Little is known about Emil Hamilton's early life. A scientific genius, he attended university and completed a Ph.D. in an unknown but presumably science-related field. He at some became employed by the US government and found work at STAR Labs
Emil Hamilton was created by Marv Wolfman
In his early appearances Hamilton was portrayed as a heroic character. He has slowly made the transition into villainy.
Major Story Arcs
Driven mad by Lex Luthor's
constant theft of his ideas, Hamilton is briefly held in a mental institution where he recovers from the stress. Upon his release he takes up residence in the Suicide Slums
and becomes involved with Superman
as the superhero's scientific advisor. During this time he provides numerous technological supports to aid in his adventures, including the Phantom Zone Projector
, powered suits, and robots.
Death of Superman
When Superman comes under attack by Doomsday
, Hamilton attempts to aid the hero. He creates a laser cannon which he and Bibbo Bibbowski
use against the creature. The cannon hurts Doomsday, but it is destroyed shortly after its inaugural use, when Doomsday falls onto it. After the two combatants have exhausted each other and Superman lies apparently dead, Hamilton attempts to revive the hero with a CPR device. His efforts fail and Superman is declared dead. Hamilton is overcome with guilt because of his inability to save his friend.
The Fall of Metropolis
During the chaos of the Fall of Metropolis
, Hamilton is tasked by Superman to attempt to reverse engineer one of the helmets belonging to Team Luthor
soldiers. After the release of the hallucinogenic gas over Metropolis
he is attacked by one of the affected citizens and shot in the arm. Despite his injury he is able to enact his plan to disperse the hallucinogen by dumping enzymes in the bay. Assisted by Superman, he manages to disperse the cloud. Despite Superman's best efforts to get him adequate medical care, the wound to his arm is too serious, and it is amputated. He later creates a cybernetic arm with which to replace his lost limb.
Upon the arrival of John Henry Irons
to Metropolis, Hamilton begins to feel that he is superfluous to Superman, who now has Irons to rely on for technological support. During the B13 Event he vanishes from the city, resurfacing some time later as Overmind, leading a cult that is planning to resurrect Brainiac
. Following the defeat of the gang he claims that the Brainiac technology in his cybernetic arm was responsible for his actions. As this is apparently the case, he soon returns to his position as friend and assistant to Superman.
Becoming convinced that Superman's presence on Earth
was slowly draining the Sun of energy and would eventually lead to the destruction of the Earth, Hamilton takes on the persona of Ruin and begins attacking Superman's loved ones. He also dedicates a great deal of time to framing Pete Ross
, one of Superman's close friends and the current President of the United States. He ultimately reveals his true identity to Superman and attacks the hero, apparently killing Mr Mxyzptlk
in the process. The pair fight, and Superman is ultimately able to defeat his erstwhile friend and rescue his hostages Ross, Lana Lang
, and their child. Defeated, Hamilton is then imprisoned
Hamilton, still going by Ruin, joins Alex Luthor's Society of Super-Villains
and aids them in carrying out Luthor's plans.
Powers and Abilities
Hamilton possesses a genius-level intellect, specializing in the area of technology and science. He is able to use his intellect to engineer a vast number of useful gadgets. He possesses a cybernetic arm that has a number of abilities that he has built into it. As Ruin he wears a superpowered suit that he has specifically designed to take advantage of Superman's weaknesses. It also allows him teleportation through a connection to the Phantom Zone
Animation The DCAU
Hamilton makes his first appearance in the DCAU
in the Superman: The Animated Series
episode "A Little Piece of Home". He remains a recurring supporting character throughout the remainder of the series. Similarly to his comic appearance, Hamilton is portrayed initially as a supporter of Superman, and provides him with a great deal of supportive technology. However, over the course of the series he begins to grow mistrustful of metahumans, culminating in the episode "Legacy," when a desperate Superman threatens him into saving Supergirl
. His distrust for Superman and other heroes is carried forwards into his appearances in Justice League Unlimited
. He is a secret supporter of Amanda Waller
, providing the genetic sample that enables the creation of the Supergirl clone Galatea. He is voiced in Superman
by Victor Brandt, and in Justice League Unlimited
by Robert Foxworth.
FilmMan of Steel
Hamilton will appear in this upcoming live-action film. He will be portrayed by Richard Schiff.
Television Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman
Hamilton appears in two episodes in this series, "That Old Gang of Mine" and "Return of the Prankster". In his first appearance he is a STAR Labs scientist who clones Al Capone
, and is forced by the clone to create clones of numerous other notorious criminals. He is rescued from his criminal creations by Superman. In his second appearance he uses his scientific skills to aid Superman in defeating the Prankster
, providing him with insight into the villain's weapons, as well as special contact lenses. He is portrayed by John Pleshette. Smallville
Hamilton makes his first physical appearance in the episode "Bulletproof". Unlike his comics portrayal, this version of the character is a medical doctor who is hired by Oliver Queen
to care for the members of the Justice League
. He appears as a recurrent supporting character throughout the remainder of the series. He supports all of the heroes in the show, and also unlike his comics appearance never turns against the heroes. He is portrayed by Alessandro Juliani.
Video Games Superman 64
Hamilton appears as a supporting character who is kidnapped by Lex Luthor. Superman Returns
Hamilton makes a brief cameo appearance in this game.