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Superman's Main Enemies

Untitled 2 Enemies created for other media   Allies in conflict   Lesser known foes
Villains from comics in other media

Central rogues gallery

Learn about the many villains Superman has come into conflict with.

In alphabetical order (with issue and date of first appearance):

Villain First appearance Description
Atlas 1st Issue Special #1 (April 1975) A former one-shot Jack Kirby character recently revamped as a morally ambiguous antihero, Atlas has a crystal which gives him strength to rival Superman.
Atomic Skull Superman #303 (September 1976) Albert Michaels was given radiation treatments that gave him atomic eye-blasts and worked from an agent of SKULL to becoming the organization's leader.
Adventures of Superman #483 (October 1991) Joseph Martin's superhuman powers manifested after exposure to the Dominators' gene-bomb, the film buff began to hallucinate that he was a 1930s movie hero called the Atomic Skull and that Superman was his arch-nemesis.
Bizarro Superboy #68 (October 1958) Bizarro was created when Superboy was exposed to a "duplicating ray", and was later destroyed in the same story.
Action Comics #254 (July 1959) Lex Luthor exposed Kal-El, now Superman, to another duplicating ray, this time creating an adult Bizarro. This Bizzaro later created a Bizzaro Lois and left with her into Space. In accordance with the science fiction concepts of Superman stories of the era, Bizarro relocated to "the Bizarro World," a cubical planet called Htrae (Earth spelled backwards) which operated under "Bizarro logic" (it was a crime to do anything good or right) and which Bizarro populated with inverted versions of Supermanís supporting cast and other DC heroes.
The Man of Steel #5 (December 1986) Bizarro was a flawed clone created by Lex Luthor's staff of scientists.
Superman vol. 2, #160 (September 2000) Post-Crisis another Bizzaro was created when the Joker conned Mr. Mxyzptlk out of 99% of his powers and created a Bizzaro World.
Bloodsport Superman vol. 2, #4 (April 1987) A gun-toting mercenary with Kryptonitebullets.
Adventures of Superman #506 (November 1993) A white supremacist, Alex Trent uses similar technology to the first Bloodsport.
Brainiac Action Comics #242 (July 1958) Most incarnations depict Brainiac (alias Vril Dox) as a bald, green-skinned alien android from the planet Colu, and one of the most dangerous villains in the DC universe, capable of possessing others, creating and manipulating computer systems, and exerting some control over time and space.
Bruno Mannheim Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #139 (July 1971) Mannheim is one of Metropolis most powerful gangsters, the leader of Intergang.
Composite Superman World's Finest Comics #142 (June 1964) An out of work diver, Joseph Meach gained the combined powers of the Legion of Super-Heroes after being struck by the energy discharge of their statues. He then desired to defeat Superman and Batman. However the effects eventually wear off. Later they are given back by an alien whose Father was imprisoned by the two heroes, but when he turned back he sacrificed himself to save Superman and Batman from the Magna-Gun the alien had shot at them.
Conduit Superman: The Man of Steel #0 (October 1994) A good friend of Clark Kent's while growing up, he was exposed to Kryptonite radiation as a baby and so became a living Kryptonite battery. Obsessed with coming in second to Clark and killing both Clark and Superman, he has learned they are one and the same. He is currently deceased.
Darkseid Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #134 (November 1970) Uxas, Son of Heggra, alien dictator of the planet Apokolips. As with gods in other mythologies, Darkseid is incredibly powerful, but cannot escape his ultimate destiny. It has been foretold that Darkseid will meet his final defeat at the hands of his son, Orion, in a cataclysmic battle in the fiery Armaghetto of Apokolips.

According to writer Mark Evanier, Jack Kirby modeled Darkseid on actor Jack Palance.[1]

