Parasite (comics)

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The Parasite
Parasite (Rudy Jones) as seen in the cover art for Superman #684, by Alex Ross
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance (Jensen) Action Comics #340 (August 1966)
(Jones) Firestorm vol. 2 #58 (April 1987)
(Allstons) Adventures of Superman #633 (Dec. 2004) (Allen) Superman #23.4 (Sep. 2013)
Created by (Jensen)
Jim Shooter[1]
(Jones) John Ostrander and Joe Brozowski
(Allstons) Greg Rucka, Matthew Clark, and Andrew Lanning
(Allen) Aaron Kuder, Dan Brown
In-story information
Alter ego - Raymond Maxwell Jensen
- Rudolph "Rudy" Jones
- Alex and Alexandra Allston
- Joshua Michael Allen
Team affiliations S.T.A.R. Labs
Suicide Squad
Superman Revenge Squad
Secret Society of Super Villains
Abilities Absorption of energy, superpowers, and knowledge through physical contact

The Parasite is the name of several fictional supervillains appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics, commonly as enemies of Superman. Each version of the Parasite has the ability to temporarily absorb the energy, knowledge and super-powers of another being by touch, making him a formidable adversary for the Man of Steel.

The most well known incarnation of the Parasite is Rudy Jones, who has appeared in the largest number of comic books and media. In 2009, The Parasite was ranked as IGN's 61st Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time.[2]

Publication history[edit]

The Raymond Maxwell Jenson version of Parasite first appeared in Action Comics #340 and was created by Jim Shooter.

The Rudy Jones version of Parasite first appeared in Firestorm vol. 2 #58 and was created by John Ostrander and Joe Brozowski.

The Alex and Andrea Allston versions of Parasite first appeared in Adventures of Superman #633 and were created by Greg Rucka, Matthew Clark, and Andrew Lanning.

The Joshua Allen version of the New 52 Parasite debuted in Superman #23.4 and was created by Aaron Kuder.

Fictional character biography[edit]


Cover to Action Comics #340. Art by Curt Swan.

Raymond Maxwell Jensen was a lowlife who got a job as a plant worker for a research center.[3] Wrongly believing that the company payrolls were hidden in storage containers, Jensen opened one and was bombarded with energies from biohazard materials (which was actually waste collected by Superman when he traveled into outer space), which transformed him into a purple skinned, parasitic entity, becoming the Parasite. Any time he touched someone, he could absorb their physical and mental properties. Touching Superman would instantly absorb a sizable fraction of his superhuman powers (it was established early on that he is not capable of acquiring the whole of his powers). On one occasion, while attempting to absorb a greater portion of his adversary's powers than previously, his body disintegrated for a period of time due to the pressure to his cells. Despite these abilities, the Parasite became depressed because he could no longer embrace his wife and children.[4] The Parasite made a number of reappearances before the Crisis, yet he never successfully found a means to permanently defeat Superman.[5] Despite this, he had knowledge of his foe's alter ego and often used this to attack Clark Kent. Gaining sizable intellect from his multiple encounters with Superman, Parasite devised the means to reanimate dormant plant remains left behind from the Earth-Two supervillain Solomon Grundy, creating a newer and stronger version of the creature to plague his adversary. On another occasion, Parasite devised the means to transfer the powers of the hero Air Wave to the young hero's adversary Davy Jones temporarily.[6]

The eventual fate of the Pre-Crisis version of the Parasite is briefly mentioned in the beginning of Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?, where Lois Lane talks about the fates of the various Superman villains. Parasite is dead, having died while fighting his occasional partner-in-crime Terra-Man in what Lane refers to a "clash of egos". Terra-Man is killed in the battle as well.


