Superman vs Darkseid Review

This is a comic that I knew would be good right from the start. I’m a big Superman fan after all and Darkseid is one of his best villains. A compilation of some of their biggest battles was sure to be good and I wasn’t disappointed. The comics did a good job of showing Darkseid’s strength without nerfing Superman. This was how the characters were meant to be portrayed!

The first few issues are about Superman getting trapped on Apokolips and he also loses his memories once he falls into a large area of fire. He decides to lead the rebels to fight Darkseid, but there is a big twist at the end of this and we find out that Superman is being manipulated. This was probably the only part of the collection that I wasn’t crazy about. I’ve gone over this a few times already, but Superman cannot be mind controlled. It simply isn’t done and to lose his memory like that….I don’t think so. Such a thing just wouldn’t happen to Superman!

It’s actually a fairly tragic story because the rebels basically had their hope shattered. Superman is not allowed to keep his memories of what happened and that is probably for the best. Still, he definitely gave Darkseid a good fight and Superman managed to come out on top. It was a fair bout, which was the best part of the whole match. It was a good fight between two powerhouses and both of them were giving it their all.

See, Darkseid and Superman have always been evenly matched, but I consider Superman to be stronger thanks to his speed advantage. In this collection, Superman comes out on top each time except for one comic where Darkseid got unlimited cosmic power, which naturally doesn’t count. If we bring in Superman 1 Million, then we can talk. That being said, the fights are always really good and the intensity never lets up for a second!

Another issue was taken from the Superman/Batman series where Darkseid brainwashed Supergirl so Superman brought Batman and Wonder Woman along to free her. Big Barda led them to Darkseid’s palace and the heroes messed the place up. Superman handled Supergirl while Batman took down Darkseid….verbally although he could have done well in a physical confrontation. if he had prep time Then we got a really good battle between Superman and Darkseid. Superman was in total rage mode so it wasn’t really that close as Superman wrecked him with ease and planted Darkseid into the source wall. I don’t even have anything against that because an enraged Superman should be far stronger than Darkseid. There is no comic book character who can beat Superman at this point and I consider the Man of Steel to be on top of the food chain.

While I liked the Superman/Batman Apocalypse film a lot, the comic was so much better after reading this issue. The fact that Batman and Wonder Woman apparently suspected that Darkseid would be back and followed Superman/Supergirl to the farm was brilliant. While they didn’t get to fight much since Superman wanted to end things, it made the characters really look good. In the film, Superman got wrecked by Darkseid, but he was the one doing the wrecking here in the comic. It came at the expense of Supergirl’s fight, but the fight was certainly more accurate here since Superman’s speed is his biggest asset. This issue was definitely a lot of fun.

Another comic had Superman assemble a team of Kryptonians to battle Darkseid for Steel’s soul. Superboy, Supergirl, Supergirl 2, and the Eradicator were the guys that Superman brought with him. The reason why he only brought Kryptonians was so Darkseid couldn’t take it out on the rest of the world if Superman’s plan failed. (Really dicey plan since Darkseid would likely attack Earth to spite Superman) Darkseid’s minions engaged the Kryptonians and did fairly well thanks to the insane numbers advantage. It was essentially hundreds to thousands of opponents against the heroes, but each Kryptonian is incredibly powerful so that wasn’t a problem for them. The Eradicator is a character who I haven’t seen very often, but he certainly looked impressive here and even had a super form where he turned giant.

Naturally, the main part of the comic was the fight between Darkseid and Superman. Both of them were really confident going into the match. It was another decisive victory for Superman, but they both gave the fight their all. Superman properly utilized his speed in order to get the edge over Darkseid. In the end, Superman was able to win Steel’s soul back and it was a really nice ending to a good comic. From the Superman vs Darkseid battles in the collection, this was certainly the best one and both fighter looked impressive once again.

Another issue featured a big battle between Darkseid and The Source. Somehow, Darkseid was able to steal the cosmic being’s abilities and gained near limitless power. The Source put up a valiant fight, but he was outmatched and even Superman could really due nothing thanks to the large gap in power. He was a distraction at best, but that allowed Orion to come in and stall Darkseid as well. The cosmic feats were a lot of fun and Darkseid was still fighting physically, which is always a good thing. While the Superman and Darkseid fight was essentially nonexistent here, it did give us an issue where Darkseid came out on top and Superman even had a long monologue about how he now knows what it feels like to be the weak guy surrounded by powerful players who are out of his league. Luckily, that didn’t stop him from entering the fray.

