Justice League: Warworld is out on the 25th of July, and many are probably asking, “What exactly IS Warworld?” This article is a guide to give details on the introduction behind the planet Warworld and its commander, Mongul.

Origins of Warworld

Cover of DC Comics Presents #27

First appearing in DC Comics Presents #27 released in November 1980, Warworld was created by an alien race called the Warzoons, a warlike race that wished to rule the universe. Warworld is a planet covered with gigantic nuclear missiles and cannons meant to destroy planets, with the whole planet being controlled mentally by the control chair.

Over time, control of Warworld passed through various hands — Largas, then Martians — before eventually ending up in the hands of Mongul the Elder, who wanted to activate Warworld to take over the universe. Mongul captures Superman’s friends and forces him to fight Martian Manhunter so he could obtain the key and activate Warworld.

Ultimately, Mongul’s plan works — and then, in good superhero-story fashion, backfires on him: Superman and Supergirl discover that previous users of Warworld died from the toll of using the control chair. They trick Mongul into using all of Warworld’s weapons, overextending himself and forcing him to flee, ending his reign.

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Warworld Today

Mongul holds the tattered cape of Superman.

That’s the original version of Warworld, from before 1985’s Crisis on Infinite Earths, at a time when nuclear proliferation was a more mainstream concern. After the timeline was reset, Warworld was just a planet that Mongul ruled with an iron fist, reflecting post-Cold War concerns (slash hand-wringing) over growing authoritarianism. Then, after 2011’s Flashpoint reset the timeline again, there were multiple Warworlds created by multiple Monguls, all modeled after the practices of Warworld Prime and their ancestor, Mongul 1: find a resource rich-planet, enslave and exploit it, and wipe it out of existence. Which definitely had nothing to do with the Middle East at all.

Even with all of the differences, there remain some similarities among each incarnation of Warworld. Mongul is a tyrant, and an opponent that gives even the Man of Steel a run for his money in the strength department.

Mongul vs. Superman

Warworld and Mongul have also been featured in quite a few animated series and movies; the episodes in Justice League and Justice League Unlimited that feature him are some of the best both shows have to offer. If you’re a comic book reader and want some good Mongul-heavy stories, I recommend Superman vs Mongul, Superman: For the Man Who Has Everything, Green Lantern Corps, and Trinity #1-6.

It’s unknown what version of Warworld will be in Justice League: Warworld, but one thing is for certain: Mongul will be an opposing force for our heroes in the film as they fight their way through multiple alternate realities to get back to the one they know.

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Justice League: Warworld is released to home media on July 25th. Return soon to check out our review!

But before you watch it, check out our guide to all of its prequels. If you want more DC content, check out our guide to the DC Animated Movie Universe, and our review of the premiere of My Adventures with Superman.

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