Rudy Jones[edit]

Originally a menial slacker, Rudolph "Rudy" Jones was transformed into the Parasite while working as a janitor at a Pittsburgh S.T.A.R. Labs facility. Unknown to anyone at the scene, the Lord of Apokolips, Darkseid, remembered the Pre-Crisis Parasite and manipulated Jones to become the modern version. He made Rudy think that a waste container might have held something valuable. He opened it and was exposed to strange radiation that changed his body into the bald, green-skinned villain. Jones now had the ability to absorb the life energy of other people, leaving behind smoldering skeletons. This power was necessary for his survival as his own body is in a constant state of hunger for energy that it cannot sustain on its own During this time, Martin Stein, one half of the Firestorm matrix (Ronnie Raymond being the other half) learned he was dying and decided to destroy all the nuclear weapons in the world. This did not sit well with Earth's governments, particularly the United States, who sent the Suicide Squad to Times Square where Firestorm was holding a press conference. Things quickly got out of control as the Squad and the Justice League, both intent on subduing Firestorm, fought one another, and the Parasite (who was brought on the mission against the protests of both Amanda Waller and Colonel Rick Flag Jr.) is released. He goes on a rampage and apparently kills Multiplex, only being brought under control by the cooperation of both teams. Later, he attacked the new Firestorm who easily subdued him and left him near death.

During one of his stints at Belle Reve Prison, doctors attempted to make him human again. Despite their intentions, the doctors only managed to change his skin color to the more familiar purple and also inadvertently increased his absorption power, enabling him to feed on other forms of energy, such as electricity and heat. After a number of years, the Parasite became involved in the plot to save Superman from overloading on solar energy. Rudy and Superman battled on the moon where Superman uncontrollably unleashed an immense blast of heat vision that the Parasite absorbed, causing him to mutate even further into a huge, hulking monster with teeth resembling a leech's. This mutation again increased Rudy's draining abilities, allowing him to absorb fast-moving objects' inertia, as well as making him impervious to telepathic attack to an unknown extent, since he could now drain energy through a mental link as he displayed when Dubbilex telepathically attacked him. His extra size and power did have a downside, however; he needed to absorb more energy more frequently in order to stay alive.

Cover to Action Comics #715. Art by Kieron Dwyer.

Unfortunately for a scientist that was tending to Rudy during one of his terms of imprisonment, he was tricked by Lex Luthor and somehow absorbed into the Parasite. This joining was different from Rudy's others as, apparently due to unspecified modifications to Rudy's physiology during this stint at S.T.A.R. Labs (although some sources speculate that the scientist's strength of character contributed to his 'survival'), he actually retained the scientist, Dr. Torval Freeman, as a part of his own mind. This combined intelligence made the Parasite even more menacing, given Freeman's superior intellect. He is later recruited by Morgan Edge to be part of the second Superman Revenge Squad. After Superman's powers were converted into energy-based ones, the Parasite returned to see what he could absorb from the Man of Steel. However, at this point in time, Superman was not in full control of what was happening with his powers and nearly killed the Parasite.[7] Later, Parasite returned once again to make trouble for Superman, but found himself facing off against Supergirl instead, absorbing some of her new angelic powers and nearly killing himself due to the 'divine judgment' of Supergirl's new 'wings'.

At one point, Rudy was contracted to help drain off a being named Strange Visitor's excess electromagnetic energy as she could not fully control it. This exposure to Strange Visitor's power caused the Parasite to mutate again, giving him the ability to fully and permanently retain the intellects of all of his victims and also allowed him to maintain any stolen energy for up to twenty-four hours. Like Torval Freeman, Rudy also absorbed an unknown shapeshifter into his biology, granting him the permanent power to mimic the exact genetic makeup and appearance of his victims.

