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Sunday, June 5, 2016

DC Comics Darkseid Key Issues Part 5

Most of these in Part 5 are speculation comics. I think most of these are under-the-radar or over-looked currently, but some are already seeing heat due to movie hype or rumors.

This is the last part to this Darkseid key issues series, and I'm going to make this more Darkseid centered than the New Gods. Click this Part 4 link in case you missed it, but if you're good, let's get this key issues series over with.

Begins Great Darkness Saga

This is a classic story line involving Darkseid written by  Paul Levitz, with art by Keith Giffen. It features a huge amount of Legionaires and is pretty epic. The story is from issue #290 to #294.

Like the Legionaire's stories, this takes place in the 30th Century on Earth, home to the Legion of Super-Heroes. August, 1982 is the cover date for Legion of Super-Heroes #290.

2nd appearance of Steppenwolf?

After the cancellation of Kirby's Fourth World comics, DC asked him to draw the Super Powers line of comics in which Darkseid would be the main villain.

Kirby drew the covers for volume 1 and drew the volume 2 series, but was not credited as the main writer of the series.  He did plot them, however.

The Super Powers comics were created for fans of the Super Powers action figures but not necessarily comic books in general. Henchmen Deesad and Steppenwolf would be major players in that line of comics for Darkseid, as well as his brother Kalibak. 

The Super Powers comic books are not considered part of DC's mainstream continuity and are part of the Super Friends Universe. Kirby was also asked to write a conclusion to his Fourth World comics.

By 1984, a 2nd New Gods volume was published, but it contained reprints of stories from the Fourth World comics prior. Issue #6, the last of this series, is the only issue that contained a new story.

This story was suppose to be the final conclusion to Kirby's Fourth World saga and it was suppose to contain the original New Gods #11 story with a new 24 page story that saw the death of both Orion and Darkseid. DC did not allow Kirby's original intended ending.

Furthermore, the one-off story "On the Road to Armagetto" was rejected by editors for this issue. So Kirby wrote a 48 page story, "Even Gods Must Die", and that was published in this issue instead.

It may have the 2nd appearance of Steppenwolf if you discount the Super Powers comics, especially the Super Powers Collection Mini Comics that were packaged with the Super Powers Collection action figures by Kenner toys. If you consider those game, then Steppenwolf appears for the 2nd time in the Super Powers Collection Mini Comic #13, which came out around 1983 and before the volume 1 Super Powers comic series (July, 1984 for issue #1).

New Gods #6 from volume 2 also ended up being a prologue to DC Graphic Novel #4 "The Hunger Dogs". Because this series was mainly a bunch of reprints excluding issue #6, it's often not regarded as volume 2, but for sanity's sake, I'm just gonna label it as such. New Gods #6 volume 2 has the cover date of June, 1984.

1st appearance of Bekka

Known as DC Graphic Novel: The Hunger Dogs, this one-shot graphic novel was suppose to conclude the entire Fourth World saga in DC Comics. There were a lot of disagreements when it came to this project, and Kirby insisted that the saga should end with the deaths of the New Gods.

For some reason, DC insisted that the New Gods could or should not be killed off. The production of this graphic novel was plagued with many delays and revisions.

The story "On the Road to Armagetto" originally intended for New Gods #6 from the 2nd series was included in this graphic novel but was revised. DC restructured much of this story and plot and the end result was an uprising of Apokolips slaves in which their revolt caused Darkseid to flee.

The character of Bekka makes her 1st appearance in DC Graphic Novel #4, and she would become the wife of Orion. DC Graphic Novel #4: The Hunger Dogs has the cover date of March, 1984.

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1st Darkseid major DC crossover as big bad
1st appearance of Amanda Waller

Sure, Darkseid was in Crisis on Infinite Earths but he wasn't the big bad of that crossover event. He was also in Justice League of America #183 through #185 as a big bad, and even though that had the JSA and New Gods in it, that story line isn't considered a major crossover event.

The Great Darkness Saga did have Darkseid as a big bad as well, and it's a classic story arc involving Darkseid. Still, not a major crossover event. 

He was the major villain of the non-canon Super Powers comics and that helped to establish the promise of the character as a main evil force to be reckoned with for the combined superhero might of Aquaman, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, etc, but those comics were not part of mainstream continuity. They all did lay the groundwork for the eventual rise of Darkseid as DC's baddest of the bad.

