While the Justice League might be better known for battling the likes of Darkseid, Steppenwolf, Lex Luthor, and Brainiac, there's another group of rogues who've become mainstays of the lore: Parademons.
Sure, they're not exactly the biggest threat in the DC universe and probably have more in common with the Shredder's Foot Clan than any major villain, yet it wouldn't feel like Apokolips without these large-sized gnats making a nuisance of themselves. Bless their empty heads, too, or else Batman wouldn't have something to pound on a regular basis. The poor guys are like punching bags for the League.
As we're now firmly in Justice League's release week, it'll be worthwhile to take a look back at the Parademons since they're set to play a pivotal part in the movie as Steppenwolf's army. Judging by the general audience's reaction to them in the trailers, it appears as if they'll be meme fodder for the future, so it's best to brush up on your knowledge if you want to join in on the fun later on.
With that said, hold on to your Mother Box and get out the trusty flyswatter, because here are the 15 Things You Didn't Know About Parademons.
15 They Are Genetically Created In Laboratories
We all know that Parademons answer to Darkseid, but where do they come from? Well, there are several variations of this, but we'll focus on the more traditional origins here.
Created in Apokolips' laboratories, they're generically tweaked to serve their master and do his bidding. Some of them are even bred from human stock – something which we're sure is against basic human rights in most Multiverses and frowned upon by most societies in general.
The New 52's version of the characters is a lot more bonkers, though, identifying them as the living or dead remains of species from parallel words and universes that Darkseid has conquered. In other words, they're flying zombies that'll do anything for their master. Where do the writers come up with this stuff?
14 Despite Being From Apokolips, They Aren't New Gods
In case you're unfamiliar with Jack Kirby's lore, New Gods are natives of the twin planets, New Genesis and Apokolips. New Genesis is considered a peaceful place with forests, mountains, and rivers, and is ruled by the Highfather. On the contrary, Apokolips is the living embodiment of hell, filled with fire and death, and is ruled by the evil and tyrannical Darkseid.
Despite being from Apokolips, though, Parademons aren't considered to be New Gods. This is mostly due to them being bred through artificial means and no one really considering them as anything besides Darkseid's stupid army.
That said, Parademons are still seen as a step up from the common slaves of Apokolips. We guess that carrying weapons and being pests must be viewed as purposeful acts on this hellish planet.
13 Mike Is The Most Famous Parademon
Much like flying monkies, the Parademons aren't renowned for their outlandish traits and quirks – think of them as possessing the personalities of a ham sandwiches if you will. Even so, there's always a diamond in the rough.
In this case, the diamond is a Parademon named Mike from Total Justice. As part of one of his dastardly plans, Darkseid left a bunch of Parademons on a Caribbean island. Unfortunately, they were largely forgotten, but one of the them developed a personality of his own and dubbed himself Michael – preferring Mike for short.
Bored and longing for company, Mike started to kidnap people off passing ships. One ship, though, contained Tim Drake and his dad, which drew the unwanted attention of the Justice League.
This resulted in a battle between the League and Darkseid, with Mike thought to be a casualty of war. However, we later find out that the Dark Knight saved Mike and even gave him a television set to keep him company.
12 They Were Known As Paradrones In Super Friends
A few decades ago, parent groups didn't like comic books at all, believing they promoted deviant behavior. Thankfully, the devil manifested itself in the bodies of pop musicians and the groups swiftly turned their attention elsewhere.
Nonetheless, Super Friends is a reminder of a time when animated shows had to toe the line and be careful of what they said. In the final season of the show, which now carried the name of The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians, the Parademons made their long-waited appearance as Darkseid's underlings.
However, anything with the word "demon" was frowned upon and protested by parent groups, so the minions underwent a name change and were referred to as "Paradrones" on the show. It's not really a drastic departure from the original name, but more of an amusing recall of an era past.
