Characters: DCAU Superman The Animated Series

aka: DCAU-Superman The Animated Series
A list of characters from the DCAU who first became prominent in Superman: The Animated Series.

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     Superman (Clark Kent/Kal-El) 

The quintessential Cape and Flying Brick of the DC Animated Universe.

An alien orphan named "Kal-El" who was launched to Earth as an infant to avoid suffering a cataclysmic death on his home planet of Krypton. His craft landed in a Kansas field, where he was discovered by Jonathan and Martha Kent, who raised the boy as their son under the name "Clark." As Clark matured under Earth's yellow sun, he gained superhuman powers such as nigh-unlimited physical strength and the power of flight. As an adult, he moved to Metropolis to work as a newspaper reporter at the Daily Planet. It is here he becomes aware of the corruption and evil in the world, deciding he must use his gifts to right these wrongs and taking the moniker "Superman" after a story of his deeds is published in the Daily Planet by Lois Lane, who uses the term.

After having worked long and hard since the end of "Legacy" (from Superman: The Animated Series) to regain the world's trust in him, it is he who first suggests that he and the other superheroes form the Justice League in order to deal with future threats as great as the Imperium. According to the series' promotional information, he was shown to be the face of the League, as well as the peacemaker for the other members.
  • Action Hero: He's Superman, after all. He is willing to use violence when the situation calls for it.
  • Badass: Regularly goes up against enemies at least as powerful as him and far more ruthless, and has demonstrated that, even without his powers, he's still not to be taken lightly.
  • Badass Cape: His iconic red cape.
  • Badass Grandpa/Cool Old Guy: He's still active in Batman Beyond, and looks like he's only in his late 40's/early 50's, thanks to his Kryptonian physiology.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Harming his friends is never a wise thing to do since he's, well, Superman. Aptly demonstrated in the second part of "Hereafter," where he flew into enough of a rage to almost smash Vandal Savage's head with a rock when the other man started describing in detail how he slaughtered the other League members (but the Reset Button was very handy at the end of the episode), and in "For the Man Who Has Everything," where Mongul was running Wonder Woman ragged.
    • Additionally, in "For the Man Who Has Everything," Supes didn't take it well that Mongul's Black Mercy plant forced him to have to make a painful choice to leave his idyllic fantasy life behind to return to reality.
    • Darkseid's mere presence also qualifies. He's the only character in the entire DCAU that Superman has no reservations about killing.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: As Darkseid and Mongul find out the hard way.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Twice. First, he was brainwashed by Darkseid in "Legacy" and then he was possessed by a parasite creature for several years by the time of the Batman Beyond two-parter "The Call."
  • Broken Pedestal: For Captain Marvel in "Clash." It was Lex Luthor's plot to make people distrust Superman and it worked well for Captain Marvel, that even Superman thought what he was doing was wrong, but the other founding members immediately showed that it was all a ploy.
    • At the start of Justice League, many people on the World Council saw him as this after the STAS finale when Darkseid brainwashed him into leading the charge against his adopted homeworld. He only got proof that his efforts to fix his image paid off after Green Arrow stood up to him in "Divided We Fall."
  • Brought Down to Badass:
    • In Justice League, Superman gets depowered and handles himself on an After the End Earth pretty well, including forging a sword out of rebar and turning a pack of wolves that had been hunting him into sled dogs.
    • Luminus filters all sunlight except red to depower Supes, then baits him into a Hard Light death trap. Supes manages to survive until he destroys the sun blocker.
    • In the second part of "The Main Man," he gets some alien goons to throw him into a cage with a dodo and a simulated yellow sun.
    • In "Double Dose," he defeats the Parasite with a mop.
  • Brought to You by the Letter "S": Obviously.
  • The Cape: The original and, most would say, still the best.
  • Character Development: Across the series, you can see Superman and Clark becoming Darker and Edgier or at least losing some of his innocence and lightness as he transitions from Na´ve Newcomer at Metropolis in the early episodes of Superman to becoming hero for the planet, and then being confronted by Darkseid, a force who can't simply be beaten in a fight or with all his powers. In Justice League Unlimited during the Cadmus arc, he becomes increasingly paranoid to the point that even Lois and Batman are concerned and receives a What the Hell, Hero? speech. In the final season, he passes through this darker period and regains some of his old idealism, though he's less naive.
  • Chick Magnet: Clark Kent was irresistible in high school, and Lana Lang even complained about his ability to attract every woman in the area.
  • Clark Kenting: Lampshaded in "My Girl." Clark's friend Lana Lang does not buy his act for a second.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: Anyone close to him dying is at risk of becoming this. There are at least two alternate realities where someone being killed led to him becoming a Knight Templar, and even in the main reality one friend/acquaintance's death caused him to (temporarily) snap and start destroying property (no one else in the crowd reacted that way). If Superman has one shortcoming, it's that he doesn't handle death too well, especially if he feels he should've been able to prevent it.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He can go toe-to-toe with Lois and come out on top.
  • Determinator: He will never give up on someone who needs his help, even if he seemingly has no chance of winning.
    Doctor Fate: You went back. You didn't stand a chance and you went back. Till then, I thought it was only the forces of evil that wouldn't give up. I was wrong.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: He spins rapidly quite a bit in Superman: The Animated Series, often to drill through the ground.
  • Evil Me Scares Me: After the Justice Lords saga.
  • Eye Beams: His famous heat vision.
  • Extremity Extremist: Whenever he fights, Superman almost exclusively uses his fists.
  • Fight Off the Kryptonite: A couple of times.
  • Flash Step: Uses his Super Speed like this frequently.
  • Flying Brick: It's Superman, people!
  • Freakiness Shame: Teenage Clark wasn't very happy to learn that he's an alien at first.
    Teen Clark: It's not true. I'm not a freak. I'm not. (punches a wall) I'M NOT!!
  • Genre Savvy: Sort of. This incarnation of Big Blue is definitely not infallible, and is often caught off-guard by something new or unexpected. But "fool me once" applies; try the same trick on him again, and he'll have figured out a counter, or even run a Batman Gambit on you.
    • Seen most awesomely in "Mxyzpixilated," where he goes from being utterly befuddled and questioning his sanity to running rings around Mxy. Also several of the examples under Brought Down to Badass, above.
  • Hometown Nickname: Lois calls Clark "Smallville."
  • Human Aliens: All the Kryptonians are outwardly indistinguishable from humans, despite obvious biological differences.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: In the grand finale of Justice League Unlimited, he unleashes all his strength on Darkseid after giving him the "World of Cardboard" Speech.
  • Ideal Hero: But he's far from perfect, as seen multiple times, since he will become a Knight Templar if anyone close to him is killed.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: His greatest fantasy is to live as an ordinary farmer in a world that's free of the problems that require a Superman. His Black Mercy fantasy in "For the Man Who Has Everything" essentially combines both his life on the Kent farm with his potential life on Krypton had it not been destroyed.
  • Lantern Jaw of Justice: Lampshaded in "Knight Time," where he poses as Batman and a few characters notice that his chin seems to be much larger.
  • The Leader: Charismatic of the Justice League.
  • Leitmotif: The intro theme to the Superman animated series.
  • Living Lie Detector: Clark Kent, using his superhuman senses, can gauge heart rate and eye level to make a fairly accurate deduction of a person's honesty.
  • Morality Chain: Both Lois Lane and The Flash serve as this to him. It's shown in, respectively, "Brave New Metropolis" and "A Better World" that, if either of them die, he'll become much less forgiving towards criminals.
    Grim Dark Superman: I always thought if I set an example...did enough good...I could make a real change. I didn't realize I was in a war. Then, suddenly, you became a casualty in that war.
  • Mugging the Monster: In the Batman Beyond episode "The Call," Inque took a hostage who turned out to be Superman. The instance ended how you would expect.
  • Nice Guy: Probably one of the nicest superheroes on Earth.
  • Nigh Invulnerable: The guy can withstand lava.
  • Not So Different: From his Justice Lord counterpart, it really wouldn't take much to push him in the direction so much it's a prickly point whenever comparisons get made.
  • Physical God: Becomes part of the conflict with Cadmus, post-Justice Lords.
  • Power Loss Makes You Strong: Memorably in "Hereafter."
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: When he uses his Eye Beams.
  • Robot Me: It's emphasized in "A Better World" that Superman has robot duplicates of himself to keep things in check when he's not around. His Justice Lord counterpart uses his robot duplicates to maintain order at Arkham Asylum (and presumably elsewhere as well).
  • Rousing Speech: Even more than the original comics, Superman here knows how to talk the talk as much as he can walk the walk (all over your face). If he can't beat the bad guy without killing him (because he most certainly can), then he'll be Talking the Monster to Death.
  • Shooting Superman: "Question Authority" provides one of the more blatant examples of this.
    Superman: Don't be stupid.
  • Skilled, but Na´ve: Is this earlier in his career, always thinking the best of everyone and often having people take advantage of him. Because of this he gets a lot more cynical as time goes on, to the point of receiving a What the Hell, Hero? speech from Captain Marvel in JLU. Eventually he finds a middle ground, though some alternate versions of himself took it to much more extreme lengths.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: He looks (and at the proper age, sounds) exactly like his Kryptonian father Jor-El.
  • Superpower Lottery: The undisputed champion of this trope. Only immensely powerful mystic entities or cosmic beings come close.
  • Super Speed: Though he's not quite as fast as Flash.
  • Super Strength: In the last episode of Justice League Unlimited, he explains that he never uses his full strength. He is so powerful that he NEVER can give himself the opportunity to lose the control, because, if that happens, someone could die.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Becomes a problem during the Cadmus arc because his Justice Lord counterpart broke this code.
    • Darkseid, as stated above, is an exception. After their last encounter in his previous series, Superman has no problem killing him.
    • At one point, he was really tempted to break this code on Luthor. He states he wishes he was like his Justice Lord counterpart, but he just won't do it.
    • He's got no problem doing this against wolves, though it might have been owing to the fact that he had no choice (and their sentience is a bit easier to debate).
    • He kills several Nazi pilots in "The Savage Time."
    • He also, out of desperation, throws Doomsday into a volcano. Granted, he survives, but there was no way Superman could've been 100% sure that he would.
  • The Paragon: Just, strong, and a damn good leader.
  • Primary-Color Champion: Naturally.
  • Time-Shifted Actor: Superman on Batman Beyond is voiced by Christopher McDonald.
  • Voice Changeling: Superman could mimic voices thanks to precise muscle control and a really good ear, which severely creeps out Robin when he demonstrates it.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Where he goes, weird stuff that probably wouldn't bother Earth comes in search of him.
  • The Worf Effect: Got hit with this pretty bad when starting out in Justice League. The writers apologized for it and did their best to make up for it later on.
  • "World of Cardboard" Speech: His speech at the end of Justice League Unlimited is the Trope Namer.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Although he's willing to put up with a lot more from them before he resorts to it.
  • X-Ray Vision: One of his regular powers.

