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- Voiced by: Tim Daly (Superman: The Animated Series), Jason Marsden (Superman: The Animated Series, teenager), Christopher McDonald (Batman Beyond, old man), George Newbern (Justice League and Justice League Unlimited)Voiced in Latin-American Spanish by: Orlando Noguera (Superman: The Animated Series), Luis Miguel Pérez (Justice League-Justice League Unlimited), Víctor Hugo Aguilar (Static Shock)Voiced in Japanese by: Hikaru HanadaVoiced in French by: Emmanuel Jacomy (Superman: The Animated Series, Justice League, and Static Shock), Damien Boisseau (teenage Clark Kent in Last Son of Krypton Part 2), Pascal Germain (Batman Beyond), François Bourcier (Justice League Unlimited)
Appearances: Superman: The Animated Series | Batman Beyond | Static Shock | Justice League | Justice League UnlimitedThe 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.
"I always try to help people whenever possible."
- Action Hero: He's Superman, after all. He is willing to use violence when the situation calls for it.
- Badass Cape: His iconic red cape.
- Badass Grandpa: 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. When he is left shirtless, it can be seen he still has a muscular phisique.
- Berserk Button:
- Additionally, in "For the Man Who Has Everything," Supes didn't take it well that Mongul's Black Mercy plant forced a Sadistic Choice on him.
- Darkseid's mere presence also qualifies. He's the only character in the entire DC Animated Universe that Superman has no reservations about killing. 1) He murdered Dan Turpin, and 2) He brainwashed him and made him a pariah for two years.
- Beware the Nice Ones: As Darkseid, Mongul and even Doomsday find out the hard way.
- Big Brother Mentor: He's good at being there for young people (usually Supergirl or Jimmy Olsen) in this show. He even managed to be this for Robin when forced to sub for Batman in "Knight Time."
- 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 S:TAS 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.
- In "Legacy: Part II", Superman is about to be executed by Luthor, and is placed under red solar rays, stripping him of his powers. Superman manages to resist by throwing Luthor a punch (the only time at any point in the DCAU that he has ever been able to do so). When we see Luthor later, he's wearing a neck brace and has his jaw wired shut!
- 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 Naïve 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. She also has the advantage of having known him for nearly his entire life.
- The Complainer Is Always Wrong: Averted. Throughout the entirety of Twilight in Justice League, Superman insists that Darkseid can't be trusted despite his seeming sincerity about stopping Brainiac. Superman turns out to have been right as Darkseid and Brainiac were working together the entire time. Likewise in season 2 of Justice League Unlimited, Superman doesn't buy that Lex Luthor was making a legit Heel–Face Turn. As it turns out, he was right again.
- Costume Evolution: By Batman Beyond, he's since switched to a capeless black and white outfit with an abstract S-symbol.
- Cursed with Awesome: As a teenager, Clark viewed his powers as him being a freak. These powers included super-strength, super-speed, heat vision, and super-hearing. All with no drawback.
- 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 hurting his loved ones is the fastest way to enrage him. 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 - useful for heroics and shaving.
- Extremity Extremist: Whenever he fights, Superman almost exclusively uses his fists - the exceptions usually being enemies it would be extremely unwise to touch with his bare hands.
- Fight Off the Kryptonite: A couple of times.
- Flash Step: Uses his Super Speed like this frequently.
- 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!!
- Happily Adopted: Granted, he didn't know he was adopted until later in life, but his interactions with Ma and Pa Kent make it clear that they were loving and supportive raising him and that he had a happy life growing up. Indeed, they are one of the reasons he has such a good-hearted and heroic nature.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: The main quality that keeps Superman from going dark. He has a sense of humor and is aware of his failings and willing to apologize for his mistakes. He admits to Flash that he never made it past his Boy Scout merit badge, that he let Luthor push his buttons too many times and that he was a jerk to Captain Marvel. This also leads him to be more forgiving of Hawkgirl after her betrayal (noting that "I believe in second chances") and to Captain Atom who briefly sided with Cadmus but who Superman still considers Justice League. Indeed his alternate universe Evil Counterpart share the opposite trope of Can't Take Criticism and Never My Fault.
- Human Aliens: All the Kryptonians are outwardly indistinguishable from humans, despite obvious biological differences.
- I Am Not Left-Handed: In his struggle against Doomsday in "The Doomsday Sanction", he takes a brutal beating until he's forced to go all out. And 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.
- 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.
- Interspecies Adoption: He is a Kryptonian raised by a kindly human couple.
- Interspecies Romance: He (a Kryptonian) eventually begins a romantic relationship with Lois (a human).
- 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: Subverted, despite his Charismatic personality. Although he is the League's public face, the League makes decisions by consensus and other members (especially the original seven) tend to ignore Superman and do what they want if they disagree with him about something.
- 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.
- Mugging the Monster: In the Batman Beyond episode "The Call," Inque took a hostage who turned out to be Superman. You can guess the rest.
- Name From Another Species: Inverted. Clark, a Kryptonian, is adopted by humans and given a human name. His original name is Kal-El.
- Nice Guy: He is courageous, noble and benevolent and treats everyone with kindness and respect.
- Not So Different: From his Justice Lord counterpart, it really wouldn't take much to push him in the direction as Prime!Superman himself admits:Superman: I knew you wouldn't be able to change his mind.
The Flash: Yeah, how?
Superman: Because I've felt the same temptations that he has. They're pretty strong.
The Flash: So you’re not such a Boy Scout after all?
Superman: Never even made it to my first merit badge.
- Not So Similar: Of course while Superman privately is aware of his faults, it makes him uncomfortable to be distrusted by others... which is the main reason he gets agitated against Cadmus. He does eventually prove in Divided We Fall that he is very different from his Justice Lords counterpart.
- Older Than They Look: By Batman Beyond, Clark has clearly aged better than Bruce since he's Kryptonian.
- Perpetual Frowner: He gets this reputation during the Cadmus arc, a combination of bad PR, betrayal by Hamilton, Luthor's Presidential campaign takes a toll on him. It's gotten so bad that the the other League, including Batman, gravitate to Captain Marvel because "he's sunny". This culminates in a hilarious exchange between him, Green Arrow and The Flash, where Green Arrow defends his criticism of the League and understanding for Cadmus' position, with Green Arrow noting that he's playing the Devil's Advocate role that Batman recommended:Superman: Do I look like Batman to you?
The Flash: Actually you kinda do. Especially when you get all scowly.
- Physical God: Becomes part of the conflict with Cadmus, post-Justice Lords.
- Primary-Color Champion: His traditional blue and red costume. Ditches the primary color part in Batman Beyond.
- Power Incontinence: His greatest fear, as revealed in "Only a Dream" is losing control over his powers to such an extent, that he can no longer function among people, and be among the ones he loves. As he tells memorably to Darkseid, he lives in a world made out of cardboard, and if he loses control of his powers, people will die.
- 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: As early as the first season of Superman Adventures, he tells a mook who pulls a gun on him, "You must be new in town."
- Signature Move: The famous single or double-fisted flying punch, actually called a Superman punch in real life. He uses it against Darkseid in the Justice League Unlimited finale.
- Skilled, but Naïve: 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.
- Superhero: Trope Codifier and Trope Namer.
- Superheroes Wear Capes: Trope Codifier.
- Superpower Lottery: Earth's most devastating Flying Brick - and he has a generous helping of additional powers. In general, his only serious challenges are beings of the Dimension Lord or galactic conqueror level.
- Eye Beams: Not exactly lasers, not exactly heat rays, but... Burn.
- Flying Brick: The Trope Codifier.
- Nigh-Invulnerability: He and Doomsday have their only DCAU showdown knee-deep in lava.
- Super Breath: Can be hurricane-force winds or arctic cold.
- Super Senses: X-Ray Vision, Telescopic Vision, Super Hearing...
- Super Speed: Though he's not quite as fast as Flash.
- Super Strength: In the last episode of Unlimited, he explains that he never uses his full strength. He is so powerful that he refuses to abandon his self-control: if that happens, someone could die.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: A very, very strong believer in this code, and most of the time he makes it work. "A Better World" revealed what he'd be like without it - essentially, Big Brother. There are a few cases where he felt obliged to use lethal force, but as he admits in the Unlimited episode "Divided we Fall," he cannot bring himself to abandon his code - even though it's tempting.
- He'll make an exception for Darkseid though. Brainiac definitely doesn't count towards this trope.
- The Paragon: Just, strong, and a damn good leader.J'onn J'onzz: The Man of Steel possessed many extraordinary gifts, and he shared them with us freely. None of these gifts were more remarkable than his ability to discern what needed to be done, and his unfailing courage in doing it, whatever the personal cost.
- 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. In Secret Society they even worked this in, where Superman admits that he deliberately places himself in the line of fire to draw attention from the more vulnerable members of the League and give them time to react.
- "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.
- Voiced by: Dana DelanyVoiced in Latin-American Spanish by: Astrid Fernández, Rossana Cicconi (Superman: The Animated Series), Soraya Camero, Lileana Chacón, Rebeca Aponte (Justice League-Justice League Unlimited)Voiced in Japanese by: Yuko SatoVoiced in French by: Véronique Augereau (Superman: The Animated Series)
- 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. Makes sense, because she WAS trained by her dad after all.
- Damsel in Distress: Always. Lampshaded in-universe.Terrorist: Let's make an example of this hero. A very tragic example, I'm afraid, Miss...?Lois: Lane.Terrorist: Lane? Lois Lane? The one Superman always saves?!Lois: 'Fraid so.
- 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.
- Dangerously Short Skirt: Funnily enough, she's a subtler-than-normal version of this, as she regularly wears one to work.
- Deadpan Snarker: She has a witty remark for every situation.
- Friendly Rivalry: She and Clark are frequently trying to outscoop each other, and she teases him on a regular basis, but they do work on assignments together a lot of the time, and genuinely care for one another. Lois was even in tears when she thought Clark was dead.
- Hot Scoop: As a given for Lois in every incarnation, she's a reporter and very beautiful.
- Interspecies Romance: She (a human) eventually begins a romantic relationship with Clark (a Kryptonian).
- Intrepid Reporter: Her introduction revolves around her discovery of a wide-spread gun smuggling ring.
- Loves My Alter Ego: 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.
- Morality Chain: To Superman. It's shown in "Brave New Metropolis" that if she ever died, he may 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.
- Ms. Fanservice: Lois is a very beautiful raven-haired woman who is well remembered for her mini-skirt and long shapely legs.
- 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 of her long shapely legs that are presented due to her mini-skirt.
- 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.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Has a bit of this relationship with Clark as she's frequently teasing him, but does care for him deep down.
- 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.
- Voiced by: Nicholle TomVoiced in Latin-American Spanish by: Carmen Olarte (Superman: The Animated Series), Giannina Jurado (Justice League Unlimited)Voiced in Japanese by: Chiaki TakahashiVoiced in French by: Laura Blanc (Superman: The Animated Series, Season 2), Dorothée Pousséo (Superman: The Animated Series, Season 3), Chantal Macé (The New Batman Adventures), Caroline Victoria (Justice League Unlimited), Célia Charpentier (Justice League Unlimited, replacement voice)
Appearances: Superman: The Animated Series | The New Batman Adventures | Justice League | Justice League UnlimitedKara 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.
- 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 S:TAS 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.
- Cute Bruiser: She is a sweet and gentle teenager with the same powers as Superman.
- 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.
- Flying Brick: Her powers are on par with Superman.
- Germans Love David Hasselhoff: In-Universe she has considerable popularity in Japan. So popular that a chubby little fangirl kicked Stargirl in the shin for badmouthing about Supergirl.
- Headbutting Heroes: With Stargirl in "Chaos at the Earth's Core," though by the end of the episode, they appear to be becoming friends.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Becomes this 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).
- Human Aliens: All the Kryptonians are outwardly indistinguishable from humans, despite obvious biological differences.
- Impossible Hourglass Figure: She has a very hourglass figure despite her age.
