Characters: Superman Villains
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The Super Villain
" You've made a mistake, Superman. A big mistake. A potentially fatal mistake. I run this town, Superman. Metropolis belongs to me. The people are mine, to nurture, or destroy, as I see fit. And they've forgotten that. They've looked at you, with your costume, and your flashy super-human powers... and they've forgotten who their master is. Who is number one! And I intend to remind them, Superman. I'm going to show them you're nothing, Superman. A card-board cut-out. One day, very soon now, you're going to die, Superman. You're going to be destroyed and you'll know who's doing it. Everyone in Metropolis will know. But no one will ever be able to prove it. I'll not be arrested, Superman. Not ever again. Remember, Superman. You're a dead man. It's just a question of how soon!"
and Superman's Arch-Enemy
. Alexander "Lex" Luthor is easily the smartest human being in the world (a "10th-level intelligence", according to Brainiac), and uses his incredible brainpower to match the Man of Steel's physical might. In The Silver Age of Comic Books
he was a Mad Scientist
who spent most of his time behind bars (to the point that his "costume" was a gray prison suit), later adopting a suit of Powered Armor
to fight Supes mano a mano. In The Dark Age of Comic Books
, he was re-envisioned as a Corrupt Corporate Executive
who sold the patents for his fantastic inventions to become not only incredibly rich, but the most powerful man in Metropolis, prior to the arrival of a certain hero.
He has since gone back and forth in terms of characterisation, at times the CEO of LexCorp, at times a Mad Scientist
, at times a classic Diabolical Mastermind
, and sometimes a combination of all three. He has faked his own death, and impersonated his supposed son, revealed himself as one of Superboy's genetic donors, and met Death
. He has been the leader of the Secret Society of Supervillains and the Injustice Gang, the mastermind of numerous plots against the heroes of Earth, a participant in General Lane's genocide of New Krypton, and briefly, President of the United States of America. He's even starred in his own spinoffs, serving as the Villain Protagonist
in Lex Luthor: Man of Steel
, and of the "Black Ring
" story arc in Action Comics
. In any incarnation, Luthor is driven by his burning hatred of Superman, which is frequently put down to envy over the fact that, no matter how rich Luthor becomes, no matter how much political power he attains, and no matter how hard he schemes, he will never, ever be
Luthor has appeared frequently in other media, featuring in video games, the original Superman films, Superman: The Animated Series
and Justice League
, Superman Returns
, and the television series Smallville
. He has also appeared in the animated films Superman: Doomsday
, and Superman/Batman: Public Enemies
. He is easily the most recognisable, and best known member of Superman's Rogues Gallery
, and was rated IGN's "4th Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time." Comic book critic Peter Sanderson has described Luthor as one of the few genuine megavillains, whose adventures cross genres, putting him a league alongside Professor Moriarty, Count Dracula, Hannibal Lecter, Doctor Doom
, and Darth Vader.
Has his own page
where tropes relating to him should go.
Alexander Luthor, Jr.
The son of the greatest hero of Earth-3, Alexander Luthor, and his wife Lois Lane, Alex was the only survivor of Earth-3 in the Crisis on Infinite Earths
. He was genetically altered after passing through the barrier to Earth-1, which caused him to age to adulthood in a matter of weeks and develop mysterious space-warping powers. He was helped to adulthood by the mysterious Monitor, under whose tutelage he helped defeat the Anti-Monitor and save The Multiverse
. With his world destroyed, he and other heroes without a world—Superman and Lois Lane of Earth-2 and Superboy of Earth-Prime—retired to a pocket dimension to live out their lives in peace.
Or so they thought. Driven mad by the isolation, Alex—who had never really learned morality, having aged so quickly—manipulated Superboy-Prime into helping them escape. He grew to resent the surviving Earth, which he viewed as flawed and imperfect, and in Infinite Crisis
set into motion a scheme to Take Over the World
. He was foiled by the world's heroes, Lex Luthor, and the unpredictable nature of Superboy-Prime, and was finally killed by Lex and the Joker.
- The Atoner: Tangent Comics Green Lantern brought him Back from the Dead for just enough time to once again stop a Multiversal Conqueror and save the world.
- Big Bad: Of Infinite Crisis.
- Bling of War: His golden costume/armour.
- The Chessmaster
- Dimension Lord: His goal is to gain control of the Multiverse, and create his own perfect vision of how things should be.
- Eviler than Thou: With Lex Luthor. While Alexander wins out in the short run, Lex gets his revenge in the end.
- Face-Heel Turn: Was driven quietly insane by years of isolation.
- Fallen Hero: Alex was a great hero, and helped to save the Multiverse. Than he ends up trying to take it over during Infinite Crisis.
- Foil: His origin—being rocketed to another world as an infant, and then growing up to save reality, is evocative of Superman's own. Given his origins as the son of the backwards Earth-3's Luthor, this makes sense.
- Freudian Excuse: His entire world died, he was aged to early adulthood in a matter of days, he's trapped in a pocket dimension with only three other people for company (two of them a married older couple, one a whiny teenager), and he's watching the surviving universe spin out of control. Is it any wonder he lost it?
- Green-Eyed Monster: Towards fellow Crisis on Infinite Earths survivors Superboy-Prime and Kal-L. He resented Prime for having the past that he could not, and Kal-L for having the future he could not.
- Insufferable Genius: Paar for the course for the Luthors. Alex is fully convinced that he is the smartest guy around, as he flaunts to Lex in the page quote.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: The Joker and Luthor's murder of him easily falls into this territory. When Alex came back as a Black Lantern his attempt at killing Superboy-Prime, after pointing out to him that he's nothing more than an in-joke also qualified.
- Kid Hero: Originally.
- Killed Off for Real: Murdered in a backalley by Luthor and The Joker after his plans fail. He stayed dead for the rest of the Post-Crisis continuity, his time as a Black Lantern aside.
- Manipulative Bastard: His manipulation of Prime and Kal-L turns him from The Woobie to full-blown Jerkass Woobie.
- Me's a Crowd: His Reality Warper powers could create duplicates of himself that could exist independently of his main body.
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: Justified by his control over the fabric of reality itself.
- Reality Warper: His passage through the Anti-Monitor's antimatter storm as an infant gave him power over matter and anti-matter.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Black Lantern Alex gives one of these to Superboy-Prime.
- Red-Headed Hero—>Evil Redhead
- The Resenter: Of the survivors of the Crisis.
- Shape Shifter: Able to take on the appearance of other beings, most notably Lex Luthor.
- Smug Snake: Alex isn't nearly as smart as he believes he is, takes it very poorly when his plan unravels, and ultimately fails to achieve any of his goals, before being unceremoniously killed by our Luthor and the Joker.
- Tempting Fate: Revealing himself to Luthor and mocking his intelligence? That's gonna bite you in the rear Alex.
- Tragic Mistake: He didn't invite Joker to join the Secret Society. Excluding a psycho that even super-powered villains fear? Big mistake.
- Underestimating Badassery: Does it to Luthor, Superman, Kal-L, Superboy, and The Joker. All prove to be major mistakes.
- Ungrateful Bastard: Nearly got shot by Batman for almost killing Nightwing. Wonder Woman, who recently murdered Maxwell Lord, stops him from pulling the trigger, but Alex walks away telling Wonder Woman it doesn't change anything.
- Unwitting Pawn: The Death of the New Gods mini-series revealed that he was subtly manipulated by the Source to recreate the Multiverse.
- Utopia Justifies the Means: He is willing to obliterate the current universe to create a better one.
Alexei Luthor (Earth- 2 Luthor)
"With the scientific marvels at my fingertips, I'm about to make myself master of the world!"
Lex Luthor's counterpart in the Alternate Universe
of Earth-2. He vexed the Earth-2 Superman for decades as a Mad Scientist
and war profiteer. Unlike Lex, Alexei was from eastern Europe and had a full head of red hair, but was otherwise very similar. In the Crisis on Infinite Earths
, he was killed by Brainiac for questioning his plans while Lex smugly looked on.
- Arch-Enemy: Of Earth-2's Superman.
- Arms Dealer: In his first appearance, where he was a war profiteer and weapons merchant.
- Badass Normal: Like our Luthor, Alexei has no superpowers. Also like our Luthor, he's able to be a constant pain in the backside of his world's Superman despite this.
- Despotism Justifies the Means
- Diabolical Mastermind
- Eviler Counterpart: During the Silver Age, when our Luthor just wanted to humiliate Superman, Alexei was still actively seeking a way to kill Kal-L. One of their teamups ended badly because our Luthor took issue with Alexei's brand of evil.
- Evil Foreigner: From somewhere in Eastern Europe.
- Evil Genius
- Evil Redhead: Had a full head of red hair.
- Eviler than Thou: With our Luthor. This caused a falling out between the two of them, when our Luthor objected to Alexei's plan to destroy both Earth's 1 and 2.
- Insufferable Genius: Bragged about his brilliance all the time.
- Kill All Humans: Tried to blow up both Earths 1 & 2 in one Silver Age story, an act that would have resulted in the deaths of all humans in those two universes.
- Mad Scientist
- Perpetual Frowner: Usually portrayed with a scowl.
- Retcon: Like Kal-L, Alexei's entire existence was a Retcon. Up until the late 1960s, the comics assumed that there was only one Superman, and all the stories from 1938 to the present were about him. The Superman comics from before around 1950 were then retconned to take place on Earth-2, so there were two Superman and two Luthors.
- Smug Snake: As was paar for the course for Silver and Bronze Age Luthor.
- Super Intelligence: Much like Earth-1's Lex Luthor, Alexei is the smartest man on Earth-2.
- Take Over the World: His main goal.
- Villain Team-Up: With Lex Luthor and Ultraman on occasion.
- War for Fun and Profit: Started out as a war profiteer who set two small European nations against one another so that he could profit from the fallout and arm both sides.
The clone of a ruthless gangster named Floyd Barstow, he turned to crime, claiming that he inherited Barstow's nature. He has the power to change his physical structure to match whatever he touches.
- Cloning Blues
- Even Evil Has Standards: He's only interested in getting money, and objects to his teammates when they are willing to kill.
- In the Blood: Becomes a villain due to being the clone of a criminal. On the other hand, while his template was a murderer, he just wants money and tries to fight his genetic influence, like when he subconsciously helped Guardian once.
- Shape Shifter
- Shout-Out: To Marvel's Absorbing Man.
Atomic Skull I & II
Atomic Skull I
AKA: Albert Michaels
A scientist with S.T.A.R. Labs with a rare seizure-inducing nervous disorder, Albert Michaels turned to a criminal syndicate who implanted him with a radioactive device that turned his nervous shorts into atomic blasts. Donning a costume and skull mask, Michaels became a super-villain and took over the syndicate, flying a skull-shaped hovercraft.
- Energy Blasts
- Evil Genius
- I Love Nuclear Power
- Retcon: Post-Crisis, his powers were the result of seeking immortality and mutated himself. It is not known if his Pre-Crisis/Silver Age encounters with Superman still happened in the Post-Crisis universe as his first Post-Crisis appearance was in Captain Atom, yet his history with S.T.A.R. Labs and SKULL remained as established in The DC Comics Encyclopedia.
Atomic Skull II
AKA: Joseph Martin
Joseph Martin was an ordinary college student until he was caught in the blast radius of an alien "gene-bomb" that awakened his latent metagene, granting him super-strength and the ability to fire energy blasts, but also causing brain damage, turning his body's soft tissues invisible, and wreathing him head in green flame. Due to his brain injury, Martin believed he was the old 12-episode movie hero "the Atomic Skull" and that Superman was his archenemy, "Doctor Electron".
AKA: Paul Rooney
A criminal who was taken down by Maggie Sawyer in the past, losing his right arm in the process. Obsessed with revenge, he put on an armored suit and attached a thought-controlled energy cannon to his stump.
Bizarro & Bizarro World
Bizarro has had many origins over the decades, but one thing remains consistent: he is an imperfect copy of Superman created by science gone awry. Bizarro has powers similar to Superman but lacks his sense of justice and has difficulty telling right from wrong, often reveling in destruction for its own sake. Still, his deformed features combined with his childlike lack of guile sometimes makes him a sympathetic figure—sort of a modern-day Frankenstein's Monster
for his own take on the situation.
- Antihero: On Bizarro World, where he's the only superhero they have.
- Badass Cape
- Bad Am Good And Good Am Bad
- Beware the Silly Ones: Although Bizarro is sometimes reduced to comic relief, in more serious stories, he's exactly as terrifying as you would imagine as an angry toddler with the powers of Superman would be.
- The Brute: Fills this role in the Superman Revenge Squad. During Last Son he even battles Zod's Brute, Non, one on one.
- Chest Insignia: A backwards Superman shield. He sometimes wears a sign proclaiming "Bizarro #1" overtop of it.
- Clone Degeneration
- Depending on the Artist: Is his skin rocky, just white, or zombie-like? Are his costume's colors the same as Superman's, or darker shades? And whether he's wearing the "Bizarro #1" pendant.
- Dumb Muscle: Possibly the single stupidest character in the Superman comics, leaving him open to manipulation by Luthor, and any other villain with a reasonable IQ.
- Evil Knockoff: Though who is responsible for creating him varies—Luthor and the Joker are the two responsible in current continuity—his status as a direct, villainous ripoff of Superman remains the same.
- Friendly Enemy: Is sometimes one to Superman.
- Hulk Speak
- Idiosyncrazy: His obsession with opposites - though this in only present in some versions.
