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HIGHFATHER

Real Name: Izaya The Inheritor

Class: God (New Gods)

Occupation: Leader of the New Gods

Group Affiliation: Quintessence

Known Relatives: Avia (wife, deceased), Big Barda (daughter-in-law), Scott Free (Mr. Miracle, son), Vayla (wife, deceased)

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Supertown, New Genesis

First Appearance: New Gods I #1 (February-March, 1971)

Powers: Like all New Gods Highfather possessed vast levels of superhuman strength, stamina, and invulnerability, and was incredibly long-lived. Izaya was a master combatant and master of weaponry, but left behind the ways of combat when he became Highfather. Highfather's staff gave him a direct link to the inconceivable energy of the Source, and he could channel and manipulate the energy of the Source through the staff. Highfather could also communicate with the Source.

History(New Gods III #19 (fb)) - The planets of New Genesis and Apokolips were not yet fully formed, and the New Gods contemplated the meaning of their existence. Izaya, leader of New Genesis, had peace talks with emissaries of Apokolips, but Yuga Khan, leader of Apokolips, would never accept peace. He confronted Izaya on New Genesis, and attacked him when Izaya dared warn him that his quest for infinite power and knowledge would be his downfall. Soon afterwards Yuga Khan disappeared in the Promethian Galaxy searching for the Source. 

(Jack Kirby’s Fourth World #2 (fb)) - Apokolips and New Genesis called a peace and Izaya the Inheritor visited Apokolips to see Drax, whom he considered a worthy adversary as well as a friend. They had a rowdy arm-wrestling contest, which Drax lost after his scheming brother Uxas distracted him. Izaya and Drax rode their steeds under the stars, and Drax admitted he looked forward to the next war. Izaya told him that even though legend said that all the good of the Old Gods went to New Genesis, and all the evil to Apokolips, that was no reason to be slaves to prophecy. They shook hands, and agreed that so long as they were friends their worlds would not go to war. Drax would later be undone by his brother Uxas, who took the name Darkseid.

(Jack Kirby’s Fourth World #3) - Darkseid contacted Izaya, telling him of his theory that the destruction of the Old Gods sent out a ripple of energy that not only created them, but created gods or at least the seeds of divinity across the cosmos. What Darkseid didn’t tell him was that he planned to seek these others out and steal their god power.

(New Gods I #7, New Gods III #3, Jack Kirby's Fourth World #1 (fb)) - Izaya The Inheritor and his wife Avia spent time in a field, and Avia, knowing Izaya’s heart was not in war asked him to sing for her. Steppenwolf of Apokolips and his demon cavalry were on a hunting trip on New Genesis, and Izaya was outraged. He attacked Steppenwolf, and in their fight Steppenwolf slew Avia. Steppenwolf’s nephew seemingly killed Izaya with his killing-glove so there’d be no witnesses, but in truth Darkseid had only wounded him, allowing him to live so New Genesis and Apokolips would go to war. The New Genesis / Apokolips war raged, and during one battle Izaya'ss flying vessel was shot from the sky. The gravely injured Izaya was discovered by a kindly woman named Vayla, who nursed him back to health. Izaya thought he would never love again, but fell hard for Vayla, and they were married. When she was with child he had to leave her to resume his war on Apokjolips, but promised her he’d return home alive. Izaya slew Steppenwolf in battle, avenging Avia, but when he returned home he learned Vayla had died, and mourned heavily. Meanwhile  the battle escalated and both planets suffered serious damage and casualties. During the great clash giant biological mutants were released on New Genesis. The Council of Five responded by developing biological mutant Bugs, although Metron voiced his disapproval. The Bugs escaped and ravaged New Genesis, so the Council blamed their creation on Apokolips, beginning the unending conflict between God and Bug. Izaya thought they were worse than the Old Gods who destroyed themselves in battle, because they were destroying the cosmos. Seeking a resolution Izaya sought out the Source Wall and abandoned the ways of war. He made a pact of peace with Darkseid, sealed when he sent his son to Apokolips and received Darkseid’s son Orion to raise as his own. Orion wanted to attack Izaya on meeting him, but Izaya, now calling himself Highfather, taught him of the peaceful ways of New Genesis.

