Created by Len Wein and Jim Starlin

The Original Universe


Occupation: Would-be conqueror
Status: Deceased
Marital Status: Unknown
Known Relatives: Mongul II (son); Mongal (daughter, deceased)
Base of Operation: Mobile
Gender: Male
Height: 7'9"
Weight: 785 lbs
Eyes: Red
Hair: None
First Appearance: (original version): DC Comics Presents #27 (November 1980): "The Key That Unlocked Chaos!"
current version: Adventures of Superman #454 (May 1989): "Wayfarer"
Creators: Len Wein and Jim Starlin


Known as one of the galaxy's vilest despots, Mongul's rise to power started as a young boy on his homeworld. An early example of his ruthlessness occurred while he and his parents visited his infant brother at a medical center. Mongul thought his sibling might someday fight him for the power he would amass, an unbearable threat that would have to be eliminated. Mongul smashed his own head through his infant brother's incubation sphere, killing him while his parents watched in horror.

Mongul grew older and stronger, seeking out that which could make him stronger still. He arrived on Warworld, a planet sized engine of destruction created ages ago by a technologically advanced species. Warworld was indeed powerful, but even Mongul could not rule it alone. He forged an alliance with Warworld's Council of Overseers. They would supply the technology while Mongul supplied the brawn.

At some point, Mongul was fitted with an energy weapon. The amulet was surgically attached to Mongul's chest and, for reasons not revealed, was needed for his survival.

Warworld razed entire civilizations in Mongul's name. Scores of planets fell before its might. Planetary conquest was not enough for Mongul, so he initiated gladiatorial games for his amusement, and fierce warriors were trained in an asteroid field deep in Mongul's empire. - Adventures of Superman #455

One of Mongul's slave ships found the drifting body of Superman in the deepest reaches of space. Though he was weak from exposure, Superman fought the other slaves who sought to prey upon him in his weakened state. His combative attitude caught the attention of the guards and he was thrown into Mongul's gladiatorial games. - Adventures of Superman #454

In the arena, Superman was ordered to fight to the death. In his two winning battles, the Man of Steel refused to deal the killing blow to his opponents, infuriating Mongul. The master of Warworld sent his champion gladiator, Draaga, against Superman, but even Draaga fell. Superman refused to kill the gladiator and challenged Mongul to face him in combat. Outraged at Superman's defiance, Mongul threatened to kill them both. - Action Comics Annual #2

Mongul teleported himself to the arena and fought the Man of Steel hand-to-hand. His strength was enormous, a powerful strike sent Superman smashing through rock. Mongul turned to pass judgement on his failed champion, Draaga, but was stopped by Superman. Mongul won the fight, but was not strong enough to kill Superman. The tyrant feared his enemy might be resistant to his axe blade and cause the public to doubt their leader's strength. Instead, Mongul had Superman and Draaga removed from the arena where they would die a slow death.

Deep in Warworld's torture chambers, Mongul planned to finish off Draaga. Once more he was stopped by the Man of Steel. Mongul fired his energy weapon at the Last Son of Krypton, apparently disintegrating him. - Superman Vol. 2 #32

Unbeknownst to Mongul, Superman had been recognized by one of the slave handlers, who told an alien cleric of the last son of Krypton. The cleric in turn rescued Superman and gave him a powerful ancient Kryptonian artifact called the Eradicator.

There were other threats to Mongul's power, with the defiance of Superman the people of Warworld had lost faith in Mongul and staged a revolution. Even the Council of Overseers withdrew its support in favor of Draaga.

Facing his former master, Draaga would have been killed by Mongul's greater strength, but he knew of the tyrant's weakness. Draaga tore the amulet from Mongul's chest, forcing Mongul to run for his life. Mongul swore to return. - Adventures of Superman #455

Mastery of Warworld later fell into the hands of Brainiac, who used it to attack Almerac and other worlds. The Coluan foe of Superman attacked Earth with Warworld's armies but was eventually defeated by the defending heroes including Green Lanterns Guy Gardner and Kilowog. - Superman Vol. 2 #65- #66, Adventures of Superman #488- #489, Action Comics #675, Superman: The Man of Steel #10

Mongul's travels eventually led him to the planet Peroton 5, a world which quickly fell before his might. Its limited technology could not support a new Warworld, but that thought was never far from the tyrant's mind.

