WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Wonder Woman #45 by James Robinson, Ema Lupacchino, Ray McCarthy and Marco Santucci, in stores now.
And what Darkseid is, is... many things. He is villainy and superiority. He is the beginning and the end. He is the Lord of Apokolips and fear. And, as readers learn in Wonder Woman #45, he is the architect of his own destruction.
Ever since the character was killed by the Anti-Monitor and reborn as an infant, the young Darkseid (with the help of his daughter Grail) went to great lengths to consume the energies of the children of Zeus. The two traveled across the world, hunting the Olympian god's offspring for Darkseid to feed on.
Every time Darkseid would consume the godly energies he needed, he would grow a few years, inching his way closer to a full return to adulthood. It was only after the supervillain killed Zeus himself that Darkseid managed to ingest enough power to regain his adult form, once again fully powered. But there was a drawback to this method -- a flaw in his master plan. This weakness led to the character's downfall in Wonder Woman #45, and paves the way for the character's upcoming developments in Justice League: No Justice.
To the surprise of many, it was recently revealed that Darkseid would be joining the ranks of the Justice League as part of the No Justice relaunch of the super-team. That's right, the League's worst villain imaginable will fight alongside his mortal enemies, and we can't even begin to fathom the circumstances that will lead to such an unholy alliance. Or can we?
In Wonder Woman #45, we catch up with Darkseid as he proceeds to create a new army of Amazonian Parademons in the hopes of taking back control of Apokolips. But before he can depart from Earth, Diana Prince faces the supervillain one final time, by herself. But if the League can't defeat the supervillain on their best day, what hope does Wonder Woman have, all alone in a fist fight against the ultimate force of evil and destruction in the universe? Well, it turns out that she isn't exactly alone. Instead of fighting, Wonder Woman decides to use the love in her heart, in the hopes of making a connection with the energy of the Greek gods Darkseid has murdered and consumed.
Wonder Woman's love is so pure and strong, she manages to do just that, freeing the spirits of the dead deities from Darkseid's body. With no more power to fuel him, this in turn leads Darkseid to implode in on himself, disappearing in flames and smoke. The battle is won and Themyscira is saved, and Wonder Woman believes that Darkseid might finally be dead once again.
But that isn't the case. Instead, the issue ends with a final page that shows that Darkseid is still somewhere on Earth. However, he does not possess the armor or the body that he once did. He is smaller, seemingly the size of a regular human -- and he has no memory of who he is. He doesn't even know where he is, for that matter. For all intents and purposes, Darkseid has been wiped clean, remade and reborn, and he is now in a quest for answers.
It appears this quest will lead to a heroic turn for the character, one who might even put him in the sights of the Justice League. Of course, we assume that some qualities, those of superiority and malevolence, may not be completely removed from the character, which means that this new Darkseid could become a version of the character who hovers between the side of good and evil. He could therefore prove to be a fascinating new addition to the roster of the Justice League. But we will have to wait for Joshua Williamson and Stjepan Sejic's Justice League Odyssey to find that out.