I hadn't read much from Jack Kirby, his style is kinda an acquired taste. I read 52 (good!), Countdown to Infinite Crisis (awful!) and Final Crisis (must read it again!) and I became very curious about these New Gods. I read Vol #1 and #2 at Borders, while Carla worked and I was hooked! I purchased Vol #3 and I must admit that The New Gods have the same magic as the Legion of Superheroes, if you're talking about underrated stories.
In "The Pact" we learn the origin of the feud between New Genesis and Apokolips. It began with Izaya and Avia hanging out in New Genesis and Steppenwolf of Apokolips attacking them. It was a brutal fight but in the end, Avia sacrificed herself to save Izaya. Then Darkseid, Steppenwolf's nephew stepped in to kill Izaya, but he didn't. It was all a ruse to betray his uncle and make Izaya retaliate against Apokolips. Then war begins!
Darkseid discovered Element X which Metron needs to build his Mobius Chair, and so he succumbs to Darkseid. In exchange for Element X, Metron must build the Boom Tube technology. It is after Izaya kills Steppenwolf, that the war escalates impossibly and all is destroyed, there is nothing left in New Genesis or Apokolips. When Izaya finally renounces the ways of war, the Source opens to him. He is one with the Source and turns into Highfather.
The pact between Highfather and Darkseid to end the war (or at least stall it) is to exchange sons. Darkseid receives Highfather's son, Scott Free and sends him to Granny Goodness to live a cruel life. Highfather receives Orion, who at this point doesn't know he is Darkseid's child, and gives him kindness.
It is then more poignant that Scott was never truly squashed in Apokolips and managed to escape and find love with Big Barda, an ex-Female Fury with Special Powers Training. It is then tragic that Orion fights so hard against his nature since he despises Darkseid so much.