So Sayeth the Odinson: What Happens When It Looks like a Job for Superman, but Superman is Not Around?

Greetings from the Odinson,


What Happens When It Looks like a Job for Superman, but Superman is Not Around?


A cry for help rings out!  This is a job for Superman!  But wait.  Superman is nowhere to be found.  Who will answer the call?


Now, I am not talking about your run of the mill bank robber, mad scientist, or even giant gorilla.  I am talking about those Superman level threats that could end life on this planet as we know it!  On a power scale that only goes up to 10, these threats are an 11.  And, if the Man of Steel is not available to answer the call to arms, who can save us?


Let’s find out.


Threat Level 10: Bizarro – He’s a creature with Superman level powers without any of the restraint. This imperfect doppelganger of Superman may not always be playing with a full deck but make no mistake, he can be extremely dangerous.


So, who can wrangle in this monster whose might rivals even Superman?  Answer: Red Hood.


Not only can the former Robin wrangle in this monstrous Superman copy, but he can tame the savage beast and redirect Bizarro’s immense powers and help the creature become a force for good.


Threat Level 9: Livewire – This electrically-charged super criminal whose origins stem from the great Superman: The Animated Series lives up to her colorful name.  Anyone that has seen those classic episodes or played the challenging Shadow of Apokolips video game know just how dangerous Livewire can be and how her power can really knock even Superman for a loop.


So, who can stop this shocking super bad when the Man of Steel isn’t around to take the lumps?  Answer: Batgirl.


A villain of this power level should easily be able to dispatch a street level crime-fighter like Batgirl, right?  Wrong.  Using her physical skills, super brain, and with a little help from the New Batman (a.k.a. Commissioner Jim Gordon, a.k.a. her father), Babs is able to take down the shocking villainess.



Threat Level 8: Kalibak – The hulking son of Darkseid is the quintessential bull in a China shop.  He breaks things.  With his monstrous strength, this agent of pure chaos has given even Superman some truly brutal rough and tumbles.


So when Superman isn’t around to go nine rounds with this heavyweight from Apokolips, who can step in and bring him down?  Answer: Green Lantern.


During the Emerald Knights storyline, the mighty Kalibak came around looking for a fight.  What he ran into was a shimmering beat down by the greatest Green Lantern of them all, Hal Jordan.


NOTE: This was a time-displaced Hal Jordan from before the time he became Parallax, but I have no reason not to believe the Hal Jordan of any era could not take down Darkseid’s cantankerous kid.


Threat Level 7: Despero – This alien warlord is one of the scariest super villains ever.  He possesses immense super strength and durability that rivals the strongest heroes alive, the power to bend time and space, and has a telepathic mind so powerful, he gives Professor X headaches.


So who can possibly hope to topple this cosmic tyrant that has singlehandedly trampled the entire Justice League several times?  Answer: Martian Manhunter.


On two separate occasions, the storylines Blow Up and The Grid, J’onn has been the only hero alive that has stood one-on-one against the power of Despero and came out victorious.


Threat Level 6: Amazo – Amazo is one the most, for lack of a better word, amazing killer creations by any mad scientist in the history of fiction.  (Eat your heart out Doctor Frankenstein.)  When Professor Ivo created this super android he was trying to unlock the secrets of immortality.  What he did instead was perhaps unlock the secrets to power itself!  Amazo has the uncanny ability to absorb and mimic the abilities and super powers of any living being he comes into contact with.  That means at any given moment, this mechanical nightmare could have the combined powers of the entire Justice League!


So, who can defeat a monster that even the Man of Tomorrow has a hard time dealing with?  Answer: The Original Dynamic Duo.


Batman and Nightwing, the original Robin, once encountered the killer android and were able to subdue it using skill, cunning, and teamwork.  This is quite an impressive feat, even for the Caped Crusader, seeing as how neither Bruce nor Dick possess any super powers and they did not have any of their Super Friends on hand for back up.


Threat Level 5: General Zod – The Odinson can think of few things scarier in the DCU than a guy that is battle tested and a tactical genius that possesses all of Superman’s incredible powers, and whose sole desire is to rule, to conquer.


