Despero

Despero (/ˈdɛspəroʊ/) is a fictional supervillain that appears in comic books published by DC Comics. The character first appears in Justice League of America #1 (October 1960) and was created by Gardner Fox and Mike Sekowsky.

Debuting in the Silver Age of Comic Books, the character has appeared in both comic books and other DC Comics-related products such as animated television series and feature films, trading cards, and video games. He is an enemy of Martian Manhunter, Booster Gold, and the Justice League.

In 2010 IGN named Despero the 96th greatest comic book villain of all time.

Despero
Despero
Despero in a panel from JLA/JSA: Virtue and Vice
Art by Carlos Pacheco
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceJustice League of America #1 (Oct. 1960)
Created byGardner Fox (writer)
Mike Sekowsky (artist)
In-story information
Place of originKalanor
Team affiliationsInjustice League
Secret Society of Super Villains
Time Stealers
AbilitiesMassive superhuman physicality
Self-biological manipulation
Genius intelligence
Vast Psionic powers via third eye
Previously: Flame of Py'tar enhancement
Reality Alteration
Matter Manipulation
Energy Manipulation

Publication history

Despero first appeared in Justice League of America #1 (Oct. 1960) and writer Mike Conroy noted "It was the first of several run-ins the would-be universe conqueror would have with the superteam."[1]

Despero became a semi-regular villain and returned in Justice League of America #26 (March 1964), #133–134 (Aug.-Sept. 1976), and #177 –178 (April–May 1980). The character made cameo appearances in Justice League of America #247–250 (Feb.-May 1986) and then featured as the main villain in issues #251–254, dated June–Sept. 1986.

Despero returned in an extensive story arc in Justice League America #37–40 (April–July 1990) and Justice League Europe #30 – 34 (Sept. 1991-Jan. 1992). The character's body reappeared as the host for L-Ron in Justice League Task Force #0 (Oct. 1994), #13–33 (June 1994 – March 1996), and #37 (Aug. 1996) and Justice League International Vol. 2 #67–68 (Aug.-Sept. 1994). Despero reappeared in spirit form in Supergirl vol. 4, #17–18 (Jan.-Feb. 1998) and Young Justice #6 (March 1999).

Despero eventually reappeared whole in the graphic novel JLA/JSA: Virtue and Vice (Dec. 2002), and featured in the "Crisis of Conscience" storyline in JLA #115–119 (Sept.- Nov. 2005), Superman/Batman #33 (March 2007), and Trinity #4 (June 2008). Despero returned to a more human form in an alternate universe storyline in Booster Gold Vol. 2 #5 (Feb. 2008) and #7–10 (April–Aug. 2008).

The character returned in Justice League of America Vol. 2 #38 (Dec. 2009) and featured in R.E.B.E.L.S. Vol. 2 #12–13 (March–April 2010).

Fictional character biography

Despero first appears when in pursuit of two rebels from the planet Kalanor, which he rules as a tyrant. (Pre-Crisis it is an other-dimensional solar system). They are attempting to create a weapon to defeat him. The rebels make contact with the Justice League of America with JLA member Flash accepting Despero's challenge after he places the rest of the group in a hypnotic trance, but the Flash is defeated in a game similar to chess due to Despero cheating using his third eye's mental powers, and along with the rest of the JLA sent to different worlds. Despero found out about this by reading the mind of one of the rebels he had tracked down and teleported, though her father and Flash were protected by the dimensional traveller's 'blue glow'. However, the JLA are able to escape all the dangers on the worlds and return to Earth using a dimensional traveler one of Despero's henchmen possesses after the Flash defeats him. Despero has found the rebel and plans to use the energy-absorbing weapon they hoped to use to disable his weapons to conquer Earth, but Snapper Carr uses it to weaken the villain after pretending he has been hypnotized, though the 'blue glow' protected him. Despero is then imprisoned and Kalanor is freed.[2]