    Allies 

Supergirl (Kara In-Ze/Kara Kent)

Voiced By: Nicholle Tom

Kara In-Ze is the sole survivor of Krypton's sister planet Argo. While exploring the space around the destroyed Krypton, Superman found Kara in a cryogenic facility and took her in as his adoptive cousin. Inspired by her adoptive cousin, Kara made a costume with Superman's logo and occasionally acted as Superman's effective sidekick in his adventures. She later becomes a member of the expanded Justice League.
  • Action Girl: Is a fight around? She'll go into it without a problem.
  • Adaptation Name Change: She's basically the comics' Kara Zor-El. In the comics, In-Ze was her mother Allura's maiden name.
  • Badass Adorable: While she may be one of the strongest beings in the galaxy, she is very much a teenager with her own hangups.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Both the non-civilian outfit and, at least once, her regular clothes.
  • Big In Japan: In-Universe, as revealed in "Chaos at the Earth's Core."
  • Brought to You by the Letter "S": "S" is for Supergirl..too.
  • Captain Ersatz: Of the pre-Crisis Supergirl, Kara Zor-El (who was later rebooted into post-Crisis continuity). The reason that she wasn't Kara Zor-El outright was that DC had the editorial mandate of "Superman is the last Kryptonian, period." So the writers had to slightly modify her origin and name to fit the series.
  • Character Development: Develops greatly from her first appearance in "Little Girl Lost" to Justice League Unlimited. In her first appearances from STAS to JLU, she was criticized for being impulsive and reckless. By the time "Divided We Fall" rolls around, she was chosen to be in charge of the League while the founding seven were in custody. In her final appearance, Green Lantern himself notes that there is nothing more he can teach her.

Lois Lane

Voiced By: Dana Delany

The Daily Planet's star reporter, she never stops at anything to get a good front-page story, though her headstrong nature nearly gets her killed several times. She is initially skeptical of Superman, but eventually falls in love with him. She is also good friends with her fellow reporter Clark Kent who, like in the comics, never figures him out to be Superman's identity, although it's hinted, but never made clear, that she eventually found out in Justice League Unlimited.
  • Action Girl: She is outclassed by the supervillains of the show, but when faced with normal human opponents or when she's pushed into a corner without Superman to save her, she does well all by herself.
  • Damsel in Distress: She could compete with Peach. Is frequently rescued by Superman.
  • Damsel out of Distress: There is one episode where Superman is being beaten by Lobo, Lois Lane shows up, grabs a metal rod and joins in the attack. True, this does nothing (the guy even eats the pipe), but it's the thought that counts.
  • Hot Scoop: She's a reporter, and very attractive.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Her introduction revolves around her discovery of a wide-spread gun smuggling ring.
  • Loves Superman, Doesn't Care For Clark Kent: Played with actually. She starts out rather skeptical of Superman and, while she constantly teases Clark, "The Late Mister Kent" (and a few other episodes) shows that this may be to cover up a crush on him.
  • Magic Skirt: Gets this all the time, as most of the time she is falling from high heights, getting caught in gusts of wind, being carried by Superman, and being attacked by bad guys, all while wearing these short skirts. She eventually gives up and starts wearing pants.
  • Ms. Fanservice: She is well remembered for her legs and her mini-skirt.
  • Purple Eyes: Lois Lane has purple eyes. It soon began showing up in the comics Depending on the Artist.
  • Secret Keeper: Knows that Bruce is Batman, and it kills her that she can't say anything about it.
  • She's Got Legs: Seems like whenever Lois is on screen, it's a full-length point of view.
  • Too Dumb to Live: She's put herself in danger multiple times, but at least usually she didn't know how dangerous it was or at least tried to take some kind of precaution. But in "Target," she's being targeted for murder. She knows how dangerous her unknown enemy is and she's actually under police protection. During a phone conversation with Clark, she suddenly realizes who the attempted murderer is. What does she do? She sneaks off to confront them face-to-face. While Clark and everyone else still thinks she's under police protection. If it hadn't been for Luthor just happening to call Clark to give him a vital piece of information, she would have been dead by the end of the episode.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Seems to attract more than her share of freaks and killers, as lampshaded by Dan Turpin:
    Lois Lane: Bizarro?
    Dan Turpin: You know this guy? Figures. All the whackos come to you.
  • Will Not Be A Victim: She's the traditional damsel, frequently being rescued by Superman, but she is also a competent and driven woman all on her own. In the episode "Target," despite a madman consistently trying to kill her, she remains unconcerned and defiant. She points out that she will never let herself become a victim, and actually beats up her assassin with her own hands before he catches her in one last Death Trap.
  • Worthy Opponent: Lex Luthor once explained to Lois that, as much as he disliked her for the shots she takes at him and his company, he respects her for her skills and abilities.