Another force soon came to Peroton 5: the twisted cybernetic mind of Hank Henshaw. It adopted the form of a native to meet Mongul, but was disintegrated by the overlord. Henshaw was not destroyed, his consciousness had leapt into the circuitry of Mongul's space cruiser. The technology was altered by Henshaw's will, twisted to attack Mongul. The once supreme ruler of Peroton 5 was beaten, forced to serve his new master. Henshaw had learned of Mongul's hatred for Superman and the plans for a new Warworld, a plan that with Henshaw's power would soon come to pass. - Superman Vol. 2 #81

Henshaw returned to Earth after the apparent death of Superman at Doomsday's hands. Posing as the resurrected Man of Steel, Henshaw was known as the Cyborg Superman.

Mongul ordered his starcraft in position over Coast City and dropped 77,000 Carnage Globes over a 85 kilometer radius. Ninety seconds later the globes detonated, forming a fusion grid that obliterated Coast City and its seven million citizens.

Construction seeds were next dropped over the blast area. The mechanical devices quickly linked to each other, forming an underground foundation. The mechanicals burst through the surface, to form a massive engine. Mongul presented the "Engine City" to his cyborg master. - Superman Vol. 2 #80

The so-called "visored Superman" (in reality a personified Eradicator) had been atomized by the Cyborg Superman and framed for the destruction of Coast City. Mongul watched as the young clone of Superman fell before the Cyborg as well. The former ruler of Warworld was forced to serve the Cyborg but he did not plan for that to last much longer. Mongul fed information to Superboy, spurring the young hero into action against the Cyborg. - Adventures of Superman #503, Action Comics #690

Even under the Cyborg's rule, Mongul savored the death and destruction of Coast City. Plans were underway to bombard Metropolis as well, to complete the power needed to re-create Warworld. Mongul needed to keep a tight rein on his own plans, and the Cyborg made it clear which of them wielded the true power. - Superman Vol. 2 #81

An assault on Engine City by Superboy, the armored Superman, and a third, unknown, hero gave the Cyborg pause. Mongul goaded the Cyborg, implying it might be the returned Superman. The Cyborg did not appreciate the humor in Mongul's taunt and blasted his servant.

The Supermen deflected the bomb sent to destroy Metropolis and routed the Cyborg's forces. Mongul had planned to use Superboy against the Cyborg, but now his plans were jeopardized as well. The Cyborg was lost in his dreams of revenge on Superman. Mongul ordered an escape ship to be prepared. He would forfeit his plans for a new new Warlord and ignite the massive thrusters of Engine City, spinning the Earth out of orbit as his revenge against Superman and the Cyborg. - Adventures of Superman #504, Action Comics #691

Mongul found the third hero to be the real Superman. He planned to kill him with his bare hands. While John Henry Irons went to the heart of Engine City, the Cyborg learned of Mongul's scheme to destroy the Earth. He surreptitiously led Supergirl to the fight between Superman and Mongul. The Maid of Steel was quickly defeated by Mongul. Superman was at Mongul's mercy. The Cyborg felt Steel destroying the city's engine, thwarting Mongul's plan. He knew Green Lantern Hal Jordan was coming for the killers of Coast City and did not bar the Emerald Warrior's path. - Superman: The Man of Steel #26

Mongul bragged about what he had done, gloating to the fallen Superman, but his words reached the wrong ears. Blasting through Engine City, Green Lantern struck at the alien tyrant, his rage fueling his willpower. He tore down the machinery of Engine City, burying Mongul under the rubble. Jordan was momentarily distracted when he learned the damage he caused was deadly to Superman. Kryptonite gas which powered the machinery was now flooding Engine City. Mongul saw his opportunity to attack the ring wielder.

The sheer power of Mongul knocked Green Lantern through a wall of metal. The ring kept him alive but could not block the force of the impact. Mogul pressed his new found advantage, laughing at his enemy's inability to fight back. He truly believed he had crushed the Green Lantern's will. He was wrong.

Jordan picked up the hammer dropped by one of the Supermen, John Henry Irons, and forged himself armor with the energy of the ring. He swung the hammer with all the power at his command, shattering it against his enemy. Mongul was knocked hundreds of feet away, crashing into the machinery of the city. The killer of Coast City staggered to his feet and then collapsed. - Green Lantern Vol. 3 #46

Earth's prisons could not hold him long, Mongul broke from confinement at the Slab and covered his escape by releasing other villains, such as the Atomic Skull, Shrapnel, and Major Force. He was not impressed by the thanks of a Khund warrior, and killed the prisoner where he stood. Mongul took a jet pack from a helpless prison guard and set off to gain revenge on Superman and Green Lantern. - Green Lantern Vol. 3 #51- #52