11 They Were Antagonists In 1985's Superman: The Game
The Man of Steel hasn't had the best of luck when it comes to video games. It's been 18 years and we still can't remove the stain of Superman 64 from our minds – yes, it was that bad and no bleach can wash it away. Weirdly enough, one of his earlier forays into the gaming sphere wasn't too bad and 1985's Superman: The Game for the Commodore 64 was decent for its time.
While it's difficult to see-- because of the pixelated graphics-- the Parademons were actually present in the game. Sure, they weren't the biggest threats for the player to defeat, but it's cool to spot them in a Superman game from three decades ago.
Since then, they've gone on to appear in a host of other games – most recently in Injustice 2.
10 They First Appeared In The New Gods #1
If you think the Parademons look like something out of a Thor book, your thinking isn't too far off, since they were created by the late, great Jack Kirby, who co-created the God of Thunder along with Stan Lee and Larry Lieber.
Appearing in The New Gods #1, which was released in February/March 1971, the swarming critters made their debut along with the likes of Orion, Highfather, and Metron in the issue.
Interestingly, the New Gods saga was meant to be a limited series and there was no intention for the characters to go on forever. Kirby's Fourth World, though, proved to be so popular that it's become a foundation of DC Comics.
It's incredible to think that the Parademons have been around for 46 years already – and gone through several iterations – but let's not forget the influence that Kirby had in shaping them.
9 A Rogue Parademon Joined The Secret Six
Over the years, there have been different adaptations of the Secret Six, with the main constant being the fact that the members are brought together by the mysterious Mockingbird (no, not the character from Marvel Comics).
In Gail Simone's version of the team that was introduced in 2005's Villains United #1, a Parademon joined a group consisting of Catman, Scandal Savage, Cheshire, Ragdoll, and Deadshot.
There are rumors that this rogue Parademon could be Mike; however, the details remain a little bit murky around that. All that we do know is that Ragdoll and Parademon built up a close bond in their time together.
They were so close that when the Parademon died, Ragdoll stuffed and kept the body in his room. This would be adorable if it weren't downright creepy.
8 They Fight To The Death, If Not Mindlessly
Now, we're all aware that the Parademons aren't exactly the smartest bad guys in the DC universe. In fact, they fall into the Bebop and Rocksteady realm of dumb henchmen, looking like lemmings tumbling into traps and not thinking twice before doing something stupid.
However, you cannot doubt their loyalty to their supreme ruler, Darkseid. They will go into any battle, ready to die for the cause. No matter how bad an idea is or the inevitable outcome, they will execute to a T even if it means they'll die in the process.
Seriously, if you were told to attack Superman, Batman, Flash, Aquaman, and Wonder Woman, would you? Good on them for being such loyal guys, but in this case, it's clearly no brain, no pain.
7 They Made Their First Live-Action Appearance In Batman V Superman
Despite being around for over four decades, the Parademons have been largely absent from DC's live-action adventures. To be fair, we're only getting a Justice League movie for the first time in 2017, so it's understandable that Apokolip's creatures would fall down the wayside.
However, this all changed in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice's Knightmare scene when the Dark Knight took down a horde of Parademons in a brutal dream sequence of a post-apocalyptic future. It was a highly controversial and big talking point of the movie, but it still remains significant as their first appearance in the DCEU.
We're set to see even more of them in Justice League, so it'll be interesting to see if they differ too much from the dream sequence in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Maybe we'll also get to see Mike.
6 Patrick Tatopoulos Is Responsible For Their Look In The DCEU
Looking at the Parademons in the comic books and animated series, you're undoubtedly aware that the creatures aren't exactly the easiest to bring to life in the live-action world. A keen and discerning eye is required to capture the essence of the characters while also not turning them into Mighty Morphin Power Rangers villains.
The man tasked with this project was production designer Patrick Tatopoulos, who was responsible for most of the overall visuals of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. Tatopoulos is known for his work on other blockbusters including Independence Day and 2012, so he was a logical choice to work with Zack Snyder in bringing these aliens to the big screen.
