion: Famous Bobby. From Guardians of Metropolis #4 (1995); art by Kieron Dwyer and Mike Manley.

Notes: The Kirby characters from Jimmy Olsen were reintroduced as "new" to the DC Universe (though quite similar to their pre-Crisis versions). This differed from the New Gods characters in general, whose Kirby history was considered canon. The second generation Newsboys were changed from being sons of the originals to clones. The name "Cadmus" is a wholly post-Crisis invention. Another Jimmy Olsen character, Dan "Terrible" Turpin, was also reintroduced post-Crisis in Superman v.2 #7 (July 1987). Darkseid's agents Simyan and Mokkari returned in Superman #40 and #43 (1990).

In 1994, after the "Death of Superman," these characters and others were the stars of a mini-series titled Guardians of Metropolis. The series was a virtual celebration of Jimmy Olsen characters and it introduced a new one, Boss Moxie, who was Darkseid's original Earth mob agent in the 1940s. Moxie worked with Granny Goodness to sell a super-gun to Agent Axis. Back then the Guardian and Newsboy Legion had teamed up with the Boy Commandos (Kirby's other wartime creations) to put Moxie away. (Guardians of Metropolis #1, 3) Note: Boss Moxie is the father of Intergang head Ugly Mannheim. This tale also retconned Dan "Terrible" Turpin into having been Brooklyn, a member of the Boy Commandos.

Boss Moxie was released from his long sentence in Stryker Island prison and met up again with Granny, who was running the B.O. Goodley Orphanage in Metropolis. At the same time, the Guardian learned that his sister Mary was dying. He could make no claim on her estate because he was legally dead and her only heir, 13-year-old Bobby, had been kidnapped by Granny. The Newsboys (who had a "pet" sea monster called Trevor, and were aided by the pink monster Angry Charlie) decided to help bust Bobby out. In the caverns beneath Cadmus, a renegade scientist from Cadmus, Dabny Donovan, launched an attack on the adult Newsboys with the help of his "DNAliens," Dragorin and Lupek. Donovan captured his former colleagues and tormented them with his mad, homicidal circus. (#1)

Granny put Gilotina in charge of the orphanage. She failed to stop the Metropolis Special Crimes Unit and was captured. During her incarceration, she befriended Newsboy Tommy. (#2) Moxie and the Female Furies kidnapped the Newsboys and took them to Cadmus, but two slipped through and got help from Yango of the Outsiders. (In the orphanage, the Newsboys had learned that Roberta Harper was a girl, and Bobby learned her uncle's identity as the Guardian.) (#3)

The chase converged on the Zoomway to Cadmus, where Tommy was injured. Gilotina had become protective of him and she opposed the Furies, declaring the humans under her protection. The forces of Apokolips retreated, leaving Gilotina to her own fate. She had committed treason for demonstrating independent thoughts and actions. She was offered a position on Cadmus' security team. When Mountain of Judgment roared in to help, Boss Moxie fell into cavern and he was found by Donovan. Guardian finally met his grandniece, Roberta, for whom he was granted legal guardianship. She became a member of the Newsboys as Famous Bobby. Guardian and the kids were set up to live in Hobbsview Manor and were offered newspaper routes by Clark Kent. (#4)

Issue Writer Artist Characters
Guardians of Metropolis #1-4 (Nov. 1994–Feb. 1995) Karl Kesel Kieron Dwyer The Guardian, Newsboy Legion, Superman, Jimmy Olsen, Boss Moxie, Dubbilex, Sleez, Dabney Donovan, Granny Goodness, Female Furies, Virman Vundabar, Angry Charlie, Yango, the Hairies, Dragorin, Lupek, the Boy Commandos, Dan Turpin

The New Gods v.4 (1995–97)

» SEE ALSO: Publishing History: Post-Zero Hour

The relaunch of New Gods was accompanied by a treasury edition, The Fourth World Gallery (on the cover prefixed with "Jack Kirby's" which was dedicated to the creator). John Byrne preceded his stint on New Gods by a 1995 DC/Marvel crossover, Darkseid vs. Galactus: The Hunger. In this tale he wove together both universes and was set in the past, when the Silver Surfer was the herald of Galactus.

Darkseid's Elite. From Who's Who in the DC Universe #7 (1991); art by John Byrne.
This happened: Orion tears through his father's form, inside the Source. From New Gods v.4 #2 (1995); art by Luke Ross and Brian Garvey.
Desaad impersonates Darkseid and visits the secret garden of Pythia, deep within Apokolips. From New Gods v.4 #4 (1996); art by Luke Ross and Brian Garvey.
The Primitives of New Genesis, with warriors Aarden and Sserpa. From New Gods v.4 #5 (1996); art by Luke Ross and Brian Garvey.
Flashback to the genesis of the Celestial City, built with the help of Atinai. From New Gods v.4 #7 (1996); art by Stefano Raffaele.
S'ivaa the destroyer is awakened. From New Gods v.4 #9 (1996); art by Keith Giffen.

New Gods volume 4 was launched at a time when comic books were heavily influenced by the Image Comics revolution. The art by Luke Ross imagined more "extreme" characters with exaggerated action. Writers Rachel Pollack and Tom Peyer purposely began the series with the payoff of Kirby's original promise — a showdown between Orion and Darkseid. Darkseid had abandoned his search for Anti-Life, having concluded it did not exist. Instead, he sought mastery over the Source itself. He invented a device to crack into the infinite and created a dark wave of consequence across reality. Orion's Astro Force cleansed some of the darkness and the warrior stormed off to find his father. (New Gods v.4 #1)

Orion and Darkseid's brawl sent them reeling into the Source itself. Orion ultimately plunged a dagger into his own gut, intent on destroying the seed of Darkseid within him. This perplexing battle ended after they had merged temporarily, and afterwards Darkseid had supposedly perished. Orion's Mother Box took him back to normal space but their battle had darkened the skies over New Genesis. There a tribe of gods called the Primitives fought to survive disorder in the natural world, beneath the Celestial City (Supertown). (#2)

Darkseid's death sent shockwaves across Apokolips. Desaad was closest to his throne. Granny Goodness was betrayed by Kanto, who allied with Virman Vundabar and Doctor Bedlam. Meanwhile Neron, a demon from Earth, seized upon the dissent to offer power to each of them. Desaad squashed all resistance by impersonating Darkseid and appearing to them in public. This left him essentially in charge. (Underworld Unleashed: Apokolips — Dark Uprising)

