Apokolips

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Apokolips
Apokolips.jpg
Drawn by John Byrne in Legends #1.
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance The New Gods #1 (Feb, 1971)
Created by Jack Kirby
In story information
Type Planet
Notable people Darkseid
Desaad
Granny Goodness
Female Furies
Notable races New Gods
Parademons
The Dreggs

In the DC Comics fictional shared Universe, Apokolips is the planet ruled by Darkseid, established in Jack Kirby's Fourth World series. It is also integral to many DC Comics stories. The planet is considered the opposite of New Genesis.[1]

Apokolips (a play on the term "apocalypse") is a large planet. It is an ecumenopolis with burning firepits. The war that destroyed the Old Gods and created New Genesis and Apokolips separated the Fourth World from the rest of the universe, leaving it only accessible by Boom Tube.

The Boom Tube, it has been revealed, converts individuals that pass through to proportions fitting the destination, i.e., when a New God passes from Apokolips (or New Genesis) to Earth, they are 'shrunken', while someone going the other way would 'grow'. If someone somehow reaches the Fourth World by other means, he will discover its denizens are giants.[2]

History[edit]

Apokolips and its bright counterpart, New Genesis, were spawned by the destruction of Urgrund, the world of the "Old Gods" (initially implied to be the gods of classical mythology, though versions of these characters have since been revealed to still exist in the DC Universe). Apokolips and New Genesis are locked in an eternal war, symbolizing the struggle of evil and good on a grand mythic scale. Apokolips is ruled by a fell being known as Darkseid, a dark leader who rules over his downtrodden people by force and fear. Apokolips appears to be a high tech industrial wasteland.

Seven Soldiers[edit]

Main article: Seven Soldiers

Both Apokolips and New Genesis were seemingly destroyed in a final battle prior to Grant Morrison's miniseries Seven Soldiers: Mister Miracle. However, the final issue of that series implied that the story's earlier events were merely visions seen by the hero as part of an elaborate test by the New God Metron. How much of the battle really happened and the current status of the New Gods remains to be seen.

Countdown to Final Crisis[edit]

Using Boom Tube technology Brother Eye arrives on Apokolips and seemingly assimilates the entire planet. Before the assimilation is fully complete, The Pied Piper intervenes and channels the Anti-Life Equation through his flute. This destroys much of Brother Eye, making its central core make a last-minute escape off the surface of the planet and reverting much of Apokolips to what it was.

Death of the New Gods[edit]

Main article: Death of the New Gods

At the end of the Death of the New Gods mini-series, with all the gods now dead, the combined entity born from the melding of the Source and the Anti-Life Equation merges Apokolips and New Genesis into a single new planet with characteristics in common with both the former worlds.

The Great Darkness Saga[edit]

In the 30th century, original Legion of Super-Heroes continuity, Apokolips is inactive and Darkseid incapacitated. In the Reboot Legion continuity, Darkseid was aged and dying with the planet mostly uninhabited but the center of a large cult.

New 52: Earth-2 Invasion[edit]

In the post-Flashpoint DC Multiverse, there is an alternate universe Apokolips-2 within Earth-2's universe, which invaded Earth-2 in 2009 under the aegis of Steppenwolf. At present, Huntress (Helena Wayne) and Power Girl have been flung out of their universe of origin into that of Prime Earth. The invasion cost the lives of Earth-2's original Batman, Catwoman, Wonder Woman and millions of humans, including the body of Earth-2's Lois Lane-Kent, married to Superman on that world. Earth-2's Superman has been subverted into a murderous variant named Brutaal and the Apokoliptan forces also have assistance from Fury, Earth-2 Wonder Woman's abducted and brainwashed daughter, with all her mother's Amazonian abilities. Green Lantern (Alan Scott), Atom, Hawkgirl, Doctor Fate, Red Tornado (an android with Lois Lane-Kent's memories) and the Flash (Jay Garrick) have formed an embryonic Justice Society to combat this invasion.

Inhabitants[edit]

The population is a downtrodden lot, including many kidnapped from other worlds before being "broken". The majority of the population are called "Lowlies" or "Hunger Dogs", a bald and fearful race that has no sense of self-worth or value, and yet, in their own way, are just as much gods as those who rule the planet.[3] The Lowlies are subject to constant abuse that ends only with death. Next are the Parademons who serve as the keepers of order on the planet.[4] Higher above the Parademons are the Female Furies who are Darkseid's personal guard. They are blessed with unnatural strength and longevity and are either trained for their position in the Furies from birth, or are promoted from the ranks of general Apokolips troops. The leaders of the Furies is Granny Goodness, who sports the appearance of a matronly old woman while being the most powerful of the guards, and Kanto, who enjoys a unique position as Darkseid's master assassin. The chief guard, Big Barda had a third position under Granny which has not been filled since her defection from the group. Deep Below Armagetto, the lifeless form of the Old Gods live on. They are known as the "Dreggs."

