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Thursday, June 2, 2016

DC Comics Darkseid Key Issues Part 4

The battle between New Genesis and Apokolips wages on! We are up in Part 4 to what was suppose to be a Darkseid key issues series but ended up including most of the New Gods as well.

Might as well get as many as possible and combine them. However, I am going to try to make this as Darkseid centered as possible, though I've veered off course here and there.

I'm pretty sure many of these in Part 4 are under the radar but may be getting noticed a bit more since Darkseid is a very hot topic of late. So let's get on with the show! This Part 3 link will open a Boom Tube for you to go back in case you missed it.

1st appearance of Virman Vundabar
2nd appearance of Big Barda

Looks like I got a bit ahead of myself in Part 3 and skipped some key issues related to the New Gods and Darkseid. So, we've got to rewind a bit here with some Mister Miracle issues.

Besides having the 2nd appearance of Big Barda which makes this comic worth looking at already, this key issue has another 1st appearance of a Darkseid minion. This minion is Virman Vundabar and his schemes have involved many of Darkseid's top underlings such as Doctor Bedlam, Steppenwolf, Granny Goodness and Kanto.

He is a noteworthy foe of Mister Miracle and once became General Vunderbar, in which he assumed command of Darkseid's army at one point. He is definitely considered one of Darkseid's Elite. Mister Miracle #5 has the cover date of December, 1971.

1st appearance of the Female Furies
3rd appearance of Big Barda 

Big Barda is or was a member of the Female Furies, an all women warrior group that were trained by Granny Goodness and loyal to none other than Darkseid. This is their first appearance and the original members of the group were Bernadeth, Lashina, Mad Harriet, and Stompa.

Bernadeth isn't the leader in this issue, but she would become the leader of the Female Furies later. She wielded a knife that burned her victims from the inside. She's the most intelligent and cunning of the group and is the sister of Deesad.

Lashina is often in conflict with Bernadeth in squabbling over the leadership of the Female Furies. She is often the field leader and has a pair of steel bands that she can control mentally. She would end being betrayed by Bernadeth and stranded on Earth, becoming the Duchess and a member of the Suicide Squad. Lashina is one of the more popular and well-known members of the Female Furies.

This issue also sees the debut of Mad Harriet and like her name suggests she is coo koo. She has claws and adores the feelings of pain and torture. Because she is insane, Mad Harriet would strike up a friendship with Harley Quinn later.

Stompa is the last of the original Furies to debut in this issue in this section. She is quite strong and also very ruthless. This made her one of the most promising youths according to Granny Goodness.

At first, the Female Furies were foes of Mister Miracle and Big Barda, but they would also ally with them quite a few times. Of course, they would always end up back to do Darkseid's bidding.

February, 1972 is the cover date for Mister Miracle #6, and this issue also sees the debut of the Funky Flashman, who attempts to be Mister Miracle's tour manager in this issue and ends up betraying Miracle. It's widely known that Funky Flashman is a satirical caricature of Stan Lee, and not in a positive light as Flashman is often seen as an untrustworthy huckster. The Fourth World comics were started after Kirby's falling out with Stan Lee and Marvel and why he came to DC Comics during the time.

1st appearance of Kanto
1st appearance of the Harrasers

We have yet another of Darkseid's minions in Mister Miracle #7. Yawn!

This time it's the debut of Kanto, whom is considered another of Darkseid's Elite. He was once a student of Granny Goodness named Lluthin

Definitely one of the more important of Darkseid's henchmen, Lluthin has been sent to do Darkseid's evil bidding several times and has remained loyal to the dark lord even when Steppenwolf once plotted to take over Earth-2 for himself. 

The Harassers are a group of Apokoliptian soldiers that handle security at Granny Goodness's Orphanage. Mister Miracle #7 has the cover date of April, 1972.

1st appearance of Himon

At least in the comics, Himon is an integral character for both the New Gods and Darkseid. He lives on Apokolips but is originally from New Genesis.

Himon is considered a Hunger Dog, one of the lowest classes on Apokolips, and is leader of a rebel cell against Darkseid. An inventor and scientist, Himon is the creator of the Mother Box.

