One of the biggest villains in DC Comics is the ruler of Apokolips known as Darkseid. This tyrannical ruler of the desolate planet is a member of the New Gods species and is feared by just about everyone. Superman himself is actually afraid to fight this villain and he has every reason to be. The villain’s signature power is his Omega Beams that shoots from his eyes. Just think of them as heatseeking laser beams that can keep up with the Flash and when they hit their target, they disintegrate it completely. He has used his Omega Beams on his most powerful adversaries, including Superman himself. Any villain who is capable of making Superman bleed should be taken very seriously. If you need more convincing, go watch the animated Superman series. You’ll soon realize why Darkseid is one of DC’s best villains.
If you’ve been a DC fan for the longest time, then you’ve probably been waiting for Darkseid to make his live-action debut. That was originally supposed to happen in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, but that didn’t happen. At least not in the beginning. While the lord of Apokolips was briefly mentioned in the 2017 Justice League movie, that was the only reference. Fans were vastly underwhelmed by the uninteresting and CGI-heavy Steppenwolf. He was ultimately a lackey villain invading Earth on Darkseid’s behalf. As we all remember, it didn’t strike the landing.
But thankfully, Zack Snyder himself reversed this mistake by showing us his true vision in his 2021 cut. With that cut, we finally got to see Darkseid for the first time in live-action form. And thankfully, his live-action debut didn’t disappoint. He was big, intimidating, threatening, and even Steppenwolf feared him. Zack Snyder originally intended for Darkseid to be the main antagonist in his Justice League sequels. In fact, it was all going to end in a fashion very similar to Avengers: Endgame. If you remember the Knightmare scene from Batman vs. Superman, that was all Darkseid’s doing. The invasion and devastation of Earth, the death of many heroes, and the corruption of Superman was all going to be a part of Snyder’s Justice League trilogy.
We got to see more of how this was going to unfold in the Snyder Cut, where Batman formed a small insurgency group to fight the new regime. Sounds a lot like the Injustice games, doesn’t it? The only difference is that Darkseid is heavily involved in this dark regime and is directly responsible for corrupting Superman. Unfortunately, that was the last we got to see of Snyder’s vision. We’ll probably never get to see how Darkseid’s invasion of Earth plays out and how Batman rose up to defeat him and evil Superman. Yes, I still wouldn’t count on it, no matter how many times you see the #RestoretheSnyderverse on social media.
This could be very disappointing for all you Snyder fans out there, understandably so. I should know, because I’m a Snyder fan myself. He sounded passionate about his plan to make Darkseid the big bad of the DC Cinematic Universe. However, there is an issue with his original plan that we need to admit. Let’s just get this out of the way, Darkseid is a lot like Thanos from Marvel, isn’t he? Well, that’s because the former was created first by Jack Kirby in 1970. Thanos, on the other hand, was created about three years after that by Jim Starlin. Yes, Marvel fans, the Mad Titan is basically a clone of the ruler of Apokolips. And to be honest, Darkseid is much more powerful.
If you’re an MCU fan, you know full well on how powerful Thanos is. He gave the Avengers and just about every hero in the MCU some serious trouble and his actions have forever changed the trajectory of the MCU. While Thanos has made his impact on his cinematic universe, Darkseid has yet to have made his on the DCEU. Can the lord of Apokolips do as much damage to the heroes of the DCEU? He most certainly can, because he’s freaking Darkseid. There’s not a DC fan out there who will doubt his ability to dismantle and destroy the Justice League. However, I just have this appalling feeling about whether or not Darkseid should be on the same level as Thanos in his cinematic universe.
Darkseid may have come first in the comic debut, but Thanos debuted first in the movies. The bottom line is that the lord of Apokolips is a little too similar to the Mad Titan. The latter made his mark and now DCEU has to find a way to live up to the hype. Now that Marvel got their big bad in, DC has a special kind of opportunity here. Instead of Darkseid being the big bad of the DCEU, there are a handful of other big bads that can take his place. But who exactly is bad and powerful enough to be a serious threat for the entirety of the DCEU?
If you’re a DC fan, you already have a list of worthy candidates. But the thing is, it doesn’t have to be some alien despot with nearly unlimited power. Then again, it can be someone even more powerful than Darkseid. The first being that comes to mind is the omnipotent Anti-Monitor. Just think of this villain as DC’s Galactus, but he doesn’t just eat planets. He actually devours galaxies. If that doesn’t make him a serious threat, then I don’t know what does. And if you’ve read the Darkseid War storyline during the final days of the New 52 era, you’ll know the lord of Apokolips has a competitor. And if that war can happen in the DCEU, it just impossible for the heroes to ignore.
The thing is, I feel like the DCEU can benefit from taking a big step away from the intergalactic despot. If they want to create their own path, then they need their big bad to be less powerful than Darkseid. A good way to do that is to pick a more human villain or at least have a villain that somewhat resembles a human. They can still go the hostile alien route, but take a small step down. The best candidate is the evil genius android/alien villain called Brainiac. For those who have played Injustice 2, you know this villain is capable of posing as a serious threat for the whole Justice League. He’s powerful enough to take on the Justice League, but also less powerful than Darkseid where he can feel more beatable. That would actually make him a more interesting villain.
Another good option would be Ra’s al Ghul, one of Batman’s greatest enemies. In no way is he an overly powerful alien warlord. However, he does have a vast amount of resources that allows him pose as a threat to more than just Batman. His everlasting Lazarus Pit and his cunning League of Assassins gives him an edge that allows him to take on the Justice League. On top of that, his motivations go beyond just enslaving the galaxy. Like Thanos, he believes in restoring balance to the world, which includes destroying a big chunk of its population. As twisted as his methods are, he truly believes he is fighting for humanity. That should make him one of the most intriguing DCEU villains. A villain who truly believe he is the hero of his own story is one who is arguably the most dangerous.
What are your thoughts, DC fans? Who do you think should be the big bad of the DCEU? If not Darkseid, then who can possibly be a bigger or more interesting threat than him? Despite Zack Snyder’s departure from the DCEU, it’s possible it can still have Darkseid as its big bad. I think that would be a missed opportunity, but time will tell.