After he later escaped from S.T.A.R. Labs in the early 2000s, the Parasite began to form a plan to get back at Superman. He began stalking Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen in an attempt to get to those closest to Superman. The Parasite had taken the form of one of his previous victims, an old man, and was run down in the pandemonium that evening when Lois came to his aid. Not realizing that she was actually in contact with the Parasite, a simple touch was all Rudy needed to get her knowledge of Superman. Rudy was surprised to learn from Lois Superman's secret identity. A new plan formed when he realized how close Superman actually was to Lois; the Parasite decided to take her place and tear him down emotionally by pretending to be a scorned Lois Lane, apparently even having an affair with Luthor in the process. When Clark attempted to confront Lois about her recent distance from him, in a fit of rage uncharacteristic of Lois Lane, Rudy punched Clark out of their apartment and into the streets of Metropolis. Shortly after this display, Superman got the Parasite to reveal himself in the guise of Lois Lane. Rudy could not handle the fact that anyone other than himself as the Parasite took down the Man of Steel. Just as the Parasite was about to lay the final blow to an exhausted Superman, Rudy drops, completely crippled by Kryptonite poisoning he had drained from Superman, unbeknownst to either Rudy or Clark. Superman finally realized the reason he has felt so weak recently was because he was being constantly drained by the Parasite and also the victim of the mysterious Kryptonite poisoning. When he asked Rudy how long he had pretended to be Lois, the Parasite related his story to the Man of Steel. In his final moments, he tells Superman that he still needed to have contact with Lois once every twenty-four hours to maintain his charade, confirming that she is still alive. He also told him that Lois loves him more deeply than he could ever know, and loves him in a way that nobody ever loved the Parasite. The Parasite died before he could tell Superman where Lois was imprisoned (Superman [vol. 2] #157). Although Superman initially tried to investigate himself, his efforts were hampered by a bout of kryptonite poisoning, and Steel was forced to contact Batman to help the investigation. Accompanied by Superman, Batman tracked a spree of recent disappearances to the Parasite's hiding place, during which Superman gained a new insight into Batman's methods and actions, and Lois was soon found alive by the two heroes. Lex Luthor, with whom it is implied the Parasite had engaged in amorous, "extramarital" activity while in Lois' form,[citation needed] was infuriated when he learned of the Parasite's schemes. As such, Luthor went to great efforts to obtain the Parasite's remains.

In Justice League of America (vol. 2) #2, the Parasite is found to be holed up in St. Roch, Louisiana, where he uses his power-absorbing abilities to temporarily neutralize the powers of villains for a fee so they might evade detection during the course of criminal efforts.

Cover to Adventures of Superman #635 by J.H. Williams III.

In Action Comics Annual #10, a headshot of the Parasite was seen as part of "Superman's Top 10 Most Wanted" that bore a resemblance to the version seen in Justice. This version of the Parasite later appeared in Action Comics #751 wearing the Superman: The Animated Series-inspired costume Parasite wore circa 2000, and is later seen as a member of the new Injustice League. It has not yet been revealed if this Parasite is the same that appeared in Justice League of America (vol. 2) #2, but he has been revealed to be a resurrected Rudy Jones by Lex Luthor in Superman: Last Son.

He can seen as the member of Libra's Secret Society of Super Villains.

In the New Krypton storyline where 100,000 Kryptionian refugees are freed from the bottle city of Kandor, the Kandorians decide to take it upon themselves to eliminate Superman's enemies. A group of Kandorians break the Parasite out of prison, killing several prison guards in the process and imprison the Parasite in the Phantom Zone.[8] Superman freed Parasite so he could be taken to Belle Reve, but Parasite escaped.[9]

Superman: Secret Origin[edit]

The 2009-10 miniseries Superman: Secret Origin redefines Parasite's origin. In this version, Rudy Jones is a janitor of the Daily Planet. One day Lex Luthor chooses Rudy as part of a daily "LexCorp Lottery" in which he selects one person from the crowd formed outside the LexCorp building to provide them with a new life. Inside LexCorp, Rudy eats a donut which had been accidentally spilled with a purple toxic material (revealed in issue #5 to have been produced by extracting the radiation from Kryptonite). This transforms him into the Parasite, subsequently going on a rampage in Metropolis until he is stopped by Superman. He was last seen in issue #5 to be in a holding cell in LexCorp tower, having been seen by both Lex and Lois Lane's father, General Sam Lane.

Alex and Alexandra Allston[edit]

After the villain Ruin (who was secretly Professor Hamilton) performed some experiments, two new Parasites debuted, one purple, the other green.[10] The two new Parasites were teenagers named Alex (the green Parasite) and Alexandra (the purple Parasite) who wanted to seek vengeance on the people who made their lives difficult. They were soon subdued by Superman after a battle. After attempting to escape from a metahuman prison, Alex was killed by an OMAC while his sister Alexandra escaped and joined the Secret Society of Super Villains under Alexander Luthor, Jr. (who was posing as Lex Luthor).[11] She is later one of the villains sent to retrieve the Get Out of Hell free card from the Secret Six.

