Young Justice: The New Gods of Supertown by Jerry Whitworth
Since the announcement of Young Justice returning for a third season, no further news has emerged. However, it’s with little doubt this coming season will deal heavily with the New Gods. Children of the Old Gods of Urgrund whose planet split into two new worlds, namely Apokolips and New Genesis, the New Gods are ancient beings of vast power. Thus far, New Gods of Apokolips such as Desaad, Glorious Godfrey, and Darkseid have appeared (as well as their Earth-based organization Intergang) in Young Justice. Further, Young Gods of New Genesis in the Forever People interacted with Superboy in the episode “Disordered” where it was revealed Sphere was a Super-Cycle, a techno-organic life form similar in nature to Mother/Father Boxes, from New Genesis. It’s quite likely the Forever People will appear again, perhaps mirroring whatever changes the Team has experienced over time (in the comics, Big Bear and Beautiful Dreamer would marry and produce a daughter named Maya as Mark Moonrider wed an alien being and had three children). Lets then take a look at what New Gods of Supertown (capital of New Genesis) may yet appear in the third season of Young Justice.
A high ranking warrior of great repute, Izaya the Inheritor and his wife Avia were ambushed by the New God of Apokolips Steppenwolf. Brother to Queen Heggra, Steppenwolf was duped by his nephew Darkseid into conflict with Izaya in hopes of igniting a war between the New Gods’ twin worlds. Darkseid would succeed when Steppenwolf slew Avia as Izaya nearly fell as well. Found and nursed back to health by a female New God named Vayla, Izaya became New Genesis’ leader against Apokolips. When it appeared Apokolips would win the final battle with the development of Matter Threshold technology (precursor to the Boom Tube), Izaya turned the tide by slaying Steppenwolf thus ending the advance. Left feeling unfulfilled in obtaining vengeance, Izaya journeyed alone into his world’s wilderness until he came upon the Source, the cosmic force which gave rise to the New Gods and their ancestors. Laying down his sword forevermore, Izaya returned as the Highfather and brokered a truce with Apokolips. Izaya, who would marry Vayla and produce a son in Scott Free, would exchange his only child for Darkseid’s second son Orion. A relative peace emerged for a time as Apokolips continued to grow in influence across the cosmos. Eventually, the truce would be dissolved when Free would escape Apokolips and journey to Earth. The Highfather led New Genesis in the renewed conflict with Apokolips as Orion, who had become like a son to Izaya, acted as his adopted world’s champion.
Second son to Darkseid and his second wife Tigra, Orion grew-up unaware his chief rival Kalibak was in fact his elder half-brother (son of Darkseid’s one true love Suli). Consumed with rage, Orion would be employed by his father as a bargaining chip with New Genesis and traded for Scott Free (son of New Genesis’ ruler Izaya the Highfather) as part of a truce called the Pact. In Supertown, Izaya spent years helping Orion to control the darkness inside him developing a father and son relationship. Overtime, Orion befriended fellow New God Solis and married Bekka, daughter of Himon (an Apokoliptian scientist who defected to New Genesis). Highfather would bestow upon Orion the power of the Astro Force, an energy source that he can employ to curb his rage and wield as a weapon against his enemies through deep focus and an apparatus called the Astro-Harness (while a Mother Box on his person alters his appearance to look more like a New Genesisian). The truce between Apokolips and New Genesis dissolved when Scott Free escaped his adopted world for Earth leading Orion to become the chief champion against his home planet (earning the nickname the “Dog of War”). Overtime, Orion developed a connection to Earth, in part when he joined the Justice League alongside his friend Lightray and later when he rejoined the League alongside Big Barda to prepare for the threat of Mageddon (an artifact of the Old Gods). It is destined that Orion would be the one to ultimately destroy Darkseid.
