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I've been waiting for you to come along for quite a while. And waiting makes me... hungry.
~ Parasite
Good evening, Dinner.
~ Parasite to Superman.

Parasite is a villain from DC Comics, frequently appearing as an enemy to Superman. They are a superhuman criminal who feeds off of the energy of people, also adopting their strength and abilities. Parasite has notably been reincarnated and reimagined numerous times by several different characters, although all incarnations of the character share the common desire to drain Superman of his energy and take it as their own.

Biography

Origin

Once a janitor, Rudy Jones became Parasite by stealing from a center. Transformed into the Parasite, he could absorb their physical and mental properties. He began to get to those closest to Superman and was run down in the pandemonium that evening when Lois came to his aide.

Role

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Powers and Abilities

Parasite's namesake ability is stealing and absorbing the strength and powers of anyone he touches. Many versions of Parasite can also absorb the memories and knowledge of the people they have touched, and can use this knowledge against them. Some versions of Parasite can also absorb energy from other sources, like electricity or heat, and even non-physical sources, like kinetic energy or inertia from moving objects.

Not only that, but Parasite can layer different absorbed abilities on top of each other, increasing them as a threat. Since the different incarnations of Parasite are all foes of Superman, Parasite frequently adapts superhuman strength, speed, durability, and stamina, flight, heat and X-Ray vision, superbreath, and many more powerful skills by latching on to the Kryptonian.

However, all versions of Parasite are only able to keep their abilities for a limited time, typically between several hours to several days, meaning they must continuously feed off others to keep their energy. Additionally, Parasite could also adopt the weaknesses and disabilities of his/her prey, such as Superman's vulnerability to Kryptonite and Red Sun radiation, which usually results in their defeat.  

In other media

Television

  • The Rudy Jones version of the Parasite appears in Smallville, portrayed by Brendan Fletcher. In the episode "Injustice", Parasite appears with Livewire, Neutron, and Plastique to form into a team of meteor freak rogues hired by Tess Mercer to search for Davis Bloome. After Doomsday kills Neutron and Mercer kills Livewire, Plastique and Jones decide to go rogue. After taking Clark Kent's powers, they almost kill Tess, until Green Arrow appears and weakens Jones with Kryptonite. The Parasite is forced to return Clark's powers, and both the former and Plastique are returned to jail.
    • The Rudy Jones version of Parasite appears in the show's second season, portrayed by William Mapother. In the episode "Changing", Dr. Rudy Jones is an environmental scientist who is infected by an Angon alien parasite that remained dormant in an arctic wolf's corpse. When he is confronted by Supergirl and Alex Danvers, Jones reveals that he now has the ability to drain the life out of his victims simply by touching them. Eventually, Jones is transformed into a large, purple monstrous creature when he absorbs the powers of both Supergirl and the Martian Manhunter, after which he rechristens himself "Parasite". Parasite goes on a rampage after defeating Mon-El and Guardian, only to be ostensibly obliterated when Supergirl uses plutonium from a nuclear power plant to 'overload' him. Parasite is seemingly revived in "Mr. and Mrs. Mxyztplk" and wreaks havoc in National City once more, though it is later revealed to be an illusion created by Mister Mxyztplk.
    • Raymond Jensen appears in the fourth season, portrayed by Anthony Konechny. In the episode "American Alien", Raymond Jensen is a DEO agent who comes to despise aliens for all of the havoc that have caused in National City. Jensen later defects from the DEO and joins anti-alien activists Otis and Mercy Graves, who bring him to their benefactor, Agent Liberty. Jensen volunteers to be exposed to an Angon alien parasite obtained from the DEO following the Graves' apparent deaths. In "Parasite Lost", Jensen becomes the new Parasite and begins using his new energy-absorbing abilities to kill aliens. He soon targets the medallion of an alien named Amandei to keep the Angon alien parasite in him alive and maintain the alien abilities, though he is ultimately apprehended by the DEO.

