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The cover of DC Comics Presents #28, featuring Mongul, Superman, Supergirl and the original Warworld (behind Mongul.) Art by Jim Starlin.
|First appearance||DC Comics Presents #27
Warworld is a fictional artificial planet published in several stories by DC Comics, most of which feature Superman. It first appeared in DC Comics Presents #27 (November 1980), and was created by Len Wein and Jim Starlin.
Warworld was created by a very warlike alien race called the Warzoons, as their ultimate weapon. However, all the Warzoons died off mysteriously, and the last one was found dead at the planet's control chair by the Largas, an extremely peaceful alien race. The Largas buried him, then kept the key-like device that could activate Warworld hidden. But the Largas also died out over time, and the last one gave the key to the Martian race, who had once been devastated by a war, for safekeeping before dying.
The space villain Mongul (introduced in this story) kidnaps three of Superman's friends in order to force him to retrieve the key for him. Despite help from the Martian Manhunter, Mongul escaped with the key. He activated Warworld and sat at the control chair, which through a direct interface allowed the operator to mentally control the vast array of weapons. Superman recruited Supergirl to help attack Warworld, but its arsenal (including skyscraper-sized nuclear missiles) proved too powerful. The duo realized that it was the control chair itself that caused the extinction of the Warzoons, since the neurological stress eventually killed the operator. They deliberately taxed the system until Mongul fell unconscious.
Warworld's remaining automated systems still represented a threat, however, so Supergirl breached the defenses by flying through Warworld at supralight speed. Superman followed and set Warworld to self-destruct. He attempted to retrieve Mongul but the would-be conqueror had already escaped by unknown means.
After the DC Universe's history was changed during Crisis on Infinite Earths, Warworld was reintroduced in a multipart storyline in the Superman comics. In this version, Mongul had obtained Warworld from a trio of aliens called the Council of Overseers who allowed him to use it to form his own space empire (by threatening other races into submission with it.) Superman, who had exiled himself from Earth at the time (as a result of mental problems caused by his execution of three Phantom Zone criminals) stumbled onto Mongul's empire, and ended up being forced to fight in Mongul's gladiatorial games. Superman defeated the ruling champion, Draaga, but refused to kill him. Eventually, Superman defeated Mongul. He also found the Eradicator during these events. Draaga ended up as the new figurehead ruler of the empire, but he soon abandoned his position to look for a rematch against Superman.
Warworld was next seen years later in another multipart storyline in the Superman titles, "Panic in the Sky", in which Brainiac had taken it over and used it to attack Earth. With help from many of Earth's other superheroes, Superman defeated the attack and left Warworld in the care of Orion. Draaga was impressed by Supergirl and gave up his grudge against Superman; he sacrificed himself to save others in the battle on Warworld as it was en route to Earth. This invasion allows the entity known as Clawster to escape to Earth; he would plague Superman many times.
In the Reign of the Supermen storyline, Mongul and the Cyborg Superman had aspirations to transform Earth into a new Warworld. They destroyed Coast City and damaged Metropolis to set up massive 'engine-cities'. Their plans were foiled by the resurrected Superman, Supergirl, Superboy, Steel, the Eradicator, and Hal Jordan.
Years later, in yet another multipart Superman storyline ("Our Worlds at War") the space villain Brainiac 13 turns the planet Pluto into a new Warworld, but Superman, his powers incredibly boosted by diving into the sun, destroyed it by literally pushing it down a Boom Tube extending into the past that had been created by a combination of Brainiac 13's temporal technology and Darkseid focusing his power through Tempest.
In The Legion #5 (Oct. 2001), which is set in the far future, this Pluto/Warworld was a focus of a backup story; in this continuity it was not destroyed by Superman.
When Warworld was destroyed upon its invasion of Earth with Brainiac, its inhabitants went to Metropolis. In order to get the remainder of war machines activated they went underground and took control of Metropolis's Underworld, a sewer system in which rejected denizens resided. Their leader, Clawster, was defeated by Superman and they were captured by Project Cadmus. An attack by Doomsday frees Clawster and many of his followers, whom Doomsday then kills.
- Warworld appeared in the animated Justice League series during its first season, in two episodes aptly named "War World" (that closely adapted the first post-Crisis Warworld story).
- Warworld appears in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Duel of the Double Crossers." Batman (alongside other aliens) was taken there by Jonah Hex to compete in the games. This Warworld, like the Warworld from the DC Animated Universe, is more like a regular planet than a satellite. In "Death Race to Oblivion" Mongul threatens to destroy the Earth with his Death Star-like "Warmoon."
- The Young Justice: Invasion episode "War" introduces the Warworld. After Mongul learns that the alien Reach are infiltrating Earth by posing as its allies and seek to exploit its metahuman potential, Mongul attempts to destroy Earth with the Warworld. Members of the Justice League defend the Earth from the ship's assault while their teenage strike teams invade in an attempt to remove its activating key, shut down its power source, or physically defeat Mongul. They achieve all three goals, but the key ultimately ends up in the hands of Blue Beetle, who is now controlled by the Reach. Only one member of The Team's strikeforce, the loose cannon Arsenal, manages to evade capture and is pursued by Reach soldiers for several days before the four metahuman Runaways are sent to rescue the Team by Lex Luthor. Though the group are discovered trying to release the captive Team members by the Reach enforcer Black Beetle, they manage to escape with the Team when Arsenal releases Mongol from stasis. The battle between Mongol and Black Beetle allows the Light operative Deathstroke to steal the key unbeknownst to the Reach, though Mongol is later defeated again. Black Beetle secretly guards the key chamber with members of the Justice League, but is later lured away to a summit with the Light, allowing Vandal Savage and Klarion to seize control of the Warworld with the key. Vandal Savage uses the Warworld to threaten the citizens of the planet Rimbor, and later travels to Apokolips as part of a prearranged deal with Darkseid.
- In CW's Supergirl, after Supergirl is defeated by alien gladiator Draaga, Mon-el notes that he saw the gladiator fight on Warworld, where he sustained an injury to his leg that could give her an edge if she encountered him again. Using her x-ray vision, she spots the injury and exploits it to subdue Draaga.
- Warworld is featured in Superman Returns (video game).
- Mongul and Warworld are also featured in the BBC Radio adaptation of the Reign of Superman storyline.
- The Essential Superman Encyclopedia
- Superman (vol. 2) #66 (April 1992)