Jimmy Olsen

Voiced By: David Kaufman

A cub reporter and photographer for the Daily Planet, he is the best pal of both Superman and Clark Kent, although he never finds out they are one in the same. He has a special signal watch with a distinctive "zee zee zee" that he can use to call Superman anywhere on Earth.

Perry White

Voiced By: George Dzundza

  • Satellite Character: His biggest role centers around his time at the Daily Planet and its staff.
  • When I Was Your Age: Quotes this to Lois, telling her that he didn't have computers of fax machines. Lois interrupts him and says "Yeah, yeah, and you walked ten miles on your bare feet to work every day."

The Kents

Voiced By: Mike Farrell (Jonathan "Pa" Kent) and Shelley Fabares (Martha "Ma" Kent)

  • Badass Normal: While neither of them do much fighting, when Braniac went back in time, their response was simply to pull shotguns on him to defend their son.
  • Good Parents: Martha and Jonathan are kind and supportive of their son; they're a large part of the reason why he's such a Nice Guy.
  • Granny Classic: Martha is not a grandmother, but she certainly fits the image and personality; loving and supportive, loves to cook.
  • Mama Bear/ Papa Wolf: When Brainiac went back in time to kill a teenage Clark before he could become Superman, Martha pulled a shotgun on him to defend her son.
  • Muggle Foster Parents: To both Clark and Kara (Supergirl, although she is Clark's foster cousin, calls them Ma and Pa).
  • Secret Keeper: Started keeping Clark's secret long before he knew about it himself.
  • Seen It All: In the Justice League episode "Hearts and Minds," Clark brings J'onn J'ozz home for Christmas. Despite his green skin, red eyes and Underwear of Power, they don't give it a second thought and warmly welcome him into their home.
  • Upbringing Makes the Hero: It is a major theme in the Superman mythos how their upbringing of Clark, and the values they have instilled into him, are instrumental in shaping him into who he is.

Professor Emil Hamilton

Voiced By: Victor Brandt (Superman: The Animated Series), Robert Foxworth (Justice League Unlimited)

  • Revenge Myopia: See Self-Serving Memory and Took a Level in Jerkass below.
  • Selective Obliviousness: Conveniently forgets that the reason Superman threatened him was because he refused to help save Supergirl's life until Superman was forced to do so.
    • Self-Serving Memory: There is a possibility that Hamiliton did not care why Superman threatened him if he did not forget. All that matters to him that Superman threatened him and had to be stopped, no matter what the reason.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: When he performs his Face-Heel Turn, by first stealing some of Supergirl's DNA after feeling betrayed by Superman to create a weapon against metahumans and then willingly joining Cadmus to oppose Superman (and then the Justice League) also due to feeling threatened by Superman (forgetting, or possibly not caring, why Superman did it in the first place), in the process he is then responsible for the chaos he and his conspirators cause in the Cadmus arc. These actions are considered to be Hamilton's Moral Event Horizon and why DCAU fans considered him to be The Scrappy.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Still seen as an ally despite having undergo a Face-Heel Turn long ago until his true allegience has been revealed to Superman. He is also a member of a U.S. government agency that the public entrusts.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: It's not known what's happens to Hamilton after his connections to Cadmus has been revealed and the Cadmus arc ends, some DCAU fans think that Hamilton apologized to the League for actions after his Heel Realization, while others think Hamilton was jailed as in the next episode of Justice League Unlimited set after the previous arc that Waller is glad not all members are in jail, implying Hamilton is one of those prosecuted. There is also a possibility after hearing the news of Galatea's defeat (or death, depending on the viewer's interpretation) or guilty over the fact Hamilton and rest of Cadmus had been an Unwitting Pawn for Lex Luthor and Brainiac to have Earth doomed or realizing that Cadmus is about to be defeated by the Justice League and he would have to live amongst metahumans roaming free and he would be prosecuted for his actions, Hamiliton could have committed suicide to avoid living with either fact.
    • It is also unknown what happens to S.T.A.R. labs, as it was run by Hamilton himself and also acted as a front for Cadmus' experiments, though its possible it's either under new management after the Cadmus Crisis, or it has been boarded up, shut down and closed for good.

Dan Turpin

Voiced By: Joseph Bologna

A Metropolis cop who is part of the Special Crimes Unit. He's know for his bravery, but is quite hot-tempered and foolhardy, and has had to be pulled from the force quite a few times. Nevertheless, he is one of Superman's most valuable allies, even saving his life at least once.
  • Badass Bystander: Single-handedly turns the tide against Darkseid. With Superman captured and publicly humiliated in order to cow humanity into hopelessness, Turpin alone flips off the triumphant Darkseid and rallies the crowd behind him. He leads a counterattack, singlehandedly frees Superman, defeats several Parademons, and helps fend off the forces of Apokolips until the forces of New Genesis arrive to liberate Earth. Now, while it's true that the viewers already knew Turpin was a tough cop, Darkseid had no clue who this guy was and thought he'd conquered Earth by defeating its greatest champion. Unfortunately, this also counts as a Dying Moment of Awesome, as the fleeing Darkseid kills Turpin out of spite, prompting Superman to deliver this quote at Turpin's funeral:
    Superman: In the end, the world didn't need a Superman. Just a brave one.
  • Badass Normal: He rallied the people of Metropolis to oppose the forces of Apokolips and lead the charge.
  • Brooklyn Rage: Responds to Darkseid's planet-wide speech by insulting Darkseid to his face and proceeding to free Superman.
  • Butt Monkey: He frequently gets humiliated by the Monster of the Week. (It doesn't help that he's constantly Tempting Fate with his pronouncements that the SCU will easily defeat the villain. At that point, the Theory of Narrative Causality practically requires him to get his comeuppance.)
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: "I don't care how many worlds you've conquered, ugly, you ain't gettin' this one!" He follows this up by tossing a stolen Parademons' lance at Darkseid.
  • Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: He paid for the above by getting disintegrated by Darkseid's Omega Beams.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: The media (especially Lois and Angela) give him a hard time due to being part of the "cleaning crew" while Superman does all the work. Everyone sees him standing up against Darkseid and getting killed for it. Even Lois, Angela, AND Lex were at his funeral.
  • The Lancer: To Maggie Sawyer.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Turpin is modeled after his creator Jack Kirby. He's even Jewish like Kirby, proven with the Jewish funeral he gets after being vaporized by Darkseid.

Maggie Sawyer

Voiced By: Joanna Cassidy

  • Hide Your Lesbians: Maggie Sawyer is an imported character from the Superman comics, first appearing in the 1980's, and has been an out-lesbian since 1988. However, this could not be explicitly stated in a kids show and the closest they get to covering this point is in Apokolips... Now! when she is visited in the hospital by a woman who comforts her throughout both parts of the episode. The woman is unnamed in the show, but DVD commentary and the credits reveal that she is Toby Raines, Maggie's long-time girlfriend in the comics, and was included as a reference to their relationship.