Animation

  • The Raymond Jensen version of Parasite appears in the Young Justice animated series, voiced by Adam Baldwin. This iteration seems to be based on Raymond Jensen, the Silver-Age Parasite, given the fact that he takes on the alias of "Ray the Roustabout" in order to infiltrate the Circus. In the episode "Performance", he infiltrates Jack Haley's Circus, while on their foreign tour in Europe, to steal tech using the abilities of the members of Haley's Circus. After stealing Miss Martian's abilities, Superboy discovers him shape-shifted into a clown, resulting in the Parasite's cover being blown. When cornered on the top of the Haly Circus train, the Parasite reveals that he had siphoned Miss Martian's powers and knows that she is, in some way, related to the Martian Manhunter. The Parasite uses Miss Martian's telekinesis to pull Superboy towards him in order to siphon Superboy's powers, then flies off. But Robin manages to pick the Parasite's pocket at the last minute in order to obtain the technology for Intergang's plot to build a black hole generator. When they arrive at Geneva, the Parasite has assembled the black hole generator, but then Superboy suddenly goes berserk after using Lex Luthor's shields and attacks the Parasite. The Parasite manages to drain Superboy's powers again. When asked by Miss Martian on what he has against Geneva, the Parasite stated that he "never liked the food". Red Arrow use a foam arrow on the Parasite, which proves not to work, but the heroes manage to trick the Parasite into igniting gas tanks. As with his usual appearance, he also drains the weaknesses out of his victims, which causes him to be affected by Miss Martian's weakness of fire. The Parasite is then arrested by King Faraday and his agents as King Faraday places an inhibitor collar on the Parasite.
  • The Rudy Jones version of Parasite appears in Justice League Action, voiced by Max Mittelman. This version sprouts tentacles from his torso in order to absorb the powers of anyone. He first appears in "Power Outage" when Superman is summoned to Stryker's Island where the unnamed prison warden tells Superman about Parasite building his energy up by absorbing the energy from the cockroaches. Superman was able to defeat Parasite with Wonder Woman's help. Afterwards, Parasite gets possessed by the Brothers Djinn member Calythos and plans to reduce Earth back to its pre-human state. Superman and Wonder Woman had a hard time fighting Calythos due to him using Parasite's ability. As Calythos starts to form a volcano off the coast of Metropolis, Superman and Wonder Woman trick him into absorbing Martian Manhunter's powers with the side effects having Calythos acquiring Martian Manhunter's fear of fire. Upon bailing from Parasite's body, Calythos is defeated and both villains are detained.
    • The character made his animated debut in Superman: The Animated Series, voiced by Brion James. In the episode "Feeding Time", Rudy Jones is a janitor at S.T.A.R. Labs who helps fence Martin Lebeau steal barrels of purple chemicals from the facility. The barrels ultimately spill their contents all over Rudy and transform him into the Parasite, who nearly kills Lebeau with his new energy-draining abilities until Superman intervenes. Parasite then drains a substantial amount of energy from Superman and discovers his secret identity. With the Man of Steel's powers, Parasite goes on a citywide rampage and traps Superman inside a boiler room at S.T.A.R. Labs as a 'daily recharge' for his crime sprees. Superman manages to free himself and dons a titanium-lead alloy armor to engage Parasite, forcing the latter to grab a piece of Kryptonite (Superman's greatest weakness) and rendering him temporarily amnesiac. In "Two's a Crowd", Superman is forced to ask for Parasite's help in learning the location of an atomic bomb by absorbing the memories of former S.T.A.R. Labs scientist Earl Garver (voiced by Brian Cox), to which Parasite agrees in exchange for a television in his cell. However, Garver's mind unintentionally takes over Parasite during the absorption process and while Rudy fights to regain control of his body, Superman manages to destroy the bomb. As Garver is being incarcerated, Parasite is seen watching TV in his cell. In "Double Dose", Livewire breaks Parasite out of prison and forms an uneasy alliance with him to kill Superman. After defeating Superman, Parasite betrays Livewire and absorbs her powers as well. Superman then triggers the emergency sprinkler system which, reacting with Livewire's vulnerability to water, temporarily strips Parasite of his memories once more. Parasite is then arrested and returned to prison.
    • Parasite appears in Justice League. In the episode "Secret Society", Gorilla Grodd recruits him into his Secret Society (along with Giganta, Killer Frost, Shade, Sinestro and Clayface) to defeat the Justice League. During the final battle, Parasite is defeated by Wonder Woman.
    • Parasite makes non-voiced appearances in Justice League Unlimited. In the episode "Clash", he defeats and absorbs the powers of Elongated Man and Metamorpho, and briefly engages Batman before being apprehended by Captain Marvel. He is later seen as a member of Gorilla Grodd's new Secret Society. In "Alive", Parasite sides with Grodd during the mutiny against Lex Luthor. He is last seen being frozen by Killer Frost.
      • The Batman Beyond era episode "Epilogue" features a different version of Parasite, voiced by Marc Worden. It is unknown whether this Parasite has any form of connection to Rudy Jones. He is seen as a member of the Iniquity Collective, an enemy of the Justice League Unlimited. Parasite is knocked out by Warhawk.