The New 52[edit]

In The New 52, a reboot of the DC Comics universe that began in 2011, Joshua Michael Allen was a delivery boy who hated his life and Metropolis who was caught in the middle of a battle between Superman and a giant parasite. Allen snapped and attacked the creature, electrocuting it and himself with a live wire. While at Star Labs to check his health from the encounter, their testing transformed him into a creature who constantly feels hunger for energy he obtains from people, leaving their molded skeletons. Tired of this kind of life, he tried to commit suicide and was rescued by Superman, from whom Allen absorbed energy like never before. This eased the pain and hunger he experienced, until his energy was depleted. Allen was imprisoned in Belle Reeve.[volume & issue needed] Allen later escaped and joined the Secret Society only to be defeated by an overload of energy.

Allen was later forced into the Suicide Squad.

Powers and abilities[edit]

All Parasites are able to absorb the life energy of other beings through physical contact. They are also able to absorb virtually any other energy form and use it.

Rudy Jones and Dr. Torval Freeman gained enhanced strength, intelligence, agility and stamina by absorbing the energy of other beings. By absorbing the energy of superhumans, he gains their powers but only for a limited time, until he "runs out of life energy" and must seek for another prey to feed on. Parasite is shown to have a special visual perception that allows him to see and sense life energy and power within a being.[12] Even aliens such as Superman are not immune to Parasite's power. Like regular metahumans, Superman can be drained to the point of being comparable to humans while Parasite becomes just as strong as Superman is normally. However, the energy drain only works when Parasite is in physical contact with the target. Drawing the energy of ordinary beings such as normal humans is almost instantaneous, but for immensely powerful beings it takes quite a long time, which can let them enough time and energy to react and free themselves from Parasite's grip (a deed Superman did more than once).

After contact with the Strange Visitor, Parasite's powers changed enabling him to keep the energy he took longer. Somewhere Jones and his scientist counterpart gained new powers by absorbing the life energy of a shape-shifter as well. Now, not only does he sap the life energy out of his victims, he can actually become his victims right down to their DNA, including having access to their memories and natural abilities.

One of Parasite's most prominent physical features is his pink-violet skin pigmintation and the physical deformities to his face, seemingly totally covered by a mask, including his eyes, nose and mouth, giving him ambiguous as well as fearsome facial features.

Parasite's biggest weakness is that he also copies the weaknesses of his targets and cannot counter such weaknesses even when he has other abilities that should. For instance, in Superman: The Animated Series, if he absorbs Superman's powers and Livewire's powers he will be vulnerable to water (which is Livewire's weakness) despite being invulnerable like Superman.

Other versions[edit]

All-Star Superman[edit]

An alternate version of Parasite appeared in DC Comics' All-Star Superman #5 as an antagonist in the main subplot. He passes by Clark Kent who is interviewing Lex Luthor, a prisoner on Death Row at the 'Stryker's Island' prison. Clark is surprised to see the Parasite, and the entity feeds on Superman's ambient energy. This provides enough power for the Parasite to go on a murderous rampage. The sheer amount of energy causes the Parasite to evolve into little more than a body and a mouth. Clark uses subterfuge and his strength to ultimately defeat the creature. Lex believes his attempts actually helped.[13]


Parasite was one of the main characters in the second Marvel/DC crossover between Spider-Man and Superman (Marvel Treasury Edition #28). In this story, he was recruited by Doctor Doom as an agent in Doom's latest plan to conquer the world by wiping out all power sources but his own fusion reactor. Doom claimed that he needed the Parasite to function as an invincible bodyguard, capturing the Incredible Hulk and Wonder Woman and giving the Parasite a harness that would allow him to retain their powers for prolonged periods. However, Doom's true intention was to kill the Parasite by allowing him to absorb so much power that his cells would burst, causing Parasite to, according to Doom's calculations, transform into a crystalline mass that would allow Doom to perfect the reactor by using its energy-manipulation abilities to control the reactor's power output. This plan was thwarted when the Parasite briefly absorbed Spider-Man's powers, causing his borrowed spider-sense to alert him to Doom's treachery and turn on Doom, although he was subsequently defeated by Superman using a gauntlet of Doom's that prevented the Parasite from absorbing his energy when he was attacked.

