Long ago, New Genesis and Apokolips were at war with each other. Under the leadership of the wise and benevolent Highfather, New Genesis was able to prevent Apokolips from conquering them, but likewise, New Genesis could not defeat Darkseid, the Lord of Apokolips. Eventually, Highfather and Darkseid negotiated a peace treaty. To seal their pact, Highfather gave his son Scott to Darkseid, while Highfather received Darkseid's son Orion in exchange. Scott would reject Darkseid and escape with Big Barda, while Highfather would be able to temper Orion's rage, giving it direction in the form of protecting New Genesis from Darkseid.
Though its people were much more compassionate than those of Apokolips, not all citizens of New Genesis were equal. There existed a second class of beings known as Bugs, who lived on the surface of the world and were deemed "not important" by the New Gods, who lived in a floating city. However they were never treated as oppresively as the Lowlies of Apokolips.
The treaty was designed to end the war, but Darkseid merely considered it a truce, and sought the Anti-Life Equation, which would allow him to conquer New Genesis. New Genesis' forces would be able to counter Apokolips, eventually causing Darkseid a serious loss in manpower and weaponry. Though the world was nearly destroyed when Darkseid tried to use Brainiac's asteroid to absorb it, New Genesis survived thanks to the efforts to the Justice League.