- Kryptonite Factor: Blue Kryptonite, which, depending on who is writing, either kills Bizarro or makes him smarter.
- Legacy Character: There have actually been multiple Bizarros. In Pre-Flashpoint continuity, there have been three Bizarros.
- Lightning Bruiser
- Monster Progenitor: No matter where he comes from, the first appearance of Bizarro is usually followed by legions of others, created by him.
- 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.
- Oddball Doppelganger: His original conception, though he's since been used as a "straight villain" more often.
- Pet the Dog: He genuinely cares about those he considers friends. Many writers and adaptations even portray him as not even hating Superman or Lois that much, and in fact seeing them as friends.
- Psychopathic Manchild
- Red Baron: The Idiot of Steel
- Superheroes Wear Tights/Underwear of Power: Both are present in his knockoff Superman costume.
- Superpower Lottery: Like Superman, he's a big winner, possessing most of the Man of Steel's powers, though with some differences.
- Tyke Bomb: Lex Luthor's intention for Bizarro in almost every version. Subverted in that it never actually works.
- Villainous Friendship: With Batzarro.
Bizarro was lonely until the day he discovered that the rays of a blue sun give him one extra superpower, the ability to duplicate himself. He used this to populate a cubic planet with other monsters who are just as logically warped as he is.
- Bizarro Universe: Obviously.
- Enemy Civil War: Not all of Bizarro's duplicates get along with him.
- Lovable Coward: Yellow Lantern, the Bizarro version of the courageous Green Lantern. Strays into Dirty Coward territory during the rare moments when he's not played for laughs.
- Only Sane Man: Zibarro. Seeing as he's the Bizarro of the world of Bizarro, this is to be expected.
- Opposite-Sex Clone: The female half of the planet's population.
- Perpetual Smiler: The Bizarro version of the normally grumpy Batman, who even has a smiley face symbol on his chest in place of a bat symbol.
- Save the Villain: Superman often saves Bizarro World from destruction, even though it would make his life much easier to just let it be destroyed.
- Sdrawkcab Name: Averted with most of the Bizarro characters themselves, but played straight with the name of their planet, which is sometimes called "Htrae". Since no one can actually pronounce that, most adaptations simply refer to it as The Bizarro World.
- The Bizarro version of Mr. Mxyzptlk is named Mr. Kltpzyxm, which has been used in the past to exploit the original's Weaksauce Weakness.
- Self-Duplication: All other Bizarros are duplicates of the original.
- World Shapes: A cube.
Bloodsport I, II & III
(For Alex Trent, click here.)
AKA: Robert DuBois, Alex Trent, Unknown
A gun-toting killer who can pull all kinds of weapons out of his pocket thanks to advanced technology. There have been three of these guys so far. The first one, Robert DuBois was an African-American man who dodged the draft during Vietnam. When his brother went in his place and was crippled, DuBois developed symptoms of PTSD and was in and out of psychiatric hospitals for years, before going on a rampage that was halted by Superman. Following his imprisonment, the Bloodsport identity was adopted by Alex Trent, a member of the Aryan Brotherhood. When Trent was defeated and jailed, he and DuBois got into a boxing match, which Trent won by teleporting in his weapons. He killed DuBois and was later burned to death by his Aryan Brotherhood "friends" for needing weapons to defeat a black man. The identity of Bloodsport and the technology associated with it have since been adopted by a third, unnamed, criminal mercenary.
- BFG: All the Bloodsport's have featured these in their arsenals.
- Cheaters Never Prosper: Trent was killed by his own allies for cheating in his fight with DuBois, thus showing weakness to an "inferior race".
- Dark Age Of Super Names: Bloodsport is very dark age.
- Depleted Phlebotinum Shells: Both Bloodsport's have used Kryptonite bullets as a part of their arsenal.
- The Gunslinger
- Hyperspace Arsenal
- Killed Off for Real: Both DuBois and Trent.
- Legacy Character: DuBois wore the outfit first, then Trent, and following both of their deaths, and unknown mercenary adopted the costume.
- The Mentally Ill: DuBois suffered from PTSD like symptoms, and had a history of institutionalisation.
- Phony Veteran: DuBois claimed to be a veteran in order to assauge his sense of guilt.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: The second Bloodsport, Alex Trent, was a member of the Aryan Brotherhood, and held all the beliefs you would expect somebody like that to hold.
- Scary Black Man: Robert DuBois was a physically intimidating African-American man, who could pull weapons out of a literal Hyperspace Arsenal and posed a challenge to Superman. Yeah, he qualifies.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Robert DuBois adopted the persona of one, after discovering that his brother had become a quadruple amputee, developing an obsession with the Vietnam War and evidencing symptoms of PTSD. He would later claim that he and his brother both served, and that the people of Metropolis were wasting the freedoms that they had been hurt protecting.
- Shooting Superman: He actually can, as his guns tend to be very powerful and/or use kryptonite ammo.
- Survivors Guilt: DuBois suffered from a horrible case of this after his brother was crippled in his place in Vietnam.
- Those Wacky Nazis: Trent was a fairly hardcore Neo-Nazi
- Unwitting Pawn: DuBois was a pawn of Luthor's, who equipped him with most of his gear.
AKA: Vril Dox I
Brainiac circa New Krypton
"I will be everything there ever has been, Kryptonian."
One of Superman's longest-running, and most enduring adversaries, Brainiac has taken a number of incarnations over the decades. Initially a Coluan super scientist named Vril Dox, he was later turned into a series of robots, a human mentalist named Milton Fine (who was possessed by Vril Dox's conciousness), and a holographic energy being from the future. Eventually, these were all revealed to be probes sent by the real Coluan Brainiac in search of the last Kryptonian. In most guises, Brainiac is a collector and cataloger who takes samples of things, sometimes destroying what remains. Some of his samples include shrunken cities he keeps in bottles, most notably, the shrunken city of Kandor from Superman's home world. During the 1960s he often acted in concert with fellow Evil Genius
, Lex Luthor; Post-Crisis, the two of them have usually been positioned as rivals, both with one another, and for the title of Superman's archenemy
Brainiac's powers and abilities have changed as often as his origins and personality. During the 1960s he possessed no genuine superpowers, but utilised advanced technology, such as his iconic force-shield belt to fluster the Man of Steel. In the Bronze Age
, when he was first reimagined as a robot, he became a Walking Armoury
, equipped with a wide variety of alien weaponry, while following the Crisis on Infinite Earths
and his possession of Milton Fine he became a powerful psychic. Subsequent media portrayed him as a technopathic intelligence, capable of possessing almost any technology, a mechanical giant called Brainiac 13 who overrode Metropolis' entire power grid, and finally as a Coluan cyborg, with the ability to match Superman blow-for-blow. His bodies have been even more numerous; in addition to Milton Fine and countless robots, he has possessed Lex Luthor, Lena Luthor, Doomsday, and even, thanks to time travel, himself. One thing that has remained consistent about Brainiac is his status as both one of the smartest beings in the galaxy (a "12th Level Intelligence"), and one of the worst members of Superman's Rogues Gallery
, with a death toll numbering in the billions.
One of the few Superman adversaries not named Luthor to have actual name recognition in the general public, Brainiac and his various future selves and alternate universe counterparts have played major roles in numerous Superman stories over the years, including Whatever Happened to The Man of Tomorrow?
, JLA: Earth-2
, Panic in the Skies
, Our Worlds At War
, the self-titled Brainiac
arc, and New Krypton
, to name just a few. He has appeared frequently in other media, including television shows WesternAnimation.Superman The Animated Series
, Justice League
, and the animated film Superman Unbound
, as well as video games and novels. He's also the source of the term "brainiac", a portmanteau
of "brain" and "maniac". In 2009, IGN rated Brainiac the 17th Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time.Now has his own page
onto which tropes about him should go.
AKA: Kenny Braverman
He was one of Clark Kent's friends in high school, but he grew increasingly jealous over Clark always overshadowing him in sports. He was also berated by his father for always coming in second place. He grew up to be a mercenary, and developed the ability to channel energy, including kryptonite radiation. He discovered Clark's secret and kidnapped him, accusing him of using his powers to cheat back when they were kids. Clark protested that he did not have his powers back then, but Kenny refused to listen and challenged him to a fight in an arena full of kryptonite. Clark pushed past the pain and defeated him with his superior fighting skill. Furious, Kenny tried to absorb the electricity powering the arena, but overloaded and died. Despite the hell Kenny had put him through, Clark mourned the loss of his old friend.
AKA: Hank Henshaw
Hank Henshaw and three other astronauts were accidentally exposed to cosmic radiation and given superpowers. Hank was the only one stable enough to survive, an energy being capable of inhabiting machinery. He initially lacked control over his energy form, accidentally wreaking havoc on all machines around his host; he decided to leave Earth by hijacking a small portion of Superman's Kryptoniam birthing matrix/starship. Combining the Kryptonian technology with traces of Superman's DNA from the rocket, he made a Cyborg Superman body. Over time in space, he went mad and blamed Superman for "exiling" him, developing the delusion that Superman had trapped Henshaw in his own birthing matrix and sent it into space believing the machinery too complex for Henshaw to manipulate. He returned to Earth and posed as Superman during his death long enough to prepare for an invasion. His destruction of Coast City was the last straw that drove Hal Jordan
mad, making him effectively a nemesis for both heroes. He has since become Grandmaster of the Manhunters, and served in the Sinestro Corps, making life miserable for Superman and Green Lantern alike.
For the New 52
version of Cyborg Superman, see Supergirl's character page
- Alliterative Name: In proud comic book tradition.
- Arc Villain: Was The Big Bad of Reign of the Supermen, and a major player in several other story arcs.
- Ax-Crazy: Completely insane
- Back from the Dead: Claimed to be Superman, back from the dead; has since died and come back many, many times.
- Badass Cape: As part of his faux-Superman outfit. He continues to wear one even after joining the Sinestro Corps.
- Body Surf: Henshaw's ability to project his conciousness into any mechanical device or clone body is one of the reasons for his apparent inability to die.
- Brought to You by the Letter "S": Has featured the "S" symbol on his chest.
- Captain Ersatz: In his first appearance, he and his crew were stand-ins for the Fantastic Four, with Henshaw as Mister Fantastic. He brings up the "ironic" similarities in an Intercompany Crossover.
Hank: While residing in your computers I learned we share much in common. You four were bombarded by unique cosmic rays during a brave mission into space. My wife, I, and two of our friends experienced a similar fate while on the space shuttle Excalibur. The radiation that invaded our craft was both unexpected and unexplained. You four were blessed with tremendous powers and abilities. As were we, at first. Ultimately, though, my team lost their lives to the effects of the radiation. I survived as a nomadic intelligence, always forging new bodies of circuits and alloys. You swore to use your new for the good of mankind. Me, I resented my fate and the loss of my human body. I didn't fight for humanity. I declared war on it and its greatest champion".
- Chest Insignia: Originally had a version of Superman's "S" shield. He later replaced it with the Sinestro Corps symbol.
- Cult: Facilitated the creation of a cult that venerated him as the reborn Superman. This cult later clashed with one that venerated the Eradicator.
- Cyborg: Ironically, while his pseudo-mechanical nature would theoretically make him more powerful than Superman, it actually makes him weaker as far as being a Flying Brick is concerned as Kryptonian cybernetics are actually less durable then superpowered Kryptonian flesh-and-blood (in one instance, Green Lantern hit him with an energy blast; it melted some of the mechanical portions of his body while leaving the organic parts intact).
- His cybernetic parts are more of a Glass Cannon. They were shown to make him stronger during Reign of the Supermen, but even then, they were easily damaged.
- Dead Person Impersonation: What he thought he was doing to Superman following the events of The Death of Superman.
- Death Seeker: Allied himself with Sinestro and the Anti-Monitor in the hopes he will die in battle, and the latter promised to kill him if he survived (for which Henshaw thanked him).
- Demonic Possession: Of Alpha Lantern Boodika.
- Dragon with an Agenda/The Starscream: Once served a tribunal that hoped to bring Superman to trial, in this role. The tribunal wanted to try Superman for the crimes of Krypton; Henshaw was just looking to seize the tribunal's planet for his own uses.
- The Dreaded: So much so that Sinestro himself recruited him into the Sinestro Corps.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: After countless times of escaping death, after being one of the most evil and powerful of supervillains, after clashing and allying himself with the some of the greatest powers of the DC universe, both good and evil, how does Hank Henshaw finally die? He makes the mistake of transferring into a character who already has a soul, and then is soul-killed which Word of God says is permanent. What makes it worse is that he is killed by a supporting Green Lantern character who has only made about a dozen appearances total, and while on the astral plane he was just an ordinary human; reflective of his soul. So his end was in a curbstomp fight of a trained warrior killing an elderly man.
- Enemy Mine: Forced into one with Superman during Reign of Doomsday.
- Energy Being: Henshaw's real form is that of a Pure Energy conciousness that can project itself into new bodies.
- Evil Twin: Partially. His human parts are cloned from Superman's, though his mechanical ones help to screw up the image.
- Evil vs. Evil: During his battle with Cyborg-Doomsday during Reign of Doomsday.
- Flying Brick: Can and does mimic all of Superman's powers, including Flight, Nigh-Invulnerability, Super Strength, Super Speed, Super Senses and Eye Beams. That's in addition to his technopathic and psychic abilities.
