Desaad is a frightening figure with pale skin, sunken red eyes, and stringy black hair. The right side of his face is deformed, with flesh growing from his cheek down the collar of his clothes. He wears a purple, hooded robe with a metal shoulder/neck covering.
Around the turn of the 13th century, Desaad and the rest of Darkseid's forces attempted to conquer Earth but were faced with resistance from Vandal Savage, who was using the name Genghis Khan and his army. Darkseid's forces decimated Savage's army but the latter wasn't defeated. Impressed by the superhuman abilities of Savage and his ilk, Desaad pointed out to his master that such specimens would make "sturdy stock for the Anti-Life Equation". Then he watched as Darkseid brokered a deal with Savage and a partnership was formed to conquer the Galaxy, however once this goal was accomplished, Earth and Apokolips would engage in a final battle for sole domination of the universe.
Desaad came to Earth to supply Intergang with Apokoliptan weaponry. During Intergang's ambush against the Forever People and Superboy, Desaad was in disguise as an Intergang member. Once the Forever People began to form Infinity-Man, Desaad emerged from his disguise and passed Bruno Mannheim a Fatherbox, which corrupted Infinity-Man. With his enemy now under his control, Desaad ordered Infinity-Man to kill Superboy and Wolf. Ultimately, as Infinity-Man gradually overpowered Superboy, Mannheim asked Desaad why he doesn't finish Superboy immediately. Desaad admitted that he preferred a slow death and Fatherbox had programmed Infinity-Man with his proclivities. However, his mood soon changed as Sphere transformed into pill bug mode and purged Fatherbox's corruption and he desperately ordered Intergang to attack. Unfortunately, with Superboy controlling Infinity-Man, they were quickly overpowered. Desaad quickly escaped via boom tube, promising all would suffer and threw a grenade that disbanded Infinity-Man and injured Sphere.
This is Desaad's fourth animated appearance. He appeared in Super Friends, the DC Animated Universe (Superman: The Animated Series and Justice League), and the animated film Justice League: War. His design from the latter is reused for his appearance in Young Justice.