JSA: The Liberty Files[edit]

In the second JSA: The Liberty Files miniseries entitled JSA: The Unholy Three, Parasite is a former KGB agent working freelance as a contract killer.[14]


Justice features the faceless, pre-Crisis version of the Parasite as part of the Legion of Doom. While not identified by name in the story, it is revealed via Batman's computer files[15] that this version of the Parasite is Maxwell Jensen. He first appears in issue four as part of a group of villains sent to kill Superman (alongside Bizarro, Solomon Grundy, and Metallo), draining Superman's powers before Metallo exposes Superman to his Kryptonite heart. The quartet are soon defeated by Captain Marvel, who slams Metallo's heart into Parasite to defeat him. Lex Luthor teleports to the group almost immediately after Marvel and Superman leave to the Batcave, literally scolding the group as he returns Metallo his heart, telling Parasite he also gets Superman's weaknesses as well as his strengths. He is later seen giving Luthor an unconscious Supergirl. When the Justice League attacks the Hall of Doom, Parasite initially attacks Aquaman using some of Supergirl's powers, hoping to take his powers and threatens Mera's life, and is subsequently stabbed by Aquaman. Gold later tries to imprison him in his body, hoping to turn Parasite into gold, but is distracted after Platinum is attacked by Metallo. After escaping he takes Black Adam's powers and Metallo's heart to kill Superman, but he is still unable to beat the Man of Steel and is defeated by the lightning bolt from Black Adam saying Shazam!.

Kingdom Come[edit]

In the DC Kingdom Come alternate timeline, the Parasite is involved in the explosion that destroys Kansas. This incarnation of Parasite is the Raymond Maxwell Jensen version. Besieged by a group of metahumans led by Magog, the weakened Parasite desperately lashes out at Captain Atom, tearing through his outer shell and causing the Captain's nuclear energy to erupt. The ensuing explosion destroys everything within a large radius and annihilates over a million people. With the exception of Magog and the enormous hero Alloy, none of the metahumans involved in the battle, including the Parasite, are shown to survive.[16]

Superman: Earth One[edit]

Parasite is the primary antagonist in Superman: Earth One Volume Two, the sequel to Superman: Earth One.[17] This incarnation of Parasite is the Raymond Maxwell Jensen version. Raymond Jensen was a criminal who would do anything to get what he wanted, including murder. His back story reveals that he has been sociopathic since childhood and delights in killing anyone or anything for pleasure. After an accident at S.T.A.R. Labs, he becomes a serial-killing metahuman with the ability to absorb energy and life force through physical contact and to convert that energy into health and power for himself. This increases his strength, durability, muscle mass, and allows him to project the energy as a weapon. By absorbing Superman's life force, he gains his powers and renders the Man of Steel powerless. Ray has a sister named Theresa Jensen, who believes that her brother is a consultant with a real estate firm, unaware of his status as a murderous criminal until his transformation.

Superman: Family Adventures[edit]

In Art Baltazar's Superman Family Adventures, Otis from the Richard Donner Superman movies became this universe's Parasite. Lex grabs a purple rock from space that Otis keeps instead of throwing away, which takes over his body and allows him Parasite's abilities. Rather than commit villainous acts, Otis focuses his efforts on living Superman's life and dubs himself the "Purple Superman" before Lois calls him Parasite. Superman defeats him by putting oven mitts on his hands while avoiding Otis, causing Otis to eventually lose Superman's powers and tire out.[18]

Superman: Red Son[edit]

In Superman: Red Son, an incarnation of Parasite is one of various enemies of Superman created by Dr. Lex Luthor.[19]

Injustice: Gods Among Us[edit]

The Joshua Michael Allen (modeled after the Rudy Jones version's appearance) version of the Parasite appears in Injustice: Gods Among Us's prequel comic. In Year Five, Parasite is fightning against the Cyborg and Hal Jordan in Coast City until Superman arrive and takes him to the sun, where he throw Parasite, apparently killing him.[20]

In other media[edit]



