|First appearance||The New Gods (vol. 1) #1 (February/March 1971)|
|Created by||Jack Kirby|
|Alter ego||Izaya the Inheritor|
|Place of origin||New Genesis|
|Team affiliations||New Genesis|
|Notable aliases||The All-Father|
Highfather is a fictional comic book character in the DC Comics Universe. He is chief of the New Gods of New Genesis in the Fourth World and ruled the fictional planet. Highfather first appeared in The New Gods (vol. 1) #1 (February/March 1971).
Fictional character history
Highfather is in reality Izaya, sometimes known as Izaya the Inheritor. The name is a phonetical version of the Old Testament prophet Isaiah. Highfather thematically resembles the Greek god Zeus or the Norse god Odin (who was known as the all-father).
Darkseid uses Izaya in his scheme to seize control of Apokolips. During a raid by his uncle Steppenwolf, Darkseid appears to kill both Izaya and his wife. However, Darkseid intentionally only stuns Izaya, knowing he will seek revenge on Steppenwolf, which he does, killing him and paving the way for Darkseid's ascent to power.
In making peace with Apokolips, Izaya and Darkseid make a pact to exchange their sons. Darkseid raises Scott Free while Izaya raises Orion. Izaya manages to tame the savage Orion (to a point) and he becomes one of the greatest warriors of New Genesis, fiercely devoted to the ideals of his adoptive home. Eventually, Scott Free (Mister Miracle) escapes Apokolips (as planned by Darkseid) which breaks the pact between New Genesis and Apokolips. Izaya and Scott are reunited, though relations between the two have not always been easy.
Highfather often consults the Source, a primal energy field represented by a mysterious wall upon which are written messages which may be of use in resolving crises. Though never stated outright in the New Gods series, the Source is implied to be some form of higher power (perhaps even God), making Izaya a spiritual as well as political leader of his people. As ruler of New Genesis, he is kind, compassionate and caring, but ready to defend it from any threat.
During the Genesis limited series, Highfather is slain in battle with the war god Ares. He is succeeded as leader of New Genesis by Takion, an Earthling hero who is a living conduit of the Source. Since his death, Izaya's spirit has served as a member of The Quintessence, a council of powerful cosmic entities that observe events in the universe.
Highfather later appears in Seven Soldiers: Mister Miracle as the leader of the New Genesis survivors living as homeless people on Earth following the destruction of their world. However, much of the events of that miniseries prove to be a vision of possible events, leaving Highfather and New Genesis' current situation in doubt.
However, he was shown in Final Crisis sketchbook, indicating that he will return. In Final Crisis #7, Highfather is depicted next to Barda and Mister Miracle in front of a reincarnated New Genesis.
The New 52
After the Source detects an upcoming powerful danger that will potentially result in the end time and originates somewhere on Earth Highfather sends Orion to stop this. This threat is initially thought be 'Zeke' the last child of Zeus, which causes Orion moral qualms as he doesn't want to kill children. However, the threat is later revealed to be the First Born of Zeus, a monster that desires only his birthright; Olympus, destroying everything in his path to get it. Highfather himself appears after Orion brings a badly wounded Wonder Woman, Hera and Zola to New Genesis to escape the First Born. In the New-52 Highfather appears to be more similar to his earliest Kirby appearances as he dresses in armor and carries a baton, hinting to his earliest title of Izaya, the Warrior, who battled Darkseid at the breaking of the Third World and lead the forces of New Genesis for countless years against the forces of Apokolips. His personality is also different as he appears to be a harsh father for Orion on the surface, though he quietly hints his pride in his adoptive sons actions.  He later reveals another great threat as being no less than Superman himself, leading to the first meeting between Superman and Orion.
Powers and abilities
Highfather can manipulate tremendous amounts of energy for his own purposes through his staff, which is linked with the inconceivable power of the Source. Darkseid once rendered the staff useless, but it has since reestablished its link with the Source and regained its powers. As Izaya, Highfather is an immortal with superhuman strength, endurance and reflexes. He is a superb hand-to-hand combatant and a master of weaponry. However, he left the ways of combat behind when he took on the role of Highfather.
JLA: The Nail
Highfather appears in JLA: The Nail, involved in a war between New Genesis and Apokolips, triggered when Apokolips assumed that a Kryptonian shield around Earth was part of a sneak attack by New Genesis and decided that the only way to prevent their destruction was to attack first.
In other media
- In the DC animated universe, Highfather first appears on Superman: The Animated Series in the Season 2 episode "Apokolips... Now! part II". He also makes a cameo in the series finale episode "Legacy".
- Highfather receives his first speaking role in the two-part Justice League episode "Twilight" voiced by actor Mitchell Ryan.
- Though he was never mentioned by name in the final season of Smallville, Kara Zor-El mentioned another being, who was dedicated to spreading the Light and raised Darkseid's son Orion. Most likely a reference to Highfather.
- An alternate universe version of Highfather appears in the animated film Justice League: Gods and Monsters, voiced by Richard Chamberlain. Instead of trading Orion for Mister Miracle, he weds Bekka to Orion to bring their Apokolips and New Genesis together. However, Highfather betrays Darkseid and murders him along with his elite shortly after Orion and Bekka are married.
- Genesis #3 (December 1997)
- Wonder Woman Vol 4 #14 (January 2013)
- Superman Vol 3 #18 (May 2013)
- Highfather chronology
- Highfather biography at The WB!
- Highfather (in Justice League) biography at ToonZone
- Highfather (in Superman: The Animated Series) biography at ToonZone
- A detailed article about Izaya