Welcome fellow DC Comics fanatics to another Super-Villain Sunday, this week we present you with the main man himself, the last Czarnian, and indestructible space biker of the cosmos, LOBO!
Lobo was created by Keith Giffen and Roger Slifer in 1983, making his first appearance in Omega Men #3. Lobo is the sole survivor of his home planet of Czarnia, once renowned across the universe as an idyllic and serene paradise. That is, of course, until Lobo was born, he was trouble from the moment he was delivered, chewing off the fingers of his mother’s midwife, and frightening the nurse who helped deliver him, to death (literally!). As he grew up his unusually violent behaviour increased, as a child he murdered every guardian and caretaker he had, he was an absolute aberration amongst his fellow Czarnians, who were a peaceful and harmonious race of people. Eventually Lobo committed his most heinous act as an adult, global genocide, by creating a horde of lethal insects that slaughtered his entire race, ultimately making him the last of the Czarnians.
Lobo became a universal mercenary, hiring out his unique talents to the various lowlifes and organisations that could pay him enough. When Lobo first came across Earth, he decided to challenge its most powerful heroes and villains in an attempt to prove himself as the ‘Main Man’. He fought and won his initial engagements against Superman, Warrior and Justice League, but was ultimately brought down by Wonder Woman after he murdered dozens of her sister Amazons. Lobo’s powers include, the ability to replicate himself from a single drop of blood, near invulnerability, super strength and the ability to track his prey, to pinpoint precision even across galaxies.
Super-Villain Rating: The Main Man!
Lobo Reading Recommendations: Lobo: Portrait of a Bastich. Lobo: Unbound. Deathstroke: Lobo Hunt. Lobo: Paramilitary Christmas Special.
Super-Villain Sunday this week brings you master marksman and the world’s most dangerous contract killer, Deadshot. Created by Bob Kane, David Reed and Lew Schwartz in 1950 primarily as a new villain for Batman, and making his debut appearance in Batman #59. On his first appearance in Gotham City, he was initially thought to be a new crimefighter, but was later revealed to be an enemy of Batman, when he was exposed attempting to become the new king of Gotham’s underworld crime syndicates.
Deadshot (real name: Floyd Lawton), grew up with his mother, very abusive father and older brother, whom he idolised. During one of his father’s numerous brutal attacks on his brother, Floyd picked up a rifle with the intent of stopping his father’s abuse once and for all. Taking position in a nearby tree and steadying himself for the shot, Floyd felt righteous in his attack, however the branch of the tree he was sitting on broke as he took his shot, causing Floyd to accidentally shoot and kill his brother. The psychological effect this had on Floyd is deemed what turned him into a murderous assassin, with a disregard not just for the lives he takes, but also his own.
Deadshot has been a major player in the Suicide Squad for many years, where his marksmanship skills and almost complete disregard for human life are seen as a major advantage for the covert black-ops, Government run group of ex-Supervillains and disgraced Superheroes. His most noticeable trait, is his utmost desire to die in a magnificent fashion, which is the reason he joined the clandestine squad in the first place. Deadshot is also an on/off member of other villainous teams including Secret Six (which hosts many ex-Suicide Squad members), Killer Elite, and Checkmate. Deadshot’s abilities include the expert use of all firearms, exceptional martial arts prowess and a cybernetic eye, built into his iconic costume, which grants him unparalleled accuracy, plus up to the minute mission data and target acquisition.
Soon to be seen on the big screen in the upcoming David Ayer directed movie Suicide Squad, which is being released by Warner Brothers in 2016. With the titular role of Deadshot being portrayed by actor Will Smith, who actively campaigned for the role being a big fan of the comics themselves.
Super-Villain Rating: Sniper Elite.
Deadshot Reading Recommendations: Secret Six: Villains United. Deadshot: Beginnings. Suicide Squad #1: Kicked In The Teeth.
Super-Villain Sunday this week brings you the original Terminator himself, Slade Wilson, aka Deathstroke. Created by Marv Wolfman and George Perez in 1980, making his first appearance in The New Teen Titans #2. Slade was originally an officer in the US armed forces, who towards the end of his military career volunteered for a dangerous genetic experiment that was designed to increase brain capacity and create a super soldier.