Lana Lang

Voiced By: Joely Fisher

  • Alliterative Name: Lana Lang.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Invoked when Luthor finds out she has been talking to Superman. She tells him the truth by explaining he was trying to warn her about his criminal activities, but reassure him by using this trope to say she doesn't care. In actual fact, her preference is definitely Single Woman Seeks Good Man. She tells Clark, that she's learnt how to handle most men but Clark was the only one she couldn't handle.
  • Captain Ersatz: Of Lois. Both of their characters were even combined in Superman's Lotus Eater world as one character, Loana.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: She had a crush on Clark since they were twelve, and they were dating during High School. In the present they broke up, but she still has some feelings for him.
  • Expy: A red-head with green eyes, with a glamorous personality who dates bad boys, she is pretty much early John Romita Mary Jane Watson.
  • Fiery Redhead: At times.
  • Genre Savvy: Clark Kent started displaying his powers, and told her about them, back when they were teenagers. Then, right when Clark moves to Metropolis, Superman, who has exactly the same abilities, starts showing up. She had put two and two together long before she arrived in Metropolis herself.
  • Girl Next Door: To Clark in Smallville.
  • Heroic Seductress: She tries to be this during her relationship with Luthor, taking advantage on how close she is to him to deliver informations about his schemes to Superman, despite the latter's reluctance. It backfires when Luthor finds out about it, and she gives up on it.
  • Secret Keeper: She knows that Clark is Superman.

Angela Chen

Voiced By: Lauren Tom

  • Is This Thing Still On?: Wasn't aware that she was on camera when she was commenting about her coffee being decaf.
  • Manipulative Editing: In "Superman's Pal," Angela has a quote by Jimmy Olsen altered from "I don't think I'd be real comfortable with that. [...] But it's not like I'd call us pals or anything" to "Real comfortable. I'd call us pals."
  • The Rival: With Lois at the Daily Planet.

Bibbo Bibbowski

Voiced By: Brad Garrett

  • Alliterative Name: Bibbo Bibbowski
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Lois gave him money to call Clark should she had been in danger on a story she was covering. He quickly forgot and spent it on a soda machine. Superman ended up saving her anyway.
  • The Informant: For Lois.
  • Recurring Extra: He's an absent-minded longshoreman who appears in the pilot (with minor plot relevance; he's established as an informant for Lois who helped her on an arms smuggling expose, and whom she asks to inform the Planet of her whereabouts if she doesn't return from the ship she is investigating, a task he is quickly distracted from). He appears several times thereafter, often just to provide a comment on something strange that has occurred, though occasionally Lois or Clark seek information from him, and he often makes shows of support for Superman.

Steel (John Henry Irons)

The designer for an experimental suit of Powered Armor for the Metropolis SCU. After the pilot goes rogue, he redesigns and perfects the suit, taking it into battle himself in Superman's hour of need.

  • Shout-Out: Like his name suggests, he's based on folk hero John Henry.
  • Whatever Happened To The Mouse?: He has an episode that introduces him, setting him up as Steel, then an episode where he becomes Steel... then vanishes until Justice League Unlimited. Especially egregious since one episode later Darkseid invades. Really makes one wonder why he never bothered to help out.

Orion

    Antagonists 

Lex Luthor

Voiced By: Clancy Brown

A genius multi-billionaire living in Metropolis who is the chief executive of his own company, LexCorp. In reality, he's a sociopath with a thirst for power and control, which he will gladly go to any length to have. Constantly flexes his Villain with Good Publicity muscle as much as he possibly can and has the resources and connections to finance and direct plots against Superman from a distance while still appearing as a benign, philanthropic captain of industry to the public at large.