Darkseid's death inside the Source caused New Genesis to descend into decadence and aggression. Leader of the Primitives, Mother Herrae, found her people afflicted by plague; they blamed the sky gods of the Celestial City. Nearby, Highfather sought wisdom from the oracle of New Genesis, K'Zandr. (#3) Similarly, on Apokolips, Desaad descended to the interior of the planet to consult its oracle, Pythia. She tended to a beautiful garden, Darkseid's guilty secret. Worst of all, sunny Lightray became a monster. He assembled an army to usurp Highfather's power and vanquish the Primitives. (#4)

Aarden, a stony brute, and Sserpa, a snakelike god, led the charge for the Primitives. Mother Herrae formed alliance with the Bugs, and she feared that all the chaos would awaken an ancient monster: S'ivaa, a forgotten giant from the dawn of the Fourth World who slumbered under the Eternal Sea. (#5) Highfather recognized that he himself was part of the problem — he must be quarantined. He enlisted the god Atinai (who had helped him build the Celestial City) to build an asylum to hold him. On Apokolips, Orion battled his brother Kalibak while his own body began to turn gray and stony like his father's. After the battle, Orion began to split in two and Darkseid reemerged from within him! (#6-7)

Back on New Genesis, Highfather realized that his self-imprisonment was not necessary. (#8) Both he and Darkseid were needed in the battle against S'ivaa. Metron approached them with a device of vast power. Its chamber healed Highfather of madness but it was not powerful enough to help Lightray. (#9) S'ivaa emerged and its claws ripped open the very fabric of the cosmos. Highfather summoned Superman to help Orion hold off the monster and during the battle, Orion revealed a secret to Superman. A Boom Tube increases an Earth person's size when traveling through it — in other words, the gods of the Fourth World were naturally many times larger than most beings. (#10)

Superman and Orion forced S'ivaa through its own rift and it crashed into the Source Wall, becoming imprisoned there. Darkseid and Highfather were there as well, and both disappeared into the Source's fire. This reestablished the balance of the Source and Lightray was restored to normal. Things seemed to have settled, but Metron witnessed a horror — both planets were engulfed in flames! (#11)

John Byrne begins as writer

Prior to beginning New Gods, John Byrne was the creator on Wonder Woman. He wrote a tale in which Darkseid tortured Wonder Woman for information about the Olympian gods, whose power he coveted. She freed herself only to encounter Metron, who showed her that Darkseid had destroyed her home of Themyscira. (Wonder Woman v.2 #101-102) She mobilized the remaining Amazons but Darkseid reduced their civilization to flaming ruins. (#103) Diana prevented Darkseid from learning the location of her gods, but thousands of Amazons were killed. (#104)

The New Gods convene on Earth, meeting Takion for the first time. From New Gods v.4 #13 (1996); art by John Byrne and Bob Wiacek.
Elsewhere, Lightray and the Forever People meet up with Orion's Earth friends. From New Gods v.4 #14 (1997); art by John Byrne and Bob Wiacek.
Darkseid reveals the nature of the Forever People's Mother Box: five in one. From New Gods v.4 #15 (1997); art by John Byrne and Bob Wiacek.
Darkseid and Highfather are now trapped in the Source Wall and manifest with avatars. From New Gods v.4 #15 (1997); art by John Byrne and Bob Wiacek.

John Byrne's first story began with a mystery (and an obvious trajectory towards a relaunch, and an event). The gods of New Genesis awoke on Earth with no short term memories. Metron was found in Suicide Slum by a boy and they fled from Annihilators to his friend's home, where Metron used a computer to interface with his own memories: of Apokolips moving toward New Genesis; of Orion tackling Darkseid in a fire pit. (#12)

Takion, Big Barda, and Mister Miracle were drawn to other amnesiac friends on Earth —  the Forever People and Lightray — alerted by the Source and by Mother Box. Mister Miracle had discovered that a portal to New Genesis led to a vast white emptiness. Orion fell to Earth and emerged from within an Annihilator and was found by his old friends, Claudia, Dave, Victor, and Harvey. (#13) Desaad caught up with Orion hoping to kill him in his weakened state. Instead Orion turned Desaad's weapon back onto him, and both of them were killed, and taken to the Source. (#14) Retcon: Victor Lanza had died in New Gods v.3 #18.

Both Darkseid and Highfather refused to reveal their motivations. The truth, in essence, was that Darkseid was hoarding cosmic power in anticipation of a catastrophe, and Highfather was desperate to derail Darkseid's plans. Darkseid retrieved the Forever People from their exile on Adon and deposited them near Las Vegas, along with Lightray. Vykin, however was summoned specially by Darkseid to help him penetrate the Source. (#14) Retcon: The events of Forever People v.2 were negated by Darkseid retrieving them from Adon.

In the end, the New Gods learned of Highfather's horror: he had brought about the fusion of New Genesis and Apokolips into one planet. As a result, Darkseid, Highfather, and scores of other gods were trapped on the Source Wall in a limbo-like state. The two leaders were still able to manifest avatars of themselves to reach out for help. (#15)

» SEE ALSO:

Issue Writer Artist Characters
Darkseid vs. Galactus: The Hunger (1995) John Byrne Lightray, Orion, Highfather, Desaad, Darkseid, Black Racer. Marvel: Silver Surfer, Galactus, the Watcher, Shalla Bal.
Underworld Unleashed: Apokolips — Dark Uprising (Nov. 1995) Paul Kupperberg Stefano Raffaele Yuga Khan, Heggra, Darkseid, Granny Goodness, Kalibak, Virman Vundabar, Desaad, Doctor Bedlam
The Fourth World Gallery (1996) Various  
New Gods vol. 4
#1 (Oct. 1995) Rachel Pollack & Tom Peyer Luke Ross Orion, Kalibak, Darkseid, Metron, Highfather, Desaad, Granny Goodness
#2 (Nov. 1995) Orion, Darkseid, Highfather, Metron
#3 (Dec. 1995) Orion, Lightray, Metron, Highfather, Mother Herrae, K'zandr
#4 (Jan. 1996) Orion, Lightray, Highfather, Desaad, Pythia, Metron
#5 (Feb. 1996) Orion, Lightray, Highfather, Mother Herrae, Granny Goodness, Metron, Aarden, Sserpa
#6 (Mar. 1996) Rachel Pollack Orion, Lightray, Mother Herrae, Atinai, Highfather, Darkseid, Dr. Bedlam, Kalibak, Desaad
#7 (Apr. 1996) Stefano Raffaelle Orion, Highfather, Darkseid, Lightray, Atinai, K'zandr, Desaad
#8 (June 1996) Dean Zachary Orion, Lightray, Highfather, Darkseid, Atinai, S'ivaa, Sserpa, Aarden
#9 (July 1996) Keith Giffen Orion, Metron, Highfather, Darkseid, Atinai, Mother Herrae, S'ivaa, Desaad. Also: Superman, Lois Lane
#10 (Aug. 1996) Stefano Raffaelle Orion, Darkseid, Highfather, Lightray, Desaad, S'ivaa, Aarden, Sserpa. Also: Superman
#11 (Sept. 1996) Sergio Cariello Orion, S'ivaa, Darkseid, Highfather, Lightray, Metron, Mother Herrae, Atinai, Desaad, Granny Goodness
#12 (Nov. 1996) John Byrne Metron, Orion, Lightray, Highfather, Darkseid, Takion
#13 (Dec. 1996) Metron, Takion, Mister Miracle, Big Barda, Oberon, Orion, Victor Lanza, Dave Lincoln, Claudia Shane, Harvey Lockman, Desaad
#14 (Jan. 1997) Orion, Desaad, Victor Lanza, Dave Lincoln, Claudia Shane, Harvey Lockman, Forever People, Takion, Metron, Lightray, Mister Miracle, Big Barda, Oberon, Highfather, Darkseid
#15 (Feb. 1997) Darkseid, Takion, Metron, Highfather, Victor Lanza, Dave Lincoln, Claudia Shane, Harvey Lockman, Forever People, Mister Miracle, Big Barda, Oberon, Lightray

Mister Miracle v.3 (1996)

The third volume of Mister Miracle was nowhere near as successful as its predecessors. The art and story feel confusingly chaotic (read: "extreme '90s comic aesthetic"). This time, the series was tied more heavily to the New Gods series (something creators had previously resisted). The seven issues concerned themselves mostly with Scott Free's ascension to godhood.

Mister Miracle was folded, along with Takion when, John Byrne took over the New Gods series. Byrne's Scott Free was integral to this period of New Gods history, and the character's history was amended with significant new revelations.

Read about the events involving this character in the Mister Miracle profile.

Mister Miracle vol. 3
Issue Writer Artist Characters
#1 (Apr. 1996 Kevin Dooley Steve Crespo Mister Miracle, Big Barda, Orion, Lightray, Highfather, Black Racer, Volka, Granny Goodness, Myt, Vek.
#2 (May 1996) Mister Miracle, Granny Goodness, Kalibak, Steppenwolf, Black Racer, Enkar, Avia, Big Barda, Lightray. Also: Wonder Woman, Fire, Obsidian
#3 (June 1996) Mister Miracle, Lightray, Big Barda, Kalibak, Steppenwolf, Granny Goodness
#4 (July 1996) Mister Miracle, Steppenwolf, Kalibak, Granny Goodness, Big Barda, Black Racer, Highfather, Darkseid, Myt, Volka, Vek
#5 (Aug. 1996) Marshall Rogers Mister Miracle, Oberon, Big Barda. Also: Wonder Woman, Skin Dance
#6 ( Sept. 1996) Mike Collins & Marshall Rogers Big Barda, Mister Miracle, Oberon. Also: Wonder Woman
#7 (Oct. 1996) Steve Crespo Mister Miracle, Oberon, Hoogin, Sting. Also: Flash, Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner), Guy Gardner, Lady Blackhawk, Tiger-Man, Buck Wargo, Lead, Black Canary

Takion (1996)

Joshua Sanders is transformed. From Takion #1 (1996); art by Aaron Lopresti and Gary Martin.
Takion battles his arch rival, Stayne. From Takion #4 (1996); art by Aaron Lopresti and Jordi Ensign.
Takion with Arzaz and Lightray. From Takion #7 (1996); art by Aaron Lopresti and Jordi Ensign.

Takion was a powerful new Fourth World character who spun out of Zero Hour. His series was launched along with Mister Miracle but like that title, it had problems finding an audience and was very short-lived. As Takion wandered chaotically, trying to discover the origins of his new state of being, the pacing of the story and lengthy expositions became tedious.

Takion was not of New Genesis or Apokolips, but a blind, 25-year-old psychologist named Joshua Sanders. One day he was unexpectedly struck by a bolt of energy and was transformed. He twisted and turned inside-out from his human form and was recreated as a being of energy. Sanders instantly knew things about the strangers around him and when he was compelled to rocket into space, his mind interfaced with the universe. Highfather of New Genesis appeared to him there and told Sanders that he was created to be Takion, Highfather's champion, an avatar of the Source itself. The Source had been tainted by Darkseid (New Gods v.4 #2), and it was Takion's role to help purge that blackness. Takion's new power was near-limitless and in his confusion he transported an aircraft carrier to rest atop city buildings. (Takion #1)

This chaos drew the attention of Green Lantern, Kyle Rayner, Captain Atom, and the Flash, but their battle was fruitless. Elsewhere, Darkseid sensed Takion's creation and created Stayne, the dark opposite to Takion. Stayne attacked Takion and drew him once again into space. (#2) The battle with Stayne was forestalled by a side trip to a the planet Vii Yullqa, where he helped a former Darkstar called Tarant. (#3)

When Stayne caught up with Takion, he had gone to Naftali, a world of diverse religions. Somehow he had found his way to Arzaz, and old man who was one of two surviving Old Gods. Arzaz mentioned Highfather but didn't reveal his own connection to New Genesis. Stayne fought to unite with Takion; they crashed into one another and disappeared. (#4) Back on Earth, their struggle escalated but trouble with the Source forced Stayne to retreat. Highfather urged Takion to follow her, but he refused. (#5)

While he was home, Takion took the opportunity to (invisibly) visit his parents, who believed he had died. (#6)

Arzaz followed Takion to Earth and his presence alerted his nemesis, the Nameless One — another survivor of the Second World. Takion and Arzaz met their first New God on the surface of the moon. Recent events on New Genesis had driven Lightray mad, but when Highfather merged the planet with Apokolips, Lightray fell onto Earth's moon. Takion removed the evil taint from Lightray and he would soon discover that other gods of New Genesis had mysteriously landed on Earth. (#7)

When Takion was canceled, the character was folded into John Byrne's New Gods, where he became a prominent player in that series and its successor, Jack Kirby's Fourth World.