This Mother Boxes are portable supercomputers that are thought to be sentient. The extent of their powers are unknown, but the most common is summoning Boom Tubes, extra-dimensional point-to-point travel portals. They are also seen manipulating energy and healing injuries.

Another important thing about Himon is that his daughter is Bekka, and Bekka ends up marrying Orion, the blood son of Darkseid and adopted son of Highfather. The story in this issue is pre Mister Miracle before he escapes to Earth. It tells of an earlier story that precedes issue #1 when Scott Free is younger and it actually recounts his escape from Granny Goodness and to Earth, where he later becomes Mister Miracle.

Mister Miracle #9 recounts the very first time Scott Free and Big Barda ever meet in continuity also. This, of course, may have changed in later comics when different writers took over the Fourth World stories after Kirby, but here's the panels of when Scott Free and Big Barda first meet in this issue.
Publishing-wise, the pair first met to us readers in Mister Miracle #4 that introduces Big Barda. This issue further explains their backstory. Big Barda and Himon help Scott Free escape to Earth, in which the treaty is broken and sets up the new war between Apokolips and New Genesis.

Mister Miracle #9 an important key issue? Definitely! It is a further origin story for Mister Miracle and how New Genesis and Apokolips come to war again. This comic has the cover date of August, 1972.

1st appearance of Devilance the Pursuer
Last issue 

Although Devilance the Pursuer apparently dies in this issue, he is brought back to life by Darkseid in later comics. He is considered one of Darkseid's Elite but doesn't have many over-all appearances in DC Comics.

In this issue, he is sent by Darkseid and Deesad to take on the Forever People. Infinity Man and Devilance engage in battle and are seemingly both destroyed in this issue.

As we all know, they both end up coming back. Forever People #11 is the last issue before cancellation, and November, 1972 is the cover date.

Revival of the New Gods
1st appearance of Orion's new costume

It was about two years since Darkseid and the New Gods were brought back into comics. This issue here was the last of the titled comic series, but it revived the New Gods and Darkseid back into DC Comics since a Fourth World story last appeared in Mister Miracle #18 (1974).

Issue #18 of Mister Miracle (1st series) also marked a brief cancellation as well for the title until it was revived in 1977, carrying the numbering over from issue #18. This issue is not written by Jack Kirby. 

Gerry Conway and Dennis O'Neal would helm the revival of the New Gods, and Conway would eventually write for the revival of the New Gods comic series as well.

This issue does mark the return of Darkseid, and he would become a player in the Secret Society of Super-Villains comic series. Well, at least, he is a player in three of the issues in which he creates the Super-Villain team for his own evil purposes but they turn on him. April, 1976 is the cover date for 1st Issue Special #13.

1st issue to revived series
1st appearance of Jezebelle

Continuing the numbering from issue #11, the revived series would change the title of the series slightly. Gerry Conway would write for the series until it was once again cancelled after issue #19.

He would create a somewhat minor New God character, and Jezebelle makes her debut in this issue. She is a mutant of Apokolips and once a student of Granny Goodness (who seemingly isn't?). 

She would defect over to the New Genesis side and become a good guy or gal. Return of the New Gods #12 has the cover date of July, 1977.

1st time JLA & JSA visits New Genesis
1st battle between JLA, JSA & Orion
1st time JLA & JSA visit Apokolips
Resurrection of Darkseid (1st in title)

Prior to this, Darkseid has been a behind the scenes villain for several JLA members. He was behind the creation of the Secret Society of Super Villains and a villain behind Orion growing to planetary-size in Super-Team Family #15, which had the Flash in it.

Darkseid was never face to face with any of Earth One's heroes with the exception of Superman in Forever People #1. This is first comic that brought the JLA as a team in direct conflict against Darkseid. The JLA team is Superman, Wonder Woman, Firestorm, Batman, and Green Lantern. Flash is not in this issue.

Also, this is the 1st time the two teams of the JLA and JSA venture to New Genesis and then to Apokolips to aid the New Gods in stopping the Injustice Society from resurrecting Darkseid. The story arc ran from issue #183 to #185.