- Intergenerational Friendship: With Green Arrow in Justice League Unlimited - a very unexpected, plausible and touching development.
- Leeroy Jenkins: Initially, though over time it lessened.
- Magic Skirt: For both the two costumes.
- Ms. Fanservice: She has an hourglass figure and wears Bare Your Midriff costumes. She takes every chance she gets at showing off those legs.
- Prophecy Twist: Benefits from one.
- Put on a Bus: At the end of "Far From Home" she stay in the future with the Legion.
- 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: David KaufmanVoiced in Latin-American Spanish by: Juan Carlos Vázquez, Luis Carreño (Superman: The Animated Series)Voiced in French by: Christophe Lemoine (Superman: The Animated Series)
- Adaptational Attractiveness: He looks much less stereotypically nerdy than most versions of the character.
- Adorkable: Very downplayed compared to most versions of the character, but Jimmy gets adorably awkward when he's shy or embarrassed.
- A Day in the Limelight: "Superman's Pal" focuses on him.
- The Baby of the Bunch: While far from a baby, he's the youngest of the Daily Planet team and sometimes feels he isn't respected by the others. He may have somewhat of a point, as Lois introduces him to Clark the same way you would introduce a small child to an adult.Lois: Jimmy! Jimmy Olsen, say hello to Clark Kent.
- Big Brother Instinct: Inverted; he's fiercely loyal to Superman, his Big Brother Mentor, and if you touch him, Jimmy will throw every ounce of his resources into stopping you.
- Distressed Dude: in "Solar Power" and "Superman's Pal," he's kidnapped by members of Superman's Rogues Gallery.
- Heroic Bystander: Sometimes Jimmy gets off the sidelines to save the day.
- I Just Want to Be Special: The episode "Superman's Pal" and more than one issue of the The Superman Adventures hint that Jimmy has a bit of an inferiority complex.
- Intrepid Reporter
- Camera Fiend: Jimmy's a photographer, not a regular journalist.
- Let's Get Dangerous! / Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Jimmy doesn't look like much, but if you threaten anyone he cares about...well, the Man of Steel credits him with saving his life at least twice.
- Muggle Best Friend: To Superman.
- Nice Guy: In spite of occasional snarkiness, he's one of the most cheerful, friendly people in the series.
- Teens Are Short: Jimmy is the shortest character of the regular cast, and while his age is never stated, he looks like he's in his teens or (at oldest) twenties.
- Undying Loyalty: Or pretty awful close. Even after Superman has gone on a crusade for a monstrous alien overlord, Jimmy still isn't ready to give up on his pal. Although (understandably) reluctant to approach the Brainwashed and Crazy Superman, when the hero returned to normal, Jimmy was one of his only friends. When asked for his opinion by a news crew, he vehemently retorts:Jimmy: Superman's saved the world hundreds of times. We owe him another chance!
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Superman gives this talk to him twice in "Superman's Pal," once in each identity.
- Voiced by: George DzundzaVoiced in Latin-American Spanish by: Alberto Arvelo (Superman: The Animated Series)Voiced in French by: Michel Muller (Superman: The Animated Series, Season 1), Mario Santini (Superman: The Animated Series, Season 2-3)
Appearances: Superman: The Animated Series | Justice League | Justice League UnlimitedThe editor-in-chief of the Daily Planet.
Perry: When I was your age, we didn't have computers or fax machines or...
Lois: Yeah, yeah, and you walked ten miles on your bare feet to work every day.
Lois: Yeah, yeah, and you walked ten miles on your bare feet to work every day.
- Canon Immigrant: The name "Perry White" was first used in the radio show.
- Catch-Phrase: He frequently says "Don't call me 'Chief'!" (mostly to Jimmy)
- Da Editor: He is the chief editor of the Daily Planet.
- A Father to His Men: He cares about his employees.
- Intrepid Reporter: In his youth.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He is a good journalist and a tough but fair boss.
- Satellite Character: His biggest role centers around his time at the Daily Planet and its staff.
- When I Was Your Age...: Invokes this to Lois, which serves as his page quote.
Pa and Ma Kent
- Voiced by: Mike Farrell (Jonathan "Pa" Kent) and Shelley Fabares (Martha "Ma" Kent)Voiced in Latin-American Spanish by: José Gómez, Eduardo Rodríguez, Renzo Jiménez (Jonathan "Pa" Kent, Superman: The Animated Series), Héctor Isturde (Jonathan "Pa" Kent, Justice League), Gladis Yáñez (Martha "Ma" Kent, Superman: The Animated Series)Voiced in French by: Joël Martineau (Jonathan "Pa" Kent, Superman: The Animated Series), Jean-Loup Horwitz (Jonathan "Pa" Kent, Justice League), Caroline Beaune (Martha "Ma" Kent, Superman: The Animated Series)
Appearances: Superman: The Animated Series | Justice LeagueClark Kent's adopted parents who took in Clark when they discovered his space pod while he was still an infant. Their upbringing of Clark and acceptance of his alien origins help shaped him into what he is.
Jonathan Kent: No, son. It doesn't matter where you were born or what you can do, you'll always be Clark Kent. Superman just helps out now and then.
Martha Kent: Still, it wouldn't be bad if people knew a little more about Superman. I don't want anyone thinking you're like that nut in Gotham City.
Martha Kent: Still, it wouldn't be bad if people knew a little more about Superman. I don't want anyone thinking you're like that nut in Gotham City.
- 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.
- Happily Married: Neither of them get into quarrels. Really, they're the most pleasant couple in the DCAU.
- 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 "Comfort and Joy", 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
Professor Emil Hamilton
- Voiced by: Victor Brandt (Superman: The Animated Series), Robert Foxworth (Justice League Unlimited)Voiced in Latin-American Spanish by: Alfredo Sandoval, Framk Maneiro (Superman: The Animated Series), Héctor Isturde (Justice League Unlimited)Voiced in French by: Igor De Savitch (Superman: The Animated Series, main voice)
- Absent-Minded Professor: For one, he initially assumes that all aliens are benign.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: By the time of Justice League Unlimited, his role as an ally of the Justice League is nothing more of a facade to mask his connections to Cadmus and his own Fantastic Racism.
- Broken Pedestal: A mutual one with Superman. He began to distrust Superman after the hero first went on a Brainwashed and Crazy rampage and then threatened him after he refused to help Supergirl or Superman due the fact the act would be considered national treason to the United States since she and Superman were government fugitives (see Selective Obliviousness). Superman, in turn, lost faith in him after he refused to help him and a critically injured Supergirl. Superman even lampshades the trope by acknowledging that Hamilton will never trust him again for the threat.
- Et Tu, Brute?: He was horrified when it appeared that Superman had gone rogue.
- Evil Former Friend: For Superman in Justice League Unlimited.
- The Evil Genius: For Cadmus.
- Evil Is Petty: In a way, while he joins Cadmus for Earth's best benefits, it's basically out of feeling betrayed by Superman's threats, despite it being for seeking help to save Supergirl.
- Face–Heel Turn: Becomes a member of Project Cadmus in Justice League Unlimited.
- Fantastic Racism: Not just towards the Super Family, but the entire Justice League as well.
- Hate Sink: Given he was disliked by the animators for the Superman cartoon to begin with, they deliberately made him as unlikable as possible in Justice League Unlimited.
- Heel Realization: See My God, What Have I Done? below.
- It's All About Me: Pulls a Face–Heel Turn all because he felt betrayed that Superman threatens him, despite the fact Supeman did that for him to save Supergirl's life.
- Mad Scientist: For Cadmus.
- Mr. Exposition: His role on TAS, before all the things in the spoiler-hidden text happen.
- My God, What Have I Done?: The look he gives after Galatea hugs him says it all.
- Never My Fault: See It's All About Me above and Self-Serving Memory and Took a Level in Jerkass below.
- Parental Substitute and Morality Pet: To Galatea.
- The Professor: He was the one Superman tended to go to when he needed intellect to help him.
- 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. In addition, he turns from the friendly and curious Absent-Minded Professor into a heartless and racist Mad Scientist with a Never My Fault idealism about his actions.
- Ungrateful Bastard: Despite Superman apologizing for threatening him to save Supergirl's life, he still feel betrayed and it's what causes Hamilton's Start of Darkness.
- 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 trusts.
- Walking Spoiler: As you can see, discussing him involves a lot of plot twists.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: He sided with Cadmus because he believed Superman had gone out of hand.
- 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. DCAU fans have multiple speculation about his fate (from the Heel Realization to suicide), but were never confirmed by Word of God.
- 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 BolognaVoiced in Latin American Spanish by: Ricardo Mirabal, Luis G. Sánchez, Roberto ColmenaresVoiced in French by: Michel Muller
- 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.)
- Cowboy Cop: He tends to get aggressive.
- 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.
- Sacrificial Lion: When Superman was captured and Darkseid demanded the obedience of all humanity, Turpin was the only one who would not Kneel Before Zod. It meant his death, but it also kept Earth free.
- Stuffed into the Fridge: He was vaporized by Darkseid just to spite Superman.
- Took a Level in Kindness: He starts off as very critical of Superman, but later learns to appreciate his good deeds.
- Turn in Your Badge: Inverted. Maggie Sawyer comments that if she had a nickel for every time he's given up his badge of his free will, she'd be richer than Luthor.
- Voiced by: Joanna CassidyVoiced in Latin American Spanish by: Elena Díaz ToledoVoiced in French by: Sophie Deschaumes (Superman: The Animated Series, main voice)
- Ambiguously Gay: Ambiguous only because it's not downright stated (she's a lesbian in the comics).
- The Commissioner Gordon: Superman spends most of his time working with her.
- Fair Cop: She's very attractive.
- 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.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Unlike Turpin, she trusts Superman right from the get-go.
- Voiced by: Joely Fisher (adult), Kelley Schmidt (teenager)Voiced in Latin American Spanish by: Soraya CameroVoiced in French by: Magali Barney (Season 1), Sybille Tureau (Season 2), Laurence Crouzet (Season 3)
Appearances: Superman: The Animated Series | Justice LeagueClark Kent's childhood friend from Smallville and one of the few Secret Keepers for Superman's identity. They've had a bit of a relationship during their teen years, but both of them moved on to greener pastures.
"Hmm... red, blue, yellow... primary, but it works in a superhero-ish kinda way."
- 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.
- Damsel in Distress: Superman saves her from being murdered in her first appearance as an adult.
- 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.
- Ms. Fanservice: Lana is a very gorgeous red-haired woman who tends to wear outfits that present her figure and long shapely legs.
- Secret Keeper: She knows that Clark is Superman.
- She's Got Legs: Lana usually wears short skirts or dresses that display her long shapely legs.
- Unlucky Childhood Friend: As stated above, she had a crush on Clark since they were twelve and they were dating during high school. But now he is in love with Lois.
- Voiced by: Lauren TomVoiced in Latin American Spanish by: Astrid FernándezVoiced in French by: Emmanuèle Bondeville (main voice)
- Canon Immigrant: She was created exclusively for the cartoon, but made the leap to the DC Universe with DC Rebirth. Before that, she also appeared in the comic continuation of Smallville and Justice League vs. Teen Titans.
- Hot Scoop: A beautiful gossip journalist.
- Is This Thing Still On?: Wasn't aware that she was on camera when she was commenting about her coffee being decaf.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: While she is a gossip columnist, she acknowledges Superman's heroics.
- 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.
- She's Got Legs: She always wears a short skirt to show off her legs.
- Token Minority: She's seen as Cat Grant with a Race Lift.
- Voiced by: Brad GarrettVoiced in Latin American Spanish by: Luis Pérez Pons
- Alliterative Name: Bibbo Bibbowski — heck, it even repeats the first five letters!
- 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.
- Father Neptune: He's an unemployed sea captain.
- Fearless Fool: Bibbo is not very smart, but he is incredibly brave. It takes a huge amount of guts to swat a King Kong-sized chimpanzee with a newspaper and scold it for making a mess on the docks. It takes an equally huge lack of brains to think that's a good idea.
