DeSaad: What To Know About Justice League's Snyder Cut Villain

Peter Guinness as DeSaad in Justice League

The story of the Justice League Snyder Cut only continued to grow more fascinating during the recent virtual DC FanDome event. Fans were treated with a first trailer for director Zack Snyder’s eagerly awaited version of the 2017 superhero crossover flick recut into a miniseries with previously unseen footage that presented more than a few astonishing reveals. Among them was a glimpse of DeSaad, a villain that may not ring a bell to some of the more casual fans of the franchise.

However, a more devoted, lifelong comic book follower should know that DeSaad, a creation of legendary writer Jack Kirby who first appeared in DC Comics in 1971, is one of the most fearsome members from the race of the New Gods as, essentially the right-hand man to the tyrannical Apokoliptian ruler Darkseid, whose appearance in the Snyder Cut teaser must made fans especially psyched as well. Seeing both of these despicable cretins fighting alongside (or, perhaps, even at odds without each other, in a feature-length film just gives us more reason to be excited for the Justice League’s foretold return.

DC obsessives may also be able to piece together how DeSaad is involved in the plot of this new edition of Justice League, which saw the titular crew of heroes take on the lone wrath of Steppenwolf in the original theatrical release, given his involvement with the Mother Boxes. However, those less knowledgeable, but immensely curious, may still have a few extra questions about this character who has seen little attention aside from pages of a comic book. To prepare for the the Snyder Cut’s 2021 release exclusively on HBO Max, the following are six essential facts about him from the comics.

Darkseid corrupting young DeSaad

Darkseid Manipulated DeSaad Into Being His Follower As A Child

Despite his monstrous appearance in the Snyder Cut footage, in the comics, DeSaad originally had a more human physical resemblance and, at one time, a humane personality, too, growing up an innocent youth on New Genesis (the essential opposite of Apokolips) until Darkseid used the boy’s pets as pawns in a cruel manipulation tactic. He convinced the boy his cat had killed his bird and to avenge it by killing the cat, which he did so burying it alive, only to find the bird back in its cage, which he then murdered out of anger. This was all it took for the tyrant to corrupt the young child’s mind, leading him into a new life as his loyal henchman on Apokolips under a new name that would better reflect his destined occupation.

DeSaad interrogating Power Girl

DeSaad Is A Master Of Torture And Interrogation

Manipulating victims is something that DeSaad knows a thing or two about as well. In fact, it is just one of the many methods he has adopted while holding the position of Darkseid’s top specialist in torture, which is practically more of a hobby to someone like him than a general occupation. DeSaad’s torturous tactics range from the mere manipulation of language to psychologically taunt his subjects to ripping their flesh just a small piece at a time and a version of the character existing prior to the Flashpoint timeline is an expert in creating torture devices and even combat weaponry.

DeSaad assuming the form of another person

DeSaad Has Very Deceptive, Controlling Abilities

Torture may be Desaad’s specialty, but as a New God, he is capable of much more that makes him, arguably, even more dangerous. In addition to superhuman strength, which is enhanced by him weakening others, he can also influence someone telepathically or with illusion casting, which allows him to appear in the form of anyone that he chooses. With that in mind, it might be a smart idea to be wary of whoever appears onscreen in the Snyder Cut, even if it that includes members of the Justice League.

DeSaad in his most monstrous form

DeSaad Has Posed As Darkseid For Selfish Purposes

Heinously deceiving and causing pain to others is not the only reason that DeSaad uses his “shapeshifting” abilities, having also used them to further his own success. You see, while we may have referred to DeSaad as a “loyal” follower of Darkseid, that is not always the case, such as one occasion in which he took the form of his leader during his absence in order to assume control of Apokolips, a goal he has sought to achieve since he acquired citizenship on the planet. Of course, his tyranny was cut short by Darkseid’s return, which is really just the tip of the iceberg in their awkward relationship.

DeSaad with Darkseid

DeSaad Has Been Resurrected By Darkseid Many Times

Despite some occasional animosity between the two, Darkseid is aware of how important DeSaad is in service to him, which is why he has managed to stay alive as long as he has. DeSaad has actually suffered death multiple times, even at the hands of his master, too, only to be saved by Darkseid’s ability to bring him back to life. To add insult to injury, Darkseid assures DeSaad that his next death will be his last after each subsequent reanimation, a claim he has yet to live up to.

Batman takes down Darkseid with a Radion bullet

Like All New Gods, DeSaad’s Weakness Is Radion

One thing that gives us hope for the Justice League’s victory over DeSaad (aside from them being the protagonists of a comic book movie) is that both of them are not completely invulnerable. Both and Darkseid alike, are susceptible to the weakening effects of Radion, a substance of unknown origin that only becomes genuinely toxic to a New God in abundant amounts, especially if released by explosive means. Hopefully, something along those lines is involved in Bruce Wayne’s contingency plan, which you can always count on him to have prepared.

What do you think? Does it sounds like DeSaad is going to bring a much-needed sinister quality to this new revitalization of Justice League or does he make Steppenwolf sound more threatening by comparison. Let us know in the comments and be sure to check back for additional information and updates about the Snyder Cut, as well as even more in-depth looks at some of your favorite comic book characters, here on CinemaBlend.

Jason Wiese
Content Writer

Jason has been writing since he was able to pick up a washable marker, with which he wrote his debut illustrated children's story, later transitioning to a short-lived comic book series and (very) amateur filmmaking before finally settling on pursuing a career in writing about movies in lieu of making them. Look for his name in almost any article about Batman.