Darkseid is revived in this issue. He was apparently destroyed in Adventure Comics #460, which had a New Gods story that finalized the revival of the New Gods revived series. The villainous Darkseid would become more a part of DC's mainstream continuity after this story arc, but the end of the multiverse in Crisis on Infinite Earths would be the catalyst that thrust Darkseid in DC's mainstream as a major villain.

Justice League of America #183 has the cover date of October, 1980.

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1st meeting of Powergirl & Darkseid?
1st meeting of Firestorm & Darkseid?
1st meeting of Dr. Fate & Highfather

Continuing the story from Justice League of America #184, Firestorm and Power Girl don't actually meet Darkseid in this issue like in a face to face confrontation, but they actually do share a splash page and a panel in which Darkseid is in the process of being resurrected.

It's a pretty bad ass splash. Here are the scenes below.

They don't really interact with Darkseid, so that might not count as a 1st published meeting between the characters. Dr. Fate and Highfather actually do interact, and this issue marks their first meeting.

It may also mark Green Lantern Hall Jordan's 1st meeting with Highfather as well. Not too sure about that though.

Still, just like issue #183, this an important story line. Like I mentioned before, it's the first big story line in which Darkseid isn't behind the scenes and directly confronts the Justice League of America and Justice Society of America. Once again, I don't mean canonical but published or historical, and the actual confrontation or face-to-face conflict isn't really a big or prolonged one.

If you want to get technical, it's the 2nd time Darkseid is in this titled comic series. Justice League of America #184 has the cover date of November, 1980.

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1st Firestorm & Darkseid battle?
Conclusion of story line

The story covers to issues #183 through #185 are pretty much misleading. There's no real big confrontation between the Justice League of America as a team and Darkseid himself or outright.

Actually, the only member he somewhat battles is Firestorm, but it's not even much of a battle. Firestorm only ends up redirecting Darkseid's attack. That's pretty much it for a JLA vs Darkseid match. 

However, Firestorm and Power Girl are definitely more in an interaction with Darkseid, so this might be considered a 1st meeting between the characters more than issue #184. I'll let you all decide on that.

Still, this one may be one to consider as we know that Darkseid will go up against the Justice League in the Justice League movie that's in the works. This issue holds the first real direct confrontation between Darkseid and members of the JLA and JSA (Firestorm & Power Girl) in comics.

Justice League of America #185 has the cover date of December, 1980.

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Alright, let's recap here and go over some of Darkseid's Elite we've already covered. So far we got Steppenwolf whose 1st appearance is in New Gods #7 (1st series), Granny Goodness who first appeared in Mister Miracle #2, Darkseid's brother Kalibak who 1st appeared in New Gods #1, and Deesad and Mantis who both debuted in Forever People #2.

We've also covered Glorious Godfrey's 1st appearance in Forever People #3, Doctor Bedlam's 1st in Mister Miracle #3, the 1st appearance of Kanto in Mister Miracle #7, Devilance who 1st appeared in Forever People #11, and Virman Vundabar's debut in Mister Miracle #5. It's possible that a few of Darkseid's Elite could make it to the big screen. The only question is who will?

Steppenwolf is already pretty much in, but what about Deesad, Darkseid's main henchman? I think he's got a very good chance as well as his brother Kalibak. 

As for the rest, it's pretty much a toss up. Most of Darkseid's Elite 1st appearances are still pretty cheap and over-looked currently with a few exceptions. If you're up for speculating, they might be good ones to consider. 

Anyway, Part 5 will be the last one of this series, and that and more Darkseid key issues are ready. Just click the link below. See you then and thanks for reading.


  1. This has probably been suggested before but i would love for you to do a series aboyt your top 10 covers from every era. - EC

  2. That cover thing is a great idea! I' m with EC. But first an important question concerning movie rumors. Somewhere I read that the next Thor film will have elements of the Planet Hulk storyline. Have you heard this as well? I' ve seen Incredible Hulk 92 going for over 150 bucks allready, so I was happy to hunt this one down for 45.
    Would be great to hear your info.

    Speculation Jones