Art by Phil Jimenez
|First appearance||Showcase #39 (July-August 1962)|
|Created by||Robert Kanigher
|Team affiliations||Injustice League
|Abilities||Superhuman strength and durability, super-regenerative capabilities, capable of producing and expelling almost any kind of hazardous liquid material|
Chemo is a fictional supervillain that appears in comic books published by DC Comics. The character first appeared in Showcase #39 (July - Aug. 1962) and was created by writer Robert Kanigher and artists Ross Andru and Mike Esposito.
Chemo debuted in a story called "The Deathless Doom" in Showcase #39 - 40 (July - Aug & Sept. - Oct. 1962), being the adversary for DC Comics' new superteam the Metal Men. The character returned in Metal Men #14 (July 1965); #25 (May 1967) and #46 - 47 (July & Sept. 1976).
The character was reimagined in Supergirl vol. 4, #5 (Jan. 1997) and then appeared briefly during the Our Worlds At War storyline in Adventures of Superman #593 - 594 (Aug. - Sept. 2001) and in Birds of Prey #36 (Dec. 2001) and Joker: Last Laugh #2 (Dec. 2001).
Chemo featured as a major villain in the limited series Infinite Crisis #1 - 7 (Dec. 2005 - June 2006) and appeared in multiple forms in Superman #663 (July 2007). The character also appeared in Outsiders - Five of a Kind: Nightwing/Captain Boomerang (Oct. 2007); Salvation Run #1 - 7 (Nov. 2007 – June 2008) and in Booster Gold vol. 2, #13 (Dec. 2008).
Writer Mike Conroy noted "where would comic books be without those flukes, those accidents of fate which, although inexplicable to science, result in innocuous materials having a far-reaching impact on the world outside the laboratory?"
Fictional character biography
Chemo was originally the nickname given to a plastic vessel used by scientist Ramsey Norton to contain the chemical by-products from his failed experiments. When Norton places the remnants of a failed growth formula in the vessel, it accidentally brings the man-shaped vessel to life as "Chemo". After killing Norton, Chemo goes on a rampage until stopped by the robot team, the Metal Men. Chemo regenerates and returns, but is defeated each time by the Metal Men.
On one occasion the Metal Men team with the hero Superman to defeat Chemo, with the hero having another two encounters with the entity. During the Crisis on Infinite Earths, villains Brainiac and Lex Luthor use Chemo as a living weapon on Earth-4. Chemo destroys the alternate universe version of New York City and kills Aquagirl by releasing large quantities of toxic chemicals into the ocean. The entity is dispersed and neutralized when the heroine Negative Woman shatters Chemo's plastic shell.
The Society (the Secret Society of Supervillains) employs the Brotherhood of Evil to use Chemo as a living weapon by dropping the entity onto the city of Blüdhaven. Covering the city with toxic waste, Chemo kills hundreds of thousands of people but is stopped when Superman throws the entity into deep space.
Chemo is retrieved and used as a weapon by fellow villains the Joker and Gorilla Grodd whilst on a prison planet. Rogue New Gods visiting the city of Metropolis capture a trio of multicolored miniature versions of Chemo. Superman follows the true Chemo and discovers it to be a LexCorp project.
Powers and abilities
Chemo has very limited intelligence but displays superhuman strength and extreme durability. Chemo can also alter its height and project hazardous chemicals in a spray for hundreds of feet.
- In the Justice League episode "Metamorphosis Part 2", Metamorpho's vengeance on Simon Stagg resulted in the creation of a synthoid (vocal effects are done by Dee Bradley Baker) that is based on Chemo. A promo for the original pilot episode (viewable on disc four of the Justice League Season 1 box set) briefly features Chemo battling the Martian Manhunter.
- Chemo appears in "Journey to the Center of the Bat", an episode of the animated television series Batman: The Brave and the Bold, voiced by Dee Bradley Baker.
- Chemo appears in the massively multiplayer online role-playing game DC Universe Online.
- An action figure based on Chemo was released as part of the "Collect and Connect" line in Mattel's DC Universe Classics 6 inch line.
- Conroy, Mike. 500 Comicbook Villains, Collins & Brown, 2004.
- Metal Men #39 - 40 (July - Aug. & Sept. - Oct. 1962)
- Metal Men #14 (July 1965); #25 (May 1967) and #46 - 47 (July & Sept. 1976)
- DC Comics Presents #4 (Dec. 1978)
- Superman #342 (Dec. 1979) and #370 (April 1982)
- Crisis on Infinite Earth #9 - 10 (Dec. 1985 - Jan. 1986)
- Infinite Crisis #1 - 7 (Dec. 2005 - June 2006)
- Salvation Run #1 - 7 (Nov. 2007 – June 2008)
- Superman #663 (July 2007)
- "DC Universe Classics Series 9 Action Figure Wildcat Purple Variant Build Chemo Piece!". Amazon.com. Retrieved December 6, 2011.