Old Gods (DC)
The Old Gods are deities that feature in DC Comics.
The Old Gods formed from life that took shape in the Second World on the planet GodWorld around 17,000,000,000 years ago with these humanoids attaining godhood 15,000,000,000 years ago. (New Gods Secret Files and Origins v1 #1) An eternity ago, leadership of the Old Gods was in the hands of Wotan who was met with by visions of an old crone that spoke of doom to their world that would tear it asunder. For her words, Wotan unleashed his power and killed her but her heart was still alive with it being uncovered by the bastard son Lokee who was the God of Discord. Lokee consumed the heart whereupon he was transformed into the true God of Evil. With his new found power, Lokee brought his evil throughout the world causing reason to descend into chaos. (New Gods v3 #7) This Ragnarok fell upon their civilization 5,000,000,000 years ago where their kind died. (New Gods Secret Files and Origins v1 #1) Among the ranks of the Old Gods was Gog who stood among his kin in the Third World. It was then that the Old Gods waged war against one another where they bathed their world in blood with this butchered the peace. Gog claimed that he alone condemned the war and refused to choose a side with him being cast out. (Justice Society of America v3 #16) Before the birth of the current universe, the Old Gods lived in the world of Urgrund where they waged a terrifying war with weapons that tore infinity apart. At some point, created the primordial annihilator known as Mageddon in the language of New Genesis. This weapon was deployed in the reign of the Old Gods where it was sent across the shining bridge to destroy the star-city of Joyous Home. (JLA v1 #36) After the demise of the Old Gods, a race of vastly terrible creatures emerged known as the Shadow Elementals that ruled the shadow cosmos. It was the great destruction that they unleashed which led to the emergence of the worlds of New Genesis and Apokolips. (New Gods v4 #9) The most dangerous of the shadow elements was S'ivaa the Dancer of Destruction who slept beneath the Eternal Sea on New Genesis. (New Gods v4 #10) One account stated that eons ago, the Old Gods were destroyed in the final cataclysm of the second world. The destruction unleashed a force of energy known as the Godwave that swept across the universe 40,000 years past. Wherever it touched, the Wave placed the seeds of divinity and on a hundred million worlds it created pantheons of gods. Once it reached the edge of nothingness, it doubled back but at reduced power where it became responsible for creating super-powered beings that were akin to demigods. (Genesis v1 #3)
Much of the events of this time was not known by the New Gods that became the successors of the Old Gods. (JLA v1 #36) The interior of the world of New Genesis was riddled with tunnels dug by bio-freaks that were remnants of biological warfare weapons of the Old Gods. (New Gods Secret Files and Origins v1 #1) Among the survivors of that ancient conflict was Arzaz who believed that the time of the Old Ones had passed and thus he remained in the background to observe events. (Genesis v1 #2) From the crust of New Genesis, one of the Old God's ancient weapons emerged that survived their final Ragnarok. This was an energy entity that captured Valkyra and began forming a body for itself from the wreckage nearby and battled Orion. However, Orion through the power of his Mother Box was able to free his former mentor and defeat the creature. (Jack Kirby's Fourth World v1 #11) With the Source tainted, S'ivaa awoke and his actions sought to destroy the cosmos leading to Highfather summoning Superman to New Genesis to battle the creature alongside Orion. This was designed as a distraction to allow Highfather and Darkseid the time to prepare to sacrifice themselves to end the taint in the Source with it believed that this would return the Dancer of Destruction to his slumber. (New Gods v4 #10) The New Gods of Apokolips and New Genesis who contemplated the destruction of the Old Gods. (New Gods v3 #19)
The New 52
Following the Flashpoint, a new version of events were created due to changes in the timeline. The Old Gods lived in a time prior to the current one where their actions ravaged the existence of mortal beings such as Uxas, Izaya and Avia. This led to Uxas resenting the existence of the gods and seeking their destruction. Through his actions, he helped cause conflict among the Old Gods causing them to turn against one another. With the gods weakened, Uxas began to slay each of the Old Gods and took their power into him that transformed him into Darkseid. In the destruction, Avia was fatally wounded and Izaya sought aid to save his love from the lord of the sky. The dying Old God decided to gift his power to Izaya transforming him into Highfather who battled his brother