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  1. #31
    Superfan Through The Ages BBally's Avatar
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    But then this leads to one of my favorite Superman beats villain moment that didn't require any fists.





    This is one of the reasons why I love Superman, people think he's all muscle but he can outsmart the smartest supervillains out there. Also another example as why I think Superman's Bronze Age era is criminally underrated.

    I didn't know that Savage was a Golden Age JSA villain until several months ago, so I always assumed that like Darkseid and Cyborg Superman, he was one of the Superman rogues who was so good, he was promoted into a villain for the entire DCU such as his appearance in Grant Morrison's Millennium event. The character in some way was a major adversary for Superman whenever he was used.
    Last edited by BBally; 07-06-2019 at 09:26 PM.
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  2. #32
    Astonishing Member Vordan's Avatar
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    The closest “Hush” equivalent would be Up, Up, and Away by Johns and Busiek, which was good. Given the rather flexible state of Superman continuity I wouldn’t mind seeing another attempt at all, I’m sure Reis could draw the hell out of something like that. But Bendis doesn’t really seem to have any interest in Supes traditional Rogues outside of cameos.

  3. #33
    Father Son Kamehameha < Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    I would have said Ending Battle. I mean if we're talking about a supervillain buffet. That, Whatever Happened, and Who Took the Super Out of Superman had the most villains in one place that I recall.
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  4. #34
    Astonishing Member Vordan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    I would have said Ending Battle. I mean if we're talking about a supervillain buffet. That, Whatever Happened, and Who Took the Super Out of Superman had the most villains in one place that I recall.
    I love Ending Battle, I just wish it had a better artist. If it did it would definitely be one of the best Superman stories.

  5. #35
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    What would be a neat idea is if there was a miniseries or maxiseries that's just about the Super-Villains. Like, a series that showcases how the super-criminal underworld is put together in Metropolis. Pick some low-level schlub villain to be the viewpoint character (first thought is some '90s villain like Conduit or Anomaly). Maybe create a Macguffin that various villains are after (again, first thought: remember in the Byrne run when that computer told Luthor that Superman was Clark Kent and he refused to believe it. Say someone put that data on a disc or flash drive and leaked the info that it contained the truth of Superman's secret identity). I imagine Superman's rogues would be hard to negotiate and make deals with. Especially if one day you're talking to someone like Parasite who just wants to rob a bank or something and the next day you stumble upon Mongul planning a full-scale invasion.

    You know, one of the biggest problems with an idea like this and possibly with the rogues gallery in general is Lex Luthor. He takes over everything he touches. Because that's his character. He's literally got an ego so big that he can't allow anyone else to be important or special. You can try to showcase the lesser villains, but people will be thinking "How long until it's revealed that Lex Luthor was behind the whole thing?"
    Last edited by AdamFTF; 07-06-2019 at 08:33 PM.

  6. #36
    Father Son Kamehameha < Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    The opportunity to talk about him never comes up but I am a lifelong fan of Derec Aucoin. The other Ending Battle artists not so much.

    Quote Originally Posted by BBally View Post
    But then this leads to one of my favorite Superman beats villain moment that didn't require any fists.


    This is one of the reasons why I love Superman, people think he's all muscle but he can outsmart the smartest supervillains out there. Also a number example as why I think Superman's Bronze Age era is criminally underrated.

    I didn't know that Savage was a Golden Age JSA villain until several months ago, so I always assumed that like Darkseid and Cyborg Superman, he was one of the Superman rogues who was so good, he was promoted into a villain for the entire DCU such as his appearance in Grant Morrison's Millennium event. The character in some way was a major adversary for Superman whenever he was used.
    Haha, gotta love that he outright says, "I don't think with my fists." I'd heard about Savage as a villain for many years but never read a comic with him in it until Time and Time Again from 1980. I also like the occasions where Superman borrowed Grodd.

    And while I don't dislike the silver age Superman, roughly from 1950 to 1967 is my least favorite stretch and the worst thing to me is that this Superman is more recognized than the Bronze age Superman of the years under Julie. The Bronze Age Superman seemed to draw out everything I like about the character and each of these villains had at least two strong showcases.
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  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    And while I don't dislike the silver age Superman, roughly from 1950 to 1967 is my least favorite stretch and the worst thing to me is that this Superman is more recognized than the Bronze age Superman of the years under Julie. The Bronze Age Superman seemed to draw out everything I like about the character and each of these villains had at least two strong showcases.
    The Silver Age was weird. Especially when it came to villains. Superman could essentially beat anyone physically, so the writers tried to always play it as if some of the other incidental stuff was more important than the villain at hand:

    DC: Here it is Superman fans! Superman's newest cosmic enemy. The calculating living computer from the planet Colu: BRANIAC. But that's not the most important thing!

    Reader: Really? What's more important than this terrible new enemy?

    DC: Braniac . . . has . . . A SHRUNKEN CITY FROM KRYPTON IN A BOTTLE!

