The pages of DC Comics are home to some of the most powerful superheroes and villains on the planet. Characters like Batman, Superman, and General Zod are insanely powerful, with their superhuman abilities reaching near godlike levels. Of course, for all the godlike characters in DC, there are also actual Gods running around wreaking havoc, or preventing them. These god characters often take inspiration from the gods of real life religions, albeit with a more comic book approach. It may sound ridiculous for a grown man in an animal costume to face off against an actual, world-destroying deity. But in the pages of DC Comics, that’s just a normal Tuesday night for a number of superheroes.
One such god character that’s always giving our favorite Justice Leaguers a rough time is Darkseid, the terrifying ruler of the planet Apokolips and a powerful member of DC’s New Gods. Darkseid terrorizes the heroes of DC with his powerful Omega Beams, lasers he shoots from his eyes that can either knock someone into space or completely vaporize them. But as powerful as he is, Darkseid is also just a bit overrated. There are gods out there in the DC Universe who are way scarier than Darkseid. To prove it, here’s 15 of them.
Ah Ares, the God of War himself. Ares is an Olympian God, and can often be seen as the foil of everyone’s favorite Themiscyrian princess, Diana “Wonder Woman” Prince. The DC Comics version of Ares is a lot like the Greek mythological deity that inspired him; a near-unstoppable war machine with immense strategic skills and a millennia’s worth of battlefield experience.
Ares lives off of war, with the very notion of a battle energizing him to his very core. That’s not a metaphor either, Ares quite literally gets stronger whenever there’s a fight, unleashing an army of soldiers ready to spread havoc and bloodshed on his opponents. We just recently saw Ares display his godly prowess in Wonder Woman earlier this year, where he understandably gave the warrior princess a run for her money.
When it comes to powerful, scary Gods, you can’t forget to include the terrifying demon Trigon. Though technically labeled as a demon, Trigon is the spawn of a God and a female who worshipped him. As such, Trigon is a god, albeit a very demonic looking one. The father of Teen Titan Raven, Trigon rules the hellish dimension Azarath, and spends his time enslaving worlds and terrorizing his daughter and her superhero friends.
Trigon is pretty overpowered, with his abilities ranging from immortality, telepathy, size-changing, shape shifting and manipulating matter and all of reality itself. He uses these powers to conquer worlds and torture their inhabitants. We’re assuming that he also kicks puppies and steals candy from babies, but that’s probably only on his off-days of being a giant demon god.
When we think of the New Gods, we usually picture Darkseid. After all, he’s the ruler of Apokolips, and he’s the New God that makes the most appearances in the comics. However, while he may sit comfortably ruling over Apokolips, Darkseid is not the leader of the New Gods. That title rests with Izaya, also known as Highfather.
This Odin-like deity often faces off against Darkseid, pitting his army of gods with Darkseid own Apokoliptan warriors. He possesses superhuman strength, lighting-fast reflexes, and a powerful staff that shoots out tremendous amounts of energy. His hate for Darkseid doesn’t necessarily put him on the same team as the Justice League however. While not a villain, his desires for peace in the multiverse no matter what means, and his tendency to put his family of New Gods before anyone else can sometimes pit him against Earth’s heroes.
We all know that the king of the sea in DC Comics is Aquaman. While Batman, Wonder Woman, and the rest of the JLA may protect us landlubbers, the ocean is Aquaman’s domain, and he rules it with an iron fist. However, Arthur Curry may use his heroic alter-ego to act as king of the sea, but he’s not the God of the sea.
That title belongs to Triton, son of Poseidon. Triton and his famous father rule over the seven seas, making sure that their watery domain is safe. Triton faced off against Aquaman in a battle for the ages, using his control over the seas to nearly decimate him with the very landscape that he protects. Of course, as these stories traditionally go, Aquaman came out on top, but that doesn’t mean Triton’s power should go unnoticed.
11. WONDER WOMAN
How could we forget one of the most frighteningly powerful gods of them all, Wonder Woman? Sure, Wonder Woman isn’t often seen as a god or goddess, she’s usually given titles like “Princess” or “Warrior”. However, as the daughter of Zeus, Wonder Woman is every bit a god as the ones she often fights.
Wonder Woman has gone toe-to-toe with the likes of Ares and Darkseid, and sometimes came out looking she barely broke a sweat. There’s no wondering why Diana Prince is such an icon for women in comic books, she personifies the very attributes of strength, courage, and wonder that every hero needs. She’s also got a magic lasso that forces you to tell the truth, and that by far is the scariest thing imaginable.
10. BIG BARDA
Wonder Woman isn’t the only powerful female warrior out there. Big Barda, often depicted as Wonder Woman’s match, is a deadly warrior and someone you definitely don’t want as an enemy. Jumping from hero to villain depending on the story, the one thing that remains consistent with Barda is her protection over her husband, Scott Free.
The two ran away from Apokolips together and have been protecting each other ever since, and while she knows he certainly doesn’t need protection, she still has no problem fighting an army for her other half. Barda possesses your average New God abilities, ranging from immortality to invulnerability. She also possesses the “Mega-Rod”, a rod capable of firing bolts that can damage even Superman. The rod also allows Barda to teleport, alter gravity, and, in a primitive yet effective way, beat her opponents senseless.
9. MISTER MIRACLE
Big Barda may be a bit overprotective when it comes to her dear husband, but that doesn’t mean he can’t handle himself. Barda’s other half, Scott Free is a powerful New God himself. Born on New Genesis to Highfather and his wife Avia, Scott was taken away by Darkseid at a young age in a deal between New Genesis and Apokolips that would assure that neither would attack each other.
