"A villain is just a victim whose story hasn't been told."
―Chris Colfer in The Wishing Spell (The Land of Stories, #1)
―Chris Colfer in The Wishing Spell (The Land of Stories, #1)
Superman is known as one of the greatest heroes of all time. However, life has never been easy for this flying superhero from planet Krypton. He has had to combat many rivals and villains. And they have not been any less than the hero. They have tried to defeat him, overpower him, and kill him.
More powerful the villain, more the action we get to see. And that's exactly the case with Superman's villains too. These villains have led our hero to bring out the best in him. They have wanted to conquer earth, which has resulted in their combat with our hero. Superman has emerged victorious each time, but the baddies have given him a tough time, again and again. Here's our list of the top ten Superman villains of all time.
Lex Luthor - Businessman/Scientist
Of all villains, there is always a ruthless brainy person, who wants to press the world under his thumb with his power. Lex Luthor is someone like that. His first appearance in ACTION COMICS #23 (1940) is as a businessman who can resort to anything for money and power. Starting as a red-haired villain, he appears as a bald man in the later series. And that adds to his negative image. He is envious about Superman, as the world looks up to him. He wants to be wealthy and famous. With an uncanny attitude, he runs his business empire called LexCorp, and he wants to be a tyrant. In some versions, he has been depicted as a scientist who wants to gain power through his weird creations. His envy is shown to later turn into a strong desire to kill Superman.
Darkseid - Ruler of Apokolips
This treacherous Apokolips ruler, formerly known as Prince Uxas, does not hesitate to kill his own family members with the only desire to become the supreme ruler. He is an epitome of extreme hatred and has a cold heart. True to his name, he resonates the 'dark side' and usually wears jackboots. He first appeared in SUPERMAN'S PAL JIMMY OLSEN #134 (1970) and has had several encounters with Superman in his quest to conquer earth. He wants to be a dictator. He wants the world to obey him, or be prepared to face his wrath. The deadly Omega Beam that he emits from his eyes, can erase living objects or even mutilate them. His son Orion (born out of his union with Tigra), kills him.
Bizarro - Clone of Superman
Making his debut in SUPERBOY #68 (1958), Bizarro confronts Superman as his exact mirror image. He has all the powers that Superman has. Bizarro, true to his name, is bizarre. He does not know what he is and why. A scientist on earth, while demonstrating his 'duplicating ray' invention accidentally creates Bizzaro. In some incarnations, he appears with Superman's traits reversed. His spouse is Bizarro Lois Lane, who is a clone of Lois Lane, Superman's love interest.
General Zod - Military leader of planet Krypton
General Zod made his debut appearance in ADVENTURE COMICS #283 (1961). Unlike others, General Zod belongs to Superman's planet, Krypton. He has been trapped in the Phantom Zone for long by Superman's father Jor-El. However, after his release, he continues his rivalry with Kal-El (son of Jor-El) and wants to re-establish planet Krypton. He uses his son Lor Zod for his plans, and once in the ambit of sun, possesses the powers which a normal Kryptonian does.
Parasite- Life- and knowledge-sucking parasite
In the earlier versions, his name was Raymond Maxwell Jensen who was shown as a factory worker. He was turned into a parasite when he opened a container that had poisonous elements. In other versions, he is Rudy Jones, a worker for S.T.A.R. labs who is tricked into opening a container having poisonous radiation which converts him into a parasite. He is a parasite indeed, and thrives on others. He gets energy by sucking life out of others. He has the ability to sense the energy and power within a being. He has a pink-violet skin and facial deformities.
Mister Mxyzptlk - Imp from the 5th dimension
One may fall for his funny looks and write him off, but he has been shown to cause real pain to our superhero. He's an imp from the 5th dimension, who can harness his magical powers and strike disasters. He takes pleasure in torturing Superman. He can be defeated by being tricked to pronounce his name backwards.
Doomsday - Kryptonite monster and murderer of Superman
Doomsday first appeared in SUPERMAN: THE MAN OF STEEL #17 (1992) and true to his name, is a villain whose presence brings doom. Born on planet Krypton and subject to many cruel experiments, he has emerged stronger every time. He has the ability to recover from damage and is resistant to ordinary injuries. He has an unbeatable power, and is out to destroy everything he lays his eyes on. He is best-known as the murderer of Superman. However, after his death, four new heroes were launched, each claiming to be Superman.
Metallo - Metallic Cyborg
Formerly a journalist, John Corben, with formidable powers and a metallic body, assumes the name 'Metallo', and has been incarnated with a Kryptonite heart. He does not need food or sleep, and his brain has its own power supply. He swears vengeance on Superman. Sometimes, he is shown with an ability to transform his body parts, especially the limbs, into weapons. However, there are various adaptations of the story behind Metallo.
Brainiac - Robot Alien
Brainiac first appeared in ACTION COMICS #242 (1958) and has a high-level intellect and deep knowledge of alien technologies. He has the ability to possess others and absorb information from them. He is green in color and has red diodes projecting out from his skull. He has healing powers and is able to replicate himself. In one of his incarnations, he is depicted as possessing telepathy and telekinesis abilities. He shrinks cities and puts them into a bottle. He is best-known for reducing Kandor, the capital of Krypton.
Mongul - Alien and ruler of Warworld
Mongul is on the quest of turning Earth into a Warworld, where he can compel the inhabitants to go by his wishes and whims. After he is killed by demon lord Neron, his legacy of destruction is carried forward by his son Mongul. In the first version (Bronze Age), he is depicted as stronger than Superman and immune to harm. Superman defeats him in a hand-to-hand combat. The Modern Age incarnation is shown as less powerful than the earlier one. However, Superman has to use a combination attack to defeat him.
These fictional bad guys are an impressive result of their creators' imagination. Every time, they have posed a new challenge before Superman. The battles between them and our hero, have doubled the entertainment derived from watching or reading this comic series.