The Psychology Of Supervillains Club..September 2020 - Mister Mxyzptlik

The Psychology Of Supervillains Club…September 2020 - Mister Mxyzptlik

Welcome to The Psychology Of Supervillians Club. This month we will delve and dissect Mister Mxyzptlik . Step into his mind and determine what makes him tick

WARNING :
This club will be discussing darker aspects and elements within the DC Universe. These aspects and elements could be viewed as overtly violent, malevolent and possibly offensive to some.

  • We acknowledge that we are not mental health professionals, and are not able to provide any diagnosis or guidance in this regard.
  • This thread does not suggest or support any mental health diagnosis or any guidance of or for people in the real world. We are dealing with purely fictional characters within fictional worlds.
  • Supervillains are potentially driven by deep seated and often dark or disturbing concepts of what they feel is the right thing to do and why the villain is the hero of their own story.
  • We will explore if the supervillain is actually correct in their views and actions, are they justified in what they do and potentially would their fictional worlds be better off if they actually did win and defeat the hero.

The club gives this warning because some may find such discussions disturbing, distasteful, and/or possibly immoral and we want the community to be well aware of what the contents of these discussions can involve.

The Ground Rules: ( Yes…even villiany has to follow a few rules . Don’t take my word for it…Go ask The Legion Of Doom or The Crime Syndicate, they have rules too.)

  • Posts must follow DC Universe Community Guidelines
  • This is a “ safe space ” to explore a sometimes taboo topic…villainy. Why it’s necessary and possibly why villains are often more interesting than the heroes that oppose them.
  • Be respectful of the opinions of others. Did I mention thatPosts must follow DC Universe Community Guidelines
  • There is no such thing as a “right” or “wrong” opinion here.
  • The views expressed are the opinions of the poster and deserve to be acknowledged as a valid opinion, even if you might disagree and debate items. What does that mean? Posts must follow DC Universe Community Guidelines
  • We are dealing with the intricacies of the mind. The one thing we do know is that we can never be ultimately sure what is actually going on in the mind of a supervillian.
  • However, we can conjecture based on what we do know about them and form our own points of view on what makes them tick and have blast while doing it.
  • In case you missed it the 3 times earlier…Posts must follow DC Universe Community Guidelines

Don’t be afraid to be bold, to challenge the status quo, to think in unique ways and be outspoken. Their is no “right” or “wrong” point of view here. There is what we each find in delving beneath the surface and into the mind of our Supervillian Of The Month.

Most importantly, have fun. Enjoy your process. Revel in it. Don’t be afraid to let some of your “evil” out. We’ve all got a bit of it in us somewhere. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t find villains interesting, now would we. :smiling_imp:

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Reminder: Posts must follow DC Universe Community Guidelines

Our September 2020 Supervillian of the month - Mister Mxyzptlik
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While researching Mister Mxyzptlik or Mister Mxyztplik, one of the other canonical spellings of his name. He has had a long run in the history of comics, going back as far as Superman issue 30, sadly not on the service. However, his second appearance in Superman 36 is in the service. So we can go way back to the Golden Age.

As for how to pronounce it? I found references to at least 5 different pronunciations, so feel free to fight about which one is “correct”. Personally, I’ve determined to just refer to him as Mxy.

I am convinced that Mxyzptlik, with its multiple spellings and pronunciations, is 5th dimensional verbiage for “multiple personality disorder”. Over the years he has been shown as an imp like trickster, similar to Puck or Loki (and the real Loki, not the Loki of “the other guys”). To a hardcore villain. He is a big part behind the scenes of Countdown to Final Crisis. He doesn’t get much “screen time”, so that 24 issue arc I didn’t include in the reading list. He also has appearances as an “anti-hero”.
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Below are some video and comic book resources for Mxy available on DCU.

You do NOT need to read or watch all of them.

This is by no means a definitive list.

Just a few pointers to some of his “adventures”. PLEASE feel free to add to it. Watching and reading the entirety of the resources below is not expected.