The villain has his third eye surgically removed, making him lose his hypnotic powers. Eventually it grows back, he fakes his death in an explosion at a lab and in revenge ages half of the Justice League and banishes the remainder to three other worlds, where he has caused reptile, insect, and marine life to become intelligent, planning to conquer the worlds later. When Despero attempts to deceive Wonder Woman by disguising himself as an aged Superman, she overpowers the villain with her Lasso of Truth, realizing the energy should not have affected Superman, and forces him to undo his actions.[3] Despero is thwarted again when the Justice League intervene in his intergalactic plans of conquest,[4] save member the Martian Manhunter who is being forced to play in a life and death chess match.[5]

Despero eventually returns with even greater abilities, and a new body (now physically enhanced by the "Flame of Py'tar", a remnant of the nuclear energy responsible for creating his race), and completely destroys the Justice League Satellite. After defeating the Justice League, Despero reshapes Gotham City to suit his purposes. Taunted by Batman, Despero is eventually distracted, allowing fellow member Vibe to extinguish the Flame of Py'tar. The villain's form is immediately dispelled and reality restores itself.[6]

Despero eventually reforms, and targets the Justice League member Gypsy. After murdering Gypsy's parents, Despero is about to kill her when the Martian Manhunter intervenes. The villain quickly defeats the Manhunter, although fellow Justice League member Guy Gardner arrives and hurls Despero away. Despero attacks the League at their headquarters, and kills the comatose Steel (on life support for injuries sustained during a battle against the androids of Professor Ivo).[7] When Despero is about to murder the Blue Beetle, the Martian Manhunter bestows upon him the gift of "Mayavanna": a sacred Martian rite that provides the subject with a reality in which they obtain their desires. Despero sees himself killing the entire League and destroying the world, and is immediately at peace. The villain then reverts into a fetus, and is eventually given to trader Manga Khan in exchange for his servant robot, L-Ron.[8]

A re-aged Despero is angered by this defeat and escapes from Manga Khan, returning to Earth to battle the Justice League. Unknown to Despero, Khan hires the bounty hunter Lobo to recapture him. Despero engages the Justice League, Justice League Europe, and Lobo in Times Square, New York City, and keeps them all at bay. A desperate Green Lantern Kilowog and L-Ron use the slave collar Despero still wears to switch his mind with L-Ron's, with the diminutive robot's body being destroyed shortly afterwards. Now in Despero's body, L-Ron returns to Manga Khan.[9]

L-Ron reappeared, still in Despero's body, and had a number of adventures with the Justice League Task Force[10] and Justice League International.[11] Despero returns in spirit form, and temporarily repossesses his old form until stopped by the heroine Supergirl.[12] The villain makes a second attempt to return to a corporeal state, possessing the Martian Manhunter. The team Young Justice, however, use the Manhunter's fear of fire against him and team ally the Secret banishes Despero's spirit form.[13]

Despero's spirit eventually returns with the aid of JSA villain Johnny Sorrow, and takes over the body of Lex Luthor, currently President of the United States. Together they release the Seven Deadly Sins which possess several members of the JLA and JSA, and neutralize the wizard Shazam. The remainder of the teams successfully drive the Sins from their comrades, and eventually defeat both Sorrow and Despero, who is driven from Luthor when exposed to Sorrow's lethal stare.[14] The villain returns as the guiding force behind a new Secret Society of Super Villains, and allows them to remember they once learned the Justice League's identities. Although Despero takes mental control of several members of the League, he is eventually stopped by Green Lantern and imprisoned on the planet Oa.[15]

