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.
- Super Speed: Though he's not quite as fast as Flash.
- Super Strength: Another power.
- 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.
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.
- Bare Your Midriff: Both the non-civillian outfit.
- 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.
- Determinator: In "Chaos at the Earth's Core," she fights Metallo despite her powers being significantly reduced and him having a Kryptonite power battery that can kill her. Even weakened and near death, she managed to remove the battery from his chest.
- Distaff Counterpart: To Supes.
- Farmer's Daughter: Kara was raised on a farm by Ma and Pa Kent, who treated her like one of their own children.
- Fight Off the Kryptonite: Against Metallo, memorably.
- Fire-Forged Friends: With Batgirl in "Girls' Night Out." Livewire hits Gotham and meets up with Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy, and Kara joins with Batgirl to stop them. Both later admit each has what the other would like, and the Justice League episode "Comfort and Joy" shows they're on a first-name basis (and Kara joined Barbara for skiing the Christmas Clark brings the Martian Manhunter to the Kent Farm).
- Flying Brick: Her powers are on par with Superman.
- Headbutting Heroes: With Stargirl in "Chaos at the Earth's Core," though by the end of the episode, they appear to be becoming friends.
- Human Aliens: All the Kryptonians are outwardly indistinguishable from humans, despite obvious biological differences.
- Impossible Hourglass Figure
- Leeroy Jenkins: Initially, though over time it lessened.
- Prophecy Twist: Benefits from one.
- Put on a Bus: At the end of "Far From Home."
- Really 700 Years Old: She was a teenager when Krypton was destroyed, before being revived years later.
- Sealed Good in a Can: Superman finds her in "Little Girl Lost," frozen in a cryogenic chamber.
- Sidekick: To Superman.
- Superpower Lottery: She has all the powers of Superman: Eye Beam, Nigh Invulnerable, Super Strength and X-Ray Vision.
- Super Speed: Though not quite as fast as Flash.
- Twin Telepathy: In Supergirl's dreams, she relives the memories of her Evil Twin Galatea.
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.
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.
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."
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: 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
- 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.
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.
- 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.
Voiced By: Joanna Cassidy
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.
- 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.
- 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)
- Shout-Out: Like his name suggests, he's based on folk hero John Henry.
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.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
The absolute ruler of the wasteland planet Apokolips. Stuck in a truce with the neighboring planet New Genesis, Darkseid is always scheming to put the entire universe under his fist. Seeking the Anti-Life Equation, a powerful tool that could easily submit the entirety of existence under his thumb, he is a constant threat to Earth. He is Superman's most hated enemy for his many transgressions committed on Earth, and Superman is willing to 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.
- Berserk Button: Do not question his orders. Manheim and Deesad both found this out the hard way.
- Big Bad: Of Superman: The Animated Series Seasons 2 and 3. He, Luthor, and Grodd are in the running for this in Justice League.
- Bigger Bad: Through brainwashing Superman in "Legacy," he is indirectly responsible for Cadmus being formed after Superman's rampage in Justice League Unlimited. He also share this title along with the Justice Lords, whose existence also upgrades Cadmus' agenda, and Brainiac, who uses the Cadmus arc to further his own personal agenda. Along with Brainiac, he is also considered to be this of the entire DC Animated Universe.
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Reacts this way to Superman's And This Is for... Dan Turpin punch.
- Came Back Strong: He comes back intermixed with Brainiac remnants, and claims to be more powerful than ever - which is backed up by Superman having to drop all his usual self-control.
- The Chessmaster: "I told you once, Superman, if you would not be my knight, you would be my pawn."
- The Dreaded: Terrifies the members of the Legion of Doom enough that they are willing to enter into an alliance with the Justice League against him.
- Electric Torture: "It's called the Agony Matrix. Direct neuro-stimulation of pain receptors. All of them. Imagine the worst pain you have ever felt in your life times a thousand. Now imagine that pain continuing forever. Oh, that's right. You don't have to imagine."
- Establishing Character Moment: What's the first thing he does when he meets Superman face-to-face? Blast him with his Omega Beams until he's on his knees. Who is he? That is who he is, Kal-El.
- Eviler Than Thou: Even Brainiac can't compete.
- Evil Is Petty: He murdered Dan Turpin for no other reason than to stick it to Superman.
- Evil Overlord: As one would expect from Darkseid.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Comes with being voiced by Michael Ironside.
- Eye Beams: The Omega Beam.
- 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.
: 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
- Ungrateful Bastard: "It seems I have you to thank for my resurrection. Though your world will suffer slowly, I grant you a quick death."
- 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.
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)
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
- 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)
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.)
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.
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!
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 Lex Corp 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 Lex Corp, 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.
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
- There Was a Door: "Door" is one of many concepts he doesn't grasp. Like "ceiling."
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.
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.
- Badass Biker
- Badass Boast
- Batman Can Breathe in Space: And talk, too. No, don't ask how that works when nobody else in the DCAU can; it's Rule of Funny.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Naturally.
- 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!
- Punch Clock Villain: The one time he fight 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.
Voiced By: Sharon Lawrence
- Royal Brat: She tends to throw tantrums when she doesn't instantly get her way.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: As Queen of Almerac, she's only interested in doing what she wants to instead of doing what's best for her people.
Sergeant Corey Mills
- 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.