Comic Resources:
Who’s Who: The-Definitive Directory of the DC Universe - 15 Page 31(1985)

Superman - 36 - (1939)

Superman - 40 - (1939-)

Action Comics - 102 - (1938-)

Action Comics - 80 - (1938-)

World’s Finest - 113 - (1941-)

Superman The Man of Steel - 75 - (1991)

Superman and Bugs Bunny - 2 - (2000)

Superman - 11 - (1986-)

Adventure Comics - 386 - (1938-)

Adventures Of Superman - 496 - (1987)

Adventures Of Superman - 441 - (1987)

Adventures Of Superman - 463 - (1987)

Superman The Man of Steel - 75 - (1991)

Super Friends - 29 - (2008)

Superman Adventures - 6 - (1996)

Superman Adventures - 26 - (1996)

Superman: Emperor Joker - 1- (2000)

Countdown to Final Crisis - 23 - (2008)

DC-Retroactive Superman The 70s - 1 - (2001)

Young Justice - 3 - (1998-)

Impulse - 57 - (1995-)

EXTRA CREDIT
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DC and Looney Tunes 100-Page Super Spectacular - 1 - (2017)

DC Comics Presents: Superman: Lois And Clark and 100-Page Super Spectacular - 1- (2015)

Video Resources

Superman: The Animated Series: Season 2 Episode 8

Superman: The Animated Series: Season 3 Episode 5

The New Adventures Of Superman: Season 1 Episode 16

Super Friends: The Legacy Of Super Powers: Season 6 Episode 2

Super Friends: The Lost Episodes: Season 7 Episode 1

The Adventures Of Superboy: Season 1 Episode 16

The Adventures Of Superboy: Season 2 Episode 8

Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show: Season 8 Episode 3

Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show: Season 8 Episode 6

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What resources you use or don’t use is up to you. The only limit is your imagination and deduction.

Use whatever materials you like in building up your case for his psychology. Although noting what you’re basing it on could be helpful as resources for the club and our members.

I know with the current pandemic circumstances, some folks may have more or less time on their hands than normal.

Since there are video resources, if someone one the club wants to volunteer to setup a watch-a-long for something Mxy related, GO FOR IT!!

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A few random questions to consider.

So what do you think of Mxy?

Which of his incarnations is the most fun/interesting to you?

Should the 90 day rule, after saying his name backwards, always be the case?

Or do you prefer mixing the ways he gets sent back to the 5th dimension?

Hair or bald?

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Without further ado, we delve into the mind of Mxy.
Let the adventure begin!!!

5 Likes

My favorite is the OG Mxy from Superman #30 as represented in Superman TAS! Pure silly fun and Gilbert Gottfried voices him perfectly!

He’s a kid in a grown up world back in his own dimension. So he comes to ours to let off steam and mess with someone who doesn’t think he can be messed with. What happens on Earth-1 stays on Earth-1, eh?

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this villain is the perfect excuse to read Superman solo stories

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I’m really looking forward to the Superman and Looney Tunes stuff. Also, the two superboy episodes. I’ve never watched the series, so that’s gonna be new territory for me.

I think i read the Looney Tunes one for World of Wonder. Mxy is a bit more scheming and nefarious than usual.

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I will be using Mxy to save on keystrokes. The pronunciation i go with is as spoken in an episode of Lois and Clark with Howie Mandel portraying our 5th dimensional focus this month. What I liked about Howie’s version is that he explains how having access to two more dimensions might as well be like magic to the thirds (or whatever derogatory term he used for us filthy humans).

the version portrayed on Supergirl also has its moments.

I was not so keen on the Smallville’s version, but it worked for the show.

the animated New Adventures of Superman episode is a bit more golden age. we will have to compare to the books. that cartoon is an extension of the George Reeves show, which gives it its own context.

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I never watched Lois and Clark. I’ll have to see if I can find that episode. Howie Mandel as Mxy does seem like creative casting. I did like Gilbert Godfrey as Mxy in STAS. A great casting, but it was Andrea doing the casting so I’m not surprised.

