When the previously unreleased footage that was to be reincorporated into Zach Snyder's Justice League was revealed in August 2020, DC Comics fans rejoiced, not only at the sight of the fearsome nemesis Darkseid, but of his equally sadistic right hand man DeSaad. Well, apparently, Batman and company will not only be taking on this deadly duo, but, in fact, an unholy trinity, with none other than Granny Goodness included.
To more casual comic book readers, I imagine that the name "Granny Goodness" does not sound even remotely threatening on its own and her general appearance (resembling a grouchy, white-haired, elderly woman) does not really do too much to help boost that reputation, either. Yet, as her role as one of the most trusted minions of Darkseid should indicate, and as DC experts should already know, Goodness is far from your average granny, and her idea of discipline is miles above a simple slap on the wrist. Before the first official trailer for the upcoming film, previously referred to as "The Snyder Cut," dropped, eagle-eyed viewers noticed in the teaser the figure of an older woman standing behind the Apokoliptic tyrant and DeSaad, at which point director Zack Snyder confirmed their speculations that it was Granny Goodness.
Of course, as exciting as this news must be to DC obsessives, newbies fail to understand just what makes this villain so special and, quite frankly, so villainous. Not to mention, those same newbies are probably still very much intrigued by Zack Snyder's Justice League and plan to watch the full four-hour cut once it hits HBO Max on Thursday, March 18, 2021. To help them prepare in time for the long-awaited premiere, the following is a quick, convenient breakdown of all the most important things to know about Granny Goodness, starting at the very beginning of her association with the fearsome villain Darkseid.
Darkseid Recruited Granny Goodness Into His Army As A Child
Created by the late, legendary comic book writer and artist Jack Kirby, Granny Goodness first appeared in the second issue of Mister Miracle in June 1971. Her debut wasted no time in helping acquaint readers with her heritage from the world of Apokolips, her ruthless and uncompromisingly evil ways, and her knack for building some pretty devastating devices, among other abilities that we will get to later.
What the Mister Miracle comic does not mention is her association with Darkseid, which would come later and reveal how she became such a baddie. Like how many of Darkseid's minions (particuarly DeSaad) got their start, Goodness (as she was once simply known) was kidnapped by the powerful tyrant as a child when she was a member of the Lowlies, which is the equivalent to peasants among the New Gods. From there, she would, essentially, become the embodiment of Stockholm Syndrome, falling prey to her kidnapper's demands, especially after one moment that earned her a life-changing promotion in his army.
The Fate Of A Dog Determined Granny Goodness’ Elite Position
Darkseid began the process of shaping Goodness into one of his top-ranked soldiers, whom he calls Hounds, which coincidentally, involves pairing the pupil with a canine. The dog that she was paired with was named Mercy and, ironically, after getting to know each other, Goodness' trainer instructed her to show the canine no "mercy" and terminate it.
Instead, Goodness killed the trainer, claiming, "It would have been a waste of a good dog that kills in your name.” In return, Darkseid commanded Mercy to kill her, which forced Goodness to retaliate, completing the original task and earning her the position of Darkseid's top elite trainer. Fun fact: DeSaad's breaking point into a cold-blooded murderer also involved the death of an animal.
Darkseid Nicknamed Granny Goodness For Her Lead Position In The Orphanage Training Facility
Once Goodness was promoted to her top-ranking training position, she was assigned as the leader of The Orphanage. This was a training facility where kidnapped children from different worlds were tortured and manipulated into feeling love for Darkseid and devotion to follow his every evil will.
Because kids were heavily involved with her job, Darkseid ended up giving Goodness the "Granny" title as a sort of nickname in homage to the cruelty she so proudly inflicted on youngsters. Of course, she was also known for training the Paradmonons, Air Cardets, and the Female Furies - a group of ladies from the New Gods who fought in Darkseid's name.
Granny Goodness Is Immortal And Super Strong, Among Other Abilities
Speaking of the New Gods, Granny Goodness' upbringing as part of said alien race helps her maintain more than just good standing on a team of female warlords. There is great power that comes with being a New God and she is certainly no exception. She has also been gifted with your typical superhuman strength, extreme agility, manipulation of various forms of energy, possession of other beings, and enhanced senses like sight, smell, and hearing.
Of course, not all of her skills are natural, such as her masterful knack for weaponry and hand-to-hand combat. Her most crucial ability is immortality, which also correlates with her stamina and invulnerability. It is also the secret to her youthful and lively spirit despite her elderly appearance, much like the celebrity who served as her fascinating inspiration.
Granny Goodness Is Modeled After Phyllis Diller
While laughter is certainly not something that Granny Goodness is much help in providing, a woman whose business was laughter had a large hand in her creation. When visualizing the look of the character, Jack Kirby looked to Phyllis Diller - a beloved, award-winning comedian whom younger audiences may recognize from A Bug's Life as the voice of the ant Queen.
Coincidentally, when Granny Goodness was first adapted for screen on Superman: The Animated Series, providing her voice was, actually, not Phyllis Diller, but fellow future Pixar star Ed Asner, who would reprise the villainess in Superman/Batman: Apocalypse - a direct-to-DVD feature from 2010. Thinking about it more, I can't decide who I would prefer in the role better.
Actually, I think it would be astoundingly awesome if Phyllis Diller could have lived out her destiny as Granny Goodness in Zack Snyder's Justice League, if not for her death in 2012 at the age of 95. Yet, we still do not know who is playing Darkseid's right-hand woman in the new film, but CinemaBlend will be sure to keep you in the loop about that and plenty of other fun facts as they are made known.
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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.