Art by Jack Kirby
|First appearance||Mister Miracle vol. 1 #2
|Created by||Jack Kirby (writer & artist)|
|Place of origin||Apokolips|
|Team affiliations||Female Furies
Granny Goodness is a fictional character, a deity and supervillain published by DC Comics. Created by Jack Kirby, Granny Goodness was modeled on comedienne Phyllis Diller and first appeared in Mister Miracle vol. 1 #2 (May–June 1971).
Fictional character biography
Granny Goodness did not begin as one of the higher-level residents of Apokolips, but was instead one of the "Lowlies" - the brutally oppressed peasant class. She was removed from her parents and trained to be one of Darkseid's "Hounds" (his elite soldiers). One part of their training was to train their dog; Goodness named hers Mercy. Through combat and training, the two bonded. As the final step of her initiation into life as a Hound, she was told to kill her beloved pet. Instead, she killed her trainer for ordering this. When Darkseid asked why, she answered that "to have done otherwise would have robbed my lord of a most valuable asset," telling him that Mercy would obey her first, but him foremost. Testing this, Darkseid ordered Mercy to kill Goodness. Mercy attacked Goodness, forcing Goodness to kill her pet. Darkseid was impressed, telling Goodness that she had graduated with honors. "You have trained Mercy so well in my name that perhaps you'll do as well training others whose blind obedience I will one day require."
Darkseid had Goodness run the training facility for his elite soldiers, where she uses brainwashing and torture, in a brutal parody of child care, to turn the innocent into fanatical warriors willing to kill or die for Darkseid's glory. Since the war between Apokolips and New Genesis first moved to Earth, Granny Goodness has often run Earthly orphanages, looking for potential warriors for Darkseid.
Granny runs the "orphanage" on Apokolips and is the chief of the Female Furies. She also raised Scott Free, the son of Highfather of New Genesis who had been traded for Darkseid's son as part of a peace treaty. Scott Free (AKA Mister Miracle) became the first child to successfully escape one of her Orphanages.
In the final issue of the Amazons Attack miniseries it was revealed that Granny Goodness has been posing as Athena, having been manipulating the Amazons into the war. She tells Hippolyta that it was a test which the Amazons failed. It also appears that Goodness is posing as Athena in the Countdown series, using Amazon centers to recruit new female fighters. She is also holding the Gods of Olympus prisoner. After the gods are freed by Mary Marvel, Holly Robinson and Harley Quinn from an Apokolitian chamber, Granny is attacked and killed by Infinity-Man.
However, she is reincarnated on Earth, along with the other Evil Gods, as a member of Boss Dark Side's gang. Although this form is destroyed by Black Alice in an issue of Birds of Prey, in the Final Crisis of mankind, she takes the body of the Alpha Lantern known as Kraken and uses it to attack John Stewart and frame Hal Jordan for the assault. While she is discovered by Batman, she easily overpowers him and brings him back to the Evil Factory beneath Blüdhaven where he is sealed inside a torture device. Later, Reverend Good announces that Granny Goodness is poised to conquer Oa from within in the name of Darkseid, which would likely reestablish her as his favorite among the Elite.
Granny's attempted assault on the power structure of Oa results in injury to a Guardian, the clearing of Hal Jordan's name, the hiding of the Power Battery and a Green Lantern assault force sent to Earth. After she is stopped by Hal Jordan, she is taken away to be inspected. Her fate after Final Crisis is left unknown.
Powers and abilities
Granny Goodness is far stronger than any Earthwoman of her physical build and stature. She is surprisingly robust and, considering her age, quite good at hand to hand combat. As a member of Darkseid's elite, Granny Goodness has access to highly advanced weaponry. Also, she commands soldiers being trained at her orphanages, including flight troops, who ride on flying aero-discs; armored infantry; and members of the special powers force, who wield deadly weapons and who, in many cases, possess super powers.
She is seen in the pages of Justice League, in the Rock Of Ages storyline, in an alternate future where Darkseid has conquered the Earth. She has merged with the Mother Box systems, making a giant Grandmother Box. As her main offensive weapon, she teleports and blasts firepits energy at her adversaries. Ultimately, she is destroyed by the future Wonder Woman who sacrifices her own life in the battle.