I’ll have to check if Lois and Clark is on Hulu.

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the Lois & Clark should be on the service. or at least that’s where I saw it. when it first aired, there was some interview or similar about it. Howie told the interviewer that when he was cast as Mxy from the fifth dimension, he made a joke about hoping to meet Marilyn McCoo.

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Gave the New Adventures of Superman episode a rewatch. Mxy is a ginger (vs the usual white hair). Also more red in his outfit, The crazy eyes when using his abilities is something I chalk up to “preserved for historical purposes”.

they mentioned the return in 90 days.

the Mxy pronunciation feels forced.

also, stick to the end for the 4th wall wink

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I watched the New Adventures of Superman episode. Gotta admit, Mxy as a redhead, I just ain’t feeling it. The whole eye roll when he’s using his powers I think was both the ifea that power is something that requires physical manifestation. Plus it ate up some frames/time they could reuse.

They certainly played up his impish aspect. Something very Puck about his attitude. Also there is no motivation for telling Superman the secret to sending him back or the 90 day rule. It’s just of exposition. But, this kinda falls back to Puck in a way. That while messing with people, there are parameters he has to work under.

I don’t think he was ever used in the George Reeves series, so it was his first non-book appearance. It certainly shows and his character is a bit rough around the edges. But, I’ve seen plenty of first time on screen appearances that were worse.

the first of the two STAS episodes is really good.

I’ve Never truly considered MXY a Villian … some stories more Villainous than others sure … guess I just thought of him more as an Uber Powered Nuisance. :joy:

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More or less. Since Superman is powerless against magic, he has to outwit/outsmart Mxy in order to defeat him. Mxy’s villainy depends on the telling, which would determine how nefarious he is being portrayed.

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I can see that especially through the Bronze Age. So many stories are based on his impish nature. Which could arguably make him more of an antagonist than a straight villain.

I know I keep comparing him to Puck, but, it he has many of the same characteristics. Puck isn’t really a villain, more of a mischievous pain the rear.

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Right kinda like Batmite lol

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You look at Superman and Batman from the post-Kefauver hearings through the mid 60’s and they really aren’t all that different. Bar-mite has his roots in Mxy’s existence. They were basically able to take virtually the same power set and a slightly different set of hi jinx and got 2 characters for the price of one.

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I haven’t read a ton of Superman and the only time I really saw Mxy was in Whatever Happened to the Man of Tommorow.

In the story he states boredom as his main reason for doing what he does. He also says…

“Did you honestly believe a 5th dimensional sorcerer would resemble a funny little man in a derby hat? Would you like to see how I really look?”

Any thoughts on his appearance in Action Comics #583?

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It’s hard for me to answer which version I like the best becuase I love how unpredictable he is. I really digthe “multiple personality disorder” theory @DeSade-acolyte. Never thought if that but that pretty much sums up the impression of him I’ve always had. It adds an exciting effect, when you’re following a run for the first time and he shows up unexpectedly and you’re like “oh ■■■■, what version of Mxy are we gonna get!” It used to be the same with Joker, reading comics in the 90s, before they turned him into a slasher villain. I’m happy that Mxy still brings that kind of wondering element to Superman runs.

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While the notion that Mxy does have a multiple personality disorder certainly accounts for his erratic character traits depending on what comic he’s in. It is interesting that Mxy (and Bat-Mite) are the only ones never effected by any of the crisis/reboots because they exist in a completely different dimensional plane. Something I haven’t really seen used, the idea that Mxy could always do a callback to a previous continuity because he and Bat-Mite are the only ones who truly know all the history. (At least since Action 30.

I must confess that his impish character seems his most natural to me. The more malevolent Mxy’s just ring sort of hollow to me. It’s like he’s trying on a “new suit of personality clothes” and it just doesn’t quite fit.

Although, I must confess, every story I read, I’m always thinking the same thing. Is this what Puck would do. I suppose I’ve studied way to much Shakespeare in my life and it’s always my grounding point.

Although one thought that occurred is that, being from the 5th dimension maybe he really is Puck.