The ultimate mark of a main villain is when he is the first name that pops up in your head when the topic comes up. Darkseid is the apex villain in the DC Universe, as he’s been known to take on the heroes all at the same time.
However, Darkseid’s status as the antagonist of the DC Universe isn’t because he’s the most powerful; on the contrary, there are other villains who have the ability to beat Darkseid. While you might know some of these villains (and we’re sure the casual fan doesn’t know about some others), they are more powerful than Darkseid due to established feats, or just because their powers exceed his. Here are 10 such villains you’ll be interested to know about.
Since Darkseid has beaten Superman time and again, one figures that Doomsday would be a being Darkseid could handle too. The newer DC fans especially believe this after watching Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but the truth of the matter is Darkseid has lost to Doomsday.
As it happened, Doomsday found himself headed over to Apokolips, where he laid waste to all of Darkseid’s forces as soon as he arrived. Empowered by the Omega Force, it was believed Darkseid would brush Doomsday aside, but instead it was Doomsday who made short work of Darkseid. It took Superman sending Doomsday to the end of time via time travel to stop him; otherwise, Darkseid was done for.
In the DC Animated Universe, the overarching antagonist turned out to be Darkseid, as he was brought to life by Lex Luthor by mistake, before attempting to invade the Earth. However, Darkseid was lucky he arrived at this point in time, as it was devoid of the presence of AMAZO.
The android had earlier displayed insane levels of powers, as we saw him vanish away entire planets in space. He even found the Atom and Lex Luthor at the most microscopic level, and could emulate magic despite being a machine. Had Darkseid come across him, AMAZO would have easily copied his Omega Beams and vaporized him.
Surprisingly, Brainiac and Darkseid haven’t come across each other much despite being two of Superman’s close personal rivals. Their personalities and abilities are vastly different, which makes it interesting how they would lock horns.
We had an example of this in the DC Animated Universe, where Apokolips’ might still wasn’t enough to take down Brainiac. He would arrive there to continue his quest to assimilate the universe, and Darkseid and his forces lost utterly due to Brainiac being able to disable their strengths using his technology. Darkseid had to cut a deal with Brainiac to deliver Superman to him in order for the former to spare Apokolips.
7 Justice Lords Superman
Although Darkseid has beaten Superman, the latter has his fair share of wins as well. Superman has put Darkseid down on his own, making it an easy case for the Justice Lords version. This one didn’t have the morality our prime one does, and was very comfortable with killing.
Under the Justice Lords Superman’s reign, there was “peace” in the universe due to Superman either killing or lobotomizing all his enemies. This guy could very well induce nightmares to Darkseid, as killing his enemies was the first box he had to tick in his missions.
If you think Darkseid is a bloody warlord, then you ain’t seen nothing yet. The Anti-Monitor is credited as being solely responsible for the most deaths in all of the DC Universe. The known number of deaths is confirmed to at least be 3,000 universes!
This guy can survive supernova levels of explosions, with his major kills including Supergirl and the Flash. His main ability is his ability to absorb energy; since the universe is made of energy, the Anti-Matter is nigh-unstoppable. At one point, he was even able to change the beginning of the universe after traversing through time, and he eats stars for lunch.
5 Mr. Mxyzptlk
It might sound silly, but the most powerful force is that where the character makes use of the fact that he’s a cartoon. This guy here is fully aware of it, and might just be the most powerful villain Superman has ever faced. People tend to take him lightly due to his attitude as a moron, but there’s no question his powers are too extreme.
Any power used against him is useless, because he can just make that offensive maneuver go away. He needs no rest, no sleep, no matter of sustenance in anyway to exist. Should Darkseid want to hit him with an Omega Beam, he might just laugh it off like it was a joke.
4 Emperor Joker
We definitely spoke too soon, because there’s something way worse than Mr. Mxyzptlk: The Joker with Mr. Mxyzptlk’s powers. That’s right, the Joker convinced Mr. Mxyzptlk to hand over his abilities, and unleashed total destruction upon the DC Universe.
Since the Joker wasn’t a gullible fool like Mr. Mxyzptlk, he was completely aware of all the actions he was doing. Unlike other villains, Joker used his creativity and made a complete joke (pun intended) out of the Justice League. Darkseid is a very serious villain, but he would’ve found himself in a baby’s stroller had he confronted Joker just because the latter would’ve thought that was funny.
3 Brainiac/Lex Luthor Hybrid
If some nerds want to argue that Brainiac isn’t as powerful as Darkseid, then you will definitely conced defeat here. This version was fused with Lex Luthor, who you might remember is the smartest guy on DC Earth.
The two agreed to remake the universe, and had the power to assimilate all matter within them. They could create matter too, as we saw them make their own version of the Justice League to fight the true version, before capturing them like it was play time. Since Darkseid didn’t know how to contend with regular Brainiac, he wouldn’t have had a chance against this one whose plans included travelling across galaxies and assimilating them.
2 Yuga Khan
For DC comic fans, this might be common knowledge, but since today’s audience is made of mostly casual fans who aren’t very well versed in the DC Universe, you might not know that Yuga Khan is the father of Darkseid.
There’s no question of who the more powerful family member is either, as Darkseid never made a move with his warlord conquests when Yuga Khan was around. Instead, he was utterly consumed with fear of his father, who was undisputed in power and only disappeared due to his obsession with the Source Wall getting the best of him.
This creature might look like it’s only added to this list for a laugh, but that’s how you fall prey to Starro in the first place. Looking like a harmless thing, Starro is a sentient creature who plots and latches onto the unsuspecting victim to take complete control of them.
It was able to do just this to Superman, who was under the mind control of Starro for years. Killing Starro is easier said than done, as it can make hundreds of spores to multiply in quantity. Once it has a grasp of its victim, Starro can poison their mind to do whatever it wants. Now, imagine how disastrous it would be if Darkseid fell under its control.