The experiment however was rejected by the military and deemed an overall failure, due to most of the subjects dying or being left in a vegetative state, Slade was amongst them. Unbeknownst to the Army, Slade’s strength, agility and brain capacity had increased exponentially, and after being discharged honourably by the Army, he recuperated and became the costumed mercenary/assassin, Deathstroke.
Originally created as a villain for the Teen Titans, battling them on many occasions over the years, he would eventually branch out, becoming a major adversary for both Batman and Green Arrow. Slade’s iconic two-tone mask hides the fact that he lost an eye during a military incursion in his former life as a soldier, this would usually affect the performance and visual acuity of a normal human, but with Slade able to access 90% of his brains capacity, this impairment is not noticeable to him.
In the past few years, Deathstroke’s popularity has exploded, with his inclusion in video-games such as Arkham Origins and Injustice: Gods Among Us, and also the popular television series, Arrow. With DC Comics cinematic universe unfolding on the silver screen over the next few years, comes the very real possibility of seeing everyone’s favourite merc-villain appearing on the big screen as an antagonist to at least one of DC’s heroes, in fact, I would not be at all surprised to see him pop up in at least a cameo role in the 2016 Suicide Squad movie, seeing as he is one of the squad’s most famous on/off team members.
Super-Villain Rating: World’s Most Dangerous Mercenary.
Deathstroke Required Reading Recommendations: Identity Crisis. Deathstroke: Legacy. The New Teen Titans: The Judas Contract.
Super-Villain Sunday returns with 2000 AD’s famous defiler of the living and Judge Dredd’s most dangerous adversary – Judge Death. Judge Death was created by 2000 AD stalwarts, John Wagner and Brian Bolland in 1980, making his first appearance in 2000 AD #149. Death hails from the alternate dimension known as Deadworld, where life was declared illegal by Judge Death, since only the living can commit crime.
Death was originally a psychopathic boy who enjoyed inflicting pain on innocents, joining his dimension’s version of the Judges, so he could murder more easily, he gained his moniker of ‘Judge Death’ from his fellow Judges for his propensity to execute all lawbreakers. Upon meeting the witch sisters, Nausia and Phobia he had himself transformed into a virtually invincible undead corpse and proceeded to exterminate all life on the planet alongside his three brothers of ruination, Judge Fear, Judge Fire and Judge Mortis, collectively known as The Dark Judges.
Once all life had been snuffed out in their their parallel dimension, the Dark Judges crossed over into Earth’s plane and continued in their calamitous campaign on this new world, only to be stopped short by Judges Dredd and Anderson. Death and his ghastly cohorts would return to Mega City One on several occasions to bring their brand of evil justice to it’s citizens, with their most successful foray in the 1990 multi part story Necropolis, where aided by his mentors, the witch sisters, they would annihilate over 60 million innocents, only to be thwarted once more by Dredd, who had been in exile at the time of their invasion.
Super-Villain Rating: Grim Reaper.
Judge Death reading recommendations: Batman/Judge Dredd: Judgement on Gotham, Judge Dredd: Necropolis, Young Death: Boyhood of a Superfiend.
Super-Villain Sunday this week is dedicated to one of my personal favourite villains and Wonder Woman’s lifelong nemesis, Cheetah. There have been several different versions of the character over the years beginning with Priscilla Rich who was created by William Moulton Marston and HG Peter in 1943 making her first appearance in Wonder Woman #6. Priscilla is the original golden age Cheetah, a spoilt rich girl with an inferiority complex and a split personality, who when shown up by Wonder Woman at a charity event attempts to kill the awesome Amazon but ultimately fails. Later falling into the mire of her split personality, Priscilla dons a costume and becomes the first Cheetah.
Cheetah number 2 was Debbie Domaine niece of Priscilla Rich, a very different personality than that of her Aunt, Debbie was an ecology activist and originally a good friend of Wonder Woman. After her Aunt dies, Debbie is kidnapped by the villainous group Kobra and told of her Aunt’s secret identity, tortured and then brainwashed by them she becomes the new embodiment of the Cheetah.