Film

    • The Rudy Jones version of Parasite makes a cameo appearance in the DC Universe Animated feature Superman/Batman: Public Enemies. He is seen battling Superman and Batman along many other villains, trying to claim Lex Luthor's one billion dollar bounty on the Man of Steel.
    • A version of Parasite appears in All-Star Superman voiced. In this version, he possessed a thermal-like vision that helped him to identify sources of energy. Parasite appears as a prisoner on death row at the Stryker's Island prison where Clark Kent is interviewing Lex Luthor. Due to Superman's cells overwhelmed with a massive amount of yellow solar radiation, Parasite was able to absorb his energy without touching him. This provides enough power for the Parasite to go on a murderous rampage. Clark uses subterfuge and his strength to ultimately defeat the creature by throwing debris over him.

Video games

    • The Rudy Jones version of Parasite appears as a boss in Superman: Shadow of Apokolips.
    • Parasite appears as a boss in Superman 64.
    • Parasite was featured in concept art for the console versions and as a main boss in the Nintendo DS version of Superman Returns.
    • The Rudy Jones version of Parasite appears in DC Universe Online. In the villain campaign, Parasite's clones were unleashed on Metropolis University and the players had to fight the Science Police to keep them from being freed. Afterwards, Lex Luthor informs the villains that Parasite has Power Girl barricaded in Metropolis University's library. Lex stated that he enlisted Parasite's help in order to harvest Power Girl's DNA in exchange that Parasite has a Kryptonian-based meal. In order to help Parasite get to Power Girl, the players had to use the mutagen Lex Luthor developed on some meta-powered University students transforming them into Parasite-resembling Leeches. Parasite uses the Leeches in order to disable the force fields. Once the force fields are disabled, the players had to infect more University students to help Parasite defeat Power Girl. When Power Girl is defeated with the help of Parasite and his Leeches, the players take a sample of Power Girl's DNA.
    • The Rudy Jones version of Parasite makes a cameo appearance in Injustice: Gods Among Us.
    • The Rudy Jones version of Parasite appears as a playable character in Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham.
    • Parasite appears as a playable character in Lego DC Super-Villains .

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Movies
Superman: Lex Luthor | Otis | Eve Teschmacher | General Zod | Non | Ursa
Superman II: General Zod | Non | Ursa | Lex Luthor | Otis
Superman III: Ross Webster | Corrupted Superman | Vera Webster | Lorelei Ambrosia
Superman IV: The Quest for Peace: Lex Luthor | Nuclear Man
Superman Returns: Lex Luthor
Superman: Doomsday: Doomsday | Superman Clone
Man of Steel: Sword of Rao (Zod, Faora-Ul, Nam-Ek & Jax-Ur)
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: Lex Luthor | Doomsday | Anatoli Knyazev

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