Glorious Godfrey from Forever People #7,
artist Jack Kirby
|First appearance||The Forever People (vol. 1) #3, (June 1971)|
|Created by||Jack Kirby (writer & artist)|
|Alter ego||Glorious Godfrey|
|Place of origin||Apokolips|
|Team affiliations||Darkseid's Elite
GBS (Galaxy Broadcasting System)
|Notable aliases||G. Gordon Godfrey, Reverend G. Godfrey Goode, Godfrey|
Glorious Godfrey is a DC Comics villain created by Jack Kirby, originally as part of The Fourth World series of comic books in the early 1970s. He first appeared in Forever People vol. 1 #3 (June 1971).
Fictional character biography
In his first appearance he confronts the Forever People, who had stumbled upon a recruitment program for Earth-based warriors for Darkseid. He personally leads an attack of Justifies that almost kills the young warrior Serafin. Despite the efforts of the Forever People's semi sentient Super-Cycle, Godfrey's attack would have succeeded in killing Serafin; however Highfather chose at that moment to recall all his people (and the cycle) home via teleportation.
Godfrey remained a relatively unimportant character until 1986 (he had a total of 3 appearances over a decade and a half), when Legends (the first crossover since the Crisis on Infinite Earths) was published. In it, Darkseid attempts to deprive the world of its heroes, not only so that they would be ineffective against Darkseid, but also in the hope that the people of Earth would more willingly surrender to his rule.
The first phase of the plan consists simply of creating immense amounts of collateral damage by sending creatures to Earth to fight the superheroes. The public begins to resent the heroes in their midst, and therefore Darkseid starts the second phase of his plan by sending the master manipulator Glorious Godfrey to Earth.
Assuming the identity of G. Gordon Godfrey (a reference to G. Gordon Liddy), he starts a hate-campaign toward the superheroes that proves to be very effective, riling the public, ultimately leading to a presidential decision to outlaw any super-heroic activity. The final phase of the plan consists of the Apokoliptian warhounds, cybernetic creatures that are bonded to human hosts, for which Godfrey is able to find an ample amount of 'volunteers' among his hypnotized public. He leads his charges to Washington D.C., only to be confronted by a cadre of assembled heroes.
The heroes are able to defeat the Warhounds and separate them from their human hosts, and Godfrey makes one last ploy by putting on the helmet of Doctor Fate in hopes of obtaining his awesome might. Instead, the helmet mindwipes Godfrey, leaving him nothing more than an empty shell that is sent to Belle Reve sanitarium, where he would later be broken out of by the Female Furies under the order of Darkseid.
Godfrey has subsequently made brief appearances among assemblages of all the Apokoliptian Gods.
In Final Crisis #1, an African-American Reverend Godfrey Good appears on a TV news report, decrying the situation in Blüdhaven and the lack of government aid and assistance in dealing with the crisis in the ruined city. In-between Final Crisis #1 and #2, Good is captured and transformed into a host for the essence of Glorious Godfrey. Godfrey taunts Dan Turpin and Batman, as Batman is imprisoned and Turpin transformed into the final host body for Darkseid.
In Final Crisis #4, Godfrey is present when Darkseid takes control over Turpin's body. However, in Final Crisis #5, Darkseid responds to his minion's impending death (presumably due to the fact that Godfrey's host body was not modified to successfully contain Godfrey's dark essence) by watching them die in front of him.
A one-shot revealed that Godfrey had been chosen by Darkseid to be the secretive, personal assistant to the earth-based villain Libra. The man is given generic technology to support him throughout the years because Darkseid believed the man had potential for greatness. Godfrey's assistance turns out to be invaluable, as Libra is the key to Darkseid's defeat of Earth.
The New 52
In The New 52 (a reboot of the DC Comics universe), Glorious Godfrey makes his first appearance by giving greetings to Batman and Ra's al Ghul from Apokolips. He has a new look, sporting a beard and an all-black uniform with red gloves and belt. Glorious Godfrey's reason to come to Earth is to retrieve the Chaos Shard, a powerful crystal once belonged to Darkseid which Ra's al Ghul revealed was hidden inside the sarcophaus he crafted for Damian. After detecting a trace signature of the shard coming from inside Damian's body and despite the assistance of the Justice League, Glorious Godfrey escapes with the corpse back to Apokolips with Batman vowing to get Damian Wayne's corpse back.
Powers and abilities
A sub-par athlete and hand-to-hand combatant, Glorious Godfrey's greatest gifts are his overwhelming speaking voice and his extraordinary powers of persuasion. Whether these are natural gifts or have been augmented by the power of Darkseid has yet to be determined. Godfrey employs a private army called the Justifiers. Earthmen who believe Godfrey's rhetoric and have had their perceptions completely contorted by Godfrey's words. The special helmets worn by the Justifiers allow Glorious Godfrey to control his soldiers even when they are not in his presence.
In the Batman Beyond spin-off comic, Bruce Wayne encounters a man named G. Glenn Godfrey, who claims to be no relation to the original G. Gordon Godfrey, who attempts to topple Wayne-Powers Enterprises by encouraging riots among the workforce as they demand a new payment plan that Bruce could never deliver on, only for his efforts to be undermined when Bruce virtually bankrupts himself to fulfill all of the workforce's demands and buying back a controlling share of the company into the bargain. Although it is not explicitly stated that the two Godfreys are the same person, Glen Godfrey's talk about an employer and other plans beyond Wayne Enterprises suggests that he shares some of his predecessor's agenda. This, in addition to a seeming resistance to the high levels of radiation put off by his employer, Derek Powers, suggest that he is a resident of Apokolips like the original Godfrey.
