First appearing in Jack Kirby’s New Gods #1 (1971), Apokolips is an Ecumenopolis (a planetwide city), ruled by the villainous Darkseid. The whole planet is one big industrial complex, devoted to one sole purpose… war! Its rocky terrain is riddled with vast fire pits, taller than skyscrapers. Perpetually burning from the planet’s radioactive core, spewing molten fire and ash in the process.
These fire pits are integral to the functioning of Apokolips as a planet. They’re not only used for their energy to power the planet, but they’re also used in conjunction with an underground “molten-metal sewage system” to carry molten scrap metal to the furnaces of the Apokolips mines for recycling.
The fire pits of Apokolips are no ordinary fire pits either – said to be powered by Darkseid himself – these fire pits corrupt everything any living being they come into contact with. Stripping every remnant of good nature from their souls and replacing it with nothing but darkness and pure evil.
Inhabitants of Apokolips
The entire population of Apokolips has only one true purpose in life, and that’s to serve Darkseid and aid in his war against New Genesis. What this means and how they fulfil this goal highly depends on who you’re talking about but every living being on Apokolips dedicates their every move to serving and obeying their overlord.
The mere concept of free will is unheard of, and laughter is strictly forbidden. Anyone who disobeys Darkseid or even falls out of favour with him are banished from Apokolips or killed depending on their class.
Many of the citizens have been kidnapped from their home planets and mentally broken to the point of blind subservience. It’s because of this that Darkseid’s legions are filled with creatures willing to sacrifice their lives for his cause at a moment’s notice, without a second thought.
The majority of the population is made up by a race known as the “Lowlies” or “Hunger Dogs”. Who as their derogatory names suggest, are at the bottom of the hierarchy on Apokolips. They’re a bald, fearful race of beings who are treated as slaves and have a very little sense of self-worth. Which isn’t surprising when you consider the constant abuse and oppression they’re subjected to.
The Lowlies live in Armagetto, a slum found at the foot of Darkseid’s palace. Serving as a constant reminder that they are always under Darkseid’s boot. Their lives are filled with nothing but poverty and torment, and their only hope for survival is to work their fingers to the bone day in day out and scavenge for food whenever they can. All whilst living in constant fear, since they’re often senselessly murdered with no hope of justice whatsoever.
It’s this extreme oppression that gave rise to a rebel group spearheaded by a Lowlie named Jovita. The group worked to smuggle food from war machines in order to help those in need. Of course, it wasn’t long before Darkseid caught wind of this, and they were hunted down by Tyrus and Kalibak. Luckily, the New God, Orion helped them escape. This allowed them to regroup and find a new hideout to continue their efforts.
Above the Lowlies, are the Parademons. Armed with powerful weapons and often seen riding giant dogs into battle, they make up the bulk of Darkseid’s fighting force and are basically the police force tasked with keeping order on the planet.
They are very sadistic in nature and are capable of withstanding extreme amounts of pain. The development of this pain tolerance is said to be due to them being burned in the fire pits of Apokolips (which would also explain their sadistic nature).
The Female Furies
Above the Parademons we have the Female Furies, these are a fierce force of female warriors (there has been male furies too, but they are much less common) who serve as Darkseid’s personal guard.
They’re led by the incredibly ironically named Granny Goodness, who at first glance may look like a sweet old grandmother-type figure, but in reality, is one of the most brutally cruel women on the whole of Apokolips and is also member of Darkseid’s Elite.
The Female Furies are raised by Granny Goodness in her orphanage, who with the help of fellow member of Darkseid’s Elite, Kanto (Darkseid’s master Assasin), trains and indoctrinates the young recruits in the ways of the Female Furies.
It’s because of this lifelong training that they are the most feared fighters of all the New Gods, blessed with extraordinary strength and durability, with an unquestionable loyalty to their leader Darkseid.
Darkseid’s Elite (otherwise known as Darkseid’s Ruling Elite) are a group comprised of Apokolips’s most powerful warriors and leaders. They function as a military advisory council performing various governmental functions on Apokolips.
Members include, the previously mentioned Kanto (Darkseid’s Master Assassin) and Granny Goodness (Headmistress and Leader of the Furies), as well as Doctor Bedlam (Master Scientist), Kalibak (Son of Darkseid), Steppenwolf (Master General) and Darkseid’s brother, Desaad (Head of Torture and the Day to Day Operations of Apokolips).
Darkseid is a noxious, evil New God, who is determined to conquer the entire multiverse and completely eliminate free will, just as he has on Apokolips. He is a master strategist and has already conquered countless worlds and enslaved their populations, adding them to his already vast legion of minions.
He wasn’t always the ruler of Apokolips. It was once ruled by his mother, Queen Heggra. But Darkseid (then named Prince Uxas), plotted to take over the planet instead of waiting his turn. So, he killed his mother and his brother Drax and transformed into the rock-like being we know today, adopting the name Darkseid.
Now, Darkseid travels from world to world, conquering and destroying everything in his path as he searches for the Anti-Life Equation formula said to give those who know it the ability to dominate the will of every sentient race in existence.
The Fourth World
Apokolips exists outside of the DC multiverse on its own astral plane along with the planet, New Genesis. This means that Apokolips that exists in Earth Prime’s universe is the same one that exists in the same universe as Earth-2, Earth-3 and so on so forth.
This also means that the two planets (collectively known as the Fourth World), need a special form of transportation known as boom tubes, to get to and from the DC multiverse. Boom tubes are interstellar portals created by external devices known as mother boxes. Their name comes from the loud “BOOM” heard when the tubes are generated.
The planets of the Fourth World were once part of the same planet, Urgrund. A planet that was home to the old gods, until it was destroyed during the apocalyptic event Ragnarok. The planet was then split into two separate and drastically different planets.
Apokolips is a barren wasteland with a brutally hot climate closely resembling the stereotypical vision of hell and New Genesis on the other hand is a beautiful, green, sunlit utopia with forests, mountains, and an abundance of water. Which in contrast closely resembles a stereotypical vision of heaven.
New Genesis Vs Apokolips War
New Genesis and Apokolips are planetary embodiments of good and evil. When they were split during the events of Ragnarok, New Genesis was given the strength and nobility of the remaining living atoms of the Old God Balduur. Apokolips, however, was tainted with the evil left behind from an as-of-yet unnamed sorceress.
Since Ragnarok, the planets of the Fourth World have been locked in an eternal war symbolising the never-ending struggle between good and evil throughout the universe on a grandiose scale. At one point the leaders of both planets were force to bargain a peace treaty, agreeing to exchange their newborn sons as a peace offering. Both knowing it was only a matter of time before the war was continued.