- Freudian Excuse: Henshaw and his crewmen were exposed to energy that mutated their bodies and warped their minds. Two of his friends committed suicide, and while his wife was apparently cured, she proceeded to kill herself after Henshaw appeared to her in robotic form. And then, if that wasn't bad enough, he was forced from Earth after a conflict with Superman, leaving him isolated and free to indulge in his paranoia. It doesn't justify his grudge against Superman, but it certainly explains his madness.
- Go Out with a Smile: Any time he believes somebody has managed to kill him.
- Green Lantern Ring: Yellow Lantern Ring, actually. Having joined the Sinestro Corps War, and become Grandmaster of the Manhunters, the Cyborg-Superman gained a fistful of Yellow Power Rings taken from deceased Sinestro Corpsmen.
- Irrational Hatred: Henshaw's hatred of Superman is based on nothing but delusion. He blames the Man of Steel for causing his accident, for driving his friends to suicide, and for exiling Henshaw from Earth. None of these things were Superman's fault, but Henshaw is long past caring, and his hatred of Superman has reached frankly rabid levels.
- It's Personal: In a variation Henshaw's loathing of Superman is one of the few things he has left, while Superman sees Henshaw as just another enemy. Similarly, Hal Jordan hates the Cyborg-Superman with a passion, while Henshaw is far more interested in pursuing his grudge against the Man of Steel, seeing Green Lantern as just another hero out to stop him.
- Joker Immunity: No matter how many times Henshaw is killed, he always comes back, much to his own chagrin.
- Kryptonite Factor: Donwplayed. Kryptonite will shut down Henshaw's organic parts, but has no effect on the Kryptonian alloys that compose most of his body.
- Lightning Bruiser: As a Kryptonian/machine hybrid this is to be expected.
- The Mentally Ill: Henshaw suffers from delusions, depression, suicidal impulses, a completely irrational hatred of Superman, and is prone to mental breakdowns and fits of rage.
- Nuke 'em: Tried to nuke Metropolis as part of his plan to rebuild it as a new Engine City.
- Psychic Powers
- Red Baron: Styled himself "The Man of Tomorrow" when posing as Superman reborn.
- Revenge Before Reason: Wants revenge on Superman for things that never happened in the first place.
- Rogues-Gallery Transplant: Became more associated with Green Lantern following his attack on Coast City. His last Pre-New 52 appearance, however, was in the Superman Family Crossover, Reign of Doomsday.
- Shape Shifter Weapon: His mechanical parts can shift into almost any weapon Henshaw imagines.
- Skull for a Head: Three quarters of his face is taken up by a grinning metal skull.
- Superpower Lottery: Even more so then Superman. Given that he has a cybernetic version of Superman's body, he possesses all of his powers as well as his original technopathic powers and the ability to transplant his consciousness into mechanical devices, and create new bodies. More recently, he was given multiple Yellow power rings as a member of the Sinestro Corps.
- Technopath: Can control most technology and transplant his conciousness into mechanical devices. This has allowed him to create new weapons at will, gain control of the Manhunters, and at one point, operate one billion robots at a time.
- Two-Faced: Half-machine, half-Superman to be precise.
- Unwanted Revival: The Manhunters do this to him in the aftermath of the Sinestro Corps War, much to his anger and disappointment.
- Villain Team-Up: Has worked with Mongul I and the Sinestro Corps.
- Villainous Breakdown: About once per arc.
- Voluntary Shape Shifting: A mild variant. While his bodies inevitably look like a cross between Superman and the Terminator, how much of him is mechanical vs how much of him is flesh, as well as the composition and form of the alloys involved, is subject to change.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: He really does not, and a lot of his motivation is trying to goad people into destroying him. This is a relatively recent motivation. Prior to the Manhunter arc, he had more generic revenge/world domination-related motives.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Is sometimes characterised as such, particularly during the Sinestro Corps War, where all he wants to do is die.
Doomsday & Doomslayer
AKA: The Ultimate
A monster who showed up on Earth one day and started trashing everything for no reason. After tangling with a number of outclassed heroes, he found his match in Superman, with the two battling to the death (giving Superman his only canonical death
). Doomsday is incredibly fast, strong, and invulnerable. He is cunning but not intelligent. More importantly, he has the ability to regenerate from any injury, even death, and adapts new defenses in the process so he can't be killed the same way twice. Eventually, it was revealed that Doomsday was engineered on Krypton and meant to be the ultimate life form. In spite of this, Doomsday has suffered Villain Decay
. Even though he should be getting more powerful with each fight, Superman has been more and more successful in each rematch.
During the events of Reign of Doomsday
, an attempt was made to undo this villain decay, by unleashing four clones of Doomsday, each of which effortlessly defeated one of Steel, The Eradicator, the Cyborg-Superman & Supergirl, and Superboy. The mastermind of this plot was Lex Luthor, but his plan was hijacked by the Doomslayer, a sentient Doomsday clone who aimed to destroy himself, the other Doomsdays, and anybody else who had knowledge of them, all in the name of saving the universe from Doomsday.
- Achilles' Heel: Granting him sentience weakens him, as it allows him to feel fear and doubt.
- Averted with the Doomslayer, which was sentient, but insane.
- Adaptive Ability
- Apologetic Attacker: The Doomslayer.
- Ax-Crazy: Doomsday was tortured into total insanity by his creator. The Doomslayer clone is in the same boat, but retains his sentience.
- Back from the Dead: Constantly.
- Badass: Took out the whole then-current Justice League and then fought Superman himself to a draw in a fight to the death? Check.
- The Big Bad: The Doomslayer clone was the Big Bad and Final Boss of both "Reign of Doomsday", and the Post-Crisis Superman title as a whole.
- Breath Weapon: Eventually gained fire-breath.
- The Brute: Usually.
- Cloning Blues: Doomslayer, who hates being a clone of a monster, and fighting against Doomsday's rage.
- Cyborg: The clone that was sent after Cyborg-Superman during Reign of Doomsday was able to mimic his technopathic powers, and create mechanical limbs and weapons for itself.
- Diabolus Ex Nihilo \ The Spook: Showed up out of freaking nowhere and absolutely wrecked the Justice League, Supergirl, Cadmus, Metropolis, and Superman.
- Dumb Muscle: Up to Eleven in that he killed Superman, but he is a quite animalistic being with no other thought than to destroy any living thing it encounters because they threaten his existence.
- Thanks to his Adapative Ability however, he "Evolved" sentience due to being outwitted over and over. He then promptly decided his old way of life was stupid and underwent a Heel-Face Turn.
- Enemy to All Living Things: He attacks until a planet is completely extinct, then moves to another one. Rinse and repeat. He typically starts with the greatest threats he can perceive, motivated by survival.
- Flying Brick: During Reign of Doomsday.
- Freudian Excuse: From the moment he was born, he was left on the Death World known as prehistoric Krypton and killed an ungodly number of times. He remembers every single horrifying moment.
- From a Single Cell
- Generic Doomsday Villain: Trope Namer. His sole reason for being was The Death of Superman. And to defeat Superman, Doomsday had to be overtly strong and feral to the point he has basically no personality, being comparable to an angry stampeding animal.
- The contrast between Doomsday and the rest of Superman's foes is touched upon in the story, with Superman fearing he might have to delve into He Who Fights Monsters territory.
- Genius Bruiser: The Doomslayer clone, which masterminded a plot aimed at destroying Earth, and could operate technology designed by Luthor.
- Godzilla Threshold: Doomsday is so far the only member of Superman's rogues gallery for whom lethal force is basically the only viable option 99% of the time, as he's an unthinking, unreasoning beast who will not stop for anything else.
- Healing Factor
- Hollywood Evolution: Bertron's method of creating Doomsday was to keep launching clones of the same baby into the hostile environment over and over again until the baby "evolved" into the ultimate survivor.
- In a Single Bound
- It Only Works Once: He's even developed an immunity to the Omega Beam.
- Kill All Humans: Doomslayer wants to kill the entire population of Earth in order to make sure that all knowledge of how to create Doomsday clones is lost.
- Lightning Bruiser: Can overpower and outrun people like Superman and Darkseid.
- Mind over Matter: The clone sent after Superboy in Reign of Doomsday possessed a copy of his tactile telekinesis.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Doomsday, Doomslayer.
- Nigh Invulnerable: Hurt him with something once and it won't work again.
- Omnicidal Maniac
- Really 700 Years Old: Was born in prehistoric times.
- Kyptonian prehistory at that, putting him closer to Time Abyss
- Sealed Evil in a Can: He was living Sealed Evil, but ultimately broke out of his own can. He keeps getting re-sealed in stronger cans (we hope!).
- Spikes of Villainy: That can extend and stab Superman.
- Stripped to the Bone: Happened to him once.
- Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum: The Doomslayer aims to kill not only himself, but all other versions of Doomsday, and anybody who might be able to recreate Doomsday, leading him to try and kill the entire planet earth.
- Super Soldier
- Technopath: One of the clones from Reign of Doomsday possessed these powers, and used them to defeat Cyborg-Superman.
- Took a Level in Badass: The Doomsday clones and the Doomslayer in "Reign of Doomsday", which brought Doomsday back up to his previously badass levels; in fact it took The Eradicator taking control of the original Doomsday to turn the odds in the favour of the heroes.
- Ultimate Life Form: Was created to be the strongest possible being ever created.
- Unstoppable Rage
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Doomslayer, who wants to end the threat that Doomsday poses to the universe, by killing himself, the other Doomsdays, and everyone who knows about them.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: At his very core, he's an extremely frightened and traumatized toddler who has come to view every single bit of life as a threat thanks to how he came to be what he is now. The Doomslayer is a more traditional example, aiming to kill himself, the other Doomsdays, and Earth because he hurts too much to think straight about it.
General Sam Lane
Lois Lane's father, and a high-ranking U.S. General. Originally portrayed as a gruff, but well-meaning father, who sacrificed his life to save the world during the Imperiex War, he was retconned into a fanatical, anti-alien bigot during the events of the New Krypton
arc. His extreme hatred and racism led him to head Project 7734, a conspiracy aiming for the destruction of Superman, all other Kryptonians, all other "alien threats", and any of their sympathizers. Eventually, he committed suicide, turning himself into a martyr for the Anti-Kryptonian cause.
- Absolute Xenophobe: Lane wants all alien life eradicated, and just chooses to start with New Krypton. He makes it clear that given the chance Superman, Supergirl, and every alien he can get his hands on will be terminated.
- Abusive Dad: Cold and remote when they were children, he used Lucy's desire for his affections to turn her into Superwoman when she was an adult.
- Ate His Gun: How he kills himself.
- Bad Boss: Demands everything from his subordinates and gives nothing back. When one of his units starts displaying actual human qualities he has Reactron kill them all, and he regularly tries to threaten Luthor with death if he doesn't cooperate.
- Berserk Button: Mentioning his tortured relationship with Lois.
- The Big Bad: One of the top contenders in New Krypton
- Big Bad Duumvirate: Lane is far more dependent upon Luthor than he cares to admit. While in theory Luthor is The Dragon and Lane The Big Bad, in practise, Lane could not win without Luthor, and has to cede quite a bit of authority to him, causing their relationship to trend towards this trope. That his plan works is due not to his own brilliance (though good luck telling him that), but because Luthor does all the heavy lifting.
- Big Bad Ensemble: Shares the role with Brainiac and Zod in New Krypton. While he ultimately outmanouveres them both, and blows New Krypton sky-high, the resultant open war with Zod is not one that he can win.
- Big Bad Wannabe: Take away Luthor and Lane is left with no ability to enact his plans. Worse still, when it comes to open warfare he and his Human Defence Corps have no real ability to stand up to Zod's forces, putting Superman in the position of having to bail them out.
- Captain Ersatz: His actions in New Krypton retcon him into a Captain Ersatz of the Hulk's enemy, General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross, with even fewer redeeming qualities.
- Driven to Suicide: Kills himself in an attempt at martyrdom, seconds before Kara and Connor would have arrested him.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He's desperate for Lois to understand what he did and to okay his actions.
- Evil Old Folks: Somewhere in his sixties
- Faking the Dead: After the Imperiex War and before New Krypton
- Fantastic Racism: He sees all Kryptonians and those similar to them, like Mon-El, as threats to national security. He does not see any difference between bad guys like General Zod or good guys like Flamebird, and tries to argue that Kryptonians are inherently violent.
- Final Solution: Uses Reactron and red solar radiation in order to effect a full-scale genocide of the people of Kandor, even going so far as to order that any prisoners his forces take be executed.
- General Ripper: Massively so in New Krypton, where he becomes a less moral General Ross. He's convinced that the Kryptonians are a threat, long before they establish themselves as such, and sets out to force everybody else to see things his way.
- Glory Hound: A big part of Lane's agenda is simply about turning himself into a hero.
- Government Conspiracy: He's part of a conspiracy within the US Army to start a war with New Krypton without presidential authorisation.
- Heroic Sacrifice: How he was believed to have met his end during the Imperiex War. Later retconned into him faking his death.
- Jerk Ass
- Kill Sat: Owns a few.
- Killed Off for Real: In the Post-Crisis, Pre-New 52 continuity, General Lane stayed dead.
- Knight Templar: On the subject of aliens and Kryptonians in particular. He's willing to kill not only them, but all of their sympathisers.
- Knight Templar Parent: He doesn't know Clark's secret, but he gave him a hard time when he and Lois announced their engagement. So far as he knew, Lois wasted the best years of her life pining after Superman before settling for some mild-mannered reporter.
