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Superman's New Transformation Combines Him With A Major Villain

*Contains spoilers for "Superman" 3 by DC Comics*

Superman is up against a new villainous outbreak in Metropolis, and the result is making him more like Parasite than ever before.

The Man of Steel is dealing with Parasite's escape from jail in the current "Superman" ongoing series by Joshua Williamson, Jamal Campbell, and Ariana Maher from DC Comics. However, the main issue preventing Superman from stopping Parasite is a notable power change from the villain. Instead of just gaining the powers or energy of those he drains like he usually does and growing, Parasite is multiplying into hundreds of clones of himself. As a result, even a hero as strong as Superman is unable to avoid the overwhelming army of Parasites who are taking over Metropolis.

In the series, Superman and the Super-Family, including Jon Kent and Supergirl, have tried to save their city from being completely overrun by the Parasites. But, unfortunately, the Parasites are working in tandem to transform everyone — Lois Lane included — into purple, energy-draining monsters. Superman has been forced to turn to an incarcerated Lex Luthor for assistance, although his distrust in his longtime foe still makes him wary about his intentions to help. Meanwhile, Kal-el could not avoid being infected, transforming the hero into a much darker version of his usual self. Now, the Parasite Superman is being unleashed on the DC Universe.

Superman's home is facing a Parasite army

The battle against the Parasites in Metropolis has proven to be quite a challenge for Kal-El. The Secret Order of Mad Scientists, responsible for Parasite's changes, has also been running other experiments on Superman's villains, including chopping up Bizarro and messing around with Kryptonite. Led by Graft and the evil scientist Dr. Pharm, the group is making it their mission to evolve the Man of Steel's rogues. However, after having his powers drained, Superman met the new hero Marilyn Moonlight and got a much-needed energy power-up from her, as it allowed him to continue his fight as Parasites multiplied throughout the city.

In "Superman" #3 by DC Comics, Superman continues his search for Parasite-Zero, the main villain who has spawned all the duplicates ravishing Metropolis. Unfortunately, however, the Man of Tomorrow has been infected by Parasite himself, as he has purple skin, yellow eyes, and sharp teeth. Thankfully, despite his new monstrous appearance and voice, Superman is able to keep himself together and not be entirely overcome by the transformation — leading him to Lex Luthor. Together, the Parasite Superman and Luthor use the electric villain Livewire to unleash a powerful energy blast to draw the Parasites directly to them. The subsequent electrical explosion detaches the Parasites off of Superman, allowing him to split into a containment suit and return to his usual form.

After drawing the Parasites to SuperCorp, all of the Parasites combine into a grotesque, giant-sized version of the villain. But Luthor ends up activating a neutralizer removing the radiation poisoning that caused Parasite's powers to change, knocking him out and freeing Metropolis from the invasion.

Can Superman actually trust Lex Luthor?

Despite Lex Luthor playing a pivotal role in stopping Parasite, Superman isn't totally buying his being reformed, even with his massive help. Immediately upon making sure his home was safe and bringing Parasite to S.T.A.R. Labs, Kal-El grills Luthor in prison about why he didn't escape when given a chance while briefly freed. Luthor tells him he wants to help him, even revealing terrible people from his past (The Secret Order of Mad Scientists) are trying to transform Metropolis into their own deadly science experiment. Luthor stresses dangers are coming that even Superman has never faced before and that he can work with him to save the city. Somewhat begrudgingly, Superman admits he's not ready to give up on Luthor entirely and accepts him as an ally... for now.

After his conversation with Luthor, Superman also embraces SuperCorp, the organization Luthor funded and created in order to protect the world from the emerging threats he warned the hero about. With the greatest scientific minds of Metropolis working under one roof in order to help Superman with assistance, including more technological advancements than he's ever had, Kal-El now has an entire team behind him on a much bigger scale than before. Everything seems great for the hero and future of Metropolis, but what are their true intentions? That remains to be seen. But with Luthor involved, it's a safe bet to assume they're not all good.

What is Lex Luthor hiding from Superman? Is history repeating itself?

Just when Lex Luthor finally seems to be turning a corner and embracing a more heroic turn (something he's tried and failed to do countless times before), the final page of the issue hints at his role in the dangerous events coming to Metropolis. At the end of "Superman" 3, Graft from The Secret Order of Mad Scientists returns and tells Dr. Pharm they eagerly await Superman's arrival. Saying that everyone Luthor has wronged deserves revenge, Graft asks how angry Superman will get when he learns Lex isn't telling the truth about them. The comic ends with the evil organization looking at the next villain they want to evolve, the supernatural Silver Banshee.

Luthor might be helping Superman in the present, but "Superman" #3 suggests he's aligning himself with his usual greatest enemy to protect himself from the group of scientists seeking revenge on him. Their full connection to Luthor remains unexplained, but considering they're capable of evolving supervillains' powers through experimentation, it's understandable why Lex likely believes he can't stop them without Superman's help. In this case, Luthor appears to have created the villains, as they seem more concerned about getting revenge on Lex than anything to do with Superman — but completely fine with him being collateral damage.

Readers can see Superman's new form in "Superman" #3 by Joshua Williamson, Jamal Campbell, and Ariana Maher from DC Comics, which is in comic book stores now!