Another odd thing about Darkseid (in the original Kirby Fourth World) is that he’s really not that evil. In fact, he’s probably the least evil person on Apokolips.
He’s the only citizen of Apokolips we ever see expressing anything like human emotions. He refers to Desaad as a friend at a couple of points. A few times, he indicates he has no stomach for Desaad’s brand of cruelty.
He courted the sorceress Suli in secret, before his mother had her killed. He still carries the torch for Suli. Even if he expresses it by beating up on Desaad, that still counts.
During Orion’s final conflict with Kalibak, Darkseid openly worries about Orion’s fate. When he finds out Desaad has been secretly aiding Kalibak, he disintegrates Desaad with the Omega Effect. That’s fatherly love, right there.
And in “The Hunger Dogs,” Jack Kirby’s follow-up, he gets lonely for all the people he’s disintegrated. He just needs a friend. Seriously.
Unlike the rest of Apokolips, he’s not really into war and cruelty. He sees it strictly as a means to an end. Early in the series, he laments war as “the cold game of the butcher.”
I think the lack of evil is the secret to Darkseid’s success. I’ll have more to say on that next time with Darkseid: My Pitch.