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Superman Villains

Main Nemesis


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Rogues Gallery

Former Members

Deceased Members

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First appearance

Membership History

Metropolis Organized Crime

Before Superman donned his costume, Metropolis was already controlled by several gangs. Even though in America, Metropolis is seen as a gleaming city of hope and prosperity, underneath the public image of the city are many facets that are controlled by the most ruthless gangsters and criminals.

From the beginnings of Superman's career to now, a national crime syndicate has had its clutches on Metropolis for a long time. This organization had ties through the far reaches of space to Apokolips.

  • Bruno Mannheim[1] Bruno Mannheim, nicknamed "Ugly", is arguably the second formidable human being to ever challenge Superman. His organization, Intergang, has been under the control of Darkseid for many years. After his superior was in the hospital, Mannheim took control over Intergang. When Clark Kent and his partner exposed Intergang, Mannheim was arrested, but he escaped. In issue #25, Bruno Mannheim was revealed as the current head of Intergang, which is also behind the kidnapping of many of the world's "mad scientists", in a grand plan to take over America by the end of the year. He shows himself now acting like a cult leader, exalting the power of crime as the dominant order in the 21st century, even using the Crime Bible to aid his operations, and now becoming a cannibal, eating anyone he kills who refuses to join Intergang. Sometime later, Mannheim returns as a giant wielding alien technology, claiming that someone other than Darkseid is behind Intergang's current activities.
  • Morgan Edge[2] Morgan Edge was former president of Galaxy Broadcasting System, a prominent media corporation that owned television station WGBS. Edge was also the original leader of Intergang. His Apokoliptian contact was Desaad, one of Darkseid's henchmen. After being hospitalized for a stress related heart attack, Morgan's father took over GBS/WGBS and Mannheim temporarily took control over Intergang. Superman's alter-ego, Clark Kent and Cat Grant exposed Egde when it was discovered that he had ties to Intergang. Edge has since lost his job and sponsored the Superman Revenge Squad.
    • Boss Moxie: Bruno's father Boss Moxie, a career gangster, was released from prison after the first Crisis and proceeded to gain control of Intergang. Moxie met with Cadmus scientist Dabney Donovan and arranged for himself and his former gang members to be fitted with superpowers. Afterwards, Moxie used Vincent Edge to set up a meeting with all of Metropolis's gang-leaders and then killed them single-handedly, declaring himself as the new leader of Intergang. Moxie directed all of Intergang's efforts on locating Jimmy Olsen, whom he thought knew Superman's true identity. When Lex Luthor gained control of Intergang after Morgan Edge's short-lived attempt to regain the spot, Luthor retained Moxie as a figurehead. Moxie and his lieutenants were later captured by Superman himself. There's some suggestion that maybe Superboy-Prime killed Moxie by snapping his neck during the second Crisis.
    • Vincent Edge: Morgan's father who took control of GBS/WGBS temporarily until Maxie gained prominence. His son Morgan soon lost the company and Intergang when he was exposed. Vincent's whereabouts are unknown.
    • Frank Sixty: A criminal cyberneticist who gained control of Intergang after Morgan Edge until 52 when Mannheim regained control.
    • Whisper A'Daire:
    • Kyle Abbot:

The Masterminds

Besides Mannheim and Edge, other denizens of subjugation, power, and darkness have appeared in Superman's career that continue to challenge him to this day with their uncanny ability to formulate complex schemes of evil acts.
Heavy Hitters:

  • Lex Luthor: [3] Coming out of a rough childhood and adolescence, Alexander Joseph Luthor began furthering his career in the business world. Soon, Luthor became Superman's oldest and most driven foe, thus becoming Kal-El's arch-enemy. A shrewd powerful businessman hell-bent on world domination, Luthor has no special powers, except maybe his exceptional genius intellect, which he uses to formulate plans of destruction towards Superman and sometimes Metropolis; plans of omnipotence over the world. A self-proclaimed Machiavellian industrialist, scientist, and white-collar criminal as referenced by one of his famous quotes, "I'm the greatest criminal mind of our time!," Luthor has proven to be Superman's own "super-foe", being responsible for cloning Superman in order to ultimately destroy him, engineering smear campaigns to ruin Superman's reputation, and for almost destroying Metropolis.
  • Darkseid: [4] After assassinating his mother, Uxas had become ruler of Apokolips for thousands of years. A sadistic despot, Darkseid is determined to make sure that he's ruler of the entire universe and to attain that goal, he desperately seeks the Anti-Life Equation, a device that can control all life. Darkseid is responsible for partially igniting an interstellar war, and has been a persistent villain until before the third Crisis where his son, Orion, killed him. However, Darkseid was reincarnated and is still wreaking havoc yet again.
  • Brainiac: [5] Originally from the distant planet, Colu, the scientist Vril Dox was merged into his own creation, The Brain InterActive Construct, a machine created by The Computer Tyrants to obtain information in the universe. Brainiac thus broke away from his superiors and has a goal of ultimately obtaining all information in the universe and destroying all the planets it came from. Brainiac's rampage has made him enemies with Kal-El, the only humanoid who can stop him. Brainiac has been responsible for shrinking the city of Kandor, inhabiting a human being, gaining a new cybernetic body, plotting to gain control of Superman's body, and almost dominating the universe in his 13th version. Currently, Brainiac and Superman continue to be enemies. With no capacity for good, Brainiac continues to complete his functioning program of learning all information in the universe until he has destroyed everything.
  • General Zod: [6] Dru-Zod was one of Krypton's most efficient military commanders. That all changed when he hears that his friends, renowned scientist Jor-El has predicted Krypton's imminent destruction. When the Kryptonian Science Council lobotomizes Zod's friend for leading a separatist movement, Zod becomes disillusioned with the Kryptonian societal norms. Zod, with the aid of his lover and his friend, launch an insurrection plot to overthrow Krypton's government and establish a new order on the planet. Zod's main motivation applied to his megalomania, his insatiable need to control everything. Zod tried to get Jor-El to join their rebellion, but he refused. Eventually, The Council thwarted Zod's plot; sentenced him and his co-conspirators to eternal imprisonment in the Phantom Zone. Jor-El condemned them to the imprisonment, prompting Zod to swear vengeance against him and his heirs. Zod and his cohorts have since escaped the Phantom Zone and terrorized Jor-El's son, Kal-El, just as he promised. Zod had two accomplices that helped him in his quest for power:
    • Ursa: [7] A former member of the Kryptonian guard, Ursa is Zod's lover and most loyal accomplice. When she heard that Jor-El and another scientist had foreseen Krypton's destruction, she believed them and sought to oppose the Council in rebellion. The Council retaliated by lobotomizing her friend and in turn, Zod and Ursa instigated open rebellion. She hated Jor-El for surrendering to the Council and not supporting their cause; when the trio were arrested, Jor-El himself condemned in their trial by sending them to the Phantom zone as a result of the sentencing. Ursa has since swore vengeance on the House of El with Zod and their friend. Ursa has since escaped with her two accomplices from the Zone and terrorized Kal-El to gain custody of her son, who's also the son of Zod.
    • Non: [8] A former scientist and member of the Kryptonian Council, Non predicted Krypton's destruction with Jor-El, making Zod and Ursa believe their claim. Soon after, Non led a separatist movement to break way from the Kryptonian government, earning him their wrath when afterwards, they lobotomized him. Now a minimally-verbal mute, Non has lost his sense of right and wrong, and sided with Zod and Ursa because of their friendship, ultimately leading them to being banished to the Phantom Zone. After escaping from the Zone, Non has helped his friends in their failed attempt to invade Earth with the help of other Kryptonian criminals that have escaped as well.
  • The Elite: A group of individuals that take extreme measures to eliminate crime. Led by the Villain, Manchester Black.
    • Manchester Black: The sinister, telepathic leader of the Elite. He has made it his personal mission to make Superman think mercy is useless.

The Compulsive Evildoers

Aside from the power-hungry masterminds and ruthless mobsters, Superman has also had to contend with other enemies whose sole purpose in life is to bring evil and suffering to the superhero community and the world.

  • Doomsday: [9] Born on Krypton in the distant past as an evolved artificial life-form, The Ultimate was created by a mysterious alien scientist, Bertron. After many years of dying and coming back alive in Berton's experiments of evolution, Doomsday snapped and turned on Bertron, killing him and hordes of other living Kryptonian creatures. Doomsday then traveled the galaxy, becoming a extraterrestrial serial killer bent on destructing the universe's societies. His murder spree lead him to Earth where his plan for destroying the planet was thwarted by Superman. Doomsday and Superman engaged in a fight that lead to both of their deaths. Superman and Doomsday were later resurrected and they still challenge each other currently. Whatever kills Doomsday only makes him stronger; he revives himself again and again only to bring death to all sentient beings. Doomsday eventually gained the ability to kill people with his mere presence and infect others with a virus that makes others like him.
  • Parasite: [10] A menial slacker and janitor of a Pittsburgh S.T.A.R. Labs facility, Rudy Jones came in contact with hazardous chemicals changing him into a purple being capable of draining energy from anyone. Jones has since used his new-found abilities to gain Superman's powers in order to better himself. After Jones's defeat, Superman has had to battle other versions of Parasite like Dr.Freeman, Alex and Alexandra Allston.
  • Bizarro[11]: An imperfect copy of Superman, Bizarro is the opposite of the Kryptonian hero in many ways. His warped sense of moral makes Bizarro think evil is good, and some of his powers are inversions of Superman's (instead of heat vision and ice breath, Arctic Vision and Flame-Breath). Occasionally he serves as Superman's ally.
  • Cyborg Superman[12]: An evil robotic counterpart built out of Kryptonian technology and genetics. Originally he was Hank Henshaw, an astronaut who blamed Superman for the death of his wife and constructed his body after becoming his mind into Kal-El's Kryptonian Birthing Matrix. Zor-El, who upon his death was rebuilt by Brainiac into a mechanical body was the new Cyborg Superman, before Hank Henshaw took over the role again.
  • Metallo[13]: John Corben is a cyborg whose robotic body runs on Green Kryptonite, thus giving him a natural advantage over Superman.
  • Toyman[14]: A sociopathic mechanical genius, Winslow Schott likes to create violent, destructive, and dangerous toys. He also created several human-like robots who also became the Toyman. In some versions, he seeks vengeance on Mannheim, who framed his father for money laundering.
  • Denny Swan: A mad man made of energy who believed he was Superman. He was killed when the energy in his body exploded, taking Prime Earth Superman with him.