In other media
- A different version of Glorious Godfrey appeared in the Justice League animated series. This version of Godfrey had blonde hair, rather than the comic version's orange. In the two part episode "Eclipsed," "Glorious" G. Gordon Godfrey (voiced by Enrico Colantoni) is the host of a sensationalist talk show which he uses to attack the Justice League's credibility. It is not revealed if he is connected with Darkseid or has his powers of persuasion; it appears that he is a normal human. After the Justice League successfully prevented the destruction of the sun, his sponsors dropped him and the network moved his show to four o'clock in the morning. At one point on his talk show, Godfrey holds up a book called The Innocent Seduced and refers to its author, Dr. Frederic. This is a reference to Seduction of the Innocent, an actual book written by Fredric Wertham which had great influence during the early 1950s and accused comic books of corrupting minors.
- Godfrey appears on the tenth and final season of Smallville played by actor Michael Daingerfield. Godfrey, who is a radio shock jock personality against vigilantes, superheroes, and illegal aliens, is heard on the radio in the episode "Shield" and appears in the following episode "Supergirl". He becomes a Vessel for Darkseid since he had great darkness in his heart, and through him, he becomes a famous author for a best-selling anti-heroes book, trying to spread the seeds of mistrust and doubt through people's hearts and make the people lose faith in their heroes. Lois Lane, tired of watching him take cheap shots at heroes, follows him to Club Desaad to try to expose him, but Darkseid takes over and breaks out of his bonds while saying that taking over her body would have been "fun". Godfrey/Darkseid tortures Lois and says her suffering will bring the Blur to him and enjoys her "playful" toture. In the series finale When Apokolips, the planet of Darkseid, descended to Earth, he, Granny Goodness and Desaad had a meeting with the corrupted Oliver Queen. They gave him a Gold Kryptonite wedding ring so he could remove Clark's powers permantly, leaving no one to stop Darkseid, but, unknown to them, Clark managed to remove Oliver's Omega symbol. As the final moments of Apopkolips' rapture approached, Oliver appeared to the prophets, now cleansed of their influence. Godfrey was shocked by this and the three tried to kill him, though before they could Oliver used his arrows to destroy them all.
- Godfrey first appears in the Young Justice: Invasion episode "Happy New Year" voiced by Tim Curry. He appears using the name G. Gordon Godfrey (like he did in the comics) who works as a news show host and operating on a xenophobic and anti-alien agenda. Godfrey reports about the incident about Lobo's attack on Secretary-General Tseng which revealed that Tseng was a Krolotean in disguise, while sowing fears about other aliens being in the Justice League. In "Alienated," Godfrey commended the Justice League on their act of setting up technology that will detect alien life on Earth, yet was suspicious on how they managed to obtain the technology so quickly. As the episode progresses, other citizens are shown accepting Godfrey's ideologies. In "Depths," G. Gordon Godfrey questions Carol Ferris at a press conference about the idea of Ferris Aircraft launching a communication satellite to Mars considering the recent alien attacks and adamantly refuses to believe in any positive effects to the satellite launch. In "Before the Dawn," G. Gordon Godfrey comments about the Reach appearing at the United Nations wanting peace with Earth and states that at least they "used the front door" unlike the alien members of the Justice League. In "Cornered," G. Gordon Godfrey commented about Captain Atom and the Reach Ambassador meeting in private following their meeting at the United Nations. G. Gordon Godfrey later comments about the Reach Ambassador exposing the info about the Justice League's Watchtower. In "True Colors," G. Gordon Godfrey comments about the Justice League's Watchtower and asks the viewers how long the viewers can stand for this. He also comments that the Reach have partnered with Lex Luthor in a way to end world hunger and other projects. In "The Hunt," G. Gordon Godfrey interviews the Reach Ambassador where he questions him about the Reach ships that have been under Earth's oceans all this time. The Reach Ambassador tells G. Gordon Godfrey that they were there to help Blue Beetle as G. Gordon Godfrey asks if this is a part of the Reach's "bold-faced lies." In "Endgame," G. Gordon Godfrey reports that Secretary-General Tseng has resigned and that Lex Luthor is a candidate to become the new Secretary-General after helping to stop the Reach invasion. Later on, G. Gordon Godfrey is seen with Vandal Savage and Desaad on Apokolips when Vandal Savage meets with Darkseid.
- Glorious Godfrey at the Guide to the DC Universe
- Wallace, Dan (2008), "Glorious Godfrey", in Dougall, Alastair, The DC Comics Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, p. 138, ISBN 0-7566-4119-5, OCLC 213309017
- "Forever People" Vol. 1 #6-7 (Feb-March 1972)
- Final Crisis #1
- Final Crisis #5 (2008)
- "Final Crisis: Secret Files and Origins" December 2008
- Batman and Ra's al Ghul #32 (2014)
- Batman and Ra's al Ghul #33 (2014)
- Batman Beyond #4-6
- Craig Byrne, Editor-In-Chief. "Young Justice Interview: Greg Weisman & Brandon Vietti Talk Saturday's Season Premiere - KSiteTV". ksitetv.com.