Imperiex as seen in Superman: Metropolis Secret Files & Origins #1 (June 2000), art by Pablo Raimondi.
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceSuperman #153 (February 2000)
Created byJeph Loeb
Ian Churchill
In-story information
Notable aliasesDestroyer of Galaxies, Galaxy Slayer, Eater of Galaxies, Devourer of Galaxies, Lord Imperiex
  • Superhuman strength, speed, and durability
  • Energy projection
  • Can induce a Big Bang event

Imperiex (/ɪmˈpɪəriɛks/) is a supervillain character that appears in comic books published by DC Comics. He was initially introduced as an adversary to the superhero Superman before becoming a main antagonist for DC Comics' the "Our Worlds at War" crossover.[1]

Publication history

Imperiex made his debut on Superman #153 (February 2000), cover by Ian Churchill.
Imperiex made his debut on Superman #153 (February 2000), cover by Ian Churchill.

The character first appears in Superman (vol. 2) #153 (February 2000), and was created by Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness. The character is heavily inspired from Galactus in Marvel Comics.[2]

Fictional character biography

The embodiment of entropy, Imperiex takes the form of pure energy contained inside a colossal, humanoid set of armor.[3] Since the dawn of time, he has repeatedly destroyed the universe to create a new one from the ashes of the old. He is first mentioned when Mongul II arrives on Earth stating that Imperiex has destroyed his Warworld and is heading for Earth. Mongul convinces Superman to help him fight Imperiex, and the two apparently manage to defeat it. However, it transpires the "Imperiex" they encountered was nothing more than a probe of Imperiex Prime, the real Imperiex who is a much larger and more powerful being. He has detected imperfections in the fabric of the universe, and his ultimate plan is to destroy it and create a new, perfect one. To do so, Imperiex Prime heads for Earth, the planet which holds the universe together after being the center of the Crisis on Infinite Earths, to destroy it and thereby induce a new Big Bang.

Before arriving on Earth, Imperiex obliterates countless other planets including Kalanor, Karna, and Daxam. After destroying Karna, Imperiex arrives at Almerac, the home of Maxima, and not only destroys Almerac but "hollows" the whole galaxy, as one of the other whole galaxies that are also targeted for demolition. After this, the survivors of the dead worlds, along with Earth, Apokolips and Brainiac 13's new Warworld, form a coalition, with Darkseid as its commander, to fight Imperiex Prime and his probes, which are created by Imperiex's ship. Finally arriving at the Milky Way Galaxy, Imperiex sends in numerous probes, which are revealed to be machine-colony "Hollowers". On Earth, these machines destroy Topeka, Kansas, seven other places on Earth's seven continents and Atlantis, when they began to dig into Earth to ready it for Imperiex's final demolition.

Imperiex and Brainiac 13 are killed at the moment of the Big Bang. Artwork from Action Comics #782 (October 2001).
Imperiex and Brainiac 13 are killed at the moment of the Big Bang. Artwork from Action Comics #782 (October 2001).

President Lex Luthor rallies the super-heroes of Earth, the U.S. military, and other countries, such as Pokolistan, together for the coming battle, but decides that Superman alone does not have enough power to lead the kind of strike force required. He thus arranges for Doomsday to be released from captivity, 'anti-hero' telepath Manchester Black temporarily 'reprogramming' Doomsday's mind so that his traditional hatred for Superman is briefly transferred to the Imperiex probes. Superman and Doomsday fight the probes and manage to destroy several until Imperiex Prime himself is finally drawn to them. Doomsday is outmatched and vaporized, only his skeleton remaining, though Darkseid saves Superman from a similar fate. Thanks to the sacrifices of Strange Visitor and General Rock, Earth's forces manage to crack Imperiex's armor, intending for Darkseid to use Boom tubes to transfer Imperiex's energies back to the galaxies he had destroyed to prevent them from triggering a new big bang. Brainiac-13 appears on the battleground with his Warworld, absorbing the Imperiex energies into it and himself and vowing to use them to rule everything. Superman dives into the sun to acquire a sufficient power boost to oppose Brainiac, but when it is then discovered that Warworld cannot be destroyed without releasing Imperiex and triggering another Big Bang, he has the Martian Manhunter form a telepathic link with other combatants to make a last-minute plan.