Having allied himself with a race that destroys species unworthy of survival, Despero attempts to convince them to destroy Earth by using an alien substance known as the 'Blackrock' to influence Earth's alien superhumans-Martian Manhunter, Supergirl, Starfire, etc.-to turn against humanity by playing on their occasional feelings of isolation. However, his efforts are foiled when Batman exposes himself to the Blackrock while under attack by Superman, the sight of his friend's contamination helping Superman to recognise what is happening to him, allowing Superman to confront the aliens directly and convince them that Despero deceived them.[16] Despero returned in his original human form when plucked from the timestream by Mister Mind, and is convinced to join a group called "The Time Stealers". The villains successfully create an alternate universe that differs significantly from the original. Hero Booster Gold and several allies (Rip Hunter and the Justice League International) eventually undo the change and restore the original universe.[17]

Despero briefly allied with villains Morgaine Le Fey and Enigma and became god-like until stopped by the combined efforts of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman.[18] Despero returns to attack the Justice League, but when teleported away by member Zatanna, is imprisoned on Oa once again.[19]

At the request of human computer Vril Dox, Despero joins in the fight against the original Starro (a humanoid), that controls all other versions and is conquering the galaxy. Despero engages Starro in combat and, although easily destroyed, begins to regenerate into a superior form, which was always the villain's intent. Vril Dox uses Despero's still-living head as a weapon against Starro and its forces.[20]

The New 52

In September 2011, The New 52 rebooted DC's continuity. In this new timeline, Despero first appears when he arrives in the Watchtower wearing a Kryptonite ring where he subdues Atom and Firestorm.[21] He attacks the rest of the Justice League until he ends up subdued by Martian Manhunter.[22]

During the Forever Evil storyline, Despero appears as a member of the Secret Society of Super Villains at the time when the Crime Syndicate arrived from their Earth.[23] When Stargirl and Martian Manhunter arrive in Denver, they are ambushed by Despero.[24]

DC Rebirth

Powers and abilities

Despero is an alien from the planet Kalanor, and in addition to a genius intellect possesses a third eye on his forehead capable of mind control, illusions, telekinesis, and telepathy. Despero is also empowered by the "Flame of Py'tar", a mystical source of power that grants him massive superhuman strength, durability, speed, reflexes and the ability to alter his biomass (from human-sized to massive, even reintegrating himself molecule by molecule). However his power varies based on the psionic energy he wields; for example, through the complete flame of Py'tar he once had the ability to manipulate reality to a degree, creating monsters and demons out of an earthen city once. Otherwise without it, he has still repeatedly been shown to be more powerful than Kryptonians, Amazons, Hourman and even Captain Marvel.

Other versions

Injustice: Gods Among Us

In the comics, Despero is only shown for a brief period of time. He crashes into Earth, going through an office building which kills several people. Sinestro chases after him, exclaiming that he will not allow Despero to harm anyone. Despero responds in anger, telling him that ‘It was that damn corps of yours’ that brought him down. Sinestro uses his powers and places Despero's hands on his neck, feigning a struggle. Sinestro snaps Despero's neck using his yellow ring in front of Hal Jordan and Jon Stewart, saying he had no choice. Despero is not mentioned or seen again in the comics.