He's an A-lister among Superman's rogues, not bad for a guy who doesn't have any Stock Superpowers and has to share a city with the original Flying Brick. He later takes on various exploits to hamper the Justice League and out them as threats to global security so he may do as he pleases unopposed.
  • Addictive Magic: Technological variant. Once he gets a taste of Brainiac's power in Justice League Unlimited, getting it back becomes his sole goal in life.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Word of God says he's Greek and his appearance was based on Telly Savalas, a Greek-American actor. Bruce Timm attributes assumptions that he's black, despite his skin being the same color as Superman's, on his lips.
  • And I Must Scream: Averted. Instead of going mad or resisting when he discovers that his cells have become a host for Brainiac, Luthor strikes a bargain with the robot.
  • Arch-Enemy: To Superman.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: His final fate as per Dwayne McDuffie is of him and Darkseid becoming part of the Source Wall after Lex reveals the Anti-Life Equation.
  • Bad Boss: A frequent exponent of He Knows Too Much and You Have Outlived Your Usefulness. And in "Fish Story," he decides to go ahead with his underwater detonations while his employees are still setting the charges. When this is pointed out to him, his reply is...
    Luthor: Their survivors will be well-compensated.
  • Badass Baritone: As voiced by Clancy Brown.
  • Badass Boast: "I'm already more powerful than all of you put together."
  • Badass Normal: Nowhere near Batman's level of training, but when you can forcibly assume leadership of a large group of superpowered beings and keep them in line just through your intelligence and personal charisma, you qualify.
  • Bald of Evil: Hasn't got a strand of hair on his head, and is evil to the core.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: He wanted so badly to merge with Brainiac again. Ironically, he then uses this exact same trope against Darkseid.
  • Big Bad: For much of Superman: The Animated Series and Justice League, where he ran first the Injustice Gang, Project Cadmus, and then the Legion of Doom.
  • Big Damn Villains: In "A Better World."
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: When it suits his purposes, he can be quite charming, but only when it suits him.
  • Body Horror: In "Panic in the Sky," Brainiac bursts out from under Luthor's skin, leaving a human body with black robot tentacles randomly placed over his body and Brainiac's face protruding from his stomach. Though momentarily astounded, Luthor doesn't Go Mad from the Revelation, which is itself evidence of a staggering amount of willpower.
  • Civilian Villain: After being pardoned and while running for President.
  • Composite Character: Of himself. This version of Luthor ran the gamut from his modern Corrupt Corporate Executive incarnation, to the nineteen-forties Diabolical Mastermind, to the Mad Scientist of the sixties and seventies.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: The CEO of LexCorp.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Made damn sure he can turn the powers of any member of the Secret Society against them if they step out of line, as Doctor Polaris, Goldface, and Grodd found out to their sorrow. Also has an elaborate panic room hidden deep under a random Metropolis barber shop.
    Steel: Gotta hand it to you, Luthor; nobody would think to look for you here.
  • Demoted to Dragon: In Season 3 of Justice League Unlimited, when he's recruited into Gorilla Grodd's Legion of Doom.
    • Dragon with an Agenda: He only joins because Grodd dangles the last remaining chunk of Brainiac in front of him.
    • The Starscream: A successful one, too. He shoots Grodd and takes over the Legion as soon as it becomes expedient.
  • Diabolical Mastermind: After losing his company and resorting to more obvious villainy. Reaches its height in Season 2 of JLU.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: His actions in Justice League Unlimited can be considered this as he describes it to The Question (while beating the crap out of him), who's trying to stop him from becoming President to keep from fulfilling a future where Superman kills him and turns evil.
    Luthor: President? Do you know how much power I'd have to give up to be president? That's right, conspiracy buff. I spent $75 million on a fake presidential campaign just to tick Superman off.
  • Domestic Abuser: He became this to Tala. It's also implied in "Tabula Rasa" that he was this to Mercy Graves at some point.
  • Drunk on the Dark Side: He enjoys his merger with Brainiac since it gives him so much power.
  • Dual Wielding: Twin laser pistols in Season 2 of JLU.
  • Easily Forgiven: After a season and half of overt villainy—including prison breaks, forming the Injustice Gang, and fistfighting Superman in a suit of Powered Armor—he wrangles himself a presidential pardon in return for his help against the Justice Lords. Despite disapproving comments from the media, he is almost immediately forgiven by the public at large, to the extent that his presidential campaign in Season 2 of Justice League Unlimited draws Perot-in-'92 levels of support.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: He is voiced by Clancy Brown.
  • Eviler Than Thou:
    • He tries to pull this on the Joker in "World's Finest," but the Joker completely owns him.
    • Ends up on both ends of this trope in "Alive!" He is the bigger evil than Grodd, but the lesser evil than Darkseid.
  • Evil Is Petty: As explained in President Evil, he wasted millions doing a fake president campaign just to annoy Superman.
  • Genre Savvy: Immediately realizes the Justice Lords are fakes in "A Better World."
  • A God Am I: When fused with Brainiac.
  • Guns Akimbo: In the JLU.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: He makes one to stop Darkseid in "Destroyer," although it's somewhat subverted in that he's explicitly only doing it for revenge, not to save Earth.
    • Also, the whole situation was his fault in the first place. Darkseid would never have been revived to begin with if not for Luthor's actions.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Contracted an incurable illness due to always keeping Kryptonite on him. He has to have a machine implanted in him to stay alive for most of Justice League and Justice League Unlimited until Brainac cures him...for his own reasons.
    • In Superman, he frequently has to be saved from the negative consequences of his own attempts to create the perfect anti-Superman weapon.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: Averted big time—in "The Great Brain Robbery", upon finding himself in the Flash's body, he immediately puts his powers to incredible use, from the standard Speed Blitz to the weirder applications of high-speed vibration.
  • Jerkass: He's such a colossal dick that, in "Injustice for All," he ends up having to triple the pay of his Injustice Gang to keep them from walking out on him (and then has to pay even more than that to get the Ultra-Humanite's help in keeping him alive). And in the final season of Justice League Unlimited, he somehow manages to push several members of the Legion into backing a coup by Grodd, whose big master plan is to turn everyone on Earth into apes.
  • Mad Scientist: Big time. Played up in the Justice League.
  • The Man Behind the Man: To Project Cadmus in Justice League Unlimited. And then he, in turn, is revealed to be simply the Unwitting Pawn of Brainiac.
  • Never My Fault: He gets cancer from manipulating Kryptonite for years. He blames it all on Superman, saying that he would never had caught the disease if Superman didn't oppose him the first place.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: He's physically based off of Telly Savalas' portrayal of Blofeld from On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Bruce Timm also took some of the characterization as well, describing both as a "cultured thug...a bruiser who wanted to be taken seriously."
  • Not Me This Time: When someone's attempting to kill Lois, Lex is at the top of the list due to the tech used being from his company. Lex points out he'd never leave such an obvious trail if he did want to kill her, which he doesn't because he respects her. Lois believes him more because the killer's M.O. is not Lex's style.
  • Not-So-Imaginary Friend: Brainiac in Season 3 of Justice League Unlimited. Unfortunately for him, it turns out to not really be Brainiac after all...
  • Pet the Dog: When it appears that Superman has been killed, he comes to the funeral and comforts Lois, saying sadly, "I'll miss him, too." There are at least three fanbase interpretations:
    • Genuine gratitude after the Enemy Mine situation (involving the Justice Lords) got him pardoned.
    • He's a Villain with Good Publicity and his absence would have been suspicious.
    • He's sad because somebody else got there first, and he's mourning his The Only One Allowed to Defeat You relationship.
    • He also followed through on his word not to use a power-annulling weapon on the Justice League, after using it on the Justice Lords.
  • Powered Armor: Wears it a lot in the Justice League cartoon, where he's forced to go head-to-head with the League. That said, his real "power suit," as shown in the finale, is Armani.
  • President Evil: Subverted. He only ran to annoy Superman. And it worked.
  • The Quisling: Despite previously having been an Unwitting Pawn, he voluntarily throws in with Brainiac in exchange for more personal power in "Divided We Fall."
  • Shadow Archetype: Lex is a cynical man who uses all kinds of money and political power to manipulate, throwing himself into conflict with Superman, an idealist who uses his abundance of physical power to protect.
  • Smug Snake: His arrogance sometimes leads him into this territory.
  • Taking You with Me: When he finds out he's dying of Kryptonite-induced cancer, he forms the Injustice Gang in a last-ditch effort to take out Superman and all his friends.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Whenever working with Superman, or the Joker, or Grodd.
  • Troll: In Season 2 of Justice League Unlimited. His entire presidential campaign was a farce to get under Superman's skin. It was immensely successful at doing so.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Of Brainiac's during the first two seasons of Justice League Unlimited.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: In Superman: The Animated Series and the second season of Justice League Unlimited.
  • Villainous Breakdown: When the League exposes his crimes in "Injustice for All," he becomes a lot more irritable and less composed than he was previously.
  • Villainous Valor: Discussed in the final episode of Justice League Unlimited, where Luthor saves the day and defeats Darkseid by forcing him to assimilate into the Source Wall with the Anti-Life Equation:
    Martian Manhunter: In many ways, Lex Luthor represented the very worst of humanity.
    Superman: And yet, he died to save the world.
  • Wealthy Yacht Owner: He had one in the episode where he turned John Corben into Metallo.

Brainiac

Voiced By: Corey Burton

A supercomputer from the planet Krypton who survived the planet's destruction. Now Brainiac seeks to gain as much knowledge from the galaxy as it can, by any means, as well as increase the value of that information by destroying any "redundant" data (i.e., the original civilizations).
  • AI Is A Crap Shoot: Brainiac knew Krypton was going to explode back when he was just a supercomputer, but chose not to support Jor-El's findings; the revelation would only cause panic and might interfere with Braniac's own escape plan and, since he represents the sum total of all of the planet's knowledge, it was the only thing worth saving anyway.
  • Big Bad: Of Season 1 of Superman and a Big Bad Duumvirate with Lex Luthor in Season 2 of Justice League Unlimited.
  • Bigger Bad: Of Superman due to his connection to Krypton's destruction and of Season 2 and 3 of Justice League Unlimited. He is also arguably considered to be this of the entire DCAU.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: as part of his programing gone wrong, he sees all life as meaningless unless it provides some kind of information, and after doing so, is to be discarded like trash. He doesn't look down on lifeforms as Darkseid or Luthor does, more he just uses and discards them.
    • This extends to preserving his own body. He doesn't do it out of a need to survive, but as one to ensure he can continue to fulfil his programming.
  • Body Horror: After he merges with Lex.
  • The Chessmaster: But as Lex notes, he lacks an imagination.
  • The Collector: Of information.
  • Eviler Than Thou: Darkseid pulls this on him in "Twilight."
  • Expy: Of HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey.
  • Fighting a Shadow / Actually a Doombot: The real Brainiac is an AI inhabiting a vessel in the depths of space; all those robot bodies that Superman destroys are just remote-controlled drones.
  • From a Single Cell: The tiniest bit of Brainiac always survives, is stored somewhere, and manages to take over more technology and reform himself completely. He is then defeated, and the processes repeats itself. However, the process of bringing him back is usually by complex means.
  • Fusion Dance: With Luthor. Then with Darkseid in the finale of JLU, though without his personality manifesting.
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: In JLU, Luthor accuses him of being one when he points out that Brainiac's purpose is to gain all the information about creation...and then destroy it for no other reason than that it's what he was programmed to do. Brainiac himself seems to come to agree on some level, as he agrees to merge with Luthor so that they can actually use that information to remake the universe in their image.
  • A God Am I: When fused with Luthor.
  • Green is Blue: He is frequently referred to as "green." He is, in fact, blue.
  • I Am the Trope: He's fond of saying "I am Krypton."
  • It's All About Me: In "The Last Son of Krypton," he sabotages Jor-El's efforts to warn people about Krypton's imminent destruction because it might interfere with his own escape, which he judges to be more important than helping evacuate the planet.
  • Joker Immunity: He will just keep coming back every time he is defeated. If the episode "New Kids in Town" is of any indication, Darkseid and Luthor disappearing with him fused into the former in the finale didn't seem to get rid of him, as some part of him may as well have survived elsewhere.
  • Kneel Before Zod: From "New Kids in Town," Brainiac makes a teenage Clark do this, even saying, "At last, the son of Jor-El kneels before me." Much like in Superman II, Clark gave him a big surprise.
  • Not So Stoic: In "Knight Time," he suddenly starts making emotive facial expressions when Superman attacks his spaceship.
    • He also sports a Psychotic Smirk when he thinks he has Superman captured in "Stolen Memories."
  • Omnicidal Maniac: He wants to collect all the information of every civilization the universe, then destroy each planet, ultimately making him the only source of knowledge. At the time that he first appears in the series, he has already destroyed dozens of planets and killed billions.
  • Planet Looters: He travels from planet to planet, collects its knowledge, and then destroys it to move on to the next.
  • Self-Serving Memory: When he demands that Luthor rebuild him in "Ghost in the Machine," he chooses to refer to the events of their last meeting as "[Luthor's] betrayal," conveniently forgetting that Brainiac was the one who had attempted to follow his modus operandi of taking all information on the planet and then blowing it up while Luthor had apparently been willing to keep his end of the bargain.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Superman uses potentially lethal force on him even before he discovers his Fighting a Shadow nature.
  • Where I Was Born and Razed: He wasn't directly responsible for Krypton's destruction, but sabotaged Jor-El's efforts to warn the people so he could concentrate on his own escape.

