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DC Just Gave a Tyrannical Superman Villain His Version Of Thanos’ Black Order

One of Superman’s greatest foes just got their own dangerous band of warriors — giving them an equivalent to Thanos’ dark force from Marvel.

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Action Comics #1036, now on sale from DC Comics.

Mongul is one of Superman’s most personal and deadly foes. The villain has constantly done his best to break the Man of Steel in various incarnations. His modern version is set to become an overarching threat to the increasingly weakening Man of Steel as he tries to rescue the beings trapped on Warworld. And it looks like Mongul won’t be alone in that fight.

In Action Comics #1036 by Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Daniel Sampere, Adriano Lucas, and Dave Sharpe, Mongul’s Champions are introduced in the battlefield — and are set to potentially become DC’s answer to Marvel’s Black Order.

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Superman Chaytil Warworld

After arriving on Warworld with the Authority, Superman quickly makes his way to the capital of the destructive world. There, he discovers a full audience and proclaims that they should break free and fight alongside him. But instead of finding Mongul, Superman is confronted by Chaytil — Mongul’s servant. He tells the assembled heroes they won’t last long on Warworld, and reveals that he stands alongside the rest of Mongul’s champions: The Mother (a gaunt woman with a mask and a mystical looking staff), the Orphan (a gruesome-looking child kept within a tank), the Darling (a seemingly massive mechanical beast), and the Unmade (a horned warrior with a sword arm who can seemingly never die). Connecting the Orphan and the Darling seems to be a single figure with cords bonding him to them.

It’s a fearsome-looking force, each of them terrifying in their own ways and rights. Upon first glance, they even seem to be DC’s answer to Thanos’ Black Order. Introduced in Infinity, the Black Order — Black Dwarf, Corvus Glaive, Ebony Maw, Proxima Midnight, and Supergiant — were the lieutenants of Thanos when he made his attack on the Earth. A powerful force in their own right, they’ve continued to serve at Thanos’ command — working alongside him during the Incursions saga, and recently working with Hela in an ill-fated attempt to resurrect Thanos. Many of them even made their Marvel Cinematic Universe debut during Avengers: Infinity War as “the Children of Thanos.”

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Superman Warzoons

In effect, Superman’s arrival prompts the reveal of DC’s very own Black Order. This isn’t a bad thing in the slightest, either. The Black Order serves multiple purposes from a metatextual level, giving Thanos agents he can send into battle as his proxies. This preserves the threat of Thanos while giving the heroes a unique and fearsome foe to fight on their own. Their inherent threat level elevates the danger of their master and gives the creators the opportunity to at least craft exciting new fights, and at best to create engaging new perspectives and wrinkles in the coming stories. With the Black Order, Thanos was given the perfect showcase of his power, authority, and threat without ever lifting a finger.

Hopefully, the Champions of Mongul do the same for the DC villain, especially as he’s poised to become the primary conflict for Superman to deal with for the foreseeable future. If nothing else, these destructive new forces give Superman and the Authority some exciting new faces to punch out as they try to liberate Warworld from the grasp of the brutal warlord. The implication that they’re “champions” suggests they’ve battled in Mongul’s collegium, and likely have deep bonds to the enslaved warriors trapped on this world. As a counter to Superman’s allies in the Authority, the Champions of Mongul might be a great idea and a perfect concept to give a character who in more ways than one could claim to be a DC equivalent to someone like Thanos.

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