Warning: contains spoilers for Superman 2023 Annual!Superman has named his most underrated villain, confirming that fans misunderstand how deadly they actually are. Superman has a number of foes, such as Lex Luthor or Brainiac, that regularly test his mettle, but in Superman Annual 2023, the Man of Steel confirms a surprise foe is terminally underrated.

Superman 2023 Annual is written by Joshua Williamson and drawn by Mahmud Asrar, Edwin Gaimon, Caitlin Yarsky, Max Raynor and Jack Herbert. As the story opens, Toyman has struck Metropolis again, unleashing deadly mechas on the city. Superman dispatches the mechas, and begins to search for the Toyman, with the assistance of Supercorp. Superman talks to his Supercorp aide, telling him that “too many people think Toyman is a joke, but he’s incredibly deadly.” Superman finds the Toyman, but he is tied up, bloodied and battered. Someone has taken the Toyman’s technology for themselves, and now Superman must find out who.

Superman Warns Not to Underestimate Toyman

Superman Toyman Deadly Foe

The Toyman is one of Superman’s oldest foes. There have been three different versions of the character, but the first, and best known, first appeared in 1943’s Action Comics #64. Born Winslow Percival Schott, the Toyman started as a simple toy maker, but when his business was shut down by Lex Luthor, he swore revenge. Toyman has come into conflict with Superman on many occasions. A genius-level inventor, the Toyman’s darkest story came in the early-1990s, when he began to seemingly go insane. Toyman kidnapped the son of Daily Planet columnist Cat Grant, killing him; it was later explained this was a duplicate of the Toyman, created by the original, that murdered Grant’s son. Despite this retcon, it showed a dark and deadly side to the villain.

Related: Superman’s Ultra-Powerful New Villain is Offically an Unstoppable Force

Toyman’s Technology Is Dangerous

superman vs toyman androids

At first, the Toyman may not seem like the type of villain to fight Superman, but he has taken the Man of Steel down to the wire before. The Toyman is prodigiously gifted in the areas of electronics and engineering, able to create life-like duplicates of himself that fooled even Superman; these same duplicates had feelings and emotions–a level of engineering prowess far beyond the average person. He is also capable of creating giant mechas and has designed a number of lethal toys that kill in creative ways. Recently, in Batman #133‘s ‘The Toy Box’ by Chip Zdarsky and Miguel Mendonca, it was revealed Toyman even found a way to travel the multiverse, finding a world of automatons who he could enslave as a personal army. In short, Toyman has godlike control over synthetic life, allowing him to construct living weapons that challenge even Superman.

superman toyman

Now, the Toyman’s technology has fallen into even worse hands than his, as it’s revealed that Dr. Pharm and Mr. Graft have plans for his inventions. What this means for Superman and the city of Metropolis remains to be seen, but given the carnage in Superman 2023 Annual, it could be devastating. Toyman’s mecha caused a great deal of damage, and they were just the opening salvo. The Toyman may not command the same respect as Lex Luthor or the Parasite, but he is still a worthy foe, something even Superman acknowledges.

Superman 2023 Annual is on sale now from DC Comics!

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