- Moral Myopia: Guys like Reactron and Metallo, who regularly kill civillians, and in Reactron's case, murdered an ex-girlfriend for leaving him? Good soldiers. Kryptonians responding to the violence he instigates? Rabid dogs who have to be put down in the name of national security. This is most obvious when Kara is threatening to kill him in retaliation for the genocide of her race, and Lane tries to use her anger as "proof" that all Kryptonians are inherently evil. Apparently she was just supposed to sit there and take it while he annihilated her race.
- Not So Different: From General Dru-Zod II of Krypton. Lois calls him out on this, pointing out that from the Kryptonian perspective he's the "one alien" that he thinks will bring ruin to Earth.
- Old Soldier: His original portrayal, pre-retcon.
- Parental Favouritism: Clearly favours Lois over Lucy.
- Patriotic Fervour: Convinces himself that New Krypton is a threat to the USA, then sets out to prove he is right, killing thousands in the name of defending American security.
- Police State: Does his best to do this to Metropolis and then the USA as a whole during the events of New Krypton.
- Retcon: His villainous portrayal in New Krypton, and indeed, his being alive at all.
- Shipper on Deck: Supports the idea that Lois should marry his right hand man, John Corben aka Metallo. This is only because he sees John as the son he always wanted.
- Sink the Lifeboats: His order to execute any Kryptonian who is captured amounts to this.
- Smug Snake: Very much so. Lane is convinced of not only his invincibility, but of the fact that the world is behind him. Finding out that they aren't comes as a massive shock to him.
- Ungrateful Bastard: Given that he ignores the fact that Superman and friends save the world on a daily basis.
- We Have Reserves: A belief that he applies to his own daughter, Lucy.
- "Well Done, Son" Guy: He wanted Lois to be a boy. Part of the reason Lois is an Action Girl these days.
General Zod II
AKA: Zed Avruiskin
The iron-fisted ruler of the Balkan republic of Pokolistan, Zed Avruiskin was the son of two Soviet astronauts. While on a mission in space, Zed's mother was exposed to kryptonite radiation which ultimately killed her, but not before she gave birth to her son. Due to the radiation, Zed was born with a bizarre condition: yellow sunlight weakened him, but red sunlight gave him the same powers as a Kryptonian, which made him an ideal tool for the Soviet government. One day, while meditating, he made mental contact with a Kryptonian criminal trapped in the Phantom Zone
—an alternate universe version of General Dru-Zod (see below).
After the USSR fell, Zed—now calling himself General Zod—obtained a suit of armor that filtered red rays from Earth's sun, allowing him use of his powers even outside. He seized control of the tiny republic of Pokolistan and used his position to wage a personal war against Superman, believing that the meteor shower that killed his mother was the one that brought Kal-El to Earth. Zod died in battle against Superman, his powers failing him at a critical moment.
See the Phantom Zone Criminals, below, for more on the original Zod.
- Badass Cape: On his armour.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Captured and tortured Bizarro when he could not get his hands on the real Superman.
- Cool Helmet/Cool Mask: Wears a Darth Vader style gas mask and helmet combo.
- Darth Vader Clone: Looks like Vader wearing red.
- Demonic Possession: Might be possessed by the alternate universe Zod.
- Dirty Commies: As a Soviet counterpart to Superman, he's a product of their work, even if the Cold War is long since over.
- Evil Counterpart: With his inverted powers, he makes for a pretty obvious one. He later became an...
- Evil Twin: Transformed himself into one through plastic surgery.
- Irrational Hatred: Has no reason whatsoever to hate Superman, though being influenced by the alternate universe Zod, whom Superman executed, might have something to do with it.
- Kick the Dog: His torture of Bizarro.
- Killed Off for Real: Avruiskin did not recover from his death during his last fight with Superman.
- Kneel Before Zod: He may not have been the original Zod, but he shared his desire to force Superman to kneel before him, as evidenced by the page quote. He also says the catch phrase during his battle with Superman.
- Legacy Character: In a bizarre twist, as Superman had yet to meet the original General Zod (at least in post-Infinite Crisis continuity...) when he took on Avruiskin.
- Lightning Bruiser
- The Man Behind the Man: To La Ecantadora. He may also have been the (initial) real identity of the villain Ignition.
- People's Republic of Tyranny: Pokolistan under his rule.
- Ruritania: Runs one in the form of Pokolistan (whose name should honestly make it Central Asian).
- Shadow Archetype: Even more so than the real General Zod. Whereas Kal-El is an alien who gains powers under a yellow sun, Avruiskin was a human who gained powers under a red sun. He even had his face surgically altered to look just like Superman.
- Superpower Lottery
- Super Soldier: For the Soviets.
H'el is a mysterious Kryptonian that debuted in the New 52
story arc, H'el on Earth
. With Krypton dying, he was sent into outer space to find a way to save his planet. Decades after Krypton's destruction, he arrives on Earth knowing how to resurrect Krypton, but at the expense of Earth.
In Krypton Returns
, H'el ends up in Krypton's past due to the events of H'el on Earth
. When he learns about his origins, he goes mad and enslaves Krypton. With the help of the Oracle, Superman, Supergirl, and Superboy travel back in time to stop him.
- Affably Evil:
- H'el is rather nice to fellow Kryptonian Supergirl, who also wants to go back to her old life on Krypton. He later convinces her join him in his quest to resurrect Krypton, but manipulates her to estrange her from Superman.
- H'el was also friendly to Superman, initially. When they first meet, H'el hugs Superman and says he's like a brother. Superman was already suspicious, but then H'el offers to kill Superboy in front of him to prove his loyalty to Krypton (Kryptonians other than Superman are viciously racist against clones). Superman responded poorly to this.
- When he learns about his true origins, he loses the affable part and becomes stone cold evil.
- Artificial Kryptonian: H'El is revealed to be this in Superman #23.3. He was created from a collection of genetic material gathered all over Krypton's history by Jor-El in an unmanned spaceship to find a planet where the people of Krypton could be safely evacuated to by the time Krypton exploded.
- But What About The Astronauts?: H'el's origin is explained this way.
- Depending on the Artist: H'el was originally portrayed in promotional art (as well as Superman #13 and Superboy #14) as having a backwards "S" symbol carved on his chest. From Supergirl #14 and onwards, H'el is no longer portrayed with the backwards "S", though this was later revealed to have been due to H'el masking the backwards "S" with his powers, with Kara calling him out on it. Given that H'el was originally a new design for long-time Superman doppleganger Bizarro, the backwards "S" did have a clear purpose, but on H'el it's currently unclear as to how he got it and why he tried to hide it.
- Expy: H'el's pale skin and backwards "S" scar was because he was originally meant to be the New 52 incarnation of Bizzaro. However, he was so different that he was made into a new character.
- Fantastic Racism:
- H'el hates Superboy, a human/Kryptonian clone, with every fiber of his body. This is because Krypton used to use clones as servants until they revolted and nearly wrecked their planet.
- H'el also thinks Earth and every human on it is inferior to Krypton and Kryptonians. He doesn't care what price Earth has to pay in his goal to ressurect Krypton.
- Go Mad from the Revelation: H'El doesn't take the revelation of his true origin well, to say the least.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: H'el has a scar over his left eye and another across the bridge of his nose. How he got them is unknown.
- Humans Are the Real Monsters: H'el certainly thinks so. He takes Supergirl to an urban war zone to try to make her think the same.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: In Superman #17, Supergirl defeats H'el by stabbing him through the chest with a shard of kryptonite.
- I Was Quite a Looker: H'el wasn't always a scarred, pale skinned, black-eyed man. Flashbacks and his hologram in Supergirl #15 show how he used to look back on Krypton, when he was quite handsome. Except this is revealed to be a false memory and he always had his current appearance.
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong: H'el's plan is to travel back in time to before Krypton exploded, and prevent its destruction. However, the energy needed for the time travel would destroy our entire solar system. Not that H'el cares about our solar system.
- Superpower Lottery: Not only is H'el stronger and faster than Superman, he also has many other abilities that are not associated with Kryptonians.
- Trapped in the Past: In Superman #17, H'el falls into a temporal portal after being stabbed by Supergirl. He ends up back on Krypton twelve years before it's destruction, where he is found by a young Jor-El. This sets up the sequel story, Krypton Returns.
- True Companions: On Krypton, H'el was like family to Superman's birth parents, Jor-El and Lara Lor-Van. The day before he was sent into space, they gave him the family crest; making him an honorary member of the House of El. His one-shot issue revealed this was a false memory and he never met any member of the House of El before.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Just look at his picture.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: All H'el wants is to resurrect his home planet, Krypton. Unfortunately, Earth has to be destroyed for him to bring back Krypton.
- You Are What You Hate: First type. He is completely unaware he is an Artificial Human until Krypton Returns, and hates clones like Kon-El, another Artificial Human himself.
First appearing during the Emperor Joker storyline, Ignition is a hulking giant clad in black armour, who serves as The Joker's muscle. The Joker does not remember creating him (though Mxyptlk refers to him as "Clyde"), and Ignition himself seems to have knowledge of the pre-Emperor Joker universe. A powerhouse who was capable of matching the Man of Steel in physical combat, Ignition was implied to be the Russian Zod, only to later turn up as a member of Zod's army after The Joker's defeat. His real identity remains unknown.
A vast criminal syndicate created by Darkseid to carry out his plans on Earth, Intergang supplies criminals with Apokoliptan weaponry and seeks to undermine humanity.
Bruno "Ugly" Mannheim
A truly wicked mob boss, "Ugly" Mannheim is Intergang's leader and Darkseid's chosen apostle on Earth. Mannheim was touched by Darkseid himself and is as close to pure evil as a human can be.
A slick Metropolis businessman, president of Galaxy Broadcasting. Pre-Crisis, Edge was ruthless but not really evil; he hired Clark Kent as a newscaster and was generally a good boss. Post-Crisis
, Edge was working with Intergang and was a willing servant of Darkseid.
A monster engineered by the Russian Zod from tumours in Superman's body, Kancer is an imperfect Kryptonian clone, forced into the shape of a vaguely humanoid worm-monster, and encrusted with crystaline growths that resemble Green Kryptonite. Believing that it had been rejected by its "father" (Superman), Kancer looked up to the Russian Zod, and attacked Superman on his behalf, with its Kryptonian genetics and nectrotic touch enabling it to seriously injure the Man of Steel.
- Antagonistic Offspring: Views itself as Superman's son, having been born within his body. It also blames Superman for trying to excise it.
- The Brute: Fills this role in the Russian Zod's army.
- Cain and Abel: With Superboy, who it believes is not worthy to wear Superman's "S"-shield.
- Clone Degeneration: Does not look even remotely human.
- Happily Adopted: In a sick sort of way, as it views the Russian Zod as its new father, and clearly cares about him a lot.
- Lightning Bruiser
- Serial Killer: Went on a serial spree in Metropolis in order to attract Superman's attention.
- Superpower Lottery: Has all of Superman's abilities, plus a few more.
AKA: Unknown, K. Russell Abernaty (Post-Crisis), Clay Ramsay (New 52)
When Metallo's Kryptonite heart just isn't enough, the bad guys call in the Kryptonite Man. There have been several variations on this radioactive menace, all of whom have had the ability to project Kryptonite radiation, making them walking Achilles’ heels as far as Superman is concerned. Pre-Crisis, a teenaged alien criminal who flew through a cloud of Green K arrived on Earth calling himself the Kryptonite Kid, and with the power to transmute any matter into Green K. He returned as an adult in Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow
, and was killed in battle with Krypto. Post-Crisis, Mad Scientist
K. Russell Abernathy briefly became a new Kryptonite Man, with the power to see all forms of radiation, but was quickly jailed by Supergirl. Finally, in the New 52
, Domestic Abuser
Clay Ramsay joined one of Luthor’s supersoldier programs after being beaten by Superman, and was transformed into yet another incarnation of the villain.
- Domestic Abuser: Clay Ramsay, who was beating his wife when Superman threw him in a river.
- Evil Redhead: The Kryptonite Kid.
- Eye Beams: Abernathy had these.
- Flight: Ramsay can use his energies to fly.
- I Love Nuclear Power: Abernathy and Ramsay, who both had power over other forms of radiation as well.
- Mad Scientist: Abernathy, who was willing to cross any lines to harness the power of Kryptonite.
- Man of Kryptonite: Trope Namer. All versions of the Kryptonite man have been poison to Superman, in one way or another.
- Mutual Kill: The Kryptonite Kid and Krypto in Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow
- Name's the Same: The various Kryptonite Men have had little in the way of actual connections to one another, yet all picked the same codename.
- Never My Fault: Ramsay, who refuses to accept that is wife left him because of his abuse, and instead blames Superman for breaking up his marriage.
- Teens Are Monsters: The Kryptonite Kid once again.
- Super Soldier: Ramsay is the result of Luthor's supersoldier program.
- Super Strength: Ramsay possesses a degree of this.
AKA: Leslie Willis
An arrogant radio host whose boss fired her for criticising Superman. She gained powers over electricity and decided to take her anger out on the hero, who she blamed for the loss of her job.
- Absolute Cleavage
- Attention Whore: Somewhat subverted in the comics. She didn't end up that way until the station she was a Shock Jock at was converted into a country station and her manager fired her for bashing Superman (who had saved his wife once before). The accident that turned her into Livewire was what really pushed her over the edge.
- Canon Immigrant: She came from Superman: The Animated Series.
- Dumbass DJ
- Energy Absorption: She feeds on electricity and can absorb the energy of anything electric, inculding thunder, into her body to discharge it back in lightning bolts.
