An ancient foe for the heroic group known as the Justice League -- the space tyrant of Kalanor, Despero! Despero was originally a scrawny (but highly intelligent) member of the Kalanor race who used his third eye to mentally dominate those around him.
However; after facing many defeats at the hand of the Justice League he decided he needed to change and thus he took a risk and bathed in the Flame of Py'tar. The Flame granted him a vastly improved physique and reality warping abilities -- over time he lost the reality warping powers, but kept his physique.
Combining brains and brawn -- Despero is one team-buster that the Justice League struggles against, time and time again.
So, let's dive in.
Table of Contents
- Profiles/Handbook Entries/Statements
- Powers & Abilities
- Physical Statistics (Strength/Speed/Durability/etc.)
- The Third Eye (Mind Control/Telepathy/Telekinesis/Illusions/etc.)
- Regeneration/Molecular Control
- The Flame of Py'tar (Reality Warping)
- Nth Metal Evolution (Death of Hawkman Era)
- Fights + Battles
1.0 - Origin
While a small portion of his origin was touched upon in the introduction it's beneficial to get the story from Despero himself.
Basically -- Kalanor was originally ruled by a different species; however, they built a massive nuclear reactor that backfired and led to the death and/or mutation of that species. From the resulting radiation storms a lower life form began to evolve, and from this came Despero's ancestors.
They were all intensely competitive and slaughtered one another for control. Eventually, Despero's father was the winner and ruled over the planet of Kalanor. Despero's mother, also competitive, tried to kill his father but failed -- fortunately for Despero, he would succeed.
Despero would then go to face off against the heroes that made up the Justice League, suffering from several humiliating defeats and leading to his imprisonment. When Despero made it back to Kalanor he was determined to become stronger and he believed that the Flame of Py'tar would aid him in that. He stepped into the Flame and endured extreme pain and agony, his atoms shattered and he became nothing -- but then he was reborn.
2.0 - Profiles/Handbook Entries/Statements
Here's where all the various profile entries or discussions about Despero's power(s) will be thrown in -- they're mostly here for fun and to use as a quick reference.
Issue (Scan 2): Who's Who in the DC Universe #2 - Booster Gold to Starman
The first feature in Who's Who shows a pre-Flame of Py'tar Despero; the second feature is post-Flame.
A common theme in the second volume of R.E.B.E.L.S. was to list the homeworld and abilities of characters it featured. Despero is listed with strength, speed, invulnerability, telepathy, telekinesis and mind-control.
All of those attributes will be featured in the powers & abilities section -- but it's nice to see them summarized here.
A fun little bit of statistics about Despero that come from a file on 'Interstellar Marauders' -- he's conquered 46 worlds, destroyed 16 and killed 5.6 billion sentient creatures.
The best part is that 1.0 billion of those murders are listed as 'too gruesome' to detail.
From the New 52 -- Tim Drake describes Despero to the other Titans.
3.0 - Powers & Abilities
3.1 - Physical Statistics
After bathing in the Flame of Py'tar, Despero gained enhanced physical attributes that allow him to go toe-to-toe with many of the Justice League's heaviest hitters, thus giving him team-buster status.
Many of his physical attributes will be show-cased in the 'fights' section, but here are some showings that highlight various attributes.
Showings of pure physical strength will be listed here.
Issue: JLA/JSA: Virtue and Vice
Context: After a brawl with several of the JLA/JSA's heavy hitters (Power Girl, Superman, Captain Marvel, etc.) he holds up the weight of the Rock of Eternity.
Context: While fighting for control over his body (L-Ron, a robot, had gained control of Despero's body/mind due to a collar he was fitted with -- Despero would then proceed to fight back and try and resume control, eventually he'd get his body back) he's hit by a car but takes no damage.
Context: Punches a hole directly through a bear, killing it.
Context: Restrains Starro the Conqueror -- though Starro had been weakened by the loss of his connection the the Starfish on his chest. It was never mentioned HOW much weaker it made him.
Context: Punches Superman once and makes him bleed.
Despero has a fantastic defense against blunt-force attacks; however, piercing attacks tend to break his skin.
Context: Is completely un-phased when hit by a speeding subway train.
Context: Endure's re-entry to Earth from outer space, in the first issue we see him leap, in the second issue he lands.
Context: Is pushed into a volcanic eruption by Vixen -- steps out unharmed.
Context: While the body of Despero is inhabited by L-Ron it's mentioned that he can survive in a vacuum.
3.2 - The Third Eye (Mind Control/Telepathy/Telekinesis/Energy Projection/Illusions/Teleportation)
Despero's Third Eye is the source of his mental powers and make him more than just a team-busting brick.
This section will contain examples of when Despero used his telepathy to control the minds of his targets.
Context: Despero put Martian Manhunter, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Batman and Aquaman into a hypnotic trance.
Context: Despero puts Wonder Woman under his control mid-fight and has her attack the Atom -- he's then teleported away by a third party.
Context: L-Ron as Despero uses his mind control to have a security guard stun another -- he said kill because Despero's personality was beginning to reemerge.
Context: In a previous battle (will be featured in the fights section) Despero put MMH & Aquaman under mind control. When he encounters Batman he does the same to him.
Issue: JLA/JSA: Virtue and Vice
Context: Despero has a small army of government agents/soldiers under his control and uses them to attack Black Canary, Green Arrow and Dr. Mid-Nite
Context: Manipulates the minds of the citizens of Rann to have them turn against Hawkman & Adam Strange.
Context: While on Rann he manages to manipulate Cyborg's mind while Cyborg is back on Earth. Rann is at least 4.5 light years from Earth due to it being in the Alpha Centauri star system.
Here are various feats of mind reading or defensive telepathy to shield one's mind.
