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DCU Vol6: Super Villains by alexmax DCU Vol6: Super Villains by alexmax
This is the first lineup with villians in the series. I went with Superman villains, not only because that is my favorite superhero, but also because I'm always annoyed when I read that he's got a weak rogue gallery. I fail to see how the list of Superman bad guys is that much inferior to that of Batman or Spidey (widely regarded as the best rogue galleries in comics). There's a huge variety of type of villians Superman has to deal with: from a 12th level intellect businessman, to interplanetary tyrants, from immortal killing machines to 5th dimension omnipotent imps, from mad scientists to data collecting androids, and everything else in-between.

Here are some of my favorites:

Parasite: Went pretty much with the early 00's Ed McGuinness redesign (knowing me, there's no surprise there). A villain that not only can steal Superman's powers, and leave normal humans dead or near-death, but can also steal memories, makes supes vulnerable in every way.

Hank Henshaw: Probably one of my top 3 Superman villians. Unfortunately he was over-used in the late 90's and disappeared for a while until he re-emerged (in a typical Geoff Johns retcon) as an enemy for Hal Jordan. Why on earth is Henshaw using a version of Superman's costume? It made sense during Reign of the Superman because he was impersonating Supes, and pretended to tarnish his legacy. But now?! He blames Superman for his wife's and friends' deaths and also for this immortality, there's no way he would honor his enemy by being associated to him... I guess it could all be explained by the fact that he is insane (other than for marketing issues, and toys).

Lex Luthor: The best Superman villian and here's why: Superman can't fight a man that is perceived by many as Metropolis' greatest benefactor. For the majority of the public Luthor led an honest corporation, and he was a major philanthropist. Well, at least in the Post-Man of Steel era. It's a shame that all movies have gone with the worst possible version of the character, the petty criminal Luthor, obsessed with real-state scams. Even the mad-scientist Lex Luthor would be preferable to that.

Darkseid: OK, technically he is a villian of the New Gods, but since the New Gods are kinda lame (sorry Kirby fans) Darkseid has been linked to Superman for decades. Just imagine the ultimate evil of the DC Universe is a Superman bad guy... yep, Superman's rogue gallery is weak.

Mr. Mxyzptlk: Not really evil, more of a reality-bending nuisance, which can lead to some good laughs. It shows how widely varied Supes' enemies can be.

Bizarro: Another one that is part of pop culture consciousness. There are several versions of him. Some were played for laughs, others as tragedy.

Doomsday: Not really a character and more of a plot device. Thing is there are limits to what you can do with what, essentially, is Hulk without Bruce Banner. When done right it can be good (Hunter/Prey, Doomsday Rex, maybe Death of Superman) when not, it's horrible (almost everything else). Lately Doomsday has been reduced to a joke. And yet he remains memorable enough, due to cool visuals.

edit: can't believe this thing had a typo in the title for such a long time. d'oh!
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:iconwnter06:
wnter06 Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2016
good
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:iconbarney-nedward:
barney-nedward Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2015  Professional Writer
I think if mxy ever appears in a live action movie they should cast Gilbert Gottfried again.
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:iconcrossfire778:
crossfire778 Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2015
Shouldn't Bizzaro be frowning because the opposite of a smile is a frown
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:iconthecomiccrafter:
TheComicCrafter Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Am I the only one who thinks these would look great as a series of collectible figurines? Come on DC, hire this guy already!
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:iconalexmax:
alexmax Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2015  Professional General Artist
I'd be forced to go with the New52 designs! D:

Thanks for the comment :)
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:iconromeokumar:
RomeoKumar Featured By Owner May 29, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Nice Work.
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:iconalexmax:
alexmax Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2015  Professional General Artist
Thank you!
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:iconkmon13:
Kmon13 Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2014  Student Artist
You did a very good job with this...

My take on what I see when I look at these characters ...

Henshaw
/The Cyborg superman look cool in his enhancements. I still remembered how he made Mongol bend to his knees in allegiance in the Reign of the supper man arch and it shows that he still advancing himself. ((However I remember in a Superman/Fantatic Four crossover comic that he made a mistake he couldn't take back when he offered to become a herald of Galaticus)) 

Same goes for Lex Luthor how I admit has that Machiavellian attitude were he can run both the world of business and the underworld and still keep his hands clean to become President of the United States (( Too bat his obsession with Superman ruined it along with his business since he sold it to Taila Head who in turn sold most of her stocks to the Bat/ Bruce Wayne.. ))

Darkseid is another character I've seen evolve in ruthlessness as he seeks out the Anti-life equation and still have time to have consorts created for him (( However after one incident I hear he make it so they no longer speak now... since he killed her afterward)) he is truly one to be feared.

As for Doomsday what more can I say that you brought out the fact that he's a Omega class bipedal WMD that nearly ended superman's life with raw brutal power.


Parasite and Mr. Mxyzptlk Not much I could say here since I've seen both in superman adventures and still back tracking for comic to get a better description of them .

But still good job with all.. 
 

