Thursday, February 4, 2016

Mongul Before The Crisis

Mongul was introduced as a space villain, facing off against Superman and the Martian Manhunter, and continued to face off against DC heroes not from Earth...

...heroes like Supergirl, one of the alien versions of Starman, and the Legion of Super-Heroes, before his final defeat facing Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Robin.

Let's take a look at the history of Mongul...

The Key That Unlocked Chaos

Mongul premiered in DC Comics Presents #27 (November, 1980) in a story by writer Len Wein, penciller Jim Starlin and inkers Dick Giordano and Frank McLaughlin, where Mongul forces Superman and the Martian Manhunter (who had been living with his people on his new home of Mars II and been away from the Justice League at this time) over a crystal key (which the alien race, the Largas, gave J'onn J'onnz to watch over).

This would give the alien conqueror Mongul control of the Warworld, a highly destructive planet created by the Warzoons, constructed to move across the cosmos and cause chaos! 

Mongul was able to get control, and the Martian Manhunter blamed Superman for new weapon, and how he would now be a thread to the universe.



DC Comics Presents #28 (December, 1980)  by Len Wein, Jim Starlin and Romeo Tanghal picks up where the last issue left off, with Superman (who has enlisted the help of his cousin, Supergirl), in pursuit of Mongul, who now controls the Warworld and plans to use it against the citizens of the universe.

The heroes find that the weapons of Warworld are strong enough to hurt Kryptonians, and come up with a desperate plan to have Mongul use all the bases' weapons against them....which does work, stopping Mongul and destroying his control over Warworld, but sending Supergirl hurtling across the universe, reaching speeds she had never before.

(Superman resolves this problem in the next issue with the help of the ghostly guardian known as the Spectre, but that issue didn't feature Mongul).

Whatever Happened To Starman?

Mongul returns in DC Comics Presents #36 (August, 1981)  by Paul Levitz and Jim Starlin, with a new plan.

This time, Mongul is even more ruthless, killing the sister of Prince Gavyn (the Starman of Throneworld, no relation to the original Starman of the JSA at this time), and marrying the Lady Merria to take over this world.

Superman arrives and meets this Starman for the first time, and the two work together to defeat their foe...

...and Starman learns more of his power and place in the universe.

In Final Battle

Mongul comes to Earth in DC Comics Presents #43 (March, 1982) by Paul Levitz, Curt Swan and Dave Hunt, with a plan to destroy the current home of Superman using a Sun-Eater (which Superman had faced before, when he was the young Superboy, but in the future, working with the Legion of Super-Heroes).

A small contingent of Justice League members, including Green Lantern, Red Tornado and Black Canary, along with Supergirl, were unable to defeat Mongul, so Superman took the battle upon himself.  The Legion of Super-Heroes came back to the present from their 30th Century future (not concerned with damage to be done to the timeline, since the Earth hadn't had its sun eaten by the Sun-Eater), with Legionnaires Cosmic Boy, Brainiac 5, Sun Boy, Element Lad, Shadow Lass and Wildfire facing off against the 20th Century Sun-Eater (and being able to stop it, without losing a teammate like they did last time).  

For The Man Who Has Everything

Mongul returned one last time Superman Annual #11 (November, 1980) in a superb story by writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons.

This time, Mongul attacked Superman on his birthday, in his Fortress of giving the Man of Steel a gift, a plant called the Black Mercy, which parasitically attaches itself to a person, gives its host visions of an ideal life, as it slowly kills the person its attached to. 

That's how Wonder Woman, Batman and new at the time Jason Todd version of Robin find Superman, and while Wonder Woman fights Mongul, Batman and Robin try to find a way to get the Black Mercy off of Superman, which they did and defeated Mongul, all in time to celebrate Superman's birthday.

Best of all, you can gift yourself and read all these stories in a tradepaperback collection of Superman vs. Mongul of December, 2013!

Mongul even reappeared in the new DC Universe, running Warworld, fighting a Superman in exile from Earth, and even menacing the Green Lantern Corps.


1 comment:

  1. It looks like Mongul was supposed to be DC's answer to Thanos. Thy even look similar and were both created by Jim Starlin. Or...was Thanos supposed to be Marvel's answer to Darkseid? Hmmm....