- Gentle Giant: He's big, burly, and one of the good guys.
- Good Is Dumb: He's a virtuous, stand-up guy... but he's not too bright.Bibbo (striking a misbehaving Kaiju with a rolled-up newspaper): Bad monkey! Bad, bad monkey!
- 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.
- Shout-Out: A sailor with that squint and that jaw? Pop Eye, you put on a little weight!
Steel (John Henry Irons)
- Arm Cannon: His forearm-mounted lasers.
- Badass Baritone: Characters voiced by Michael Dorn and Phil LaMarr tend to have deep voices.
- Badass Normal: He has no powers, but he kicks a lot of ass thanks to his suit.
- The Blacksmith: He hand-forged the plating of his armor himself.
- Comic-Book Fantasy Casting:
- In "Tools of the Trade", Irons bears a strong resemblance to basketball star Shaquille O'Neal, probably because he debuted during Season 2, which first starting airing in 1997, the same year the Steel movie (where he was played by O'Neal) was released.
- According to the commentary for the Justice League Unlimited episode "The Return," Phil LaMarr (the voice of Steel) was trying to emulate a young Morgan Freeman.
- Drop the Hammer: John Irons has a powerful rivet hammer which can fire blasts of thermal energy.
- Genius Bruiser: He fights using both his brawn and his brains.
- Meaningful Name: In addition to being an armored hero who goes by the name "Steel", his real name of John Henry Irons is appropriate since, like the folk hero John Henry, he stands for noble causes and uses a hammer as his weapon.
- Odd Friendship: With Supergirl.
- Powered Armor: Wears a suit of it that he made himself.
- Shout-Out: Like his name suggests, he's based on folk hero John Henry.
- What 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.
- Well at least he was in time to help out on another one.
Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner)
- Voiced by: Michael P. Greco (Superman: The Animated Series), Will Friedle (Justice League Unlimited)
- Adaptation Dye-Job: In S:TAS his hair is brown instead of black, which makes him look more like the Silver Age/Bronze Age Green Lantern Hal Jordan (who in the comics was dead at the time). In JLU it's back to black with no explanation.
- Adaptation Origin Connection: Kyle becomes Clark's co-worker to explain his appearance in Metropolis.
- A Day in the Limelight: His only episode in S:TAS, "In Brightest Day", was basically a Green Lantern story featuring Superman.
- Badass Bystander: He stops a thief who stole Jimmy's camera (who looks exactly like Guy Gardner, another human Green Lantern).
- Badass Creed: You know the one. He doesn't know it at first, and the Guardians recite it along with him.
- Barrier Warrior: Sinestro tries to kill him once he gets the ring, so he has to quickly learn how to be one.
- Composite Character: Kyle was the only Green Lantern active in the comics when S:TAS was made, so he was used instead of the other human Green Lanterns. But his Origin Story, Arch-Enemy, costume and even physical appearance are all basically Hal Jordan's, though he keeps his comic counterpart's artist background. In JLU (where Hal Jordan eventually appeared himself), he looks closer to his comic counterpart and his costume is completely redesigned.
- Costume Evolution: Gets the standard Green Lantern outfit in S:TAS while by JLU he's since switched to a Non-Uniform Uniform.
- Green Lantern Ring: Obviously.
- Heroic Willpower: The power behind his ring.
- Only the Chosen May Wield: The ring itself chose him.
- Put on a Bus: By the time Justice League came out, John Stewart was the main Green Lantern with no sign of Kyle. It's later explained that Kyle was off training, with his mentor being John's ex Katma Tui. The Bus Came Back in JLU where he briefly has a speaking role alongside several other Green Lanterns.
- Remember the New Guy: Jimmy's friend from the art department.
- Sequential Artist: He's employed as a graphic artist, but wants to break into comics and has been submitting portfolios without success.
- Space Police: As a member of the Green Lanterns.
- Take Up My Sword: He replaces Abin Sur as the Green Lantern of Sector 2814, where Earth falls under.
- Voiced by: Steve Sandor (Superman: The Animated Series), Ron Perlman (Justice League and Justice League Unlimited)
- Fiery Redhead: He has red hair and he despises Darkseid with a passion.
- Flying Brick: The Astro-Harness covers the flight part.
- Happily Adopted: He loves his adopted father with as much intensity as he hates his biological one.
- Magical Computer: The Mother Box, which also soothes Orion's familial rage and opens up Boom Tubes.
- Perpetual Frowner: Even his helmet seems to be frowning.
- Physical God: He's a physical being, but is very formidable like the other New Gods.
- Red Is Heroic: Dresses mostly in a red suit, and despite his anger issues he is undiscutably a good guy.
- Sky Surfing: With his Astro-Harness.
- Unstoppable Rage: One that can only be held back by the Mother Box.
- You're Not My Father: Hates Darkseid with every fiber of his being. It's not mutual.
- Voiced by: Clancy BrownVoiced in Latin America by: Esteban GarciaVoiced in French by: Alain Dorval (Superman: The Animated Series), Jean-Bernard Guillard (Justice League, main voice, and Justice League Unlimited)
Appearances: Superman: The Animated Series | Justice League | Justice League UnlimitedA 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.
- And Then What?: When Brainiac explains that he intends to record and annihilate the entire universe, Luthor (who, like it or not, is along for the ride) responds with "And then what?"
- 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. His Latin American voice actor, Esteban Garcia, also does a phenomenal job at giving him a deep and smooth voice.
- Badass Boast: "I'm already more powerful than all of you put together." He says this to the entire assembled Secret Society (aka the Legion of Doom), after owning Doctor Polaris. Dozens of villains with powers that let them fight the Justice League take one look at Luthor, and basically decide he's right.
- 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: he bankrolled individual supervillains, founded the Injustice Gang, provided secret funding to Cadmus, and eventually usurped the leadership of the Secret Society.
- 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.
- The Chessmaster: He often has plans to manipulate everyone involved to accomplish his goals. One notable example was when he formed the Injustice Gang. He didn't do so to create an evil equivalent to the Justice League, but really so that the other members would keep the Justice League distracted so they couldn't stop his real plan.
- Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: 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."
- 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.
Luthor: I wasn't going to do this for another few weeks, but really? Turning everyone into apes was your master plan?
- 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 he gets fed up with Grodd's... uh... big and evil plan. Bonus points for being completely open about his plans for treachery.
- Diabolical Mastermind: After losing his company and resorting to more obvious villainy. Reaches its height in Season 2 of JLU.
- Dirty Coward: On at least two separate occasions he's left someone behind in a crumbling building to save his own neck; the first time it was Lois, and the second time Mercy. In the event of a dangerous situation, he always puts himself first.
- 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.
- Do Wrong, Right: While he admits he was going to betray him anyway in a few weeks, Luthor's beef with Grodd's master plan is not that it is a horrible plan, but that it is rather stupid and didn't even work.
- 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. He shows signs of addiction afterward.
- 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. Notably, Superman never forgives him, not once, and he's pretty consistently portrayed as unforgivable, if only because he's never thought he'd done anything wrong in the first place.
- Evil Genius: Lex may be a total bastard, but he is a superb scientist and businessman, quite possibly the smartest human being on the planet, with an extremely advanced knowledge of robotics, cybernetics and a host of other fields. The fact that he uses his brilliant mind for entirely self-serving and outright criminal ends is what makes him such a monster.
- 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. And in "Divided We Fall," he admits that even in his "transcended" state, he'll enjoy murdering the Flash with his own two hands just to twist the knife.
- Falsely Reformed Villain: After being pardoned and while running for President.
- Faux Affably Evil: He acts friendly, but it does nothing to hide his true nature as a manipulative narcissist.
- 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:
- In Superman, he frequently has to be saved from the negative consequences of his own attempts to create the perfect anti-Superman weapon.
- 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 Brainiac cures him...for his own reasons.
- 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.
- Immortality Seeker: One of his main goals in Justice League — after killing or discrediting Superman, of course. In "The Return", he gets a monologue about how, despite all his efforts, even his achievements will be forgotten in a few generations. In the Cadmus arc, it turns out his endgame was to upload his mind into a second Amazo, giving him a super-powered body for the rest of eternity. Upon being released from prison by Grodd and the Secret Society, he makes it clear that his goal is not defeating the Justice League or even reclaiming his company, but getting back the power he had when he was briefly bonded with Brainiac and the Dark Heart.
- It's All About Me: Luthor's ego requires constant feeding; this is one of the reasons Superman's humility galls him.
- 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.
- Karma Houdini Warranty: For most of Superman: The Animated Series he remained untouched and never had to directly pay for his crimes. In the series finale, however, he's finally punched out by a depowered Superman. By the time of Justice League, Lex is an outlaw and is finally seen by the public for the criminal that he is.
- 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.
- Misanthrope Supreme: The only human Luthor cares for is himself. If he has a shot at godhood, and it comes at the price of the rest of humanity, well too bad for the human race.
- 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 in the first place.
- 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:
- 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.
- He also saved the world, twice. First time, he deprogrammed Amazo away from Blue and Orange Morality during The Return (though it must be noted that he's responsible for Amazo becoming such a threat to start with). Second time, is when he saved Superman from Darkseid, and by offering him the Anti-Life Equation, removing himself and Darkseid as threats for good, but again Darkseid was perfectly fine and dead until Luthor revived him and ran to the Justice League to bail him out.
- Photographic Memory: After seeing the original Amazo blueprints for only a few minutes, he's able to secretly build his own model.Batman: And I suspect you have a photographic memory.
Luthor: I'm too modest to boast.
- 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.
- Played straight with the Justice Lord-verse Luthor, who seems to be almost exactly identical to the normal one. Murders the Flash, seems on the verge of starting a nuclear war, and mocks Justice Lord Superman by telling him that even if he somehow stops his Evil Plan of the week, he'll still get away with it and trying something else again since Superman doesn't have the guts to kill him. Turns out Superman does. Even so, this is treated as a Moral Event Horizon for Justice Lord Superman, which means that Justice Lord Lex succeeded in morally ruining him.
- 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", since he's on his way to godhood, loyalty to the human race is of negligible concern.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: As a Corrupt Corporate Executive, he uses money to buy his way out of getting in trouble for his actions.
- 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.
- Becomes the Badass Normal Genius Bruiser in Justice League in contrast to Batman.
- Also with The Joker, most prominent in World's Finest where Luthor is more orderly and Pragmatic Evil while The Joker is chaotic and petty. However, in the later seasons, particularly after he bonds with Brainiac, Luthor's Mask of Sanity vanishes and he proves to be nearly as crazy as Joker. He's also a Bastard Boyfriend and abusive Jerk Ass just like Joker.
- 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. He's really not a people person. The only one he really got on with is Brainiac.
- Took a Level in Badass: In the original Superman cartoons, Luthor served as businessman and The Man Behind the Man and Greater-Scope Villain behind various Superman villains. He was also easily outranked by Joker, Brainiac and Darkseid in terms of scale, and in the final episode he was a Butt-Monkey that a depowered Superman landed a head-butt on. However, the minute Luthor became a criminal mastermind in the Justice League cartoons and lapsed back to his Silver Age get-up (Purple Suit, Orange Jumpsuit), he became far more dangerous and powerful than ever before, believably becoming a League-level threat (second only to Vandal Savage, Brainiac and Darkseid), and even getting the upper hand on Batman in a fight in their Injustice for All fight.
- Trade Your Passion for Glory: Lex Luthor was always brilliant but one can argue that his time spent behind the desk of a corporate office hampered his scientific passion and genius. In Justice League he would note how Lexcorp's great wealth and resources didn't achieve half the stuff that Professor Ivo did alone in his lab, more or less confessing that even he never built anything like the AMAZO Android. Indeed, he shows far more genius, elan and inventiveness as a criminal and open supervillain than he ever did as a civilian businessman.Lex Luthor: "Ironic...years of plotting...hundreds of millions spent on Cadmus R&D projects and none of it bore fruit. Now it's a lowly employee of Lexcorp, Doctor Ivo, creator of Amazo, who we have to thank for my impending godhood."
