It’s tough to imagine anyone or anything striking fear into the heart of Superman. After all, he is the greatest hero to have ever existed and isn’t afraid to stand up to anyone. However, for all that Superman is, some enemies more than others, have found a way to strike fear into the Man of Steel. Some have beaten him with their intelligence while others have beaten him with their fists. But who are they? Who are the greatest and most feared Superman enemies to have ever existed?
First appearing in Action Comics #252 back in 1959, Metallo has been a thorn in the side of Superman. Not only is he a half-man/half-robot, but Metallo also uses Kryptonite as a power source. Yes, the same Kryptonite that Superman is deathly afraid of. But it doesn’t end there.
Metallo also sold his soul, whatever was left of it, to Neron as a way to increase his power. With it, he is able to absorb any form of metal and make it an extension of his own exoskeleton.
A product of Jim Shooter’s mind, Parasite has undergone many transformations and identity changes throughout his history. The most widely known Parasite is Rudy Jones and as Parasite, he, like every other person who has taken on the role, possesses the ability to absorb the energy, powers, and memories of whomever he touches. I’m sure you can see the dilemma this would create if he were to, say, touch Superman.
This also means, however, that Parasite absorbs the weaknesses of his enemies as well. So, in the case of Superman, while he absorbs every power known under the sun, he also absorbs his distaste for Kryptonite.
What do you get when you try to create a perfect copy of Superman but end up with a creature with limited intelligence? The answer is Bizarro.
Bizarro is a Superman clone who has been gifted with intelligence that rivals a snail. Unfortunately, to go along with it, he’s also been given some of Superman’s memories. Because he has both the memories and powers of Superman, he spends his time trying to be Superman. While it would be amazing to have two Supermen, it doesn’t really work out that way.
7. Mr. Mxyzptlk
Don’t let his childish appearance fool you, Mr. Mxyzptlk has established himself as one of Superman’s most formidable foes.
Hailing from the 5th Dimension, Mr. Mxyzptlk has the ability to travel inter-dimensionally like no one’s business. This may not seem impressive but understand that when he lands on Superman’s Dimension, he is capable of wreaking unheard-of havoc. He has powers that allow him to bend reality to whichever way he needs it to bend. This means that when he requires Supes to solve a puzzle or do something out of the ordinary, the task isn’t as easy as it appears.
Worse than that, getting rid of him is as easy as saying his name…backward.
6. General Zod
Zod is what Superman would be if he let go of all that held him to Earth. Let me explain. Like Superman, Zod is a Kryptonian who possesses a plethora of powers. Like Superman, he wishes to never forget who he is or where he comes from. Unlike Superman, however, he does this at the cost of all those around him.
Zod is a tyrannical monster who wants nothing more than to rule all those in front of him. This includes Superman’s secondary home, Earth. Because he possesses the same power set as the Man of Steel, it’s near impossible for him to be stopped. His undoing, if he has one, is that he often lets his own deadly ambitions cloud him, thus resulting in his own failures.
If Doomsday is known for anything, he’s known as the creature to kill Superman.
In the late 1990s, he sent shockwaves around the industry when he did the impossible and off’d Superman. People cried and comic stores had lineups for miles of those same people trying to get a copy of the book. It was literal history in the making.
If you don’t know Doomsday’s story, know that he is a being that comes back from death learning and adapting so that he never dies that way again. This, if you didn’t figure it out, means he’s near-immortal and can only be “killed” in any manner once. His downfall, if he had one, is that because he can’t be killed the same way twice, it makes for a pretty boring read when he’s involved.
If you’re thinking it, you’re probably right. Darkseid isn’t just an enemy of Superman. Instead, he’s an enemy of the entire DC Universe.
Darkseid hails from Apokalips and is as powerful as they come. He used his power to inflict pain and punishment on the Universe. And why? Simply because all Darkseid wants is to take over the entirety of the Universe. Naturally, this doesn’t align with what Superman stands for.
To rule the Universe, Darkseid is always looking for the Anti-Life Equation. If he should find it, all beings of life would become submissive to his every command. And Superman won’t stand for it.
While his name doesn’t exactly describe what he aims to do, Brainiac is one of the greatest Superman enemies in existence. Brainiac spends his time traveling the Universe looking to capture cities and preserve them inside his own collection. Think of building a ship inside a glass bottle. And why does he do this? He does this as a means to protect the city from itself.
What separates Brainiac from so many others is that he can create an army from himself. That is, he can create an army as an extension of his own mind. Imagine an entire army of the above picture ransacking your home. That’s Brainiac.
If it seems surprising that Batman is on this list, know that it’s not by accident. Sure, the two, Superman and Batman have fought side by side in the Justice League. And sure, the two have a respect for one another that runs deep. However, none of this means that they haven’t come to blows before. Quite the contrary.
Batman fears what would happen if Superman ever lost control. Superman fears what would happen if Batman ever lost control. While they do respect one another, there is a quiet and scared wondering about the “what if scenarios”. For this very reason, Batman is one of the greatest and most feared Superman enemies…period.
1. Lex Luthor
I’m certain you’re not too surprised to see Lex Luthor here. If you are, go ahead and Google Superman enemies and look at how many other lists place Lex at the top. No, wait. Before you do that, finish reading this article first.
Lex Luthor is here because of all Superman’s enemies, he is the one that has caused the Man of Tomorrow the most pain. For everything that Superman is, honest, does no wrong, selfless, and loyal, Lex Luthor is the opposite.
Lex Luthor is what happens when a human doesn’t believe that a person can be as good as Superman. He’s untrusting, cynical, and wise to the fact that if Superman were to ever turn, the world would be in a lot of trouble. Just look at Superman Red Son. Due to this, some of the best stories ever created involve him and Superman. Due to this, some of the best stories ever created involve him and Superman.
There is no doubt that Lex Luthor is one of the greatest Superman enemies. And it’s for all of these reasons that he lands at number one.