Cheetah number 3 and the current and most popular is Barbara Minerva, a British archaeologist and heiress. Barbara originally got her powers from an African tribe who have a female guardian with the abilities and powers of a Cheetah, after the original guardian is killed by a band of fortune hunters, Barbara with the aid of the tribe’s priest takes over the role as the Cheetah. She first clashes with the Amazonian Princess when she hears stories of the Lasso of Truth and sets off to wrestle control of it from Diana, so she can add it to her vast collection of historical items. Barbara’s history was altered recently when DC relaunched it’s titles as the New 52 in 2011, she is still a treasure hunter who comes into possession of a long lost dagger once belonging to the Amazons, after accidentally cutting herself with the blade she becomes possessed by the Goddess of the Hunt turning her into a half Cheetah replete with super speed, strength and agility.
Super-Villain Rating: This cat got the cream, and everything else!
Super-Villain Sunday this week brings you the immortal Greek witch Goddess – Circe. One of Wonder Woman’s most powerful foes, Circe was first introduced into the DC universe in Wonder Woman #37 in 1949, created by Robert Kanigher and Harry Peter. This original version of Circe is a centuries old sorceress who gets her immortality from a rare elixir called Vitae, she was banished to the space island of Sorca by Queen Hippolyta (Wonder Woman’s mother and Queen of the Amazons) for her crimes against Humanity.
The modern, post crisis interpretation of Circe was created by George Perez in 1988, her previous history was rewritten though the core of the character remained the same. Modern Circe is the daughter of Greek Titans Hyperion and Perseis, and is still an immortal sorceress. Former Princess of the island of Colchis, Circe has been a follower of the Goddess Hecate for thousands of years. Whilst living on the island of Aeaea, Circe met and fell in love with legendary Greek King and hero Odysseus, with whom she had three sons, Latinus, Telegonus and Agrius.
Though an all powerful Goddess and witch, Circe at times has allied herself with several other Super-Villains to help her gain influence and expand her control over the mortal world. Most notably as a member of Lex Luthor’s Injustice gang which counted amongst it’s members the Joker, Star Sapphire, Chronos plus many others throughout the years. Circe’s powers are many, the ability to change reality and transform matter, she can control minds and is also a necromancer. She can teleport, fly and can produce deadly bolts of magical energy. She is one of DC Comic’s most powerful villains and always knows how to ruin Wonder Woman’s day.
Super-Villain Rating: Godlike
Super-Villain Sunday this week honours the Mistress of Mayhem herself: Harleen Quinzel better known to her adoring (and terrified) fans as Harley Quinn. Harley’s creation was different to most other comic-book characters in that her first appearance was not in comics but in the seminal Batman: the animated series, specifically episode #8 – Joker’s Favour in 1992. She proved wildly popular with the fans and was introduced into comic book lore in the 1994 graphic novel Mad Love which gives us her origin story as Dr Harleen Quinzel, a psychologist working in Arkham Asylum and treating the Joker, whom she falls madly in love with and ends up joining as his crazy sidekick and on/off love interest Harley Quinn.
The story was a huge success and received Eisner and Harvey awards for best overall story in 1994, Harley proved so popular that she has been one of DC Comic’s most loved female characters since. She had her first solo series in 2001 which ran through to 2003, a fantastic 38 issue run which set the standard for the characters quirky, dangerous but loveable personality. She has also been a member of several Super-Villain teams including – The Secret Six alongside characters such as Deadshot and Catman and is an on/off member of the Government run Suicide Squad, which is currently being made into a big screen film by Warner Bros, actress Margot Robbie (Wolf of Wall Street) is rumoured to be playing Harley.
This won’t be the first live action version of Harley Quinn though as she was originally portrayed by actress Mia Sara in the Birds of Prey television series in 2002. She has also proved hugely popular with video-game fans having starred in Batman: Arkham Asylum, Arkham City and Injustice: Gods Among Us. In fact her gaming appearances go all the way back to the 16 bit era, where she had cameos in The Adventures of Batman and Robin on Sega Megadrive and Super Nintendo, she can also be found in MMO – DC Universe Online. Harley’s best friends (apart from her puddin’ Mr J) are fellow Gothamites Poison Ivy and Catwoman, who she regularly meets up with to cause Mirth and Mayhem, you can catch their adventures in the Gotham City Sirens series. So let’s hear it for the Queen of chaos, Harley Quinn … long may she reign!