Son of Izaya the Highfather and his second wife Vayla, Scott Free would become pivotal in the conflict between his world New Genesis and its sister planet Apokolips. As a civil war between the two worlds seemed to reach an impasse, Highfather conceived of a truce where he would trade his son for a son of Apokolips’ ruler Darkseid. Known as the Pact, Orion of Apokolips came to Supertown where he was treated with love and kindness becoming a surrogate son for Izaya and his adopted world’s champion. Scott Free, on the other hand, was sent to the Orphanage, a facility on Apokolips operated by Granny Goodness (who named Free who was only an infant) that exposes children to physical torture and psychological torment to create strong, ruthless, and obedient soldiers for Darkseid. Unaware of his origins, Free found himself unable to fit in with his fellow youths which devolved into self-loathing. Eventually, Free chose to become a rebel after an encounter with the New God Metron, meeting in secret with the scientist Himon and other like-minded youths (in time befriending the lovely Big Barda). With help, Free would escape the Orphanage (the first to ever accomplish this task) and Apokolips for Earth which dissolved the truce with New Genesis (an event Darkseid waited years to see occur so far as seeing Free treated especially cruelly to push him away). On Earth, Free befriended an escape artist named Thaddeus Brown (who went by the stage name Mister Miracle), Oberon (Brown’s dwarf assistant), and Shilo Norman (an orphan taken in by Brown). Enamored with the escapology profession and demonstrating an inherit skill at it, Free became Brown’s protege. When Brown was murdered by Intergang member Steel Hand, Free and the others brought his killer to justice while Free adopted his mentor’s mantle. As Mister Miracle, Free and his friends (including Barda who abandoned her homeworld) fought various rogues from Apokolips including Goodness, Doctor Bedlam, Virman Vundabar, Female Furies (which Barda formerly led), and Kanto. Free would also combat human villains, most notably the conman Funky Flashman (a caricature of Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee). Later, Free and Barda would join the Justice League where Free became a frequent opponent to the alien black marketer Manga Khan which would lead to Free retiring from hero work, passing down his mantle to Norman.
Best described as a passive third party in the conflict between New Genesis and Apokolips, Metron is a seeker of knowledge who sits upon the Mobius Chair, a device which freely travels through space and time. Metron was a critical figure in the civil war of the New Gods by passing the knowledge of Matter Threshold technology (precursor to the Boom Tube) to Apokolips in exchange for the X-Element which was necessary to power his Mobius Chair. In time, when it appeared Apokolips winning the conflict against its sister world would impair Metron’s quest, the New God aligned with New Genesis. In large part, this meant partnering with the Apokoliptian scientist Himon who refined Matter Threshold into the Boom Tube and created the Mother Box, portable living computers. Where Himon acted as rebel leader on Apokolips, Metron was something of a courier and spy for the resistance. It would be Metron who helped Scott Free decide to rebel against Apokolips and who aided Himon in seeing Free escape his adopted world for Earth (which Metron knew was critical in the New Gods’ war, so far as giving the gift of fire at the dawn of man). Metron would take on the Supertown Young God Esak as his protege such that in time he would replace him on the quest for unraveling the mysteries of the universe. Sadly, an accident would horribly scar Esak physically and mentally seeing him join Darkseid’s Elite. Inevitably, Orion would kill Esak but prayed to the Source that his face would be healed before his demise which was granted. Metron would take on another protege in Earth’s 853rd century in Matthew Tyler, the android Hourman.
Best friend of Orion, young Solis joined Orion and Metron in discovering an Apokoliptian outpost on New Genesis. Therein, the soldiers were transformed by an energy bomb into beings of pure solar energy. Assaulting Solis leaving him comatose, Metron and Orion bested the soldiers and delivered the youth to Supertown. In a month’s time, Solis would awaken having somehow developed solar-based abilities and decided to adopt the name Lightray. As Lightray, the New God became Orion’s closest ally in the renewed battle against Apokolips. After several visits over the years to combat the advance of Apokolips on Earth, Lightray would join the Justice League following the apparent death of Mr. Miracle leading Orion to follow his friend on board. Lightray always acted as a contrast to Orion who was angst-ridden and pessimistic where his friend was bright and jovial in mood and behavior. Considered quite handsome by his species’ standards, and likely even more so by those of Earth, Lightray has frequently attracted the attention of the fairer sex of many worlds.
Brilliant inventor from Apokolips, Himon became wracked with guilt when his discovery of the X-Element nearly led to the destruction of New Genesis. Resolved to make-up for this horror, Himon founded an underground resistance on Apokolips. Assuming the role of a ‘Hunger Dog,’ the lowest caste on Apokolips, Himon became a teacher to some of the youth of Granny Goodness’ Orphanage, specifically of note to the son of Izaya the Highfather in Scott Free. As part of his development, Himon would refine Matter Threshold technology into the Boom Tube and created the Mother Box, portable living computers. Undoubtedly, Himon was the most wanted criminal on Apokolips and was viciously hunted only for Darkseid’s forces to consistently destroy robot duplicates of the scientist. Wonderful Willik, an enforcer for Apokolips, hunted Himon’s students and murdered all but Scott Free. The massacre convinced Big Barda to turn against her masters as Himon saved Free and Barda from Willik. Himon and Metron went on to help Free escape Apokolips, knowing full well it would mean war. Himon’s daughter Bekka would marry Orion, son of Darkseid and adopted son of Highfather, as Himon assisted Orion in rescuing his mother Tigra from Darkseid. Himon died at the hand of Darkseid only to seemingly emerge alive later (actually Infinity Man in disguise).