  • The Rudy Jones version of Parasite appeared in Smallville, portrayed by Brendan Fletcher. In the episode "Injustice", Parasitte appears with Livewire, Neutron, and Plastique to form into a team of meteor freak rogues hired by Tess Mercer who search for Davis Bloome aka Doomsday. After the deaths of Neutron to Doomsday and Livewire to Mercer, Plastique and Jones decide to go rogue after Mercer. After taking Clark Kent's powers, they almost kill Tess, until Green Arrow appears and weakens Jones with Kryptonite. The Parasite is forced to return his powers to Clark, and Plastique is returned to jail, along with Jones.[21]
  • The Rudy Jones version of Parasite appears in Supergirl, portrayed by William Mapother. In the second-season episode "Changing", Rudy Jones is a scientist who is infected by an alien parasite during an autopsy of a frozen wolf that was oddly emanating heat signatures as if it were alive. Eventually, Jones is transformed into a larger and monstrous alien/human hybrid called Parasite after sucking the powers of both Supergirl and Martian Manhunter, leaving the latter in critical condition, with the Parasite also targeting anti-global warming politicians. Eventually, Parasite managed to fight Mon-El and Guardian, and was eventually beaten by Supergirl by using plutonium from a nuclear power plant, completely obliterating him. Parasite was seemingly revived in "Mr. and Mrs. Mxyztplk" and causing havoc in National City, although it was later revealed to be an illusion caused by Mister Mxyztplk in an attempt to woo Supergirl.


  • Parasite first appeared in animated cartoons—and, indeed, on film or television in any form—in "The Pernicious Parasite," an episode of the 1960s Filmation cartoon, The New Adventures of Superman, which was written by Oscar Bensol. However, despite having the same name and powers, his appearance has little in common with the comic book version. Here, the Parasite is a thief named I. C. Harris, who specializes in stealing radioactive materials, and he is portrayed as a balding man with a mustache and does not have purple skin. In the episode, Superman knowingly tricks this Parasite into absorbing so much of his energy that he explodes. Superman then explains of Harris to a police officer that witnessed the explosion: "He didn't realize that an Earthman's body was too frail to contain the super-power of a man from Krypton."
  • The Raymond Jensen version of Parasite appears in the Young Justice episode "Performance," voiced by Adam Baldwin. This iteration of the Parasite seems to be based on Raymond Jensen, the Silver-Age Parasite, given the fact that he takes on the alias of "Ray the Roustabout" in order to infiltrate the Circus. He infiltrates Jack Haley's Circus, while on their foreign tour in Europe, to steal tech using the abilities of the members of Haley's Circus. After stealing Miss Martian's abilities, Superboy discovers him shape-shifted into a clown, resulting in the Parasite's cover being blown. When cornered on the top of the Haly Circus train, the Parasite reveals that he had siphoned Miss Martian's powers and knows that she is, in some way, related to the Martian Manhunter. The Parasite uses Miss Martian's telekinesis to pull Superboy towards him in order to siphon Superboy's powers, then flies off. But Robin manages to pick the Parasite's pocket at the last minute in order to obtain the technology for Intergang's plot to build a black hole generator. When they arrive at Geneva, the Parasite has assembled the black hole generator, but then Superboy suddenly goes berserk after using Lex Luthor's shields and attacks the Parasite. The Parasite manages to drain Superboy's powers again. When asked by Miss Martian on what he has against Geneva, the Parasite stated that he "never liked the food." Red Arrow use a foam arrow on the Parasite, which proves not to work, but the heroes manage to trick the Parasite into igniting gas tanks. As with his usual appearance, he also drains the weaknesses out of his victims, which causes him to be affected by Miss Martian's weakness of fire. The Parasite is then arrested by King Faraday and his agents as King Faraday places an inhibitor collar on the Parasite.
  • The Rudy Jones version of Parasite appears in Justice League Action, voiced by Max Mittelman. This version sprouts tentacles from his torso in order to absorb the powers of anyone. He first appears in "Power Outage" when Superman is summoned to Stryker's Island where the unnamed prison warden tells Superman about Parasite building his energy up by absorbing the energy from the cockroaches. Superman was able to defeat Parasite with Wonder Woman's help. Afterwards, Parasite gets possessed by the Brothers Djinn member Calythos and plans to reduce Earth back to its pre-human state. Superman and Wonder Woman had a hard time fighting Calythos due to him using Parasite's ability. As Calythos starts to form a volcano off the coast of Metropolis, Superman and Wonder Woman trick him into absorbing Martian Manhunter's powers with the side effects having Calythos acquiring Martian Manhunter's fear of fire. Upon bailing from Parasite's body, Calythos is defeated and both villains are detained.
DC Animated Universe[edit]
Parasite as he appears in the DC Animated Universe

