Update: Last month DC promised that in April’s Justice League #75, a “Dark Army made up of the DCU’s greatest villains” formed on the edges of the Multiverse would be responsible for the death of nine of ten Justice Leaguers, but you won’t have to wait until April to find out who this Dark Army is.
The architect of it all, writer Joshua Williamson recently tweeted (opens in new tab) that readers will learn the identity of the Dark Army – presumably doing the bidding of the Great Darkness – in March’s Justice League Incarnate #5 (opens in new tab), the finale of that limited series.
Given the events of Justice League Incarnate #4 and the previous teaser Williamson tweeted about Justice League Incarnate #5 (see below), one can’t help but speculate if Darkseid will be a part of, and perhaps leading, the Dark Army capable of killing powerhouses like Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman, Hawkgirl, Martian Manhunter, Green Lantern, and more.
Justice League Incarnate #5 is on sale March 5.
Original story follows…
Extremely busy writer Joshua Williamson dropped a DC continuity bomb in February 1’s Justice League Incarnate #4 (opens in new tab), basically rewriting the history of the entire DC Omniverse and the context of almost all the publisher’s Crises and other major events since the original Crisis on Infinite Earths (opens in new tab).
If you haven’t read it yet, you might want to but suffice it to say there’s a new DC supervillain sheriff in DCU town and it might not be big enough for them and Darkseid.
Let’s just say Darkseid got stomped on and leave it at that.
But while Williamson appeared to be knocking DC’s preeminent cosmic supervillain down a peg, it appears his story and role in whatever new Crisis DC and the writer are cooking up isn’t over yet.
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Williamson posted an unlettered page to Twitter on February 4 (opens in new tab), the first page of March’s Justice League Incarnate #5 (opens in new tab), the series finale. He also identifies it as a lead-in to April’s Justice League #75, which as you probably heard from now features the “death” of nine out of ten of the current Justice League roster that includes Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, etc., and itself is the lead-into DC’s upcoming new Crisis presumably also written by .., you guessed it, Joshua Williamson.
The page is to your right, and if you’re wondering how Darkseid found time to start a family amidst his Infinite Frontier-era power-hungry shenanigans, he hasn’t.
The page (by artist Jesus Merino and colorist HiFi) is a take on the death of the cosmic despot’s first wife Suli, the mother of his son Kalibak, at the hands of Desaad by the orders of Darkseid’s own mom Heggra in a Game of Thrones-ish plot decades before Games of Thrones.
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The new scene is basically a redo of these pages in Mark Evanier and Paris Cullins’ New Gods #8, part two of the ‘Bloodlines’ story from their late ’80s series (opens in new tab).
In the story (and the pages seen on the right and below), Lightray learns some of the ancient history of New Genesis, including this formative event in Darkseid’s life.
Now the character’s history has been rewritten over the years, but in this particular story’s telling, at this point in his life Darkseid still had some goodness in him, and he and his wife Suli intended to rebuild New Genesis for “the common good,” ambitions very unlike who we know as Darkseid and for those reasons didn’t sit well with his power-hungry mom, who thought Suli was well … un-corrupting him.
The murder of Darkseid’s wife had the intended effect, however, as Evanier and Cullins frame it as the moment all goodness was evaporated from him and he became consumed with rage, the acquisition of power, and removing “all vulnerabilities from his mind and soul.”
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Willamson includes the caption “Remember who you are” with the new page, perhaps suggesting he and DC might be calling back to a time when Darkseid wasn’t the all-consuming villain he is now.
As to its narrative purpose, that remains to be seen, but Darkseid remembering a time in his life where he wasn’t full-on evil and there was some good in him might be fortuitous timing, as the very existence of the DC Omniverse is being threatened and the Justice League-less superheroes may need all the help they can get.
Justice League Incarnate #5 is on sale March 1.
Yeah, Darkseid figures very (VERY!) prominently in Newsarama’s rundowns of the best DC supervillains and the most dangerous DC supervillains of all time.