10 Greatest Villains of Superman

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Superman's Most Powerful Villains

Comic cover of Lex Luthor
Lex Luthor. DC Comics

If you had to pick ten of Superman's greatest villains, who would they be? That's the question we're going to answer today. Superman is one of the most powerful superheroes in the DC universe, and the villains he faces have to be equally powerful. He's faced many enemies, both on Earth and throughout space and time, but here are the ten most deadly.

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10. Parasite (Rudy Jones)

Comic panel Superman and Parasite
Parasite. DC Comics

Rudy Jones was just a lowly janitor at a S.T.A.R Labs until he was exposed to hazardous chemicals. He became Parasite, a creature who needed to absorb the life energy of human beings to survive. And to him, Superman is a five-course meal. Parasite can drain Superman of his powers, making himself stronger and Superman weaker. Attempts to cure him have only made him more powerful, letting him absorb energy from anything, including electricity. He, quite literally, sucks.

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9. Mongul

Comic panel Superman fighting Mongul
Superman vs. Mongul. DC Comics

Mongul is an intergalactic emperor who rules Warworld, a planet holding other worlds in a brutal dictatorship. Mongul keeps his subjects distracted from thoughts of killing him by staging gladiatorial games, and wanted Superman to fight for him. When Superman led an uprising against him, Mongul fled, but continued to seek revenge. He even destroyed Green Lantern Hal Jordan's home city of Coast City in the process. With incredible strength, and a hunger for power, there's nothing he's not capable of. 

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8. Metallo (John Corben)

Metallo fighting Superman
Metallo attacks Superman. DC Comics

 As any casual fan of Superman knows, the superhero's greatest weakness is Kryptonite. That's why Metallo is one of Superman's deadliest villains. Once John Corben was an assassin who was turned into a cyborg, giving him enhanced strength and speed. But that's not what makes him so tough. The fact that his robot body is powered by green kryptonite makes him one of Superman's deadliest enemies. The longer Superman fights Metallo, the weaker he gets.

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7. Mister Mxyzptlk

Cover of
Mr. Mxyzptlk grabs Superman's cape. DC Comics

If God was crossed with the Joker, you'd have Mister Mxyzptlk. Mxyzptlk is from the Fifth Dimension, and comes to our world with the ability to alter reality. He can pretty much do anything, which would make him Superman's greatest enemy, except for three weaknesses. One is Mxyzptlk's obsession with proving he's smarter than Superman, constantly pulling pranks and goofing with the Man of Steel. The second is that nothing he does is permanent. The third, and greatest weakness, is that if he says his own name backwards, he's forced to return to the Fifth Dimension. Though Mxyzptlk is one of Superman's most lighthearted enemies, he still can cause a lot of trouble. And in case you're wondering, it's pronounced "mix-iz-pittle-ick." 

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6. Bizarro

Comic panel of Bizarro Superman
Bizarro Superman. DC Comics

It's easy to describe Bizarro as the exact opposite of Superman. Because he is, in many ways. While Superman is a genius, Bizarro is stupid. While Superman is athletic, Bizarro is clumsy. Instead of heat-vision and ice breath, Bizarro has cold-vision and heat breath. Even the Superman logo on his chest is backwards. But he doesn't speak French or breathe underwater. His origin has varied over the years, from being a flawed clone of Superman to coming from the cube-shaped planet Bizarro World, where everything is the opposite of Earth. In all versions, Bizarro either intentionally or unintentionally wreaks havoc with Metropolis, and his power makes him a truly dangerous enemy.

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5. Brainiac (Vril Dox)

Comic book panel of Brainiac fighting Superman
Brainiac punches Superman. DC Comics

 On the planet Colu, an alien scientist named Vril Dox began an endless quest for all the knowledge in the universe. With his engineering skills, he created robotic and genetic copies of himself, and merged with a supercomputer called the Brain InterActive Construct. He became Brainiac. With his skull-shaped spaceship, Brainiac roamed the universe, collecting information. That would be okay if his methods didn't involve destroying things to get it. He even shrank and stole whole civilizations like the Kryptonian city of Kandor. He has continued to improve himself, gaining psychic powers, and transferring himself into robotic and physical bodies. The only one who seems capable of stopping him is, you guessed it, Superman

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4. Darkseid

Comic panel of Darkseid slapping Superman
Darkseid slaps Superman. DC Comics

The planet Apokolips is a miserable world of endless suffering and slavery, and Darkseid is its ruthless and sadistic tyrant. He's ruled for thousands of years because he's as strong as Superman, but also has the Omega Sanction; beams from his eyes that can destroy or teleport anyone or anything he chooses. Like many of Superman's enemies, Darkseid is driven to rule the universe. But he's come very close to succeeding. His ultimate goal is to find the Anti-Life equation, which he believes will allow him to control all living things. Only Superman has kept him from conquering the galaxy.

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3. General Zod (Dru-Zod)

Comic panel of Superman fighting General Zod
General Zod vs. Superman. DC Comics

 If Superman was evil, he would be General Zod, a Kryptonian with all of Superman's abilities, but a hunger for power instead of a desire for truth and justice. Dru-Zod was one of Krypton's greatest military leaders until he launched a plot to overthrow the planetary government. When his coup failed, he and his two partners Ursa and Nod were banished to the interdimensional prison of the Phantom Zone. After Krypton was destroyed, the trio escaped the Phantom Zone. General Zod continued his quest for power by focusing on Earth. Superman and General Zod have clashed many times, and Zod keeps coming back for more. Kneel before Zod!

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2. Doomsday

Superman fighting Doomsday
Superman vs. Doomsday. DC Comics

Doomsday is one of the deadliest creatures in the universe. Created by an alien scientist as an experiment in evolution, Doomsday was thrown into the hostile Kryptonian wilderness to die. The scientist gathered the remains, cloned him, and threw him out again. Repeating the process over and over, Doomsday evolved into the perfect killing machine. Doomsday eventually rebelled against his creator and traveled the galaxy, massacring whole civilizations. When he arrived on Earth, only Superman could defeat him, and even then only for a short time. His strength and durability exceeds Superman's, along with an unstoppable desire to destroy.

Doomsday holds the honor of being one of the few villains to ever kill Superman. 

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1. Lex Luthor

Comic panel of Superman fighting Lex Luthor
Superman vs. Lex Luthor. DC Comics

You wouldn't think Lex Luthor would be Superman's greatest enemy just by looking at him. He's not strong. He's not fast. He has no superpowers at all. His only asset is his extraordinary mind, but that mind is enough to threaten the world.

Alexander Joseph Luthor is a genius in every sense of the word. He's used his brilliance to create advanced technology, and became a billionaire. To the world, he's the founder and CEO of LexCorp. But Superman knows Luthor is a sociopath bent on world domination. He's constantly creating devious plots and weaponry designed to destroy Superman and conquer Earth, not necessarily in that order. He's done everything from creating evil clones of Superman to becoming president of the United States.

Be glad Superman has always been there to stop him.