- 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.
- Villain Protagonist: He becomes this in the final season of Justice League, which is about he rises from prison to Gorilla Grodd's lackey in the Legion of Doom, to usurping the Legion of Doom and in the end, perhaps Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence.
- Villainous Rescue: In part two of "A Better World", Lex uses a power disruptor to stop the Justice Lords' Superman from killing Flash, then subdues the rest of the League's evil counterparts, as part of a deal he struck with the real Superman in exchange for a pardon.
- Villainous Underdog: Even moreso during the Justice League cartoons, where Luthor is stripped of his company, his reputation, and his funding but becomes a greater threat than ever before, representing what Neil Gaiman said that while one can imprison Luthor time and again, you can't really imprison his mind.
- 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.
- Voiced by: Corey BurtonVoiced in Latin American Spanish by: Luis Miguel Pérez (Superman: The Animated Series), Alfonso Soto (Justice League), Rolman Bastidas (Justice League Unlimited)Voiced in French By: Jean-Luc Kayser (Superman: The Animated Series), Frédéric Meaux (Static Shock), Mathieu Buscatto (Justice League), Jean-Louis Rugarli (Justice League Unlimited, main voice)
Appearances: Superman: The Animated Series | Static Shock | Justice League | Justice League UnlimitedA 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).
"The fewer beings who have the knowledge, the more precious it becomes."
- Adaptation Species Change: From a Coluan to a sapient (Kryptonian) supercomputer.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: 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.
- Bald of Evil: None of his android bodies have hair and he kills entire planets after accumulating all of their knowledge.
- Big Bad: Of Season 1 of Superman and a Big Bad Duumvirate with Lex Luthor in Season 2 of Justice League Unlimited.
- Body Horror: After he merges with Lex Luthor.
- The Chessmaster: Zigzagged. He's an incredibly intelligent individual and capable of far-reaching plans. But, as Lex notes, he lacks an imagination.
- The Collector: Of information.
- Composite Character: While he has the motifs, methods, and personality of the comics version of Brainiac, his history is essentially a mild variation of Eradicator's.
- Creepy Monotone: Because he's an artificial intelligence, he speaks without any inflection or emotion.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: After ascending to his golden Amazo-esque form he's able to beat down the entire Justice League, Superman included, with complete ease, which even Darkseid wasn't able to do. Only Flash's one-time-use Dangerous Forbidden Technique can scratch him.
- Deal with the Devil: Enters one with Darkseid in "Twilight", offering to spare Apokolips in exchange for delivering Superman. Unfortunately for Brainiac, Darkseid was the true devil in the deal and was simply using it as a ploy to get close to control Brainiac with a Mother Box.
- Doomed by Canon: His final appearance in Superman: The Animated Series is in the episode "New Kids in Town", where it is revealed that he survives at least as far as the 30th century. This future incarnation of him goes back to a time when Kal-El was a teenager to try and kill him before he became Superman, only to be defeated by the assistance of three members of the Legion of Superheroes and hurled into the sun, where he is completely destroyed. Since this is chronologically his last appearance in the DCAU, that means that even if Brainiac did survive the events of the Grand Finale for Justice League Unlimited, he'll still be destroyed for good in the long run.
- Eviler Than Thou: Pulls this on Lex Luthor, and is receiving end form Darkseid 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.
- Flying Brick: His main body is super strong and capable of flight and energy blasts.
- 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.
- Grand Theft Me: Not only can Brainiac hack into any technology he comes into contact with, he can also take (in)direct control of organic lifeforms.
- He mind-controls Richie Foley and some of the Justice League in a crossover with Static Shock, but this is soon reversed without any long-term effects.
- This gets taken further in Justice League Unlimited, when it's revealed that he's been inhabiting Lex Luthor's body like a parasite, and turns Luthor into a cyborg. However instead of a complete takeover, Brainiac and Luthor share equal control, and they try to merge into a single being.
- Subverted with Darkseid, whose personality presumably overpowers Brainiac's without effort.
- Greater-Scope Villain: 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. His crimes are on a much greater scale than even Darkseid's known deeds, as he's responsible for the destruction of dozens if not hundreds of populated worlds and the deaths of hundreds of billions. And, as "New Kids In Town" shows, he ultimately ends up outliving every other villain and remaining a problem far after Superman's death.
- Green Is Blue: He is frequently referred to as "green". He is, in fact, blue.
- Hypocrite: He accused Darkseid of using and betraying him. Considering that Brainiac betrayed his home planet to save his own skin (including his creators who practically worshipped him), that's pretty low.
- 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: The biggest example of the DCAU, getting destroyed every appearance he makes just to return later. Justified due to redundant parts (including full copies of his 'personality', hidden in space, tucked away in software, or even stored in a nanotech form inside a human host.) "Killing" Brainiac is more like overcoming an epidemic than destroying a person. Even when his subsumed remnants are carried off with Darkseid and Luthor, some bit somewhere eventually grows into the 'future' version seen in "New Kids in Town".
- 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.
- Knight of Cerebus: Along with Darkseid, Brainiac is definitely among Superman's most dangerous enemies; given his humorless stoicism, complete ruthlessness, and plans to destroy the universe.
- Meta Origin: This version of Brainiac is an integral part of Superman's own backstory, giving their rivalry a more personal nature.
- Not So Stoic:
"Goodbye, Kal-El. It was an unexpected bonus destroying you."
- He sports a Psychotic Smirk when he thinks he has Superman captured in "Stolen Memories".
- In "Knight Time", he suddenly starts making emotive facial expressions when Superman attacks his spaceship.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: According to the canon tie-in comic for the infamous Superman 64 video game, he defeated and imprisoned Darkseid with his technology once in the past. Which lends credence to the idea that, even though he planned to betray them, he was telling the Justice League the truth when he said he needed their help to stop Brainiac from destroying Apokolips.
- 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.
- Robotic Psychopath: He is a cold-hearted machine who feels no pity or remorse, and his quest for knowledge has resulted in entire planets being wiped out.
- Self-Disposing Villain: In Twilight, Batman mindless smashes one of his computers, causing him to undergo a critical failure and default to his self-destruction sequence. The resulting explosion kills both him and Darkseid.
- 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.
- The Stoic: Unsurprisingly as Brainiac is an evil robot, he's not very emotive. Though it's implied that he's not completely emotionless, as he seems to hold a personal animosity against Superman; also see Not So Stoic above.
- Strong as They Need to Be: His later bodies vary wildly in power, despite looking the same. This is most pronounced in Twilight; his primary body gives Superman a hard time and takes several blows from Hawkgirl's mace to put down (note that one blow from that mace was able to cave Darkseid's face in), but all his identical-looking back-ups get wasted en masse by the much weaker J'onn J'onzz and Wonder Woman, with even Batman taking out a couple with his gadgets. It's also very noticeable in the episode where he travels back in time to kill Clark as a teenager; that form has trouble with a Clark who had started to unlock his power yesterday (and was comparatively extremely weak) and gets pierced by shotgun slugs.
- Superpower Lottery: A big winner, just like his arch enemy.
- Super Intelligence: He has all the information of the dozens of civilizations he's destroyed stored in his synthetic brain. He claims to be a "twelfth-level" intellect, with only Luthor even registering on the scale compared to him.
- Super Strength: Brainiac, like Darkseid, is one of the few beings Superman has no issue killing and never holds back against. Despite this, Superman still sometimes has trouble putting him down; Brainiac can trade blows with the Man of Steel for a while and hurt him with his own strikes. This puts him as among the strongest beings in the DCAU, only below Superman himself, Doomsday, Darkseid, Captain Marvel, and Mongul.
- Flight: He usually rides around on a small vehicle resembling a speeder bike, but Twilight shows that his main body is capable of self-sustained flight.
- Super Toughness: See above.
- Nigh-Invulnerability: Even if you can get past his regular durability, Brainiac is obscenely hard to kill, because...
- From a Single Cell: ...he is able to come back in some form as long as a copy of his mind survives.
- Hand Blast: He can fire yellow energy blasts out of his hands capable of hurting even Superman. The latter has to summon all his Heroic Resolve to keep fighting through them.
- Technopath: He can hack and control most forms of technology, making using any advanced tech against him an iffy prospect at best. Luthor figures this out the hard way in Brainiac's introductory episode, as his plan to nuke Brainiac's ships goes wrong when Brainiac mentally takes control of the missiles. He can also copy his mind onto nanobots and then shoot him in a beam to infect people with, which he uses to plant a copy of himself in Luthor.
- Mind over Matter: Present, but seldom seen. Most visible when he telekinetically moves around a bunch of metal at the climax of season 2 of KLU right before Flash runs around the Earth to punch him.
- Shock and Awe: He can channel electricity through his limbs, which comes in handy in his battles against Superman.
- 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.
- Voiced by: Michael IronsideVoiced in Latin America by: Paul Gillman (Superman the animated series), Framk Maneiro (Superman the animated series), Néstor Araujo (Justice League, Unlimited)Voiced in French by: Marc de Georgi (Superman: The Animated Series), Bruno Dubernat (Justice League), Marc Alfos (Justice League Unlimited)
Appearances: Superman: The Animated Series | Justice League | Justice League UnlimitedThe 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.
"I am many things, Kal-El, but here, I am God".
"As I told you once Superman, if you would not be my knight, you would be my pawn."
- Abusive Parents: He is, quite simply, not a nice person, and his children get no special treatment.
- A God Am I: He is a literal alien god, but Darkseid goes one step further as he is actually worshipped as God even amongst his own people, having established a personality cult around himself. It is so all-pervasive that even his army of slaves, who hate and fear him and whom he treats abominably, help him rather than overthrow him when the opportunity presents itself, simply because he controls them so thoroughly and completely.
- 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 Baritone: Michael Ironside does a deep and menacing voice, making his boasts all the more memorable. In Latin America, his first voice actor, Paul Gillman, tried this but the results were mixed, with him sounding like a Dr.Claw clone, but his third voice actor, Nestor Araujo, gave him a voice very similar to Ironside, making his boasts in Justice League all the more menacing.
- Badass Boast: Lots of 'em.
- 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.
- The Bad Guy Wins: "Legacy". Superman might have finally defeated Darkseid, but his victory proved hollow when he threw Darkseid down his slaves and instead of turning on their oppressor, they helped him. This was on top of Darkseid succeeding damaging Earth's trust of Superman.
- Bald of Evil: He has no hair.
- 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.
- He's this for the DC Animated Universe as a whole, being its single greatest threat.
- Blatant Lies: He tries to underscore that Superman beat him twice, especially in Unlimited where he pretends Superman could barely hold his own in their last fight when in truth Superman would have killed him if it wasn't for Batman.
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Reacts this way to Superman's And This Is For... Dan Turpin punch.Darkseid: Had I known one human's death would pain you so, I would have killed more.
- 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 and still losing the moment Darkseid changes tactics.
- Character Tic: Darkseid is frequently depicted with his hands folded behind his back.
- The Chessmaster: "I told you once, Superman, if you would not be my knight, you would be my pawn."
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Up until Legacy, all his fights have Darkseid dishing one against Superman, and even though he had the upper hand for most it with Superman's blows pissing him off more than actually hurting him.
- Deal with the Devil: Allowed Bruno Mannheim to use technology from Apokolips for his crimes, and later offered to make him a "king" in exchange for helping him with his invasion of Earth. Turns Darkseid only meant "a king of fools."
- Entered with Brainiac in "Twilight". Darkseid's ranks depleted by a recent skirmish with New Genesis, leaving Apokolips helpless against Brainiac's invasion. Darkseid cut a deal to bring Superman to Brainiac for the AI's use in exchange for sparing Apokolips, but as it turns out, the entire deal was just a ploy by Darkseid to get control of Brainiac with a Mother Box.
- 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.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Darkseid has only one loved one, his son Orion. While he recognizes that he will probably have to destroy him eventually, he is proud of Orion and considers him a Worthy Opponent.
