This page is for the first, and current, Parasite. For the second Parasite from the New 52 see: Parasite (Allen)
Rudy Jones was a worker for S.T.A.R. Labs who believed that the managers kept the paychecks in crates. After opening a crate, he was blasted by radiation which turned him into a purple skinned humanoid. Jones now had the ability to absorb the life energy of other people, leaving smouldering skeletons. This power was necessary for his survival as his own body is in a constant state of hunger for energy that it can't sustain on its own.
Seeking to have the "meal" of a lifetime, he sets his sights on Superman which starts a long-going feud between the Parasite and the big blue boy scout.
Martin Stein, one half of the Firestorm matrix (Ronnie Raymond being the other half) learned he was dying and decided to destroy all the nuclear weapons in the world. This did not sit well with Earth's governments, particularly the United States, who sent the Suicide Squad to Times Square, where Firestorm was holding a press conference. Things quickly got out of control as the Squad and the Justice League were both intent on subduing Firestorm fought one another, and the Parasite (who was brought on the mission against the protestations of both Amanda Waller and Colonel Rick Flag Jr.) is released. He goes on a rampage and apparently kills Multiplex, only being brought under control by the cooperation of both teams. Later, he attacked the new Firestorm who easily subdued him and left him near death.
After a number of years, the Parasite became involved in the plot to save Superman from overloading on solar energy. Rudy and Superman battled on the moon where Superman uncontrollably unleashed an immense blast of heatvision that the Parasite absorbed, causing him to mutate even further into a huge, hulking monster with teeth resembling a leech's. This mutation (Parasite 2.0) again increased Rudy's draining abilities, allowing him to absorb fast-moving objects' inertia as well as making him impervious to telepathic attack to an unknown extent since he could now drain energy through a mental link as he displayed when Dubbilex telepathically attacked him. His extra size and power did have a downside, however; he needed to absorb more energy more frequently in order to stay alive.
Unfortunately for a scientist that was tending Rudy during one of his terms in imprisonment, he was tricked and somehow absorbed into the Parasite. This joining was different from Rudy's others, he actually retained the scientist, Dr. Torval Freeman, as a part of his own mind. This combined intelligence made the Parasite even more menacing.
Because the Parasite can absorb Superman's energy, he is a formidable foe. The Parasite was recruited by Morgan Edge to be part of the second Superman Revenge Squad. Failure followed every one of his encounters with the Man of Steel. After Superman's powers were converted into electrical based ones, the Parasite returned to see what he could absorb from the Man of Steel. However, at this point in time, Superman was not in full control of what was happening with his powers and nearly killed the Parasite. Later, Parasite returned once again, looking to make trouble for Superman but finding himself facing off against Supergirl instead.
At one point, Rudy was contracted to help drain off a being named Strange Visitor's excess electromagnetic energy as she could not fully control it. This exposure to Strange Visitor's power caused the Parasite to mutate again, giving him the ability to fully and permanently retain the intellects of all of his victims and also allowed him to maintain any stolen energy for up to twenty-four hours. Like Torval Freeman, Rudy also absorbed an unknown shapeshifter into his biology, granting him the permanent power to mimic the exact genetic makeup and appearance of his victims.
After he later escaped from S.T.A.R. Labs in the early 2000s, the Parasite began to form a plan to get back at Superman. He began stalking Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen in an attempt to get to those closest to Superman. The Parasite had taken the form of one of his previous victims, an old man, and was run down in the pandemonium that evening when Lois came to his aide. Not realizing that she was actually in contact with the Parasite, the simple touch was all Rudy needed to get the lowdown on Superman. Rudy was surprised to learn from Lois Superman's secret identity. A new plan formed when he realized how close Superman actually was to Lois; the Parasite decided to take her place and tear him down emotionally by pretending to be a scorned Lois Lane.
Parasite's ruse would probably have worked if he had not had enough of Clark's constant apologies and attempts to get to the bottom of his and Lois' relationship problems. In a fit of rage uncharacteristic of Lois Lane, Rudy punched Clark out of their apartment and into the streets of Metropolis. Shortly after this display, Superman got the Parasite to reveal himself in the guise of Lois Lane. Rudy couldn't handle the fact that anyone other than himself as the Parasite took down the Man of Steel.
