12 Superman Villains We've Yet To See On The Big Screen

When it comes to comic books, especially superhero stories, a hero is only as good as his villain. In the case of Superman, the Man of Steel's selection of villains isn't usually the first comic fans think of. Usually, when the topic of comic book villains comes up, either Spider-Man or Batman's rogue galleries are the first to be mentioned. With villains the likes of the Joker, Green Goblin, Two-Face and Venom, it really isn't hard to see why. However, the Superman comics have seen their own share of both visually memorable and intriguing villains.

Bizarrely, even with several cinematic appearances under his belt, only a handful of Superman's villains have seen the silver screen treatment — that being Lex Luthor, Doomsday, Darkseid, and General Zodd. So, with Superman set for another cinematic reboot, this time courtesy of James Gunn, a whole world of possibilities has been opened. So throw on your reddest cape and look up in the sky because these are the Superman villains we've yet to see on the big screen.


Clones are well-trodden ground in the world of superheroes, wherein they're used as frequently as blue sky portals. But clones also serve as the crux of the backstory for one of Superman's stranger adversaries: his imperfect duplicate named B-0 aka Bizarro. Sporting pale and patchy gray skin, gnarly teeth, and zombie-like expressions, Bizzaro is as far off the mark one could get when cloning Superman. If Superman was an expensive action figure, then Bizzaro would be the bootleg equivalent made from cheaper and much lumpier plastic. Bizzaro only boasts a hysterically strange speech pattern in which he basically bumbles through even the easiest of sentences, such as "Me am number one."

The character was even given a solid revamp in the events of "Forever Evil," a supervillain-helmed event comic. Amidst the series' gonzo happenings, Lex Luthor unleashes his semi-botched Superman clone for assistance, even developing a fittingly bizarre bond with it. However, more often than not, Bizzaro most definitely falls into the category of the much campier Superman villains, making a live-action version vastly more unlikely. However, with colorful science-fiction camp being a consistent part of James Gunn's style, perhaps it's time for Bizzaro to get his close-up.


Next to Lex Luthor, Brainiac is one of Superman's most persistent threats, often able to endanger whole planets on his own. Depending on what version or era of Superman you're reading, it's a toss-up in regards to his origins, which have been reworked a few times. Some versions have seen him begin life as an inhabitant of the planet of Colu or a creation of Kryptonian science. Regardless of his fluctuating origins, the end result is usually the same — a heartless green humanoid robot with green skin hellbent on galactic conquest. Brainiac is even responsible for shrinking the Kryptonian city of Kandor prior to the planet's description and placing it inside a glass bottle.

Much like Luthor, Brainiac often combats Superman's Kryptonian strength with his intelligence and technological prowess. More often than not, when the Man of Steel is battling the threat of Brainiac, there are more than enough robotic minions blocking his path. Despite his frequency within Superman's ongoing continuity and countless animated projects, Brainiac has never been given the big screen treatment. With James Gunn's more fantastical plans for his impending DC Cinematic Universe, Brainiac should have his time to shine.


Parasite, especially when compared to his peers, is arguably one of Superman's more horrific villains with an equally gruesome backstory. This tends to vary depending on which version of Parasite you're reading up on, however, as his backstory has been tweaked a few times.

Some versions, like "Superman the Animated Series" have seen Rudy Jones, a low-level criminal, accidentally soaked in toxic chemicals which gruesomely transform him into the ruthless Parasite. Other versions, like the comic mini-series "American Alien," have shown a version of Jones that, in desperate need of money, offered himself as a human guinea pig for experimentation, resulting in his transformation.

However, regardless of origin, Parasite's destructive powers have always been the same — the horrific ability to drain people's energy, leaving them as withered husks. This means that Superman, who receives his powers through the energy he absorbs from Earth's yellow sun, is a prime target for Parasite. In addition to his absorption powers granting him additional hulking strength, it also gives him information about his victims. This means some versions of the character are aware of Superman's alter ego as mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent. Parasite has been a staple of Superman's canon for quite some time, so an epic theatrical appearance would be very welcome.

Mister Mxyzptlk

One of the truly great things about comic books is that, in most cases, you create whatever you want. It's honestly amazing that, in an extended universe rife with gods, monsters, and madmen, Mister Mxyzptlk is arguably one of DC Comics' most powerful villains. Yes, you heard us — this dapper-looking dwarf with silly clothes is actually one of Superman's most powerful foes.