If you're a fan of detail, head over to his Instagram page to see a close-up of the Parademon's design. Terrifying and brilliant, isn't it?
5 They Are Often Accompanied By Hounds
If there's one constant across the Multiverses, it's that everyone loves dogs. Honestly, why would anyone dislike these amazing creatures? They've certainly proved that they're far more compassionate than humanity throughout the ages.
In Apokolips, the same holds true. However, the dogs on this planet are gigantic, a little bit more aggressive than your average poodle, sometimes have a few heads, and known as Hounds.
Yeah, they're used for war and all that stuff, but they still look incredibly adorable even when they're suited up in armor. It's like dressing up a Chihuahua in a little jersey – it's just too much of cute for your heart to handle.
Generally, where you find Parademons, you'll find they're accompanied by Hounds. They're like Sonny and Cher, or Justin Bieber and bad decisions. However, the question remains: who's Darkseid's real pet here -- the Parademon or the Hound?
4 There's A Stronger Class Called Berserkers
As per the New 52's explanation of Parademons, we've learned there's a special class known as Berserker which remodels the remains of a dead or kidnapped citizen into a powerful being. Apparently, if a person is transformed into a Parademon, it results in a stronger, more formidable servant for Darkseid.
Now, take a look at the trailers for Justice League. Judging by what we've seen, it appears as if the film will draw inspiration from New 52 and introduce Berserkers into the mix. Consider them a bit like vampires where they can transform their victims into versions of themselves.
Whether this theory ends up being true or not, we'll only know after the film's official release on Friday. Nonetheless, it's still cool to see the Berserker influence taking off in another medium.
3 They Appeared In The JLA/Avengers Crossover
Since their debut in 1971, the Parademons have almost always appeared whenever we see Darkseid in a storyline. Heck, we even saw them play a part in The Uncanny X-Men and The New Teen Titans crossover from 1982, which was written by Chris Claremont and illustrated by Walt Simonson.
But it was their appearance in the iconic JLA/Avengers that's worth mentioning due to the magnitude of the event. In what many hope will one day come to life on the big screen, this DC/Marvel crossover saw the heroes travel to Apokolips to find the Infinity Gauntlet where we find out they battled the Parademons. However, we only see the creatures in action in issue #4 of the series.
While they didn't have a huge role to play in the narrative, it was still welcome to see the alien army form a part of such a grand tale.
2 They Killed Solomon Grundy
Yes, we do like to poke fun at the Parademons for not being the most proficient at their jobs, but there are times when they have gotten it right. In Salvation Run, for example, they're dispatched by Desaad to take down the villains – and boy, did they take them down.
It's safe to say that none of us expected the hellish creatures to cause as much of an impact as they did in this storyline. They didn't just stop the likes of Solomon Grundy, Hyena, Brutale, and General Immortus, but downright killed them.
Obviously, no one ever stays six feet under in the comic book world, but this was big at the time since those were some massive names that the Parademons took out. Not bad for a bunch of cronies.
1 Frank Welker Voiced Their Effects In Their First Animated Appearance
Much like the Xenomorph in the Alien franchise, the Parademons aren't renowned for their soliloquies. They're more about sound effects and making weird mouth noises. So, it's only suitable that one of the world's best voice artists provided his vocal talents to Darkseid's army.
Frank Welker – known for being the definitive voice of Scooby-Doo and Megatron – sipped his water and gargled up some effects for the Parademons (or Paradrones as they're known here) in their first animated outing on Super Friends. Naturally, he did a bang-up job and delivered.
This wasn't his only gig with DC properties, however, as he has voiced and provided effects for numerous characters since then. One of his other more interesting performances was as Ace the Bat-Hound in Batman Beyond – those woofs were something else.
Do you know any other interesting facts about the Parademons that will appear in the Justice League? Let us know in the comments section!