  
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:iconalexmax:
alexmax Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2014  Professional General Artist
Thank you! :)
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:iconkmon13:
Kmon13 Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2014  Student Artist
You're welcome. 
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:iconprof-ohmgee:
prof-ohmgee Featured By Owner May 7, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I really like this piece...

Three of my favorite super villains.

Lex, Ruby and Bizarro.
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:iconalexmax:
alexmax Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2014  Professional General Artist
Respect for Superman's rogue gallery. :thumbsup:
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:iconcountdarkmire:
countdarkmire Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2014
Poor Doomsday. He's my favorite Superman villain.
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:iconalexmax:
alexmax Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2014  Professional General Artist
Was I a little too tough in calling him a plot device? He kinda is, but they gave him a cool origin with Hunter/Prey. The problem with Doomsday is that the more times he is defeated, the less meaning he has. I still love Death, Funeral, and Return of Superman. 
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:iconpurgatory367:
Purgatory367 Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2013
Personally I've always felt Superman had one of the better rouges gallery. Sure Batman and Spider-Man have the best, but Superman's is still pretty damn good.
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:iconalexmax:
alexmax Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2013  Professional General Artist
I think that it's possible that one of the reasons that Batman's and Spider-Man's rogues are considered better, is because (other than they probably ARE better) is that their villains work specifically with those heroes. Say, Green Goblin vs. Thor wouldn't be a fair fight. Same goes for The Ventriloquist vs. Green Lantern. Where as Superman's villains can be put up against any other superhero or even the entire JLA. Well, maybe not Prankster or Toyman... 

Then again, Dr. Doom is widely regarded as the best villain in all comicdom, and he is as much a villain for the Fantastic Four, as he can be for Spider-Man or Iron-Man.  
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:iconsuperuk:
superuk Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2013
I can understand how you feel with superman bad guy list they are kind of weak but some like atomic skull zod bloodsport and kryptonite are pretty hard hitters
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:iconalexmax:
alexmax Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2013  Professional General Artist
To me, the only ones than can truly be considered weak are Toyman and Prankster. Even if Toyman did get a nice update by Timm and Dini in the 90's. 
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:iconsuperuk:
superuk Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2013
timm and dini know who to do a good update on a supervillan or hero
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:iconfrostywaters:
FrostyWaters Featured By Owner May 30, 2013
I agree with you on Doomsday. Truly a tough character to write for.
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:iconalexmax:
alexmax Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2013  Professional General Artist
Don't get me wrong, I like Death of Superman (even if the real meat of that story came with Funeral for a Friend and Reign of the Supermen), and loved Hunter/Prey, I mean, Cyborg, Doomsday AND Darkseid at once?! :D After that, every Doomsday appearance has cheapened the character, for the most part. Never read the last couple of stories with him, but apparently, the last one, that served as the final chapter of the pre-New52 Superman was terribad.
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:iconfrostywaters:
FrostyWaters Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2013
I agree 100%. I personally believe it's just a lack of a writer that understands the character that is holding Doomsday back from his true potential.
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:iconalexmax:
alexmax Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2013  Professional General Artist
Or maybe Doomsday is a "one off" type of deal. Not a recurring type of villain.
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:iconfrostywaters:
FrostyWaters Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2013
That's probably true.
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:icondragon-kid:
Dragon-Kid Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2013
One question, did Parasite go to various DC titles outside of Superman, and then he stole various superhero powers?
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:iconalexmax:
alexmax Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2013  Professional General Artist
Probably, but I can't think of any such situation. Certainly fought the Justice League at some point or another.
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:icondragon-kid:
Dragon-Kid Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2013
If he steals Batman's "Power set" (because Batman doesn't have superpowers), what ability did gain?
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:iconalexmax:
alexmax Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2013  Professional General Artist
Parasite's bank account grows?
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:icondragon-kid:
Dragon-Kid Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2013
No, possibly advanced martial arts techniques.
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:iconalexmax:
alexmax Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2013  Professional General Artist
Hehehe. I was just remembering a cartoon where they were making fun about how Batman's real superpower was money. Think it was Tiny Toons.
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:iconmisternefarious:
MisterNefarious Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Student General Artist
I dig your art and choices. Like your design on henshaw

I really liked that they brought in Atlas as a new villain for Supes a whole back

I'm just so sick of kryponite based villains for him. Its such a cop out.

Dig your parasite. That's gotta be my favorite Supes villain. Love his power being turned back at him, so great :D
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:iconalexmax:
alexmax Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013  Professional General Artist
Thank you! :)