- 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. Once he learns just how much it hurt Superman, he promises to kill many more humans.
- Evil Overlord: As one would expect from Darkseid.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Comes with being voiced by Michael Ironside.
- Exact Words: Tells Bruno Mannheim he would make him a king if he helped his invasion, and when leaving him to his death states that he was "king of fools."
- Eye Beams: The Omega Beam.
- Galactic Conqueror: Has conquered an unspecified number of planets prior to the series.
- Genius Bruiser: He is cunning and strong.
- 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.
- Greater-Scope Villain: Through brainwashing Superman in "Legacy," he is indirectly responsible for Cadmus being formed after Superman's rampage in Justice League Unlimited (and to an extent, Superman's ally Emil Hamilton to pull a Face–Heel Turn and joining Cadmus). 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 the Greater Scope Villain for the entire DC Animated Universe.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: His first on-screen defeat is due to Superman covering Darkseid's eyes as he's firing his Omega Beams, detonating the energy right in his face.
- I Have No Son: Towards Kalibak; Orion, not so much.
- Invincible Villain: During Superman: The Animated Series. Darkseid's plans against Earth ultimately fail, but Superman isn't able to defeat him until "Legacy." Even then, Darkseid was a Victorious Loser
- It's What I Do: Quotes this trope word for word when Brainiac calls him out for betraying him.
- Karma Houdini Warranty: Due to Superman: The Animated Series being cut short, Darkseid never suffered any punishment for villainy despite almost causing an apocalypse on Earth, twice. Justice League finally sees him die for his villainy.
- Kick the Dog: When forced to retreat in "Apokolips... Now!" he kills Dan Turpin just to spite Superman. Following it up, Darkseid says if knew the death of one human would have hurt Superman, he would have killed more, and promises that he will kill more in the future.
- 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. After gaining Brainiac's powers, he no longer has to worry about violating the treaty, because he is confident he can destroy New Genesis if they try to stop him.
- Manipulative Bastard: Near the end of Superman: The Animated Series, he convinced Superman that he was his surrogate son so that he could be a loyal solider to him.
- Nigh Invulnerable: He is capable of taking a lot of damage; even Superman has trouble doing any lasting (or visible) harm to him. The only time he's seen wounded in S:TAS is after Superman hit Darkseid with his own attack. This is partly why Superman stops holding back on him in JL.
- Oh, Crap!: Watch Superman's World of Cardboard speech, Darkseid's face of utter horror as the Man of Steel hurtles towards him. He knows shit has hit the fan.
- Omnicidal Maniac: When Superman states the people of Earth won't submit to his rule, Darkseid shows no hesitation at the idea of killing every human on Earth. When New Genesis prevents him from invading the planet, he tries to destroy the planet by directing a comet into it. As he states; "What I cannot have, I destroy."
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Darkseid's power and evil are made clear by Superman's very uncharacteristic behavior toward him.
- Parental Favoritism: Ironically, Darkseid actually likes Orion more than Kalibak. In fact, Orion is the only one who Darkseid regards as his son, an honor Kalibak has failed to achieve because of his incompetence.
- Physical God: He is an actual god who happens to also be an alien. Darkseid is immortal, Nigh Invulnerable, possesses Super Strength on par with Superman, and has various other powers. In a universe of superhumans, sorcerers, demigods and aliens, Darkseid is still one of the most powerful characters in the series.
- 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.
- Pragmatic Villainy: 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 away. Mannheim's usefulness is over, but the Parademons can still serve as frontline troops in the upcoming invasion of Earth. No sense being wasteful.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: His eyes are red and he is (very) evil.
- 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.
- Story-Breaker Power: Definitely Darkseid's Omega Beams, especially when he sets them to "vaporize"; they will never stop chasing you no matter how far you run.
- Super Strength: He's strong enough to hold his own against Superman.
- Ungrateful Bastard: "It seems I have you to thank for my resurrection. Though your world will suffer slowly, I grant you a quick death."
- Almost all of those villains would rather have died than bowed before Darkseid. Ergo, he was granting them a boon... From a Certain Point of View. If anything, this trope is subverted because quick death is by far more merciful due to him treating his servants in the most brutal conditions possible.
- Voiced by: Michael DornVoiced in Latin America by: Luis G. Sánchez (Superman the animated series), Armando Volcanes, Régulo Ríos, Ricardo Omaña (Justice League, Unlimited)
- The Brute: He relies purely on physical force.
- Determinator: His fight with Superman, in his first episode. He WILL NOT give up.
- Dumb Muscle: While not your usual Manchild type, he knows nothing about subtlety and is easily manipulated.
- The Dutiful Son: Sort of; he will sometimes disobey Darkseid, but only if he believes that the success would both aid Darkseid and possibly make him proud of Kalibak's efforts.
- Evil Sounds Deep: It helps that this version of Kalibak is voiced by Michael Dorn.
- The Grotesque: Perhaps part of the reason why Darkseid disdains Kalibak so is because he's one of the ugliest New Gods — despite Darkseid himself being no wall painting. Kalibak is a hunchbacked guy with an exaggerated top heavy build, a vaguely leonine appearance (cat-like ears, mane of black hair), and his father's exaggerated, heavy features.
- Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: He repeatedly fails to make his father proud, which is the only thing he wants — there's no real evidence he enjoys killing and slaughter for its own sake, it's just that these are the only things his dad has any interest in.
- Nigh-Invulnerability: While not as durable as Superman, he's still pretty tough. As shown by him being unaffected by Batman shooting him with a missile.
- Overlord Jr.: Well, he tries to be one, but it never works.
- Super Strength: He is very strong.
- Sweet Tooth: He likes cake.
- The Unfavorite: Darkseid views him as nothing more than a lowly grunt with no brains, and treats him as such. All of Kalibak's failed attempts to prove himself only fuels his father's disdain for him.Darkseid: A technicality of his birth. As far as destiny is concerned, I don't have a son.
- Ironically, Darkseid acknowledges Kalibak's half brother Orion as his son, despite the latter openly opposing him and fighting on the side of good.
- Unexplained Recovery: Darkseid vaporizes him after his first loss to Superman, but he's back in later episodes with no explanations.
- The same episode had earlier established that Darkseid can use his Omega Beams to teleport the victim to a location of his choosing, so it's possible that he sent Kalibak to Apokolips for further punishment.
- 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: He gets subjected to this a lot after his first appearance. This becomes Hilarious in Hindsight, considering who voices him. This is most notable in the Justice League episode "Hereafter" when Kalibak crushes Wonder Woman (perhaps the second physically strongest League member) with ease and brags about this feat to Superman. Superman scoffs at this and takes him down with one punch.
- Voiced by: Robert Morse (Superman: The Animated Series), René Auberjonois (Justice League)Voiced in Latin America by: Renzo Jiménez (''Superman: The Animated Series')
- Dirty Coward: He may act high and mighty, but when the tables are turned, he runs for it.
- Killed Off for Real: Darkseid eventually gets fed up with his bullshit and Omega Beams him. And unlike Kalibak who just disappears, we see Desaad's body shredding apart into nothingness.
- Manipulative Bastard: He deceives Kalibak into thinking trying to confront Superman head-on will earn his father's approval. As expected, it only pisses him off.
- Sadist: He enjoys making people suffer for his own pleasure. After all, he IS Darkseid's torture specialist.
- Smug Snake: Desaad has a very high opinion of himself.
- Too Dumb to Live: Criticizing Darkseid after his latest invasion backfired, yeah, real smart.
- Voiced by: Edward AsnerVoiced in Latin America by: Frank de Carip (Superman the animated series), Luis Pérez Pons (Justice League, Unlimited)Voiced in French by: Olivier Proust (Superman: The Animated Series, Season 2), Gérard Surugue (Superman: The Animated Series, Season 3), Jean-Louis Rugarli (Justice League Unlimited)
Appearances: Superman: The Animated Series | Justice League UnlimitedAn inhabitant of Apokolips and the leader of the Female Furies. She also served as one of Darkseid's strongest lieutenants.
- "Let me tell you tadpoles how I work: I seek out the lost little lambs society has cruelly abandoned, I take them lovingly under my wings, give them the power to face the cold heartless world... and kick its butt!"
- Amazon Brigade: She formed and leads the Female Furies, a group of female super-powered warriors from Apokolips.
- Chekhov's Gunman: First introduced as a cameo in a flashback, where she is seen proceeding to the exchange between Highfather's and Darkseid's children. She is brought back one episode later as the new leader of Intergang and Supergirl's Starter Villain.
- Crossdressing Voices: An elderly woman voiced by Edward Asner.
- Evil Old Folks: Apokoliptans don't necessarily age at the same rate as Earthlings, of course, but she was already an old woman way back when Orion and Scott were exchanged as infants. And as for evil, well, it's child abuse and endangerment seven days a week at Granny's house.
- Fat Bitch: She's rather plump and evil as they come.
- Ink-Suit Actor: The design of Granny's face resembles her (male) voice actor.
- Ironic Name: She's old alright but there's nothing good about her, at all.
- Never Mess with Granny: She never fights Superman directly, but she is one of Apokolips' elite, meaning she's a lot stronger than a normal human.
- Orphanage of Fear: She operates one on Apokolips, where the many orphans of that world undergo reeducation; she tried to start a similar facility on Earth, but it got shut down.
- Shout-Out: An obscure one. Norm Peterson wisecracked that Ed Asner would be the ideal actor to play his never-seen wife, Vera. The creators of S:TAS must have remembered and been inspired by that one-episode remark.
- Starter Villain: The first supervillain met by Supergirl, and the one whose plan she foils to prove her value to Superman.
- Terms of Endangerment: This is Granny Goodness we're talking about here, so duh!
- Third-Person Person: Granny refers to herself as 'Granny'.
- Vocal Dissonance: And Ed isn't even trying to hide it.
- White Hair, Black Heart: White hair due to being an old woman, and definitely not a nice person.
- Would Hurt a Child: Her orphanages are designed to torture Apokolips children, both physically and psychologically, into becoming loyal servants of Darkseid.
The Female Furies
Lashina, Mad Harriet and Stompa
- Voiced by: Diane Michelle (Lashina), Andrea Martin (Mad Harriet), Diane Delano (Stompa)Voiced in Latin America by: Astrid Fernández (Lashina), Anabella Silva (Mad Harriet)
- Amazon Brigade: A group of female super-powered warriors from Apokolips pretty much fits the bill.
- Brawn Hilda: Stompa is the chunkiest and plainest-looking of the Furies. However, she's got a vaguely Brooklyn Rage accent.
- Starter Villain: Since Granny Goodness is Supergirl's first villain, she naturally meets Granny's cronies as well.
- Super Strength: Stompa is the strongest of the Furies, using tremor-inducing kicks and stomps to shake enemies off of their feet or crush them underfoot.
- Whip It Good: Lashina wields an energised whip as her Weapon of Choice.
- Wolverine Claws: Mad Harriet fights with retractile spikes on her knuckles.
- Would Hurt a Child: Or specifically, would hurt a teenage Argoan.
- Villainesses Want Heroes: Lashina takes an interest in Superman shortly after meeting him. While he was brainwashed by Darkseid she takes the opportunity to get close to him, with it being heavily implied the two had sex. Once Superman returns to Apokolips after returning to normal she continues to call him pet names like "lover" while asking him for a kiss and leans in for one.
- An unused idea for Batman Beyond would have revealed that this affair produced a son between the two, who would become the new ruler of Apokolips.
- Voiced by: Michael York (Superman: The Animated Series), Corey Burton (Justice League Unlimited)Voiced in Latin America by: Renzo Jiménez (Superman the animated series), Héctor Indriago (Justice League, Unlimited)Voiced in French by: Igor De Savitch (Superman: The Animated Series), Jérôme Frossard (Justice League)
- Evil Brit: Despite not being human, he still sports a British accent.
- Louis Cypher: His first appearance has him supplying alien weapons, not revealing his true origins as a part of a race of god-like powerhouses until the end of the episode.