The Rudy Jones version of the Parasite appears in the DC Animated Universe:

  • Parasite made his animated debut in the 1990s television series Superman: The Animated Series, voiced by Brion James. The origin for Parasite is fairly consistent with his modern one in the comics. This version is able to duplicate the voices of whomever he drains as well. First appearing in the episode "Feeding Time", Rudy Jones is portrayed as a janitor at S.T.A.R. Labs. He and fence Martin Lebeau (voiced by Robert Patrick) stole barrels containing chemicals with unknown properties. But although the two manage to make their getaway in a pickup truck after narrowly escaping the scene, Rudy rides in the back of the vehicle with the semi-closed barrels. The barrels soon open when the truck encounters an uneven road, spilling their contents all over Rudy and transforming him into the Parasite. Parasite then uses his new powers to go after Lebeau for revenge, almost killing him if not for the timely intervention of Superman. In the ensuring battle, Parasite is able to drain a substantial amount of energy, greatly weakening Superman. With the Man of Steel's powers, Parasite goes on a citywide rampage, and later attacks him in his apartment after discovering his secret identity of Clark Kent. Parasite then trapped him inside a boiler room at S.T.A.R. Labs as a "daily recharge" for his crime sprees. While Parasite is away, Jimmy Olsen stumbles across Superman while investigating, and frees him just as the Parasite returns. Superman, having regained some of his strength, slips into his titanium-lead alloy Kryptonite armor and engages the Parasite in a ferocious battle, which ends when Superman forces Parasite to grab a piece of Kryptonite, which drains him of all his Kryptonian powers to the point of unconsciousness and amnesia. Parasite is subsequently incarcerated in a S.T.A.R. Labs holding cell. In the episode "Two's a Crowd", Superman asks for Parasite's help to learn the location of an atomic bomb that has been hidden by rogue ex-S.T.A.R. Labs scientist Earl Garver (voiced by Brian Cox), to which Parasite agrees, in exchange for Cable TV in his cell. But somehow, Garver's mind takes over Parasite's body in the absorption process. Superman is later forced to fight Garver/Parasite at the location of the bomb, while Rudy and Garver fight inside for control of Parasite's body. Superman eventually manages to defeat the Parasite and destroy the bomb, and Rudy regains control of his body. With Earl Garver recovered and incarcerated, Parasite gets his end of the bargain as he is seen watching TV in his cell. In the episode "Double Dose", Livewire breaks Parasite out of prison, and forms an uneasy alliance with him to destroy Superman. However, Parasite's greed gets the better of him, as he constantly attempts to take Livewire's powers for himself. The two later encounter Superman, protected against both Parasite and Livewire by a layer of latex. However, Livewire shatters it with liquid nitrogen, and Parasite drains Superman of his powers. But Parasite betrays Livewire by absorbing her powers as well, intending to keep both of them trapped and alive as his "unlimited power source". With both the Man of Steel and Livewire's powers, Parasite confronts a weakened Superman alone. But he is eventually defeated when Superman tricks him into burning a mop and setting off an emergency shower which, reacting with Livewire's vulnerability to water, drains Parasite of all his new powers and memories (including Superman's secret identity) to the point that he no longer remembers who he himself is. Parasite is then arrested and returned to prison.
  • Parasite later makes subsequent appearances in the Justice League episode "Secret Society", now voiced by Brian George due to Brion James's passing. Gorilla Grodd recruits him into the Secret Society, along with Giganta, Killer Frost, Shade, Sinestro, and Clayface to defeat the Justice League. During their confrontations, Parasite is able to drain the powers of Superman, the Flash and Wonder Woman. In the end, however, he is defeated by Wonder Woman when she swings him around a football stadium with her lasso until he is knocked out upon impact with a billboard.
  • In Justice League Unlimited, Parasite makes non-voiced appearances. First appearing in the episode "Clash", he defeats and absorbs the powers of Elongated Man and Metamorpho, and briefly battles Batman before being taken down by Captain Marvel. He is later seen once again as a member of Gorilla Grodd's Secret Society. Parasite sided with Gorilla Grodd during the mutiny, but when Lex Luthor overthrew Grodd, Parasite disagrees. He is frozen by Killer Frost and then blown up by Darkseid along with the other Super villains.
Parasite from the Batman Beyond era.
  • The episode "Epilogue" (which takes place in the Batman Beyond era) features a new Parasite voiced by Marc Worden. A more grotesque appearance compared to the modern day version, he is a member of the Iniquity Collective, one of the enemies of the JLU. During the battle, he is defeated and knocked out by Warhawk.