In other media

Television

Animation

  • Despero appears in the Justice League episode "Hearts and Minds" voiced by Keith David. In this incarnation, Despero is a native of the harsh desert planet of Kalanor. Born with a third eye, he was an outcast. In his travels through the desert, he stumbled upon the Flame of Py'tar, which gave him the ability to control the minds of others and project powerful energy blasts that could overpower Green Lanterns. He built up an army of followers empowered by the Py'tar, defeated several members of the Green Lantern Corps, and threatened to spread his fanatical crusade across the galaxy. It is eventually discovered that the Flame of Py'tar is actually the dormant life-force of Kalanor. Martian Manhunter allows it to speak through his body, thereby exposing Despero as a fraud while releasing the Py'tar. The Py'tar then spread its power across Kalanor, seeding it with lush vegetation. Despero's followers traveling the universe are transformed into trees that fall to the nearby planets. While Despero himself is dragged underground never to be seen again, his last words are, "Oh Py'tar, now I see... paradise!".
  • Despero appears in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "The Eyes of Despero!" voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson. This version has eyes on the palms of his hands in addition to the third eye on his head. He plans to overthrow and destroy the Green Lantern Corps by hypnotizing its members into becoming his army. When he succeeds in corrupting a large number of Lanterns, Hal Jordan apparently sacrifices them and himself. Despero alters his plan, corrupting Mogo so as to use his vast power to brainwash entire worlds in an instant. Batman, summoned by Hal's ring, as well as Green Lanterns Guy Gardner, Sinestro, and G'nort, band together to free Mogo and defeat Despero. Once Mogo is freed, he shoots a rock which knocks out Despero. In "Duel of the Double Crossers!", Batman makes the Outsiders fight Despero in Metropolis in a simulation.
  • Despero appears in the Young Justice: Invasion episode "Cornered".[25] This version is a gladiator who arrives on Earth to prove himself as the greatest warrior in 93 Star Systems. He does not fly or talk and lets his majordomo L-Ron speak for him. Despero traps the Hall of Justice in a forcefield, puts Zatanna in a trance in order to stick to hand-to-hand combat, and attacks Captain Marvel and Superboy. When Captain Marvel is regressed back to Billy Batson, Despero puts him in a trance and defeats Superboy. When Despero attempts to take Superboy's head, Bumblebee stalls him, but ends up in a trance. In the nick of time, Mal Duncan appears in Guardian's costume and keeps Despero busy while Superboy and Miss Martian come up with a plan to stop him. Miss Martian awakens Zatanna and redirects Despero's powers against him, allowing Superboy to knock him out. Captain Atom later mentions that Despero is in the custody of the Reach. In "The Hunt", Despero was seen with Mongul and The Team in the Warworld's stasis cells.

Live-action

An alien that recalls despair appears in the background of one of the DEO monitors in the pilot episode of the Supergirl series, likely referring to Despero.

Film

Despero appears in Superman/Batman: Public Enemies. He is among the supervillains that attack Superman and Batman.

Miscellaneous

Despero makes an appearance in issue #01 of the comic book tie-in of Justice League Unlimited.

Video games

Despero has also appeared in the Justice League Task Force video game for the SNES and Sega Genesis consoles.

References

  1. ^ Conroy, Mike. 500 Comicbook Villains, Collins & Brown, 2004.
  2. ^ Justice League of America #1 (Oct. 1960)
  3. ^ Justice League of America #26 (March 1964)
  4. ^ Justice League of America #133–134 (Aug.-Sept. 1976)
  5. ^ Justice League of America #177 – 178 (April–May 1980)
  6. ^ Justice League of America #247 – 250 (Feb.-May 1986); #251–254 (June–Sept. 1986)
  7. ^ Justice League of America #260 (March 1987)
  8. ^ Justice League America vol. 2 #37–40 (April–July 1990)
  9. ^ Justice League Europe #30 – 34 (Sept. 1991-Jan. 1992)
  10. ^ Justice League Task Force #0 (Oct. 1994); #13–33 (June 1994 – March 1996) and #37 (Aug. 1996)
  11. ^ Justice League International #67–68 (Aug.-Sept. 1994)
  12. ^ Supergirl vol. 4 #17–18 (Jan.-Feb. 1998)
  13. ^ Young Justice #6 (March 1999)
  14. ^ JLA/JSA: Virtue and Vice (Dec. 2002)
  15. ^ JLA #116 – 119 (Sept.- Nov. 2005)
  16. ^ Superman/Batman #33 (March 2007)
  17. ^ Booster Gold #5; (Feb. 2008); #7–10 (April–Aug. 2008)
  18. ^ Trinity #4 (June 2008)
  19. ^ Justice League of America vol. 2 #38 (Dec. 2009)
  20. ^ R.E.B.E.L.S #12 – 13 (March–April 2010).
  21. ^ Justice League vol. 2 #19
  22. ^ Justice League vol. 2 #20
  23. ^ Forever Evil #1
  24. ^ Justice League of America vol. 3 #11
  25. ^ "Superhero Shows: First Look at Static, Deathstroke, and Arsenal from Young Justice". Superheroshows.blogspot.com. 2012-07-16. Retrieved 2016-01-06.

