P:R Redesign: Chris Friend’s Darkseid!

Note: As the extraterrestial lord and dictator of the planet Apokolips, Darkseid has to look the part. And P:R first-timer Chris Friend has given him that in this ornate new design for the Kirby creation. Taking a page from Kirby, Friend has decorated this wear with intricate designs patterned after Darkseid’s Omega beam and went a step further by using it as the basis for an “enraged” version where they light up. Check after the art for complete thoughts from the artist. – Chris A.

From Chris Friend:

As portrayed on Superman: The Animated Series and voiced by Michael Ironside, Darkseid is my favorite DC villain of all time. I noticed there were relatively few takes on this amazing character in the Project: Rooftop archives so I just had to take a crack at him. He’s always worn a relatively simple outfit: a dark blue tunic/skirt-thing, elbow-length gloves, and some high boots, and helmet. I tried putting him and pants or some kind of bodysuit and capes and for whatever reason it never quite looked right. Perhaps my imagination was failing me here, but if the goal here was to improve his outfit, I felt his simple ensemble was already working pretty well for him so maybe I should stop trying to mess with it.  I did try to beef up the “skirt” part by giving it a more armored appearance, but obviously the biggest change was really more of a surface detail. One of Darkseid’s signature attacks are his omega beams, and I wanted the patterns in his armor to resemble the jagged, meandering paths those deadly eye beams take when someone’s about to get fried.  I also gave him some jagged fissures/scars around his eyes, from lifetimes of punishing foolish mortals.
So when I envision Darkseid enraged (you know, more so than his usual grumpiness) his anger manifests itself as heat radiating from within the depths of his dark being, causing the the metal bands inlaid in his armor to glow red hot.  His countenance darkens, while his eyes begin to glow white-hot.  When Darkseid reaches this level of displeasure, it’s gonna be a bad day for everyone on Apokolips (you know, more so than usual).
11 comments to “P:R Redesign: Chris Friend’s Darkseid!”
  1. That’s actually reasonably terrifying. Great job giving the tunic/skirt some real weight to it so poor Darkseidy doesn’t rip his manskirt when tusslin’ with Supes. Honestly, how does that thing not rip just from his massive thunder thighs!!!

    If the Man of Steel series ever introduces Darkseid, it better be as good as this or it’ll be null.

  2. All the linework over-complicates the design. Also not crazy about the shoulder pads, they’re pretty overdone. Aside from that, it looks fine.

  3. I love it! Darkseid is a difficult Character to play with, but I think, somehow, you managed to make things new while keeping it medieval. I tend to think there are too many lines, but in general I think you nailed it with the gloves, the boots, and the waist. In most Darkseid designs, the waist part is always the most tricky.
    I tend to agree with Dias about the shoulders pads, but maybe it was your idea to avoid making them too visible. and keep the silhouette like it is.
    I would have a minor complain still: It has nothing to do with the design itself, but I feel your Darkseid is too small, too thin. Especially since you quoted the S:Tas Darkseid for reference, your character seems fragile, you should have made him dicker/stronger. There’s no presence in this one.
    Still, great ideas on a tricky character. Well done.

  4. I do like this design and the “enraged” effect is a very nice touch.
    However…it does have a Galactus look and feel to it. But since we’re talking about a Kirby creation and a Kirby-inspired design, nothing less should be expected.
    Great job, Chris!

  5. Good lord! When I saw that enraged look, I realized how much you GOT Darkside. My only compaint is that he looks stiff, and somehow lacks some of the self-assurance you can get out of Darkside

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