- Heel-Face Turn: After the events of Superman: Back In Action, where she helped save earth from "The Auctioneer", she agreed to get help, and was taken to S.T.A.R. Labs for treatment. It finally stuck after a minor relapse (Superman #7711, July, 2011), when she was placed in Superman's old containment suit (Superman Blue), which helped to clear her head by regulating her body's energy, bringing her back to her senses. Seeing she was truly sorry for what she had done, Supeman vouched for her testamony and she was re-admitted to the S.T.A.R. Labs reform program under Dr. Sterling Roquette (former member of Project Cadmus). Superman, impressed by her progress, later inducted Leslie into the second incarnation of the Supemen of America.
- Meganekko: Before becoming Livewire.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Her comic-book origins are a Shout-Out to Howard Stern, who also lost his job as a DJ in a similar fashion to Leslie.
- Psycho Electro
- Shock and Awe
- Shock Jock: Her pre-power career.
- Vapor Wear
- Verbal Tic: In the cartoon, she tends to tack the word, "babies", onto the end of almost every other sentence when talking to other people.
- Villainous Crush: Albiet a minor one. During a story arc in Action Comics (Superman: Back In Action), she had to team up with a group of metahumans to take down a god-like extraterrestrial named "The Auctioneer," one of them being Nightwing. During this partnership, we find out that she finds him ''very'' attractive.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Getting her wet shorts her out. Counts as Fridge Brilliance when you remember that her abilities are electrically based.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Because of her ability to become, discharge, and absorb pure energy, her body's own energy levels were in a state of constant flux, affecting her brain-chemistry as well. The more energy she absorbed, the harder it was for her to think straight. This, in combination with environmental stressors was what led to her unstable personality. Thankfully, Superman was able to rectify this by placing her in his old containment suit, returning her to normal.
- Woman in Black
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair
She grew up on Kandor, discriminated against because she was an Empireth, an alien with Psychic Powers
. The only thing that sustained her was the stories told of Superman. Unfortunately, the stories were perverted to portray Superman as a God, and she developed a dream to become one as well.
She mesmerized Superman into believing he was their husband, and erased his memories of Earth and Lois. They lived together for a while, raising a son as ordinary citizens in Kandor. All the while, his spirit was slowly being broken, because although he loved her, life in Kandor is just too depressing. When she was ready, she copied his powers and escaped the bottle city, intending to rule Metropolis as its new God. She was shocked to discover that Superman was simply Metropolis' protector, not its ruler, and angrily tried to destroy him and the city. In the end, she realized that she truly had feelings for him, and seemingly sacrificed herself to save him from another threat. She hasn't been seen since her storyline, Superman: Godfall
, but she may come back, one day.
A snobby Brit with advanced telekinesis and telepathy. He led The Elite, a Captain Ersatz
of The Authority
. The team went on a crusade, savagely beating and murdering criminals instead of arresting them. They mocked Superman, calling him naive and obsolete for holding on to his morals and refusing to kill. Knowing that their bad example couldn't go on, Superman challenged them to a fight and humiliated them, exposing them as hypocrites in front of the whole world when Black called him out on seemingly
murdering his teammates.
Desiring revenge, Black discovered Superman was Clark Kent. He engineered a mass attack on anyone in the entire world who had ever
shown Clark Kent one iota of kindness. Superman beat back all the assassins, but Black caught Lois Lane and seemingly murdered her. Despite his rage, The Man Of Steel decided not to kill him, shocking him and allowing him to realize that Superman is a true hero. He dispelled the illusion, revealing that Lois was still alive. He erased the knowledge of Clark's secret from everyone's minds, then killed himself.
- Abusive Parents: One of the reasons why he was so cynical was that he was implied to have been both physically, and sexually abused by his parents.
- Anti-Hero: Type IV/V —> Anti-Villain: Type III.
- Cain and Abel: Black's ghost takes on this role towards his reformed sister, Vera.
- Captain Ersatz: He and his team are a deconstructive parody of The Authority.
- The Cynic: His main point of contention with Superman, who played The Idealist. Black thinks he's a hero who's not afraid to do bad, even deplorable things if it'll help the world in the long run. But as long as Superman's around, being utterly perfect and saving the world every day, Black is just another bad guy.
- Demonic Possession: A part of Manchester Black survived his suicide, and proceeded to bodyjack his sister, Vera, trying to force her to destroy London.
- Driven to Suicide: Following his Heel Realization.
- Evil Brit
- Heel Realisation
- Hypocrite: Freaks out when he believes Superman has crossed the line and killed his teammates.
- Master of Illusion
- Might Makes Right: His belief that he's doing the right thing is based entirely on the fact that he's the strongest super-human around.
- Mind over Matter
- One-Hit Kill: He can use his telekinesis to pinch a target's blood vessels together, causing them to have a stroke. Or snap someone's neck.
- Oral Fixation: Often chews an unlit match.
- Psychic Powers
- Self-Made Orphan: Used his telepathy to dish out a heart attack to his abusive father. It's implied this is one of the first things he did when he found out about his powers.
- Smug Snake
- Smug Super: Has no problem reminding everyone how powerful he is and that he has no qualms whatsoever about using lethal force. Has even fewer problems running the planet, for no other reason than nobody being strong enough to stop him.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: Is a "hero" who proudly ditches the concept, making himself into a target for Superman.
- Unreliable Narrator: When telling his origin to Superman, chooses to omit various... unsavory portions.
- Wearing a Flag on Your Head: Has a Union Jack tattooed on his chest.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Purple, actually. This is presumably dyed.
AKA: Carl Draper
Carl Draper is a prison architect and locksmith who has gone off the deep end and is now obsessed with trapping people. He has a strange ability to summon and control chains, cages, and other restraining paraphernalia. Post-Crisis, he doesn't have powers, but can create complex Death Trap
The queen of Planet Almerac. Impressed by his power, she asked Superman to become her king, and to father her children, but when he refused, she got pissed
. At times, she's hit on other powerful men like Captain Atom (he rejected her in favor of Plastique) and Amazing Man (he stated that he wasn't interested in having kids yet). She got some Character Development
, switched between being a good guy and bad guy several times, then met her end in the storyline Our Worlds At War
AKA: John Corben
Luthor: "You're all heart, John."The Six Million Dollar Man
, if he was a petty criminal and his robotic body was powered by Kryptonite. Left horribly injured by a tragic accident, John Corben was rebuilt as a robot, with a chunk of Green Kryptonite powering his heart. Regardless of continuity, he inevitably starts off trying to return to his old life, but circumstance force him into villainy and he never goes back, his use of Green K making him a natural adversary for Superman as he attempts to resume his criminal career. Courtesy of a series of upgrades from Luthor, Brainiac, and Neron he is able to easily trade blows with Superman, yet his low-IQ means that he is rarely more than a single-issue villain, or The Dragon
to the actual Arc Villain
. He was revamped as a former soldier during the New Krypton
storyline, where he, Superwoman
, and Reactron
serve as the muscle for General Lane's anti-Kryptonian conspiracy.
- Buried Alive: Does this to Superman and Batman in one crossover.
- Chest Blaster: His most consistent weapon is his ability to project rays from his Kryptonite heart.
- Colonel Badass: In New Krypton where Lane has him enlisted as Colonel Corben.
- Colonel Kilgore: Definitely displays this attitude in New Krypton, where he's far too eager to get into action.
- Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: He wears green and has a Green K heart. Reactron wears gold and has a Gold K heart.
- Cool Helmet/Cool Mask: In New Krypton he wears a skull mask over his human face in order to evoke his old mechanical appearance.
- Deal with the Devil: Has made deals with Neron, Brainiac 13, Lex Luthor, and General Lane in exchange for upgrades.
- Depending on the Writer: What sort of life Corben had before becoming Metallo, and if he wants to go back to it. Also how smart and how strong he is, and how much of him is mechanical.
- The Dragon: Has played this role to Lex Luthor, Brainiac, and numerous others over the years. In larger teams he's usually...
- The Brute: Metallo is strong and tough, but not especially bright. In large teams he inevitably ends up as this, and has played the part for Luthor and General Lane amongst others.
- Dumb Muscle: When written by anybody other than Geoff Johns, who makes him a far more calculating ex-colonel. Under most other writers, Corben remains an uneducated rube who is fairly easily manipulated by other villains.
- Evil vs. Evil/Eviler than Thou: In Last Son and New Krypton where he faces down General Zod's forces.
- Evil Mentor: Reactron was already far more evil than Metallo, but it's Metallo who gives him lessons on how to be an effective supervillain during New Krypton.
- Eye Beams: Frequently projects Kryptonite rays from them.
- Fantastic Racism: Displays some of this attitude towards Kryptonians during New Krypton, though it's nowhere near as extreme as Lane or Reactron's.
- Feel No Pain: Metallo's cyborg bodies are rarely equipped with pain sensors.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: John Corben was a petty criminal who became a supervillain overnight thanks to some fancy surgery and a conversion into a cyborg.
- Healing Factor: His robotic bodies sometimes include a self-repair function that causes him to stitch himself back together.
- Hollywood Cyborg: A living brain powered by a Kryptonite heart, encased in a steel body, and in turn encased in vat-grown flesh? It doesn't get much more Hollywood than that.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Goes through bouts of this, but always comes back to being a supervillain.
- Implacable Man: Is sometimes played this way, with his nigh-indestructible body, and ability to weaken Superman making him virtually impossible to stop. He'll just keep on advancing, no matter what Superman (or anybody else) throws at him.
- Just Following Orders: In New Krypton, where in contrast to Reactron, who gloats about how much he loves to kill, Corben and Superwoman both use this as their excuse for their actions.
- Man of Kryptonite: Metallo's Green K heart does bad things to Kryptonians, and he's often able to project its energies in the form of Eye Beams and other weapons. During the Last Son arc, Lex Luthor upgraded him to carry Red K, Blue K, and Gold K as well, though he's lost these extras by the time of New Krypton. Of all the Kryptonite-powered villains Superman has faced, he is easily the most popular and most enduring, in a large part thanks to the fact that he can back up his Flaw Exploitation with actual physical power.
- Mighty Glacier: Compared to anybody else on Earth he's a Lightning Bruiser. Compared to most Superman adversaries, his Implacable Man status makes him more of this.
- Muggle Power: As part of General Lane's forces.
- Nigh Invulnerable: Metallo's bodies are almost impossible to destroy in the first place, and sometimes include a self-repair function.
- Only Sane Man: Of the forces arrayed against New Krypton, Corben seems to be the only one who is even remotely sane. He lacks Lane's obsessions and paranoia, Luthor's narcissism, Superwoman's need to prove herself, and Reactron and Codename: Assassin's Axe Crazy, and just wants to do the job. He actually has to rein Reactron in during their attack on New Krypton.
- Power Palms: Sometimes houses lasers or Kryptonite dischargers in them.
- The Quisling: Sells out Earth to Brainiac 13 when the futuristic robot conquers Metropolis.
- Retcon: During New Krypton, Metallo's origins were altered to make him a former soldier reinstated by General Lane, and granted the rank of Colonel.
- Ridiculously Human Robot: During Last Son and New Krypton where, his heart aside, he looks completely human. In a Shout-Out to the T-101, he's revealed to have vat grown clone flesh over his mechanical exoskeleton.
- Shape Shifter Weapon: After his upgrades from Brainiac 13 and Neron. He seems to have lost these abilities by New Krypton though.
- Skele Bot 9000: Post-Crisis, as a direct Shout-Out to the T-900
- Skull for a Head: His mechanical head always resembles a skull. In New Krypton he wears a skull mask over his face in a Shout-Out to this.
- Sociopathic Soldier: In his most recent incarnation, he was revealed to have once been one of these. Promoted to Colonel Kilgore by General Lane during New Krypton.
- Super Speed: It's rarely elaborated on, but he can keep up with Superman. That said, he's usually just enough slower to do the classic Implacable Man routine of slowly gaining on your enemies until you catch up.
- Super Strength: Metallo's strong enough to seriously injure Superman, which even with the Kryptonite takes some doing.
- Technopath: Post-Neron upgrades, which allowed him to fuse any piece of technology or metal into his shell.
- Took a Level in Badass: Repeatedly. Interestingly, while his New Krypton incarnation is significantly weaker than its immediate predecessors, it is also a lot smarter, allowing it to be the most dangerous version of Metallo yet.
- Those Two Bad Guys: With fellow cyborg Reactron in the opening arc of New Krypton.
- Villain Team-Up: Has worked with Luthor, Brainiac, General Lane, and several incarnations of the Superman Revenge Squad.
- Walking Armoury: Metallo's robotic shell contains a veritable arsenal of high-tech weaponry.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Even when he looks human, Metallo disdains shirts, exposing his chest (and Kryptonite heart) for the world to see.
- Was Once a Man
A magical imp from the land of Zrff in the Fifth Dimension. Mxyzptlk often gets bored on his home dimension and comes to our universe looking for excitement, usually fixating on Superman. With his powers, he could easily defeat Superman in any number of novel and imaginative ways, but that would be too easy. So he sets rules for their encounters that he rigidly adheres to, the most well known being that if Superman can get him to say, spell, write, or otherwise communicate his own name backwards, he leaves and can't return for 90 days. Also has the ability to break the 4th wall (and the 5th).
"Happy Birthday, Kryptonian. I give you oblivion."
