by Russell Burlingame
HISTORYIn the Pre-Crisis Era, this imp came every 30 days to cause Superman trouble that was the amount of time that he was banished the the fifth dimension before he could come back to earth again, after being tricked into saying "Kltpzyxm" (his name backwards). He was a villain who was so crazy it was maddening, and whose magical powers made it hard for Superman to cope with him.
Now, most of the fundamentals remain the same, but the way to send him back varies and there doesn't seem to be any set amount of time between his appearances; just the amount of time that it takes him to get back to this direction after he gets home. And rather than saying his name backwards all of the time, Mxy now just needs "to be beat at his own game" in order to send him back home and rid us of him for a while.
He's even more crazy now than he was in the Pre-Crisis, doing things like animating the Daily Planet building, or taking away Superman's powers and giving them to Lois Lane in a vain effort to reunite the two lovers. Mxyzptlk's name is actually a fairly random order of keys on a typewriter that he had created in the sky when he first faced Supes in the Post-Crisis--the one time since 1987 when he was done away with by being forced to say his name backwards.
Mxyzptlk has matched wits with one other person besides Superman: Lex Luthor, who defended his city from the imp when Superman had exiled himself to space. Lacking any sense of humor, Luthor double-crossed him and attempted to do him in through physical force. In this way, Luthor also taught Mxyzptlk a new trick: lying.
His current whereabouts are unknown (following a story where he was killed by a vicious creature named Badabingbadaboomsday and came back because another vicious creature called Mike Carlin didn't want him), but it's pretty likely he'll be popping up to make Superman miserable sometime this year!
Pretty much anything. Even without powers, his flatulence is pretty deadly.
Myxzptlk's damage and bizarre creations always disappear when he returns to his dimension. However, several Lexcorp officers were crippled by Mxyzptlk and this did not change when he left; whether physical injuries caused by Mxyzptlk are permanent or whether this was a lesson for Luthor about cheating him is unclear.
This article is © July, 1998 Russell Burlingame.
All characters and scanned art are DC Comics