Bloodsport is an alias used by several fictional supervillains appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. All of these versions exist in DC's main shared universe, known as the DC Universe.[1] Created by writer and artist John Byrne, the original Bloodsport first appeared in Superman #4 (April 1987).[2] Bloodsport is an adversary of the superhero Superman, and the most notable incarnation was Robert DuBois.[3]

The character has been adapted from the comics into various forms of media, including television series and feature films. The Robert DuBois version of Bloodsport made his live-action debut in the television series Supergirl, portrayed by David St. Louis.[4] In the DC Extended Universe, Robert DuBois is portrayed by Idris Elba in the film The Suicide Squad (2021).[5]

Publication history

The character of Robert DuBois, created by writer and artist John Byrne, first appeared in Superman #4 (April 1987) as Bloodsport.[6][7] The second incarnation, Alexander Trent, made his first appearance in The Adventures of Superman #507 (December 1993) and was created by writer Karl Kesel and artist Barry Kitson.[8] The third incarnation, known as Bloodsport III, made his first appearance in Superman #652 (July 2006) and was created by writers Kurt Busiek and Geoff Johns, and artist Pete Woods.[9][10] Demolitia, a female version of Bloodsport, is introduced by writer David Michelinie, and artists Kieron Dwyer and Denis Rodier in Action Comics #718 (February 1996), in which she procured Bloodsport's technology.[11][12]

Fictional character biography

Bloodsport
Bloodsport in Superman #4 (April 1987)
Art by John Byrne
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceSuperman #4 (April 1987)
Created by
In-story information
Alter ego
  • Robert DuBois
Team affiliations
Abilities
  • Considerable strength, stamina and durability.
  • Access to high tech weaponry in a warehouse by using a teleportation device.
  • Skilled in firearms, knives, explosives and hand-to-hand combat

Robert DuBois

Robert DuBois is a Vietnam draft evader, who had a mental breakdown and became obsessed with the Vietnam War after learning that his brother had gone in his stead.[13] DuBois was drafted to serve in the United States Armed Forces. But upon receiving his induction notice, DuBois fled to Canada, not because he was morally opposed to the war, but because he was afraid of death.[14][15] DuBois' younger brother, Michael, reported for induction in his place, passing himself off as Robert.[16] Michael DuBois was sent into combat in Vietnam, where he lost both his arms and legs.[17] On learning that his brother had lost his limbs, DuBois went insane from guilt.[18][19] Robert was finally contacted by individuals in the employment of billionaire Lex Luthor, who sought a pawn to assassinate Luthor's archenemy Superman.[20] Operatives of Luthor, under the direction of a man named Kimberley, played upon DuBois' fixations on Vietnam in order to condition him psychologically to want to kill Superman.[21] They also equipped DuBois with an arsenal of powerful, advanced weapons, including a gun that fired needles of Kryptonite.[22] DuBois then went into action in Metropolis, calling himself Bloodsport.[23] He now claimed that both his brother and he had served in combat in Vietnam and had been injured there.[23] Professing rage at the citizens of Metropolis for wasting the freedom he claimed both his brother and himself fought to defend, Bloodsport indiscriminately slaughtered dozens of innocent people.[23] In his first clash with Superman, Bloodsport severely weakened him with a Kryptonite bullet.[24] After receiving medical aid, Superman confronted Bloodsport once more. Even Luthor, outraged by Bloodsport's murders of so many people due to the attention this would attract to his assault, attempted to stop the mad killer.[25] Superman succeeded in causing the teleportation device Bloodsport used to bring weapons to himself to malfunction.[26] Bloodsport then threatened to detonate his teleporter's power pack, blowing up ten square miles of the city.[27] Superman's friend Jimmy Olsen had learned of Bloodsport's true identity and located his brother.[28] Confronted by Michael, Bloodsport collapsed in grief and was taken into custody.[29] DuBois has a brief encounter with Deadshot, which was eventually broken up by Superman and Batman.[30] He also appeared in JLA/Avengers as a villain who ambushes Vision and Aquaman with a group of other villains.[31] He later fights Steel, but is restrained by Hal Jordan.[32] DuBois remained in prison for several years, and eventually earned the enmity of another prisoner on Stryker's Island who had since taken up the name Bloodsport: Alexander Trent.[33] As racial tension began to overwhelm Stryker's Island, the prison warden decided to host a boxing match between DuBois and Trent.[34] He believed that this was the ideal way to allow the inmates to vent their frustrations without inciting further acts of violence.[33] To safeguard the situation, the warden asked Superman to referee the match.[34] The riot broke out,[35] resulting in DuBois getting his hands on one of Trent's weapons and using it to blast a hole in the prison wall.[36] DuBois ran for freedom, but was apparently shot dead by armed prison guards in the watchtower.[37]

Infinite Frontier[edit]

Following the events of Dark Nights: Death Metal, DuBois was reintroduced back into the DC Universe. After his brother's death, his mental state deteriorated, leading him to become the mercenary Bloodsport. After failing to kill Superman, he was sent to Belle Reve until he was forced into the Suicide Squad with the task of exploring the Multiverse for Amanda Waller's own personal ambitions.