On Grant Morrison's Seven Soldiers, after Darkseid's victory over New Genesis destroyed both planets, Granny reinvented herself. She is now a brothel madame, with the Furies as her prostitutes, and is an obese black woman. In this guise she hoped to seduce the new Mister Miracle to Darkseid. An identical version of Granny appears in Birds of Prey #118 (following Countdown), working at the "Dark Side Club".
In other media
- Granny Goodness appears in a few episodes of the Superman: The Animated Series voiced by Golden Globe Award-winner Edward Asner. She first appears in a non-speaking cameo flashback in "Apokolips... Now!, Part 1", as part of Mother Box's records of the history between New Genesis and Apokolips. In her first full appearance in the two-part episode "Little Girl Lost", also the debut episode of Supergirl. Granny appears as the head of Intergang, brainwashing street children and takes them in as members of Intergang. Jimmy Olsen and Supergirl attempt to infiltrate the revamped Intergang. Suspicious, Granny orders Intergang to take them down, and summons the Female Furies (Mad Harriet, Stompa and Lashina) to take executive action when the débutante Supergirl proves too true to her Argosian roots to be defeated that easily. In "Little Girl Lost-Part 2", Granny reveals that she had Intergang steal the necessary parts for a magnet to lure a comet to Earth and destroy for Darkseid, making it look like a natural accident to avoid breaking his treaty with New Genesis. The Furies capture Superman and take him to Apokolips, followed by Supergirl, who manages to trounce Lashina, Mad Harriet, Stompa, and Granny herself. After Superman and Supergirl stop the comet, Darkseid has the Furies attack Granny for her failure. Granny turns up again in the episode "Legacy". In "Legacy," at Darkseid's order, she brainwashes Superman into being his loyal servant and attacking Earth. When Superman later regains his true memories and journeys to Apokolips, he names Granny as "first on my list." He ends up using her own machine against her, damaging her mind and making her an invalid.
- Edward Asner reprises his role of Granny Goodness in the Justice League Unlimited episode "The Ties That Bind". The damage to her mind somehow previously repaired, she resurfaces and secretly kidnaps Oberon before approaching Mister Miracle and Big Barda with an offer: Free Kalibak from Virman Vunderbarr in the X-Pits on Apokolips and she will release Oberon. As Superman is not around, Flash volunteers to help them. After Kalibak is released from the X-Pits, Flash frees Oberon after revealing the Kalibak with Mister Miracle is really Martian Manhunter in disguise (they pulled a switch) and Kalibak is imprisoned in jail on Earth. She ponders how she failed to break Mister Miracle's will when he was a child, shortly before being punched in the face by Big Barda. She is later seen in "Alive!", about to lead the Female Furies against Vunderbarr and his lieutenants, Kanto and Mantis. The civil war brewing on Apokolips since "Twilight" is halted when Darkseid returns.
- She makes a cameo appearance in Imperiex's "bedtime story" scene from Unnatural Alliances in Legion of Super Heroes.