Super-Villain Rating: 5 comedy mallets out of 5
Welcome once more comic-fans to Super-Villain Sunday, today’s classic villain is: Star Sapphire…
Star Sapphire was created by Robert Kanigher and Lee Elias in 1947, and made her first appearance in All-Flash Comics#32, the original of the many Sapphires that would appear over the years was the Queen of the 7th dimension. It was later revealed she had been chosen to be the Queen by a race of female warriors known as the Zamarons.
The Zamaron were originally the females members of the Maltusians, after a renegade scientist performed a forbidden experiment that unleashed evil into their universe the Maltusians split as a race, the male Maltusians (now known as Green Lantern originators Oans), settled on the planet OA. Another group split off and became the Guardians of the universe, the females however were known as the Zamarons and became a warlike warrior race akin to the Amazons back on Earth. They would choose a Queen from a mortal race (Zamarons and Oans are immortal), and would gift her a psionic purple crystal thus transforming her into Star Sapphire.
The second and most well known of the Star Sapphires was Carol Ferris, whilst working at her father’s Ferris aircraft she met her on/off love interest Green Lantern – Hal Jordan, her first appearance as the new Sapphire was in the 1962 issue of Green Lantern #16. Chosen to be the new Sapphire by the Zamarons, Carol would go on to battle Hal for many years until the power was finally removed from her when Hal briefly became the entity known as the Spectre.
The third Sapphire was Dela Pharon, chosen to be the new Queen of the Zamarons, she would go on to battle Carol Ferris for the honour of being the superior of the Star Sapphires. There were two other significant versions of Sapphire over the years, Debbie Darnell is the adopted Earth name of Remoni Notra of the planet Pandina, who eventually moved to Earth and joined the Secret Society of Super-Villains. Next was Jillian Perlman, daughter of a Texas rancher who became a pilot in the US airforce, saved by Green Lantern after an engine on her jet malfunctioned, she would later be possessed by the purple Sapphire crystal becoming the new Sapphire.
After the events of 2009’s Blackest night saga, the Star Sapphires became one of the seven Corps that gain their powers from an emotional spectrum, with the Sapphire Corp becoming the Violet Lanterns, the violet colour denoting the emotion of love. The powers of Star Sapphire are similar to that of the Green Lanterns, the ability to make violet hued hard-light constructs of whatever they can think of, they also have the ability of flight and can form protective shields and auras.
Villainous Rating: 5 purple hearts out of 5
Today’s super-powered homicidal maniac is – Silver Banshee…
The Silver Banshee was created by John Byrne in 1987, and made her first appearance in Superman #595. Siobahn McDougal was born in Castle Broen, which is situated on a small island just off the coast of Ireland, Her father Garrett is the leader of a Gaelic clan that has occupied this island for centuries. Siobahn spent the earlier part of her life travelling the World, until the unfortunate news of her father passing away brought her back to Castle Broen, fully expecting to take up her father’s role as clan leader through the right of being the first born, she was blocked by her Uncle who declared that no woman should ever be allowed to lead their clan.
Deciding to ignore his protestations, Siobahn went ahead with the ancient family ritual that involved invoking supernatural forces that would enable her to lead her clan, interrupted part way through by her young brother, Siobahn was dragged into an infernal dimension where she met the Crone, who granted her powers and the ability to return to the World as long as Siobahn delivered to her an occult book owned by her father … thus the Silver Banshee was born.
Silver Banshee possesses super strength, is highly intelligent and of course has a hypersonic scream, like her Banshee namesake, she can also use her sonic abilities to teleport via the sound waves themselves. Banshee has appeared in a number of Justice League animated episodes and movies, she made her first ‘live’ performance in an episode of Smallville in 2010, portrayed by actress Odessa Rae.
Villainous Rating: 4 supersonic screams out of 5