A Galactic Conqueror
who is more than a physical match for The Man of Steel, Mongul I was a major foe of Superman's during the Bronze Age
, serving as the main antagonist of For the Man Who Has Everything
, widely regarded as one of the greatest Superman stories ever written. Post-Crisis, he allied with Cyborg-Superman to destroy Coast City, and was eventually slain by the demon lord Neron. The New 52
has recently returned him to life as the villain of a Superman/Batman
crossover; where he will go from here remains to be seen. In all three continuities he is characterised as a brutal despot who enjoys watching others fight and die for his amusement, feels that the universe owes him its fealty, and runs every planet he rules into the ground with his limitless ambition and cruelty. See the Green Lantern Character Sheet
for his son, Mongul II.
- Ambition Is Evil: Mongul I is defined by his pride and his drive for dominance.
- Badass: Pre-Crisis Mongul I curb stomped Wonder Woman and not only went mano-a-mano with an enraged Superman, a being who could lift planets and blow out suns, but was winning when Jason Todd hit him with the Black Mercy. Even Post-Crisis he has moments of his old badassery, most notably when he tells Neron exactly where he can stick his offer.
- Bald of Evil
- The Big Bad: Of For The Man Who Has Everything, and several other Bronze Age arcs.
- Cain and Abel: Killed his younger brother in order to make sure his parents' attention always stayed on him.
- Classic Villain: Personifies pride, is a brutal alien conqueror to Superman's benevolent guardian, and is made instantly recognisable by his purple costume, sheer size, and yellow skin.
- Cool Chair: The throne of skulls in the picture.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Pre-Crisis Mongul inflicts one on Wonder Woman. Post-Crisis Mongul was on the receiving end of one from Cyborg-Superman.
- Defeating the Undefeatable: Pre-Crisis, any battle between he and Superman was played this way, as Mongul was actually the stronger of the two. The one time that Superman managed to overpower Mongul, he passed out moments afterwards.
- Demoted to Dragon: Post-Crisis Mongul was relegated to Cyborg-Superman's Dragon during The Death and Return of Superman.
- Despotism Justifies the Means: Mongul I cares only about gaining and keeping power, and is prepared to use any means, however reprehensible to achieve that end. Might cross into Dystopia Justifies the Means, given how his rule usually turns out for those he conquers.
- Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: He was killed by the demon Neron for rejecting his offer and insulting him.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: He was killed off in the space of about two panels, solely to show what a badass Neron was.
- Enfante Terrible: When Mongul I was a child he murdered his infant brother in order to better monopolise his parents' affections.
- Evil Is Bigger: Mongul I is always enormous, Pre-and-Post-Crisis.
- Evil Overlord: Of any planet he overruns. These have included his own homeworld and Throneworld pre-Crisis, and Warworld and an unnamed planet post-Crisis.
- The Exile: Exiled from his homeworld Pre-Crisis, and with good reason.
- Galactic Conqueror: Galactic domination has always been his end game.
- Genius Bruiser: While Post-Crisis Mongul is arrogant and not particularly brilliant, the Pre-Crisis version was usually portrayed as an intelligent, if vain conqueror, who was more than capable of outthinking his adversaries. See For The Man Who Has Everything for a good case study.
- Gladiator Games: A huge fan of this.
- He-Man Woman Hater: He makes a lot of comments to this effect during his battle with Wonder Woman.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Pre-Crisis Mongul meets his end at the hands of his own Black Mercy plant, remaining trapped in a coma forever.
- I Have You Now, My Pretty: Tried on Prince Gavyn of Throneworld's sister Pre-Crisis.
- It's Personal: How Superman takes the incident with the Black Mercy.
- Jerk Ass: Honestly the nicest thing that can be said about him.
- Juggernaut: Pre-Crisis Mongul is all but unstoppable and only running into Superman will slow him down, as evidenced by the beating he gave to Wonder Woman in For the Man Who Has Everything. Post-Crisis Mongul, while tough, was not nearly as impervious.
- Karma Houdini/Karmic Death: Batman thinks that Pre-Crisis Mongul I got off too easy, being trapped in his own ideal fantasy. On the other hand, there are few more karmic ends for a being who used the Black Mercy on somebody else than being trapped by it. Averted Post-Crisis, where he is killed by Neron in a non-ironic or karmic fashion.
- Kick the Dog: His fight with Wonder Woman becomes this, as he tries to beat her to death as slowly as he can. It's been suggested that all the sexist commentary he makes throughout the fight is just another way of hurting her.
- Kill All Humans: Pre-Crisis Mongul tried to use the Sun-Eater to end all life on Earth.
- Killed Off for Real: Post-Crisis, Pre-Flashpoint Mongul never returned after being killed by Neron in Underworld Unleashed.
- Large and in Charge
- Lean and Mean: Given his height and strength, Mongul is surprisingly rangy, particularly Pre-Crisis.
- Lotus-Eater Machine: His "Black Mercy" plant, which traps the victim inside of their own mental prison, based on their heart's desires.
- Lightning Bruiser: Not only huge and strong, but shockingly fast as well, capable of landing numerous blows on Superman and Wonder Woman.
- Near Villain Victory: Came closer to killing Superman than any other Silver Age or Bronze Age foe ever did, and was seconds away from delivering a killing blow when the Black Mercy interrupted him.
- Nigh Invulnerable: Perhaps the only Bronze Age villain who could survive blows from an enraged, Pre-Crisis Superman, let alone nearly defeat him in combat. Even after his power was scaled down Post-Crisis, it still took a hit from Neron to kill him.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Delivers one to Wonder Woman in For the Man Who Has Everything. Post-Crisis Mongul received one from Neron, which eventually killed him.
- One-Man Army: Pre-Crisis, wherein he conquers entire worlds using only his own power.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Espouses a lot of sexist rhetoric. Whether he believes it, or is just saying it to screw with Diana is never clarified.
- In "For The Man Who Has Everything", though, it's implied he's trying to avert it.
I'm unfamiliar with this planet's customs. Which of you two
is it polite to kill first?
- Pride: As IGN notes, Mongul's "brute strength is only rivaled by his brooding ego".
- Punctuated Pounding: Does it to Superman after the latter wounds him with his heat vision in For the Man Who Has Everything.
- Rogues-Gallery Transplant: While Bronze Age Mongul was a definitive Superman villain, both Both Monguls I & II have become more associated with Green Lantern Post-Crisis. As of the New 52 he's clashed with the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight in the pages of Superman/Batman, and his Villains Month title indicates he will also be facing the GL Corps. Whose rogues gallery he'll settle in this time is up in the air.
- Sadist: Mongul was a psychological and physical sadist who enjoyed the suffering of his opponents.
- Smug Snake: Mongul is smart, but very full of himself, and his tendency towards toying with his victims causes him problems.
- Smug Super
- The Starscream: Post-Crisis Mongul I was this to the Cyborg-Superman, kept in line only by the latter's threats, and planning to turn on him at the first opportunity.
- Super Reflexes/Super Speed: Fast enough to land hits on Wonder Woman and Superman.
- Super Strength: Strong enough to nearly beat both Superman and Wonder Woman to death barehanded Pre-Crisis, and inflict some serious damage on Superman and Green Lantern Post-Crisis, putting him in the upper tier of DC's characters in terms of strength.
- Took a Level in Badass: Pre-Crisis Mongul takes one in For the Man Who Has Everything, in which he graduates from a poor man's substitute for Darkseid and into a terrifying villain who can No Sell attacks from Wonder Woman and Superman alike, and whose use of the Black Mercy gives him a vile twist.
- Would Hit a Girl/Would Hurt a Child: Once asked Batman if it would be more polite to kill the woman (Wonder Woman) or the boy (Jason Todd) first. He also killed his younger brother when he was an infant.
- 0% Approval Rating: Run off of his own home planet and faced with revolution on Throneworld and Warworld, Mongul has never been a popular guy. This is best emphasised in a Post-Crisis story where he conquers a world and the inhabitants promptly commit suicide.
AKA: Nathaniel Tyron
Nathaniel was a petty thug who was transformed by an accident into a living mass of nuclear energy, needing a containment suit to have a physical form. After murdering the ones responsible, he now does whatever he feels like, putting him in conflict with The Man Of Steel.
AKA: Rudy Jones (Post Crisis), Joshua Michael Allen (New 52)
A janitor who got doused in radiation or chemicals or whatever. Rudy Jones hungers for life energy which he needs to survive and which kills anyone he touches. Fixates on Superman because the Big Guy is like an All-U-Can-Eat buffet. Rudy gains the vitality, abilities, and memories of those he touches, although the effect is usually temporary. Eventually, he absorbed a second personality that acted as a voice of guidance, making Rudy more dangerous.
In one of his more devious schemes, he used absorbed shapeshifting powers to impersonate Lois, leeching her memories to maintain the facade throwing Superman into emotional turmoil as he was slowly being drained.
- Bald of Evil: Lost all of his hair upon gaining his powers.
- Dumb Muscle: Usually portrayed as fairly dim.
- Enemy Mine: He and the rest of the Superman Revenge Squad allied themselves with Superman during the events of Last Son. Parasite proved very effective against General Zod's army as they, unlike Superman, did not understand the dangers inherent in closing with him.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Janitor to deadly, sadistic supervillain.
- Horror Hunger
- I'm a Humanitarian: Often treated the same way.
- Mega Manning
- Power Incontinence: Prevents him from hugging his own wife and children.
- Power Parasite: It comes with a time limit, so he has to continuously drain a person's power to have it. In keeping with the "doesn't necessarily make them winners" aspect of this trope, he's not that dangerous (being defeatable by simply staying away from him does that) unless paired with other villains to back him up.
- Powers as Programs: Draining Superman's powers leaves him open to being taken down by kryptonite.
- Touch of Death: If he holds on to people too long.
- Vampiric Draining
- Villain Team-Up: As a part of the Superman Revenge Squad, among others.
Phantom Zone Criminals
Krypton had no system of capital punishment, so instead of execution, the most heinous criminals were imprisoned in the Phantom Zone
, a dimension without time or physical substance. Over the years, numerous super-powered Kryptonian criminals have escaped the Zone to bedevil Superman. In addition to the ne'er-do-wells below, there are numerous less prominent Phantom Zone criminals, including Kru-El (Superman's distant cousin), Quex-Ul, Az-Rel, Nadira, Car-Vex, and Jer-Em.
General Zod I
AKA: Dru-Zod II
"You will kneel before me, Jor-El. Both you and one day... your heirs!"
The archenemy of Jor-El, and a sworn enemy of his family, Zod was a Kryptonian general imprisoned after trying to stage a coup against the Council of Elders on his home world. Trapped in the Phantom Zone
prior to Krypton's destruction, Zod is eventually freed and able to make trouble for Superman. Made famous by Terence Stamp
in Superman II
, Zod was absent from the comics for years, due to the ban on Kryptonian characters; during this time various alternate universe doppelgangers and Earthborn substitutes danced in his shoes. In Last Son
, DC decided to reintroduce the original Zod, bringing in a version of the character heavily modelled on Stamp's portrayal.
In his current incarnation, Zod is a more complex character, regarded as a hero by many on Krypton. His coup was staged because he believed Non and Jor-El's findings about Krypton's imminent demise and wished to get the planet ready by means of rebuilding their space fleet. Defeated when Jor-El refused to support a violent revolution, Zod holds the House of El responsible for the destruction of the Kryptonian race, and seeks to punish Kal-El for his father's sins and build a new Krypton. During the New Krypton
arc he served as head of Kandor's military, and manouvered for war with Earth, aiming to achieve his goals.
- Abusive Dad: Treats his son, Lor-Zod/Chris Kent, as little more than a means to an end.
- Alternate Universe: Prior to Last Son, Superman encountered numerous versions of Zod in different dimensions and alternate Kryptonian pasts alike.
- Archenemy: Of Jor-El. Superman inherits this grudge, which eventually becomes very personal for both of them.
- Archnemesis Dad: Fullfills this role after Lor-Zod/Chris's Heel-Face Turn.
- Ascended Extra: He was never a particularly prominent character in his original appearances; only an unremarkable name among the many Phantom Zoners. After the popularity of Superman II, he was upjumped to being the leader of the Phantom Zoners.
- Badass: He trained from birth to be a warrior, and combining his military training with his solar power, is perfectly able to have Superman on the ropes.
- Badass Beard
- Badass Longcoat: Sometimes features a military style greatcoat as part of his uniform.
- Bald of Evil: In Pre-Crisis, he looked almost identical to Lex Luthor. He was understandably changed in his recent appearances (plus the popularity of Terence Stamp's portrayal).
- Beard of Evil
- Big Bad: Of Last Son, and New Krypton. Following his revival he's in competition with Luthor and Brainiac for the title of Superman's biggest bad.
- Big Bad Ensemble: In New Krypton he, Brainiac, and General Lane compete for the title of biggest bad. Zod is ultimately the last one left standing.
- Born in the Wrong Century: Ancient Krypton was savage and warlike, and he would have fit right in.
- Brought Down to Badass: When temporarily depowered.
- Dark Messiah: Seen as a saviour by many on New Krypton, and views himself in those same terms.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Like Luthor, he doesn't get why Superman hasn't taken over the planet yet.
- Evil Counterpart: Not to Superman, but to his father, Jor-El.
- Evil Chancellor: To Alura and the Council, undermining their efforts, and leading them towards increasingly destructive courses of action.
- Evil Old Folks: The alternate universe doppelganger from For Tomorrow was an old man under his heavy black armour.
- Eviler than Thou: With Luthor, Brainiac and General Lane.
- Fantastic Racism: Towards the humans, whom he regards as sub-Kryptonians.