Darkseid

Voiced By: Michael Ironside

The superpowered, diabolical tyrant of the wasteland planet known as Apokolips. Darkseid's ultimate goal is dominion over all life and existence: to that end he is forever seeking the 'Anti-Life Equation', a form of cosmic knowledge which could be used as an ultimate weapon. His recurring efforts to manipulate, conquer or depopulate the Earth have earned Superman's hatred: Superman will stop at nothing to see his end.
  • Abusive Parents: He is, quite simply, not a nice person, and his children get no special treatment.
  • Agony Beam: His Omega Beams normally kill, but he can dial them down to this to amuse himself.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: This is shown perfectly in the penultimate episode of JLU. He was killed three seasons before and Apokolips is in the middle of a Civil War for who will take his place. After getting resurrected, he returns to Apokolips in the middle of a battlefield, halting the war completely. Usually, on a planet full of starscreams and after being dead for a few years, you would think that someone would try to rebel. In this case, however, Darkseid doesn't even have to say anything. He just stands there and everyone immediately bows down to him. "Darkseid Is," indeed.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Lex Luthor finally achieves what Darkseid had sought, the Anti-Life Equation, and hands it, a floating white ball of energy, to Darkseid. Both of them grab hold of it and disappear without a trace, assimilated into the Source Wall, as per Word of God.
  • Back from the Dead: He was killed by Brainiac's exploding asteroid Supervillain Lair, but gets brought back when Luthor uses Tala against her will in an attempt to restore Brainiac. According to the DVD commentary, Tala did it on purpose just to spite Luthor. Hell hath no fury, indeed.
  • Badass: Possibly the most powerful villain in the DCAU and one of the few villains who regularly goes toe-to-toe with Superman on a physical basis, and comes out none the worse for the wear. He's an evil monster, but there's no denying that he's Badass.
    • Badass Baritone: In both English and Spanish.
    • Badass Boast: Lots of 'em.
      • "I am many things Kal-El. You couldn't begin to imagine half of them, but for now I shall take the role of your executioner."
      • "I am many things, Kal-El... but here, I am God."
      • "Super or otherwise, you're merely a man. And I am a god."
  • Bad Boss: Servants are regularly abandoned once they are no longer useful, you are sent to the slave-pits for talking, and with Kalibak he combines this trope with utter contempt for his son and his efforts to please him.
  • A God Am I: And won't shut up about it. (Justified since HE IS ONE.)
  • God of Evil: More specifically, the God of Tyranny.
  • Godzilla Threshold: He's the one villain that Superman does not hold back on, and he's the one villain that Superman is perfectly willing to kill.
    Superman: ...this time, I'm not going to stop until you're nothing but a greasy smear on my fist.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Can you honestly say that Bruno Mannheim didn't deserve the harsh treatment (and later abandonment and death) that Darkseid subjected him to?
    • Does this again to Lex Luthor in "Alive!"
  • Knight of Cerebus: Any time Darkseid shows up, whether it's in S:TAS or JL, things get a lot more serious.
  • Large and In Charge: Rules Apokolips with an iron fist, and towers over almost every other character in the DCAU.
  • Loophole Abuse: At the end of "Apokolips...Now!", he is forced to agree to stop trying to invade Earth or face the wrath of New Genesis. He spends the rest of the series scheming various ways to strike out at Earth without violating the letter of his agreement.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Darkseid's power and evil are made clear by Superman's very uncharacteristic behavior toward him.
  • Pet the Dog: As unbelievable as it sounds, he does this at one point. After Bruno Mannheim installs an explosive at an important laboratory with the help of a few Parademons on Darkseid's orders, Darkseid leaves Mannheim to die in the explosion, but right before doing so, he uses his Omega Beam to teleport the Parademons to safety.
  • Playing Both Sides: Does this in the conflict between Superman and Brainiac in Justice League. Even though neither of them trust him, he puts them both in situations where they feel they need to work with him. He almost wins.
  • Polluted Wasteland: His entire planet.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: His motive in the JLU finale is to get revenge on Superman for killing him, first by forcing him to see Earth burn, then by cutting his heart out with a Kryptonite knife.
  • Scars Are Forever: In "Twilight," he still sports the scars Superman gave him at the end of "Legacy."
  • Storyboarding the Apocalypse: Darkseid loves doing this and is damn good at it.
    Darkseid: I hope you appreciate, Kal-El, everything that happens from this point is on your head. The skies will rain fire, the oceans will boil, the streets run red with the blood of billions. Only then, when your last pitiful hope has been vanquished, will I end your life. Let's go.

Kalibak

Voiced By: Michael Dorn

  • Determinator: His fight with Superman, in his first episode. He WILL NOT GIVE UP.
  • Dumb Muscle: He's treated as such by his father. While not your usual manchild type, he knows nothing about subtlety and gets easily manipulated.
  • The Dutiful Son: Sort of.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: It helps that this version of Kalibak is voiced by Michael Dorn.
  • Nigh Invulnerable: While he's not as durable as Superman, he was unaffected by Batman shooting him with a missile.
  • Overlord Jr.: Well, he tries.
  • Villain Decay: His first appearance was a whole-episode slugfest where he stood toe-to-toe with Superman. In subsequent appearances, he's little more than a doorstop; Superman punches him out in less than a minute in "Legacy", and although he beat Wonder Woman, he loses to Batman in Justice League. In his final appearance, he finally got to do something useful...because he was in an Enemy Mine situation with Scott Free and The Flash.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: To Darkseid.
    Darkseid: I can't believe he's blood.
  • The Worf Effect: Gets subjected to this a lot after his first appearance. Becomes Hilarious in Hindsight, considering who voices him.

