Every good villain needs to have a scheming second-in-command, a follower who pretends to be loyal, only to use every opportunity to stab them in the back and take power for themselves. Megatron has Starscream, Skeletor has Evil-Lyn, and Darkseid has Desaad.
Desaad’s origins are pretty twisted. Darkseid tricked a young Desaad into believing that his cat had killed his pet bird, and then then manipulated him into burying the cat alive to avenge the bird’s death. However when the bird returned, Desaad killed it also and fled from New Genesis.
When Desaad made his debut in DC Comics, he was a follower of Drax, heir to the throne of Apokolips. However he was plotting with Drax’s brother, Uxas, second in line to the throne to take control of the planet. When Drax attempted to claim the Omega Force for himself, Uxas murdered his brother taking the Omega Force for himself and took the name Darkseid. Desaad then served Darkseid as his torturer.
Design & Sculpt: For people who complain about Mattels sculpt reuse, the Horsemen have found a perfect solution – cover it up. The figure is a nice adaptation of Jack Kirby’s original “New Gods” comic art, though it’s given the Four Hosemen’s own unique style. In terms of the design of the body and robe, I have no complaints. In a line with dozens of superheroes and villains clad in tights, Desaad stands out on his own with his druidic attire.
Dessad’s robe is fairly pliable, so while it retains its shape, it’s flexible enough to allow for movement. It flows openly off his body with nice little sculpted ruffles in the fabric here and there. Desaad’s overall design takes a fairly minimal approach, but it makes the details much more noticeable.
Plastic & Paint: Desaad robe is molded in a maroon plastic and narrowly escapes being yet another victim of r3d plastic syndrome. The robe is split up into separate pieces, the hood containing his head, his upper torso, his arms, and the lower part below his belt. He’s got a semi-glossy finish to him, but he avoids looking overly toyish. The work on the head is spot on, the face really stands out, which for this figure it really needs to. Desaad looks so ugly… we’ve been seeing a lot of unique facial sculpts over the last few waves. The figures have more personality and really sets them apart from the rest.
Articulation: Standard DCUC–ball joints at the neck and shoulders, hinge joints at the elbows, knees, ankles and abdomen, post-hinge joints at the hips (for ball joint-style range of motion), swivel joints at the wrists, biceps, thighs and waist, and rocker ankles for balance.
It should be noted that some of Desaad’s articulation is hindered due to his robe, though not nearly as drastic as Iron’s tunic. Although some of his articulation has been sacrificed, this is a case where aesthetics win over functionality. But as mentioned before, his robe is pliable enough to not completely eliminate all articulation. Besides, as long as you can hunch him over and make him look creepy, that should be enough. The big question on a lot of people’s minds with this wave was the ball joint head articulation. It’s been greatly improved from what we saw in Wave 10 and 11.
Accessories: This is where Desaad gives you your money’s worth. Although he does not have a C&C part included, Desaad has a Super Powers stand, and his torture device (based on the accessory included with his Super Powers figure). The apparatus fits him nicely and is easy to remove and put back on. Plus the limbs on the machine have swivel articulation.
Quality Control: I had no problems with Desaad, although there is sort of a “kiss” blemish on the top of his hood, but that appears to be problematic with all of the figures as I had the chance to cherry pick from a nice selection
Overall: When preview pictures for Wave 12 first surfaced I was pretty stoked about Desaad, but then as when time went on and I saw him up close for myself, my enthusiasm had waned.
I was all set to pass on him, especially since he didn’t have a Darkseid C&C piece. But when I ran into him yet again I mulled over it while doing the rest of my shopping, and I finally came around, figuring that I wanted him to display with the rest of my New Gods. He might not be a character I’ll display at the front of my shelf, but a character like Desaad belongs lurking in the shadows anyways.
Desaad most likely isn’t on every fan’s must-have list, but most likely a given for New Gods fans as he’s definitely necessary to complete your Apokolips/Fourth Wold display. Although you can assemble Darkseid without having to purchase Desaad, I’m sure many fans will be purchasing solely for the purpose of having his lackey.