- Final Boss: The last villain standing in New Krypton, and the last one Superman has to face down.
- Final Solution: His Pocket Universe counterpart decided humanity was too much trouble to rule over and ended up killing everybody on its Earth. In the War of the Supermen arc that concludes New Krypton, our Zod comes to the same conclusion, and tries to wipe humanity out in revenge for Reactron's destruction of New Krypton.
- Four-Star Badass
- The Generalissimo: Sets himself up as one following the destruction of Kandor's civilian government. In the backstory, he tried to do this on Krypton as well.
- General Ripper: In New Krypton where he blames the humans for everything.
- Goggles Do Nothing: In his first Post-Crisis appearance.
- Good Twin: On Earth-15, a good version of Zod served as his world's Superman, much to Superboy-Prime's rage.
- Happily Married: To Ursa.
- Kill All Humans: An Alternate Universe Zod did this in one story. At the conclusion of the New Krypton storyline, our Zod tries it as well, triggering the 100 Minute War.
- Kneel Before Zod: The Trope Namer. For Zod forcing his adversaries to kneel is a psychological compulsion. He needs them to submit.
- Large Ham
- Lightning Bruiser
- Military Coup: How he tried to take power on Krypton in both the main universe and various alternate ones.
- Moral Myopia: Can recognise wrongs done to him, and wrongs done by humans to Kryptonians, but never the inverse.
- Narcissist: Not unlike Luthor, Zod views himself in messianic terms, is convinced that he can achieve anything simply on the basis of who he is, and thinks that he, and only he, has all the answers. He genuinely does want what's best for Krypton, but has convinced himself that Krypton can only be its best wih him in charge.
- Noble Demon: The New Krypton version.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: As of Last Son and New Krypton he bears a striking resemblance to Terence Stamp.
- Not So Different: From human xenophobes General Sam Lane and Lex Luthor.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy
- Ret Canon: Recent versions are modeled after the Superman II film interpretation of the character.
- Rousing Speech: Gives one to his army at the start of the 100 Minute War.
- Sealed Evil in a Can
- Send in the Clones: In Pre-Crisis continuity, he tried to take over Krypton with an army of Bizarro clones of himself.
- Shadow Archetype: To Jor-El and Kal-El both.
- Sins of Our Fathers: Superman's father, Jor-El, was one of the guys who arrested him and banished him to the Phantom Zone, so he takes his anger out on Kal-El. In Zod's mind, the House of El is to blame for the extinction of Kryptonian life.
- Superior Species: Sees Kryptonians as inherently superior to humans.
- Superpower Lottery
- Tin Tyrant: A version of Zod from For Tomorrow was an old man in spiked black armour.
- Underestimating Badassery: Underestimates Superman, Supergirl, Superboy, the Legion of Super-Heroes, the Justice League, and the population of Earth by the end of New Krypton.
- Unholy Matrimony: With Ursa.
- We Have Reserves: Willingly fires through his own people in order to hit Brainiac's ship.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: His revolt on Krypton was motivated by a desire to save the planet.
- The Extremist Was Right: The Council were morons and their actions did see the deaths of almost everyone on Krypton.
- We Used to Be Friends: He and Jor-El.
- Worthy Opponent: He was genuinely impressed by Superman's superior fighting skill compared to his men in the New Krypton storyline.
Originally created for Superman II
, Ursa entred the DCU in the pages of Last Son
, alongside the modern General Dru-Zod. Second-in-command and wife to the traitorous general, Colonel Ursa was a loyal soldier in Krypton's elite Black Zero unit, but her failure to stop Brainiac from stealing the city of Kandor and massacring innocent Kryptonians broke her mind, making her dangerously unpredictable. Ursa aided her beloved in his attempt to overthrow the Science Council, but like Zod and their co-conspirator Non, they were stopped by Jor-El and sentenced to eternity in the Phantom Zone. There, Ursa bore a son, Lor-Zod, who would later become the hero Nightwing.
- Abusive Mom: Uses her son as a tool, giving no affection, and expecting total obedience in return.
- Badass Longcoat: In her first appearance.
- Canon Immigrant: She first appeared in the 1977 Superman movie, and was not added to the comics until Last Son where she took the place normally held by Faora.
- Colonel Badass
- Cool Shades: Her glasses protect her eyes from exposure to sunlight, to which she is hypersensitive.
- Dark Action Girl
- Designated Girl Fight: Takes on Supergirl while Superman is facing down General Zod.
- Disproportionate Retribution: In response to an attack on New Krypton by a rogue general from one country, Ursa tries to slaughter the leaders of almost every country on Earth.
- The Dragon: To General Zod
- Expy: Loose one of Faora Hu-Ul, described below. In fact, Faora was erased from continuity due to the Crisis on Infinite Earths and Ursa essentially replaced her when the Phantom Zone criminals were brought back (though Faora still appeared in a pocket universe).
- Evil Matriarch: Towards Lor-Zod following his Heel-Face Turn.
- Fantastic Racism: Towards humans, whom she views as animals.
- Fragile Speedster: By Kryptonian standards. Compared to anybody else she's a Lightning Bruiser, and her determination and psychosis tend to make up for her comparitive weakness.
- Hero-Worshipper: Of General Zod.
- Happily Married: To Zod.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Whether intentional or otherwise, Ursa does mean "bear".
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Strongly resembles Sarah Douglas, who played her in Superman II
- Only One Name: No family name or patrynomic (as is usual for female Kryptonians) has been provided for Ursa.
- Sealed Evil in a Can
- Slasher Smile: Sports a really deranged one
- Superior Species: Her view on her race.
- Superpower Lottery
- Undying Loyalty: To Zod. It's part love, part hero worship.
- Unholy Matrimony: With Zod.
- Weaksauce Weakness: In addition to weaknesses against kryptonite, red sunlight, and magic, Ursa's eyes are incredibly sensitive to light, forcing her to wear protective goggles at all times.
- Weapon of Choice: A dagger with traces of kryptonite on the edges, ideal for fighting other Kryptonians.
General Zod's loyal left-hand man, Non is a hulking Kryptonian with all of Superman's powers but none of the intelligence and morality. In fact, the only thing that separates Non from Bizarro is Non's unwavering loyalty. Non was once a brilliant scientist, but when he tried to speak out against the Science Council on behalf of Jor-El, the Council's agents lobotomized him, leaving him a dumb brute. Adopted as a soldier by General Zod, Non shared his master's fate in the Phantom Zone
An evil Kryptonian martial artist, and raving misandrist. She was imprisoned in the Phantom Zone for murdering every man she encountered, and during her early encounters with Superman was able to throughly outfight him.
A doctor and scientist who thought nothing of dissecting living people and whose experiments inadvertently destroyed Krypton's moon colony—which attracted the attention of Brainiac and led to the loss of Kandor. While in the Phantom Zone, Jax-Ur became the host of the Kryptonian deity Vohc-the-Breaker, god of creation and destruction. He was recruited by General Zod to be one of his sleeper agents, but had plans of his own—the destruction of Earth.
A Justice League villain with a superiority complex though he's squared off against Superman solo. His power is that he's has heightened versions of the abilities of anyone around him (though he quickly loses these powers when the people he is emulating exit his range.)
AKA: Oswald Loomis
A former children's variety show host who got canned in favor of newer types of children's programming—which drove him over the deep end. Now he makes weapons disguised as or styled after traditional pranks, such as cream pies, joy buzzers, whoopie cushions, runaway refrigerators, etc. Has been able to remain as least a nuisance to Superman over the years through clever tactics and misdirection. Superman can't immediately figure out what he needs to punch, but by the time he's found it, he's usually pretty irritated.
"How you shame the legacy of the Superman, Kal-El."
A fanatical member of the Kandorian Citizen Patrol Corps (CPC) and a fervent worshipper of "The Superman", Preus encountered the Man of Steel when he was trapped in Kandor as "Kal-El." Convinced that Kal-El is a race traitor who preverts the image of The Superman, Preus attempted to kill him, before escaping into the real world where he battled both Superman and Lyla. He later became the leader of a cult of white supremacists, facing off against Superman and the Martian Manhunter.
- Absolute Xenophobe: Though he can't decide whether all the aliens should die, or serve the Master Race that is the Kryptonians.
- A God Am I: Comes to see himself as the reincarnation of The Superman after making his way to Metropolis and gaining his powers. This may just be a way of rationalising his manifestation of "alien" abilities to himself.
- Axe Crazy
- Badass Cape: In Kandor. It burns off during his battle with Superman in Metropolis.
- Black and White Insanity: Preus only sees good and evil.
- Black Eyes of Evil: His eyes become black after he breaks free into Metropolis.
- Blond Guys Are Evil
- Chest Insignia: A copy of the Superman symbol. He later burns a line through it to demonstrate that he has thrown away his belief in The Superman.
- Cowboy Cop: A very dark take during his days with the CPC.
- Dirty Cop: In the sense of being a fascist bastard who considers all non-Kryptonian life expendable, and doesn't give a damn about bystanders.
- Rabid Cop: A psychopath with a badge.
- Cult: Leads a gang of white supremacists after the events of Godfall.
- Evil Counterpart: Not only does he have Superman's powers, but he follows a very warped version of the Man of Steel's code.
- Eviler than Thou: With Lyla.
- Eye Beams: Though his are black instead of red.
- Fantastic Racism: Seeks to kill all of the "impure," which includes most of Kandor's alien population. He's none too fond of humanity either, following his escape.
- Final Boss: Lyla may be The Big Bad of Godfall, but Preus is the last bastard standing, and assumes the role of main antagonist as the arc reaches its climax.
- Flying Brick
- The Fundamentalist: A fundamentalist worshipper of Kandor's cult of Superman.
- The Heavy: In Godfall where Lyla's The Big Bad, but Preus moves the plot.
- Hero-Worshipper: Of the highly-fictionalised godfigure "The Superman."
- Broken Pedestal: After he finally realises that Kal-El is Superman. At this point Preus snaps and tries to kill Kal-El for failing to live up to his own idealised image of who Superman was.
- Highly Conspicuous Uniform
- Holier Than Thou: Convinced that he is The Superman's most fervent disciple.
- Inspector Javert: He initially pursues Kal-El because he believes the latter has killed his own son (who was actually a construct created by Lyla).
- Karmic Transformation: He doesn't take the emergence of his powers very well, as he is now an alien freak, the very thing that he loathes so much.
- Knight Templar: To scarily demented levels. He's a xenophobic Rabid Cop who thinks that all lawbreakers should be killed and is willing to accept veritable tonnes of collateral damage.
- Light Is Not Good
- Lightning Bruiser
- The Mentally Ill: One could make a very good case for Preus being in need of institutionalisation, given his rabid religious views, Black and White Insanity, and general detatchment from reality.
- Police Brutality: Kills suspects, accepts blocks of civilian casualties, racist to the core...Preus is bad policing personified.
- Powered Armour: Wears a suit of power armour as a member of Kandor's police force. It compensates for the exposure sickness, allows him to fire energy blasts, enables flight (not that he needs it outside of Kandor) and can turn psychic attacks back on their users.
- A Nazi by Any Other Name: Preus' racist rhetoric should have a very familiar feel to any students of WWII history.
- Sanity Slippage: He was a self-righteous, arrogant bastard with a tenuous grip on reality from the beginning. After emerging from Kandor into the real world and becoming one of the aliens he so hates his last few shreds of sanity vanish, and he's reduced to a screaming, ranting madman.
- Social Darwinist
- State Sec: What the CPC is.
- Superior Species: Many Kryptonian villains have this view, but Preus takes it to psychotic levels. Zod would likely be embarassed by Preus' deification of their race.
- Super Senses
- Super Speed
- Super Strength
- You Are What You Hate: Doesn't realise at all that Kal-El is as Kryptonian as he is, and that Kryptonians themselves are just "aliens" on Earth.
Queen of Fables
Tsaritsa was the actual evil queen from "Snow White
". Awakening in modern times, this cruel tyrant hopes to reawaken her empire.
AKA: Fredrick von Frankenstein
A bizarre man with the power to duplicate himself whenever he's struck. He lives only to sow chaos and confusion. He may be a distant relative of the infamous Doctor Victor von Frankenstein
AKA: Emil Hamilton
Professor Emil Hamilton was once once of Superman's greatest friends. He often used his scientific genius to assist The Man Of Steel in the never ending battle against evil. Unfortunately, his mind eventually snapped. Donning a suit that exploited Superman's weaknesses, allowed him to teleport, and concealed his identity, he began a campaign to destroy him, targeting his friends and loved ones first. Superman was horrified to find his friend under the mask. When Emil tried to justify his actions by claiming that Superman was sucking the Sun dry of its energy, causing mankind's extinction in 4.5 billion years, Superman realized that he was crazy beyond help, and put him away.
AKA: Siobhan McDougal
Siobhan McDougal made a deal with an evil spirit to gain the power to take over her woman-hating Gaelic tribe. Forced to find a certain occult book as payment, she remorselessly kills anyone in her path, forcing Superman to stop her.
Clark Kent / Kal-El of Earth-Prime
"They'll never get rid of me. I always survive"
A younger version of Superman from the Alternate Universe
of Earth-Prime, where (other than him) the only super-powered beings existed in comic books. Prime's world was destroyed in the Crisis on Infinite Earths
and he took refuge in an extradimensional space with the Earth-2 Superman, Earth-2 Lois Lane, and Earth-3 Alexander Luthor Jr. Originally a noble and optimistic young hero, years of isolation and Alexander's manipulations turned Prime into a hateful monster who despised the "inferior" heroes of New Earth for being allowed to live while his world died.
