Created in the 1970s as part of Jack Kirby’s Fourth World Comics project over at DC Comics, the Hunger Dogs – or Lowlies as they’re also known – are slaves. Many of which were kidnapped from conquered planets and “broken” into blind subservience, making them the lowest class on Apokolips (the citywide planet Darkseid rules over). They are badly abused by everyone on their planet, and they only live to serve their ruler.
Now, most casual fans won’t know who the Hunger Dogs are, and that’s ok, because if we’re being honest there’s not really that much material out there that covers them. So, even us comic book nerds don’t know everything we’d like to know about the downtrodden slaves of Apokolips.
That being said, there are still quite a few interesting facts that most fans won’t be aware of. So, we’ve compiled a list for your enjoyment. Here are 8 Things You Should Know About the Hunger Dogs of Apokolips!
1. Not All the Hunger Dogs are Obedient to Darkseid
Ok, yeah, I know we said they’re broken into blind subservience, but this is not entirely true. The years and years of abuse they’ve been subjected to inevitably gave rise to a rebel alliance led by a fierce young Hunger Dog by the name of Jovita.
The Hunger Dogs embarked on a mission to smuggle resources to feed those in need. However, on their travels they befriended Orion, a New God (that also happens to be Darkseid’s son) who crossed paths with them whilst on a quest to save his mother.
Orion’s arrival on Apokolips, brought unwanted attention to the group, which in turn led to them being hunted down by Tyrus and Kalibak. Luckily, Orion helped them escape, allowing them to regroup and continue their efforts.
2. One of the Darkseid’s Elite Used to Be One
Granny Goodness is one of Darkseid’s Elite, the highest ranking class amongst the inhabitants of Apokolips. She is also the leader of the Female Furies and is responsible for training soldiers of Apokolips in her orphanage.
Despite what her name would lead you to believe, Granny Goodness is a cold, cruel woman with nothing good or granny-like about her at all. In her “orphanage” she brainwashes and tortures children to rid them of their innocence and create fanatical, formidable soldiers ready to kill and die for Darkseid.
One of the most interesting facts about Granny Goodness is that she didn’t start her life as one of Darkseid’s Elite. She was once a Hunger Dog taken from her parents and trained to be one of Darkseid’s Hounds. From here she climbed the ranks, eventually finding herself as one of the top ranking members of Darkseid’s Elite. Now if that’s not inspirational, then I don’t know what is!
3. One of the New Gods Lives Amongst Them
There is a New God from the planet of New Genesis that secretly lives on Apokolips. Himon, a celebrated scientist and inventor who possesses one of the greatest minds to come from New Genesis, rivalled only by his friend and ally Metron.
Amongst his many inventions is the “Boom Tube”, a device created for quick interdimensional travel. This fell into the hands of Darkseid and became one of the greatest weapons in his arsenal. It’s because of the guilt caused by this that Himon lives on Apokolips secretly disguised as one of the Hunger Dogs, teaching a select few the peaceful ways of New Genesis.
In an effort to loosen Darkseid’s hold over them, Himon encourages the Hunger Dogs to engage in freedom of thought and think about their actions. Two things Darkseid does not allow in his totalitarian society. It’s for this reason that Darkseid’s soldiers are constantly hunting Himon. Of course, being the genius he is, they never manage to get him.
4. They eat people
Yeah, before you start routing for them it’s probably worth mentioning that some of Hunger Dogs are just as evil as the higher classes on Apokolips and not only that but they crave the taste of human flesh. The Bat-Family nearly found this out the hard way.
In Batman and Robin Vol 2 #36 (2015), we see various members of the Bat-Family travel to the planet of Apokolips alongside Cyborg on a mission to aid Batman who was on a mission to save his son from being turned into a living weapon by Kalibak.
When the Bat-Family arrives on Apokolips they are greeted by a horde of hungry Hunger Dogs (there’s a sentence I never thought I’d say). However, despite their ferocity and hunger for human flesh the heroes managed to escape with their flesh intact.
5. The Parademons Are Genetically Altered Hunger Dogs
The Parademons are the foot soldiers of Apokolips and are one step above the Hunger Dogs in the hierarchy of the planet. You will find them on the frontline of any of Darkseid’s planetary invasions. He sends droves of Parademons as shock troops before sending in his more elite units.
They are ferocious monsters with a low level of intelligence and a high threshold for pain. Their true power lies in sheer numbers, which reach into the thousands. As cohesive units they can band together to take on even the strongest of heroes.
One thing some fans may not know is that rather than being a race all of their own, Parademons are Hunger Dogs that are chosen by Darkseid’s Elite to be genetically altered and transformed into mindless beasts that are only focused on achieving Darkseid’s will.
6. One of Them Once Manhandled Supergirl
Despite being the lowest of the low on Apokolips, the Hunger Dogs are still blessed with the same physiology as most of the citizens of Apokolips (some are obviously heaps and bounds ahead of others).
In one instance, a slave by the name of Maelstrom fell in love with the villainous Darkseid and vowed to bring him Superman’s head in an attempt to woo him. So, she hatches a plan to escape Apokolips (because it;s not a place you’re allowed to leave) and kill Superman.
After escaping Apokolips she arrives on earth and begins to search for Superman. It’s here she encounters Supergirl and absolutely decimates her. It’s not even a close fight she absolutely beats the tar out of her and throws her around like a little rag-doll. Obviously, she didn’t fare as well with Superman but that’s not what we’re talking about here!
7. Their slum is Actually the Capital of Apokolips
Apokolips is an ecumenopolis (a planetwide city), so to say it has a capital is a bit of weird statement to make but since most of the planet is basically one big factory dedicated to creating weapons and machinery for war, Armagetto, where most of the Hunger Dogs live and most of the planet’s landmarks reside, is the capital.
Armagetto is an arrangement overpacked slums that sit at the foot of Darkseid’s palace. It’s the most dangerous area of Apokolips, filled with impoverished Hunger Dogs struggling to survive in its harsh environment of crime and pollution from nearby factories.
Thick smoke lingers in the air as the Tower of Rage (a tower made in the likeness of Darkseid) stands over Armagetto reminding the citizens that he is always watching over them. It’s also the location of “Granny Goodness’ Happiness Home”, the orphanage where she trains Darkseid’s Elite.
8. In the New-52 Reboot Darkseid Was Born As a Lowly
The Fourth World, the dimension that Apokolips occupies exists outside of any parallel universe and as such is usually safe from any reinterpretations. But, during 2016 DC Comics rebooted all of their titles and shook things up a bit. The result was a very different version of the DC multiverse which also included changes to The Fourth World.
Part of this reboot saw a change to Darkseid’s origin. Originally, in Jack Kirby’s version of his origin, he was born into nobility in the world of the New Gods as prince Uxas, second in line to the throne. In the New-52 version however, Darkseid was born as a lowly farmer in the world of the Old Gods.
Hungry for power, he began to plot and manipulated the Old Gods into turning on each other, then absorbing their powers to become the New God we know as Darkseid. These changes alongside most of the other New 52 changes have since been reversed as part of the DC Rebirth.