- You Have Failed Me: He loans Apokoliptian weaponry to Intergang so that they can kill Superman. When they ultimately fail, he leaves them to their fate, even mocking Bruno Mannheim when the crime lord begs for another gadget.
Metallo (John Corben)
- Voiced by: Malcolm McDowell (Superman: The Animated Series, Justice League Unlimited), Corey Burton (Justice League)Voiced in Latin America by: Rafael Monsalve, Renzo Jiménez, Rubén León (Superman: The Animated Series), Ezequiel Serrano, Roberto Colmenarez (Justice League, Unlimited)Voiced in French by: Jean-Louis Faure (Superman: The Animated Series, 1st voice), Bruno Dubernat (Superman: The Animated Series, 2nd voice), Vincent Violette (Superman: The Animated Series, replacement voice), Éric Chevalier (Justice League), Magid Bouali (Justice League Unlimited)
Appearances: Superman: The Animated Series | Justice League | Justice League UnlimitedJohn 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. Especially once he found out that the fatal disease he contracted was deliberately applied to him by Luthor. Still, he is a dedicated enemy of Superman. He later joins the Legion of Doom later in Justice League Unlimited.
"There's the reality! The metal behind the man! It's all I am now! It's who I am... Metallo."
- And I Must Scream: His fate at the end of both his first appearance as Metallo ("The Way Of All Flesh") and then his second one in "Action Figures."
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!
- The first time, he ends up sinking to the bottom of the ocean, leaving him stranded and forced to wander aimlessly until he managed to hit land by sheer chance. He was down there for a year, and the strain of it caused him to lose his mind.
- The second time, he ends up Buried Alive beneath tons of solidified magma. He discusses it when he returns in "Heavy Metal."
- 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.
- Brain Uploading: After Lex poisoned him, his brain was put into a robotic shell.
- Cyborg: In "The Way of All Flesh", Corben becomes Metallo; his original organic brain sealed inside a completely artificial body of virtually indestructible metal.
- Easy Amnesia: In "Action Figures," Metallo's time on the bottom of the ocean wiped his memories clean. He briefly becomes a hero to some local children...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.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: 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 genuine...but he's also a remorseless sociopathic mercenary who has hurt a lot of people, so the audience's sympathy for him is limited.
- Motive Decay: Zigzagged. Initially, it seems to be played straight; after "The Way Of All Flesh", he seems only interested in defeating Superman and not in avenging himself on Luthor. However, Fridge Brilliance clarifies that there's three easy reasons why he's after the Man of Steel:
- The first is that Corben has his own grudge against Superman. The Man of Steel interfered with his attempts to avenge himself on Luthor, which would have been bad enough, but the end result of that little encounter was that Corben spent a year wandering blindly along the bottom of the ocean. Not a week after that, a fight with Superman left him buried alive under tons of rock for weeks, maybe months, until Intergang dug him out. No wonder he's pissed off!
- One could also make the argument that Corben would never have been infected by Luthor in the first place if Superman hadn't been around. Not a very sane argument, but, after what Corben's been through, it's very doubtful that he's stable.
- The second reason is that Corben needs to kill Superman before he can get revenge on Luthor. Superman is far more of a threat to Metallo than Luthor is — Corben can just smash his way into Luthor's office and rip Luthor's head from his shoulders whenever he wants, but to do that, first he's got to stop the Big Blue Boyscout from interfering with his unlawful vengeance.
- Finally, the reason why Corben would focus on Superman over Luthor is that Superman is the person responsible for some of the worst of his pain and offers him nothing in return, whilst Luthor (who is a very charismatic and persuasive sort of individual) can make the argument that he can find a way to reverse the transfer or at least upgrade his body with tactile input.
- The first is that Corben has his own grudge against Superman. The Man of Steel interfered with his attempts to avenge himself on Luthor, which would have been bad enough, but the end result of that little encounter was that Corben spent a year wandering blindly along the bottom of the ocean. Not a week after that, a fight with Superman left him buried alive under tons of rock for weeks, maybe months, until Intergang dug him out. No wonder he's pissed off!
- Nigh Invulnerable: His robotic body makes it difficult to kill.
- Robotic Psychopath: He's a skilled mercenary upgraded to a cybernetic body, a process that made him even deadlier, but drove him insane.
- Sense Loss Sadness: The inability to taste, smell or feel anything drives him to the edge in less than a day.
- Smug Snake: He tends to be very condescending to everyone.
- Super Strength: His robot body makes him far stronger than a normal human being.
Livewire (Leslie Willis)
- Voiced by: Lori Petty (Superman: The Animated Series, The New Batman Adventures), Maria Canals Barrera (Justice League)Voiced in Latin America by: Elena Prieto (Superman: The Animated Series), Úrsula Cobucci (Justice League, Unlimited)Voiced in French by: Magali Barney (Superman: The Animated Series), Virginie Ogouz (The New Batman Adventures), Caroline Maillard (Justice League)
Appearances: Superman: The Animated Series | The New Batman Adventures | Justice League | Justice League UnlimitedA 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.
- 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!"
- Canon Immigrant: Originated in Superman: The Animated Series and was subsequently added to the original comics.
- Deadpan Snarker: Comes with her job as a Shock Jock.
- 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.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Twice in the Tie comics:
- The first time is to stop Braniac from releasing all the world's nuclear weapons: she ends up using all her power and the effort leaves her pretty much pretty much brain dead, and Star Labs can only barely manage to keep her alive.
- The second time is after Luther uses Apokolips tech to revive her in order to sell her to Apokolips, Superman intervenes but ends up getting himself and Leslie sent to Apokolips itself where they find out Darksied plans to use Livewire to power a doomsday weapon. Leslie and Superman manage to foil the plan and Leslie, fully powered by the planet itself, starts to wreak havoc, but realizing that she will go nuclear soon tells Superman to run. Being Supes he refuses and races Leslie back to earth where he flies her to a clearing to explode. Luckily for her it doesn't hurt her, but it kills Superman. Leslie uses the last of her power to restart his heart, which reverts her back to normal. Later she gets struck by lightning again and returns to being Livewire, but now as a hero.
- Hypocrite: She trashes Superman for supposedly "only thinking of himself" even though the second she gets her powers she does her best to use them for her own benefit while screwing over everyone else.
- 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.
- The Lad-ette: While she's a woman, she doesn't act very feminine.
- 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: Livewire and water do not mix. Her stored electricity will short circuit and at least partially dissipate if she gets wet.
- Motor Mouth: She often makes multiple snarky comments while on-screen.
- 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.
- Psycho Electro: She has electrical powers and isn't very sane.
- Pure Energy: Livewire describes herself as such and, though it makes for a very interesting character, it does not make any more scientific sense than every other "energy being" out there. And, oddly enough, she apparently still has a skeleton.
- Sexy Spectacles: Invoked this before her transformation. Getting struck by lightning seems to have improved her vision, though.
- Shock and Awe: Gains electric powers after being struck by lightning.
- Shock Jock: Before getting her powers.
- Straw Feminist: At times.
- That Man Is Dead: "Meet [Leslie Willis's] replacement!"
- Vapor Wear: See Absolute Cleavage.
- Verbal Tic: She tends to tack the word, "babies", onto the end of almost every other sentence when talking to other people.
Toyman (Winslow Schott, Jr.)
- Voiced by: Bud Cort (Superman: The Animated Series, Static Shock , Justice League Unlimited), Corey Burton (Justice League)Voiced in Latin America by: Eduardo Rodríguez (Superman: The Animated Series), Óscar Flores (Static Shock)
Appearances: Superman: The Animated Series | Static Shock | Justice League | Justice League UnlimitedWinslow 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.
"A childhood is a terrible thing to lose, Miss Lane, but I'm getting mine back... with a vengeance."
- Affably Evil: He can be quite genial, particularly to Lois, though in a very creepy way.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: He sics a giant rubber duck on Mannheim in "Fun and Games", a very large Rock-'Em-Sock-'Em Robot on Superman in "Obsession," and a massive toy-like robot on the League in "Hereafter".
- Cool Mask: Wears an ever-smiling mask that he never removes.
- Creepy Monotone: He speaks in a cold and emotionless tone of voice.
- Crazy-Prepared: 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.
- Gadgeteer Genius: He invents toy-like weapons.
- Happy Fun Ball: His specialty.
- Killer Yo-Yo: He knocks out Killer Frost in a Single-Stroke Battle in the penultimate episode of Justice League Unlimited. Using a yo-yo.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: In his first appearance, his entire motivations resolve around trying to kill Bruno Mannheim as revenge for what he did to his father. Superman still ends up saving Mannheim, but it's hard to feel sorry for all the things Toyman makes the guy go through.
- Malevolent Masked Men: He wears a creepy doll-like mask and is also an insane criminal.
- Monster Sob Story: He attempts to get sympathy from Lois Lane by telling her about his Freudian Excuse.
- Motive Decay: In his first appearance, he was seeking vengeance against Bruno Mannheim, the man responsible for ruining his father's life. After that, Toyman never makes another attempt to kill Mannheim again and focuses all his future efforts on either creating lifelike female androids to be his companion or just trying to kill Superman.
- Makes sense, since by the time Toyman has his second appearance, Darkseid has already killed Mannheim, depriving him of his chance for revenge.
- No One Could Survive That!: Happens at the end of both of his Superman appearances.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: His weaponized toys are much deadlier than they appear to be.
- Offscreen Villain Dark Matter: His father died penniless and he's never shown committing crimes for money, but he apparently has endless resources to pay for his tanks, helicopters, giant rubber ducks, and incredibly advanced robots. Oh, and in his Static Shock appearance, he somehow got his hands of enough Kryptonite to build an entire army of robot minions made of it.
- Oh, Crap!: Has this reaction in "Hereafter" after he "killed" Superman and a distraught Wonder Woman tore his machine apart in response and literally told him that she was going to kill him for what he had just done. Thankfully for him Flash saved his life telling Wonder Woman Superman wouldn't want her to do such a thing
- Parental Abandonment: His dad (framed by the mob) died in prison, leaving him to be switched from one foster home to another.
- Psychopathic Manchild: Goes straight Up to Eleven.
- Slasher Smile: Painted onto his mask.
- Stalker With a Crush: In "Obsession."
- Sympathy for the Devil: Expressed for him by Lois.
- Underestimating Badassery: Killer Frost does this to him in "Alive!". Toyman is able to take her down using an ordinary yo-yo.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Even if he is a dangerous criminal, it's hard not to feel sorry for the fact that he became this way because his father was screwed over by Mannheim and died in prison while he was shipped off to several neglectful foster homes.
Luminus (Edward Lytener)
- Voiced in Latin America by: Eduardo Rodríguez (Superman: The Animated Series)Voiced in French by: Vincent Ropion (Superman: The Animated Series), Mathias Casartelli (Justice League)
- Affably Evil: Even when making declarations of absolute hatred and murderous intent, he's always so briskly, cheerfully polite. This continues after he becomes Luminus.
- Bond Villain Stupidity: You managed to weaken Superman to human strength, Luminus. Just shoot him already. Don't toy with him until he breaks the machine weakening him.
- Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: He enjoys fighting Superman because he can't wait to kill a god.
- Death Trap: His specialty. Spent his debut episode trying to kill Lois.
- Expy: Of Doctor Light. His perviness is an interesting case of hindsight hilarity. It's also probably just as well that he wasn't named Doctor Light, as it meant Justice League Unlimited could introduce Kimiyo Hoshi, the heroic Doctor Light, without explanation.
- Fighting a Shadow: As Luminus, he never puts himself in the same place as Superman if he can send a hologram instead.
- For the Evulz: In his second appearance, Edward Lytener becomes the villain Luminus just to get back at Superman.
- Frickin' Laser Beams: He's good with light, so lasers aren't too far of a stretch.
- Gadgeteer Genius: He created his weapons himself.
- Hard Light: His other specialty. Turns out, lasers still hurt anyway.
- Hellevator: One of his death traps.
