By Any Other Name: Darkseid

Longbox Graveyard #87

How do YOU pronounce, “Darkseid?”

Jack Kirby's Darkseid

Jack Kirby‘s signature villain from The New Gods is one of the King’s greatest creations, a universe-spanning threat famous (infamous?) for his relentless pursuit of the Anti-Life Equation. He has battled the Justice League, appeared in cartoons

animated Darkseid

… and gotten his own action figure …

Darkseid action figure

… but he’s one of those characters — the kind with the name you’re not confident saying out loud.

Do we call him Dark-SEED? Or do we call him, Dark-SIDE?

(I’m inclined to call him, “Sir,” if I call him anything at all.)

There seems some consensus on the web that we should be calling this character Dark-SIDE, and no less an authority than Mark Evanier writes that is how Kirby himself referred to his creation.

But how do YOU pronounce this bad guy’s name? Take my poll!

Defend your choice in comments, below!

NEXT WEDNESDAY: #88 Fire And Ice


About Paul O'Connor

Revelations and retro-reviews from a world where it is always 1978, published every now and then at!

Posted on February 13, 2013, in By Any Other Name and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. Definitely “Side.” When I first saw his name in print, I said “Seed,” but I also used to call Magneto “Magnetto,” so my English am no goods.

    I’d recommend you do a poll to pronounce “Nicieza” but there might be too many options.


  2. I absolutely owned that figure when I was a kid. In fact, for someone who totally evolved as a “Marvel guy” as an adult, I’m pretty sure I owned as many DC Super Powers figures as I did Marvel Secret Wars guys.

    And for the record, I always went with Dark-seed.


  3. I’m glad I’ve always pronounced it Dark-SIDE, since, if that how Mr. Kirby says it’s pronounced, then that’s how it’s pronounced!

    I like the way Darkseid has gone from a relatively minor player in the DC Universe into a relatively major one.


    • Yes, I think we have a definitive answer owing to Evanier’s Kirby citation, but I’m as interested in what fans consider proper as I am in what is correct.

      It seems likely to me that Kirby intended the character to be called “Darkside” but spelled it “Darkseid” because the original spelling was too on-the-nose … but in doing so, he created unintended confusion, leading a generation of fans to mispronounce his villain’s name.

      With movies and TV shows setting a standard it isn’t too hard, these days, for fans to figure out how to pronounce names … but in an era where most communication was written, it is easy to settle into the wrong habits. Superhero cartoons and (especially) movies were a lot less common in the 1960s and 70s.

      This is one of the values of attending lectures in an academic setting … I am a history student, and I am largely self-taught. My university education has been on-line and I have attended relatively few live classes and so I have not had the opportunity to hear professors pronounce the names of foreign leaders and battlefields in person. Short of catching historical documentaries on television I have little chance of correctly pronouncing the names of most French generals or Napoleonic battles. I’m educated in that I know about these things, and can talk about them, but could not help but sound ignorant the first time I tried to pronounce “The Battle of Jena-Auerstedt.”

      And so it goes …


  4. when I was younger and the Fourth World material was first being published, it was definitely Dark-Seed. Then, in college, something clicked in my head and I went, “Oh, NOW I get it – Dark-Side…” When you consider the longstanding claim that George Lucas was influenced by the Fourth World books, the whole “Dark-side” pronunciation really begins to take root…


  5. I was always a DarkSIDE guy. I thought it sounded cooler, DarkSEED sounds… dirty and, for whatever reason, I always assumed the name was somehow German in origin and “ei” in German is pronounced ah-ee or eye.


    • The results of the poll proved definitive but I suspect a sample of just those coming to comic before the advent of animation would prove more mixed. In any case I think this is a case of The King being more clever than he needed to be … I understand he didn’t want his name to be too on-the-nose but only confusion resulted from the way he chose to spell the name.


  6. Dark “side”! I have spoken! 😀


  7. Hi Paul, you left us with two choices only while I, and I fear I’m alone, took another path on the Darkseid pronunciation controversy.
    As a french speaking comicbook reader with a poor grasp on english language, I had a somewhat different understanding for the second half of “Darkseid”. “Seid” looks like “Séide” (french for henchman or fanatic) so here am I, saying: Dark-say-eed, the ultimate Dark Fanatic!


  8. They call him dark side on the Superfriends cartoon


  9. I always said it in my head as SEED, it was hard to make the change to SIDE, but now I’ve become one of “those people” lol “Well actually it’s pronounced…” Lol


    • I know it’s “side,” I know it’s “side,” I know it’s “side” … but like you, in the weird little private asylum of my head, it’s SEED.

      Come and get me, coppers!

      (Wait, are those Para-demons outside my window?)

      Liked by 1 person

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