With DC Comics slowly finding its mojo in a battle against Marvel to be crowned box office champ, Warner Bros. appears to firing up its superhero machine on all cylinders. With anticipation for Wonder Woman and Justice League at a near fever pitch, the studio is doing everything they can to create a cohesive world that moviegoers will care about. Also factor in the stand-alone Batman film that Ben Affleck is putting together (and his role in Justice League) and it sure seems like he is the glue holding all of this together.

And this is as it should be. However, Superman is still a very big deal, and with Man of Steel 2 now in the development stage, lets not let Henry Cavill and Co. get lost in the shuffle. As Warner Bros. finds their way within this cinematic universe, it would be hard not to imagine a sequel that bests the original Man of Steel. Especially if recent rumors that J.J. Abrams may direct.

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Even with a great director at the helm, the thing that will make this sequel stand out is the storyline and its villain. So, who is going to be Superman's nemesis? One thing Batman V. Superman sort of dropped the ball on was the entity that these giants were battling. As epic of a thing as it was to have Batman and Superman get together on the big screen, Doomsday just didn't seem to match the gravity of that event. Call it the execution, blame it on the writing, but when people compare your "bad guy" to a piece of crap (literally, feces) you've done something wrong.

So who will this new baddie be? This is a choice that DC doesn't want to make lightly. They need a bad guy that is going to grip the imagination. Even more than that, they need an actor that is up to the task. We've seen the Joker done and redone and, no offense to Jared Leto, for now that character should be left alone.

The good news is that the Man of Steel has no shortage of enemies. There is such a plethora of unhappy super villains roaming the DC universe,  Warner Bros. could seriously consider putting a few of them in this new Superman film. So sit back and enjoy as we breakdown '9 Villains Who Could Be In Man of Steel 2'.

Brianiac

Brianiac

Apparently, this thorn on Superman's side is at the top of the list of the villains being discussed to appear in Man of Steel 2. Brainiac's ability to produce "kryptonian superpowers" are the the kind of thing that will give Superman a lot of problems. The fact that he's smarter than most of the baddies on this list will certainly help him. Another factor that could make him a "the man" in Man of Steel 2, is the fact that much of his strength and power has to do with energy. From a purely cinematic standpoint this could almost completely neutralize Superman, while at the same time giving viewers the kind of motion picture spectacle they've come to expect from these films. Factor in his ability to fly and it's almost like Superman is taking on a mostly indestructible version of himself!

Mongul

Mongul

The fact that there is a younger and a senior version of Mongul, and that he has a personal history with Superman, makes the idea of bringing this character to the big screen very exciting. The interesting part about Mongul is that he can match Superman in strength, speed, stamina, etc. His son possesses these attributes but (and this is where the personal connection comes in) at one point he and Superman seemed to work side by side. In fact, according to comic book lore the Son of Mongul apparently trained Superman to battle Imperiux. Now, Mongul's inclusion as a villain in DC's cinematic universe is entirely contingent on where DC decides to go regarding the comic book time line. (As you may recall, the Batman V. Superman seemed to suggest a world where a graying Batman had already been through a long history of fighting crime.) However, the thing that really makes Mongul intriguing is how he seems to be a part of Superman's story. They have a bond and, if you recall Batman V. Superman, a bond with the Super one can literally be the difference between life and death.

Darkseid

Darkseid

This character's arrival was really hinted at in Batman v. Superman. However, the hint was in a dream sequence with Batman and not Superman. However, since these are films in a "shared universe." Would it be so hard to imagine Darkseid as the villain and Superman, Batman and the rest of the Justice League teaming up to defeat him? I realize this probably isn't going to happen. Not in Man of Steel 2 anyway. Darkseid, with immortality (among other things on his side), is too major of a villain to just share the screen, or appear at the end of Man of Steel 2 as a lead in to the Justice League movie. All that said, this villain is going to be a very tall order for DC to pull off. However, if they can, Darkseid's presence could really be the boon that the DC Comics franchise needs.

Cyborg Superman

Cyborg Superman

As a human cyborg, Henry "Hank" Henshaw would be a truly interesting choice for a villain. Many of these films examine the idea that man is ultimately at war with himself. Add to this that humanity often creates the very things it fears, and Cyborg Superman could be DC's deepest cinematic offering to date. Considering that Henshaw starts off as human and is inadvertently turned in to Cyborg Superman by Superman himself, only serves to underline the themes these movies are trying to put across. Add to this that Henshaw sees the eradication of Superman in a similar way that Batman (in Batman V. Superman) originally did, one can only imagine the conversations Cyborg Superman and Batman might engage in. Again, a lot of this depends on how DC chooses to follow the comic/film storyline. At the very least, if Superman finds himself up against more than one villain, Cyborg Superman could certainly give him a few headaches.