Mxyzptlk is an imp from the fifth dimension, the same dimension that Bat-Mite hails from, boasting the same god-like powers that he does. His abilities allow the little imp to literally warp reality at his will, limited only by his devious mind. This has made him quite the challenge for the Man of Steel in the past, as Superman often needs to outsmart Mxyzptlk as opposed to fighting him. Many versions of the character can only be defeated if you can somehow trick him into saying his name backward, kind of like Rumplestiltskin.

Superhero movies have been embracing the weirder aspects of their source material for quite some time now. James Gunn is no stranger to adapting goofball characters and making them compelling, much like Polka Dot Man in "The Suicide Squad." Despite his ridiculous presentation, Mister Mxyzptlk would make an excellent threat for an upcoming Superman movie.


You thought we could talk about Superman villains without talking about the main man himself, Lobo? In terms of presentation, Lobo is most comparable to Marvel Comics' Deadpool, not only for his fourth wall breaking but his roguish attitude as well. Much like Superman himself, Lobo hails from beyond the stars but is most certainly not like your typical alien.

Hailing from the planet of Czarnia, Lobo is the last member of his entire race, owing to the fact that wiped the rest of them out! Lobo makes his living predominantly as a bounty hunter, often taking on the most dangerous jobs throughout the galaxy. When he's not literally serving someone's severed head on a platter, he's usually guzzling booze by the gallon in whatever intergalactic watering hole he can find.

The character, a parody of hyper-violent 1990s comic books, is basically an amalgamation of all the decade's tropes. This includes huge muscles, a snarky attitude, as well as a penchant for graphic violence and absurdly powerful weaponry. The character has developed a rabid fanbase, even earning a spot in the heart of comic book legend, Stan Lee. Considering how well James Gunn has done with anti-heroes in the past, Lobo is a prime candidate for his new DC Cinematic Universe.


Livewire is intriguing as she was created for "Superman the Animated Series," helmed by Bruce Timm. In her introductory episode, fittingly titled "Livewire," we are introduced to Leslie Willis, voiced by Lori Petty, a shock jock radio star with a particular dislike of Superman. This was extremely on brand for the time, as the '90s were littered with various abrasive personalities on the radio, such as Howard Stern.

However, Willis tempts fate when she holds an outdoor broadcast amidst a lighting storm and ends up getting walloped by a hardy dose of electricity. Due to the blast traveling through Superman just before hitting Willis, the now mutated shock jock now possesses a sinister new look and electricity-based abilities.

Livewire fell at the hands of Superman but proved so popular that she'd be brought back for a few one-off appearances. Despite being a favorite of many fans, Livewire wasn't made an official part of the comics until 2006, nearly a decade after her television debut. The character also got a chance to appear on CW's "Supergirl," played by Brit Morgan, with her occupation updated from radio host to podcaster. With Livewire having raced the airwaves via animation and live-action, perhaps it's finally time for her to grace the silver screen.


The trend that seems to have the world of superhero media in a vice grip nowadays seems to be multiverse event stories. From "Spiderman: No Way Home" to "The Flash" to "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse," people can't seem to get enough of storylines where world's collide. DC is one of the earliest trendsetters, introducing all sorts of crazy alternate earths and variants of their established heroes.

This includes Earth-3, a reverse Earth where all of DC's heroes and villains, including Lex Luthor and the Justice League, have their roles reversed. This means instead of Superman, Earth-3 has Ultraman, his twisted and far more malicious doppelgänger who is hellbent on world conquest. As an added twist, Kryptonite has the opposite effect on Ultraman, fueling his power as opposed to diminishing it.

Now the concept of an evil variant of Superman isn't anything new — even outside of DC Comics — especially with characters like Homelander or Omni-Man. However, aside from the glimpses of the dark future in Zack Snyder's "Justice League" trilogy, we've yet to really see what an evil Superman can do. So, if James Gunn wants to test that idea out without tarnishing the Man of Steel, Ultraman is already waiting in the wings for his time to shine.

Manchester Black and the Elite

Few storylines have summated the Man of Steel's character better than "What's So Funny About Truth, Justice & the American Way?" Written by Joe Kelly, the story addresses the frequently recurring discourse concerning Superman's style of heroics and his slightly antiquated presentation.

The story introduces us to The Elite, a hyper-violent group of heroes with a knack for executing their targets. Their methods come into direct conflict with Superman who, despite all his god-like strength, more often than not, chooses to spare his villains' lives. Their leader, a chain-smoking telepath named Manchester Black, makes it a point to tell Superman his methods are obsolete in the modern world.

The story legitimately questions whether or not the Elite's violent methodology is truly justified, and if Superman is clinging to a foolish ideology. The storyline has already been adapted in animation through the excellent "Superman vs. The Elite," released in 2012. With fans still engaged in rabid discourse over whether or not Superman should kill, the time is ripe for the story to get the big screen treatment. Whether it's the entire Elite or just Manchester Black, it would make for the perfect conflict for any upcoming Superman movie.

