Magog originally appeared in the pages of the popular Elseworlds story Kingdom Come. In the story, the older generation of heroes (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, etc.) face off against the new, edgier and more violent heroes, of which Magog is the de-facto leader. Created by Mark Waid and Alex Ross, Magog was designed as a clear parody of the excess of the early 90's superhero designs (pouches, glowing eyes, metal limbs) and their aggressively militaristic attitude. Visually based on a mix of Cable and Shatterstar, Magog was presented as the villain in the series who eventually gets defeated by Superman and the older heroes. The story in itself is very divisive among fans, some hating it, others loving it, but that was all we heard of Magog for years.
Flash forward ten or so years and Magog gets reintroduced in the pages of Justice Society of America in the story called Thy Kingdom Come, which borrows heavily from the previous mini series, including the Superman of that Earth (Earth-22, for those keeping track) joining the JSA briefly. Although it is uncertain if this is the same version of the character, Magog's origin story is revealed: he is a former member of the army that was killed in action, only to be revived by the villain Gog as one of his "gifts". Visually and attitude-wise, he is exactly like the other Magog, and Earth-22 Superman was worried that he is indeed the same person (or an earlier version anyway).
After the events of Thy Kingdom Come, Magog remained with the Justice Society, although in a reserve-like role. That's where his new ongoing comes in, which is written by Keith Giffen, who has some experience with writing parody characters, such as Ambush Bug and...
The Main (Parody) Man
Lobo was originally created by Giffen as a parody of Wolverine: chain smoking, big hair, and his bike were among the character's trademark look (along with the black-metal-make-up-like face). Even Lobo's nickname "The Main Man" is play of Wolverine's catchphrase "I'm the best at what I do".
First appearing in the pages of Omega Men, Lobo started climbing in popularity that warranted him several guest appearances in other series (such as Justice League International), mini-series, one-shots, an ongoing series that lasted 64 issues, and more inter-company crossovers than you can count over the years. All his appearances are remarked by his rude and violent demeanor, and often poking fun at pop and comic culture tropes. One such example is Lobo's language, which contained words like "Frag" and "Bastiche", a play on the way comic book publishing companies policy of censuring swear words.
Ironically, a character that started as a parody of the ultra-violent heroes of the time became an ultra-violent character that reached it's zenith during the ultra-violent 90's. Lobo's success surprised just about everyone, even Keith Giffen. But the character has seemingly evolved past the original joke and to this day has many, many fans. Enough fans that just recently they announced a Lobo live-action film.
There have been talks of a Lobo film for as long as the character has been popular, and this looks like it will finally come to fruition. Of course, he is not the only parody-character with a possible movie deal...
The Merc with a Mock
Oh yeah, everyone's favorite marvelous mercenary started as thinly veiled parody too, or something along those lines. Deadpool first appeared in the pages of New Mutants, by Fabian Nicienza and Rob Liefeld. Deadpool looked exactly liked Deathstroke from Teen Titans except with a color swap. Both were mercenaries, highly-skilled martial artists, with a wide arsenal of weapons, that served as foils to a group of teenage heroes.
Nicienza was the one that decided to play off in these obvious similarities and gave Deadpool the civilian name of "Wade Wilson", a direct parody of Deathstroke's name, which is "Slade Wilson". Deadpool became a recurring and popular character, which warranted him two mini-series and an a critically acclaimed ongoing series during the late 90's.
After a period of rest, the character came back with a vengeance and is more popular than ever, and is on his way to having THREE ongoing series, something unheard of outside of extremely iconic characters like Superman, Batman or Spider-Man or popular franchises like X-Men or Justice League of America.
This reborn-popularity is probably helped by the fact that he made a guest appearance in the X-Men Origins: Wolverine movie and other media such as Marvel Ultimate Alliance video games and a appearance in the Hulk vs. Wolverine animated film. Deadpool's own spin-off film was announced some months back, but we have yet to hear any more substantial news, and there are rumors of some conflict with star Ryan Reynolds, who is also going to be playing Hal Jordan in the Green Lantern movie.
Well, those are just some of the most recent popular parodies-gone-wrong tales. What other ones are there out there? I know the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is another one (I reviewed the original issue of that series as part of the FCBD 2009 reviews), but feel free to let me know what other ones I missed in the comments section. Either that, or tell me how much you are looking forward to the inevitable Magog & Deathstroke series from DC.