Takion
Issue Writer Artist Characters
#1 (June 1996) Paul Kupperberg Aaron Lopresti Takion, Highfather
#2 (July 1996) Takion, Stayne, Darkseid (in the shadows)
#3 (Aug. 1996) Takion, Highfather
#4 (Sept. 1996) Takion, Arzaz
#5 (Oct. 1996) Takion, Highfather
#6 (Nov. 1996) Takion, Arzaz
#7 (Dec. 1996) Takion, Lightray, Arzaz, Nameless One

Jack Kirby's Fourth World + Genesis (1997)

The previous three titles were canceled in 1996 as part of John Byrne's plan to unify the New Gods in one comic book. For the first time, Jack Kirby's Fourth World featured the entire New Gods cast and the first issue "pressed the resent button" on the Fourth World's origin. Byrne adhered to Kirby's template but added major and minor details. He created an explanation for the term "Fourth World," gave a better sense of the chronology, and laid the groundwork for an upcoming DC crossover event, Genesis.

Apokolips and New Genesis become one world. From Jack Kirby's Fourth World #1 (1997); art by John Byrne.
In a surprising twist, Scott Free's mother is Vayla, not Avia. From Jack Kirby's Fourth World #1 (1997); art by John Byrne.
Barda goes to-to-toe with Thor! From Jack Kirby's Fourth World #2 (1997); art by John Byrne.

The First World was primordial and without form. From it sprang a great world, which was savage and beautiful. This was the home of the Old Gods, the Second World. Their final conflict (Ragnarok) sent a "Godwave" of cosmic energy across the universe and in its place stood two new planets. The Godwave passed Earth 40,000 years ago and planted the seed for divinity in Greece: the Third World. The Fourth World of Apokolips and New Genesis coalesced just after that. The wave expanded to the outermost reaches of the universe and then began to shrink. It passed over Earth a second time about 1,000 years ago and planted the latent potential for demigods and metahumans.

A great war was begun when Steppenwolf of Apokolips killed Avia of New Genesis. Her husband Izaya was believed dead as well, but he survived and was nursed back to health by a woman named Vayla. She became his second wife and and he left her just before the birth of their child, to return to war. By the time Izaya returned, Vayla had died. He wandered into the wastelands where he was transformed by the Source into the Highfather of New Genesis. For peace, Highfather agreed to a pact with Darkseid. Each would exchange his own son for the promise of nonaggression. (Jack Kirby's Fourth World #1, Genesis #3) Note: Vayla was a new addition to the tale.

Long ago Darkseid recognized the power of the godwave and deduced that one day it would return to the Source with devastating consequences. He feared the coming of a Fifth World, so he began collecting the Godwave's power by killing other gods in the universe. (Jack Kirby's Fourth World #6, 7) He also coveted the power of the Old Gods, but knew he would need sufficient power before attempting to claim theirs as well. Highfather conceived a drastic and terrifying plan to derail Darkseid's conquest. Highfather merged Apokolips and New Genesis, which partially tethered he and Darkseid to the Source wall and limited their powers in the material world. Darkseid's wife Tigra also knew his plans. She began a complex scheme to ensure Darkseid's total destruction, beginning with the restoration one of the Old Gods — Thor! (#1)

Thor smashed through the new energy wall between Apokolips and New Genesis. His might was quelled by Mister Miracle, and Tigra explained that Thor could help New Genesis against Darkseid. (#2) Scott Free also led a daring team to the Source Wall where they freed Odin as well. Meanwhile, an armada of alien ships amassed above Earth in retaliation against Darkseid for killing their gods. (#3) Vykin deduced that the only power that could stop the aliens' weapon was the Astro Force; but it's master, Orion, was dead. The Black Racer warned Highfather not to bring Orion back from the Source but he was undeterred. Takion reached into the Source and brought their champion back. On Earth, Vykin and Dreamer stalled the aliens by casting a powerful illusion to make it seem the Earth had exploded. (#4) Metron brokered a peace deal with the aliens by arranging for Earth's gods to serve as replacements for their lost gods. But as the aliens departed for home, Darkseid manipulated Orion into destroying the alien ships. (#5)

Orion was not himself. He took pleasure from killing. Metron witnessed his slaughter, and his friends struggled to reign him in. Investigation by Highfather and Takion revealed something anomalous inside Orion and their combined power revealed that Desaad had also been concealed inside Orion's form, influencing his behavior. The two were split again. (#6)

Genesis, Crossover Event

Orion is trounced by his former teacher, Valkyra. From Jack Kirby's Fourth World # (1997); art by John Byrne.
Ares slays Highfather in the heart of the Source. From Jack Kirby's Fourth World # (); art by John Byrne.
Arzaz the Old God assumes a more glorious form. From Genesis #2 (1997); art by Ron Wagner and Joe Rubinstein.
Arzaz, the Nameless One, Ares, and Darkseid are sacrificed to the Source Wall. From Genesis #4 (1997); art by Ron Wagner and Joe Rubinstein.

When the godwave collapsed into the Source, Takion's powers disappeared and many metahumans on Earth were affected. New Genesis' number one warrior was dejected, so the Forever People brought him back to his original teacher, Valkyra (Vykin's mother). Valkyra lived at the frigid pole of the planet. She wasted no time in challenging Orion to combat in a gravity well. The fight drew a large crowd and her attack delivered a wealth of pain, but Orion shook himself off and rallied. The battle was stopped by Highfather, who reported the destruction of the Source. (Jack Kirby's Fourth World #7)

On Earth, Dr. Faulkner of S.T.A.R. Labs noticed a decline in the level of the so-called Kurtzberg Field, a static low level radiation discovered in 1937 that was believed to have originated from a wave. It passed Earth 40,000 years ago then again 1000 years ago. (Genesis #1) Note: Kurtzberg was Jack Kirby's given surname.

