Who Is Darkseid, and What's He Doing in 'Batman v Superman'?

The evil dictator of Apokolips wants to end free will. Will he do that in 'Dawn of Justice'?

DC Comics

Potentially joining Lex Luthor and Doomsday in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is DC’s big bad galactic fascist Darkseid. (Say it like “Dark Side,” not “Dark Seed”; think Star Wars except don’t because Star Wars is Marvel’s Disney sibling now.) In new scans from the latest issue of Empire, fans have lit up Twitter with images of Batman standing over the Omega symbol, the sigil of Darkseid.

But just who is Darkseid?

In 1971, prolific comic book writer Jack Kirby introduced Darkseid in Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #134. Kirby placed actor Jack Palance’s face onto a cosmic Adolf Hitler’s buff body, cementing a villain formidable enough for Superman that wasn’t a moving train.

Darkseid is one of the New Gods, an alien race divided on two planets: the lush and prosperous New Genesis, and the wasteland Apokolips — because what else would they name it. Besides his strength and power of mythological proportions, Darkseid also possesses extreme intelligence, making him a worthy adversary who demands more than brute strength to defeat. As dictator of Apokolips, Darkseid seeks the solution to the Anti-Life Equation, a mathematical formula that would end free will in all the universe. He’s not unlike Marvel’s Thanos, who hunts for the all-destructive power granted by the Infinity Stones, which, once obtained, will culminate in Avengers: Infinity War. Naturally, Darkseid’s hunt to end independence frequently puts him at odds with the DC superheroes.

DC Comics

The Dawn of Justice trailers have been alluding to a bizarre desert sequence. Batman, in a long coat, is seen fighting off armed troopers, gets unmasked by Superman like they just had a bad break-up, and gets whisked off by Parademons — Darkseid’s army of mindless soldiers — in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment in the trailer that debuted on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

These desert scenes are rumored to be a cryptic dream, most likely Bruce Wayne’s, if only because Mattel’s toy line dubbed the trench-coat-clad Batman “Knightmare Batman.” So much for that.

But with the two hints — the Omega sigil and the Parademons — appearing exclusively in these “dream” scenes (so far), it means Darkseid’s presence in Dawn of Justice may be nothing more than a dark portent for the future of the DC movie universe.

Related Tags