Why Darkseid's Huge New Upgrade Made Him DC's Most Powerful God

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Justice League Incarnate #3, now on sale

Due to the nature of the DC Multiverse, the creations of some worlds have a direct and important impact on the rest of the multiverse. This especially extends to Earth-33, which is treated similarly to the real world. One villain just realized the potential such a world has and used it to their advantage.

Darkseid's ultimate plan in Justice League Incarnate #3 (by Joshua Williamson, Dennis Culver, Ariel Olivetti, Nik Virella, Todd Nauck, Mikel Janin, Andrei Bressan, Hi-Fi Design, and Tom Napolitano) included turning himself into an editor at DC Comics which in theory is one of the most powerful upgrades any fictional character could ever gain.

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Justice League Incarnate #3 shunted the various members of the multiversal team across various realities with President Superman and Doctor Multiverse landing on Earth-33. Nominally a powerless world, the fictive membrane surrounding this reality keeps them from using their powers. The only way to reach out to their allies was to produce comics on this world. To that end, they ended up recruiting Ulrich Saxman, an editor at the DC Comics of this reality. They produced a few comics with Ulrich, only for the editor to suggest tweaking their story so that Darkseid briefly wins, giving the story a necessary dramatic edge. Their work finally paid off when Avery Ho and Thomas Wayne are able to reach the two heroes only for Ulrich to be revealed as Darkseid himself.

Using Fourth-World technology, Darkseid was able to disguise himself as a mere human and wait until the right moment. After discovering the crack in the multiverse thanks to the heroes, Darkseid revealed he's been in hiding on Earth-33, hoping they discovered it. It turned out he didn't even want to control that power, instead, he wanted to seal it away so it can't be used by others for their own purposes. It's a surprising turn for the heroes to confront, especially considering the meta-elements at play inherently on Earth-33, where the comic creations of its denizens can reveal massive secrets or even force changes on the rest of the multiverse (or omniverse, for that matter).

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As a result, Darkseid's time on Earth-33 as an editor for DC Comics is technically one of the single greatest power upgrades anyone can ever receive. Darkseid had impressive power over the superheroes of various realities while traveling through the multiverse and was capable of fighting the entire Justice League to a standstill. He's only become more powerful since collapsing all variants of himself into one being. But as an editor at DC Comics, Darkseid is able to influence the stories themselves, giving himself a chance at victory even when the rest of the heroes are doing their best on multiple realities to prevent his plans. He even forced Doctor Multiverse to admit the importance of his (even brief) victory. It granted Darkseid the ability to alter entire storylines from afar in the direction he wants.

In essence, Darkseid just gained a brief power boost that might be more powerful than even anything Doctor Manhattan could manage in Doomsday Clock by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank. In that series, Doctor Manhattan was quietly capable of effectively creating in-universe retcons, changing the history of the DC Universe. But Darkseid, from his simple seat on Earth-33, was able to affect the stories themselves and forcibly give notes on the heroes' victories. It's potentially one of the most powerful theoretical power boosts any fictional character could ever gain, asserting their will not just onto their reality but onto their entire medium. Although he likely lacks the power outside of Earth-33, it's still one of Darkseid's most impressive and terrifying upgrades ever.

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Brandon Zachary (4403 Articles Published)

Brandon Zachary is an Associate Writer with Comic Book Resources and has written for CBR since 2018. He covers breakouts on comics, film, television, video games, and anime. He also conducts industry interviews, is a Rotten Tomatoes certified film critic, and knows SO MUCH about the X-Men. For requests, comments, or to hear his pitch for a third Avatar series that incorporates robots, you can contact him through [email protected].

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