Uncanny X-Men and the New Teen Titans one shot also had Darkseid as the big bad, and that's the first inter-company crossover to feature Darkseid as the main baddie. According to Walt Simonson, Uncanny X-Men and the New Teen Titans comic also first physically shows the Source Wall

The Source is the origin of the Godwave, the thing that empowers the Gods with their divine abilities. It is protected by the Source Wall, and although sources say that it first appeared in New Gods #1, it is never physically seen, according to Walt Simonson, until Uncanny X-Men and the New Teen Titans. So, that Marvel/DC crossover is a good Darkseid key issue as well.

So Darkseid has started to become somewhat of a major villain, but within DC's mainstream universe, he was still quite underused. Not for long, though.

Legends is the first major crossover event within DC Comics after the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths. It's the very first major crossover event within DC Comics that has Darkseid as the main baddie.

As mentioned before, he sends Glorious Godfrey to Earth to create a magnificent smear campaign against super-heroes and their activities. The series would also see the creation of a new Suicide Squad and a new Justice League.

This issue sees the 1st appearance of Amanda Waller, definitely an important character in the revived Suicide Squad comics and mythos. Important comic for several reasons, and Darkseid is finally a major crossover baddie in the DC Universe.

As we all know, he would continue to wreak havoc in the DC Universe after this comic as well, and the villain would only grow stronger and more powerful. Legends #1 has the cover date of November, 1986.

1st appearance of Amazing Grace
1st appearance of Pacifiers

Not the first time Darkseid has been in a Superman title, discounting Jimmy Olsen. He made an appearance on a monitor in Superman #419. However, he is fully in this story and in-the-flesh in Superman #3 from the 2nd series.

This Copper Age key also holds the debut of Amazing Grace, another character who is considered part of Darkseid's Elite. She is the sister of Glorious Godfrey and acts of the behalf of Darkseid among the lowlies.

In this issue, she tries to seduce Superman into serving Darkseid. Of course, she fails. March, 1987 is the cover date for Superman #3 volume 2.

1st appearance of Suli

Suli was shown in this issue in flashback. She was a scientist and a sorcerer on Apokolips and is the mother of Kalibak, Darkseid's first born.

Suli had a strange calming effect on Uxas or Darkseid, and even he was at odds with his insane plans to conquer the universe. Because Heggra felt that Suli was making Uxas weak, she had Suli poisoned by Deesad. 

Stricken with grief and anger, Darkseid had Deesad poison Heggra, his own mother out of vengeance. Darkseid would then take over as ruler of Apokolips.

Suli is the only person that Darkseid truly loved. This is Part 2 of the Bloodline Saga and is an origin story line for Darkseid that reveals his history more in-depth.

Important Darkseid key issue for sure, and September, 1989 is the cover date for New Gods #8 from the 3rd series.

1st appearance of Grayven

Darkseid has another son? He sure does, and Grayven is the third offspring by Darkseid. The mother is of yet unknown, but this bad apple plans to even overthrow his father as ruler of Apokolips.

He doesn't appear all that much in comics and is a New-Earth character. He hasn't appeared in the New 52 yet, or so I think.

Green Lantern #74 from the 3rd series has the cover date of June, 1996.

1st cameo of Prime-Earth or New 52 Darkseid

Alright, we all know that the film version of the Justice League is going to be the New 52 version since there's Cyborg in it. So, for you Modern Comics lovers, we're going to cover some of the Prime-Earth or New 52 first appearances of Darkseid just to be sure.

Now, even though sources say this is the 1st appearance of Prime-Earth Darkseid, it is only a cameo appearance. Darkseid shows up in a vision that Cyborg sees and only on one full page. Even on a full page splash, not sure that counts as a full appearance.

It is a cool full page piece of art by Jim Lee for sure. Take a look below.
Like the 90s gimmick era, there's quite a few gimmick variant covers to get you to spend more dollars on basically buying the same comic with just a different cover multiple times. Let's take a look at some of them for shits 'n giggles.

We have the combo pack version of this comic, which are printed in lower numbers compared to the regular covers. Mr. Terry Hokness has reported that this particular combo pack has around a 9,900 print run in an InvestComics guest post. You can click the link to see the original report if you'd like.

If you're not sure about what a combo pack is, it's a polybagged comic edition that has a code you can use to download the digital copy of the comic. Chances are if you bought them now, the code has expired.

There's the 1:25 Greg Capullo variant cover for this issue, and I do like me some Greg Capullo art from good ole Spawn. So, since it has a bit of a lower print run than the regular cover and if you're a fan of Greg Capullo, might be another one to consider as well. 

However, the regular cover has an estimated 158,700 print run to consider, so I doubt it's ultra rare like 3,000 and under. It is definitely lower in print and distribution than the regular cover. My math could very well be wrong, but the 1:25 variant might be around 6,348 give or take.

Justice League #3 volume 2 has the cover date of January, 2012.