With his powers having been weakened following Brainiac's attack, Darkseid uses Tempest as a magical focus for his abilities, empowered by the faith and strength of the Amazons, and focusing his energy through Steel's new 'Entropy Aegis' armor (created on Apokolips from a burned-out Imperiex probe, originally for Superman to wear it).[4] Meanwhile, Lex Luthor activates a temporal displacement weapon on Earth. The weapon's energies are then combined with Darkseid's Apokolips energy to create a temporal boom tube. Using his new power boost, Superman is able to literally push Warworld itself through the boom tube, sending both Imperiex Prime's and Brainiac's consciousnesses back to the Big Bang, destroying both villains through a combined effort while negating any effect they would have had on the present. In his final moments, Imperiex Prime realizes, in an ironic twist, that the imperfection he had detected in the universe was himself.

At least 8 million people on Earth die during the war. The total number dead in the DC Universe is stated to be countless. Several heroes also die, including Maxima, Aquaman, Guy Gardner, Queen Hippolyta, General Sam Lane (Lois Lane's father), and Steel are all presumed dead, but later return alive for different reasons.

Powers and abilities

Being the embodiment of entropy, Imperiex wields the power of the Big Bang itself, and can project powerful blasts of energy as well as create black holes capable of sucking up entire universes. He also possesses superhuman strength, durability, and speed, and can create smaller probes resembling him.

Other versions

Imperiex appears in Injustice, keeping his mainstream continuity as foe of Superman. He was defeated and thrown into the Phantom Zone where he would be encountered by Plastic Man sometime after the fall of the Regime.[5]

An alternative version of Imperiex appears in Justice League: Gods and Monsters. He appears in issues #7-8 as the evolved form of Doctor Psycho clad in giant purple armor powered by the Forever People experiments. Imperiex was defeated by the Justice League with the heroes going into his armor and destroying it leaving a wounded but desperate Psycho to be killed by Wonder Woman.[6]

In other media

Imperiex as he appears in the animated Legion of Super Heroes.
Imperiex as he appears in the animated Legion of Super Heroes.

Imperiex appears in Legion of Super Heroes, voiced by Phil Morris.[7] The character was deemed to be a big enough threat to be used as the primary villain for the entire second season, but enough of a blank slate that his "real" DC Universe history could be modified for the TV version.[8] This version was originally an alien who was raised in a gladiator lifestyle, and over time had his body modified by technology until nothing remained of his original self. In the 41st century, he had conquered most of the universe and wiped out nearly all resistance to him, with a clone of Superman named Kell-El among the forces left to oppose him. Unable to stop Imperiex, Kell-El travels back to the 31st century to recruit the Legion of Superheroes. Although Brainiac 5 comes up with a plan that appears to stop him, Imperiex is able to take the device Kell-El used to travel through time and use it to escape to the 31st century. In "Message in a Bottle", Imperiex and his armies invade the Fortress of Solitude to steal "The Messenger" from the shrunken city of Kandor. To stop him, Brainiac 5 was forced to tap into the original Brainiac's knowledge and use it to turn the sun yellow, allowing the Kandorians to fight back. However, it turned out Imperiex intended for Brainiac 5 to do that so he would succumb to Brainiac's influence and become evil. When this plan succeeded, he is ultimately killed by Brainiac, who no longer has any use for him.

In the Legends of Tomorrow episode "Marooned", Imperiex was mentioned by Rip Hunter when Hunter, Mick Rory, Professor Stein and Jefferson Jax are being held hostage by pirates. Hunter mentions "The Imperiex Onslaught" as a code phrase to trigger an emergency protocol in his ship's artificial intelligence unit Gideon.


  1. ^ Cowsill, Alan; Irvine, Alex; Manning, Matthew K.; McAvennie, Michael; Wallace, Daniel (2019). DC Comics Year By Year: A Visual Chronicle. DK Publishing. p. 284. ISBN 978-1-4654-8578-6.
  2. ^ Cowsill, Alan; Irvine, Alex; Korte, Steve; Manning, Matt; Wiacek, Win; Wilson, Sven (2016). The DC Comics Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to the Characters of the DC Universe. DK Publishing. p. 150. ISBN 978-1-4654-5357-0.
  3. ^ Greenberger, Robert; Pasko, Martin (2010). The Essential Superman Encyclopedia. Del Rey. pp. 124–126. ISBN 978-0-345-50108-0.
  4. ^ Wallace, Dan (2008). "Imperiex's Entropy Aegis". In Dougall, Alastair (ed.). The DC Comics Encyclopedia. New York: Dorling Kindersley. p. 93. ISBN 978-0-7566-4119-1. OCLC 213309017.
  5. ^ Injustice #19
  6. ^ Justice League: Gods and Monsters #2
  7. ^ Steve Ekstrom. "SDCC '07 - DC TV Cartoons Panel". Archived from the original on 2007-10-11. Retrieved 2007-10-08.
  8. ^ Jami Philbrick. "Legion Season 2: Back to the Future". Archived from the original on 2007-10-11. Retrieved 2007-10-08.