DC Animated Universe/Characters/Superman: The Animated Series
Superman (Clark Kent/Kal-El)
An alien orphan named 'Kal-El' who was sent into space as an infant to avoid suffering a cataclysmic death on his home planet of Krypton. His craft landed in a Kansas field and he was discovered by Jonathan and Martha Kent, who raise the boy as their son under the name 'Clark'. As he matures under the Earth's yellow sun, he gains superhuman powers such as nigh-unlimited physical strength and the power of flight. As an adult, he moves to Metropolis to work as a newspaper reporter. It is here he becomes aware of the corruption and evil in the world, deciding he must use his gifts to right these wrongs, taking the moniker 'Superman' after a story of his deeds is published in the Daily Planet by Lois Lane, who uses the term.
After having worked long and hard since the end of "Legacy" (from Superman: The Animated Series) to regain the world's trust in him, it is he who first suggests that he and the other superheroes form the Justice League, in order to deal with future threats as great as the Imperium. According to the series' promotional information, he was shown to be the face of the League, as well as the peacemaker for the other members.
- Badass: Regularly goes up against enemies at least as powerful as him and far more ruthless, and has demonstrated that even without his powers, he's still not to be taken lightly.
- Betty and Veronica: Lana and Lois a couple of times
- Berserk Button: Harming his friends is never a wise thing to do since he's, well, Superman. Aptly demonstrated in the second part of "Hereafter," where he flew into enough of a rage to almost smash Vandal Savage's head with a rock when the other man started describing in detail how he slaughtered the other League members (but of course, the Reset Button was very handy at the end of the episode), and in "For the Man Who Has Everything," where Mongul was running Wonder Woman ragged.
- Additionally, in "For the Man Who Has Everything," Supes did not take it well that Mongul's Black Mercy plant forced him to have to make a painful choice to leave his idyllic fantasy life behind to return to reality.
- Darkseid's mere presence also qualifies. He's the only character in the entire DCAU that Superman has NO reservations about killing.
- Well there was also Mongul but that was more of passion. Darkseid is the only character that Superman can think about for more than five minutes and still want to kill.
- Beware the Nice Ones: As Darkseid and Mongul find out the hard way.
- Broken Pedestal: For Captain Marvel. Note that it was Lex Luthor's plot to make people distrust Superman and it worked well for Captain Marvel, that even Superman thought what he was doing was wrong, but the other founding members immediately showed that it was all a ploy.
- At the start of Justice League]], many people on the whole world saw him as this, after the STAS finale when Darkseid brainwashed him into leading the charge against his adopted homeworld. He only got proof that his efforts to fix his image paid off after Green Arrow stood up to him in "Divided We Fall".
- Brought Down to Badass: Superman gets depowered and handles himself on an After the End Earth pretty well, including forging a sword out of rebar and turning a pack of wolves that had been hunting him into sled dogs.
- Luminus filters all sunlight except red to depower Supes, then baits him into a Hard Light death trap. Supes manages to survive until he destroys the sun blocker.
- Brought to You by The Letter "S"
- The Cape (trope)
- Clark Kenting
- Cool Old Guy: In Batman Beyond.
- Evil Me Scares Me: After the Justice Lords saga.
- Eye Beams
- Fight Off the Kryptonite: A couple of times.
- Flying Brick
- The Hero: When part of the Justice League's Five-Man Band.
- Human Aliens
- I Am Not Left-Handed: In the grand finale of Justice League Unlimited, he unleashes all his strength on Darkseid after giving him the World of Cardboard Speech.
- Nigh Invulnerable
- The Other Darrin: Tim Daly was replaced with George Newbern in Justice League. The older Superman in Batman Beyond was voiced by Christopher McDonald, but this was due to the idea of Superman sounding more like his father Jor-El as he got older; McDonald was the actor who voiced Jor-El in Superman: The Animated Series.
- Physical God: Becomes part of the conflict with Cadmus, post-Justice Lords.
