<p>When <b>Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice</b> arrives in cineplex’s later this month, Warner Bros. hopes it will be the true launch of a DC shared universe film franchise, meaning a lot more screen-time for the Man of Steel in the future. <p>Superman’s arch Kryptonian foe General Zod has already done the villain turn, his Earth arch foe Lex Luthor menaces <b>Dawn of Justice</b>, and he brings a Zod-Doomsday hybrid along for the ride. That’s three big bads down in just two films. <p>So who will Warners look to challenge Superman in future films? His Super-Rogues Gallery is filled with many weird and wonderful characters, but in terms of threats a movie audience would enjoy? Perhaps not as many as you may hope. Here are 10 who are definitely not ready for their close-up.
Two Bible-themed super villains who appeared during Chuck Austen's <em>Action Comics</em> run, they were a husband and wife team who could turn objects to salt when they touch. <p>It's hard to choose exactly what makes them less ready for movie stardom: Their very specific power set, or the fact that one of them is actually called "Sodom."
Oh, Hostess Fruit Pies! You always brought out the lamest criminals imaginable, and <a href=http://www.dcindexes.com/features/hostess.php?site=&sort=date&choice=119>the Laughing-Gas Bandits</a> fit squarely into that demographic. <p>You'd think that laughing gas would be useless against a hero who can fly in space (proving no need to breathe) or blow the gas away using his super-breath, and you'd be absolutely right.
A time-traveler from the 21st Century (hey, he was created in 1983, okay?) who managed to come back in time to plague the Man of Steel a couple of times, each time with disastrous consequences... for himself. <p>Not only did his actions lead to the creation of Superwoman, but he also <a href=http://blogintomystery.com/2011/09/04/by-the-power-of-krypton-i-have-the-power-superman-annual-10/>helped Superman find</a> a magic sword from Krypton, too. Kosmos, you're not supposed to <em>help</em> Superman!
Lewis Padgett's supervillainous alter ego has some history going for him; as a character who was active on Earth-One (Pre-<em>Crisis</em>, of course) in the 1930s, he can lay claim to the title of that world's earliest super villain. <p>On the other hand, as a character "powered by microwave radiation," he sounds about as impressive as... well, the microwave in your kitchen. That said, if Superman ever develops a weakness for instant popcorn, then maybe this guy's got something going for him.
On the face of it, Baron Sunday should make a great Superman villain; his powers are supernatural, which means that Superman's vulnerability to magic comes into play. <p>And yet, this voodoo-themed crime lord lacks the visual flair that would make him work on the silver screen and, as his comic book incarnation has discovered, is easily defeated by a quick sock to the jaw. Superman deserves better!
A classic thorn in Superman's side, the Prankster could easily show up in a future movie as a plum role for the comedian of choice at the time the kind of role that would, back in the day, have belonged to a Jim Carrey or similar. <p>The problem with the Prankster is that he's more comic relief than enough of a threat for an entire movie. He's a distraction from a larger problem, not the larger problem in and of himself, and if there's one thing superhero movies need, it's big problems.
The Composite Superman has it all: He's visually memorable, he's powerful, and he provides a link between Superman and another flagship character of the DC Universe. <p>So what's stopping him from being added to the list of potential movie villains for Kal-El? Let's go with the simple fact that he might be just a little <em>too</em> ridiculous for the moviegoing public to be able to wrap their collective heads around. He's a man who wears half of Batman's costume, half of Superman's, and glows bright green? Maybe that might look a little <em>too</em> silly on screen.
Also in the "perhaps a little bit too ridiculous to be taken seriously" camp, the Atomic Skull. A telepathic threat (which presents another problem, being somewhat hard to visualize on screen) that gained his powers through exposure to massive amounts of radiation, even his name sounds like something from another era... which makes sense when you discover that it originally belonged to a character in a 1936 movie serial. <p>Perhaps if we lost the "Atomic" and just called him "the Skull"...?
Mxy's appearance in this list is a tragedy, in many ways. He is one of the iconic Superman villains, one of the few characters who can legitimately challenge the hero on multiple levels he can control reality, after all and a character who'd be familiar to fans of all ages through cartoon appearances as well as his comic book incarnation. <p>And yet... There's something about a cigar-smoking imp in a derby that just screams "You can't put me into a movie without significantly changing me to the point where I'm unrecognizable from the original," sadly. The obvious solution: Give Mxy his <em>own</em> movie, for kids.
The 1974 creation of Cary Bates and Curt Swan, Vartox was less a nemesis and more a rival of sorts for the Man of Steel. <p>What keeps him from his proper moment of cinematic glory is the fact that no man today could truly fulfill the true cinematic incarnation of the character - namely, Sean Connery's appearance in <em>Zardoz</em> back in 1974. Seriously, <a href=http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Film/Pix/pictures/2010/9/3/1283514004310/Sean-Connery-in-the-film--006.jpg>I think this picture says it all</a>.