- I Never Said It Was Poison: In his first appearance, he slips up and gives away his involvement in the attacks on Lois when he congratulates her on her journalism award. Since he was in his lab for the past day, with no TV or radio (he finds them distracting), he could only know that she'd won the award if he was the one who attacked her at the awards ceremony.
- Invisibility: He can use his devices to appear invisible.
- Light Is Not Good: He has weapons that manipulate light and he is a bad guy.
- Love Makes You Crazy: He went nuts because of his infatuation with Lois Lane.
- Master of Illusion: He can use his manipulation of light to create illusions.
- Me's a Crowd: Similar to the Flash villain Mirror Master, but Flash learns the hard way that his copies actually can deal real damage.
- Motive Decay: Goes from being Lois's Stalker With a Crush to trying to kill Superman just because he can.
- Nothing Personal: Said this in his second appearance to Lois. He put her in a death trap again, but he insisted only as bait for Superman.
- Smug Snake: He's pretty full of himself.
- 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 very close to killing Superman.
- Villainous Breakdown: Is 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 WeitzVoiced in Latin America by: Roberto ColmenárezVoiced in French by: Mario Santini (1st voice), Christian Pélissier (2nd voice)
- Adaptational Heroism: A very downplayed example. This version of Mannheim still is an unsympathetic, unrepentant crook who willingly collaborate with Darkseid, but he isn't the cannibalistic cult-leading psychopath he was in the comic.
- Adaptational Wimp: His comic book counterpart is Darkseid's chosen apostle on Earth and much more threatening. This version of the character is just a regular mob boss who Darkseid manipulates in his plan to invade Earth and gets nonchalantly sacrificed once he is of no more use.
- Asshole Victim: For starters, he's indirectly responsible for Winslow Schott, Jr. becoming Toyman because he framed his father and had him die in prison. He more than deserved getting killed by Darkseid.
- The Chew Toy: And completely deserving it.
- Les Collaborateurs: He helps Darkseid in his plan to conquer Earth.
- Disc-One Final Boss: He appears to be the main threat at the end of the series, but it turns out that he's really working for Darkseid.
- Jerkass: He's the head of a criminal syndicate who ruined a man's life by framing his father. What did you expect?
- Karmic Death: He helps Darkseid with his invasion schemes and is left to die for all his troubles.
- Lensman Arms Race: Cops? No problem. Superman? Apokolips weaponry. Superman + Cops? Flee and call in the Parademons!
- Save the Villain: In his first appearance, he had to be saved from the Toyman.
- Smug Snake: He's a very arrogant bastard, that's for sure.
- The Syndicate: Leads one.
- Too Dumb to Live: Working for Darkseid, yeah, that can't go wrong!
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Darkseid kills him after he serves his purpose.
- Voiced by: Lisa EdelsteinVoiced in Latin America by: Lilo Schmid (Superman: The Animated Series), Edilú Martínez, Marycel Gonzáles (Justice League, Unlimited)Voiced in French by: Emmanuèle Bondeville (Superman: The Animated Series)
- Battle Butler: Lex Luthor's.
- Beleaguered Assistant: Poor girl has to constantly be on the move with a boss like Lex Luthor barking orders every two minutes.
- Bodyguard Babes: A beautyful bodyguard who wears a chauffeur uniform with very tight pants.
- Bodyguard Crush: Totally one-sided on her part, though.
- Canon Immigrant: She follows from Harley Quinn's lead. She proved popular enough that she would subsequently appear in other animated series like The Batman (with some slight changes) and Young Justice, and heavily inspired the character of Tess Mercer from Smallville.
- The Comically Serious: Though she can be pretty snarky on occasions.
- Dark Action Girl: She's good behind the wheel or in a fight, and she understands entirely when Lex speculates that it'd be a Shame If Something Happened...
- 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.
- Foil: To Harley Quinn in the episode "World's Finest". Where Harley is flamboyant and hyperactive, Mercy is restrained and precise. They don't get along.
- 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.
- Girl Friday: A bit of a Badass Normal with many skills and few scruples. She is very useful to Lex.
- 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 businessperson 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: 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.
- Servile Snarker: Not at first, but she does develop into a snarker. She's the one person to whom it's safe to deliver his As You Know speeches and the only one who will ask, sincerely, "Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?"
- She-Fu: She doesn't hesitate to show off what she's got when she fights.
- She's Got Legs: She wears a ridiculously short dress (or a tight shirt with tight pants) that shows off her long toned yet shapely legs.
- Statuesque Stunner: She's quite tall and attractive.
The Parasite (Rudy Jones)
- Voiced by: Brion James (Superman: The Animated Series), Brian George (Justice League)Voiced in Latin America by: Alí Rondón (Superman: The Animated Series)Voiced in French by: Bruno Choël (Superman: The Animated Series), Olivier Cordina (Justice League), Michel Barbey (Justice League Unlimited)
- Achilles' Heel: 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"
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Superman first approached him by treating him with sympathy for his accident and offering help. Parasite played along to trick him into physical contact so he could absorb his powers.
- Composite Character: Of himself, between the Rudy Jones and Maxwell Jensen Parasites. He has the name and origin of the former and the powers of the latter.
- 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.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Arguably the most prominent character to get this anti-climactic death. Though, it was probably done by the animators who felt the character should have died along time ago at the same time with his original actor Brion James, who delivered a much more superior performance unlike the later The Other Darrin Brian George's minimal portrayal.
- Eviler Than Thou: He's on both sides of this in two episodes of the Superman series. In "Two's A Crowd", he's less evil than Earl Garver, initially trying to encourage him to be a good prisoner and comply, which will make his life easier. It's only after being duped by Garver that he goes rogue, and that lasts only until he realizes Garver is using him as an expendable dupe. Then, in "Double Dose", he's more evil than Livewire, playing along as her partner only until they have Superman incapacitated, so he can leech the life from the both of them.
- Evil Is Petty: In "Two's A Crowd", he demands payment to use his powers to read the mind of Mad Bomber Earl Garver. His payment? That he gets a big-screen television with cable TV hookup installed in his cell.
- 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!"
- Power Parasite: He can absorb the powers of any metahuman he drains.
- Split-Personality Takeover: In "Two's a Crowd," Earl Garver takes control of Parasite after Parasite tries to absorb Garver's memories. Eventually, the two of them duke it out for control of the body.
- Who's Laughing Now?: He goes from hardluck janitor to one of Superman's most dangerous enemies.
- 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.
- Voiced in Latin America by: Orlando Noguera (Superman: The Animated Series), Luis Miguel Pérez (Justice League, Unlimited)Voiced in French by: Emmanuel Jacomy (Superman: The Animated Series), Patrick Larzille (Justice League Unlimited, 1st voice), Olivier Cordina (Justice League Unlimited, 2nd voice)
- Ambiguous Disorder: He seems to have some kind of intellectual disability.
- Anti-Villain: His damaged mind means he really wants to be the good guy, but can't overcome the warped version of reality it's feeding him, or the fact that he Does Not Know His Own Strength. Justice League has this removed by having him lobotomized and brainwashed.
- Appropriated AppellationMercy: Bizarro is what you "am."
- Bad Is Good and Good Is Bad: In Justice League, apparently due to being brainwashed. This is very different to his original appearances in Superman, where instead he's simply dimwitted and not very observant, and he doesn't make use of his comic book's "scrambled speech".
- Brainwashed and Crazy: He becomes lobotomized to be his Silver Age comics incarnation in Justice League.
- Characterization Marches On: He was a Tragic Monster in his first two appearances, depicted as suffering a severe case of Cloning Blues and genuinely trying to be a hero, with his "villainous" actions being complete accidents. In his third appearance, he became Denser and Wackier, but was still not particularly evil, instead being manipulated by Mxyzptlk into fighting Superman a second time. Comes Justice League, he is brainwashed off-screen by Gorilla Grodd's society, reducing him to their Dumb Muscle with a Bad Is Good and Good Is Bad logic.
- Clone Degeneration: He started out as a flawless clone of Superman until he eventually started becoming the pale and deformed idiot that we know him as.
- 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.
- Friendly Enemy: Under normal circumstances, he was quite affable and unaware of the problems he was causing.Bizarro: [sincerely] Superman! Bizarro am happy to see you!
- Happy Ending Override: By the end of Superman the Animated Series, he was living happy on another planet with his "dog" and no longer was a villain. Then came Justice League Unlimited, and Grodd's Society brainwashed him into being a villain. (Obviously there was some kind of 'missing episode' here.)
- Hero with an F in Good: He means well, but his attempts at emulating Superman's heroism often results in disaster. The problem is he's too mentally damaged to properly grasp the nuances of the situation — even in "Little Big Head Man", it's shown that during his daily "saving" routine, he tends to grab the first "city-zen" in the boulder's path and then let it keep smashing through his fake city, rather than stopping the boulder before it hits anyone or anything.
- Hulk Speak: Unsurprisingly, due to being the poster boy for Dumb Muscle, he has a very poor grasp on grammar.
- Laughably Evil: Because of his extreme idiocy, he often causes some hilarious trouble for everyone around him.
- Leitmotif: His theme is Superman's theme played in reverse and with some notes played off-key, to represent his nature as an imperfect copy of Superman.
- Manchild: His mental handicap makes him very childlike. He borders on Psychopathic Manchild whenever he has a temper tantrum.
- Nigh Invulnerable: He's very resilient like Superman, but with a bonus — he lacks a weakness to Kryptonite.
- 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.
- Superpower Lottery: He's got all of Superman's powers.
- There Was a Door: "Door" is one of many concepts he doesn't grasp. He's not that great at "ceiling" either.
- Tragic Monster: In spite of all the trouble he causes, all he really wants is to be a hero like Superman.
- Voiced by: Gilbert GottfriedVoiced in Latin America by: Raúl XiquesVoiced in French by: Gérard Surugue
- Adaptational Wimp: Played with. Technically speaking, he is just as powerful as he is in the source material, but comic book Mxyzptlk could actually be a real challenge to Superman and was at least once a quite spectacular case of Not-So-Harmless Villain. This incarnation, on the other hand, usually is a nuisance at best and gets easily tricked by Superman into saying his name multiple times in a single episode. Justified by Rule of Funny.
- All Myths Are True: Claims to be the source behind genies, elves, and leprechauns.
- Amusing Alien: He does rather ridiculous things with his abilities.
- Catch-Phrase: Due to the fact he's an Adaptational Wimp, his is "Aw, nuts."
- Great Gazoo: He uses his powers to mess with Superman.
- Ignore the Fanservice: Gspy tries divert his attention with a wardrobe full of Sexy Whatever Outfits and he doesn't even turn around.
- Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Even though his fifth-dimensional magic should make him the most powerful of Superman's enemies, he's probably among the least competent of them all.
- 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.
- Large Ham: What else would you expect from Gilbert Gottfried?
- 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.
- Laughably Evil: His smug attitude, reality-bending antics, and tendency to be easily fooled into saying his name backwards, results in a lot of hilarious moments.
- The Napoleon: While he appears as a short man, he has huge intentions when it comes to messing with the Man of Steel.
- Nice Hat: He wears a tiny purple bowler hat.
- No Indoor Voice: It's Gilbert Gottfried, this goes without saying.
- Non-Standard Character Design: Mxyzptlk is tiny, bulbous and four-fingered. This may be a half-hearted attempt at A Form You Are Comfortable With, or it could be Leaning on the Fourth Wall; he's entered a cartoon universe, so he takes on a cartoony appearance.
- Reality Warper: He can use his powers to alter reality in several ways, such as turning the Daily Planet staff into animals, or bringing Rodan's Thinker to life.
- Sore Loser: To say that he doesn't take Superman besting him well would be a very enormous understatement.
- The Trickster: He tries to mess with Superman, but by the end of his debut episode, the Man of Steel turns out to be too smart for his tricks.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: His wife, Gsptlsnz, looks and sounds like Jessica Rabbit's sister, while he is a short and ugly imp with the fashion sense of the Joker on laundry day and the pipes of Gilbert Gottfried.