  • A version of Parasite appears in a cameo in the DC Universe Animated feature Superman/Batman: Public Enemies. He is seen battling Superman and Batman along many other DC villains, trying to claim Lex Luthor's one billion dollars bounty on Superman.
  • A version of Parasite appears in All-Star Superman voiced by Michael Gough. In this version, he possessed a thermal-like vision that helped him to identify sources of energy. Parasite appears as a prisoner on Death row at the Stryker's Island prison where Clark Kent is interviewing Lex Luthor. Due to Superman's cells overwhelmed with a massive amount of yellow solar radiation, Parasite was able to absorb his energy without touching him. This provides enough power for the Parasite to go on a murderous rampage. Clark uses subterfuge and his strength to ultimately defeat the creature by throwing debris over him.
  • The Rudy Jones version of Parasite appears in DC Super Hero Girls: Hero of the Year, voiced by Tom Kenny.

Video games[edit]

  • The Rudy Jones version of Parasite appears as a boss in Superman: Shadow of Apokolips, with Brian George reprises his role.
  • Parasite appears as a boss in Superman 64.
  • Parasite was featured in concept art for the console versions and as a main boss in the Nintendo DS version of Superman Returns.
  • The Rudy Jones version of Parasite appears in DC Universe Online voiced by Robert Faires. In the villain campaign, Parasite's clones were unleashed on Metropolis University and the players had to fight the Science Police to keep them from being freed. Afterwards, Lex Luthor informs the villains that Parasite has Power Girl barricaded in Metropolis University's library. Lex stated that he enlisted Parasite's help in order to harvest Power Girl's DNA in exchange that Parasite has a Kryptonian-based meal. In order to help Parasite get to Power Girl, the players had to use the mutagen Lex Luthor developed on some meta-powered University students transforming them into Parasite-resembling Leeches. Parasite uses the Leeches in order to disable the force fields. Once the force fields are disabled, the players had to infect more University students to help Parasite defeat Power Girl. When Power Girl is defeated with the help of Parasite and his Leeches, the players take a sample of Power Girl's DNA.
  • The Rudy Jones version of Parasite makes a cameo appearance in Injustice: Gods Among Us. He is in the background of Stryker's Island.
  • The Rudy Jones version of Parasite appears as a playable character in Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, voiced by Travis Willingham.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Traci Adell, the WWF, Fatale on TV, and the Web of the Snyder – Part 2". Jim Shooter's Blog. 6 January 2012. Retrieved 7 January 2012. 
  2. ^ Parasite is number 61 Archived 2009-05-10 at the Wayback Machine., IGN.
  3. ^ Action Comics #340
  4. ^ Superman #286
  5. ^ Action Comics #555
  6. ^ Action Comics #361
  7. ^ Adventures of Superman #552
  8. ^ Superman #682
  9. ^ Superman #684
  10. ^ Adventures of Superman #633
  11. ^ Adventures of Superman #641
  12. ^ All-Star Superman #5
  13. ^ All-Star Superman #5
  14. ^ JSA: The Liberty Files #1
  15. ^ Justice #4
  16. ^ Kingdom Come #1
  17. ^ "CBR Community". Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  18. ^ Superman: Family Adventures #5
  19. ^ Superman: Red Son #3
  20. ^ Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Five #3
  21. ^ Al Septien, Turi Meyer (writers) & Tom Welling (director) (2009-05-07). "Injustice". Smallville. Season 8. Episode 21. The CW. 

External links[edit]