Apokolips is ruled by Darkseid as its theocratic god/despot but he delegates most of the actual day to day ruling to his counsellor Desaad. Darkseid has no real contenders for the throne of Apokolips except the demon Mantis, although his sons Orion, Grayven, and Kalibak are also potential contenders. Darkseid is cursed by Grayven and Kalibak's stupidity and Orion's service of good. Orion once usurped the throne of Apokolips from his father temporarily, until coming to his senses and returning to New Genesis. It is prophesied that Orion will overthrow Darkseid. In Kingdom Come it is revealed that Darkseid's overthrow will not result in major changes on Apokolips, as Apokolips' evil comes from evil itself rather than Darkseid.

Geography[edit]

Necropolis[edit]

The Necropolis is an underground labyrinth located on Apokolips, home to the Dreggs, the last surviving Old Gods. The Dreggs survived the sundering of Urgrund, but were rendered mindless. Below the Necropolis are the Black Ways, a labyrinth which was the prison of Sirius, one of the last few surviving Old Gods, stuck in the form of a large wolf. Sirius sacrificed himself in order to save the life of Orion, as seen in Orion #10, (March 2001). Powerful artifacts created by the Old Gods have been found in the Necropolis. A sword found in the ruins of Asgaard briefly gave John Hedley superhuman powers which he used to challenge Orion in New Gods #16 (May 1990). In another expedition, Kalibak discovered the Thunderbelt, a device which increased his strength and durability (and which was a direct homage to Thor's belt of strength). New Genesis also has ruined cities from the time of the Old Gods. Lonar found his mystical war horse Thunderer in one of these ruins.

Technology[edit]

Arguably, Apokolips is second only to New Genesis in technological advancement. With their technology, they are the height of power in most of the universe and are able to devastate galaxies when they choose to use it. Apokoliptian technology is furthermore the source of unparalleled misery in the universe as the planet routinely arms evil groups with advanced technology in order to further its influence (and misery) across the universe. Apokolips technology was used by Ugly Mannheim and his Intergang in Superman comics. It was a deal between Darkseid and Metron which was the cause of the invention of the "Boom Tube" using "Element X" which could only be found on Apokolips. The "Entropy Aegis" armor used by Steel to defeat Imperiex was Apokoliptian technology, as was Dmitri Pushkin's second suit of Rocket Red armor.

Other versions[edit]

Darkseid/Galactus: The Hunger[edit]

During an intercompany crossover, Galactus visited Apokolips, but was unable to feed on the planet, since all of the life force that had dwelled there had either left to New Genesis or were burned in the fire pits long ago, in essence leaving the planet too corrupt for him to feed on.

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

  • Jack Kirby's Fourth World was featured heavily in the final season of Superman: The Animated Series with Apokolips as the primary setting in a few episodes. In the final episode "Legacy", Superman faced Darkseid in battle and actually dethroned him as ruler and freed the people of Apokolips, only to watch the citizens help Darkseid recover from his wounds out of divine loyalty.
  • In the successful series Justice League Darkseid asked for the League's help when the computer Brainiac attacks Apokolips. This is later revealed as a trick to capture Superman so Brainiac can make itself an organic being. However Darkseid gains control of Brainiac and tries to use him to solve the Anti-Life Equation. However Darkseid is killed when Brainiac's asteroid base explodes. In the series continuation, Justice League Unlimited, Apokolips plunged into civil war after Darkseid's death, between two of his generals, Granny Goodness and Virman Vundabar. Vundabar captures Darkseid's son Kalibak, but Kalibak is later imprisoned on Earth. The League hopes that both sides would destroy each other, so that neither of them can threaten Earth or the universe. But when Darkseid was resurrected by Lex Luthor, he returned to Apokolips to reaffirm his rule, ending the civil war. He then orders his forces to attack Earth, so as to get revenge on Superman and later to head to New Genesis. The Apokolipian forces then came upon Earth via boom tubes. The Justice League, temporarily allied with the Secret Society of Super Villains, fought against them. When Darkseid and Luthor seemingly perished when they clasped their hands on the Anti-Life Equation, the Apokolipian forces retreated back to their home and will possibly be either attacked by the forces of New Genesis for violating the Highfather's pact with Darkseid, or without Darkseid to unite them, will return to civil war for control of Apokolips.
  • In the series Smallville, Apokolips is referenced when Clark Kent's cousin Kara explains to Oliver Queen that a symbol-like language depicted on a cave's walls is Apokoliptian in nature. The actual planet appears in the series finale, in which Darkseid attempts to crash it into Earth until Clark, who has become Superman, defeats Darkseid and pushes Apokolips back into outer space.

Video games[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Byrne, John (w), Byrne, John (p), Austin, Terry (i). "Legends from the Darkside" Superman v2, 3: 11-12 (March, 1987), DC Comics
  2. ^ The size difference varies; Supergirl found herself confronted with Apokolipians the size of skyscrapers, while Superman found that entire planets from his universe fitted in his hand while on Apokolips.
  3. ^ Byrne, John (w), Byrne, John (p), Austin, Terry (i). "Legends from the Darkside" Superman v2, 3: 10-11 (March, 1987), DC Comics
  4. ^ Byrne, John (w), Byrne, John (p), Austin, Terry (i). "Legends from the Darkside" Superman v2, 3: 13 (March, 1987), DC Comics

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