After Jack Kirby famously left Marvel Comics and landed at DC in the 1970s, he created the The New Gods and designed them as a modern mythology. Each of them reflect a facet of modern life. While characters like Darkseid were immediately embraced as major DC tentpoles, other members of the pantheon slowly became more vital to the overall DC Universe.
One of Kirby's most memorable and menacing New Gods, the imposing and terrifying Granny Goodness, takes children and turns them into soldiers. To get ready for director Ava Duvernay, CBR is taking a look back at the history of the character and her role in the New Gods mythology.
WHO IS GRANNY GOODNESS?
Granny Goodness first appeared in Kirby's Mister Miracle #2, before serving as the main overarching villain of titular hero's original series. In the original history of the character, Granny Goodness was initially just another desperate child of Apokolips. Taken from her parents, she was meant to become one of Darkseid's Hounds. This program trained the future Granny into a fierce soldier. As a New God, she's functionally immortal. She's also incredibly strong and well-skilled in hand to hand combat.
Part of her time with the organization included adopting a dog and training it. She bonded with the animal, even naming it Mercy. When her tutor instructed her to kill the hound to prove her loyalty, Goodness murdered the instructor instead. Taken to Darkseid, she revealed it wasn't because she wanted to spare the dog. She just saw the senseless death of a powerful potential servant to Darkseid as a waste. Darkseid ordered the dog to kill Goodness, who was forced to put her animal companion down. Impressed, Darkseid made Goodness into one of his chiefs lieutenants and generals.
GRANNY GOODNESS AND THE FEMALE FURIES
Granny Goodness gained her name when she became the caretaker of the Apokolips orphanage, which was the newest training ground for Darkseid's soldiers. Modeled as a sick parody of orphanages on Earth, where these facilities allowed Goodness the chance to enforce her brutal style of training onto entire generations of soldiers. Her demeanor was one of a caring maternal figure, sickly sweet while torturing her charges. Her most powerful soldiers became the Female Furies, a group of specifically dangerous soldiers of Darkseid.
One of her best soldiers was Big Barda, who became the leader of the Furies. But all of her plans and schools were upended by Scott Free. The son of the New Genesis' Highfather, Scott was taken into her orphanages. But he resisted her manipulations, managing to escape all of her attempts to break him. He even fell in love with Barda, who would eventually abandon her role as a member of the Furies to escape to Earth with him. Barda has remained a consistent enemy of both characters.
WHERE HAS GRANNY GOODNESS APPEARED?
Granny Goodness has become one of the most distinguished members of Darkseid's court. When his forces branch out into other major DC events and adaptations, Granny Goodness is typically one of the most frequently-used characters from Apokolips. During Grant Morrison's Seven Soldiers and Final Crisis, she was reinvented alongside the rest of the New Gods. Initially recast as a brothel madame, she eventually took over the body of the Alpha Lantern Kraken. She framed Hal Jordan for murder, and almost managed to claim the Center Power Battery for Darkseid. She was also featured in Tom King Mitch Gerads' Mister Miracle, where she's revealed to have potentially been a spy for Highfather before Barda kills that incarnation of her.
Granny Goodness has also appeared in numerous adaptations of the New Gods outside of comics. She appeared in the DC Animated Universe, memorably played by Ed Asner. She appeared frequently in the 10th season of Smallville, where she commanded the Female Furies. She was responsible for Tess surviving a serious injury and intended to turn her into one of her Furies. She's appeared in the third season of Young Justice as one of Darkseid's spies on Earth. She's poised to have a major role in the upcoming New Gods film being directed by Ava DuVernay, which will expose her to an even bigger audience.