Metallo

Metallo

It's never good to have enemies that are immortal. Unfortunately, Superman has more than a few. Metallo's story has pretty much stayed the same over time. He was originally a thief and murderer who almost died. He was "resurrected" by a mad scientist who gave him the body of a robot and engendered him with traits like durability, super-strength, etc. One thing this character possesses that really allows him to stand out is a kryptonite energy source that serves as a weapon against Superman. All villains have an achilles heel. Usually, over the course of a film this flaw is revealed and capitalized on. However, Metallo can match Superman with the one thing we all know he can't deflect. Now, having kryptonite as his life's blood isn't a guarantee of victory, but it's something that a villain as cagey as Metallo could eventually use as his trump card.

Sam Lane

Sam Lane

We often hear about wives battling with the mother's of their husbands. This idea could be turned on its head if Sam Lane was the proverbial thorn in Superman's side. What makes this character a wild card is that Superman isn't literally battling Sam Lane. An actual fight between the two would be no contest. Sam Lane doesn't possess any superpowers that could ward off an attack from the Super one. However, what Sam does have is allegiances. If parents are often skeptical with their kid's choices in mates, Sam Lane is downright indignant. His Kryptonite comes in the form of ties with Lex Luthor and other people that can cause Superman problems. The fact that Superman is in love with Lois Lane (Sam's daughter), makes how Superman can handle Sam Lane very problematic. If Lane were thrown in the villain mix, it would mean that this would be the battle of the alter egos. Superman vs. the real Sam Lane (or at least the Sam Lane that doesn't always want to be battling with his daughter). Lastly, Sam Lane will probably not be the main villain in any Superman film, but he can certainly provide plenty of assistance to those who are. And honestly, he views Superman as a menace and is worried about people's safety, as a military man isn't this his job to do that? Ultimately, aren't he and Superman fighting the same fight? In-laws! Can't live with them and you can't live without them.

Parasite

Parasite

Like a lot of super villains this guy became one by accident. After opening some containers filled with radiation, Rudy Jones had his body transformed. He suddenly became a ghastly, green villain who could literally suck the life out of anybody he came into contact with. About the only thing Superman had going for him against this nefarious being is that Parasite was unable to suck all the life from Superman. It had to be this way, right? Otherwise it would have been game over for the Man of Steel. Parasite could be an awesome villain in Man of Steel 2. He really fits the bill of the prototypical villain. Add to this that Darkseid had a hand in turning Rudy Jones into Parasite, and suddenly it seems like a lead in to the Justice League movie could be born from this very plot. I know, there's probably a timeline in the comic book realm that ultimately makes this pairing impossible. However, if DC wants this character bad enough, their film division could figure out a way to make it happen.

Mister Mxyzptlk

Mister Mxyzptlk

Okay, this guy's difficult name alone will probably keep him off the super villain short list that Warner Bros. is putting together. However, if it can be swung, having this character involved in Superman's potential destruction could actually open new doors for villains in both the DC and Marvel universes. While the look of this character almost takes on Leprechaun-esque proportions, this person might be small in stature but he could give Braniac and even Darkseid a run for their supervillain money. At his core, Mxy has the ability to altar reality. This isn't really something that the other supervillains possess. He is bound by no physical laws. In many ways this character torments Superman with silliness. However, if turned on its head, this silliness could be made sinister and thus make Superman having to deal with Mxy no laughing matter. Add to this that it would finally open up a Joker-like character to another interpretation. Imagine an Adam Devine, Zach Galifianakis or John Cho in such a role? One thing about these new films from DC is that they want to shed their past. They don't want to be your parents Batman and Superman films. If properly played, Mister Mxyzptlk could be totally transformed thus making what he does on screen something to behold and recoil from.

Toyman

Toyman

Like Mister Mxyzptlk, at first glance Toyman might seem like more of a joke. However, with an ability to convert himself into very dangerous toys, this character would be a lot more deadly (and ubiquitous) than one might think. Superman, who always has a full plate of life-saving to do, would find himself with even more to think about as Toyman seems like he could target kids. The fact that he can become an army of toy soldiers with real guns, only serves to make his potential presence in a movie that much more complicated. Confusing things even more is, again, depending on the timeline DC wishes to employ, the fact that Superman and Toyman have worked together in the past. However, their alliance proved to be very fragile and it wasn't long before Toyman returned to his old tricks. As I have said about some of the other villains on this list, Toyman probably wouldn't be the main bad guy Man of Steel 2. However, Toyman could certainly make Superman's life extremely difficult. And, think about this, what if they could get an actor like Jack Nicholson or Edward Norton to play Toyman's alter ego Winslow Schott?

Evan Jacobs at Movieweb
Evan Jacobs