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Scott Pilgrim sought and found

Sep 5, 2007

Deep Dark Secrets: Darkseid, Beat Poet

Welcome to the first installment of a new feature, DEEP DARK SECRETS. We broke news of Doomsday's real name here some time ago, and that triggered... well, something. All of a sudden, people are coming out of the woodwork to give us super-gossip.

We'll start with a deep dark secret about one of the universe's most feared tyrants: the legendary New God known as Darkseid.

We found archival photos of the Great Stone Face giving a reading at the Coffee Bean in Manhattan in 1954.

"Back when I knew the 'Seid, he was a groovy cat, man," said Franklyn Delyle (aka Frankie the D). "Liked the dark stuff a lot, can ya dig it? No bongo-playin', just straight-up at the microphone. He did his thing prob'ly two, three months, back in the five-four. He was hangin' with Jack K and Allen G, if ya know where I'm comin' from. He sat in with the Beats and laid down some words, my friend.

"He started gettin' a little heavy, though, man. Everybody gets hecklers, it's just how the beats groove, baby. But... ain't nothin' cool 'bout what he did, man. Not groovy. See, he had these laser beams'd shoot out of his eyeballs. Freaky-deaky! We, uh, didn't ask him back after that."

Notorious sixties scene maven Jo Stockton said, "For awhile, I thought Darkseid was really onto something groovy. I was shooting fashion layouts for a magazine or two and he was on the scene, y'know, scribbling his notes. I remember he had an hour-long thing he did called 'Anti-Life Equation' or something like that. It was terrible but none of us could ever tell him that. He was just too intense."

Darkseid's flirtation with beat poetry came to an end in 1958 when he disappeared from the scene entirely. It may be no coincidence that that year he ruthlessly suppressed an uprising by the Hunger Dogs of Apokolips.

"He never wrote another poem after that," said long-time flunky Desaad. "He told me that annihilation was his epic poem, his paean to the Old Gods. Maybe he was in a bad mood that day, though sometimes it's hard to tell."

What if Darkseid had gone on with his poetry? Would he be remembered in the same company as Kerouac, Ginsberg and their brethren? Or would he simply end up battling Orion, this time on a stage instead of on Apokolips? The universe may never know...

Artwork based on Walt Simonson, copyright DC Comics, all rights reserved. "Jo Stockton" (aka Audrey Hepburn) image from FUNNY FACE, all rights reserved.

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