Where Orion and Lightray act as the vanguard of the New Gods of Supertown, young Fastbak is something of a final line of defense. Capable of moving at super speed coupled with aeropads in his boots allowing him to run without a solid surface (across air, space, etc), Fastbak is the second fastest New God of Supertown (second only to Lightray). However, Orion and Lightray are warriors in service of New Genesis as Fastbak simply seeks to enjoy life, splitting his time between racing across the sky, singing, and reciting poetry. Still, in times when the situation is dire, Fastbak has been known to be a dependable asset to his world. Likely the youth’s greatest achievement is to have outraced the Black Racer (New Gods’ embodiment of death) and Parademons in order to save the life of the Young God Esak.
A member of the Bug race which evolved on New Genesis’ surface beneath Supertown, Forager is the champion of the Colony who was dispatched by Prime One to request the aid of the New God Orion. Viewed by many New Gods as beneath their species (especially Orion), Forager’s efforts proved to be in vein as Darkseid’s disciple Mantis usurped rule of the Bugs and brought them against Earth. Orion, Lightray, and Forager combined forces and managed to defeat Mantis and repel the Bugs back to New Genesis. Forager would earn a place amongst the New Gods and became a soldier in their service representing his species (though, it is implied Forager may not in fact be a Bug but simply raised by them). Forager would ultimately sacrifice his life to save Batman from the Anti-Life Equation where Orion would finally recognize him for the warrior that he was. A female Forager would later emerge and partner with Jimmy Olsen.
The New Gods’ embodiment of death, the Black Racer is an armor-clad, ski-driven incorporeal entity who possesses the body of a living creature to ferry New Gods to his realm Hadis, their land of the dead. For reasons unknown, the Black Racer appears to at some level be against Darkseid (perhaps due to his obsession with the Anti-Life Equation) and was boom tubed by Metron to Earth where he merged with paraplegic Vietnam veteran Sgt. Willie Walker. Wishing to be dead rather than experience life unable to move or communicate, the Racer was drawn to Walker and gave him the gift of mobility again for the cost of service. In their first mission together, Walker/Racer disabled an Apokoliptian device on Earth meant to disrupt communications. The Racer would leave Walker paralyzed and mute in his bed until such time he again required him, merging a second time in an effort to carry the Young God Esak to Hadis only to be foiled by the efforts of Fastbak who outraced him. The Black Racer subsequently emerged on occasion to collect non-New Gods for death such as when he sought the hero Steel and later the Flash (where it was repeatedly mentioned the Black Racer and Black Flash maybe one in the same).
An explorer and archaeologist, Lonar is more interested in the ruins of New Genesis than the conflict his world has with Apokolips. As such, Lonar has among the New Gods one of the most knowledgeable basis of data on the Old Gods, so far as even uncovering a beast of the Old Gods in the steed Thunderer which he tamed and made his own (becoming steadfast, loyal companions). Appearing like a barbarian (or viking when armored) and wielding a sword, Lonar is a proponent of living amongst nature and surviving off of the land’s bounty. Best described as a pacifist, the threat posed by Apokolips nonetheless has drawn Lonar into battle on behalf of his world when the situation becomes dire enough.
A highly accomplished Sumo wrestler, Sonny Sumo is a human native of Earth who wields a portion of the Anti-Life Equation within him (making him a target of Darkseid) which allows him to manipulate his chi. As the Forever People emerged on Earth and went on many adventures, Sumo became an unofficial member joining the group in its many battles. However, those times would come to an end with Darkseid employing the Omega Sanction to strand Sumo in feudal Japan. Living out a life of peace, the Sonny Sumo of an alternate Earth would emerge to take his alternate version’s place where he become a mentor to the super hero group Super Young Team. It would later be learned that Super Young Team was the Fifth World incarnation of the Forever People.
See also: Commander Gideon, Jezebelle, Seagrin, Teledar, and Madame Nature.