    Reader: Oh, no . . . Wait. What?

    DC: Yes, it's completely true! It's called Argo and Superman will even get shrunk and spend like 2/3 of the issue in the bottle city while Braniac, I don't know, plays with his pet monkey or something!

    Or:

    DC: This is it, Superman devotees. The Man of Steel is going to take on one of his worst villains yet. A killer whose body was replaced by cold, hard metal: METALLO! But that's not the worst of it.

    Reader: Really? What's worse than a robot killer?

    DC: This killer LOOKS LIKE SUPERMAN, BUT WITH A MUSTACHE!

    Reader: Huh?

    DC: Think about it! What if he frames Superman for one of his crimes?! What if Superman has to reveal his true identity to prove it wasn't him?! The consequences could be dire!

    Reader: None of that sounds more important than the fact that he's a robot killer.

  8. #38
    Legendary Member daBronzeBomma's Avatar
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    Let's talk about Superman's very first super-villain: the Ultra-Humanite.



    This guy was the direct predecessor for both Lex Luthor AND Fawcett's Sivana, but has long since been far surpassed by both.

    Is there still a spot for him on the upper tiers of the Super-rogues?

    I don't know. He's not surpassing Luthor in terms of scientific villainy, and he's not surpassing Titano in terms of best ape (Grodd has him beat in this department).

    I'm not sure what the best route for him going forward is. Where can he make his own unique mark without bumping up against the more established supervillains?

  9. #39
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    I have given Ultra more thought than anyone should, and I have a few ideas.

    You're right that he'll never match Lex, nor other "monster" villains. He's not even the best gorilla bad guy, and is far, far from being the best "evil genius" villain even among Clark's own rogues gallery.

    I think there's two avenues to take him where he could find a viable niche. The first is the body-swapping horror story, which I think Superlad first brought up ages and ages ago. Ultra can be anyone; the street vendor who sells Clark his morning pretzel, the new intern at the Planet, Lois......anyone. And even with Clark's senses it'd be hard for him to recognize Ultra's brain in someone else's body. So you can do some serious thriller-horror stuff. And that's a archetype Clark doesnt really have in his major rogues gallery.

    Then there's my "retro Golden-Silver Age" approach. Have Ultra use big, ridiculous robots taken from the Fleischer cartoon, talk in ridiculous monologues and use dialogue like "an educated savant extraordinaire!" and have ridiculous, simple Silver Age motivations. Everyone tries to give the villains depth and development today, and here's a guy so old school he's funny more than scary. I'd spin him as someone who looked forward to a bright, science-y future with silver outfits and flying cars, and he's utterly disgusted that people just use their technology for selfies and cat videos, and his goal is to make science the respected, celebrated field he thinks it should be. So.....sort of a Silver Age science terrorist trying to re-shape the world into what people thought the future would look like back in 1950.
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  10. #40
    Astonishing Member Vordan's Avatar
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    The Silver Age science terrorist idea sounds amazing. Honestly having a couple villains who are just outright evil and enjoy being evil can be very entertaining. My favorite WW villain is Circe who basically fits that model to a T. The Ultra-Humanite suffers from the fact that Lex is the smartest while Brainiac is the strong + smart combo, so as he is right now there’s not much for him to do. I think DC has partially realized this which is why he’s been banished to Earth 2, to mess with the people there. I don’t think he’s actually been a proper Superman villain in a long time.

  11. #41
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    I think the last time we saw Ultra in a Super-related comic was Power Girl, before the reboot. Pak had *a* Ultra-Humanite in his Action Comics, but it was some sort of creepy mind-controlling Cthulhu style monster from a nightmare realm.....not at all the character we know.

    I think there's room for Ultra in the rogues. Clark has multiple alien despots and conquerors, there's room for another evil genius. And with Lex being as much a businessman these days as he is a scientist, we don't really have a straight up super villain evil genius in the core rogues gallery anymore. He's a weird body swapper who runs around in the body of an albino ape and can invent and build death traps and ray guns. If you can't do anything with that, you shouldn't be writing anything more complex than rent checks.
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  12. #42
    Legendary Member daBronzeBomma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    I have given Ultra more thought than anyone should, and I have a few ideas.

    You're right that he'll never match Lex, nor other "monster" villains. He's not even the best gorilla bad guy, and is far, far from being the best "evil genius" villain even among Clark's own rogues gallery.

    I think there's two avenues to take him where he could find a viable niche. The first is the body-swapping horror story, which I think Superlad first brought up ages and ages ago. Ultra can be anyone; the street vendor who sells Clark his morning pretzel, the new intern at the Planet, Lois......anyone. And even with Clark's senses it'd be hard for him to recognize Ultra's brain in someone else's body. So you can do some serious thriller-horror stuff. And that's a archetype Clark doesnt really have in his major rogues gallery.

