When it comes to DC's pantheon of New Gods, characters like Darkseid and Orion might spring to mind first and foremost, but Big Barda, and her husband Scott Free (Mister Miracle), also has an impressive history. While she's rearely had a starring role, she's one of DC's more mainstream heroes who's also appeared in Justice League cartoons and some of DC's more popular events.
In addition to that, she's a Jack Kirby-created hero who embodies the spirit of feminism by breaking down the patriarchy whenever she gets the opportunity. With that in mind, let's look at what took Barda from being an agent of Apokolips to one of DC's most triumphant warriors.
WHAT IS BIG BARDA'S ORIGIN STORY?
Barda was born in the fiery pits of Apokolips to Big Breeda, and when she was deemed the perfect stock for Darkseid's Female Furies, Granny Goodness took her in to train her as the ultimate weapon. At the Home for Orphaned Youth, she was conditioned to hate and also show no compassion, although she did empathize with her fellow sisters and the torture they went through.
Nonetheless, Granny saw her potential as a successor, and the Female Fury who could be the greatest of them all. However, on a raid Barda met Scott (Darkseid's adopted son from New Genesis) and fell in love with him, recognizing she wanted a life of liberty away from her hellish home. She eventually joined the rebel cell of fellow New God Himon and grew closer to Scott as he dreamt of bringing Apokolips' empire down.
WHAT'S HER HISTORY AS A HERO?
Eventually, she'd run away with Scott and become a lifelong enemy of the Furies, who saw her as a traitor. She'd go on to fight on behalf of Highfather (Scott's biological father on New Genesis) and eventually, she and Scott got married and ended up in the suburbs on Earth. Her skill grew as she was mentored by Scott and Oberon as well, creating a more comprehensive soldier who was now learning about life through love.
Barda would also go on to become a member of the Justice League, teaming up with the likes of Martian Manhunter and Adam Strange to fend off Lobo, Despero, the Injustice League and many other invasions. Not to mention, when Darkseid kidnapped Supergirl, Barda was one of the chief members of the rescue party. She even helped out the Birds of Prey whenever time allowed, remaining bound to duty whenever Darkseid threatened the cosmos. Even after she died in Final Crisis thanks to Infinity Man, only to be reborn, Barda made sure she'd always be there to deliver justice with Scott at her side.
WHAT ARE BARDA'S POWERS?
Due to the New Gods being genetically-enhanced thanks to their connection to the Source, Barda boasts a strength, durability and invulnerability along the lines of Wonder Woman. In fact, she comes off like a galactic Amazon warrior who's impervious to poisons, blasts and even mind control at times. With such a high resistance, she's a one-woman army, with her swordsmanship and wrestling skills making her arguably the best female brawler in the universe.
Her combat suit consists of Apokoliptian armor, which makes her even more durable in battle. Her prized possession is the high-tech Mega-Rod, which opens up boom tubes to teleport light years away. It can also be used for short bursts of flight and to generate energy blasts which can even take down the Man of Steel. This rod can also influence energy fields and gravity, making Barda quite a handful for her opponents. In addition to her physical conditioning, her mental robustness truly fashions her into a military strategist who can help win almost any war.
BIG BARDA AND MISTER MIRACLE'S RELATIONSHIP
The relationship between Big Barda and Mister Miracle is best described as love at first sight. Immediately, they knew they wanted to take down Darkseid together and erase his oppression totally. Barda was awestruck by Scott's grit, innocence and determination, while he fell in love with her bravery and desire for peace. When they left Apokolips, they knew the war would always follow them, wherever they went but still they were undeterred.
They made it clear they'd sacrifice their lives for each other, and even after marriage, they kept flirting with death because they knew the mission came first. In Tom King and Mitch Gerard's recent Mister Miracle run, we saw Barda (in some artificial reality) reflecting on what the real world version of her felt for Scott: total devotion, which admittedly helped trick and trap the hero. Ultimately, no matter what, they both know they're doomed in life, but when it comes to ending Apokolips as an institution of hate and suffering, all that matters is they do so together.