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Quote1 Control myself? That's easy for you to say. It doesn't take much to stay in control when you watch from the shadows. You stand apart from the world while the rest of us live in it. Even when it breaks your heart. Quote2
-- John Corben src

Little is known about the early life of John Corben. He had a sister, who was killed by an escaped murderer. The man in question had escaped during the commotion, when the Blur saved a prison truck. Because of this, Corben developed a strong hatred for the Blur, whom he felt was responsible for his sister's death.[1]

Returning from an assignment in Afghanistan, Corben was made a replacement for Clark Kent, who was on leave, at the Daily Planet. Working late one night, Corben was run over by a truck and died. However, his body was stolen by a group of Kryptonian clones, who turned Corben into a cyborg, as part of an experiment.[1]

His hatred for the Blur, enhanced by psychosis, made him set out to use his new situation to kill the Blur. After he kidnapped Lois Lane, he finally got the Blur's attention. However, Corben was defeated after the Blur covered his heart with lead. When Corben ripped it off, he accidentally pulled out his power source and shut him down.[1]

His body was later recovered by Tess Mercer, who had her team of scientists' repair and upgrade him. Corben eventually broke out and, no longer suffering from his psychosis, sought the help of Lois Lane, who tried to help him get out of town. But, before he could get away, one of Mercer's people found him and attached a control chip to the back of his neck. Instantly making him Mercer's loyal servant. She sent him to the Fortress of Solitude, to help the Blur, who was suffering from an infection of red Kryptonite, which was cured by the Blur being exposed to Corben's green Kryptonite. During the battle, the control chip had been knocked off Corben's body, allowing him to control himself again.[2]

Rather than going after the Blur, Corben chose to use the Fortress to teleport him away.[2] Afterwards, Corben tried to live a normal life, but quickly found himself in trouble. Being unable to acquire a job, because of his cybernetic state, Corben began working as a mercenary.[3]

Eventually, Corben was recruited by Winslow Schott to Marionette Ventures, but that didn't work out. Corben continued working as a hired gun and was hired by African warlords to take out the vigilante known as the Angel of the Plateau. This mission led Corben into conflict with Lois Lane, but it also proved to have further unexpected developments.[3]

Schott had upgraded Corben. Allowing him to absorb Kryptonite into his mechanical heart. As the Angel was wearing a nanite suit, that was charged with Kryptonite radiation, Corben absorbed the nanites (removing the Angel's powers), which allowed him to control nearby metals. More specifically weapons. However, Lois and the Angel were still able to defeat Corben. Afterwards, Corben was taken into custody by the Department of Extranormal Operations.[3]

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Footnotes


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Daily Planet Staff member
This character is or was an emplyee of the Daily Planet, a daily newspaper based in Metropolis. This template will categorize articles that include it into the "Daily Planet Staff members" category.

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This character is or was primarily an enemy of the Justice League, in any of its various incarnations. This template will categorize articles that include it into the category "Justice League Villains."