(New Gods III #22 (fb)) - Highfather watched the children of Supertown at play, supervised by Desdemona. He observed Orion and told Metron that he believed the future of New Genesis depended on overcoming his heritage, just as he believed Apokolips would win if Darkseid swayed Scott Free to the dark side. The newly resurrected Steppenwolf led a raid on New Genesis, and Desdemona led the children to a fortress while New Genesis soldiers turned away the attack. Metron needed more x-element for his Mobius Chair, so he traded Boom Tubes to Apokolips for more. Darkseid used them to send Steppenwolf to reclaim Orion from New Genesis. Many children were killed, but Orion himself turned the tide and sent Steppenwolf retreating. A statue was erected in remembrance of the children. 

(New Gods III #9 (fb)) - Orion’s hostility drove people away, and the only family he had was Highfather and Metron. Commander trained Orion in the ways of combat, and he became a furious warrior, an embodiment of war itself, causing Highfather to worry for his soul. Highfather granted him the power of the astro-force, knowing Darkseid’s forces might well target him. Orion’s hatred of Darkseid made him eager to resume war with Apokolips, but Highfather tried to show him that his rage was an evil equal to Darkseid’s ways. Orion took no heed; unable to comprehend anything but his love of war. 

(New Gods I #1) - Highfather summoned Orion to New Genesis, and when he arrived Highfather was listening to a children’s chorus singing. Highfather told Orion that children carried both life and freedom in them, the things they would always protect on New Genesis. They read from the Source Wall, which predicted that Orion would go to Apokolips, then Earth, then to war. Metron wanted to aid them, and hinted that Darkseid was Orion's father, but Highfather told him to be quiet. Orion investigated Apokolips and found that Darkseid had broken the pact by establishing a base on Earth to search for the anti-life equation.

(New Gods I #2) - The Source Wall told Highfather to prepare New Genesis for battle, and Lightray was eager to join Orion, who was already fighting Darkseid on Earth. Highfather admired his loyalty to his friend, but told Lighray war was not in his nature, and he was too young. 

(New Gods I #4) - Highfather oversaw the war to keep Apokolips from Earth and was disheartened when Seagrin was killed by the Deep Six. 

(New Gods I #5) - Fasbak tested out his new aero-pads, zooming across Supertown, but Highfather drained their power so Fastbak could sing for him, and encouraged him to pursue song instead of defying authority.   

(Forever People I #7) - Highfather honored the New Genesis custom of listening to their youths by holding the Council of the Young. Metron learned through his Mobius Chair’s monitoring of cosmic events that the Forever People had brashly left New Genesis for Earth to combat Darkseid. The youths begged Highfather to save their friends. Highfather considered his next action, and Metron implored him to forget about the Forever People, who brought their troubles on themselves. Metron’s apprentice Esak asked Highfather to show the temperance and nurturing he was known for, and that was his very nature. Highfather told Esak that he was a very wise young man. Esak replied that the youth had to be wise to deal with the foolishness of their elders. Highfather used alpha bullets to retrieve the Forever People, who’d been scattered across time and space by Darkseid’s Omega Effect, and reunite them.

(DC Graphic Novel #4) - Darkseid attacked New Genesis, using Boom Tubes to transport Micro-Mark tech that could destroy a planet, forcing Highfather to construct a satellite city to save the New Gods. Darkseid hoped to corrupt New Genesis, and expected a counter-attack of terrorism, but none came, because Highfather refused to give in to evil. Highfather allowed New Genesis to be blown up, and Darkseid’s followers realized the Micro-Mark in production no longer had a target, and could very easily consume Apokolips. This sparked a Hunger Dog revolt that shook Darkseid’s rule. Aboard the satellite city the New Gods scoured space for their new home, and Highfather had faith that the Source would guide them, but admitted that he was frightened.. Metron brought an unspoilt paradise planet to them using his Mobius Chair to serve as a new homeworld.