Extraterrestrials Villains

  • Imperiex: [15] Essentially the embodiment of entropy, Imperiex-Prime sought out to destroy all galaxies in order to "stop the imperfection" present. He sent numerous probes to guide his destructive campaign which was impeded by Superman and his allies. Even Kal-El's arch-enemies, Darkseid and then-President Lex Luthor, joined the battle against Imperiex. Darkseid and the superhero Steel developed an Entropy Aegis armor (created from a burned out Imperiex probe) for Superman to use for defending himself against Prime. With the help of numerous allies, Superman destroyed Prime by sending him and an accomplice back through time to the Big Bang, the explosive origin of space 14 billion years ago. That in itself sealed Imperiex's doom, erasing his existence forever. Just before being destroyed by Superman, Imperiex realized the "imperfection" in all the galaxies was himself.
  • Queen Maxima of Almerac: Obsessed with becoming the Man of Steel's mate in order to bear strong children, Maxima has alternated between enemy and ally throughout the years.
  • Lobo[16]: After massacring all the other people in his home planet of Czarnia, Lobo became an ultra-violent motorcycle-riding inter-galactic bounty hunter. His wicked ways cause him to occasionally clash with Superman,[17][18][19][20] but often he opts to help various superheroes.
  • Mongul [21]: The devious ruler of Warworld, Mongul is a warlord and despot who has clashed with Superman on various occasions.
  • Mister Mxyzptlk[22]: A reality manipulating imp from the 5th Dimension, Mister Mxyzptlk constantly antagonizes Superman, seeking to pester the Man of Steel and prove he's smarter than the hero.
  • Rogol Zaar: He apparently destroyed Krypton, under the belief that the Kryptonians would defy the gods. He came to earth to kill the remaining Kryptonians and destroyed Kandor.

Alternate Supermen

Superman has made enemies out of various alternate versions of himself.

  • Ultraman: An evil version of Superman from earth-3. Like the rest of the Justice League and Crime Syndicate, Superman and Ultraman fight each other whenever they encounter each other.
  • Superboy Prime: A version of Superman from Earth-Prime, after his world is destroyed he went mad and tried to reboot the multiverse to restore his world. In this quest, he killed many people, including Superboy.


Doctor Omen: Father of the Super-Man of Hong Kong. He created the villain of Superman Zero.

Minor Villains

Villain Activity

Lex Luthor is easily Superman's most prominent enemy.

Recommended Reading


Equipment: Lex Luthor's Warsuit
Transportation: Boomtubes
Weapons: None known.


  • No special notes.


  • No trivia.

See Also

Links and References

  1. First Appearance: Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #39
  2. First Appearance: Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #133
  3. First Appearance: Action Comics #23
  4. First Appearance: Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #134
  5. First Appearance: Action Comics #242
  6. First Appearance: Adventure Comics #283
  7. First Appearance: Action Comics Vol 1 845
  8. First Appearance: Action Comics Vol 1 845
  9. First Appearance: Death of Superman
  10. First Appearance: Action Comics #340
  11. First Appearance: Superboy #68
  12. First Appearance: Adventures of Superman #500
  13. First Appearance: Action Comics #252
  14. First Appearance: Action Comics #64
  15. First Appearance: Our Worlds at War
  16. First Appearance: Omega Men #3
  17. Adventures of Superman #464
  18. Adventures of Superman Annual #2
  19. Superman: The Man of Steel #30
  20. DC First: Superman/Lobo #1
  21. First Appearance: DC Comics Presents #27
  22. First Appearance: Superman #30
  23. DC Comics Presents #4
  24. Superman #342
  25. Superman #370
  26. Action Comics #590
  27. Adventures of Superman #593
  28. Adventures of Superman #648
  29. Action Comics #587
  30. Demon (Volume 3) #28
  31. Action Comics #762
  32. Blood of the Demon #5
  33. Harley Quinn #17
  34. Harley Quinn #18
  35. Harley Quinn #19
  36. Action Comics #673
  37. Action Comics #674
  38. Adventures of Superman #530
  39. Adventures of Superman #608
  40. Superman: Day of Doom #2
  41. Superman #652
  42. Action Comics Annual #3
  43. Adventures of Superman Annual #7
  44. Action Comics #814
  45. Death of the New Gods #5
  46. Superman: The Man of Steel #115
  47. World's Finest: Our Worlds at War #1
  48. Superman (Volume 2) #15
  49. Superman (Volume 2) #34
  50. Superman (Volume 2) #47
  51. Superman: The Man of Steel #49
  52. Superman #301
  53. Superman #319
  54. Superman #320
  55. DC Comics Presents #8
  56. Superman (Volume 2) #182
  57. Superman/Batman #3