- Power Loss Makes You Strong: Memorably in "Hereafter".
- Red Eyes, Take Warning
- Robot Me: It's emphasized in "A Better World" that Superman has robot duplicates of himself to keep things in check when he's not around. His Justice Lord counterpart uses his robot duplicates to maintain order at Arkham Asylum (and presumably elsewhere as well).
- Shooting Superman: "Question Authority" provides one of the more blatant examples of this.
- Superpower Lottery
- Super Speed: Though he's not quite as fast as Flash.
- Super Strength
- Timeshifted Actor: Superman on Batman Beyond.
- The Worf Effect: Got hit with this pretty bad when starting out in Justice League. The writers actually apologized for it and did their best to make up for it later on.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: Becomes a problem during the Cadmus arc due to the fact that his Justice Lord counterpart broke this code.
- Darkseid, as stated above, is an exception. After their last encounter in his previous series, Superman has no problem killing him.
- World of Cardboard Speech: His speech at the end of Justice League Unlimited is the Trope Namer.
- X-Ray Vision
Supergirl (Kara In-Ze/Kara Kent)
Voiced By: Dana Delany
- Badass Damsel: Oh, yeah.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Hot Scoop
- Intrepid Reporter
- Loves Superman, doesn't care for Clark Kent
- Played with actually, she starts out rather skeptical of Superman and while she constantly teases Clark The Late Mister Kent (and a few other episdoes) shows that this may be to cover up a crush on him.
Voiced By: Clancy Brown
A genius, multi-billionaire living in Metropolis who is the chief executive of his own company, LexCorp. In reality, he's a sociopath with a thirst for power and control, which he will gladly go to any length to have. He's an A-lister among Superman's rogues and constantly flexes his Villain with Good Publicity as much as he possibly can. He later takes on various exploits to hamper the Justice League and out them as threats to global security so he may do as he pleases unopposed.
- A God Am I: When fused with Brainiac.
- Arch Enemy: Of Superman.
- Badass Boast: "I'm already more powerful than all of you put together."
- Badass Normal: Nowhere near Batman's level of training, but when you can forcibly assume leadership of a large group of superpowered beings and keep them in line just through your intelligence and personal charisma, you qualify.
- Bald of Evil
- Big Bad: For much of Superman: The Animated Series and the Justice League cartoon, where he ran first the Injustice Gang, and then the Legion of Doom.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: When it suits his purposes, he can be quite charming. But only when it suits him.
- The Chessmaster
- Civilian Villain: After being pardoned and while running for president.
- Composite Character: Of himself. This version of Luthor ran the gamut from his modern Corrupt Corporate Executive incarnation, to the nineteen-forties Diabolical Mastermind, to the Mad Scientist of the sixties and seventies.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive
- Crazy Prepared: Made damn sure he can turn the powers of any member of the Secret Society against them if they step out of line, as Doctor Polaris, Goldface, and Grodd found out to their sorrow. Also has an elaborate panic room hidden deep under a random Metropolis barber shop.
- Diabolical Mastermind: After losing his company and resorting to more obvious villainy. Reaches its height in Season 2 JLU.
- Dual-Wielding: Twin laser pistols in Season 2 of JLU.
- Eviler Than Thou: With Grodd.
- Guns Akimbo: In the JLU.
- Mad Scientist: Big time. Played up in the Justice League.
- Power Armour: Wears it a lot in the Justice League cartoon, where he's forced to go head to head with the League.
- President Evil: Subverted. He only ran to annoy Superman.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money
- Smug Snake: His arrogance sometimes leads him into this territory.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Whenever working with the Joker or Grodd.
- Villain with Good Publicity: In Superman: The Animated Series and the second season of Justice League Unlimited.
Voiced By: Corey Burton
A supercomputer AI from the planet Krypton who survived the planet's destruction. Now it seeks to gain as much knowledge from the galaxy as it can, by any means.