Alexander Trent

Bloodsport
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceThe Adventures of Superman #507 (December 1993)
Created by
In-story information
Alter ego
  • Alexander Trent
Abilities
  • Considerable strength, stamina and durability
  • Access to high tech weaponry in a warehouse by using a teleportation device
  • Skilled in firearms, knives, explosives and hand-to-hand combat
The character of Alex Trent is a fanatical racist, a member of the white supremacist group that both Perry White and Franklin Stern encountered in their youth. He adopts the name Bloodsport, ironically used previously by an African American.[38] He also has a similar teleporter grafted into his body, which he can likewise use to summon weapons.[39] He is captured by Superman after Ron Troupe destroys the warehouse from which he was teleporting his weapons.[40] Some time later, in an effort to provide an outlet for rising tensions at Stryker's Island Prison, a boxing match between the two Bloodsports is organised.[41] Trent is able to activate his teleporter and bring in weaponry.[42] In the resulting confusion, DuBois is killed while trying to escape.[42] Trent is later burned in his prison cell by the Brotherhood for showing weakness in front of DuBois.[43][44] The teleporter technology has since been used by the anti-corporate vigilante Demolitia.[45][42]

Bloodsport

Bloodsport
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceSuperman #652 (July 2006)
Created by
In-story information
Abilities
  • Considerable strength, stamina and durability
  • Access to high tech weaponry in a warehouse by using a teleportation device
  • Skilled in firearms, knives, explosives and hand-to-hand combat
An unknown character took up the mantle of Bloodsport, and eventually teamed up with Hellgrammite, Silver Banshee, Kryptonite Man, Toyman, Puzzler, Livewire and Riot to take on Superman.[46] Superman attempted to stop all the villains, especially as Bloodsport shot at Jimmy Olsen, to which the bullet was stopped.[47][48] After these events, Bloodsport turned up in the crowd of villains transported to another planet in Salvation Run;[49] and to be a quickly defeated menace by Guardian.[50][42]

Characterization

Personality

DuBois pretends that he is a bitter Vietnam veteran who feels greatly betrayed and rejected by his country, thus he enjoys powerful and righteous anger toward his fellow Americans for wasting the freedoms invading Vietnam supposedly helped preserve.[51] However, he has no first-hand experience about this war, ergo, his speeches and character are largely drawn from movies about the war and folk representations of Vietnam War veterans. Though at first he seemed aware that his vet persona was fictional, he grew increasingly delusional and dissociated.[52][53] Described as a very violent and powerful man, DuBois was plunged into a permanent fantasy about being a soldier, and was even feared by the other dangerous prisoners at Stryker's Island Prison in Metropolis.[54]

Powers and abilities

While Robert DuBois has no superhuman powers, he has proven to be a formidable hand-to-hand combatant when needed due to his excellent physical condition and his fearlessness as a fighter.[55] He's in possession of a device that enables him to teleport high-tech weaponry to him from a distant location instantaneously, with many being one-of-a-kind prototypes from advanced LexCorp research projects.[56][57][58][59] Superman has described the arsenal to be "extradimensional" in both quality and quantity.[60]

He is incredibly strong and significantly more durable than the average human, as evidenced by his survival of several physical altercations with Superman.[61][62][26] DuBois' reflexes and senses are extraordinarily keen and allow him to respond to Deadshot and alarm Superman.[63][61][24] He's a quick and accurate shooter with a wide variety of firearms, from handguns to shoulder-fired weapons.[64] He's a fully ambidextrous marksman, and can shoot with either hand without any loss of accuracy or speed.[65] On top of his sheer size and musculature, the insane DuBois seems to have a significant level of manic strength and intensity:[66] In a boxing match, he stood toe-to-toe with Alexander Trent, a man with borderline superhuman strength and reflexes.[67][64]

In other media

Television

Film

Idris Elba as Bloodsport in The Suicide Squad.
Idris Elba as Bloodsport in The Suicide Squad.

Video games

See also

References

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