External links

Batman Total Justice

Batman Total Justice is a line of toys produced by Kenner based on Batman and other, connected, DC Comics characters.

DC Universe Classics

DC Universe Classics was an action figure toyline, a sub-line of the DC Universe toy brand manufactured by Mattel. They were 6-inch scale figures based on characters owned by DC Comics. The entire line was sculpted by the Four Horsemen Studios, and were first available for sale in 2008. The "DC Classics" line ceased to be sold at retail in 2012 with wave 20. The series then became an online-and-convention exclusive line. It was announced in late 2014 that the line would come to an end with a final series of six figures celebrating the history of the line.

G'nort

G'nort (pronunciation: "nort") Esplanade G'neesmacher is a fictional character, a DC Comics superhero. G'nort is a member of the Green Lantern Corps and later a Darkstar and a member of the Justice League Antarctica. He resembles a humanoid dog and is thoroughly incompetent and generally disliked by other heroes; in fact, he is usually portrayed as being a loser and used as comic relief.

Gypsy (comics)

Gypsy (Cynthia "Cindy" Reynolds) is a fictional character, a superheroine appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics.

Jessica Camacho recurred as Gypsy whose real name is Cynthia in The Flash television series. In this version she is a bounty hunter from another Earth called Earth-19.

Hawkman (Katar Hol)

Hawkman (Katar Hol) is a DC Comics superhero. He is the Silver Age, Bronze Age, and New 52 Hawkman. Created by Gardner Fox and Joe Kubert, he first appeared in The Brave and the Bold #34 (February–March 1961). There are two versions of Katar Hol, the Silver Age/Pre-Crisis version and the post-Hawkworld/Post-Crisis version.

JL8

JL8 is a webcomic by Yale Stewart based on the characters of DC Comics' Justice League. Having started in 2011 under the title Little League, the webcomic presents the members of the Justice League as 8-year-old children. Stewart has used JL8 to raise funds for charities, and the webcomic has been positively received by critics.

Johnny Sorrow

Johnny Sorrow is a fictional character that appears in publications published by DC Comics. The character first appeared in Secret Origins of Super-Villains 80-Page Giant #1 (Dec. 1999) and was created by writers Geoff Johns and David Goyer and artist Phil Winslade, though he was first mentioned in passing in Starman #8 (June 1995) in a story written by James Robinson.

Justice League Europe

Justice League Europe (JLE) was a DC Comics book run that was a spin-off of the comic book Justice League America (which was then named Justice League International (vol. 1) for issues #7 to #25).Justice League Europe was published for 68 issues (plus five Annuals) from 1989 to 1994. Starting with issue #51 the title was renamed Justice League International (vol. 2). Like Justice League America, the series featured tongue-in-cheek humor but was a much more action-centric series than Justice League America. The action-themed nature of the series was most overt with the series' most famous arc "The Extremists". The arc featured the JLE fighting The Extremists, a cadre of psychopathic villains patterned after Marvel Comics villains Doctor Doom, Magneto, Doctor Octopus, Sabretooth and Dormammu.The team was originally headquartered in Paris, France but later moved to an abandoned castle in Great Britain.

Justice League Task Force (comics)

Justice League Task Force was an American monthly comic book series published by DC Comics from June 1993 to August 1996; it lasted 37 issues. At the time the Justice League was featured in three separate series: Justice League America, Justice League Europe (JLE) and Justice League Quarterly (JLQ). Justice League Task Force was a spinoff of Justice League Europe, a series which ran from April 1989 to May 1993. Like JLE, this team carried a United Nations charter which sanctioned their activities. In fact, JLTF was composed of several former JLE members. The team was called to action by Hannibal Martin, a representative of the U.N.. He asked that Martian Manhunter select a "strike team" of fellow Justice League members and to "lead them on a very special mission".