Highfather explained the godwave to the heroes of Earth. It fueled the Speed Force, the quantum field, and the green energy of the Guardians of Oa. A task force was convened to confront Darkseid and prevent him from seizing the wave's power inside the Source. Takion's mentor, the Old God Arzaz, also stepped out of the shadows and offered his help, adorning himself in golden armor. (#2)

Inside the Source, the godwave became amplified much like a black hole. It exploded again and blew apart the Source Wall. Nearby Highfather and Metron met with Zeus, Jove, Odin to go confront Darkseid. Ares offered his power as well and the five of them joined to form one entity. At each obstacle they shed one of their conjoined selves to propel the remainder further. Ares tricked them, expelling all but Highfather once they had reached the center. There he killed Highfather by spearing him through the heart. (Jack Kirby's Fourth World #8)

Ares had beaten Darkseid to the power at the heart of the Source. Meanwhile another Old God (later called the "Nameless One" by Shazam and Granny Goodness), the dark rival to Arzaz, pledged his aid to Darkseid. (Genesis #3) Arzaz and his opposite confronted Ares together. He was swollen with power but final victory was achieved when the telepaths of the universe linked all living beings together. The cosmos paused to hold a single collective thought, and then that energy was directed back at the Source through a lens: the unified planet of Apokolips/New Genesis. The worlds were separated once again in a moment of genesis, the cosmos unmade and remade. The Source Wall was restored and became the prison for Ares, Darkseid, and the two Old Gods. (#4)

World Without Darkseid

Darkseid's Elite squabble over how to proceed in his absence. From Jack Kirby's Fourth World #9 (1997); art by John Byrne.
Scott Free's darkest day: assuming his father's role as leader of New Genesis. From Jack Kirby's Fourth World #10 (1997); art by John Byrne.
Metron and Desaad approach the Promethean Giant called Prodigan, followed by Mars in disguise. From Jack Kirby's Fourth World #13 (1998); art by John Byrne.
Highfather reaches out from within the Source to bring his people back to glory. From Jack Kirby's Fourth World #19 (1998); art by John Byrne.

With Darkseid gone, Granny Goodness and Desaad feared a rebellion and publicly asserted that Darkseid was not dead. As the Elite squabbled, Virman Vundabar attacked the imperial palace with deathwing ships. While tens of thousands died, Kanto remained unaligned. The war was ended by Darkseid himself, who reached out through a giant statue of himself to orders an end. He directed their efforts back at their true enemy: New Genesis. After this proclamation, the goliath went dark. (Darkseid [Villains] #1)

Kalibak wasted no time claiming his right to Darkseid's throne and went to New Genesis to confront Orion. The matter of succession was not settled. When Orion overpowered Kalibak, the brute retreated. Afterwards, Tigra approached Orion and declared that Darkseid was not his father; therefore it must be Kalibak who ascends. (#9) She explained how she had feigned pregnancy in order to save her own life, then made it real by seducing a captain of the imperial guard. Heggra would live for much longer and Darkseid didn't want an heir born then, so he put the pregnant Tigra in bio-freeze for a thousand years. When she emerged Heggra was still queen, but Darkseid had assembled his power base. (#10)

With the Celestial City fallen, Scott Free donned ceremonial garb to succeed his own father. Scott detested the idea, and hated having god-powers. Still, Takion presented him to the people and he was crowned with a ring of gold. On Apokolips, Desaad plotted with Metron to rescue Darkseid from the Wall. (#10) Very soon after his coronation, he abdicated and bade Takion to take over as leader. (#11)

Orion broke away to find Valkyra, who'd been held in stasis by a relic of the Old Gods. Orion kissed her, broke the wall between teacher and pupil, and they became lovers. (#11)

In their quest, Metron and Desaad wakened a long-sleeping Promethean Giant, Prodigan. (#13) Metron knew that the Giant perceived time far differently, and he persuaded Prodigan to take Darkseid's place in the wall — it would be an eye-blink for the immortal. Desaad completed a mechanism to help Darkseid emerge from the Wall. His master reached out to Prodigan but they were intercepted by the god Mars, who then freed his other half, Ares. Prodigan took Ares' place in the Wall and Darkseid remained imprisoned. (#14) Metron returned to New Genesis and spoke to Takion about the need to free Darkseid — with which Takion agreed, but he needed to restore their defenses. (#16)

On Earth, Scott and Barda discovered another refugee from Apokolips, Sister Sunlight, was healing the sick with her powers. She was attacked by Parademons and Scott was critically shot through the torso. Sister Sunlight healed him completely then turned to a terminally ill boy and carried him with her into the Source. (#15)

Tigra's lie did not prevent Orion from engaging with Kalibak again. Their battle drew the Black Racer and Valkyra, who was taken to there afterlife instead of the brothers. (#17) While Orion grieved, Kalibak journeyed to the Source Wall with enough power to release Darkseid. He readied to kill his father but Darkseid struck first with his Omega beams, and Kalibak became imprisoned in the Wall. (#18)

Darkseid reclaimed his throne (and killed the upstart, Vundabar). Takion and Orion fortified New Genesis with the help of Highfather. From beyond, Izaya picked up the ruins of Supertown and restored it to glory. (#19)

Tales of the New Gods

Most issues of Jack Kirby's Fourth World contained a backup feature inspired by Kirby's own: "Tales of the New Gods." In them, John Byrne fleshed out the secret histories of the Fourth World's most pivotal players. He began by revealing the origin of Darkseid himself...

Friends Drax and Izaya share sentiments of peace. From Jack Kirby's Fourth World #2 (1997); art by John Byrne.
In the Infinity Pit, Uxas steps in to claim the power of Omega from his brother Drax. From Jack Kirby's Fourth World #4 (1997); art by John Byrne.
The newly minted Darkseid learns that he is due to have another heir. From Jack Kirby's Fourth World #5 (1997); art by John Byrne.
Drax wakes on Adon, where he meets the Infinity Man. From Jack Kirby's Fourth World #18 (1998); art by John Byrne.