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1st brief appearance Prime Earth Darkseid?

In this issue, Darkseid does show up a bit more, and he shows up on 3 pages. One of them is a full page at the very end and a glorious double page spread. The other is almost a full page as well.

Don't think it constitutes as a first full appearance, but I could be wrong. I'm not quite sure how industry handles full pages and double page spreads concerning 1st full appearances or what. I'll let you see for yourself if you don't have the comics, and here's the panels/pages that show this DC Comics villain.

Yet more awesome artwork by Jim Lee. Justice League #4. As usual, there's quite a few variants for this issue. They do have a textless version of the regular cover, as well as sketch variant and a few other variants as well as 2nd and 3rd printings.

There is the Andy Kubert 1:25 variant cover to this particular comic issue and shown to the left in case you're into variant covers. The Andy Kubert variant cover might have an estimated 5,708 print run give or take

That's definitely a lot less than the regular 1st printing of Justice League #4 which has an estimated print run of around 142,700 copies. There's not too pricey at the moment if you're into variants with a lower print run than the 1st prints of regular covers. 

There's also the combo pack edition for Justice League #4 as well, and these guys are starting to get talked about a little bit more in some collecting circles as viable investment comics in the near future. Estimated print run for this combo pack edition is around 7,000. 

Once again, the regular cover to this particular issue had an estimated print run of around 142,700. It's definitely not a very low print run number at all, so it might be better to speculate on the combo pack edition if you're game to lower print Modern Age key comics and the variant cover hoopla. CGC does note them.

I'm not entirely sure about the other variants or their print runs for this issue here, so won't talk about what I don't know. Okay, I do know that the sketch variant cover is a 1:200 dealie. 

This black and white variant sketch may roughly have around 713 copies printed, but there's definitely not a whole lot for sure. Don't think even these are too crazy ridiculous in terms of what they're going for now currently, but not that cheap either.

May change or may not in the near future. I leave it up to you decide if they're worth snagging or not. Justice League #4 volume 2 has the cover date of February, 2012.

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1st full appearance New 52 Darkseid?

Darkseid definitely shows up a lot more in this issue and even battles the Justice League members. The ruler of Apokolips does hand out a pretty good whooping to the team.

This might be considered the 1st full appearance of New 52 Darkseid or issue #4 might be. Overstreet does note issue #4 as "Darkseid arrives". Once again, not too sure about 1st full appearances and full pages, so I'm just taking a stab here.

Alright, let's get to the variants, because the regular cover has an estimated print run of about 138,500. Definitely lower than the others mentioned beforehand, but definitely no shortage of copies for the regular cover.

This one comes with a combo pack as well. Once again, they are originally polybagged and come with a code to allow someone to download the digital copy. No big deal in that regard.

The source I am taking from says Justice League #5 has around 6,000 copies printed and distributed. They're easy to spot as the cover does mark them what they are, and even though some other sources have hyped these up, most are still over-looked by most currently.

They may or may not have future potential. I'll leave it up to you to decide as I'm just yappin' about them for those who might be interested.

There's also the 1:25 variant cover by Eric Basaldua. The estimated print run and distribution for this variant might be around 5,540 give or take.

So far there's only 58 total in the CGC Census. 38 of them are 9.8s and 13 of them are 9.6s as of this writing. The combo pack only has 1 in the census and it's a 9.8, but I see a few raw copies on eBay still.

When it comes to the 1:200 black 'n white sketch variant for this issue, there's only 43 total submitted copies so far in the CGC Census. 34 are 9.8s and 8 of 'em are 9.6s. 

So far there's a total of 8 that are Signature Series within those 9.8s, and 2 Signature Series for 9.6s. If my math is somewhat correct, there's around 692 estimated copies for the sketch variant, and the sketch does appear to be a different cover than the regular #1 cover

Justice League #5 volume 2 has the cover date of March, 2012.

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1st brief appearance New 52 Steppenwolf

Once again, if you're into the New 52 1st appearances of characters, then this is the 1st appearance of Prime-Earth Steppenwolf. He's still the general of Apokolip's armies and part of Darkseid's Elite.

Not quite sure if he's still the uncle of Darkseid in this continuity. He is the father of Fury in the New 52. Fury's mother is the New 52's Earth 2 Wonder Woman.

Steppenwolf only appears on one full page and three panels, two of which are not clear since there's an explosion of sorts. The page and panels are below.

Steppenwolf is on a total of 3 pages, and it's being speculated that he or Yuga Khan, Darkseid's father, might be the mysterious creature in the deleted scene that WB posted recently. Who knows? Speculation, speculation, speculation!

And we're off to discuss some variants for this issue. My favorite subject!

