The new Man Of Steel trailer hit the web this week, and after more than 20 years of waiting for a new Superman movie (Superman Returns doesn't count) Warner Brothers is giving us yet another movie starring Zod as the main villain. At some point maybe we can give Zod and Lex Luthor the day off and see a few other Superman villains on the big screen. Brainiac, Bizarro, Parasite, hell, even Doomsday would be nice to see. But knowing the luck the Superman franchise has had in the last two decades, here are some baddies that we might see instead…
Mr. Mxyzptlk is probably Superman's most irritating villain. A magical imp from the 5th dimension who occasionally visits Earth for the sole purpose of annoying Superman, his powers include the ability to reshape reality however he pleases. Annoyingly – for the sake of a good movie, at least - he doesn’t utilize this power to blow up the Earth or anything cool like that, he just goes around committing silly pranks, like making all of Metropolis forget who Superman is, or turning Jimmy Olsen into a werewolf (both these things really happened in the comics). Also, the character is about three feet tall and wears an orange unitard with a purple derby hat (or occasionally a fez), so he's hardly the most intimidating villain - he’d probably be more at home in Oz than Metropolis. Just imagine an epic fight scene with Superman fighting the Mayor of Munchkin Land, and you’ve got an idea of how badly this character would translate to the screen.
Another villain who'd have a hard time on the silver screen is the Silver Banshee. Her story sees her begin as a Gaelic woman who messes around with a book of the occult which ends up turning her into a kind of demon with all sorts of powers, including super speed and super strength. Sounds good so far, right? Well, sorry to break it to you, but Silver Banshee's most prominent power is a supersonic scream that ages her victims, which is a power guaranteed to get really annoying in surround sound. Silver Banshee can also perfectly master any language instantly, including that of animals (like a Satanic Dr. Doolittle), but her most ridiculous aspect is her weakness as stated on Wikipedia: “She can only kill a person once”. Yeah…that seems like it’d be enough, really.
Solomon Grundy is often regarded as a DC Comics rip-off of Marvel’s Incredible Hulk, which is wrong for two reasons. Firstly, Solomon Grundy was actually created a long time before the Hulk, and secondly, his origin story is way sillier than just getting blasted with Gamma Rays. Grundy started out as a rich guy back in the 19th century named Cyrus Gold, but someone killed him and dumped him in a swamp. 50 years later, he somehow came back to life as a giant, mindless killing machine. While a Superman movie could probably explain the “swamp-zombie” angle without too much trouble, the real issue is Grundy's vocabulary. It's pretty much isolated to a single nursery rhyme, which makes him sound about as threatening as a Tickle Me Elmo.
Despite his popularity, Lobo would have a really hard time on the big screen. Aside from being an ultra-violent potty-mouth that would guarantee the movie an R-rating, Lobo's appearance is just goofy - he's an intergalactic bounty hunter who smokes cigars and rides a motor cycle in outer space, which might clash somewhat with the realism Warner Bros have strived so hard to bring to their properties. On the plus side, he looks kind of like a roadie for KISS, and seeing Superman punch a dude through the sun while rocking out to God Gave Rock’n’Roll To You might be just the shot in the arm this franchise needs.
Toyman is one of those corny villains from the 1950s who has somehow managed to stick around for over 60 years in the comic books. A talented toymaker who got laid off from his job at the toy factory and went crazy as a result, he now spends his time plotting evil schemes by building toys that can do his dirty work for him. Though more modern interpretations of the character have done a lot to make him more threatening and evil, he still just comes off as a guy who likes to play with dolls, which, as we all know, can do a lot to damage a bad guy’s image.
Titano the Super-Ape
Titano used to be a regular gorilla who was really smart and friendly, kind of like that gorilla Koko who knew sign language, only better. Now, imagine if someone decided to shoot Koko into outer space and Koko got zapped with radiation. That's what happened to Titano, so he returned to Earth and grew into a giant, angry gorilla who wreaked havoc all over Metropolis. For some reason, the giant radioactive gorilla could also shoot Kryptonite laser beams from his eyes, because comics. You know, the more we think about this, the more we realize we’re totally wrong on this one – a Superman movie featuring a rooftop battle against a giant, radiation-faced King Kong would be fucking awesome.