Who's Who in the Superman Comics

Hamilton, Prof. Emil

Eccentric scientific genius and friend of Superman. Emil Hamilton spent years working on a defense device but was frustrated by lack of research money from the government. Hamilton eventually found out that Lex Luthor had arranged to gain ownership of his research and was offering only token compensation to Hamilton. Driven nearly insane by the frustration and Luthor's efforts, Hamilton confronted Superman with a gauntlet of gadgets. After being treated, Hamilton set up a small laboratory in Metropolis' Suicide Slum area and has provided much scientific help to Superman ever since.

Over the years Hamilton has performed some great work. Just to name a few, he analyzed the Eradicator device, assisted Superman with an array of gadgets when he lost his powers to Mxyzptlk's Red Kryptonite, determined the Cyborg that appeared after Superman's 'death' had Superman's DNA, and kept tabs on Superman's amazing solar powered body, being possibly the one man on the planet who knows pretty well how Superman's body really works.

Emil has worked extensively in the past with Metropolis' own S.T.A.R. Labs and on occasion helped out the Special Crimes Unit. Following Luthor's attack on Metropolis, Emil suffered the loss of an arm, which he replaced with a cybernetic prosthetic. He helped save the bottle city of Kandor in the Fortress, worked on repairing one of Superman's "Superman Robots" and gave Superman a contraption which helped him acquire the right state of mind to defeat Dominus.

Emil had dropped out of sight recently getting lost in one project or another and resurfaced shortly after the Brainiac 13 upgrade to Metropolis. He was in his Suicide Slum building when the upgrade occurred and when he finally got his bearings he found himself deep within the bowels of the futuristic cityscape. He had seen some amazing automation under Metropolis and was intrigued by that and simply lost track of time. He couldn't have chosen a better time to return to the surface, as Superman was trying to stop the 'Lunatick' that the Cybermoth's Queen Luna brought back from her trip into the Phantom Zone. The Lunatick escaped Luna's control and kept feeding off the abundant B-13 energy. What kept feeding the growth was Lunatick's connection to the Phantom Zone. Since the B-13 tech upgraded everything in Metropolis this included Hamilton's cybernetic prosthesis. Using the new abilities his attachment gave him and with the assistance of Dr. John Henry Iron's, Hamilton was able to sever the link to the Phantom Zone nullifying the Lunatick's rampage.

Hamilton analyzed the Kryptonian crystal shard that Superman presented to him recently showing the possibility that everything he ever knew about Krypton and its 'destruction' may have been false. Hamilton and Irons engineered a controlled entry for Superman and Lois into the Phantom Zone where he was picking up Kryptonian transmissions. This sent Superman and his bride, back to Krypton. The devices that Emil made to return to the real world were damaged in the events and led Superman and his 'father' Jor-El to improvise on Emil's design from where they were.

It was revealed, in an embittered and feverish battle for control of the B13 technology, that Professor Emil Hamilton was the hidden mastermind behind The Cybermoths, who grew to be a major pirating network, always fighting Superman and Steel and LexCorp for control of the raw B13 tech that was hidden beneath Suicide Slum. Under the guise of The Overmind, Hamilton would kidnap and brainwash teenagers throughout Metropolis, and arm them as Cybermoths.

Premiering immediately after the B13 technology upgraded Metropolis, The Overmind used his knowledge of cybernetics in order to create an entire army of cyber-raiders; for the ultimate goal of mastering the new scientific properties left by the evil Brainiac of the future.

When Superman pulled Prof. Hamilton out of his Overmind armor, the professor stated that he was being controlled by his cybernetic arm. He said that he could not fight its plans. "The plan was so amazing -- so astonishingly conceived." Hamilton claimed that he... under the influence of the arm... was trying to recreate Brainiac 13. This however is in doubt, because when Superman promptly destroyed Hamilton's cybernetic arm with his heat-vision, Hamilton escaped.

Tragically, Superman has learned that with benevolent genius, generosity and honesty do not necessarily follow. The Man of Steel has lost a "friend" and may have gained one of his deadliest foes yet. The Overmind's identity was revealed in MOS #125, which is part of the larger story "Gangs of Metropolis", running from MOS #123-#125.

After much mystery and tragedy, Superman's friend Pete Ross was vindicated when the enigmatic villain Ruin was revealed to be... Professor Hamilton!!! His sole intent was to discourage Superman, and harm the Man of Steel's closest friends. Hamilton believed his ruination was at the hands of Superman, and so he wanted to destroy the legendary superhero and his close friends.

As Ruin, Hamilton succeeded in framing Pete Ross, then led Superman into a deadly face-off. Even as Superman clearly overwhelmed Ruin, the malicious mastermind tried to detonate a bomb on his armor, and leave life causing massive devastation along several blocks in Metropolis. Superman wouldn't have it, and removed the bomb from Ruin's form, hurled it skyward, and saved the city from wanton destruction. It's assumed that Professor Hamilton will now be safely incarcerated, and his threat to Superman and Metropolis neutralized... for now.

First Appearance: AOS #424 (Jan. 1987)

Who's Who in the Superman Comics


This is a listing of many of the notable characters and a few places that have appeared in the Superman comics from the 1986 revamp up until around 2008.

NOTE: A new, and more current version of the Who's Who is currently being worked on and can be accessed by clicking here.

Although Superman often appears in other DC Comics, this text's information is limited mainly to what has occurred in the regular Superman comics.

Many thanks to Scotty V, Derrick Lyle Coleman, Dean Vanek, Genevieve Clemens and Benjamin Grose who all helped out at one time or another with writing and updating these Who's Who descriptions.

The listings are displayed as follows:

  • Surname, Firstname - Text describing the character, place, object, etc...

Relevant issues of the Superman comics are listed as such:
  • SUP = Superman
  • MOS = Man of Steel
  • AOS = Adventures of Superman
  • ACT = Action Comics
  • MOT = Man of Tomorrow

The Issue Number for each of these titles is written in this manner: “#000”. (e.g. SUP #123)

“First Appearance” refers to the issue since 1986 unless otherwise noted.