Before acquiring his god power, Darkseid was named Uxas. In a time of relative peace between Apokolips and New Genesis, Izaya the Inheritor was great friends with Darkseid's elder brother, Drax, a pacifist. Uxas was already married to Tigra and his friend Desaad had already adopted his god name. (Jack Kirby's Fourth World #2) The queen mother, Heggra liked to pretend that Drax was her favorite, though she laughed at his pact with Izaya to keep peace. Drax was pressured to claim his god power, the Omega Effect, but all prior attempts had sent claimants to their ends. It's destined wielder needed the fortitude to contain it. In the lore of Apokolips, this power was linked to a terrible name that no one had ever dared to take — Darkseid. (#3) Drax entered the Infinity Pit, the passageway to ultimate power, and began to channel its energy. When his armor malfunctioned, Uxas stepped in and seized the power instead. (#4) Uxas was pulled from the Infinity Pit and emerged with a gray, stony hide. Now, as Darkseid, he visited Tigra with the intent to kill her, but she revealed that she was with child. (#5)

As for Drax, after succumbing to Uxas in the Infinity Pit, he was not consumed but fell through space and time to the planet Adon. There he awoke to meet the Infinity Man. (#17) The Infinity Man was Astorr of Apokolips, the last man to enter the Infinity Pit. Astorr and his predecessors — all of whom had landed on Adon —  had studied its natural forces and gained precious knowledge of the ways of "Infinity." This knowledge was the Source's way of balancing the potential for someone obtaining the power of Omega. When Astorr died, Drax became the next Infinity Man. Still he was quarantined to Adon and needed a link to the universe beyond, the realms of the finite. (#18) He managed somehow to reach his friend Izaya. Highfather gathered five families whose children were selected, as special, and instructed them specially. Each child was given a special Mother Box and trained for five years to synchronize their thoughts. More years later, the youths learned how their Boxes formed one larger Mother Box. Vykin was its protector and when the five touch ed and uttered "taruu," they traded places with the Infinity Man from Adon. (#19)

Granny's former ward, Iluthin, was a gifted student and attempted to steal weapons from Kanto 13, Darkseid's personal assassin. Darkseid was impressed by the lad's skill but banished Iluthin to Earth as another test. (#9) It was 1502 and Iluthin found himself in Italy, in the court of Cesare Borgia. He and Borgia's sister, Claudia, became lovers and Iluthin was tortured for it. (#10) He survived captivity and returned to Borgia to warn him of a plot by the Orsinis. In gratitude, Cesare granted Iluthin the hand of Claudia. At their wedding, Kanto 13 arrived for vengeance and Claudia was killed. (#11) Iluthin left Earth in grief and set about his own revenge. The skills he'd gained on Earth gave him the upper hand against Kanto 13, whom he poisoned. Darkseid installed Iluthin as his new master assassin and decreed that he would need no number, simply Kanto. (#13)

Both Himon and Darkseid raced to develop the X Element, the elusive key to Metron's search for ultimate knowledge. A thousand years before Darkseid seized power, he persuaded Metron to ally with him against Himon, to harness the power of the X Element, which would fade away then return. (#14-15)

When Scott Free escaped from Apokolips, he emerged on Earth in 1802, in England. He was taken in by an inn keeper and cared for by the man's daughter, Francine "Fancy" Goodbody. (#6) Scott married Fancy but as she aged he was forced to pass as her grandson. In 1856 they lived in Dover, and received a visit from Metron warning of danger from Darkseid. Fancy was very ill and Scott uses his Mother Box to soothe her. When he recognized that she was dying, he guided her to the Source. He and Metron then departed for America. (#7-8)

Byrne's final tale was a retelling of Superman's original encounters with the New Gods, from Forever People #1 and Jimmy Olsen #148. Jimmy Olsen led Superman to meet some strange people called the Forever People and learned about their "Supertown." They were drawn into a battle with Ingergang but prevailed with the help of the Infinity Man. It was the Forever People who then brought Superman to Supertown. He marveled at the natives' great powers and talked with Highfather himself. After Superman returned to Earth, Highfather sent Orion to Earth, knowing they would have an ally there. (#20)

In early 1998, John Byrne announced his departure from DC, which resulted in the cancellation of Jack Kirby's Fourth World. Walter Simonson, who provided cover art for JKFW, was his replacement. Instead of continuing with JKFW, Simonson created Orion. Byrne cited one reason for abdicating: in 1998, Orion and Big Barda were claimed by the Justice League, DC's top selling title at the time (in JLA #17, Apr. 1998).

» SEE ALSO:

Jack Kirby's Fourth World
Issue Writer Artist Characters
#1 (Mar. 1997) John Byrne Takion, Highfather, Avia, Steppenwolf, Darkseid, Tigra, Vayla, Granny Goodness, Mister Miracle, Orion. Also: Zeus, Athena, Aphrodite, Pan, Ares, Hermes, Apollo, Artemis. Also: Green Lantern
#2 (Apr. 1997) Metron, Forever People, Mister Miracle, Big Barda, Oberon, Tigra, Lightray, Thor, Kalkus/Drax, Uxas/Darkseid, Desaad. Also: Green Lantern, Flash, Captain Atom
#3 (May 1997) Darkseid, Lightray, Takion, Granny Goodness, Kanto, Highfather, Mister Miracle, Big Barda, Tigra, Victor Lanza, Dave Lincoln, Claudia Shane, Harvey Lockman, Forever People, Christine Little, Thor, Odin, Metron/Drax, Uxas/Darkseid, Heggra, Desaad. Also: Donna Troy
#4 (June 1997) Victor Lanza, Dave Lincoln, Claudia Shane, Harvey Lockman, Lightray, Big Barda, Forever People, Metron, Highfather, Mister Miracle, Thor, Takion, Black Racer, Orion/Drax, Uxas/Darkseid, Desaad
#5 (July 1997) Lashina, Bernadeth, Mad Harriet, Stompa, Metron, Forever People, Orion, Highfather, Takion, Lightray, Big Barda, Darkseid, Ted Brown, Shilo Norman, Christine Little/Uxas/Darkseid, Desaad, Heggra, Tigra
#6 (Aug. 1997) Kalibak, Darkseid, Lonar, Celestia, Lightray, Mad Harriet, Lashina, Stompa, Bernadeth, Takion, Highfather, Orion, Big Barda, Forever People, Mister Miracle, Shilo Norman, Ted Brown, Tigra, Kalkus, Desaad/Mister Miracle, Fancy Goodbody
#7 (Sept. 1997) Lightray, Takion, Desaad, Highfather, Darkseid, Dave Lincoln, Victor Lanza, Black Racer, Orion, Forever People, Valkyra/Mister Miracle, Fancy Goodbody
#8 (Oct. 1997) Forever People. Highfather, Odin, Big Barda, Mister Miracle, Orion, Lightray/Metron, Mister Miracle. Also: Zeus, Ares
Genesis #1-4 (Oct. 1997) John Byrne Ron Wagner  
#9 (Nov. 1997) John Byrne and Walt Simonson Desaad, Granny Goodness, Virman Vundabar, Kanto, Kalibak, Lightray, Orion, Tigra/Granny Goodness, Iluthin/Kanto, Kanto-13
#10 (Dec. 1997) Big Barda, Orion, Big Bear, Beautiful Dreamer, Lightray, Mister Miracle, Oberon, Christine Little, Ted Brown, Shilo Norman, Metron, Desaad, Tigra, Takion/Iluthin/Kanto, Kanto-13, Claudia
#11 (Jan. 1998) Orion, Valkyra, Mister Miracle, Big Barda, Metron, Desaad, Beautiful Dreamer, Takion/Iluthin/Kanto, Claudia, Kanto-13
#12 (Feb. 1998) John Byrne Mister Miracle, Big Barda, Oberon, Ted Brown, Christine Little, Shilo Norman, Takion, Beautiful Dreamer, Metron, Desaad, Orion, Lightray, Valkyra
Darkseid (Villains) #1 (Feb. 1998) John Byrne Keron Grant  
#13 (Mar. 1998) John Byrne and Walt Simonson Takion, Beautiful Dreamer, Metron, Desaad, Prodigan/Iluthin/Kanto, Kanto-13, Darkseid
#14 (Apr. 1998) John Byrne Takion, Beautiful Dreamer, Metron, Desaad, Prodigan, Black Racer/Himon, Metron, Darkseid
#15 (May 1998 Ted Brown, Dave Lincoln, Mister Miracle, Big Barda, Sister Sunlight/Heggra, Metron, Darkseid, Desaad, Steppenwolf
#16 (June 1998) Black Racer, Kalibak, Forever People, Metron, Lightray, Takion, Tigra/Metron, Darkseid, Himon
#17 (July 1998) Metron, Tigra, Valkyra, Orion, Ted Brown, Mister Miracle, Big Barda, Kalibak, Black Racer, Forever People, Drax
#18 (Aug. 1998) Metron, Orion, Takion, Granny Goodness, Virman Vundabar, Desaad, Kanto, Kalibak, Tigra, Darkseid/Drax/Infinity Man, Astorr/Infinity Man the First
#19 (Sept. 1998) Takion, Darkseid, Desaad, Virman Vundabar, Kanto, Granny Goodness, Lightray, Forever People, Mister Miracle, Big Barda, Highfather, Orion/Highfather, Forever People, Valkyra, Drax/Infinity Man
#20 (Oct. 1998) Forever People, Darkseid, Infinity Man, Highfather, Orion. Also: Superman, Jimmy Olsen
New Gods Secret Files #1 (Sept. 1998) Various  

Orion (2000–02) + JLA (1998–2000)

Orion sends his mother Tigra on to the Source. From Orion #3 (2000); art by Walter Simonson.
Darkseid is struck by his own Omega beams, paving the way for Orion to ascend the throne of Apokolips. From Orion #5 (2001); art by Walter Simonson.
Desaad's clones of Billion Dollar Bates. From Orion #8 (2001); art by Walter Simonson.
Young Scott Free bumps into Sirius, guardian of the labyrinth beneath Apokolips. From Orion #10 (2001); art by Arthur Adams.
Mister Miracle disguises himself as the Black Racer and goads Orion into a Doom Tube — to nowhere. From Orion #15 (2001); art by Walt Simonson.

In Orion, writer/artist Walt Simonson delved more deeply than ever into the tormented soul of Kirby's central hero. (Read more about events pertaining to Orion's personal history in the Orion Profile.) The series was well-timed and built on the momentum of John Byrne's Fourth World and Orion's turn as a member of DC's top-selling book, JLA. As with Byrne, Simonson took on the challenge of emulating Jack Kirby's practice of writing and illustrating the series.

Orion's family drama took center stage. As Darkseid began a new campaign to subjugate Earth with the Anti-Life Equation, one of his top assassins, Justeen, plotted to kill Orion's mother, Tigra. (Orion #1) Justeen's Suicide Jockeys located Tigra on New Genesis but she fought like a Fury and escaped through a Boom Tube to Earth. (#2) She was critically injured and died in Orion's arms. His anger forged in him the will strong enough to break his father's Anti-Life experiment. (#3)

On New Genesis, Takion heeded a strange call from the Source to shepherd all the citizens of the planet to Apokolips. Kalibak allowed them passage and the people of both worlds gathered to witness an unknown scene. Underground, Orion had discovered and destroyed the engine behind Darkseid's schemes: he had cloned the body of Billion Dollar Bates (an Earth man who had the natural ability to manipulate the Anti-Life). (#4) Orion then met Darkseid for their ultimate battle (again) in the public arena. But when Darkseid broke protocol by using his Omega power, Orion activated his Astro-Force to form a shield. The Omega beams ricocheted and struck down Darkseid instead, and he disappeared. (#5)

Orion assumed the throne of Apokolips and was intent on bringing enlightenment to the dark world. He met Mortalla, allegedly the first human ever stolen by Desaad for experimentation. She was remade into the image of Darkseid's lost love, Suli, and given the power of a deadly touch. With increasing contact with the Anti-Life Equation, Orion's Mother Box grew more quiet and he lost control of the Astro-Force. (#6) Instead Mortalla gave Orion a Father Box, which he promptly used to liberate more of Desaad's Bates clones. (#8)

Back on New Genesis, Mantis managed to set off a series of Hellbores to create firepits. Mark Moonrider's "megaton touch" destroyed all but one. Understandably, the people of the Celestial City were beginning to wonder if Orion would become even worse than Darkseid. Orion punished Mantis by depositing him into the Unholy See, deep beneath the surface of Apokolips. (#9)

