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The Many Looks of Darkseid, from Kirby to Lee & Beyond

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The Many Looks of Darkseid, from Kirby to Lee & Beyond

At the recently concluded WonderCon 2018, DC announced a new Justice League series from writer Joshua Williamson and artist Stjepan Sejic. Titles Justice League: Oyssey, the big surprise from the announcement is that Darkseid will be a member of this new Justice League. It’s such a completely unexpected turn of events, Williamson joked about how shocking the news was by saying he originally wanted to call it JL: WTF.

Besides being a shocking addition to the team, Darkseid is also sporting a brand-new look for the series, presumably designed by Sejic. Darkseid has gone through a number of different looks since he was first introduced by Jack Kirby in the pages of Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen back in 1970. Read on to see the evolution of Darkseid’s style over the decades.

RELATED: Darkseid Will Soon Be a Member of the Justice League

When Darkseid made his first appearance in Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen #134 (by Jack Kirby and Vince Colletta), you really could not even tell that what he was supposed to look like, since he appeared just as a head on a screen, sending off ominous threats…

Even an issue later, where we began to get some sense of what Darkseid is supposed to look like, it’s still pretty darn vague, as Darkseid is shown through a video screen….

Amazingly enough, even as Kirby and Colletta move over to the official launch of the “Fourth World” line of titles (after introducing the concepts behind the Fourth World in Jimmy Olsen, a book Kirby took over because he didn’t want to displace anyone from a gig and there wasn’t a regular creative team on Jimmy Olsen, leading to Kirby taking it over and forever leading future generations to think, “Wait, Kirby moved to DC and the first thing he did was take over JIMMY OLSEN’s comic book? Huh?), Darkseid remained in shadows in New Gods #1…

By now, we already were quite familiar with that awesome helmet, but that’s the only thing that we could see of the big guy.

That changed in Forever People #1 (by Kirby and Colletta), when Darkseid showed up to face off against the Infinity Man, who was actually Darkseid’s older brother. Anyhow, when we first see Darkseid, he’s rocking not only a cape, but a lined design down his pants…

Otherwise, this is pretty similar to his iconic look, which would officially debut the next month in New Gods #2…

This has it all. The high boots and what looks like he is not wearing any pants, but just high boots covering his legs.

Despite Darkseid being under Kirby’s auspices, he actually showed up in other titles pretty much right away, as Robert Kanigher, Werner Roth and Vince Colletta had him guest-star in Superman’s Girl Friend, Lois Lane #116, where it looks less like an independent design and more like Roth just sort of haphazardly tried to copy Kirby’s design and just didn’t do a very good job…

Roth would come closer in Superman’s Girl Friend, Lois Lane #118, but the end result was still something that didn’t really look like Kirby’s design.

In the last issue of the original New Gods series, with inks now by Mike Royer, Kirby sure went out of his way to make it clear that Darkseid IS wearing pants, but just that his pants, I guess, look a lot like the same color as his flesh?

It’s an odd color scheme, to be sure.

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