So, if the world’s greatest super hero is not around, who is man enough to NOT kneel before Zod?  Answer: Green Lantern.


Once again, the Emerald Knight has to step in for the Man of Tomorrow. Only a hero with one of the most powerful weapons in all of comics and the will power to use it to its full potential can even hope to stand toe-to-toe with a villain of Zod’s caliber.  Luckily, Hal Jordan is just such a hero.


Threat Level 4: Doomsday – This hulking monstrosity was genetically engineered to be the ultimate engine of destruction.  Every single time this monster is hurt, defeated, or even killed, it simply puts itself back together stronger than it was before.  With strength, speed and fortitude that is off the charts, this beast makes going 10 rounds with the Juggernaut feel like a nice massage.  During the Hunter/Prey story, it was shown that Doomsday even once humbled the Lord of Apokolips.


So, who can take down the monster that actually killed Superman?  Answer: Captain Marvel (SHAZAM).


I don’t know of any example of these two facing off but of all the heroes in the DCU, including Wonder Woman and Martian Manhunter, both of whom have fought Doomsday and lost, Captain Marvel, whose strength and courage are rivaled only by Superman and whose arsenal includes powerful magic, has a puncher’s chance of going the distance with this monster.


NOTE: Here’s a question, how has DC Comics not done Captain Marvel (SHAZAM) vs. Doomsday yet?  Why are they just sitting on that gold mine?


Threat Level 3: Brainiac – Brainiac poses one of the most unique match ups for Superman.  He has the knowledge of the cosmos downloaded into his memory banks and he sports technology so advanced that it can enslave Kryptonians.


So, who can outwit a villain whose very name means really, really smart?  Answer: Young Justice.


The next generation of heroes have proven themselves many time over of being more than capable of protecting our world from the bad guys.  Even against intergalactic tyrants like Brainiac.


Threat Level 2: The Anti-Monitor – This cosmic titan is one of the most dangerous evil doers in the history of comic books.  Entire realities have perished by his hand.  His ultimate defeat came at the climax of Crisis on Infinite Earths and only through the coordinated and Herculean efforts of every single hero in the DC Universe and THE mightiest Superman punch every depicted in four colors.


So, who can humble a mad titan when Superman is not around to lay the smack down?  Answer: The Green Lantern Corps.


During the harrowing Sinestro Corps War, the Green Lanterns were able to take the Anti-Monitor down, albeit with some help from the Guardians and a treacherous Superboy-Prime.


Threat Level 1: Darkseid – That’s right, the #1 Superman level threat in the DCU is the dark lord of Apokolips.  Darkseid is a god, an immortal of immense supernatural strength and power.  So powerful in fact that anyone that does not possess the fortitude of the Last Son of Krypton and engages Darkseid in combat risks being completely vaporized.  Just ask Batman how it worked out for him that time he faced Darkseid during the Rock of Ages campaign.  Or that time Batman faced Darkseid at the climax of Final Crisis.


So, who can defeat this dark god that gives even Superman nightmares?  Answer: Batman.


Now I know the easier answers would probably be Orion, Darkseid’s vengeful son who is destined one day to dethrone him, or even Wonder Woman, as the Amazing Amazon has faced down the dark god twice – Second Genesis and Amazons Attacked.  No, my answer is Batman, the other half of the World’s Finest.  In Robin Rises, the Caped Crusader invaded Apokolips and in the arch villain’s own house, not only stood toe-to-toe with Darkseid, but he planted the dark god squarely on his ego-inflated rump and escaped to tell the tale.


NOTE: I’m just kidding I’d rather take my chances with someone like Dr. Fate, Power Girl, or Captain Marvelwink


So, if the call for help rings out, and it looks like a job for Superman, but Superman is nowhere to be found?  There’s no need to fear, the Legends of the DC Universe are here!


This is Odinson bidding thee farewell

About Odinson

I am a lifelong comics fan and pop culture enthusiast. Comic books, novels, games, television, movies, I love it all. From fantasy to science fiction, drama to comedy, as long as the writing and execution are interesting, I love it, and I want to talk about it.

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