So nothing new here but we've got the 1:25 variant cover by Ivan Reis. I do have to admit it is a pretty bad ass cover of Darkseid.

The estimated print run for the regular cover is 135,300. The Ivan Reis variant could very well be around 5,412 in estimated printed copies which isn't very plentiful either. 

They are gaining heat and no longer cheap, cheap. They're also not ridiculously expensive either.

Not to be ultra exciting, but we also have the combo pack edition for this comic issue just like the others. There's around 5,400 copies for the combo pack edition, and I wouldn't say that's exactly plentiful either.

There's two CGC 9.8s in the census currently and those are the only two over-all so far. The Ivan Reis variant has a total of 41 registered copies with 32 of those being 9.8s. There's five 9.6s for the 1:25 Ivan Reis variant cover in the census as of this writing, so this comic as a whole probably isn't seen by many who own them to get slabbed at the moment.

Then we have the 1:200 black and white sketch cover. Ta-Dah! 

This one maybe has around 677 estimated printings. Steppenwolf first appears briefly in this issue as noted above and neither CGC nor Overstreet note this comic or any of the variants as such currently.

Whether they eventually do or not, I don't know. However, this is the New 52 continuity, so it may or may not be a big deal in the near future. So far, Overstreet doesn't pay much attention to 1st appearances when it comes to continuity reboots.

Justice League #6 volume 2 has the cover date of April, 2002.

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  • 1st appearance of the Four Furies of Apokolips

This sucker has the 1st appearance of the Four Furies of Apokolips, but one of them is crucially important when it comes to Darkseid's family. The Fury of Death and Darkseid actually have a spawn in the New 52 continuity.

Much like the biblical reference, Darkseid's four furies included Death, Famine, Pestilence and War. They all became heralds of Darkseid in this story line, and the destruction of the New 52 Earth 2 happens in the last issue #26 of this comic series. 

Earth 2: World's End #1 has the cover date of December, 2014 and a print run of about 43,863.

  • 1st appearance of Deathspawn

In the New 52 continuity, Darkseid's other son is Deathspawn. He is the son of both Darkseid and the Fury of Death and is a Martian and New God hybrid.

That means he is one powerful mofo! His most dangerous ability is to corrode the living heart of an entire planet to the point of self-annihilation.

The creature's arm showed up tearing through the Fury of the Death's stomach in the previous issue, but here, he makes his full and glorious debut. Sorry, I don't consider a forearm and hand a cameo.

So, whether he is used in a movie or not, he is one of the sons of Darkseid in the New 52 comics, half-brother to Grail, Orion & Kalibak. Earth 2: World's End #17 has a print run of about 24,955 and the cover date of March, 2015.

1st appearance of Myrina
1st brief appearance Grail (as baby)

This is a Free Comic Book Day issue, but the story contained within it has enough of Myrina in it to constitute a full appearance. She is shown in more than 7 panels and on 4 pages, which is what Darkseid's 1st full appearance is about.

Although a free comic, I'm not sure if industry will consider this a 1st full appearance or in another actual comic book afterward. Might or might not be. Not entirely sure how that works, but Myrina's 1st full appearance could be considered being in issue #41 of the Justice League volume 2.

I think this is a prologue to the Darkseid War and this story was also featured or reprinted in the 8 page preview DC Sneak Peek: Justice League #1, which was free also. Just letting you know in case you're into that.

Myrina is an Amazonian who was impregnated by Darkseid. Speculators are already assuming that her daughter Grail might be a key component in the upcoming DC films.

After all, Uxas or the New 52 Darkseid is intent on finding his daughter by this baby mamma. We'll get to that in the next issue in this Part 5 list.

This Divergence #1 comic came out May, 2015 on Free Comic Book Day!

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1st cameo appearance of Grail?

Here we are with Grail, the daughter of Darkseid in the New 52. She is prophesied to be the cause of great destruction via the Anti-God or better known as the Anti-Monitor in the New 52.

As depicted in both Divergence #1 and DC Sneak Peek Justice League #1, she was born the same time as Diana (Wonder Woman). Myrina defended the child against the oracle Menalippe and fellow Amazonian Penelope who witnessed the birth and knew of the destructive prophecy the child bore.

After murdering Menalippe, she and her mother fled Themyscira. Like the prophecy claimed, she would grow up and ally herself with the Anti-Monitor and declared war on her father Darkseid.

This issue is also a prologue to the Darkseid War and Part 1 of the story arc would begin in issue #41. Despite some fans not liking Grail, this might be a good speculation comic to snag if speculation is right about the DC Cinematic Universe using this character somewhere down the line.