I agree that Kryptonite should one be used sparingly, and only the green one, the multi-colored rocks is so typical silver age cheese. And the only Kryptonite baddie worth a damn is Metallo (and Luthor when he gains access to the thing).
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:iconmisternefarious:
MisterNefarious Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013  Student General Artist
Definitely. Every other putz wielding Kryptonite makes Metallo lose some of his charm. And honestly, I didn't even know that there was other Kryptonite other than green outside of Smallville >.>
I agree. Cheese.
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:iconhedghogfin:
HedghogFin Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2012
believe it or not technically Doomsday is a jimmy Olsen villain: [link]
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:iconalexmax:
alexmax Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012  Professional General Artist
Oh, yeah! (I think you meant Darkseid), but yeah I knew that. :) That's why, while Darkseid didn't start as a Superman villain, he was soon added to Superman's rogue gallery. Having first appeared in a Jimmy Olsen comic, the link was always there.
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:iconhedghogfin:
HedghogFin Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012
yeah, sorry I meant Darkseid
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:iconalexmax:
alexmax Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012  Professional General Artist
Hehehe, no worries! :) Jimmy became Doomsday in All-Star Superman, so maybe that's why you subconscious betrayed you? :B
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:iconhedghogfin:
HedghogFin Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2012
probably. Damn my subconscious!
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:iconmightymorphinpower4:
MightyMorphinPower4 Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2012
Awesome buit where Brainic
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:iconalexmax:
alexmax Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2012  Professional General Artist
I've never been a fan of Brainiac (maybe the version seen in the DCAU is the only one I like somewhat). I chose the 7 bad guys I like the most.
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:iconmartmeisterpaladin:
MartmeisterPaladin Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2012  Hobbyist
Maybe Henshaw is wearing a variation of Superman's costume with the intention of mocking the Man of Steel.
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:iconalexmax:
alexmax Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2012  Professional General Artist
That's a possibility. I still believe it has more to do with marketability and that him using a red superman suit, makes for a better toy than if he is just a generic cyborg... couldn't avoid the pun ;)
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:iconrosutu:
rosutu Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2012
If I may throw my mere 2 cents in regarding Supes' baddies, and why they're regarded as "inferior" to other heroes' galleries of rogues, I think it's less to do with their variety or their power as it is their purpose.

A rogues gallery is, at its most basic level, meant to challenge a hero in different ways. On other levels, though, they are meant to threaten society in different ways, deal with their own issues (if they have any) in their own specific ways, and all in all be striking and memorable enough to be more-or-less permanent. With Batman's rogues, for example, you get their schticks right away, but each gives a different challenge to the Bat, and can give equally unique challenges to other heroes.

With the Blue Boy Scout, however, his rogues gallery's purpose is much more transparent. Each member (at least, the assortment here) is almost tailor-made to have a leg up on Superman in some way, or else have the capacity to defeat him. The Parasite can drain Superman's powers, the Cyborg Superman can match his strength, Lex Luthor constantly outsmarts him, and Doomsday was literally made to kill him. This might be less so for out-of-left-field weirdos like Mr. Mxyzptlk or Bizarro, but even they're made to realistically combat the nigh-invulnerable boy from Kansas and Krypton.

I dunno, maybe I'm just a babbling comics dork. Just felt like contributing to the issue somehow.
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:iconalexmax:
alexmax Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012  Professional General Artist
Ha, no, awesome, no need to apologize, thanks for the comment.

It's hard to argue against Batman and Spider-Man having the best overall rogue galleries. All I'm saying is that Superman is not that far behind. Maybe it's not so much that he doesn't have good villains, but more that he doesn't have that many that are truly worth it. I mean beyond these 7, there's Braniac, maybe Mongul... and then you have embarrassing stuff like Prankster and Toyman or Z-listers who aren't even worth mentioning. While it's much easier to name dozens of bad guys for Spidey or Batman.

Maybe the rogue gallery is just not up to Superman's stature. Then again, Superman has become, in my opinion, a b-lister for DC Comics. So it's all good! :lol:
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:iconrosutu:
rosutu Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012
True, true. I wonder why writers wouldn't think to simply invent more baddies for Superman?
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:iconalexmax:
alexmax Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012  Professional General Artist
Last time they tried was during the Death of Superman storyline,which brought us Doomsday and The Cyborg (Hank Henshaw did appear years before, but not as The Cyborg). Other than that, can't think of any. Solaris is pretty wacky, not a fan. Imperiex? Hmm, no. Dominus? lol, yuck. Ruin? meh.

I have no idea if there's been any interesting bad guys in the new52 stuff, but I doubt it.
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:iconrosutu:
rosutu Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012
Have they tried producing a bad guy from the depths of the bottled city? Or does that even exist anymore, continuity-wise?
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:iconalexmax:
alexmax Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2012  Professional General Artist
Hmm, nothing that I can think so. No idea if Kandor has been introduced for the New52.
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:iconrosutu:
rosutu Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2012
Well, they should do something. If Geoff Johns can concoct 50 bad guys for the Green Lantern that became fan-favorites, someone should be able to do the same for Superman.
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:iconalexmax:
alexmax Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2012  Professional General Artist
Geoff Johns' run on Superman was, at best, a mixed bag. I didn't like it at all, but early on a lot of people loved his stuff with Braniac. When his focus shifted to Green Lantern, and the Superman comics suffered, and I don't think he was involved at all for the New Krypton finale, which was the conclusion of all the ideas introduced to Superman by Johns' "soft reboot". Then there's Secret Origin, which a lot of people loved (I'm more of a Man of Steel guy), but New52 reboot was just around the corner.

Superman has been given a fresh start 4 or 5 times in the past 10 years. It's embarrassing and proof DC has no clue what to do with him anymore. Part of it can be blamed on the lawsuit.

Now it's me that should apologize for all this ranting! Sorry. I'll stop now.
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