"Apotheosis": Long ago, there was a planet of mortal mud-grubbers, whose gods were giants. Those gods seemed to care little for the needs of those living beneath their feet, and stomped and trampled on their fields and homes out of ignorance or malice. One of these mud-grubbers was called [[Uxas
- The gods don't give a damn about us.
- — Uxas
Appearing in "Apotheosis"
- Darkseid (Uxas) (Flashback and main story) (Origin)
- Brutaal (Cameo)
- Ultra-Humanite (First appearance) (Cameo)
- Justice League
Synopsis for "Apotheosis"
Long ago, there was a planet of mortal mud-grubbers, whose gods were giants. Those gods seemed to care little for the needs of those living beneath their feet, and stomped and trampled on their fields and homes out of ignorance or malice. One of these mud-grubbers was called Uxas - and he hated the gods. His brother-in-law, Izaya was devout, and he and his wife Avia prayed for help, only to see their hovel crushed under the foot of a giant. Uxas made no secret of his hatred, and Izaya warned that his blaspheming would bring disaster upon them. Uxas thought that might actually be a good idea.
That night, he climbed the forbidden mountain and while the gods slept, he whispered lies and conspiracies into their ears such that they became suspicious of each other, and war followed when they woke. Their battling saw Uxas' sister wounded, but he cared not. When one god fell to the ground, it saw Uxas, and begged him to believe in him, revealing that the gods fed on faith. Rather than do so and reap the rewards, Uxas decided instead to take his power by killing him. He became the first to kill a god, and he did not stop there. He killed all of them, and took their power. The result was a transformation from the lowly but hateful Uxas to the mighty Darkseid.
Horrified by Uxas' actions, Izaya and his wife ran for their lives, but stopped at the wounded body of the lord of the sky. As they were devout, they placed their faith in him and begged him to save Avia. Unfortunately, the god was too far gone, and so was Avia. Even as the sky god died, taking Avia with him, he bestowed upon Izaya the last vestiges of his power.
Izaya faced his brother in law, who reacted with disdain at the idea that Izaya would steal power from the old gods as well. Izaya responded that his powers were gifts - that they are the New Gods. He pleaded with Darkseid to join him in doing good, but this only filled Darkseid's heart with more contempt and waged a war against Izaya that destroyed the world. 
From there, Darkseid created Apokolips and enslaved its people, breeding laughter out of the species. As mechanical as Apokolips had become, it still fostered room for a challenge. That challenge came in the form of Kaiyo, the Chaos Bringer. She could still laugh, and her ability to teleport was a great annoyance to Darkseid. As he chased her down, he was surprised to discover an entirely other universe, where a champion existed to rival his own power.
Kaiyo sought to annoy Darkseid greatly, and so she would lead him from universe to universe, showing him rival after rival, knowing that he would not stand to see someone with such power other than himself. So, he would kill the champions, and destroy their worlds, one after the other.
One universe, though, had champions who managed to repel him, and though this angered him, he was merciful toward Kaiyo, eager to continue the cycle, and kill every Superman in every universe.
- Izaya is misspelled as Ixaya in several instances.
- The Supermen and Justice Leagues of multiple universes appear in this story, but none are identified or distinguishable from others.
- The tattered and stitched Superman-like character appearing in the last page is likely Bizarro, for a pile of Supermen are seen lying dead right below him in this scene. It also is consistent with the fact that Darkseid (Uxas) created a clone of the Superman of Earth 2 to fight Earth 2 as Brutaal.
- This issue is reprinted in Superman vs. Darkseid (Collected).
- No trivia.
- Discuss Justice League Vol 2 23.1: Darkseid on the forums
- Cover gallery for the Justice League series
- Images from Justice League Vol 2 23.1: Darkseid