Rather than grow up evil however, Scott rebelled and ran away from his new home. He, along with his new love Big Barda, fled to Earth, and Scott went by the name “Mister Miracle”. As his very punny name would suggest, Scott is an escape artist, able to get out of any trap he’s put in. It’s a good thing he became a hero, otherwise he would make jails look obsolete.
Another offspring of Darkseid, Orion was traded for Scott Free in an effort to keep the peace between the New Gods and the inhabitants of Apokolips. Because he grew up with the New Gods, Orion was trained to control his inner anger and his natural Apokoliptan desire to want to kill pretty much every living thing in the universe.
Luckily, it worked out, and unlike his father or sister, Orion is able to use his godly powers for good. However, this doesn’t mean he’s perfect. Orion has the usual New God powers, along with an ability called “Berserker Rage”. As the name suggests, Orion often goes into a fit of uncontrolled rage, which can lead to some pretty catastrophic events, such as Orion ripping his father’s beating heart right out of his chest.
7. GRANNY GOODNESS
Gods are often depicted as men and women, young and in their prime. The word “god” triggers an image of someone with dashing good looks, chiseled features and muscles that defy the realistic capabilities of the human body. However, being a god isn’t exclusively a young man’s game. Granny Goodness is a fine example of that.
Born among the lower class citizens of Apokolips, Granny Goodness was recruited as one of Darkseid’s elite soldiers. Goodness is an expert hand-to-hand fighter, but what makes her so terrifying is her ability to train anyone and make them a formidable member of Darkseid’s elite army. Meaning you don’t just have to deal with her, but also the hundreds of cronies that come with her.
6. JAMES OLSEN (EARTH-2)
The world of DC Comics may be full of superheroes, but there are still quite a lot of normal people running around. Some of them, mostly the ones who share some connection with a more famous superhero, get recognition of their own. One such normal person who has a recognizable name in DC Comics is James “Jimmy” Olsen, Superman’s best friend.
Jimmy Olsen of Earth-1, the main DC Comics earth, is just a regular guy, but Earth-2 Jimmy is an actual god; a New God to be exact. After an encounter with a Mother Box, hacktivist James Olsen gained the ability to teleport, fly, project energy and hack into any device on the planet. We should all probably start deleting our search history.
It’s hard to believe that somebody, somewhere out there in the universe would find Darkseid attractive enough to want to bear his children, but that’s exactly what happened with the birth of Darkseid’s daughter, Grail. What’s perhaps less hard to believe is that Grail is even stronger and scarier than her old man. Born to Darkseid and the assassin Myrina, Grail was prophesied to bring about the destruction of the universe via the Anti-Monitor.
Grail displayed her powerful heritage the first chance she got, traveling to Earth and nearly killing every member of the Justice League on her own. She has a remarkable set of powers, from superhuman strength, speed, and stamina, as well as immortality. Perhaps her greatest and most shocking power is her ability to tap into users of the Speed Force and use them as gateways to other dimensions.
Although not the most famous Kryptonian, the God of Krypton himself, Rao, is undoubtedly super-powerful. Superman fans will recognize Rao as the name of the Red Sun that orbited Krypton before its destruction. The oddly colored sun was named after the original God of Krypton, a fiery red deity who once ruled over Superman’s home planet.
In many stories, Rao is depicted as a humble god, with many Kryptonians (including the El family) still worshiping him long after his rule. However, in the New 52, Rao’s history was slightly altered, and he went from a nice god to an evil false idol who gained his immortality by siphoning the life from his followers. Because nothing says “Thanks for worshiping me” better than literally sapping the life out of your devout worshipers.
Yet another son of Darkseid (what can we say? The guy apparently gets around in the universe), Kalibak is without a doubt the King of Apokolips’ most ferocious offspring. Born and raised by Darkseid to become a powerful warrior, Kalibak serves as his father’s second-in-command, assisting him during his father’s many, many brutal battles.
Kalibak has his father’s love for war and death, using his New God abilities to wreak havoc on entire planets. The only known weakness Kalibak has is the fact that he’s blind (an affliction given to him by his sister, Grail), but because the world of DC Comics is pretty unfair and absolutely terrifying, this feral creature also has super scent, able to smell the fear of his enemies from miles away.
2. MAD HARRIET
A common trend with the powerful warriors of Apokolips is that they have horrible, tragic upbringings. The goddess Mad Harriet is no exception. Raised in Granny Goodness’ orphanage, Harriet was the most sadistic fighter-to-be under her care. Mad Harriet adores torture and pain, making her a pretty formidable and durable opponent.
As one of the first members of the Female Furies, Granny Goodness’ elite all-female military unit, Harriet served under Darkseid, using her New God physiology and her absolute insanity to take down anyone who was unlucky enough to get in her way. Unsurprisingly, Harriet doesn’t have many friends, but she did make one out of equally as crazy femme fetale Harley Quinn. That was surely a force to be reckoned with.
1. EMPEROR JOKER
For those who thought it’d be impossible to have a DC gods list and also include The Joker, think again. The Clown Prince of Crime may have a considerably large fan base as the most notorious member of Batman’s rogues gallery, but that certainly doesn’t make him a god. Of course, making him an all-powerful cosmic being with the ability to manipulate time and space and bend reality to his will certainly gives him god status.
In a special story event titled “Superman: Emperor Joker”, Joker became a God after tricking Mr. Mxyzptlk into giving him 99.9% of his power. With that percentage, Joker was able to do some pretty scary stuff; such as alter reality to create his own dark, Joker centric world, and killing Batman only to have him brought back to life and killed in a different way again and again. Yikes.
Which of these gods scares you the most? Let us know in the comments!
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