Meet Bloodsport, the Man Who Shot Superman

Since 1987, Suicide Squad has always been about shining the limelight on DC ’ s lesser-known characters, giving them a alone chance to show off what makes them an asset—if not as a super-villain, then as a member of Task Force X. Love her or hate her, Amanda Waller often isn ’ t picky with whom she gives a shoot on the Squad. And there are few better at lining up shots than Robert DuBois, better known as Bloodsport .
But what is Bloodsport ’ south deal, precisely ? What separates him from the Deadshots and Deathstrokes of the worldly concern ? Well, for starters, when it comes to his enemies, it ’ second hard to aim much higher than DuBois has. Just as Bane is forever known as the man who broke Batman ’ s rear, Bloodsport ’ s most celebrated feat is pulling the trigger on the Man of Steel .

Bringing Down Big Blue

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When John Byrne reinvented Superman for the 1980s following crisis on Infinite Earths, readers were presented with a modern Superman who faced modern problems—corporate greed, cults of personality, peer rights for women in the workplace. But one of the first new villains created for Superman in this earned run average, Robert DuBois, stood in for the post-war trauma hush lingering from the Vietnam War.

Bloodsport ’ mho history is told for the first fourth dimension in 1987 ’ sulfur Superman # 4 —and if you ’ re only going to read one comic about him, that ’ s the one to read. Burdened with survivor ’ sulfur guilt for allowing his brother to go overseas in his diagnose, DuBois was identified by a psychologist in Lex Luthor ’ randomness service as a choice campaigner for supervillainy, turning his anger and fear against Superman. He was given the codename “ Bloodsport, ” and a small teleportation device which he could use to access an inexhaustible add of weaponry. But while Luthor ’ sulfur intended target was Superman, Bloodsport ’ second fad spilled out towards the people of Metropolis itself. In DuBois ’ view, they were squandering the safety and freedom denied to his brother and, in his own falsify perspective, to himself, now believing himself to have gone to fight in Vietnam ampere well .
In his beginning rampage through the city, Bloodsport killed at least twenty-five people. With Superman unaware of Bloodsport ’ s teleportation device, DuBois summoned a pistol in their first confrontation loaded with Kryptonite bullets and took the big man out of committee with a shot to the shoulder. It was the audacious Jimmy Olsen who unraveled DuBois ’ origins, and by confronting him with the truth of his history, led the killer whale to surrender .

From a Bad Man, to Something Even Worse

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That ’ s truly the last anyone hears of Bloodsport, until a raw one surfaced in 1993. In the three-part storyline “ Spilled Blood, ” we ’ re introduced to Alex Trent, an even less harmonic villain than his predecessor. With a new costume but a exchangeable teleporter grafted into his body, Trent sought an cultural cleansing of the city of Metropolis, with special vengeance reserved for the “ race traitors ” in his eyes who supported racial equality. This particularly mean Perry White, who as a young reporter, exposed and broke up Trent ’ s white nationalist brotherhood. Just as Jimmy Olsen took down the original Bloodsport, this time it was the daily Planet ’ s Ron Troupe who was responsible for defeating Trent, by finding and destroying the warehouse from which Trent had been teleporting his weapons .
As DuBois served his time in prison, this second gear Bloodsport continued to appear throughout the ’ 90s, becoming something of an arch-nemesis of Daily Planet reporter Ron Troupe. His time in prison passed relatively without incident for a while, only concisely running afoul of his more celebrated counterpart Deadshot in 1999 ’ randomness Batman & Superman : World ’ s Finest # 10 ( the two characters ’ only meet ) .
But when the original Bloodsport ( who, it should be noted for this articulation in his history, is a Black serviceman ) was transferred to Stryker ’ south Island, where his white supremacist successor was simultaneously interred, racial tension increased to an all-time eminent .

Blood Sports

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As contention between raceway factions at the Stryker ’ randomness Island prison reached a boil point in 1995 ’ s Adventures of Superman # 526, the Warden came up with a “ bright ” design to let out some steam : allow the plaza of the contention, the two Bloodsports, to fight each other in a oversee box match. ( Superman, for the record, thought this was a bad mind the minute he heard it. His advice to the Warden was disregarded. )
equitable as Superman himself appeared to intervene, the situation got even uglier as trent used his graft teleporter to bring weapons into the closed chain, causing an armed riot to break out. Before the night was over, both Bloodsports were all in. DuBois was gunned down as he attempted scat, and after the rioting had been quelled, Trent was burned alive in his cell by his own brotherhood for failing to deliver a critical win against his predecessor .
A third Bloodsport would show up ten years former in the Post-Infinite Crisis Superman earned run average, but his unharmed deal was never very explained .

Blood on TV

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Idris Elba will be delivering his own take on Robert DuBois in The Suicide Squad, but it ’ s not actually the first time we ’ ve seen a live action Bloodsport. The Season 3 Smallville episode “ Extinction ” introduced “ addict of the week ” Van McNulty, whose anti-metahuman fanaticism, particular Forces background and gun fixation were clearly influenced by Bloodsport. Later in the season, McNulty comes closer than about any villain in the series to killing Clark, thanks to his arsenal of Kryptonite bullets .
The Robert DuBois incarnation of Bloodsport besides appeared in the Supergirl Season 3 undoer, “ Girl of Steel, ” as a mercenary who had been dishonorably discharged from the military for stealing weaponry. Morgan Edge hires DuBois as partially of a scheme to tarnish Supergirl ’ south reputation, but Kara manages to stay a step ahead of the plan, bringing this Bloodsport to justice .

Revival

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Since 1987, there ’ south been no better title, or series, or franchise in the entire DC universe for rehabilitating the visualize of a forget character like Suicide Squad. With the render of the now relatively unknown Bloodsport as a major character in James Gunn ’ s The Suicide Squad, the comics are following courtship a well. In the identical latest return of Suicide Squad, DuBois makes his introduction on the team roll with his original background relatively unchanged, though “ the war ” is most likely a more late one than Vietnam. The other big deviation : after his catch, DuBois was sent to Belle Reve, where he was given the chance to work off his sentence and…well, you know the conduct .
But, fair for a moment, let ’ s think back on Bloodsport ’ s origins. His entire backstory, the injury which drove him into becoming a aggregate cause of death, was his guilt over allowing his brother to serve the country in his stead, all because he was besides unwilling to go on what he deemed a suicide mission. And look at him now—the latest bill poster son for Task Force X.

If that ’ s not karmic justice, then I ’ ve never seen it .

The Suicide Squad, directed by James Gunn and featuring John Cena as Peacekeeper, hits theaters and HBO Max on August 6, 2021. not so far an HBO Max subscriber ? Sign up today to enjoy the best of DC movies and television receiver .
Alex Jaffe is the author of our monthly “ Ask the wonder ” column and writes about television, movies, comics and superhero history for DCComics.com. Follow him on chitter at @ AlexJaffe and find him in the DC Community as HubCItyQuestion .

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