Doomsday Superman: The Man of Steel #17 (November 1992) The creature who killed Superman in a titanic battle that also resulted in Doomsday's death, although Doomsday comes back to life every time he dies, albeit more powerful. Created by an ancient genetic experiment on Krypton.
Eradicator Action Comics Annual #2 (1989) A powerful artificial intelligence from Krypton, the Eradicator program initially sought to transform and terraform Earth into a New Krypton. Since then, it has merged with human scientist David Conner, serving as a replacement Superman after the Man of Steel's apparent death and later as an ally to Superman himself.
Faora Hu-Ul Action Comics #471 (May 1977) A Kryptonian martial artist and man-hater who was sent to the Phantom Zone for murdering several men, she is able to beat Superman using her knowledge of Klurkor, a Kryptonian martial art enabling the user to immobilize an opponent via pressure points (this character was used as the basis of General Zod's lover, Zaora).
General Zod Adventure Comics #283 (April 1961) General Dru-Zod is one of Superman's more prominent enemies. Once the Military Director of the Kryptonian Space Center, Zod had personally known Jor-El when he was an aspiring scientist. Zod attempted to take over Krypton using a machine that produced Bizarro-like duplicates during a period of turmoil caused by the termination of the space program; he was sentenced to the Phantom Zone for 40 years for his crimes. Zod was first released by Kal-El (during his Superboy career) when his term of imprisonment was up. However, he attempted to conquer Earth with powers gained under the yellow sun. Zod was sent back into the Phantom Zone, occasionally escaping to target Superman.
Adventures of Superman #444 (September 1988) A General Zod based on the previous version created by the Time Trapper in a pocket dimension.
Superman vol. 2, #166 (January 2001) Head of the Kryptonian military in an alternate reality created by Brainiac 13.
Action Comics #779 (July 2001) A Russian child that during an experiment developed powers similar to Superman, but where Zod gains power from red sunlight and becomes weak in yellow. He made contact with an otherworldly Zod that inspired him to face Superman.
Superman vol. 2, #204 (June 2004) Created from the artificial Metropia constructed by Superman that claimed to be from Krypton.
Action Comics #845 (January 2007) Following Jor-El's belief that Krypton was doomed and attempted to usurp the ruling council, Zod and his compatriots Non and Ursa were captured and sentenced to the Phantom Zone with Jor-El their jailer. Having escaped the Phantom Zone with his allies, Zod's new objective is to reclaim his son, Lor-Zod, who is currently in Superman and Lois Lane's custody (under the alias of "Chris Kent)."
Gog The Kingdom #1 (February 1999) In a possible future timeline, a boy called William was the sole survivor of the destruction of Kansas in a nuclear blast. Saved by Superman, he came to view the Man of Steel as a savior and became a minister of a church devoted to him. When Superman tried to correct this misguided view, William came to see him as instead a demon whose failure led to Kansas' destruction. Empowered by the cosmic beings known as the Quintessence, Gog has traveled across the dimensions of Hypertime, slaying versions of Superman wherever he finds them.
Hank Henshaw Adventures of Superman #466 (May 1990) An astronaut who died as a result of a doomed mission onboard space shuttle Excalibur. Because Superman failed to save him, Hank Henshaw blames him for the loss of his original body, as well as the death of his wife. Reduced to a formless entity that inhabits mechanical bodies, the Cyborg desires to cause Superman equal pain. He masqueraded as a resurrected Superman after the hero's apparent death, claiming to be the result of Superman's remains being reconstructed into cybernetic form. The ruse was a tremendous success, even earning the Cyborg an endorsement from the U.S. President as the "true" Superman. Hank Henshaw betrayed those whose lives he was entrusted with when he obliterated Coast City with the help of Mongul; this event led to Green Lantern Hal Jordan's mental breakdown and later transformation into Parallax. Henshaw is currently a member of the Sinestro Corps, and continues to mockingly bear Superman's insignia.