- In the Smallville finale of season 9, a mysterious elderly woman appears in Metropolis General Hospital, and enters the room of Tess Mercer shortly after Mercer's death. After much fan speculation that this woman might be Granny Goodness, it was confirmed by Tom Welling in an interview that she, along with other Female Furies would be featured in Season 10. The credits of the season 9 finale list Nancy Amelia Bell as Granny Goodness. Actress Christine Willes played the character in subsequent episodes. In the season 10 episode 8, "Abandoned", Tess Mercer finds a music box at the Luthor Mansion, seemingly left as a gift. The box leads Tess and Clark Kent to an orphanage run by Granny Goodness. It is revealed that Granny is erasing the memories (or traumas) of abandoned or orphaned girls, after which they are trained into ferocious warriors who were forging Green Kryptonite weapons for a future assault on Earth. Granny admits to being the one who brought Tess from her deathbed to Cadmus Labs where she made a full recovery from her burns. Granny also explains that Tess' training was interrupted when she was removed from the facility. Granny also tells Tess that her parents were powerful and they would have taken Tess away from her if she had not fought back and says that her Female Furies will take care of Clark and locks Tess in her childhood room. After being attacked and tortured by the Furies, Granny says she will remove his memories and that his life will be better without a painful past. As she starts the memory wipe process, Clark uses his super artic breath to freeze a cage over a Kryptonite forge that is weakening him and finds that Granny escaped. Clark defeats Granny' female warriors, the Furies, and rescues Tess from death by hanging. Later, Granny Goodness meets with two other minions of Darkseid, Desaad and Godfrey who discuss that their unholy trinity is complete and they can create an army for the Dark Force: Granny wipes people's memories, Desaad binds people's bodies, and Godfrey breaks people's spirits. Eventually in episode "Prophecy", Granny Goodness follows Oliver Queen's footsteps in finding the Bow of Orion - a powerful weapon once wielded by Darkseid's son Orion (who was raised by a being who was devoted to spreading light like Darkseid was devoted to spreading darkness and that entity's influence helped him become an ally to the side of good) that was used by him to prevent his malevolent father from taking over Earth in the past. She destroys the bow and manages to completely bring Oliver under Darkside's control (since she can control those wearing the Omega Brand, the mark of evil, on his forehead and Desaad had tattooed the Brand on his skull) by sending him to find Gold Kryptonite so it can be used to stop Clark from preventing Darkside's return by permenantly stripping Clark's powers. Her last appearance is in the series finale where she visited Tess at the Luthor mansion and pleaded her to join Darkseid, telling her that Darkseid's planet Apokolips was upon them and that only his followers would be saved. When Tess refused to join, Granny sadly bid Tess a goodbye and left. Along with Desaad and Gordon Godfrey, she tasked Oliver with placing the Gold Kryptonite wedding ring on Clark's finger to take away his powers permanently, but Clark managed to remove Oliver's Omega Brand. Later, as Apokolips eclipsed Earth, Granny, Desaad and Godfrey were confronted by Oliver just as the minions of Darkseid were declaring their victory. Shocked that Oliver's Omega symbol had been cleansed, Granny and the others (Desaad and Godfrey) tried to kill him but before she could, Oliver raised his bow, fired three special arrows, and destroyed the prophets who disappeared in a cloud of black smoke, destroyed once and for all. Granny has the power to remove people's memories which is so painfully that it causes them to go unconscious. Granny also has the power to alter or read people's memories since while she was torturing Clark she knew that Jor-El had disowned him and his earthly father Jonathan's death. Granny Goodness seems to have the powers of telekinesis and heat manipulation when she summoned the Bow of Orion into her hand and destroyed it. And lastly, Granny has the power to scare or intimidate people as seen in "Abandoned" when she scared a girl named Haley before wiping her mind clean. Granny has no problems wiping her victims' minds clean although she considered Tess her favorite orphan.
- Edward Asner reprises his role of Granny Goodness in the direct-to-video animated film Superman/Batman: Apocalypse.
- Tales to Astonish: Jack Kirby, Stan Lee and the American Comic Book Revolution (Bloomsbury, 2004)
- Beatty, Scott (2008). "Granny Goodness". In Dougall, Alastair. The DC Comics Encyclopedia. New York: Dorling Kindersley. p. 148. ISBN 0-7566-4119-5. OCLC 213309017.
- Wallace, Dan (2008). "Female Furies". In Dougall, Alastair. The DC Comics Encyclopedia. New York: Dorling Kindersley. p. 120. ISBN 0-7566-4119-5. OCLC 213309017.
- "Mister Miracle" #9 (September 1972)
- Birds of Prey #118 (July 2008)
- Final Crisis #5 (Dec. 2008)
- Eric Goldman (2010-05-20). "Smallville: Will Tom Welling Wear the Superman Suit? - TV News at IGN". Tv.ign.com. Retrieved 2011-01-16.
- ""Smallville" Salvation (2010)". imdb.com. Retrieved 2010-06-03.
- "Exclusive: Meet 'Smallville's Big, Bad Granny Goodness | Fancast News". Fancast.com. Retrieved 2011-01-16.
- "Conroy, Daly Return In "Superman/Batman: Apocalypse". Comic Book Resources. June 29, 2010. Retrieved June 29, 2010.