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Darkseid's Powers In The Justice League Snyder Cut Explained

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"Darkseid is," so we're told, and it now appears to be the case. Zack Snyder's Justice League brought the towering space tyrant to life through the combined motion capture and voice performance of Roy Porter and a few dozen layers of CGI. He's an undeniably imposing presence from the first moment viewers lay eyes on him, swatting down Atlanteans and Amazons with literal bright-eyed glee.

Darkseid has a 50-plus-year history behind him, first appearing in a 1970 issue of Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen. He's a force to be reckoned with. As seen in the new cut of Justice League on HBO Max, he's remarkably strong and resilient, shrugging off most ancient metahuman blows and slap-chopping Old Gods. Some of this is the result of his natural alien physiology, but there's another factor at play, as well.

See, like any sufficiently threatening cosmic supervillain, Darkseid's range of abilities ebbs and flows depending on who's writing him at the time, from "significantly overpowered" to "gosh, that's really a bit much, isn't it?" In almost all iterations, however, the lion's share of his powers come from the Omega Effect.

Darkseid's Omega Effect will ruin your day

The Omega Effect is a cosmic force absorbed by Darkseid eons ago when he overthrew his homeworld's government. It's what turned his skin that lush granite texture, and that's just for starters.

Trying to explain the full range of stuff that the Omega Effect enables the despot to pull off would be an all-day sucker of a job, but you get a brief glimpse at some of the capabilities it affords him in the Snyder Cut. The most visually striking of these are the Omega Beams seen zigzagging out of his eyes during the nightmarish prognostication sequence. On the surface, Omega Beams might look like a juiced-up heat vision, and that's not far off. They are an unimaginably destructive force, that can change direction mid-flight and outpace DC speedsters with no muss or fuss. In the comics, they've been seen disintegrating anyone they come into contact with — save extra-durable characters like Superman and Doomsday. They can also be harnessed as a means of creation, returning the dead to life, because comic books are whatever you want them to be.

Decades of source material have opened up a wide range of powers granted by the Omega Beams, from gravity manipulation and size alteration to the summoning of the Fourth World's ubiquitous Boom Tubes. It's not known how many of these gifts survived the trip into the Snyderverse — we'll just have to wait for Justice League 2 to find out. It, uh, could be a while.