(New Gods III #1-3) - Orion foiled an attack on Earth by Kalibak and a horde of Para-Demons, but the battle resulted in the deaths of several New Gods. On New Genesis Orion railed to Highfather, complaining that he always felt he was on the losing side, and that he was sick of seeing comrades die. To give Orion another lesson in humility Highfather entrusted the body of Forager to him and told him to return his remains to the Bugs. Orion despised the Bugs as lesser beings, but Highfather wanted him to see that everyone who hated Darkseid was on the same side. Highfather conversed with the comatose Metron, lost in his own infinite knowledge. He knew Orion’s time with the Bugs might uncover an ancient lie of the New Gods, but he couldn’t suppress Orion's fire. Orion’s time with the Bugs led to peace-talks between the New Gods and the Bugs, demanding independent states for the Bugs in exchange for their services in the war against Apokolips. Some of the Council of Five bristled at the idea of cooperating with Bugs, and the Commander claimed they’d be poor soldiers. Prime One offered Forager as their champion, and challenged the New Gods to select their own to battle her in an arena., Lonar was chosen, and after a brutal fight he won, but was impressed with her skills, and the fact that she would rather die than be beaten, so he proclaimed the Bugs worthy allies. Metron awoke from his coma and revealed to Orion that the Bugs were created by the New Gods as biological weapons against Apokolips, but when they escaped and ravaged New Genesis they blamed Apokolips for their creation. Orion felt betrayed and told Highfather he was not as righteous as he seemed. He struck Highfather and left New Genesis. 

(New Gods III #5) - After Orion decimated the insect colonies with nuclear missiles as payback for Mantis’ attempt at irradiating Earth Highfather himself was worried about Orion turning to the dark side, and consulted the Source. If Orion was turned to evil by Darkseid, than the war against Apokolips was lost. 

(New Gods III #6) - The Council of Five blamed Highfather for Orion’s brash destruction of the insect colonies, but he reminded them he was the original founder and ruler of New Genesis. Lonar stood by Highfather, but the rest did not, so Highfather proclaimed the dissolution of the Council. Highfather’s actions threatened civil war on New Genesis.

(New Gods III #7, 8, 11, 12) - Commander stirred the people against Highfather for dissolving the Council of Five and being unable to control Orion. Commander proposed himself as a strong military leader and wanted all-out war against Darkseid. Highfather rebutted that he could not control Orion’s every action, that would be the domain of someone like Darkseid, but he could strive to save Orion’s soul. Highfather unleashed the alpha bullets to return his allies so they could pledge support for the spiritual future of New Genesis. Lightray arrived, and Highfather sent him back to Apokolips to retrieve Orion. Commander gave more jingoistic speeches, and New Genesis trembled. Highfather told the people it was an upheaval of the very beliefs that sustained Genesis. On the plebiscite the people voted with their hearts and Highfather was overwhelmingly reinstated as leader. 

(New Gods II #13) - Highfather scolded Orion for infiltrating Darkseid’s army, telling him it caused dissention among the populace of New Genesis. Orion replied that Highfather would never understand his personal struggles of identity, and that by now the people should never doubt his allegiances. Lightray then took Orion to Earth for peace and tranquility. 

(New Gods III #16) - Fastbak found a powerful relic of the Old Gods, and threw it through a Boom Tube to Earth to keep Darkseid’s minion Infernus from claiming it. He reported back to Highfather, who opened a Boom Tube to Earth, and claimed it from John Hedley, who was using its’ power inappropriately. 

(New Gods III #17) - Highfather had a nightmare about Avia’s death, and upon awakening he needed a reminder of the beauty in Supertown. He gave Commander to keep the military in top form, but still forbade an attack on Apokolips. The sky darkened and Highfather sensed a threatening presence. In the Promethian Galaxy Yuga Khan broke his bonds, and his return to existence constituted a greater threat to life than Darkseid. 

(New Gods III #18-21) - Highfather contacted Mister Miracle, Orion and Lightray on Earth, his image dominating the NYC skyline. He let them know that he needed them for the upcoming threat of Yuga Khan, and warned them that they might have to lay down their lives. Miracle refused because he was still trying to build a normal life on Earth with Barda, but Orion and Lightray pledged to help. On New Genesis Highfather and Metron discussed the hubris of Khan for attempting to upset the balance that defined Apokolips and Genesis, and they consulted the Source. Khan took control of Apokolips, and Commander finally had the excuse to invade. Metron told Highfather his refusal to go to war gave him the greater authority, and he would, as ever, observe. Commander’s forces were devastated by Khan and Commander was killed. Highfather was heartbroken, and vainly tried to contact the Source again. Yuga Khan appeared, and when Highfather warned him about the limits on godhood, Khan ignored him and entered the Source, once again becoming trapped in the Promethian Galaxy. The Source spoke to Highfather telling him that the wise knew the limits of knowledge. 

