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Mongul, the abominable lord of the gladiator deathstar Warworld, has battled Superman in three different incarnations. The flaxen-skinned, red-eyed, half-ton titan premiered in DC Comics Presents #27 (1980), by writer Len Wein and artist Jim Starlin. Mongul wastes no time in revealing his ruthlessness, pledging on page two to kill Superman's friends unless the hero recovers a key that will allow the villain to regain control of his synthetic planet. After skirmishing with the key's guardian—Martian Manhunter—Superman brawls with Mongul, whose superhuman strength makes him a worthy adversary for the Man of Steel. Writer/artist Jerry Ordway introduced an allnew Mongul in The Adventures of Superman #454 (1989), in which the spacefaring Superman was coerced into Warworld's battle-to-the-death arena, purely for Mongul's amusement. The resolute but compassionate Man of Steel inspired Warworld's combatants to depose their enslaver. Mongul later migrated to Earth, wiping out Coast City and its millions of inhabitants in a malevolent mission of recreating Warworld. Mongul eventually met his demise at the hands of the demon Neron, who slaughtered him when he declined Neron's offer of power augmentation—at the cost of his soul. Mongul's son—also named Mongul—first surfaced in Superman vol. 2 #151 (1999), imploring the Man of Steel's aid in vanquishing their common foe Imperiex. The deceitful Mongul “Junior” soon betrayed Superman, but the hero defeated him; Mongul II was later killed in an attempt to free the Superman-slayer Doomsday. The Man of Steel's problems with this warrior family are far from over: Mongul II's rancorous sister Mongal has sworn to avenge her father's honor, and Mongul returned from the dead in Infinite Crisis #1 (2005), although whether this Mogul is the father or the son is unclear. The most celebrated of Mongul's appearances was in Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' “For the Man Who Has Everything” in Superman Annual #11 (1985), in which he attacked the hero with an otherworldly plant that cocooned Superman in a nurturing dream state. The story was adapted into an episode of the animated series Justice League Unlimited (2004–present). Mongul was voiced by actor Eric Roberts, who also played the villain a few years earlier on the cartoon series Superman (1996–2000).
The Supervillain Book: The Evil Side of Comics and Hollywood © 2006 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.