Darkseid. This led to the formation of the New Gods that had taken their power from the Old Gods. (Justice League v2 #23.1) Though slain, they were resurrected by Yuga Khan on the Final Day through the power of Anti-Life and used them against his children Izaya and Uxas. However, Uxas killed his father and with Khan's death the true end of the Old Gods came to pass with the New Gods being born. (Infinity Man and the Forever People v1 #5) One race of New Gods formed during the time of the Third World where the lived on Galactica. The inhabitants debated on their part in the universe and how war destroyed the Old Gods before agreeing that one of their own would go out into the universe. At that time, Alitha was chosen by one of the first seven Power Rings that were forged by Rami of the Guardians of the Universe. (Green Lanterns v1 #23)
After the death of Darkseid, the pantheon that empowered Billy Batson as Shazam was disrupted forcing the Wizard to seek replacements. Among them was S'ivaa the Dancer of Destruction who gave the mortal Batson powers from the Old Gods of Urgrund as he warned the boy of the plot of Zonuz. (Justice League - Darkseid War: Shazam v1 #1)
In appearance, an Old God was monumental beings that towered over other races and filled with great power. They had immense power at their disposal such as renewing life, healing injuries and their power could be channeled to gift a person superhuman powers. (Justice Society of America v3 #16) It was said that they fed on the faith of mortals. (Justice League v2 #23.1)
It was known that they had manufactured weapons beyond the comprehension of the New Gods that could tear infinity apart. (JLA v1 #36) One weapon was an energy entity that captured its foe and absorbed them into itself whereupon it used their battle skills against their former allies. Such a construct was able to fashion a body itself from local material such as wreckage and reform any damaged limbs with such raw material present during the course of a battle. (Jack Kirby's Fourth World v1 #11) They had created biological warfare weapons whose remnants led to the rise of bio-freaks. (New Gods Secret Files and Origins v1 #1)
- Arzaz : one of the Old Ones and the First Gods who had survived the destruction of the one world where he lived into the next age and did not interfere. (Genesis v1 #2) He sacrificed his life by forcing himself and his nemesis the Nameless One into the Source Wall where they became trapped within it for eternity. (Genesis v1 #4)
- Gog : an Old God who condemned the war that destroyed his world and for refusing to join a side he was banished where he fell through the Multiverse before crashing on Earth. He was buried beneath the mountain where humans worshipped him and forged a staff to channel his power until he was awakened in the modern day. (Justice Society of America v3 #16)
- Lokee : a male Old God that was known as the bastard son and the God of Discord who transformed into the true God of Evil which brought chaos to his world leading to its destruction. (New Gods v3 #7)
- Nameless One : a male Old God that who lived prior to the great destruction of the Godworld and was the opposite number of Arzaz. (Genesis v1 #3) He was among the first who survived the first destruction and saw the end of the second and third worlds. Azraz sacrificed his life to ensure that the Nameless One was imprisoned on he Source Wall. (Genesis v1 #4)
- Wotan : a male one time ruler of the Old Gods that dismissed the prophecy that spoke of their world's destruction. (New Gods v3 #7)
- The Old Gods were created by Jack Kirby and made their first appearance in New Gods v1 #1 (March 1971)
- According to History of the DC Universe v1 #1 (1986), the guide seemingly attributed the old Gods with those of Olympus which was sealed from all outside contact after the beings grew tired of the endless conflict and instead created New Genesis and Apokolips.
- JLA v1 #40 (2000) stated that the Old Gods war was conflict that ended 15 billion years ago.
In other media
- In Young Justice, the Old Gods were referenced in the setting of the animated television series third season. In the episode "Unknown Factors", Halo was said to be speaking the Tongue of the Old Gods when she used her powers to undo Granny Goodness's brainwashing over Black Lightning and Nightwing.
- In DC Universe Online, the DLC Halls of Power added the New Gods into the MMO game. The Old Gods were referred in the backstory and missions whereby players were tasked with travelling into the ruins deep beneath Apokolips and New Genesis. Once there, the heroes and villains were tasked with recovering the Relics of Urgrund whilst battling the Dregs that were the mindless husks of the Old Gods trapped in eternal battle.
- Jack Kirby's Fourth World v1:
- New Gods v4:
- JLA v1 #36:
- Justice Society of America v3: #16