Jimmy Olsen also got to enter the fray in one comic where he gained immense powers and got to fight with Darkseid. I believe that this may have been during the same arc with Orion or a different one. Regardless, it was also a fun tribute to the Silver Age since Jimmy’s old lizard/reptile form got to make a comeback. Obviously not the most memorable part of the issue since I don’t remember the full context, but still a cool occurrence.

There’s also a very short issue about Darkseid’s origin and how he destroyed all of the old gods to gain almost unlimited power and a quick Justice League issue from the New 52 where we learn that Darkseid has been travelling around the multiverse and destroying dozens of Superman versions until he lost to the New 52’s version. That’s some good hype for Darkseid although I would consider many versions of Superman to be stronger than the New 52 one. I suppose that these guys just didn’t have it in them to win.

In the comics, Darkseid seems to be much stronger than New 52 Superman although these comics definitely show that Superman typically has the edge. It’s why I enjoyed the battles so much as they were all fairly close except that Superman always won in the end. One of the fights wasn’t even close because Superman was already enraged. His portrayal here is naturally excellent and this is the hero that I know and remember. Darkseid made for a good antagonist and he’s always been an interesting character. Having a trade paperback just about these two characters was a genius idea. Especially because I haven’t read many DC comics from this era.

The art switches for all of the issues of course, but they all look really good, which helps the overall experience. If I had to decide which art was my favorite, I’d probably go with the issue from the Superman/Batman series. Of course, I’m very used to the art at this point so it shouldn’t really come as a surprise. The issue with the Eradicator would be a decently close second.

Overall, Superman vs Darkseid is a great collection of comics and one that I would definitely recommend you to check out. Each of the stories is pretty epic and there aren’t any real negatives to speak of aside from the opening chapter where Superman was mind controlled. I really didn’t buy that for a second and evil Superman is a concept that has never worked from the beginning. Luckily, the rest of the comics are really just about showing how great Superman is and why he can’t be stopped by any threat. He is the ultimate comic book character and I never let anyone forget it. The size of the collection is decent. It’s short enough that I would still call it short, but not quite as quick to read as the average modern trade paperback, which only brings 4 issues. This is a steal for any current price!

Overall 8/10


14 thoughts on “Superman vs Darkseid Review

  1. I kinda found it funny when you whet talking about superman forming a team of Kryptonians and mentioned two Supergirls. Supergirl is probably one off the easiest superheroes two describe (a female version of superman) with a surprisingly complicated and confusing history. Anyways good review, sounds like a fun comic.

    Speaking of Superman, have you seen ScrewAttack’s Superman Vs Goku 2? Any thoughts?

    • Definitely, she’s had a really wonky history. I remember the clone days with the red haired Luther being the most dicey and I mainly like her New 52 version a lot even if they’ve made her a little more naive. The H’el arc was pretty sad for her.

      I actually haven’t seen it yet, which is sad. I just forgot that it came out. I had been called out on the official ScrewAttack forums and was debating with them over there for about 100-150 pages, but then I just decided to let them go at it without me. I forgot to check out the video to see if they fixed up their multitudes of errors from the first film. I’ll definitely be sure to check it out!

      • What errors did they have in their first film? And what its your stance in the debate? I’ve never seen Dragon Ball before so I have an obvious bias towards Superman.

      • Heh heh, I’m a Goku guy all the way and have never considered the match to be too close, but I’ve always considered anime characters in general to trump comic book ones due to speed differences. Well, the main Earth shattering one was the Snake Way calc. They used how fast Goku travelled it to calculate his speed and then multiply it with the SSJ multipliers. Unfortunately, that was really terrible.

        Remember (Have you read DBZ? If not, I’ll explain the Zenkai Boosts in another comment) Goku constantly gets stronger after losing. So, using that to calc his speed is completely wrong. The Goku at the end of DBZ is equal to his earlier SSJ3 and his regular form had already drastically improved many times over. As such, they undercalced his speed literally thousands of times over. That was just the start. The whole video just played out like an Anti Goku video made by big Superman fans. I was wincing the whole time 😦 The sprite video was really cool though!