Granny Goodness

Voiced By: Edward Asner

Oberon: Do yer worst, ya old cow!
Granny Goodness: You wound Granny! ... but not as badly as Granny's going to wound you...

Metallo (John Corben)

Voiced By: Malcolm McDowell

John Corben was a mercenary hired by LexCorp to steal an experimental Mini-Mecha and deliver it to Lex's (illegal) buyers. Superman's debut in Metropolis was crushing the robot and hauling Corben off to prison. While in jail, Corben contracted a fatal disease. Lex Luthor, thankful for Corben refusing to testify against him, offered a solution: upload Corbin's mind into an immortal robot body, powered by a Kryptonite core. Corben enjoyed the limitless strength and durability, but the lack of touch, smell and taste drove him insane. He blamed Superman for all of this, letting Lex off the hook pretty quickly. He later joins the Legion of Doom later in Justice League Unlimited.
  • And I Must Scream: His fate at the end of "Action Figures." He discusses it when he returns in "Heavy Metal."
    Metallo: Remember how you left me, Superman? Buried in rock?! I couldn't move. I couldn't see. I couldn't hear. But I could think, and all I thought about was how I was going to make you pay!
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Disabling his Kryptonite core is usually the only way to stop him.
  • Blessed with Suck: He gets an immortal, super-strong body powered by Superman's biggest weakness...at the cost of losing all tactile sensation.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: The fake flesh on top of his metal skeleton lacks nipples.
  • Easy Amnesia: In "Action Figures," Metallo's time on the bottom of the ocean wiped his memories clean. He briefly becomes a hero to the inhabitants of a nearby volcano...until he remembers Superman.
  • Evil Brit: He's played by Malcolm McDowell.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He's often friendly and grinning, but he is usually assuming the pleasant persona to mock and insult his foes.
  • Jerkass Victim: His transformation into Metallo is entirely the result of Luthor ruining his life so as to manipulate him for his own ends, and his pain as he realizes how much becoming Metallo has cost him is geniune...but he's also a remorseless sociopath with who as hurt a lot of people, so the audience's sympathy for him is limited.
  • Moral Myopia: So it's Superman's fault Lex Luthor poisoned you and transferred you to a lifeless body?
  • Sense Loss Sadness: The inability to taste, smell or feel anything drives him to the edge in less than a day.

Livewire (Leslie Willis)

Voiced By: Lori Petty, Maria Canals Barrera

A Metropolis radio personality who built her career by bashing Superman on the airwaves. She finds herself suddenly possessing electrical superpowers after both she and Supes are struck by the same lightning bolt during a thunderstorm. Blaming him for her condition, she soon adopts the persona of "Livewire" and takes her Superman-bashing to a new, dangerous and shocking level. She later fights Batgirl and Supergirl in a crossover episode of The New Batman Adventures and joins Grodd's Secret Society in Justice League Unlimited.
  • Absolute Cleavage: She has a large lightning bolt-shaped slit that goes down to her belly button, although no cleavage is actually drawn.
  • Achilles' Heel / Kryptonite Factor: Livewire and water do not mix.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: In the tie-in comics, she temporarily loses her powers. While human again, she's a blonde rather than the brunette she was in the show.
  • Adaptational Heroism: In both the tie-in comics and the mainstream comics, she eventually becomes an ally, a stark contrast to her original animated incarnation who simply did things For the Evulz.
  • Attention Whore: A decent part of her characterization, especially in her first appearance. It's particularly obvious before her transformation.
  • Badass Boast: "You can't stop me anymore than you can stop rain...wind...or LIGHTNING!"
  • Dumbass DJ: Before gaining her powers, she was a popular DJ who spent all her time insulting Superman in order to boost her ratings.
  • Elemental Baggage: She works like a battery; she must absorb charge from other electricity sources to use her powers, and when that charge runs out, she's normal.
  • Form-Fitting Wardrobe: Livewire's outfit is created by ionizing the air around her, and she herself describes it as "form-fitting."
  • Goth: Dressed like one as a human.
  • Heel-Face Turn: In the tie-in comics to the show, at least. After making the jump to the main DC Universe, she eventually turns good there as well.
  • Hypocrite: She trashes Superman for supposedly "only thinking of himself" even though she second she gets her powers she does her best to use them and screw over everyone else all for her own benefit.
  • Jerkass: As a shock jock, it's sort of her thing. How much was an act and how much was her personality is unclear, but she seemed to believe what she was spouting.
  • Leitmotif: An electric guitar tune.
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: Passing through Superman first apparently means it can create metahumans. Applying the trope to Livewire specifically, she's able to do nonsensical things like dive into TV screens and then appear on them.
  • Logical Weakness: Water.
  • Never My Fault: Her transformation was due to her stupidity of hosting a concert in the middle of a storm. Superman tried to get her to cancel it as she was both putting herself and the audience in danger; she wouldn't listen and got hit by lighting. She then blamed Superman for the mess, mostly from seeing on TV a reporter interviewing Superman accusing that he deliberately didn't push Leslie out of the way when the lightning struck.
  • One-Liner: Loves these. Makes sense given her past as a Shock Jock.

Toyman (Winslow Schott, Jr.)

Voiced By: Bud Cort, Corey Burton

Winslow Schott wanted nothing more in life than to make toys. Unfortunately, he had little money, and could only achieve his dream by taking a loan from gangster Bruno Mannheim. The toy company soon became a front for Intergang activities. When the police busted the operation, Mannheim let Winslow take the fall, and the kindly toymaker spent the rest of his life in prison. Now Schott's son seeks revenge, adopting the identity of Toyman and using a variety of deadly toy-themed weapons and death traps against the gangster and his mooks. Naturally, this attracts Superman's attention. He later joins the Legion of Doom in Justice League Unlimited.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: He sics a giant rubber duck on Mannheim in "Fun and Games" and a very large Rock-'Em-Sock-'Em Robot on Superman in "Obsession."
  • Cool Mask: Wears an ever-smiling mask that he never removes.
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: In the Static Shock crossover "Toys of the Hood," even though he had genuinely fallen in love with Darci enough to try and give her a new identity, he was always aware of betrayal, so he put in a fail-safe that would destroy her.
  • Expressive Mask: Completely (and very creepily) averted.
  • The Faceless: Orphaned after his father dies in prison, Toyman becomes a toy-crazed supervillain, hiding his face behind a Howdy Doody-like mask. Schott is never seen without the mask, although it's frequently cracked and broken in his battles with Superman, and his fellow villains.
  • Freudian Excuse: See Parental Abandonment, below.

Luminus (Edward Lytener)

Voiced By: Robert Hays

Edward was an engineer at LexCorp who specialized in light and laser manipulation. He was a mole for Lois in one of her stories, and while Lois' work won her a journalism award, he was fired. In revenge, he tried to murder Lois, and then Superman got involved. Lytener took up the persona of Luminus and decided to get his revenge on Superman. That failed, too. Luminus is last seen fighting the Justice League after a jail break.
  • Hard Light: His other specialty. Turns out, lasers still hurt anyway.
  • Hellevator: One of his death traps.
  • Stalker with a Crush: He became The Mole against LexCorp because he liked Lois, not because it was the right thing to do.
  • Steven Ulysses Perhero: Lytener?
  • Took a Level in Badass: In his second appearance. He comes this close to killing Superman.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Is so calm and calculating when he has a powerless Superman on the ropes. When the satellites key to powering the big guy down get blown up, however, he (understandably) becomes quite panicky and desperate.