(New Gods III #24) - Highfather contacted Orion once Darkseid became aware of Maya, the daughter of Beautiful Dreamer and Big Bear. He knew Maya mcould be a great source of strength for Darkseid, and told Orion to protect her from Apokolips at all costs. 

(New Gods III #27, 28) - Darkseid became aware of Earthwoman Anne Flaherty, who possessed part of the anti-lie equation, and sent his ruthless soldier Dispatcher to retrieve her. Highfather sent Orion and Lightray to stop him, but by the time they reached her she was dead, killed by drunk driver John Elliot. Lightray was shocked that Elliot showed no remorse for taking the life of a woman highly regarded by her friends for charity. In an effort to understand he sought out Metron, who let him touch the liferock that contained the memories of everyone on Earth, and he later attended her funeral. Disarmed by all the good she’d done in her life he was determined to resurrect her with Darkseid’s Mortis Mark technology acquired from Metron. Highfather told him it was an evil idea, and that just as every life had its purpose, so did every death.  Highfather brought Orion to the Source Wall so he could explain why Darkseid never really resurrected anyone. It wrote out “There is no anti –life…There is only life.” and sent Orion to stop Lightray, but Lightray had a change of heart. Highfather expected Metron to show some regret, but he had none. Highfather told him to join the forces of Darkseid and be done with it.  

(Jack Kirby’s Fourth World #1, 3) - With Apokolips and New Genesis merged Takion sought a meeting with Highfather, fearing his leader had gone insane. Highfather acknowledged that he’d lied about the Source being corrupted, the motivating point that allowed for the merger of worlds. He said his burden of keeping his people safe was great, and he himself feared he’d erred, especially because Takion, avatar of the Source, doubted his actions. He said he needed to use guile just as Darkseid had done for millennia. He knew Darkseid would seek the power of the Old Gods, and hoped his new quest would keep him occupied. Highfather’s ploy failed, and Tigra saved Thor from Darkseid and brought him to New Genesis. Thor revealed that the Norse Gods were vulnerable because Odin had disappeared, and while Highfather put the motion to debate Miracle came up with a plan. He created a tether that would reach the Promethean Galaxy with the help of the Forever People, and together they found Odin trapped in the source wall. Serifan of the Forever People freed him with a cosmic pellet, and brought him to Highfather. They realized they might be too late when Darkseid assembled an armada of ships taken from the various worlds and pantheons he conquered, and aimed them at Earth.

(Jack Kirby’s Fourth World #4, 5) - The New Gods waged war against Darkseid’s armada to keep them from Earth, while Odin brought Metron, Miracle, Takion, and Beautiful Dreamer to Asgard to discuss the situation. Vykin returned from the front to confirm that aboard one of the ships was a doomsday device that could obliterate the universe, and he’d discovered that only the astro-force could contain it. The alien races no longer had hope after Darkseid slew their gods, and they wanted revenge against him and the entire universe. Highfather dared the unimaginable in deciding to resurrect Orion, the only man capable of harnessing the astro-force. He approached the Source, and the Black Rider appeared, warning him that although he would not interfere, Orion’s soul was not at rest, and it was a fool’s errand to play with a tortured soul. Highfather gravely said that he did what he must, and he had Takion communicate with the Source, reach into it, and pull out Orion. An explosion seemed to rock Earth at that moment. The explosion was an illusion, the most powerful Dreamer had ever cast, and it left the aliens off-balance. Highfather had Takion communicate with the Source to bestow some of its power on Orion, restoring him to full strength. Lightray, Barda, and some of the Forever People breached the ship where the oblivion bomb was kept, but Darkseid appeared aand told the aliens they were foolish to attempt to destroy his universe. He used the omega beam to erase them from existence, but as he faded the captain of the ship activated the oblivion bomb. Orion deactivated it with the astro-force, and Darkseid disappeared. Highfather and the New Gods made a peace with the aliens, allowing them to chose among their ranks for new deities to worship so their lives could have fulfillment. Darkseid met Orion on a nearby asteroid as the alien armada left in peace, and told him he recognized something different, yet familiar in him since he’d returned from the Source. He asked his son how he’d deal with the aliens, and Orion responded by destroying every last ship with the astro-force. Darkseid said he finally felt like he had a son.

