Originally one planet, the origins of New Genesis and Apokolips can be traced to the deaths of the “Old Gods,” after which an indescribable burst of energy split the planet into two molten bodies. These bodies cooled and brought forth new life—and new gods—which developed into two worlds that exist as the antithesis of the other.Ruled by the compassionate Highfather, New Genesis is an eden of unspoiled forests, rivers, and mountains. High above it is the floating city of Supertown, where the New Gods reside. Despite this splendor, however, New Genesis is still shadowed by Apokolips, which serves as a constant reminder of Darkseid’s ambition.
/Izaya the Inheritor
Voiced by Mitchell Ryan
Disillusioned by the devastation brought by the ongoing war between New Genesis and Apokolips, the warrior known as Izaya the Inheritor left on a journey of self-discovery, eventually coming into contact with The Source—the fundamental cosmic power of the universe. Transformed by Its energies, Izaya returned to his people as Highfather and ended the war by forging an uneasy truce between the two worlds.
Real Name: Orion
Voiced by Ron Perlman
of Darkseid and Tigra, Orion was traded to Highfather in exchange for his own
son as part of the peace agreement that ended their war. Inheriting his father’s savagery, Highfather’s guidance
provided a necessary balance to his nature, which helped him to calm his darker
inclinations. Still, his anger
Possessing superhuman strength and the Astro-Glider—a battle harness that provides weaponry and allows him to travel at great speed—Orion has vowed to destroy his father and end his evil forever.
In "Twilight," Ron Perlman assumes the role of Orion, replacing Steve Sandor, who portrayed the New God in the two-part Superman episode "Apokolips...Now!"
Real Name: Lightray / Sollis
Voiced by Rob Paulsen
A childhood friend of Orion, Lightray developed the powers of flight and energy manipulation after absorbing solar energy during an attack by Darkseid’s soldiers.
Real Name: Forager
Voiced by Corey Burton
Evolving from the “micro-life” spread on New Genesis during their war with Apokolips, Forager is part of a society of humanoid bugs that thrive in colonies beneath the surface of the planet. Initially treated as subhuman by the New Gods, Forager proved himself to be a worthy ally against the forces of Darkseid.
DarkLantern on Forager: “Forager was one of the hovering New Gods during the final act of 'Apokolips…Now!' [...but] he [didn’t] ‘join’ the New Gods until the end of 'Twilight.' Oops...(courtesy of Toon Zone).”
/ Scott Free
/ Scott Free
Voiced by Ioan Gruffudd
The son of Highfather and Avia, their chlid was traded to Darkseid in exchange for his own son as part of the peace agreement that ended their war. Named Scott Free by Granny Goodness, he was raised in her hellish orphanage to become a warrior in service to Darkseid. Eventually escaping Apokolips along with Big Barda, Free adopted the name Mr. Miracle and now uses his mastery as an escape artist in service to the New Gods.
Dwayne McDuffie on Mr. Miracle and Barda’s JLU membership: “Mr. Miracle and Barda haven’t joined the Justice League. I’m pretty sure every member has been shown or mentioned by now (courtesy of DwayneMcDuffie.com).”
Real Name: Big Barda / Barda Free
Voiced by Farrah Forke
Born and raised on Apokolips, Big Barda was trained in Granny Goodness' orphanage to become a warrior in service to Darkseid. Eventually becoming the leader of Granny's Female Fury Battalion, she later fled to New Genesis with future husband Mr. Miracle, where she utilizes her super-strength and Mega Rod in service to the New Gods.
While not a current member of the Justice League, she will be, as she appeared as a member in the Batman Beyond episode "The Call."
Real Name: Beautiful Dreamer
Voiced by ---
Born with the psychic ability to make the thoughts of others manifest, Beautiful Dreamer fights against Darkseid as a member of the Forever People. She is of particular interest to the lord of Apokolips, as she is one of the few living whose mind can comprehend the Anti-Life Equation.
Real Name: Big Bear
Voiced by ---
Possessing superhuman strength and the ability to manipulate the density of objects, Big Bear uses these abilities as a member of the Forever People.
Real Name: Mark Moonrider
Voiced by ---
Leader of the Forever People, the New God known as Mark Moonrider possesses the “megaton touch,” an explosive ability that can be used for a variety of purposes.
Real Name: Serifan
Voiced by ---
While possessing no superhuman powers, the rowdy Serifan utilizes his “cosmic cartridges,” which enable him to perform a variety of feats. This member of the Forever People also possesses limited telepathic abilities.
Real Name: Vykin the Black
Voiced by ---
In addition to his magnetic powers, this member of the Forever People also has the distinction of carrying the team’s Mother Box, a living, sentient computer.
Big Barda Image (STAS Design) | Highfather Image (STAS Design) | Lightray Image (STAS Design)
Metron Image (STAS Design) | Mr. Miracle Image (STAS Design) | Orion Image #1 (STAS Design) | Orion Image #2 (STAS Design)
Orion Image #3 (STAS Design) | Panoramic Shot of New Gods #1 | Panoramic Shot of New Gods #2
Considering the limited amount of screen time provided them in the Superman series, it was only a matter of time before the New Gods would appear at length. Still, those who were expecting an outpouring of support against the shared menace of Darkseid were surprised to see trepidation on behalf of Highfather. This was to be expected: aside from a token bit of support in "Apokolips...Now!," they basically let Superman sink or swim during his solo series. Not the best of allies, to be sure.
This apprehension, however, can be explained by going back to the basic tenets of mythology. A major factor in any myth cycle (such as Norse Myth, which creator Jack Kirby used as an influence) is the concept of Fate. Now, while humanity considers fate an abstract concept, to the Gods of these stories Fate is a very real, very tangible presence—oftentimes with the concept itself taking physical form (as it does here, in the form of the Source Wall). For the New Gods, their fates are spelled out by The Source, which is why Highfather felt compelled to ask Its advice. Fate is what also prevented Orion from defeating Darkseid in battle in "Twilight": he is fated to destroy Darkseid in battle only in Armagetto (the ghettos of Apokolips). To put it simply: it wasn’t his time yet. Just like with Thor and the Midgard Serpent, you can’t cheat your fate.
While there has been some talk over the years of a New Gods animated film, I sincerely doubt that this will ever happen, given the lukewarm reception that all post-Kirby New Gods material has received. However, the New Gods mythos will continue to be utilized in Justice League Unlimited, as supporting cast members and headliners of the occasional episode.
Images courtesy of Toon Zone, maxnugget, and the New Batman / Superman Adventures Homepage.
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