WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for Wonder Woman #33
Darkseid was scary when DC's Rebirth turned him into a baby, but he's already grown into a murderous teenage boy. Both of those story twists will take fans by surprise, in the event that they missed out on the epic "Darkseid War" event that helped the Justice League kick off DC's entire Rebirth relaunch. But as odd as it may sound, the baby Darkseid has played a supporting role in more than one main event already. Which makes it all the more heartbreaking that just as we thought we were getting to know the infant ruler of Apokolips, he's fast-forwarded right through his early years to the upheaval of adolescence.
That's the latest reveal in DC's main Wonder Woman series, as the Amazon princess finds herself at war with Grail, the daughter of Darkseid and one of her Amazons sisters. It's Darkseid that Grail is fighting to protect, but the story of a proud warrior protecting an innocent child would be too squeaky clean, given which child we're talking about.
Darkseid is a growing boy, but its souls he needs to grow into adulthood. Even for the ruler of Apokolips, puberty is killer.
DC Rebirth Made Darkseid a Baby
For those who may have missed out on "The Darkseid War" - the story that actually launched the DC Rebirth and several of its stories - we'll try to keep things simple. Darkseid became a baby. The entire story actually focused on Grail, the daughter of Darkseid and an Amazon assassin named Myrina. The child had been born and raised in secret off of Themyscira, with Myrina training Grail to one day be strong enough to do what her mother had failed to: kill Darkseid. Grail found a way to kill the ruler of Apokolips, but instead hatched an evil plan you would expect from the daughter of Darkseid.
Thankfully, that plan was thwarted by the Justice League (temporarily turned into New Gods). Grail managed to use an ancient Amazon ritual to reincarnate the soul of Darkseid into that of a newborn child, but her plan fell apart beyond that point. Her hope had been to grow Darkseid to full size and wield him like an attack dog. But when the League undid the spell and returned Darkseid to the form of a newborn baby, Grail took him and fled for her life. The issue that led directly into Rebirth saw Grail hidden away in secret, as her mother had been, raising a supremely powerful child of her own: the baby Darkseid.
The pair went largely unseen in the Rebirth so far, but have recently returned to the Wonder Woman series as Grail is once again taking orders from her father/son. Hilariously, writer James Robinson and artist Emanuela Lupacchino reveal Darkseid put his daughter in her place before he was even out of his crib.
Darkseid is an Angry Baby (Hungry For Souls)
After making his debut as a pre-teen boy (seen at the top of the post), Wonder Woman #33 finally reveals what happened in the time since Grail first cradled her New God father in her arms, right up to him commanding she slaughter the children of Zeus so that he might feed on their godly essence. He is a growing boy, after all. Fans will appreciate the glimpse into Darkseid's childhood, when he was so young the only thoughts of domination he could concoct were to demand souls to satiate his hunger. Specifically, the life force of an Old God to help mature Darkseid from a baby to his full form, or close to it. And on DC's version of Earth, there's one god who can truly be declared as the 'king' of his fellow deities. Fortunately for Darkseid and his daughter, Zeus made sure to spread a lot of his essence across the planet over a few thousand years.
And so the stage is set for the next chapter of Wonder Woman comics, as Grail hunts down the children of Zeus so that she can defeat them in combat, and pass their demigod energy on to her father. "Darkseid War" established just how deadly Grail really is, and even without the help of her father's incinerating optic blasts she's felled countless demigods already - Hercules the most recent.
Even so, Darkseid has only matured to the form of a fresh-faced teenager. It will take the life of Wonder Woman - or preferably, her twin brother - to give Darkseid what he needs. We don't know about you, but we're seriously hoping this little boy Darkseid sticks around for a little while longer.
Wonder Woman #33 is available now.