Imperiex Superman #153 (February 2000) An all-powerful force of nature whose purpose is destroying galaxies, planning to create a new universe. Eventually, Superman, Steel, and Darkseid stopped Imperiex by using Doomsday as an ally, along with a powerful weapon called the Entropy Aegis.
Intergang Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #133 (October 1970) A nationwide organized crime syndicate armed with weapons supplied in part by Darkseid, led by Bruno Mannheim.
Jax-Ur (Pre-Crisis) Adventure Comics #289 (October 1961) Jax-Ur was an amoral and criminally deviant scientist on the planet Krypton. He was imprisoned in the Phantom Zone for destroying Wegthor, one of the Krypton's inhabited (Population: 500) moons while experimenting with a nuclear warhead-equipped rocket. Jax-Ur's intention was to launch and test-fire it against a passing space rock. If this test proved successful, Jax-Ur would then commence the build-up of a massive personal nuclear arsenal with which he would overthrow the Kryptonian government, and place the entire planet under his dominion. (In the World of Krypton miniseries, he is shown test-launching a nuclear missile, intended to destroy a space rock, but a collision with a spaceship piloted by Jor-El sent it off-course.) Because of this, space travel was forbidden. He calls himself "the worst criminal in the Phantom Zone". His sentence for his act of mass murder is life imprisonment. In his first appearance, he managed to escape from the Phantom Zone, and posed as a super-powered version of Jonathan Kent. Superboy eventually sent Jax-Ur back to the Phantom Zone. Most of his later Silver Age appearances show him in his ghostly Phantom Zone form. Jax-Ur did not appear after the Crisis on Infinite Earths for some time, as until the recent appearance of Supergirl there was a rule that no Kryptonians survived except Superman. However in one story he shows some honour, as he is released to help Superman defeat a criminal who caused Krypton's destruction and allows himself to be sent back.
(Post-Crisis) Action Comics #846 (February 2007) He is one of the criminals unleashed from the Phantom Zone by Zod. In the current continuity, Jax-Ur destroyed Krypton's moon during an attempt at interstellar space travel. When the moon was destroyed Brainiac became aware of Krypton and attacked Kandor killing millions and put the city into a bottle. Jax-Ur subsequently became the first prisoner banished to the Phantom Zone. Jax-Ur is shown to be of the Science guild, is bald, and has one eye. He is part of General Zod's sleeper agents on Earth. He is currently employed by S.T.A.R. Labs as a scientist. Jax-Ur appeared in Superman: The Animated Series, where he was voiced by Ron Perlman. He was portrayed more like Zod, a military genius who had attempted to overthrow the Science Council. His co-conspirator, and possible lover, is a beautiful Kryptonian female with long white hair named Mala (based on Ursa and Faora).
Kryptonite Man Superboy #83 (September 1960) A teenage delinquent who passed through a cloud of Kryptonite and gained super powers.
Superman vol. 2, #43 (May 1990) A clone of Superman mutated by Kryptonite exposure created by Simyan and Mokkari.
Superman/Batman #20 (December 2005) An energy being formed from the latent energy of Major Force combining with the energy from the Kryptonite meteor Captain Atom sacrificed himself to keep from destroying the Earth. This being could hop between bodies, taking a body over and emanate Kryptonite radiation.
Superman #650 (May 2006) A scientist looking for a way to turn Kryptonite into a fuel source; he arrogantly ignores any dangers and is turned into the Kryptonite Man.
Lex Luthor Action Comics #23 (May 1940) Superman's arch nemesis and the consummate evil genius. He continues to play different roles in various Superman comics and media. In his classic Silver Age incarnation, Lex Luthor and Superman were once friends, but a lab accident indirectly caused by Superman (then Superboy) caused Lex's hair to fall out completely. This event causes Luthor to snap and become a dangerous criminal who plots the destruction of Superman.