    Then there's my "retro Golden-Silver Age" approach. Have Ultra use big, ridiculous robots taken from the Fleischer cartoon, talk in ridiculous monologues and use dialogue like "an educated savant extraordinaire!" and have ridiculous, simple Silver Age motivations. Everyone tries to give the villains depth and development today, and here's a guy so old school he's funny more than scary. I'd spin him as someone who looked forward to a bright, science-y future with silver outfits and flying cars, and he's utterly disgusted that people just use their technology for selfies and cat videos, and his goal is to make science the respected, celebrated field he thinks it should be. So.....sort of a Silver Age science terrorist trying to re-shape the world into what people thought the future would look like back in 1950.


    100% agree with the bolded. THAT is the direction to take the Ultra-Humanite back to the upper tiers of super-villainy.

    I'll add another wrinkle: Delores Winters becomes the original identity, and Gerard Shugel is now her first victim ... or just a pseudonym she made up to avoid sexism.

    In a couple ways, a Delores Winter Ultra-Humanite is even more polar opposite to Superman than even Lex Luthor.

    Where SuperMAN is explicitly Male, Ultra-HUMANite is implicitly non-gendered (appropriate given the mind- swapping). Where Supes is non-human raised human, Ultra is human transformed to non-human. Where Supes' powers are physical, Ultra's are mental. Where Supes operates in the open, Ultra relies on not being noticed until it is too late to stop her. Supes' arsenal of powers are neutralized in their effectiveness against her, as he can't stop her by anything other than his wits.

    Ultra should be a telepath of the highest order, on par with Charles Xavier and J'onn J'onzz. Maybe she can't read/ swap Kryptonian minds, but she can temporarily swap minds with any human or animal (tho that is much trickier and dangerous for her).

    C'mon, we have so few worthy female super-villains as it is.







    Delores Winters as the true Ultra-Humanite. Specifically created for Superman and his franchise. Make it happen, DC.

  13. #43
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    I'd be down with making Winters the real Ultra, definitely! Maybe you even take it one step further; she doesn't identify as a woman (who happens to body swap with apes and men and whoever else) but as something non-binary. I dont want Ultra to become a conversation about gender identity (not the right character for that) but I do think it'd be a fun wrinkle to add.
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  14. #44
    Fantastic Member magha_regulus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    I think the last time we saw Ultra in a Super-related comic was Power Girl, before the reboot. Pak had *a* Ultra-Humanite in his Action Comics, but it was some sort of creepy mind-controlling Cthulhu style monster from a nightmare realm.....not at all the character we know.

    I think there's room for Ultra in the rogues. Clark has multiple alien despots and conquerors, there's room for another evil genius. And with Lex being as much a businessman these days as he is a scientist, we don't really have a straight up super villain evil genius in the core rogues gallery anymore. He's a weird body swapper who runs around in the body of an albino ape and can invent and build death traps and ray guns. If you can't do anything with that, you shouldn't be writing anything more complex than rent checks.
    The Ultra-Humanite should know that Clark Kent is really Superman (yeah I said it that way on purpose) and on top of being a mad super-scientist, he should also be a master black mailer. The recurring memory wipes he'd be subjected to should drive him madder and madder and drive his personalized hatred for the man of steel.

    He's like the best of Luthor and Brainiac except everything is far more personal. imagine if he'd take over someone like Ron Troupe, Cat Grant, or even Morgan Edge!

    If Bendis is really on his game, the Ultra-Humanite would be the founder and head of the Invisible Mafia!

  15. #45
    Fantastic Member magha_regulus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daBronzeBomma View Post
    100% agree with the bolded. THAT is the direction to take the Ultra-Humanite back to the upper tiers of super-villainy.

    I'll add another wrinkle: Delores Winters becomes the original identity, and Gerard Shugel is now her first victim ... or just a pseudonym she made up to avoid sexism.

    In a couple ways, a Delores Winter Ultra-Humanite is even more polar opposite to Superman than even Lex Luthor.

    Where SuperMAN is explicitly Male, Ultra-HUMANite is implicitly non-gendered (appropriate given the mind- swapping). Where Supes is non-human raised human, Ultra is human transformed to non-human. Where Supes' powers are physical, Ultra's are mental. Where Supes operates in the open, Ultra relies on not being noticed until it is too late to stop her. Supes' arsenal of powers are neutralized in their effectiveness against her, as he can't stop her by anything other than his wits.

    Ultra should be a telepath of the highest order, on par with Charles Xavier and J'onn J'onzz. Maybe she can't read/ swap Kryptonian minds, but she can temporarily swap minds with any human or animal (tho that is much trickier and dangerous for her).

    C'mon, we have so few worthy female super-villains as it is.







    Delores Winters as the true Ultra-Humanite. Specifically created for Superman and his franchise. Make it happen, DC.
    Yes! A woman or gender non-confirming person would be perfect!!!!!

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