- Voiced by: Brad GarrettVoiced in Latin America by: Óscar Zuloaga (Superman: The Animated Series), Guillermo Martínez (Justice League)Voiced in French by: Pascal Renwick (Superman: The Animated Series, 1st voice), Marc Alfos (Superman: The Animated Series, 2nd voice, and Justice League)
- Amusing Injuries: Receives these a lot. And finds the injuries of others amusing as well.
- Ash Face: One of the Preserver's security probes shoots a beam on his head with this as the sole result.
- Badass Biker: He rides on a space chopper.
- Badass Boast:Lobo: The name's Lobo. That's "L" as in "lacerate," "O" as in "obliterate," "B" as in "disemBowel," and "O" as in... Um, er, I guess I can use "obliterate," twice, huh, what do you think?
- Badbutt: He's very accurate to his comic counterpart, but he's also restricted by the fact that he's in a kid's cartoon. His hook never penetrates skin, for instance.
- 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.
- Bounty Hunter: Lobo is recognized and feared throughout the galaxy as a persistent master bounty hunter.
- Cool Bike: His chopper doubles as a Cool Spaceship.
- Enemy Mine: Teams up with Superman against the Preserver.
- Gosh Dang It to Heck!: "Frag!". On the other hand this is averted like hell in the Venezuelan Spanish dub, when he swears hard.
- Guns Akimbo: In the "Warrior Queen" episode.
- Hand Cannon: A normal human wouldn't be able to lift his handgun.
- Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Since the show is intended for kids, he's not allowed to do anything truly horrific, and comes across as mostly Played for Laughs instead. Though he rather casually admits that he blew up his home planet and everyone else on it.
- Incoming Ham:Lobo: I'm givin' you geeks ten seconds before I frag everything in sight. One... TEN!
- Jerkass: He's not really a nice person at all, since he hits on every woman he sees and cares very little about innocent lives.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: It's... somewhere in there. If nothing else, he has a genuine (if a bit warped) respect for Superman, and always keeps his word. It's not much, but it's something.
- Last of His Kind: Like Superman. Unlike Superman, however, he destroyed his own planet.
- Laughably Evil: Because of his crude, dark, irreverent, and over-the-top sense of humor.
- Lighter and Softer: Compared to his R-rated webseries. Averted in the Venezuelan dub.
- 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.
- Obligatory Swearing: In the Venezuelan Spanish dub, in the very first episode when he appears, he utters "son of a bitch" twice for some bizarre reason, despite the series being geared towards younger audiences. Some reruns in some countries remove it though.
- 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.
- Super Strength: Lobo's strength is close to that of Superman's.
- Tempting Fate: His "Who's gonna make me?" boast, which usually leads to appropriate trouble showing up. After the Preserver goes One-Winged Angel in response, he mentions he should probably quit saying it.
- Token Evil Teammate: When it seemed like Superman was killed, Lobo filled in to quash the rioting in Metropolis. Not surprisingly, this was a temporary arrangement.
- Where I Was Born and Razed: Provides the page quote. Apparently his high school science project involved blowing up his home planet.
- You Got Spunk: Towards Lois.
- Voiced By: Sharon LawrenceVoiced in Latin America by: Livia MéndezVoiced in French by: Céline Monsarrat
- 0% Approval Rating: No one on planet Almerac is fond of her, and there was a coup as soon as she went to Earth to bag Superman.
- Adaptational Modesty: Her original comic version wears often Stripperific outfits while in this version she is fully dressed.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Is excitedly happy when Lobo comes literally crashing through her doors.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: The queen of her planet, and on par with Superman.
- Best Her to Bed Her: Maxima will only mate with a man who can equal her in combat.
- The Caligula: Her self-righteous attitude didn't earn her any respect from her people.
- Character Development: By the end of her debut episode she learns to take her role as leader of her people more seriously, kinda.
- Cool Sword: Her main weapon is a sword.
- Dark Action Girl: She isn't afraid to fight and is not one of the good guys.
- Fiery Redhead: A redheaded royal with superpowers.
- Flying Brick: Her strength, speed, and durability are roughly equal to Superman's.
- Human Aliens: She looks like a normal human being.
- Lady of War: A warrior and a queen.
- Mind over Matter: Telekinesis is one of her powers.
- Psychic Powers: Telekinesis and telepathy.
- 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.
- Super Strength: Maxima possesses immense psionic powers which gives her super-strength and the power of flight.
- Tsundere: To Supes and other men she sets her eyes on.
- Villainesses Want Heroes: She wanted Superman.
- Yandere: To Superman.
Sergeant Corey Mills
- Voiced by: Xander BerkeleyVoiced in Latin America by: Eduardo RodríguezVoiced in French by: Patrick Osmond
- Ax-Crazy: Courtesy of the armor suit that makes him increasingly homicidal.
- Blood Knight: The suit makes him this by having him enjoy its power and combat usage against his adversaries.
- By-the-Book Cop: Mills before he became the test subject for the power armor.
- Canon Foreigner: He is a original character created for the series.
- Clothes Make the Maniac: Mills became violent, paranoid and obsessive after prolonged exposure to the armor.
- Fair Cop: He's quite handsome.
- Happily Married: Again, until the suit started to change him.
- Power Armor: The battle armor built by Lex Corp granted him several abilities:
- One-Way Visor: With Stat-O-Vision.
- Grenade Launcher
- Hand Blast: With Black Light lasers.
- Rocket Boots: Jetpack provided flight
- The Strength of Ten Men: More like twenty men. Enhanced physical strength at least on par with Superman as well as comparable durability allowing the pilot to battle the Man of Steel on an equal footing.
- Villain Has a Point: When he tries to kill Luthor in his office by unleashing his pet shark on him for backstabbing him, literally by placing a shutdown switch in the port on Mills' back and figuratively, and attempts to give him "The Reason You Suck" Speech, he was correct to point out that Luthor was like all the other criminals in Metropolis who picks on the little guy.
Jax-Ur and Mala
Jax-Ur and Mala
- Voiced by: Ron Perlman (Jax-Ur), Leslie Easterbrook, (Mala, "Blasts from the Past"), Sarah Douglas (Mala, "Absolute Power")Voiced in Latin America by: Daniel Jiménez (Jax-Ur, "Blasts from the Past"), Luis Miguel Pérez (Jax-Ur, "Absolute Power"), Citalli Godoy (Mala, "Blasts from the Past"), Claudia Nieto (Mala, "Absolute Power")Voiced in French by: Joël Martineau (Jax-Ur), Céline Monsarrat (Mala)
- Affably Evil: Jax-Ur stays unfailingly polite with Superman whenever they interact, and doesn't seem to particularly hate him, just fighting him because he is an obstacle. In Absolute Power, he actually is a respectable host willing to calmly discuss what he is doing on the planet, and even helps recover Kal-El's ship so he can get home until fighting becomes inevitable.
- All Women Are Lustful: Mala made it rather clear she was trying to get in Superman's pants before freeing Jax-Ur, and "Absolute Power" has a scene implying she is using one of her guards as a sex slave.
- Beard of Evil: Jax-Ur, thanks to being a General Zod expy.
- Beware the Superman: Like Superman, they are Kryptonians, with the same abilities. Unlike him however, they use their powers to force their reign on species they consider as inferior.
- Composite Character: This version of Jax-Ur shares more similarities with General Zod than his actual comic book counterpart. Similarly, Mala is closer to the second movie's Ursa.
- Dark Action Girl: Mala, obviously, being a female evil Kryptonian.
- Entitled to Have You: Before realizing Superman wasn't interested, Mala considered she was the obvious choice for his mate because of their common species. She feels flat-out insulted when she realizes he cares more about Lois.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: At the very least, Jax-Ur seems to genuinely care for Mala, seeing how he made efforts to save her even as they were about to be swallowed by a black hole. A bit downplayed with Mala, as while she seems to care about him to an extent, she also was willing to move on and start a new relationship with Superman before his refusal led her to free her previous lover.
- Eyepatch of Power: Jax-Ur sports one and is even shown only able to use heat vision with his one good eye.
- Flying Brick: Comes with being Kryptonians.
- Gender Flip: Mala was a male in the comic.
- Statuesque Stunner: Mala is tall for a woman, in fact slightly taller than Jax-Ur. She still looks rather pretty.
- Too Powerful to Live: A non-lethal variant, but Superman was well-aware keeping them on Earth would be too dangerous, since they were practically impossible to keep captive and just as strong as he was, so he sent them back to the Phantom Zone at the end of their first appearance. Possibly played straight in their second appearance, where they eventually end up swallowed by a black hole, something that realistically would kill them.
- Ungrateful Bastard: After Superman sent them back to the Phantom Zone, they managed to escape it through an anomaly and ended up into space, where they nearly died from suffocation. Some alien scientists saved them by bringing them on their ship, and then back to their planet. They thanked them by taking over the planet and behaving like tyrants.
- Unholy Matrimony: Jax-Ur an Mala are both in a relationship, and pretty evil.
- Utopia Justifies the Means: In their second appearance, they justify their oppression of the alien planet they took over by pointing out they made the society united, better organized and overall prosperous.
- Villainesses Want Heroes: Mala in her first episode, though it had less to do with him being a hero and more with them being the only two kryptonians on the planet. The moment he rejects her, she gives up and brings back Jax-Ur instead.
- White Hair, Black Heart: Mala is white-haired, and not a nice person.
- Woman Scorned: Mala was at least willing to pretend she could behave and treat humans properly as long as she had a chance with Superman. The moment he made it clear he had no such feelings toward her, she snapped and freed Jax-Ur.
- Your Cheating Heart: Despite being current lovers with Jax-Ur, Mala is ready to become mates with Superman.
Volcana (Claire Selton)
- Voiced by: Peri GilpinVoiced in Latin America by: Livia Méndez
- Anti-Villain: In her debut episode, the only reason she turned to crime was to collect enough money to leave the USA and escape the government agents trying to take her back as a living weapon. She is depicted as a conventional villain when Supergirl confronts her just a few episodes later.
- Bare Your Midriff: Her new outfit in Justice League.
- Canon Foreigner: She is a original character created for the series.
- Dark Action Girl: She's willing to fight and is also a villain.
- 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.
- Deadpan Snarker: At one point, when Superman catches her, she remarks "You're going to make me earn this, aren't you?"
- 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.
- Fiery Redhead: Has long red hair.
- Flying Firepower: She has pyrokinesis and some flight (possibly a form of telekinesis).
- Friendly Enemy: At the end of her debut episode she and Superman and shown to be on incredibly good terms, showing that they're friends now. They were playfully flirting and trading barbs. Volcana even blows a fiery kiss towards Superman and he smiles at it.
- 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.
- Playing with Fire: She can create streams and even crude shapes of fire (assuming there's air to fuel the combustion).
- Rapunzel Hair: Her hair falls past her knees.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: In Justice League she shows a willingness to kill using her powers, making her more sinister than before.
- Voiced by: Sherman HowardVoiced in Latin America by: Rafael MonsalveVoiced in French by: Mario Santini
- Body Horror: Transforming into his true form involves the substantially larger clawed beast clawing its way out of his peaceful form's mouth and leaving behind a hollow skin.
- The Collector: He collects living creatures who are the last of their kind. He doesn't target "sentient" creatures usually, but since both Superman's planet and Lobo's planet don't exist anymore...
- Creepy Monotone: He speaks with a robotic-like voice, without any inflection or emotion.
- No-Sell: Lobo punches his monstrous form in the face, to no effect.
- Not So Stoic: He loses it when he turns into his monstrous form after Superman and Lobo fended off all of his attempts to put them back in cage. He comments to Lobo that "a trash like him is not worth saving".
- One-Winged Angel: He loses it and turns into a hulking red monster with giant claws as a last resort measure to force Lobo and Superman back into their cage.
- Power Floats: His first form hovers over the ground.
- Thrown Out the Airlock: Lobo opens the ship's airlock with his hook and the Preserver is sucked in outer space.
- Voice of the Legion: He speaks with a reverbal voice.