This week’s episode of Supergirl saw our heroine facing a number of threats visiting Earth, and at least one of them came directly (more or less) from the comicbooks. In Distant Sun, an ugly alien who seems to be a rip-off from the old Power Rangers series wreaks havoc in National City, shooting a laser beam from his eye-patch; when Supergirl incapacitates him, it turns out he’s a bounty hunter, and the Girl of Steel has an insane bounty placed on her head by an unknown third party. The alien is referred to by J’onn J’onzz as an “Amalak“…and the name is nothing new to the readers, albeit not for a race, but for a person (much like they did with Hellgrammite in Season 1). The ugly alien portrayed by Glenn Ennis is not so ugly in the comics, but he surely has a grudge against Kryptonians, and his eye-patch in the show is justified by him being a pirate. Let’s see together (multiple versions ahead).
Amalak was born on an unspecified planet, very distant from Earth. His world was a peaceful and safe environment for all of its inhabitants, until some unexpected catastrophe happened: some visitors from Krypton arrived on the planet, and through unknown means they ended up causing a cataclism that killed the entire population, leaving only Amalak alive. The alien destroyers came back to their planet, leaving Amalak to mourn the dead. Grieving and boiling in rage, Amalak sworn to exact his vengeance on all Kryptonians, erasing their race just as they did with his own…but a short time after the “incident” Krypton itself was destroyed along with all its inhabitants. Apparently, Amalak had been denied his vengeance…but soon he discovered that some survivors were scattered through the galaxy, so he still had a purpose: he could inflict the final blow to the Kryptonian people by killing the last of them. Amalak became a bounty hunter, and collected a number of Kryptonite fragments to forge an arsenal for himself, as well as many weapons powered by the radiations of a red sun. He eventually traced two Kryptonians on a remote planet: Kal El and Kara Zor-El, who had become the heroic Superman and Supergirl. His first efforts failed, as the Kryptonians had become extremely powerful under Earth’s yellow sun, and they always found a way to counter his anti-Kryptonian weapons. A solution came when Amalak opened a portal to the Phantom Zone, the prison where Krypton locked its most dangerous enemies, trying to find an ally who hated Kryptonians as much as he did…but all he found was Nam-Ek, a Kryptonian scientist driven mad by solitude, who had gained powers from an illegal experiment of his. Overjoyed by meeting another person, Nam-Ek immediately took a liking in Amalak, something that the bounty hunter used to his own advantage: he renamed his new “friend” the Antibiotic Man, erasing his Kryptonian heritage, and instructed him on using his healing powers on him during the incoming battle with Superman, so that the Man of Steel would have been incapable of hurting him. Maybe, vengeance was finally at hand…
This version of Amalak apparently died when he stabbed himself with one of his own weapons, but even if he survived, he was later wiped out from existence along with his entire dimension, Earth-One. When a new universe was born, New Earth, Amalak was reborn, but his story was not as different from before as he would have liked. He was born on planet Rinoti, and he was a great warrior, a loyal soldier to his people. One day, he came back to Rinoti after a mission with his squadron, only to find the entire planet burnt to ashes, with no survivor, being man, woman or child. The souls of the dead appeared to him, and told him that the Kryptonian Empire had sent one of their greatest warlords, Admiral Zod, to conquer their planet, and that his militia had destroyed everything to make Rinoti a new potential colony for Krypton. Distraught with pain and anger, Amalak swore he would have destroyed Krypton and everything Kryptonian, and he would have not known rest until he killed every last Kryptonian in the universe. He reorganised his squadron into a band of space pirates, and left the planet to start his mission, gathering all around the universe an arsenal of anti-Kryptonian weapons. When Krypton exploded, leaving but a few survivors to live its legacy, Amalak used his advanced tech to track all the living Kryptonians, hunting them down and killing them mercilessly. Guided and empowered by the spirits of Rinoti, Amalak even found two of the officers who had perpetrated the attack on his planet, Karsta Wor-Ul and Ro-Kul, who now lived as pirates and brigands. Amalak attacked them and killed Ro-Kul, while Karsta managed to escape. Obviously, the avenger kept looking for her, and tracked her down to planet Earth, where she had hidden disguised as a local…but there was some other surprise waiting for him, as other Kryptonians lived on Earth as worshipped heroes: Superman, Supergirl, Power Girl, even a dog, Krypto. As he soon would have found out, also the very son of Admiral Zod, Lor-Zod, was living on the planet, raised by Superman. Finally, his vengeance could be truly complete.
Amalak is a somewhat tragic figure, a man who’s lost everything and whose sole reason for living now is obtaining vengeance for his slain people. Being him a bounty hunter or a space pirate, Amalak possesses a true arsenal of anti-Kryptonian weapons, ranging from Kryptonite blades and darts to red-solar explosives aimed to take away the powers of a Kryptonian under a yellow sun; he’s also a master hand-to-hand combatant, a skilled tactician and a capable leader, and he has at disposal a number of futuristic gadgets such as the Brain Ripper, a device he uses to read the memories of other people. A tireless hunter who won’t stop until he’s seen the end of Krypton, Amalak fights with all the righteousness of an avenger and the wherewithal of a man who’s nothing left to lose.