Context: Despero returned memories to members of the Secret Society that had previously been removed via Zatanna's magic.
Context: L-Ron uses Despero's telepathy to scan a city in an attempt to find Gypsy.
Context: L-Ron had employed telepathic shielding to himself and other members of the JL Task Force in order to deter MMH.
Context: Starro the Conqueror was unable to mentally control Despero due to his third eye -- he had to momentarily destroy it & then plant a Starfish on his face in order to accomplish his goal.
The Third Eye allows Despero to fire beams of pure psionic energy with great destructive capacity.
Context: Despero fires a quick energy blast to KO a Green Lantern duplicate (it was robotic)
Context: Despero fires a paralyzing hypnotic blast to KO some alien soldiers.
Context: Despero fires an energy beam to KO a Green Lantern duplicate.
Context: Blasts a Superman duplicate w/mind-stunning mental energy.
Context: Blows up a house with an energy blast.
Context: KO's Guy Gardner with an energy blast after tanking a hit from his Power Ring.
Context: Blows up an advanced jet being flown by Mister Miracle.
Context: L-Ron uses Despero's energy blasts to KO several security guards in rapid succession.
Despero also employs the usage of complex illusions to disorient or torture his foes in battle.
Context: Forces MMH to experience an illusion where Despero killed all of his loved ones. The result is a drooling & KO'd Manhunter.
Context: N52 Despero - Places Wonder Woman in an illusion in which she is struck at her weakest point -- she seems incredibly fatigued & worn down from all the fighting she's done.
Context: N52 Despero - Placed Captain Marvel in an illusion where he could do whatever he wanted without consequences.
Context: N52 Despero - Placed Flash in an illusion where he thought he'd been saving people & experiencing everything life had to offer via his Super Speed; he hadn't actually gone anywhere or done anything.
Context: N52 Despero - Placed Green Lantern (Simon Baz) in an illusion where he became the terrorist that everyone viewed him as.
Context: N52 Despero - Placed Superman in an illusion where he believed he had killed someone, thus making him feel the need to try and turn back time.
Context: It's revealed to Star Girl that everything she'd experienced in the two issues before this moment was an illusion. Despero made her believe that MMH was killed but that she'd escaped the mental prison within Firestorm -- unfortunately, she hadn't.
An illusion inside an illusion.
Not a very often used ability, but Despero's Third Eye allows for teleportation.
Context: Using his Third Eye he teleported a scientist from Earth -- where she had fled to -- back to Kalanor.
Context: While in a chess-match with MMH, he teleports a life-sized Knight to the JL Watchtower. It's mentioned that it happens 'not even an instant later' and he teleports the piece many billions of miles away.
3.3 - Regeneration/Molecular Control
Despero has a decent healing factor -- it's not as quick as Wolverine's or Deadpool's -- but he can survive total body loss.
Context: Despero's Third Eye had been surgically removed but grew back due to his regenerative powers.
Context: Despero had each one of his atoms scattered across space but was able to reform due to his extreme hatred of the Justice League.
Context: Commentary from Despero about how he was previously reduced to energy patterns that were formless & soulless, drifting through space. He's basically able to will himself back to life via his hate.
Issue: JLA/JSA: Virtue and Vice
Context: Despero's mind had merged with Lex Luthor, allowing him to posses Luthor. When the time was right he transformed the body from a normal human body to his own ultra-durable body, which later allowed him to go toe to toe with heavyweights such as Superman, Power Girl and Captain Marvel, all at once.
For further clarity, Despero was eventually exorcised from Luthor -- we see the two of them separating after this.
Context: Despero had previously been beheaded by Starro the Conqueror. When approached by Vril Dox II it's mentioned that it'd take weeks for Despero to fully regenerate his body -- but it's still possible. Dox did accelerate his healing with science after this, but it's unknown if it was a one time thing or if that stuck with Despero. I'm 99.9% sure it was a one time thing.
3.4 - Flame of Py'tar
This section highlights abilities that Despero strictly when he was fully connected to the Flame of Py'tar -- mostly enhanced energy projection & reality warping.
Context: Here we see when Despero first became reborn in the Flame of Py'tar and then him describing it to MMH. Mentions how he can change matter to energy and energy to matter -- spouts of some comparisons of how god-like he is.
Context: Causes a massive molten explosion in the middle of a city.
Context: Commands the fires within the Flame of Py'tar (that he reconstructed on Earth) to chase after Vixen & Batman.
Context: Another massive, molten explosion.
Context: Created an intense vibrational field (force field) that prevented the JLA from entering. Vibe was able to disrupt the field but MMH then claimed that they were walking into a trap set by Despero -- he was right.
Context: Summons a giant flame-mammoth.
Context: Transforms a skyscraper into the winged Loka of Kalanor.
Context: We see some gargoyles flying around (probably summoned by Despero as there's no other explanation) and Despero fuses Batman & Vixen with a building.
Context: Summons some creatures from Stone to antagonize Batman.
Context: Teleports himself using his third eye -- I don't believe this is a Flame of Py'tar enhanced feat, but seeing as how he was under it's power we might as well include it in this section.
3.5 - Nth Metal Evolution
During the 'Death of Hawkman' story Despero had Nth Metal infused with his body. It granted him some enhanced regenerative properties as well as some shape-shifting and increased durability.
Context: The process in which Despero has his body infused with Nth Metal.
Context: Decommissions a Green Lantern with ease -- he didn't kill him though, as the GL was shown at the end of the series, alive.
Context: A true brawl between Adam Strange, Hawkman and Despero. In this fight we can see that with Nth Metal Despero can shift his body into other shapes (like he did with his arm in the 4th scan) and that he can regenerate much quicker -- seen in the last 4 scans.