(Jack Kirby’s Fourth World #6) - Highfather and company learned that the alien armadas returning to their worlds had been destroyed, and Takion suspected Orion because the wrecked ships contained traces of astro-force. Orion denied his wrongdoing, but Metron told the others he’d witnessed it. Before they could decide what to do next Lonar arrived, telling the New Gods that the Female Furies had tunneled beneath Genesis and killed Harmon, god of music. Barda felt personally responsible for her old charges, and led the strike force into the tunnel the Furies created. The heroes fought barvely, and Orion joined in, slaughtering countless Parademons over Mr. Miracle’s objections. Orion said he never appreciated the gifts Darkseid gave him, but staid his hand when he fought Bernadeth, sister of Desaad. She recognized something familiar in him. Darkseid appeared, and readied to use the omega effect to kill Orioin and release the presence he came back from the Source with, although that defied prophecy. Takion ordered him to stand down, and knowing Takion was the will of the Source Darkseid complied. Takion used his power to release the corrupting influence from Orion, which turned out to be Desaad.

(Jack Kirby’s Fourth World #7) - Takion lost his powers, and Highfather gravely counseled that the Source was in trouble, and it felt brittle and weak. Orion had been contemplative to the point of catatonic since being separated from Darkseid, and the Forever People tried to figure out a way to help him, because if the Source was in danger, New Genesis would need her fiercest warrior to protect them all. They contacted Vykin’s mother Valkyra, renowned trainer of warriors, and Orion’s first teacher. She challenged him to public combat, and while Valkyra initially dominated, Orion’s beastial nature welled up, and he began crushing her in combat. The fight was interrupted by Highfather, who announced to the new Gods that the Source was threatened, and judgment day grew near.

(Genesis #1) -

(DC Universe Holiday Bash #1) - Highfather took Orion to New York City on Christmas to remind him they made war to maintain joy and peace in the universe. Mr. Peasley thought Highfather was the agency Santa Claus he hired to work his department tore. Highfather told Orion this would be another good opportunity, a chance to witness the innocence of youth. With Highfather as Santa and Orion as his elf they gave Christmas presents to every needy child that came to the store. They restored Mr. Peasely’s faith in the holiday, and as a parting gift he gave Peasley a Santa hat, telling him to play Santa next year.

(JLA #15) - Metron passed Highfather on the Source Wall as he headed to the year 85271.

(JLA #29, 31) - Highfather and the Quintessence, five immortals that held a constant vigil over all creation, watched the conflict between Lkz, an invader from the 5th Dimension, and the 5-D genie Thunderbolt. Their battle threatened all reality, but Shazam assured the Quintessence that his champion Captain Marvel would save the day. Marvel delivered, convincing Lkz and Thunderbolt to merge into one being, ending their war.

(Day of Judgment #1, 5) - Highfather and the Quintessence met to discuss Asmodel / Spectre having brought Hell to Earth, debating whether or not to take action. Before the debate concluded Asmodel confronted them and cut them off from traveling to Earth. Afterwards the Quintessence observed the aftermath of the Day of Judgment, with the formation of the Sentinels of Magic, and Green Lantern Hal Jordan becoming the Spectre's new host.

Comments: Created by Jack Kirby

Highfather received profiles in Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe #10 and Who’s Who in the DC Universe #12. Highfather received a profile in Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe #16 under the New Gods entry.

Highfather had cameos in DC Comics Presents #12 and New Gods III #26

There were pin-ups of Highfather in the Fourth World Gallery.

Highfather’s appearances in New Gods I #1,4, 5, 7 were reprinted in New Gods II #1-4.

All characters mentioned or pictured are ™  and © DC Comics, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Please visit The Official DC Comics Site at: http://www.batman.com