Orion learned that Desaad was responsible for much of the recent chaos and pursued him into the Necropolis. There he met Sirius, an ancient giant demon-dog, the guardian of a labyrinth. (#10) Then to Earth where Orion was enveloped by a massive blast of Anti-Life. It wracked him with fire but also empowered Orion with the Equation; he snapped Desaad's neck then reanimated the underling with his new, total command of Anti-Life. (#11) Its power consumed all sense and Orion made it a mission to "establish order" on Earth as well. (#12) He commanded, "Do no harm. Love Each other. Lay down your weapons," but this led to unforeseen consequences and deaths. On Apokolips, Metron found Darkseid in Pythia's Garden of Hope. The pair devised a plan to stop Orion and sounded the Trumpets of Doom to summon a Promethean Giant called Gedirath. (#13) Orion easily dispatched the giant with a command and then realized his father was alive. (#14) After Metron and Darkseid fell to Orion's power, it was down to Scott Free to stop his madness. Mister Miracle donned a simulacrum of the Black Racer that had been fitted by Metron with a Doom Tube — a one-way portal with no way back. Orion followed the "Racer" through the Tube but Scott phased out of its way. (#15)

Orion landed in the pale, flat Abysmal Plane. In helping the giant, Clockwerx overcome the parasitic Ecruos, Orion surrendered the Anti-Life Equation totally. (#16-17)

» SEE ALSO:

  • Walt Simonson talks about her time on New Gods in The Jack Kirby Collector #46
  • Walt Simonson Interview, by Mario Di Giacomo (October 1998)
  • Walt Simonson Interview, by CBEM's Tim O'Shea (December 1999)
  • Walt Simonson Interview, co-hosted by Sean Walsh at comicboards.com (October 2001)
  • Walt Simonson Interview, by Mario Di Giacomo (late 2002)
    Orion
    Issue Writer Artist Characters
    JLA #17–39 (Apr. 1998–May 2000) Grant Morrison Howard Porter Big Barda and Orion join the Justice League
    #1 (June 2000) Walt Simonson Orion, Darkseid, Desaad, Lightray, Kalibak, Tigra, Justeen
    #2 (July 2000) Orion, Darkseid, Desaad, Tigra, Joatt & Saraday, Captain Hathak
    #3 (Aug. 2000) Walt Simonson Walt Simonson / Frank Miller Orion, Darkseid, Desaad, Tigra, Takion/Alba, Lakutha
    #4 (Sept. 2000) Walt Simonson / Dave Gibbons Orion, Darkseid, Desaad, Kalibak, Kanto, Takion, Billion-Dollar Bates, Big Bear, Mark Moonrider, Beautiful Dreamer/Lightray, Tatheta. Also: Newsboy Legion, Jimmy Olsen
    #5 (Oct. 2000) Walt Simonson Orion, Darkseid, Desaad, Kalibak, Kanto, Lightray, Glorious Godfrey, Fastbak, Esak, Granny Goodness, Lonar, Devilance the Pursuer, Mantis, Mark Moonrider, Big Bear, Vykin, Serifan, Beautiful Dreamer, Big Barda, Mister Miracle, Oberon, Bernadeth, Lashina, Stompa, Mad Harriet, Dr. Bedlam, Himon, Amazing Grace, Takion, Mortalla, Justeen, Hoogin, Klepp, Infinity Man, Stanga the Hermit, Shaligo, Jaffar, Pyron, Slig, Trok, Gole, Odin, Jack Kirby. Also: Newsboy Legion, Superman, Dr. Fate, Hercules Unleashed
    #6 (Nov. 2000) Walt Simonson / Eric Stephenson Walt Simonson / Erik Larsen Orion, Lightray, Mortalla, Kanto, Kalibak, Desaad, Takion/Darkseid. Also: Newsboy Legion, Jimmy Olsen, Lois Lane
    #7 (Dec. 2000) Walt Simonson Orion, Mortalla, Kalibak, Desaad, Skrok. Also: Newsboy Legion
    #8 (Jan. 2001) Walt Simonson / Jeph Loeb Walt Simonson / Rob Liefeld Orion, Mortalla, Desaad, Granny Goodness, Justeen, Kanto/Mantis, Big Bear, Mark Moonrider
    #9 (Feb. 2001) Walt Simonson Orion, Mortalla, Mark Moonrider, Big Bear, Serifan, Beautiful Dreamer, Lightray, Takion, Mantis, Desaad, Ericht
    #10 (Mar. 2001) Orion, Sirius, Desaad, Lightray, Meteorra, Antinoos
    #11 (Apr. 2001) Orion, Desaad, Lightray, Meteorra
    #12 (May 2001) Orion, Lightray, Desaad, Granny Goodness, Meteorra, Takion, Red-One, Mortalla, Darkseid, Pythia, Gedirath. Also: Captain Marvel
    #13 (June 2001) Walt Simonson John Byrne Orion, Meteorra, Lightray, Metron, Darkseid, Gedirath, Mortalla, Mister Miracle, Big Barda, Oberon. Also: Captain Marvel, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern/Kyle Rayner, Martian Manhunter, Plastic Man
    #14 (July 2001) Walt Simonson John Byrne Orion, Mortalla, Meteorra/Justeen, Lightray, Metron, Darkseid, Gedirath, Pythia, "Black Racer 2"
    #15 (Aug. 2001) Walt Simonson Orion, Darkseid, Lightray, Metron, "Black Racer 2", Desaad, Canis Major, Canis Minor
    #16 Sept. 2001) Orion, Clockwerx, Ecruos, "Tigra"
    #17 (Oct. 2001) Orion, Clockwerx, Ecruos, "Tigra"
    #18 (Nov. 2001) Orion, Clockwerx, Canis Major, Darkseid, Control, Sleeth, Plackk, Blistom
    #19 (Dec. 2001) Orion, Slig, Darkseid, Mortalla. Also: Joker
    #20 (Jan. 2002) Orion, Slig, Darkseid
    #21 (Feb. 2002) Orion, Lightray, Metron
    #22 (Mar. 2002) Orion
    #23 (Apr. 2002) Orion
    #24 (May 2002) Orion, Metron, Darkseid, Mortalla, Justeen
    #25 (June 2002) Orion, Mister Miracle, Big Barda, Metron, Darkseid, Mortalla, Justeen
    Superman vs. Darkseid: Apokolips Now! (2003) Mark Schultz Mike McKone Darkseid, Desaad, Doomsday, Justeen, Mortalla, Parademons, Big Barda. Also: Superman[, Supergirl, Superboy, Krypto, Eradicator, Steel, Natasha Irons

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