Hank Henshaw aka Cyborg Superman

Superman stories have always had a heavy inclination toward science-fiction concepts such as aliens and robotic menaces. This makes sense as Superman, despite his human appearance, is an alien and thus attracts all manner of otherworldly threats. However, one of his stranger villains arrived in the form of a scientist known as Hank Henshaw, a member of the doomed Excalibur space shuttle.

In a dark parody of the Fantastic Four, Henshaw and his team, including his own wife, are exposed to cosmic radiation. However, instead of gaining superpowers, they all die — except for Henshaw who, in a decaying form, is able to save his wife Terri with Superman's help. However, sometime later, Henshaw would abandon his physical body and upload his consciousness into LexCorp's mainframe, the reveal of which causes Terri to jump to her death. Through a convoluted series of events, Hank's consciousness ends up in the pod that brought Superman to Earth as a child. After using this to slingshot himself into the Kyrptonian birthing matrix, Henshaw not only discovers Superman's secrets but is able to revive himself as well.

Following "The Death of Superman," Henshaw would return as Cyborg Superman, a carbon copy of Superman with exposed bits much like the Terminator. The character is undoubtedly tied up in a tidal wave of continuity but, if set up properly, could make for a very intriguing cinematic antagonist.


It's honestly amazing just how many interstellar threats that are actively looking to murder Superman on a daily basis. One of these persistent threats is Mongul, the alien ruler of Warworld, a traveling satellite that frequently kidnaps the galaxy's greatest warriors for gladiatorial combat. Mongul had set up a pretty solid power hierarchy, with himself at the top, more than content to watch warrior after warrior dies for his sick amusement. This was until he made the mistake of Shanghaiing Superman onto Warworld wherein the Man of Steel thoroughly trounced all his opposition. After making a sufficient fool out of Mongul, Superman was rescued from Warworld, and Mongul's underlings and slaves all turned on him.

Mongul, in all honesty, is not a very complicated character, but he has been a featured part of more than a few key DC stories. In fact, it was Mongul and Cyborg Superman who blew up all of Coast City, the home of Hal Jordan, leading to his eventual turn to villainy. He was also the villain at the center of "For the Man Who Has Everything," one of Superman's most emotional one-off stories. Despite his simplistic motivations, Mongul possesses more than enough menace and intrigue to justify a live-action adaptation.


Compared to the rest of Superman's villain roster, the Toyman is an outlier, considering his lack of any actual powers. Much like Blue Beetle or Clayface, Toyman is actually a legacy character, in that a few different people have used the moniker throughout DC history.

There was the original Toyman from DC's golden age, Winslow Percival Schott, a criminal who would use children's toys and goofy gadgets to carry out his crimes. Then there was Jack Nimball, Schott's successor who had basically the same gimmicks with the only change being a jester costume. The third and final version was a more modern take on the character, Hiro Okamura, a teenage tech genius from Japan who pilots a giant mech.

However, outside of the comics, there is a version of the Toyman who is a prime candidate for cinematic adaptation. That would be the version from "Superman the Animated Series" who is actually Winslow Schott Jr., the orphaned son of a kindly toymaker who was falsely imprisoned. This led to his son being thrust into the foster system where he was abused until he reached maturity, causing his mental collapse. Now, as an adult, he wears a creepy doll mask on his head and becomes one of Superman's most demented foes. If Toyman should ever be adapted for a proper Superman movie, then this version should definitely be the basis.


Metallo is one of those comic book characters who, due to their longevity, has been subject to a series of reboots and refurbishings. When Metallo first debuted back in the early days of "Superman," he was definitely a far cry from where he is now. He was a scientist named George Grant who, with a combination of a metallic suit and a strength formula, made it possible for him to fight Superman.

It would take several decades for Metallo to be brought back in a more contemporary setting, this time as journalist turned murdered John Corben. Following a horrific accident, Corben was left mangled almost beyond repair, that is until a scientist named Professor Vale worked his magic. He gave Corben a shiny new robotic body complete with synthetic skin with the only catch being his power supply, uranium, would only last one day.

Corben soon discovers that Kryptonite, Superman's weakness, would serve as a perfect power supply, landing him in the Man of Steel's crosshairs. Metallo has been a recurring threat to Superman over the years, often able to put Superman on the ropes due to his Kryptonite-powered heart. If you want a villain who will give Superman a run for his money in terms of power, then look no further than Metallo.