      • Either way, you are in the majority though. Even if Goku’s speed was multiplied by a million, many would still go with Superman because the comics have given him feats where he’s essentially omniversal in speed. It’s always fun to see people debating about it though and I’ll watch the video tonight. By the way, are you going to be seeing Pixels soon?

      • How fast is the average anime character? One thing for some reason I constantly find myself falsely thinking that Superman can’t got faster than light as if Superman can go that fast it kinda makes Flash redundant.

        Pixels? Probably not soon as my family is pretty cheap and we wait until movies hit DVD before watching it. Heck, I still havent seen Avengers: Age of Ultron or Ant-Man yet.

      • Here’s a good picture of Superman moving at insane speeds.

        No worries, while Superman is massively FTL, Flash is typically faster. At his best, Flash is almost infinitely FTL and basically the fastest character in DC although I would argue that Superman would typically outspeed him due to better endurance. For anime characters, the average on would probaly be supersonic to hypersonic speeds so like Sonic the Hedgehog tier and the fastest ones like Goku and Bass are basically incalculable. The problem is that the speed is often times descriptive instead of stated by the characters or text like in the Superman comic.

        Ah, I gotcha. I used to not watch many films in the theaters myself, but now I just basically don’t eat out at all except on Sunday after Church and the extra lunch money accumulates and helps out for the movies. I do still see a lot of them on DVD and TV instead though as theaters should only be for the best ones! I’m just hyped because Pac-Man is in it. Well, you should definitely enjoy Age of Ultron! It was a fun sequel.

      • That makes since. I as curious, as a newbie to anime what would you recommend? The only animes I’ve really seen is Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and Mirai Nikki and I’mjust curious on other interesting animes.

        I’ll probably see Batman V Superman in theaters as by that time I’ll probably have my own job and drivers license but until than…

      • Hmmmm, well if you liked Pokemon and Yugioh a lot, then I would recommend Digimon and Cardfight since they are similar. That being said, both shows are over 200 episodes so they would keep you busy for a while. I guess, what type of anime are you really looking for?

        My top 5 for reference is Yugioh GX (180)>Digimon Data Squad (40-50)>Cardfight Vanguard (200+)>Madoka Magica (Only 12 episodes so it’s easily the shortest), Yugioh 5D’s. (150+)

        Yeah, BVS is definitely going to be a must. It is certainly a bit of a wait, but it’ll be pretty thrilling!

      • Oh, so you are all done with 5D’s already? Awesome! Well, there’s always Zexal, although it has a bit of a slow beginning next to the others, it was still a pretty fun show by the end.

        Madoka Magica is about these girls who are offered a contract by a mysterious being known as Kyubey. The show’s cling to fame is that it’s almost a parody of the magical girl genre. Instead of everything being happy and working out like Sailor Moon, it plays out more like Clue as everyone starts to get picked off one by one. It gets quite dark, but never overly violent and hope/friendship still have good roles in the show. I thought it was virtually perfect. In fact, as we’ve discussed in the past, I’m not a huge fan of a lot of the dark content in modern comic books/movies. Well, this is always my answer to those as the show is quite dark, but it does so in a very tactful way where I actually don’t mind it and it does a good job of setting up the environment. I also gave it the award for best anime ending theme, best opening scene, and best ending.

      • Maybe I’ll check Madoka Magica out! I really didn’t bother with Zexal because i found those black monsters kinda dumb (forgot what that were called) and all of my friends who liked the franchise stopped playing when it started. Is there a fifth series or did they end after Zexal?

      • The new XYZ monsters did throw a lot of people off of the cardgame because it got pretty unbalanced and just chaotic for sure. Well, after Yugioh Zexal was Yugioh Arc V. It hasn’t made it to America yet, but it currently has 68 episodes and is going strong. I forgot what the new gimmick for that show is (Since every show has a gimmick of some sort) since I haven’t actually seen it or read the manga yet. I’m sure that it’s pretty awesome since it’s Yugioh though, but I’m just waiting for the Dub at this point. It should almost be here by now.

        If you watch Madoka, it will be interesting to see what you think of the movie afterwards as it wrecked the franchise for some.

        Case in point, this reviewer took away 8 stars from the film after seeing the ending and also says that it wrecked the TV show for him. It’s definitely a very controversial ending. I gave it a 9 myself though……Don’t actually read the review though since there’s spoilers, but just felt like linking it so you could see what a sad rating it got. The reviewer gave the show a 5/5.

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