In the modern era, Lex Luthor was re-envisioned as a wealthy CEO/scientist who hides his sociopathic tendencies behind a mask of philanthropy. Although beloved by the people of Metropolis for his many public works, Superman knows the truth. In the mainstream comic series, Luthor eventually manipulates his way to the U.S. Presidency, but is forcibly unseated from office by the Justice League.

Livewire Action Comics #835 (March 2006) A woman who can control electricity. She first appeared in Superman: The Animated Series, and has recently been added into the comics.
Lobo Omega Men #3 (June 1983) A bounty hunter, the last member of the alien Czarnian race.
Metallo Action Comics #252 (May 1959) Former mercenary John Corben was transformed into a powerful cyborg with a heart of kryptonite. He seeks to use this power source as the instrument of Superman's downfall.
Superman #310 (April 1977) Roger Corben, John Corben's brother, had his brain transferred into a similar robotic body as his brother by SKULL.
Mongul DC Comics Presents #27 (November 1980) Ruler of the gladiatorial planet Warworld, Mongul's strength rivals that of Superman and he has often attempted to break the Man of Steel. He was slain by the demon Neron.
(unnamed) Showcase '95 #8 (September 1995)
(as Mongul) Superman vol. 2, #151 (December 1999)
Mongul's son who has since taken up the mantle, as has his daughter Mongal.
Morgan Edge Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #133 (October 1970) A corrupt corporate executive, he tried to take control of Intergang and organized the post-Crisis iteration of the Superman Revenge Squad.
Mister Mxyzptlk Superman #30 (September 1944) An imp from the fifth dimension, Mr. Mxyzptlk possesses nigh-limitless reality-bending powers, which he often uses to pose challenges to Superman for his own amusement.
Parasite Action Comics #340 (August 1966) Raymond Maxwell Jensen is a worker at a research plant that stumbles upon waste collected by Superman and is transformed into a purple-skinned monster that lives off the energy of others.
Firestorm, the Nuclear Man #58 (April 1987) Rudy Jones, a S.T.A.R. Labs janitor, is manipulated by Darkseid into a similar situation that created the original Parasite becoming like him, save becoming green-skinned.
Prankster Action Comics #51 (August 1942) Oswald Loomis, the Prankster's particular gimmick was the use of various practical jokes and gags in committing his crimes. In the early 2000s, he began using high tech weaponry.
Professor Hamilton Adventures of Superman #424 (January 1987) Emil Hamilton, a mad scientist from S.T.A.R. Labs; he spent years as Superman's ally but later turned evil and joined the Secret Society of Supervillains.
Silver Banshee Action Comics #595 (December 1987) A Gaelic woman trapped in a Limbo for decades by magic after she was double-crossed by a clan chief, then emerged with magic powers and vowed to track down his descendants for revenge. Her scream drains the life out of others.
Solomon Grundy All-American Comics #61 (October 1944) Miser Cyrus Gold was drowned in a magic swamp, and emerged several decades later as an undead monster with incredible strength.
Superman #319 (January 1978) Created by the Parasite from slime the original Grundy came into contact with.
Superboy-Prime DC Comics Presents #87 (November 1985) Clark Kent was born on a parallel world that was destroyed during the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Superboy-Prime was trapped outside time for decades. However, his faith in Earth's heroes was destroyed by decades of their mistakes, and he emerged from a pocket dimension to try to replace Superman.
Terra-Man Superman #249 (March 1972) A fanatic environmentalist and former businessman with no real superpowers that used advanced technology to give himself abilities.
Titano Superman #127 (February 1959) A colossal ape with kryptonite eye-beams.
Toyman Action Comics #64 (September 1943) The Toyman (Winslow Schott) uses toy-based or toy-themed devices and gimmicks in his various crimes. The Toyman's weapons, while sometimes comical, are also very dangerous. The Toyman first appeared in animated form on Challenge of the Superfriends, as part of the arch villain supergroup, the Legion of Doom, where he donned a jesters outfit. Toyman was a recurring villain in Superman: The Animated Series, where he wore an overgrown fiberglass child's head with a creepy blank expression on it over his own head. Toyman also appears in seasons 8 and 9 of Smallville as an overweight technogeek trying to destroy Luthorcorp and the Daily Planet in attempts to kill Oliver Queen who had fired Winslow from Queen Industries.
Ultra-Humanite Action Comics #13 (July 1939) The Ultra-Humanite is the first supervillain faced by Superman and one of the first of the Golden Age of Comics. He was designed to be the polar opposite of the Man of Steel: while Superman is a hero with superhuman strength, Ultra-Humanite is a criminal mastermind who has a crippled body but a highly advanced intellect. Siegel and Shuster retired the Ultra-Humanite as Superman's archfoe when Lex Luthor was introduced into the Superman comic. Humanite was retired for several decades only to return with Superman (Earth-Two) and the Justice Society of America the targets of his machinations. The Ultra-Humanite has developed a process of transplanting his mind into different bodies, first doing this with actress Dolores Winters when he was nearly killed, most famously with an albino ape, and also with Johnny Thunder.
Ultraman Justice League of America #29 (August 1964) An evil counterpart of Superman from an alternate Earth, Ultraman possesses powers similar to Superman's. Post-Crisis, Ultraman's power source is through exposure to Anti-Kryptonite instead of his Earth's yellow sun. Ultraman is a member of the Crime Syndicate of America, a villainous version of the Justice League indigenous to his universe. His power levels are equal to Superman's as long as his exposure to Anti-Kryptonite is regularly maintained; if he is away from it for too long his power levels drop and lessen.