Like most Modern Comics, it's riddled with several gimmick variant covers. In addition to the regular cover, there is a textless variant as well. The regular cover has an estimated 78,388 print run or North American sales to comic shops, so it's not particularly low...regular cover, I mean.

The Alex Garner variant is a 1:25 deal. It's the hottest one of the variants so far, and it also has a textless version. The 1:25 Garner variant might be estimated to have around 3,135 copies or so if my math is correct. Not quite sure if the textless version of this cover is also a 1:25 dealie or even lower than that.

There's also a Justice League #40 combo pack edition, which also includes a digital copy of the comic as I explained earlier. It supposedly has a lower print run than the regular cover, and some say around 350 to 500 but don't know if that's for sure or not. It's also hotter than the regular cover, and picking up a bit of steam on the secondary market.

The combo pack edition for this comic is supposedly within the last batch of these combo packs that are being printed and polybagged. If you're into collecting them, might be a good time since they're not overly crazy expensive currently. I leave that up to your good judgement.

This comic is currently heating up with speculators and mostly for the variants because it's thought of as the 1st full appearance of Grail, but she only shows up on the last page. Justice League #40 has the cover date of June, 2015.

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1st full appearance of Grail?

Grail shows up more in this comic and I suppose the market might consider this the 1st full appearance of Grail. While we do see her in Justice League #40, her face is in shadow while her body is plainly visible on only one page.

In this comic, we see her face and she fights against Batman. There is also the Joker variant cover to this issue by David Finch. Not sure what the limited deal to this comic is.

Justice League #41 volume 2 has the cover date of August, 2015.  

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Alright, I think I've covered enough, but I'm gonna back track a little here. So if speculators are right about that being Yuga Kahn in the scene instead of Steppenwolf, then Yuga Kahn's character first shows up in New Gods #17 from the 3rd series written by Mark Evanier. 

That series followed the events of the Cosmic Odyssey by Jim Starlin which is my introduction to the character of Darkseid. I am not sure if New Gods #17 is a first full appearance or what or how much he shows up in that issue. Kahn's next appearance is in the next issue #18.

Back to Steppenwolf in the New 52 since Justice League #6 may have his first brief appearance. If that doesn't count as a full, then Steppenwolf does appear Earth 2 #1 and Earth 2 #0, but they are also brief appearances. In Earth 2 #1, he shows up in 2 panels on 2 pages, and in Earth #0, he only shows up in one panel.

However, he does show up more fully in Earth 2 #8 and the comic has a print run of about 50,860. Not entirely sure about the variant cover however.

Another good thing about Earth 2 #8 is that it also debuts Steppenwolf's daughter Fury. I think I've already explained that Fury's parents are Steppenwolf and the Earth 2 Wonder Woman in the New 52 continuity.

She is Steppenwolf's personal enforcer in this continuity and there are several versions of the character prior. In her Pre-Crisis form, she is Hippolyta "Lyta" Trevor and was the daughter of Earth-2 (Golden Age) Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor.

The original version of Fury debuted in Wonder Woman #300 back in 1983. Well, actually, she debuted as Lyta Trevor in that issue and not Fury. This appearance may be a brief one for Lyta Trevor in this comic.

I think she first makes her appearance as Fury in All-Star Squadron #25, also back in 1983. That issue holds the 1st appearance of Infinity Inc. in which the original Fury was a founding member of. This comic may be the 1st full appearance of the original Fury and Lyta Trevor.

However, the New 52 Fury is more powerful than her previous versions. She is on par with Big Barda in terms of strength and skill. Actually, it was Big Barda who trained both her and her father.

So there's a few more speculation comics for ya that are somewhat connected to Darkseid. Although Lyta Trevor is pretty far removed, the New 52 version isn't. In terms of the movies, who really knows?

It makes sense that Darkseid has minions, so some of his Elite do have to appear on the big screen. I still think Steppenwolf has a good shot.

The movies have to connect so we do have Wonder Woman connections and Captain Marvel connections if that is Yuga Khan in the deleted scene. In Justice League Dark Seid War Shazam #1, Billy Batson meets up with Zonuz who turns out to be Yuga Kahn.

The two battle and Captain Marvel defeats Yuga Kahn, and Kahn is forced to bestow his powers on Billy as well. Right now Yuga Kahn's 1st appearance in flying under the radar currently.

Speculation fueled by movie hype is already gearing towards the first appearances of Grail. So, this concludes this Darkseid key issues series. Of course, I'm sure I missed some keys pertaining to Darkseid, so if you know 'em, be sure to let us know in the comments area.

Good luck on your hunt or selling and thanks for reading. Hope you enjoyed.

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