Jim Shooter and Wayne Boring introduce a new foe for Superman, an alien pirate named Amalak, in Superman 190 (Oct. 66).
Amalak considers himself the greatest space pirate of them all, and has decided to choose a world to enslave as his base. He picks Earth because of its remoteness – a strange thing, as so many aliens wind up there. Superman is the one person he feels may be a threat to him.
Amalak kidnaps four humans, and turns them into elemental beings, under his mental control. The machine shorts out and knocks Amalak for a loop, but the creatures are already on their way to Earth to kill Superman.
Superman has a much more difficult time with the elemental creatures than he expects. They show great diversity with their forms, and with four of them, the hero can never get a second to take control of the fight.
Amalak wakes just as the elemental creatures are about to kill Superman. He wants to deliver the killing stroke himself, so he stops them. This gives Superman the opportunity he needed, and he goes on the attack at super-speed, taking out the creatures, who revert to human form.
Amalak is furious with himself for causing his own plan to fail, but even more upset when the fire creature nukes his ship.
Although he appears to die, Amalak returns about a year down the road.