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Friday, September 7, 2012

Battle of the Super-Origins - Other Villains

Today’s post will talk about the other villains that appear in these origins. Oh yeah, the surgery went well. I'm back home recuperating.



 In MoS, we have the normal crooks and terrorists that plague Metropolis. There are a couple of big villains that show up in this piece. We have Magpie, a Batman villain and reject from the Rocky Horror Picture Show. She plagues Gotham by blowing up Jewelry stores because she must have all of the shiny things. Yes, she is nuttier than a nut. Luckily, Superman AND Batman put a stop to her reign and horrible fashion. The next villain that shows up is Bizzaro…sort of. He’s basically a failed clone of Superman who goes berserk and kidnaps Lois Lane. Supes and Biz fight with Supes destroying the clone.

 I know that's right! Clark Kent looks way worse than that!

I could also include “Ghost Jor-El” from part six. He tries to download information from Krypton into Clark and that begins to mess with Clark. Yep, an apparition of Jor-El is screwing up Clark here too. MoS don’t have too many iconic villains like the others, but it does have a little diversity with its villains. There’s Magpie who’s… not that cool. Still, it’s cool to get some sort of villain who’s freakin’ nuts for Superman to face for once. The villain from this book who is a little better is the Bizzaro clone. In a way, it wants to be like Superman but it just ain’t.

With Birthright, there really aren’t any other main villains except Luthor. There are some random villains scattered out. There are government in the Africa portion of the story and there are a few random robbers in Metropolis. There’s also the invasion force that is made up of paid mercenaries, but you can link that back to Luthor.

Secret Origin has the iconic villains, but one is handled well while the other is handled a bit poorly. First, we get Parasite and his origin. I like that we see Rudy Jones before his transformation and see that he is already a parasite. He mooches off everybody. How he gets his powers is a little ridiculous though: he eats a radiated donut. Yeah.  Then we get John Corben/Metallo. He’s already a butt-hole and even tries to threaten Lois. It’s at this moment where we get what’s probably the best “Clark Kent” moment of all time…but you’ll see that later. His transformation into Metallo was handled well. After a battle with Superman, Luthor experiments on him and gives him the kryptonite heart and armor to battle Superman. They fight but Corben loses control and starts to attack everyone. Superman takes him into space to knock him out.

The Five Second Rule doesn't apply when you're around guys in radioactive protection suits!

Another villain, or should I say antagonist, would be the military headed by General Lane. Lane tries to get Superman under the control of the government and pretty much interrogates him, but Supes ain’t having it. In retaliation, Lane orders his men to attack him. They were doing their job and following orders, so they’re more antagonistic.  Still, General Lane here was kind of being a d-bag …exactly like he was in War of New Krypton.

Yes, General Lane! Tick off the man who probably kick the Moon's butt.

Nu52 has a lot of diversified villains. First, we have corrupt businessmen like Glen Glenmorgan. He serves as an example of what Superman first faces: the corruption of Metropolis. Superman also faces “The Law." As I said before, they’re doing their job and come off as antagonistic instead of villainous. When you have some super-powered vigilante in town, you might have to do something about it. There’s also the military (and General Lane, who wasn’t a big d-bag here) who face him in the first and second issue. As I said before, they’re doing their jobs. What’s cool about them is that they pretty much let Superman do his thing when the invasion hits because they know he’s their only shot.  

Then, we have the Collector of Worlds aka Brainiac aka Internet (...what?) and Metal-Zero who's the new version of Metallo. Brainiac is pretty cool here and is the big baddie. His new look is also pretty unique and creepy.  Not only does he attack Metropolis and bottle it, he also takes control of Corben/Metal-Zero and makes him his slave. In other words, Corben becomes Locutus of Borg…oh yeah! The reason the Collector comes to Earth is to “save it” from something called the Multitude, which is something that will pop up later in Morrison’s run. It also tries to make Superman choose between saving Metropolis or Kandor, which is pretty ballsy.

I also like how Corben is treated here. Instead of a d-bag with control issues, he’s an “average Joe” who still pines for Lois and decides to join the “Steel Soldier” program for her. After he’s “assimilated," he attacks Superman throughout the invasion and on the ship.Towards the end, he does get control back and try to help Superman while they’re on the Collector’s ship. Superman (in his new armor) is able to beat Brainiac by using his own ship that the military had confiscated. At the end, Corben is taken by the military.

Little Man: We are so awesome.
Tall guy who may or may not be Zod: But we're doing nothing!
LM: Yeah we are! It's called...Foreshadowing!

Then, there are more villains that show up here that don’t have much to do with the origin. During the two-part interlude that between  issues 4 and 7, the Anti-Superman Squad tries to …you know what? They don’t have anything to do with the origin so don’t worry about them.  There is one from the group who peaks my interest though. The leader of the group is this Little Man who appears during these issues and later issues. Not much is known about him, but he does look interesting. He talks to Glenmorgan mostly during the origin. Who is he? Where is he from and what are his plans for Superman? Is he always short? Luckily, issue 12 of the Action Comics run does answer a little info on the imp.

WHO ARE YOU...who, who, who, who?

It’s really the diversity and the overall stakes that make the other villains from Nu52 shine out to me more. Superman actually stops a real space invasion. He also has to face a lot of threats to him. There’s the police and military who want to stop him,  there’s  the Collector and Metal-Zero who want to destroy all he knows, and there’s a Little Man who has unknown plans for him. So this point goes to the Nu52 origin.

Score tally:
Man of Steel (MoS): 0
Superman Birthright : 1
Superman Secret Origin : 0
Superman and the Men of Steel (...Nu52): 1

Next time, I will be looking at both sets of parents: the ones who molded him into being Superman and the ones who "Made" him.

NEXT TIME: THE KENTS!

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