- A God Am I: When fused with Luthor.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot
- Bald of Evil
- Big Bad: Of Season 2 of Superman, and Season 2 of the JLU.
- Body Horror: When he merges with Lex.
- The Chessmaster: But as Lex notes, he lacks one thing needed to be a true Magnificent Bastard - an imagination.
- The Collector: Of information.
- Fighting a Shadow/Actually a Doombot: The real Brainiac is an AI inhabiting a vessel in the depths of space; all those robot bodies that Superman destroys are just remote-controlled drones.
- Killed Off for Real: Luthor never manages to revive him.
- Kneel Before Zod: From "New Kids in Town," Brainiac makes a teenage Clark do this, even saying, "At last, the son of Jor-El kneels before me." Much like with Superman II, Clark gave him a big surprise.
- Fusion Dance: With Luthor.
- Omnicidal Maniac
- Planet Looter
Voiced By: Michael Ironside
The absolute ruler of the wasteland planet Apokolips. Stuck in a truce with the neighboring planet New Genesis, Darkseid is always scheming about how to put the entire universe under his fist. Seeking the 'Anti-Life Equation', a powerful tool that could easily submit the entirety of existence under his thumb, he is a constant threat to planet Earth. He is Superman's most hated enemy for his many transgressions committed on Earth and Superman is willing to stop at nothing to see his end.
- A God Am I: And won't shut up about it.
- Agony Beam: His Omega Beams normally kill, but he can dial them down to this to amuse himself.
- Authority Equals Asskicking
- Back from the Dead
- Badass: Possibly the most powerful villain in the DCAU and one of the few villains who regularly goes toe-to-toe with Superman on a physical basis, and comes out none the worse for the wear. He's an evil monster, but there's no denying that he's Badass.
- Badass Baritone: In both English and Spanish.
- Badass Boast: Lots of 'em.
- Bald of Evil
- Big Bad: Of Superman: The Animated Series season 3. He, Luthor, and Grodd are in the running for this in Justice League.
- The Chessmaster: "I told you once Superman, if you would not be my knight, you would be my pawn."
- Electric Torture: "It's called the Agony Matrix. Direct neuro-stimulation of pain receptors. All of them. Imagine the worst pain you have ever felt in your life times a thousand. Now imagine that pain continuing forever. Oh, that's right. You don't have to imagine."
- Evil Overlord: Hooo boy.
- Evil Sounds Deep
- Eye Beams: The Omega Beam.
- Genius Bruiser
- God of Evil
- Godzilla Threshold: He's the one villain that Superman does not hold back on. And, as has been noted, he's the one villain that Superman is perfectly willing to kill.
- Knight of Cerebus: Anytime Darkseid shows up, whether it's in Superman: The Animated Series or Justice League, things get a LOT more serious.
- Manipulative Bastard
- Nigh Invulnerable
- Physical God
- Playing Both Sides: Does this in the conflict between Superman and Brainiac in Justice League. Even though neither of them trust him, he puts them both in situations where they feel they need to work with him. He almost wins.
- Polluted Wasteland: His entire planet.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: His motive in the JLU finale is to get revenge on Superman for killing him, first by forcing him to see Earth burn then cutting his heart out with a kryptonite knife.
- Story-Boarding the Apocalypse: Darkseid loves doing this and is damn good at it.
"I hope you appreciate, Kal-El, everything that happens from this point is on your head. The skies will rain fire, the oceans will boil, the streets run red with the blood of billions. Only then, when your last pitiful hope has been vanquished, will I end your life. Let's go."
Metallo (John Corben)
Voiced By: Malcolm McDowell
- Attack Its Weak Point: Disabling his Kryptonite core is usually the only way to stop him.
- Blessed with Suck: He gets an immortal, super-strong body powered by Superman's biggest weakness...at the cost of all tactile sensation.
- Evil Brit
- Robotic Psychopath
- Nigh Invulnerable
- The Other Darrin: When he turned up in "Hereafter" on Justice League, Corey Burton voiced. McDowell was back, though, in "Chaos at the Earth's Core" in JLU.
