Stephen Sondheim

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Stephen Sondheim, in a recent photo, working in his lab.

Stephen “SS” Sondheim (born March 22, 1930) is one of the most notorious supervillains ever to live, and archenemy of Superman.

Early life[edit]

Sondheim was born to a Latverian family in the crime infested Mel’s Diner slum of New York City. His father, Bugsy Sondheim, a small time crook in the Latverian mob, was mostly absent during young Steve-O’s life, serving a 20 to life term for practicing massage therapy without a license. Further complicating young Stevie’s life was the indisputable fact that his mother, Bertha “Big Momma” Sondheim was a severe hottie. His only friend as a child was Jimmy Hammerstein, son of the international crime boss Baron Otto von Hammerstien II, known colloquially as the Hammer. Jimmy encouraged Sondheim’s dreams of becoming the greatest villain the world had ever seen. Jimmy got Stephen an apprenticeship with the Hammer, which allowed Jimmy the chance to tag Mrs. Sondheim without Steve finding out.


Sondheim’s apprenticeship to the Hammer was undoubtedly one of the most infamous in all of supervillian-dom. Sondheim was trained in all the evil trades: Mad Science, caper design, henchmen recruitment, and needlepoint. Sondheim excelled early, successfully stealing George Washington’s solid-gold codpiece from display in the Smithsonian. The heist was a favorite of the media of the day, and Stephen showed his mentor one article describing the caper (entitled “By George!”) and asked him to review it, pretending not to know who the perpetrator was. The Hammer mocked the crime, calling it the work of an amateur “worse than that hack the Shoplifter.” An enraged Sondheim promptly killed the Hammer by pulling his spleen out through his nostrils, and seized control of his criminal empire. Sondheim would later say that "in that afternoon I learned more about the internal organs of a man than most people learn in a lifetime."

Still, Sondheim's admiration for the Hammer is legendary (albeit securely retrospective), and he has oft been quoted as saying "If the Hammer had been a back-stabbing, psychopathic murderer, then I would have become a back-stabbing, psychopathic murderer. Oh wait, he was... and here I am."

Sondheim is responsible for countless acts of villainy; some of his most notable acts are detailed below. He has been arrested and convicted numerous times, serving various stints in Alkatraz, Arkham Asylum, Azkaban, and other prisons that begin with the letter “A.” No cage has been able to hold this madman for long, and since superheroes are total pussies that never kill anyone, his reign of terror has continued unabated for over five decades.

He has since been honored by his fellow criminals with the Lifetime Achievement Award, which will be presented at the Tony Soprano Awards in June 2008 in New York.

High Crimes[edit]

  • In 1957, he caused chaos in Gotham City when he attacked the streets with an army of super-intelligent sharks trained to pilot combat jets.
  • In 1959 he assisted the evil seductress known as The Gypsy in a scourge of lewd behavior, which eventually resulted in the Kinsey Report.
  • In the early sixties, Sondheim unleashed scientifically-perfected Comedy on and unsuspecting world. Thousands of people died laughing in this terribly humorous epidemic. Sondheim eventually had to recall the plot, after hundreds of thousands more inexplicably crapped their pants
  • In 1970 Sondheim orchestrated several major felonies to take place all across the world, causing hundreds upon hundreds of deaths and injuries. These felonies were only vaguely related to each other, and another hundred people were maimed or injured by karate masters, or were tricked into marijuana use or homosexual behavior, which caused great amounts of sorrow-gratefulness. This all turned out to be an elaborate birthday party for Sondheim, who, despite being born forty years previous to the event, turned thirty-five that year.
  • In 1971 Sondheim assembled the Legion of Doom, a reunion of many super villains from prior decades. This is largely considered one of his greatest follies, as all anyone did was sit around and talk about the old days.
  • In 1973, Sondheim and arch-villain The Clown collaborated on a plot to illegally export Swedish knives concealed in vats of whipped cream. Sondheim countered Superman's untimely intervention by sending in The Clown, who was, however, three-quartered by the Man of Steel in an unfortunate wheelchair accident, a less than perfect little death.
  • In 1976 Sondheim learned Japanese with a view to advancing on Kanagawa. But nobody noticed.
  • In 1979, Sondheim committed multiple acts of barber-ism, which is a terrible pun, and popularized the practice of eating babies. Superman has had a lingering aversion to pi ever since.
  • In 1981, in an innovative display of temporal mechanics, Sondheim regressed Superman to childhood. But nobody noticed.
  • In 1984 Sondheim teamed with Lt Commander Data and a vengeful Spaniard to cut Superman into many, many little pieces. Remarkably, despite being in such discombobulated state, Superman pulled himself together and defeated the trio. Again, few noticed this plot and it only made an impression afterwards... via mail... an example of... (wait for it...) post impressionism. Highly paid wooden plank Keanu Reeves referred to this incident as a "pretty little picture"... an example of neoimpressionism. At the time however Sondheim berated himself for being "dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb."
  • In 1987 Sondheim caused Superman lose himself in a forest where he battled Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, a male-friendly lesbian and other imaginary figures for nearly two years. For once people noticed and cared and Sondheim's reputation as Superman's adversary grew substantially. As did his ego. And beard. (Note however that many commentators claim that Sondheim never felt the need for a beard.)
  • In one of his most elaborate plots, Sondheim build a time machine which he used to travel throughout American history and assassinate presidents he thought were jerks. He successfully cut short the presidencies of Abraham Lincoln, JFK, James Garfield, and William McKinley. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was saved by the contemporary superhero Teddy Roosevelt, who punched Sondheim in the stomach ruining his aim. Tragically, Mayor McCheese was struck and killed by the stray bullet. His two attempts on the life of Gerald and/or Henry Ford were, of course, foiled by Charles Manson. Despite the daring and complexity of this criminal endeavour nobody noticed.
  • Some years later Sondheim fell in love with a very ugly woman. Named Foxy. But nobody, except Sondheim himself, cared. And perhaps Foxy, who expressed her feelings by killing herself.
  • For many years, Sondheim bounced around looking for gold. He met up with a bunch of wise guys, lost his fortune in a game of cards, and had to make ends meet by selling freehand architectural drawings at a road show of craft fairs. He eventually settled in Florida and sold gaudy, overpriced McMansions to unsuspecting retired New Yorkers.
  • Most recently, Sondheim traveled to Hell with the assistance of his sidekick Frogger. They are believed to have returned to earth with the infamous supervillian Satan. The current whereabouts of this evil trio are unknown. Not that anybody cares.


  • Sondheim and Superman used to hang out all the time to play “kick the can.” Their friendship ended when Superman commented that Sondheim’s mother was “so hot.” Sondheim has been trying to kill Superman ever since.
  • Sondheim is also an amateur composer, and once wrote a musical while killing time in the big house, based on the life of Dr. Doom. It was never produced, as it is written entirely in the time signatures 11/13 and -2/7788, and calls for key signatures using intervals that cannot be defined by rational numbers.
  • Sondheim is one of many individuals in Superman's life with the initials "SS," along with Stephen Segal, Susan Sarandon, Sammy Sosa and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
  • Sondheim and Andrew Lloyd Webber share the same birthday, and were supposedly separated at birth with Andrew Lloyd Webber being angry that Sondheim got the talented musical ear, resulting in Sondheim becoming the respected composer. Andrew Lloyd Webber of course is known for his wailing stolen music with lyrics about boring topics such as cats, chandeliers, trains, and rejected bible stories.