Just as the Parasite was about to lay the final blow to an exhausted Superman, Rudy drops, completely crippled by kryptonite poisoning he had drained from Superman, unbeknownst to either Rudy or Clark. Superman finally realized the reason he has felt so weakened recently was because he was being constantly drained by the Parasite and also the victim of the mysterious kryptonite poisoning.
When he asked Rudy how long he had pretended to be Lois, the Parasite related his story to the Man of Steel. In his final moments he tells Superman that he still needed to have contact with Lois once every twenty-four hours to maintain his charade, confirming that she is still alive. He also told him that Lois loves him more deeply than he could ever know. The Parasite died before he could tell Superman where Lois was imprisoned. Lois was soon found alive by Superman and Batman inside a cave the Parasite had used as a hideout. Lex Luthor, with whom it is implied the Parasite had engaged in amorous, "extramarital" activity while in Lois' form, was infuriated when he learned of the Parasite's schemes. As such, Luthor went to great efforts to obtain the Parasite's remains.
The Parasite is found to be holed up in , where he uses his power-absorbing abilities to temporarily neutralize the powers of villains, for a fee, so they might evade detection during the course of criminal efforts. It is not explained how Rudy survived his apparent death by kryptonite poisoning several years earlier, although Jones has shown in the past to be capable of regenerating his entire body from being burnt down to the skeleton, so he may very well have simply healed from the kryptonite radiation. How he escaped Lex Luthor's custody is another question entirely. There is also the possibility that this Parasite may not even be Rudy/Torval at all; his face is lacking the monstrous teeth that the Parasite has had for most of his career, his vocabulary is more sophisticated than what is normally associated with Rudy Jones, although this may be a result of Torval Freeman possibly being the dominant personality, and his costume is the one worn by Maxwell Jensen. The Parasite was seen as part of "Superman's Top 10 Most Wanted” and is later seen as a member of the new Injustice League but it has not yet been revealed if this Parasite is the same but he has been revealed to be a resurrected Rudy Jones by Lex Luthor. He can seen as the member of Libra's Secret Society of Super Villains.
Superboy: Smallville Attacks
Conner is confronted by his new best friend Simon Valentine because Simon has become aware of Conner’s secret identity. Unfortunately, Conner didn’t have time to deny Simon’s claim because Parasite appears out of nowhere and attacks them both. Parasite and Superboy tear up most of Main Street Smallville until Conner kicks Parasite into an abandoned wheat field. Superboy puts an end to Parasite by using his tactile telekinesis to manipulate the wheat grain as pummeling force to knock Parasite out. Superboy’s victory is short lived when Poison Ivy captures him with vines that are laced with kryptonite.
Conner tries to break free but Poison Ivy keeps him docile by showing him that she has Simon under her control. Ivy explains to Conner that she is trying to save Smallville because someone in Smallville is corrupting mother Earth but she needed Conner’s help and she knew Conner wouldn’t come willingly so she hired Parasite to subdue him. Conner laughs off her explanation because he has noticed the activity in Smallville. It turns out certain sections of town are being overrun by unusual vegetation. Leaving Ivy with no other choice, she seduces Conner with her pheromones thus making him a bit more compliant.
Krypto arrives on the scene and he remembers Ivy from their last encounter when Hush was ruining Batman’s life. Ivy asks Krypto to trust her and even though the situation didn’t smell right, he allowed Ivy to leave with Conner. Ivy tells Krypto to guard Parasite and protect Simon until they return. Krypto reluctantly agrees to her request. As soon as Ivy left with Conner, her hold over Simon began to fade. Simon takes this opportunity by extracting some of Parasite’s blood in order to discover weaknesses that Superboy may not be aware of and perhaps bend Parasite’s blood to his will.
Ivy and Conner arrive at a farmhouse that seems to be the epicenter of the peculiar greenery. Conner uses his x-ray vision to locate any signs of life while at the same time scoping out Ivy since her pheromones haven’t exactly worn off. Ivy notices Conner’s wanton stare and just as she was about to flirt with him, Conner spots a person that is hanging in the farmhouse. They discover old man Gilliam has a series of wires sticking out of his chest. Superboy follows the wires to a machine that is fitted with a timer which is set to go off in five minutes. Conner doesn’t know what to do because yanking out the wires might kill the old man or set off the device.
