If you're going to fight Superman, you have to find a way to counter his powers. Whether through brains, brawn or just plain, unconquerable evil, you've gotta have something on your side. So how is it that an underchieving janitor can be one of his most dangerous foes?
Exposed to radioactive alien waste, menial laborer Rudy Jones found himself transformed into the power-hungry Parasite. Forced to drain the life force from others in order to survive, the Parasite soon ran into Superman - and found he could absorb the Kryptonian's powers and abilities as well.
So Supes has an enemy that he could theoretically beat easily, but he can't get close enough to touch him. If he does, the guy gets all his powers and he's suddenly as weak as a kitten. On top of that, when Parasite absorbs someone, he also gets all their knowledge - which makes him one of the few villains who actually know Superman is Clark Kent. Threatening!
When he first appeared in the comics, Parasite was like a photo negative of Brainiac - instead of a green man in pink underwear, he was a pink man in green underwear. With no discernable facial features and a single white stripe down the center of his chest, it was a really stupid design, and the inspiration for Alex Ross's "chewed wad of gum" take on the character.
Realizing that a normal-sized figure is a bit boring,
the Four Horsemen went for the modern, Ed McGuinness-style Parasite: after years of feeding on people (including draining the excess power from an over-charged Superman), Parasite has become huge and hulking. When the design was originally introduced, he had a circular, leech-like mouth: the Horsemen used the somewhat more human mouth that McG drew. It's still more animal than man, with its big fish lips and barracuda teeth, but it's more human than the original. Parasite has no nose, and no pupils in his yellow eyes, making him even creepier.
No matter how big and mean your character is,
he'd still be boring if he was one flat color.
And yeah, there are really nice shadows that bring out the small details of the sculpt, but that's not what we're talking about. Parasite doesn't wear tiny green underpants in the comics any more - he's solid purple. To break that up, the Horsemen took a cue from the Superman animated series by giving the guy a white harness. While it was originally designed to break up the character's shape, it also bears a weird resemblence to Leeloo's outfit in The Fifth Element. Sexy Parasite!
Actually, by combining the two looks - comic and animated - the Horsemen's design is also an (intentional?) reference to the JLU Season 2 finale, "Epilogue," in which a bulked-up Parasite is a member of the Iniquity Collective. I guess "Injustice Gang" got old.
Parasite's design makes him look like a He-Man character - and that's a good thing.
His arms and shoulders are huge, while his legs and chest are relatively tiny. He has two toes on each foot, and his pose has him hunched over, suggesting his size and bulk. If you stretch him out so he's standing tall, he's a full 7". Sure, he could stand to be a little bulkier, but this isn't as bad as Doomsday. He moves at the ankles, knees, thighs, hips, waist, torso, wrists, elbows, biceps, shoulders and neck. The design of the shoulders keeps him from raising his arms straight up to the sides, but you can work around that easily.
Mattel has seemingly given up on including comicbooks, again, but Parasite does get a cardboard backdrop. Oddly, he gets a scene of Krypton's destruction. Yeah. You know, the perfect thing for an Earth-bound villain. Sheesh. If they had included a comic, perhaps they could have chosen something from the storyline a few years ago where Parasite absorbed the powers of an unknown shapeshifter, and started posing as Lois Lane to screw with Superman. Figuratively, of course. "Lois" was also screwing with Lex Luthor, but in a much more literal sense. Yeah. How messed up is that?
No, really, how messed up is that? Tell us on our message board, the Loafing Lounge.