Justice League Task Force (video game)

Justice League Task Force (ジャスティス・リーグ) is a competitive fighting game produced by Sunsoft and distributed by Acclaim for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and Genesis in 1995. The Super NES version was co-developed by Blizzard Entertainment and the Genesis version by Condor, Inc. (later known as Blizzard North).

It involves characters from DC Comics' Justice League, including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Arrow, The Flash, and Aquaman. Additional Justice League members Martian Manhunter and Fire, as well as the supervillain Shrapnel, were also planned to appear, but had to be omitted due to memory limitations.

Kilowog

Kilowog is the name of a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The character is a member of the Green Lantern Corps.The character appeared in the 2011 Green Lantern film with his voice provided by Michael Clarke Duncan.

L-Ron

L-Ron (Full name L-Ron H-bb-rd) is a fictional character, a robot in the DC Comics universe. L-Ron first appeared in Justice League International #14 (June 1988).

List of Batman children's books

This is a list of Batman children's books.

List of Justice League members

The Justice League is a team of comic book superheroes in the DC Comics Universe. Over the years they have featured a large number of characters in a variety of combinations.

The JLA members are listed here in order of their first joining the team, and none are listed twice. No retconned members are listed (except where they historically took part in the stories). No associates and unofficial members, or members of the Super Friends (except when they are also Justice League members in the mainstream comics) are listed.

Non-full members and staff are also listed below.

Characters in bold are current Justice League active members.

Manga Khan

Manga Khan originally known as Lord Manga, is a fictional DC Comics supervillain and an intergalactic trader. A gaseous being, he relies on a metallic suit to give him form. He had a robot companion named L-Ron (before trading him to the Justice League), and was a foe of the Justice League in the early 1990s.

Martian Manhunter

The Martian Manhunter (J'onn J'onzz) is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. Created by writer Joseph Samachson and designed by artist Joe Certa, the character first appeared in the story "The Manhunter from Mars" in Detective Comics #225 (Nov. 1955). Martian Manhunter is one of the seven original members of the Justice League of America and one of the most powerful beings in the DC Universe.

Martian Manhunter has been featured in other DC Comics-endorsed products, such as video games, television series, animated films, and merchandise like action figures and trading cards. The character was ranked #43 on IGN's greatest comic book hero list. Martian Manhunter was played by David Ogden Stiers in the 1997 Justice League of America live-action television pilot. Phil Morris also portrayed him in the television series Smallville. David Harewood portrays the human guise of Martian Manhunter on Supergirl.

The Tale of Despereaux

The Tale of Despereaux is a 2003 fantasy book written by Kate DiCamillo. The main plot follows the adventures of a mouse named Despereaux Tilling, as he sets out on his quest to rescue a beautiful human princess from the rats. The novel is divided into four "books" and ends with a coda. Each "book" tells the story from a different character's or group of characters' perspective, and finally all of them combined. The book won the 2004 Newbery Medal award.

In 2007 the U.S. National Education Association named the book as one of its "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children", based on an online poll. Teachers also made it a summer reading project. In 2012 it was ranked number 51 among all-time children's novels in a survey published by School Library Journal – the second of three books by DiCamillo in the Top 100.In 2008, the book was adapted as an animated film of the same name. In 2018, the book was adapted into a musical by the PigPen Theatre Co.

Trinity (comic book)

Trinity is an American comic book series published by DC Comics featuring the superheroes Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. The first series was published weekly from 2008 to 2009. In 2016, a second monthly comic book series was launched by DC Comics.

Founding members
Enemies
Spin-offs
Facilities
Publications
Related articles
Supporting characters
Villains
Publications
Related articles
Supporting characters
Enemies
Publications
In other media
Related articles
Creators
Founding Members
Other Members
Enemies
Publications
In other media
DC Comics
EC Comics
Warren Publishing
Other publishers
Related pages

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.