For other uses of the term Adonis, see Adonis (disambiguation)
A terrifying but tragic villain with a sickeningly "loathsome countenance" who matches wits with Superman in March 1942. The text describes him as "a loathsome being intent on robbery and pillage...a creature whose face is as horrible as his acts--a face born of hideous nightmare--a visage once seen, never forgotten." He is in reality James Trevor, a movie and matinee idol adored by millions until his flawless features began to fall prey to the deteriorating effects of advanced age, who has been transformed into a gruesome caricature of his former self and forced into a life of crime through the sinister machinations of a villainous plastic surgeon known as Dr. Menace.
Despondent and out of work since advancing age began "sabotaging [his] magnificent profile" as "women film fans [began] turning to newer and younger screen heroes," Trevor responds with enthusiasm in March 1943 when Dr.Menace visits his home and promises to restore "the face that caused millions of feminine hearts to beat quicker" through the miracle of plastic surgery.
The all-important operation is performed soon afterwards, and Trevor exults when he finally removes the bandages and views the handsome, youthful face beneath them. Trevor's joy is short-lived, however, for the handsome face he sees before him is only a lifelike rubber mask, and when "the mask drops off--and...the vain actor sights the features beneath the mask reflected in the mirror, a scream like the shriek of an animal in pain leaves his startled lips...." Recoiling in abject horror, Trevor sees that the evil Dr. Menace rubs his hands gloatingly:
As you can guess, my real vocation is crime. I have placed a substance of my own discovery upon your face that transforms it hideously. Only I can remove it without injuring your features permanently. Wearing the rubber mask, you will continue your everyday existence, gaining access to the homes of your wealthy friends. But whenever I command, off comes the mask and you do my bidding as ADONIS. Obey me for one month, and at the close of your servitude I will actually give you the handsome features you desire.
And so, in the days that follow, Trevor--his "terrible face" concealed beneath his rubber mask--attends a series of lavish social gathering at the homes of his wealthy movie-colony friends and, at an opportune moment, taking care not to be observed, doffs his mask and civilian clothing so that he can plunder the homes of his hosts as the hideous, loincloth-clad Adonis.
Overtaken finally by Superman while fleeing the scene of a robbery with a priceless Rembrandt painting, Adonis is shot from a place of concealment be Dr. Menace, who is determined to prevent Trevor from revealing their involvement in the recent wave of crimes. Adonis, however, now mortally wounded, sneaks up behind the unsuspecting Dr. Menace and, with his last remaining vestige of strength, strangles the surgeon who destroyed him before collapsing, dead, atop the surgeon's corpse (Act No. 58: "The Face of Adonis!"). (TGSB)