Things had changed while Mongul was in the Slab. Hal Jordan was no longer Green Lantern, in his place stood Kyle Rayner, possessor of the sole remaining power ring. The difference was lost on Mongul, as he would kill anyone bearing the power ring and the name Green Lantern. Mongul then planned to kill Rayner's girlfriend, Alex DeWitt. - Green Lantern Vol. 3 #52

The new Green Lantern's life was spared by the timely arrival of Superman. The two heroes battled Mongul to a standstill. The tyrant was forced to use an energy cannon on Rayner, but was surprised when the yellow energy did not have the desired effect. Rayner's power ring did not suffer the same yellow impurity as the rest of the Green Lantern Corps' rings did. The fight continued on, until Rayner slammed a power ring generated train into the villain. Superman took the alien tyrant back to confinement. - Green Lantern Vol. 3 #53

While in the Slab, Mongul learned of a starcraft hidden in the warehouse district of Keystone City. The alien craft had been placed there as a form of escape by the interstellar criminal organization known as the Combine, but the criminals were thwarted by the Darkstars and the Flash. After breaking free once more, Mongul made his way to Keystone City.

Mongul did not care for revenge now, he wanted to leave Earth behind to rebuild his forces. While Mongul's great size and strength made him a grave threat to the local police, it barely slowed the Fastest Man Alive. The Flash's newly increased superspeed powers overwhelmed the alien tyrant. Mongul was a prisoner once more, but he would not return to the Slab. - Flash Vol. 2 #102

Brought aboard a lunar orbiting penal colony, Mongul became a test subject undergoing virtual reality conditioning. Many months were spent adding to Mongul's VR program, pacifying his violent tendencies. Dr. Steven Stavrides and Dr. Elizabeth Means would use their first prisoner as an example to others that any villain could be broken and reconditioned.

The opening day of the penal colony was supposed to mark Dr Means' triumph, but it meant her death. Mongul had been suppressing his feelings to catch his captors off guard. The prison staff was slaughtered by the villain as he made his way to an arriving spacecraft. Mongul jettisoned the arriving prisoners as he made his escape.

A chance plasma blast to the starship's underside almost meant an end to the villain's life. Adrift in space, Mongul was near death, and his ship was falling into a red sun. Badly burned, Mongul was rescued by an alien craft, and their medical team restored the new passenger to health. - Showcase '95 #7

Debstam IV was a peaceful world, and its people welcomed Mongul, little realizing the cost of their hospitality. The tyrant swiftly killed the Debstam IV ruling council and made himself the master of their world.

Over months, Mongul shaped the populace to his will. He planned a new Warworld from which he would deliver his vengeance. Assassination attempts did not faze him, in fact he enjoyed the challenge. Around Mongul, his new subjects were stricken with a mysterious virus.

Mongul's love for gladiatorial games took a new twist on Debstam IV. The contestants fought wearing the costumes of Earth's heroes. They would battle each other or their families would die. That mattered very little, in the long run all would die by the virus.

Mongul shifted his priorities, ordering his subjects to find an antidote to the deadly disease. They discovered Mongul had unknowingly brought the virus to Debstam IV. The germ had a devastating effect on the unprotected world, funeral pyres turned the skies to ash as the populace died.

The science team assigned to finding a cure had committed suicide, rather than allowing Mongul to choose the time of their deaths. The antidote was erased from their computer's memory banks, soon all would die.

Despite his plans, Mongul could not escape Debstam IV. All remaining starcrafts were sabotaged, leaving Mongul with no one to rule. A chance visit to the local hospital showed Mongul the sole survivors of the plague.

Two children, a boy and a girl, were spared from the virus. Their mothers had died, but their father, Mongul, had given them an immunity from the disease. They may have been better off succumbing to the virus, as Mongul was not one to share power. - Showcase '95 #8

The arrival of Neron to our dimension meant a realignment of power in the criminal underworld. Scores of villains were given a green candle to be lit at the stroke of midnight. Mongul was one of those that listened to the words of Neron.

Though the gathered were offered power beyond imagining, Mongul was insulted by Neron's assertion that they were failures before him. The alien tyrant confronted him, ordering Neron to beg for forgiveness before death. All were shocked by the sheer power of Neron. Mongul's great strength was of no use as Neron killed him with his bare hands and consumed his soul. - Underworld Unleashed #1

Though Neron was later thwarted by the Trickster, it remains to be seen if the souls he collected will ever be free. - Underworld Unleashed #3


For a definitive list of appearances of Mongul in chronological order click here