After a murderous rampage in Infinite Crisis
, Prime participated in the Sinestro Corps War
before being sent back, powerless, to the reconstituted Earth-Prime by the Legion of Super-Heroes
following Legion of Three Worlds
(in which his future self was revealed to have become the Time-Trapper).
Terra-Man (Pre-Crisis & Post-Crisis)
A literal space cowboy.
The son of an outlaw in the Old West, alien criminals killed his father and abducted him.
Growing up in interstellar space, he eventually became a master Space Pirate
in his own right—even acquiring a spacefaring alien steed resembling a Pegasus—and decided the time had finally come to return home to Earth. Upon arrival, he found he'd spent so much of his life traveling at relativistic speeds that a whole century had gone by. Moreover, the Earthling populace seemed overly impressed with some consarned alien
named Superman. Taking great offense at this, the outlaw named himself Terra
-Man and set about making life as miserable for the alien as possible. Superman has lampshaded the fact that Earth is too much of a low-tech backwater to be a worthwhile target for a space pirate; Terra's only real motivation in coming back here is to pick fights with Superman. He talks in very broad cowboy jargon and is usually played at least somewhat for laughs, but his array of alien weaponry makes him one of Supey's more powerful enemies.
AKA: Tobias Manning
Tobias Manning was a guy obsessed with protecting the environment, and with cowboys. He went on a crusade to eliminate any perceived threats to Mother Nature, which unfortunately includes all aliens like Superman. He was eventually murdered by Black Adam.
Titano the Super-Ape
A fifty-foot-tall ape with incredible strength, savage intelligence, and the ability to shoot rays of kryptonite radiation from his eyes. Originally a normal chimpanzee, Titano was used as a lab animal by amoral scientists; a Freak Lab Accident
turned him into a gigantic monster. What sort of ape he is, and the exact details of how he gained his powers has varied between incarnations.
- Amplified Animal Aptitude: Titano is smarter than your average chimp or gorilla, though by how much is hard to quantify.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Pre-and-Post-Crisis. In the New 52, he's only slightly larger than an average gorilla.
- Captain Ersatz: Created so that Superman could face off against King Kong without violating copyright.
- Cooldown Hug: Has received them from both Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen.
- Depending on the Writer: What sort of ape he is. Pre-Crisis he was a gorilla. Post-Crisis he was a chimpanzee. Post-New 52 an albino gorilla. One wonders when they will make him a gibbon or orangutang.
- Evil Albino: In the New 52.
- Eye Beams: Fires Kryptonite rays from his eyes.
- Killer Gorilla: Though as mentioned above, whether he is a chimpanzee or a gorilla has changed between incarnations.
- Man of Kryptonite: One of the oddest examples, being a giant ape with the ability to fire Kryptonite from his eyes.
- Super Strength: Even for a fifty-foot tall ape, Titano is freakishly strong.
AKA: Winslow Schott
Winslow Schott is a toymaker gone mad. He makes toys now as innocent facades that house dangerous weapons and gadgets. One incarnation of the Toyman was himself a doll, vaguely of the Howdy-Doody variety. In The Dark Age of Comic Books
, the idea of a dangerous toyman wasn't taken seriously by readers, so Toyman was recast as a dangerous child-obsessed creep with strong Psychopathic Man Child
tendencies. In The Modern Age of Comic Books
, though, this Darker and Edgier
incarnation doesn't fly, so it was revealed that the psycho-pedophile Toyman was really a defective android created by the real
Schott, a former toymaker-turned-vigilante who will do anything to protect
AKA: Gerard Shugel
Superman's first Arch-Nemesis
, before Luthor, was another bald scientist called the Ultra-Humanite. Arguably the first comic book villain with super-powers (in his case, super-intelligence), he eventually gained a gimmick where he surgically transferred his brain into other people's bodies, most notably actress Dolores Winters. Starting with The Bronze Age of Comic Books
, the Ultra-Humanite has exclusively been a villain for the Justice Society of America
, and almost never locks horns with the Man of Steel alone.
Ultraman (Pre-Crisis, Post-Crisis & New 52)
Post-Crisis Ultraman. Click here to see Pre-Crisis Ultraman
AKA: Kal-Ul (Pre-Crisis), Lieutenant Clark Kent (Post-Crisis)
One of Superman's first and best known evil counterparts
, Ultraman is a criminal from an alternate universe who gains his powers by being exposed to Kryptonite. There have been three versions so far:
The Pre-Crisis incarnation hailed from the partially-reversed world of Earth-3. He was Kal-Ul, an evil Kryptonian from Krypton-3, and one of the five founding members of the Crime Syndicate of America. Everytime he was exposed to Green Kryptonite he gained a new superpower, and was the member of the Crime Syndicate who revealed the existence of Earths 1 & 2 to the others. He fought Superman both as a member of the Crime Syndicate, and in alliance with Lex Luthor of Earth-1 and Alexei Luthor of Earth-2, earning the undying enmity of his Earth's Alexander Luthor Senior in the process. He died during the Crisis, when the antimatter wave destroyed Earth-3, but made a few appearances Post-Crisis despite this, as The Dragon
in a Supergirl story set in Kandor and as a member of the Crime Society of America on the new Earth-Three that was revealed during the events of 52
The Post-Crisis variant hailed from an Anti-Matter Universe. He was a human astronaut named Clark Kent who suffered an accident in space and was rebuilt by aliens who didn't understand human anatomy. Now criminally insane and powered by exposure to Anti-Kryptonite, the Terror of Steel keeps dominion over Earth along with his version of the Crime Syndicate killing dissenters and taking what he wants, believing that lesser human beings have no right to tell him what to do. He is unhappily married to his teammate Superwoman, whom he alternately lusts after and hates. Arrogant, violent, and more than a little dim, he is almost nothing like the Superman, or the Clark, we know and love.
The New 52
created a third variant. Making his home on a new Earth-3 that is stated to be the origin of evil itself, this Ultraman is one of the leading members of the newest Crime Syndicate, with Evil Counterparts
of all of the JLA members, including the relatively new additions Deathstorm
. Gaining power from Green Kryptonite by utilizing it as a Fantastic Drug
, and Weakened by the Light
of the Yellow Sun, he remains one of the leading antagonists of Forever Evil
- Affably Evil: Pre-Crisis Ultraman was a genuinely cheerful Boisterous Bruiser who got along well with his teammates, and would compliment his adversaries as they fought.
- Archenemy: Of Alexander Luthor Sr in both of the pre-New52 continuities.
- Badass Cape
- Big Bad: Of any story involving the Crime Syndicate.
- Blood Knight: He and the rest of the Syndicate alike, Pre-Crisis.
- Brains: Evil; Brawn: Good: Inverted. He's the evil Brawn to Alexander Luthor Senior's Brains, Pre-and-Post-Crisis.
- Brought to You by the Letter "S": Massive "U" on his chest Pre-Crisis; Post-Crisis it's a shield like Superman's with a U-shape in the centre..
- Boisterous Bruiser: Pre-Crisis he's characterised as a bluff, cheerful man, who loves a good challenge and enjoys facing a Worthy Opponent.
- Chest Insignia: Pre-Crisis Ultraman has the "U", Post-Crisis Ultraman an inversion of Superman's "S" shield. The Comic Book/New52 goes back to the U.
- Demoted to Dragon: A variant of the Pre-Crisis version of Ultraman appears as Legion of Super-Heroes villain Saturn Queen's Dragon in a Supergirl story arc, Post-Crisis.
- Dumb Muscle: Ultraman is an impulsive egomaniac, and while not particularly stupid, comes off this way in comparison to our Superman. He usually lets Owlman do his thinking for him. This may be justified if he has not yet gained Superman's Super Intelligence.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: Pre-Crisis
- Dystopia Justifies the Means: Post-Crisis Ultraman wants a brutal dictatorship that he can lord it over, and will use any means to do this.
- Enemy Mine: With Superman and the JLA against the antimatter Brainiac, Post-Crisis. Pre-Crisis, he and Alexander Luthor teamed to try and stop the Antimonitor.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Pre-Crisis Ultraman genuinely cared for the other members of the Crime Syndicate, and died trying to save his world from the Antimonitor. Post-Crisis Ultraman, not so much.
- Evil Counterpart: But not an Evil Twin. Kal-Ul was never a direct analogue to our Kal-El (if anything, his name might indicate a connection to Kryptonian villain Quex-Ul), and the Antimatter Clark Kent is both entirely human and bears only a passing resemblance to ours. As an evil being with all Superman's powers who gains energy from Kryptonite, he definitely makes for a solid contrast with Superman.
- Eviler than Thou: Pre-Crisis Ultraman versus the Antimonitor, and Post-Crisis Ultraman's clash with the Antimatter Brainiac, in a classic Lawful Evil versus Chaotic Evil duel.
- Evil Is Petty: Post-Crisis Ultraman is a just a dick to everyone on general principle.
- Famous Last Words: Pre-Crisis Ultraman's declaration that he will fight onto the end as he flies into the antimatter wave.
- Form-Fitting Wardrobe/Superheroes Wear Tights: Inverted, due to his immorality. Not so much Pre-Crisis, but Post-Crisis Ultraman appears to be wearing a skintight suit of pajamas.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Pre-Crisis Ultraman and the rest of the Crime Synidcate sacrificed themselves fighting against the Anti-Monitor in order to save Earth-3.
- Jerkass: Extraordinaire Post-Crisis.
- Kryptonite Factor: Inverted. Exposure to Green Kryptonite gives Ultraman more superpowers rather than weakening him. This allowed Pre-Crisis Ultraman to take on both Earth-1 and Earth-2 Superman, by attacking them with Green K. In the New52, he even expands his powers by crushing, burning, and snorting Green K.
- Lantern Jaw of Justice: Post-Crisis Ultraman has this look, which coupled with his being a Perpetual Frowner gives him a uniquely sour face.
- The Leader: Of the Crime Syndicate in all incarnations.
- Lightning Bruiser: Considering all versions are evil Supermen.
- Perpetual Frowner: Post-Crisis Ultraman never ever seems to smile.
- Pay Evil unto Evil: Post-Crisis Ultraman's lobotimisation of the Antimatter Brainiac was well-deserved but still harsh to watch.
- Power Degeneration: If he goes without refuelling on Kryptonite for too long.
- Retgone: Pre-Crisis Ultraman, along with the rest of the Crime Syndicate.
- Shadow Archetype: Demonstrates what happens when absolute power is given to a small-minded, petty jerk, and demonstrates why Earth-1/the Matter universe is so lucky to get the Superman that it did.
- Shoulders of Doom: Pre-Crisis Ultraman sported some seriously awful shoulderpads.
- Smug Snake: So very much.
- Smug Super: All versions, though the Pre-Crisis version is a more classic example.
- Social Darwinist: His New 52 counterpart is disgusted by a world where the strong protect the weak.
- Superpower Lottery: Matches Superman in this regard.
- Blow You Away: Regularly uses his superbreath to this effect.
- Eye Beams: Pre-Crisis he first gained them during his battle with The Flash, when the latter tried to use Green K against him. They quickly become one of his favourite weapons.
- Flying Brick: Modeled on the Ur Example.
- Flying Firepower: Courtesy of his Eye Beams and hurricane force breath.
- In a Single Bound
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: Justified, as exposure to Kryptonite/Antikryptonite grants him more power.
- Nigh Invulnerable: Survives a nuclear blast that would have killed entire cities during his battle with Starman, Pre-Crisis. It takes being bombarded with antimatter to knock him out, and that doesn't hurt him, it just robs him of his senses. It isn't until his battle against the Antimonitor when we finally discover what it takes to kill him—a wave of antimatter so concentrated that it can burn down whole universes. The Post-Crisis version is less durable, but is still on paar with the modern Superman.
- Super Breath: Can be hurricane-force winds or arctic cold.
- Super Speed: An absurdly fast flier, and a fast runner, too, matching Superman.
- Super Strength
- Super Senses: He actually possesses some Superman doesn't have, as Pre-Crisis he could see through the veil between Earths 1, 2, and 3.
- X-Ray Vision
- Take Over the World: Post-Crisis he pulled this off.
- Transhuman Treachery: Post-Crisis Ultraman who immediately betrayed (and conquered) his nation the moment he gained his powers.
- Underestimating Badassery: Post-Crisis Ultraman does it to both Superman and the Martian Manhunter, and gets his ass kicked because of it.
- Underwear of Power: Not Pre-Crisis, but Post-Crisis Ultraman is in feetie pajamas.
- Unholy Matrimony: With Superwoman Post-Crisis, though she apparently doesn't have much say in the matter. She immediately begins cheating on him with Owlman.
- Villain Team-Up: Pre-Crisis Ultraman allied with Lex Luthor and Alexei Luthor in one memorable story, nearly killing the Supermans of Earths-1 & 2 in the process.
- Villainous Friendship: What made the Pre-Crisis Crime Syndicate as dangerous as they were was their genuine liking of one another and willingness to work together. Averted Post-Crisis, where their union is more based around being able to better conquer the world, and have no qualms whatsoever with stabbing one another in the back.
- Weakened by the Light: In the New 52, he is weakened by yellow sunlight.
- Worthy Opponent: Pre-Crisis Ultraman comes to see the Barry Allen Flash and Ted Knight Starman as such when they successfully stand up to him despite their lower levels of power.