- Sense Loss Sadness: The inability to taste, smell or feel anything drives him to the edge in less than a day.
- Super Strength
Livewire (Leslie Willis)
Voiced By: Lori Petty, Maria Cannals Barrera
- Absolute Cleavage
- Canon Immigrant
- Dumbass DJ: Before gaining her powers, she was a popular DJ who spent all her time insulting Superman in order to boost her ratings.
- Never My Fault: Her transformation was due to her stupidity of hosting a concert in the middle of a storm, Superman tried to get her to cancel it as she was both putting herself and the audience in danger. Typically she wouldn't listen and got hit by lighting. She blamed Superman for the mess, mostly from seeing on TV a reporter interviewing Superman accusing that he deliberately didn't push Leslie out of the way when the lightning struck.
- Psycho Electro
- Shock and Awe
- Straw Feminist: At times.
- Vapor Wear
- Weaksauce Weakness: Water.
Toyman (Winslow Schott, Jr.)
Voiced By: Bud Cort, Corey Burton
- Cool Mask: Wears an eversmiling mask that he never removes.
- Creepy Monotone
- Freudian Excuse: See Parental Abandonment, below.
- Gadgeteer Genius
- Happy Fun Ball: His specialty.
- Killer Yoyo
- Parental Abandonment: His dad (framed by the mob) died in prison, leaving him to be switched from one foster home to another.
- Psychopathic Manchild: Goes straight Up to Eleven
- Slasher Smile: Painted onto his mask.
- Sympathy for the Devil: Expressed for him by Lois.
- Underestimating Badassery: Killer Frost does this to him in "Alive".
Luminus (Edward Lytener)
Voiced By: Robert Hays
Edward was an engineer at LexCorp who specialized in light and laser manipulation. He was a mole for Lois and was fired. So he decided to kill her in revenge. Then Superman got involved. Lytener took up the persona of Luminus and decided to get his revenge on Superman by bringing him down to normal. That failed too. Luminus is last seen fighting the Justice League after a jail break.
- Bond Villain Stupidity: You managed to weaken Superman to human strength, Luminus. Just shoot him already! Don't toy with him until he breaks the machine weakening him.
- Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: He enjoys fighting Superman because he can't wait to kill a god.
- Death Trap: His specialty. Spent his debut episode trying to kill Lois Lane.
- Hellevator: One of his death traps.
- Frickin' Laser Beams: He's good with light, so lasers aren't too far of a stretch.
- Gadgeteer Genius
- Hard Light: His other specialty. Turns out, lasers still hurt anyway.
- Me's a Crowd: Similar to the Flash villain Mirror Master.
- Nothing Personal: Said this in his second appearance to Lois. He put her in a death trap again, but he insisted only as bait for Superman.
- Smug Snake
- Stalker with a Crush: He became The Mole against LexCorp because he liked Lois, not because it was the right thing to do.
- Villainous Breakdown: Is so calm and calculating when he has a powerless Superman on the ropes. When the satellites key to powering the big guy down get blown up, however, he (understandably) becomes quite panicky and desperate.
Parasite (Rudy Jones)
Rudy Jones was a janitor at STAR Labs and an Extreme Doormat, who was exposed to an experimental drug during a robbery attempt. He gained the ability to absorb the memories and abilities of anyone he touched, and he quickly put it to use by absorbing Superman's powers. Though his absorption wears off after a few days, Parasite made several more attempts to gain power and get revenge on everyone he feels wronged him.
- Affably Evil: He’s amiable to everyone, even when absorbing their abilities. He can even be reasonable and easy to negotiate on a good day.
- Evil Is Petty: Parasite would rather use his powers to get back at the world for pushing him around rather than use his power to it’s full potential. Of course, this makes him easy to negotiate with, and on a good day he can be satisfied with a plasma screen tv and a load of books.