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Classic DC Comics Villain Mr. Mxyzptlk Coming to SUPERGIRL in 2017

Classic DC Comics Villain Mr. Mxyzptlk Coming to SUPERGIRL in 2017

He’s one of Superman‘s most long standing villains, going back to the Man of Steel’s original heyday of the 1940s. He pre-dates other more well known Superman bad guys like Brainiac, General Zod, Bizarro, and many others, but has never been seriously considered to be the main bad guy in a Superman movie. I’m talking now about the imp from the 5th Dimension, Mr. Mxyzptlk. And now according to a report on ComicBook.com, Mxy is coming to the CW’s Supergirl for at least two episodes in 2017. Although not confirmed, it’s suspected that Mxyzptlk will be the baddie in the two-part Supergirl/Flash musical crossover episodes, although he will probably appear on a solo Supergirl episode first.

So what can we expect from a Mxyzptlk appearance on Supergirl? Since day one, Mxy has always been presented as a mischievous, nearly omnipotent trickster, who is not so much malevolent, but incredibly annoying (he was clearly a big influence on the character of Q on Star Trek: The Next Generation). In almost all of his appearances in the Superman family of titles, he can be stopped only by tricking him into saying or spelling his own name backwards (Kltpzyxm – “kel-tip-zix-um”), which will return him to his home in the 5th dimension and keep him there for a minimum of ninety days.

Mxyzptlk has appeared several times in animation form, starting first on the 1960s New Adventure of Superman cartoon, and then showing up on many episodes of the Saturday morning Super Friends show during the ’70s and ’80s. The most comics-accurate version of the character appeared in the ’90s Superman: The Animated Series, voiced by Gilbert Gottfried.

A comics accurate version of Mxy only ever really appeared in live-action once however, on the syndicated (and very low budget) Superboy TV series which ran from 1988-1992. The series (which was produced by the Superman: The Movie producers Alexander and Ilya Salkind) was done way on the cheap, which is why Warner Brothers has never syndicated the series in reruns since they regained TV rights to Superman in the early ’90s — they are kind of embarrassed of it. But actor Michael J. Pollard played Mxy on that show, bowler hat, goofy orange suit and all, in a very comic book accurate take on the character. It just so happened to look like it was produced for about $5 dollars. Characters named Mxyzptlk appeared on both Lois and Clark and later Smallville, but these version were really Mxyzptlk in name only.

So what Mxyzptlk stories from the comics could the producers of Supergirl draw from? Here are some of my favorites:

In in Superman #349 from 1981, “The Turnabout Trap!”, Clark Kent wakes up to a world where everyone has been gender-switched. Meaning Superwoman instead of Superman, Superboy in place of Supergirl (but still in booty shorts, because why not), and Wonder Warrior replacing Wonder Woman. It turned out the topsy-turvy world was all Mr. Mxyzptlk’s doing. Can you imagine a Supergirl episode where the same thing happens? Jimmy and Winn are women now, and maybe the gender-switching could extend to her friends on the other Earth. Female Flash and female Green Arrow anyone? (Note: Someone out there NEEDS to cosplay as the cover below).

In Alan Moore’s famous story “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow”, which ran beginning in Superman #423 and ending in Action Comics #583, and closed out the Silver Age continuity of the Man of Steel before the Crisis on Infinite Earths continuity took hold. The story explain why Superman vanished years prior, after all of his villains seemed to attack him at once. Superman realizes the only way this could all be happening is if Mxyzptlk was behind it all.

Mxyzptlk reveals himself, and claims credit for orchestrating the attacks, saying he has become bored with just being a “mischievous imp” and now wants to see what it would be like to be “truly evil” instead. He then reveals his true form, saying “Did you honestly believe that a 5th Dimensional sorcerer would resemble a funny little man in a derby hat?” He then  becomes a giant purple, truly five-dimensional being. Realizing the danger to the world of a truly evil and omnipotent Mxyzptlk, Superman breaks his vow to never kill and destroys him. Because of this act, Superman voluntarily exposes himself to gold kryptonite, removing his powers and living his life out as an ordinary man, married to Lois Lane.

Now, this story would be hard to adapt, because it’s a “final” story, but the Supergirl producers might want to keep it in mind for sometime down the road. After all, last season they adapted Alan Moore’s other celebrated Superman story, “For The Man Who Has Everything”, and that turned out pretty great.

A more recent Mxyzptlk story is “Emperor Joker” from 2000, where the imp grants his powers to the most insane person on Earth, who just so happen to be Batman’s #1 enemy. This one would also be hard to adapt, because Batman and all. But what if the producers transposed the Batman with the Flash, and the Joker with Mark Hamill’s Trickster? Then it could totally work.

Do you have a favorite classic Mr. Mxyzptlk story you’d like to see serve as inspiration for Supergirl? Let us know down below in the comments!

Images: DC Comics

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