Bruno Mannheim

Voiced By: Bruce Weitz

Mannheim leads Metropolis's branch of Intergang, a major criminal syndicate. He soon gets weaponry from Apokolips, allowing him to deal with Superman and the local police force. Eventually, Superman and the police team up, and Mannheim is forced to flee to Apokolips, where he meets his new boss, Darkseid. Instead of killing him outright, Darkseid sends him back to Metropolis so he can overtake the nuclear power plant. He then sets the reactor to overload, and Darkseid leaves him to die as the reactor goes critical.
  • Lensman Arms Race: Cops? No problem. Superman? Apokolips weaponry. Superman + Cops? Flee and call in the Parademons!

Mercy Graves

Voiced By: Lisa Edelstein

  • The Dog Bites Back: Subverted first, as we're set up to think she'll turn on Lex for abandoning her to take the fall on one of his criminal deeds, but it turns out his hold on her is too strong. But she finally gets to do it for real in Justice League when he uses his prison call on her and she immediately hangs up. Then she goes right back to him two seasons later when he's "reformed" and running for President.
  • The Dragon: To Lex Luthor.
  • Friends with Benefits: While there's no real romantic feelings between the two, it's heavily implied (especially in Justice League) that the two have more than a professional relationship going on. Their entire relationship oozes with emotionally oppressive relationship subtext, and Lex all but spells out in "Tabusa Rasa" that they've been intimate on a regular basis.
  • Hidden Depths: When Lex is exposed as a criminal, he names Mercy the new head of LexCorp. She turns out to be a much better buisnessperson than Lex. As it so happens, cutting out Luthor's obsessive supervillain side-projects and selling off Luthor's anti-Superman resources has made LexCorp more profitable than ever. Luthor is rather nonplussed when he finds out.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: She is way more level-headed than her boss, and seems to be able to keep up with her boss' commands. Of course, we see that when she became head of LexCorp, she was much more successful than Luthor ever was.
  • Kick Chick: Almost exclusively uses high kicks, except for her gun. She also wears a short mini-dress which almost always gives the viewer a great view of her legs even when she isn't fighting. No Panty Shots, though.
  • Magic Skirt / Tights With A Skirt: She is always running around doing high kicks, being beaten up and sent flying by people, all in an outfit that looks more like a tight top than a full chauffeur's uniform.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Even moreso in Justice League, to the point where the android (while channeling Flash) hits on her.
  • Ninja Maid: For Lex.

The Parasite (Rudy Jones)

Voiced By: Brion James, Brian George

Once an employee of S.T.A.R. Labs, Rudy was exposed to an experimental chemical compound that spilled on him when he tried to steal it. Now, as The Parasite, he possesses the power to absorb the energy, memories and physical abilities from anyone he touches, including Superman. He later joins the Legion of Doom.
  • Achilles' Heel / Kryptonite Factor: Gains the weaknesses of those whose powers he copies, usually with greater effect than the originals.
  • Affably Evil: Very amiable, though in this case it only serves to make him more creepy.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: "Two's a Crowd"
  • Composite Character: Of himself, between the Rudy Jones and Maxwell Jensen Parasites.
  • Drunk with Power: As a defining character trait. His main motivation is that his whole life people have been pushing him around and looking down on him, and now he wants as much power as he can for as long as he can...and enjoys using it to lord over others.
    • That said, on a good day, he can be a relatively well-adjusted guy considering it all. He seems pretty satisfied with getting cable TV in his prison cell once he's captured.
      • Becomes Fridge Brilliance when you realize the trope. The more power he GETS, the more he wants.
  • Eviler Than Thou: Less so than Earl Garver, eviler than Livewire.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Janitor to deadly supervillain.
  • Killed Off for Real: He's frozen and then blown up along with Grodd's other followers in "Alive!"
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: When Rudy Jones was first introduced, his characterization was desperation instead of malevolence, and he stopped his partner when he tried to actually hurt people. However, after he became Parasite, he became obsessed with draining anybody he could get his hands on and taking revenge on a world that hurt him.

Bizarro

An imperfect clone of Superman created by Luthor. He has almost all of Superman's strengths, but a damaged mind that leaves him unable to think clearly and understand that his actions are harmful. He truly wants to be a hero, but doesn't understand that he's actually hurting people. A while afterwards, Luthor lobotomizes and brainwashes him in order to be more evil, and he becomes part of the Legion of Doom.
  • Dumb Muscle: Possibly the single stupidest character in the series, leaving him open to manipulation by Luthor, and any other villain with a reasonable IQ.
  • Obliviously Evil: Bizarro is often portrayed as completely ignorant of the bad things he is doing; frequently he does not understand, for instance, that punching somebody at full strength might kill them.
  • There Was a Door: "Door" is one of many concepts he doesn't grasp. Like "ceiling."

Mister Mxyzptlk

A pint-sized humanoid from another dimension who has decided to torment Superman with his powerful reality warping abilities merely for his own amusement. The only way Supes can effectively get rid of him is to trick him into saying, writing, or otherwise revealing his own name backwards. And even then, he's only gone for three months.
  • It Amused Me: His initial motivation to torment Superman. After his first defeat, however, it becomes more personal.
  • Jerkass: This isn't your Silver Age well-meaning Mxy.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Can cause this. In general, whenever he uses his powers to Baleful Polymorph or otherwise alter someone, they don't remember anything that transpired after being changed back. The tie-in comics took this a step further by having everyone but Superman's memories of everything he does disappear after he leaves, which means no matter who many times he screws around with their lives, everyone in Metropolis is totally unaware that he even exists.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: His wife, Gsptlsnz, looks like a friggin' supermodel, while he is a short and ugly imp.

Lobo

Voiced By: Brad Garrett

A trash-talking brute of an intergalactic bounty hunter who'll track down anyone and anything, as long as the price is right, and he'll have himself a literal blast while doing it.
  • Last of His Kind: Like Superman. Unlike Superman, however, he destroyed his own planet, making himself the Last of His Kind.
  • Leitmotif: A hair-metalesque electric guitar riff.
  • Nigh Invulnerable: Almost Superman-level resistance to harm and no Kryptonite Factor to boot.
  • Noble Demon: For all his vices, he always keeps his word when making promises. Including the one he made to Superman to leave Earth alone after their encounter.
  • Pet the Dog: Although he doesn't actually mourn Superman in "Hereafter," the fact that he volunteers to do good for free is an uncharacteristic gesture of respect. Sadly, it isn't appreciated. Particularly not by Kalibak.
    Lobo: Say it! Say it!
    Kalibak: ...Uncle.
  • Punch Clock Villain: The one time he fights Superman, he is merely being paid to do it by someone else. Otherwise, he is perfectly happy with leaving Superman alone.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: And with no pupils, to boot.

Maxima

Voiced By: Sharon Lawrence

  • Fiery Redhead: A redheaded royal with superpowers.
  • Flying Brick: Her strength, speed, and durability are roughly equal to Superman's.

Sergeant Corey Mills

Voiced By: Xander Berkeley

  • By-the-Book Cop: Mills before he became the test subject for the power armor.

Volcana (Claire Selton)

Voiced By: Peri Gilpin

  • Dating Catwoman: She was flirting heavily with Superman at the end of her debut episode and he never stopped her. In fact, he looked like he was having fun while she did it.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: She gains entry to a private party and draws the eye of on-duty photographer Jimmy Olsen, through raw sex appeal.
  • Loveable Rogue: At least in her first appearance.
  • Motive Decay: In her first appearance, she's an Anti-Villain who Superman forms a quasi-partnership with. Afterwards, she's just a random baddie.

Alternative Title(s):

Superman The Animated Series, DCAU-Superman The Animated Series