Jeffrey Taylor is a staff writer/moderator at The Superman Homepage, co-host of From Crisis to Crisis: A Superman Podcast, available at the Superman Homepage, iTunes and The Superman PodcastNetwork.You can find his new Man of Steel Countdown column here at Movies.com every other Tuesday.
We’re back and taking a look at more classic Superman villains to assess their likelihoods of appearing in a potential Superman trilogy starting with Man of Steel in June, 2013. Take a look here for the first half of the list.
Livewire – Likelihood: 2 out of 10
She was the only original villain from the 1990’s Superman: The Animated Series who took on a life outside that series, including appearances in the comic and TV’s Smallville. Radio shock jock and Superman hater Leslie Willis was electrocuted at an outdoor rock concert during a thunderstorm and found she could manipulate and even turn into electricity. A huge part of her popularity rest on the voice acting of Lori Petty, so although it would be a fun cameo, she probably won’t even make the short list of possible villains.
Manchester Black – Likelihood: 4 out of 10
Manchester Black was a telekinetic and telepathic British anti-hero who believed the only way to stop supervillains was to kill them. Thanks to Superman’s firm stance against killing, Black had to be stopped, so Superman ultimately used his heat vision to lobotomize him, which caused a great deal of controversy in the comic book universe and even a little among fans. Of course he came back even stronger. He would make a great villain in a film, but might be too obscure, even compared to Faora who will be in Man of Steel.
Massacre – Likelihood: 1 out of 10
After Superman’s death and return, he discovered he was becoming stronger and faster than he was before. After chasing Lobo into outer space, he had a difficult time finding his way home, but as he tried he encountered Massacre, a very powerful alien hitman with the strength of Doomsday, only smarter. Plus he could turn himself into a beam of energy and travel faster than light to whatever destination he chose in space. Thanks to Superman’s new strength, he had little difficulty stopping him, but after his powers were brought back to normal levels, Massacre attacked Earth and caused a lot of trouble. We won’t see him because he’s too obscure and looks a lot better in a comic than he would in live action. Plus I don’t expect the films will use any aliens outside of Kryptonians.
Maxima – Likelihood: 3 out of 10
If the films do indeed use non-Kryptonian aliens, Maxima would be a perfect choice. She’s the superpowered Queen of the planet Almerac whose wants someone as perfect as Superman to be her mate, and she has no problem killing anyone who might get in her way. She eventually helped fight against Brainiac and even became a member of the Justice League America. It would be an interesting way to go, if done properly.
Metallo – Likelihood: 9 out of 10
Fans have been asking for a Metallo appearance on film for years and there are a million ways the creative team for this movie series could utilize him, as long as the basics remain the same. John Corben was a criminal who had an accident that destroyed his body, so his brain was transplanted into a super strong metal body powered by Kryptonite. Usually he starts with human-like skin, but once the battle begins, the skin comes off and he tends to look similar to a Terminator Endoskeleton. So not only will his appearance guarantee action, he’s a real threat to Superman’s life. He could even be akin to the Scarecrow’s role in the Batman: Dark Knight Trilogy. Why only use him once?
Mr. Mxyzptlk – Likelihood: 0 out of 10
I pronounce the name “Mix-Yez-Pit-Uh-Lik,” but others say it differently. Superstar artist Alex Ross prefers “Mix-Ul-Plik” like it was said in the Superfriends cartoon series of the 1970’s and 80’s. This imp from the 5th dimension shows up every 90 days just to have fun with Superman. Anything he can imagine, he can create, including walking, talking skyscraper buildings complete with people inside. Even though his exploits are an artist’s dream in comics and animation, he isn’t well suited for the Nolanverse, or much live action at all for that matter.
Nuclear Man – Likelihood: 0 out of 10
Remember Superman IV: The Quest for Peace? He was the bad guy. And that’s why we’ll never see him again in any version of Superman ever again.
Parasite – Likelihood: 7 out of 10
Rudy Jones was never the brightest janitor, but after an industrial accident at his job at S.T.A.R. Labs, he turned purple (or green depending on when you saw him) and had to leech the life force from other living beings. Nothing satisfied his hunger like superpowered people like Superman. One touch and he would temporarily take his powers and memories, including the knowledge of his secret identity. Besides making him stronger, it would weaken Superman. The Parasite is a legitimate threat and could do very well in the Nolanverse.
Prankster – Likelihood: 1 out of 10
Oswald Loomis loves to pull pranks on the public, often causing serious property and personal damage. Many confuse him with Toyman, simply because the premise is slightly similar – in that it’s a little silly. He first appeared in the early 1940’s so he has been revamped over and over again to keep him relevant to readers. I can’t say there’s zero chance of seeing a cameo, but I doubt it.
Riot – Likelihood 2 out of 10
Riot would be fun to see in live action. He has a disturbing back story, but is better known for his ability to create multiple copies of himself every time he’s punched hard enough. We probably won’t see him in the films, but I have to admit, it would be a great visual with a movie budget’s level of special effect.
Silver Banshee – Likelihood 0 out of 10
Siobhan McDougal was cursed to become the Silver Banshee and her wail can kill you, as long as she knows your true name. If her outfit, which flickers like flame, could be put into live action, it could look amazing. But her back story is too long and complicated and I simply don’t anticipate much magic-based story in the films.
Thaddeus Killgrave – Likelihood 3 out of 10
When it comes to non-superpowered human inventors with a genius level of evil, Killgrave just doesn’t measure up against another certain evil genius, although it might be interesting to see him help that particular villain. You know the one I’m talking about.
Toyman – Likelihood 1 out of 10
Winslow Schott first appeared in the comics just one year after the Prankster did. In the modern comics, he was a toy inventor who was fired for refusing to change with the times. For a while, his intentions were pure, but twisted. He kidnapped children just to save them from the parents who ignored them. Plus he used toys as weapons. He’s hardly the sort of villain these films need.
Vandal Savage – Likelihood 3 out of 10
Savage was born over 50,000 years ago in the time of cavemen, but he’s immortal and undervalues the lives of others. From age comes experience and no one is more experienced than this guy. He’s not usually thought of specifically as a Superman villain, but if the film’s creative team wanted to go a different route than Lex Luthor, Savage would be an excellent choice.
Ultra-Humanite – Likelihood 2 out of 10
He’s Superman’s first supervillain ever, but he certainly changed over time. At first he was an evil scientific genius, but eventually he took on an ape-like appearance with a brain so large that it protruded out of his skull. The only reason the films might mention him is to pay homage as the first comic book supervillain ever.
Waller, Amanda – Likelihood 5 out of 10
She’s a short, fat, cranky government bureaucrat who has no problem eliminating threats to herself or her station. At this point, the only reason Waller might make an appearance is if there is an attempt to tie the DC films together like Marvel has with the Avengers films. She played a minor role in last year’s Green Lantern, played by Angela Bassett so we’ll just have to wait and see.
That wraps up another installment of Man of Steel Countdown. But wait. There’s someone missing from these lists. I’ll give you three guesses who it is, but you’ll only need one. Stay tuned for an entire article devoted to that character and why, despite some fan outcry, he HAS to be involved in these films.
Until then, what do YOU think of this list. Who’s missing that should be there? Who would you like to see most?