Ivy on the other hand, didn’t care about the old man so she ripped out the wires which caused the vegetation in one section of town to die off but the old man died from post traumatic shock. Ivy loses her control over Conner because his rage and moral perspective finally counter acted her pheromones. Ivy uses her kryptonite vines to take down Conner. Fortunately, Simon used Parasite’s blood on some of his experimental frogs. Their mucus like skin emitted the Parasite’s absorbing abilities and Simon controlled the frogs by via remote control. The Parasite frogs converged on Ivy and within seconds, Ivy fainted after being drained of her powers.
With Ivy down for the count, Superboy decides to destroy the machine but the machine’s timer reaches zero and everything within the farmhouse disappears. Conner carries Ivy back to Smallville while Simon heads back home with his newly enhanced amphibians. When Simon made his way back home, he notices a strange rock with ancient runes on it but before he could investigate further, he was scared off by a posse of weird looking farmers.
In the future, Parasite is seen working with Inque, Shriek and Stalker. However, there has been no determination that this Parasite is Rudy Jones or someone else. He is easily defeated by Terry McGinnis and the Justice League Beyond.
Parasite's main power is energy absorption, but he also has enhanced strength and agility. He can absorb the life force of anybody, and can absorb just about any type of energy. He's also able to absorb the DNA of the victim, allowing him to take the powers of a metahuman.
On Earth-22, an emaciated Parasite, who's flesh is showing his musculature, is pursued through Kansas by Magog and his Justice Battalion. Parasite, desperate to escape his pursuers, tears through Captain Atom's shell, causing a nuclear explosion that destorys most of the midwest and kills both he and the Justice Battalion, save Magog.
In All-Star Superman, Parasite appears imprisoned on Stryker's Island. When Lex and Clark Kent pass, he absorbs some of Clark's solar energy- Clark has been super radiated with solar energy to the point where he is dying. Parasite mutates into a much larger form that is little more than a body and a mouth.
Parasite rampages through Stryker's, while Clark surreptioustly saves people from Parasite while using his powers secretly. He is ultimately able to defeat Parasite by causing a small earthquake and causing the floor to collapse under him, burying him in rubble.
Parasite appears as a member of the Legion of Doom in the story Justice He, along with Metallo and Bizarro, assault Clark Kent in his civilian guise. He is ultimately defeated by Captain Marvel, after he absorbs not only Superman's energy, but also his Kryptonite poisoning.
Earth-1 Vol. 2
In the second volumne of the Earth One OGN series by Strawzinsky, the parasite is a man called Raymond Maxwell Jensen, a serial killer who was trapped in an accident in a research facility, which mutate him into the parasite. After a killing spree, he went to Metropolis, with a growing hunger for more power.
Rudy Jones/Parasite appears in the season 2 episode, "Changing." Dr. Rudy Jones is part of a group of scientists who discover a long dead animal that is, strangely, still warm. Dr. Jones is played by William Mapother.
Smallville (TV Series)
In Season 8 episode, "Injustice", Rudy (Parasite) is part of Tess Mercer's team called Injustice League who were sent to hunt down Doomsday. He works alongside with other Injustice members, Livewire, Neutron, Eva Greer, and Plastique. After Neutron was killed by Doomsday and Livewire was killed by Tess, Parasite and Plastique turn against their teamleader, Parasite took all of Clark Kents powers and fought against him. Unfortunately, Green Arrow forces him (by using Kryptonite) to give Clark's powers back. Plastique and Parasite was later transfered into a Prison.
Parasite was played by the actor Brendan Fletcher.
Parasite appears in the film version of All-Star Superman in an adaptation of his appearance in the comic.
Young Justice (Television Series)
Parasite appeared as the villain in episode 24 titled "Performance" where he lives at Haly's Circus during their European Tour in order to steal technology in order to generate a black hole. The team manages to dispatch Parasite by tricking him into absorbing Miss Martian's powers, which leads him to gain her weaknesses as well, making him vulnerable to fire.
DC Universe Online (Video Game)
Parasite appears as one of many DC characters within the MMORPG "DC Universe Online". If you choose to be a villain, you need to fight alongside with Parasite to defeate Power Girl in Metropolis.