1726 - Mongul is born, the son of the ruler of Warworld
1782 - Mongul kills his father and takes the throne of Warworld
11 years ago - Mongul captures Superman for the fighting pits of Warworld. He is defeated by the Justice League, and deposed of his throne.
10 years ago - Mongul attempts to get his revenge on Superman by breaking into his Fortress of Solitude and exposing him to the Black Mercy, trapping him in an illusion of his own ideal world. He is defeated by Batman, Robin, and Wonder Woman.
8 years ago - Mongul discovers Hank Henshaw's datacore drifting through space. His physical body is reconstituted, using elements of the kryptonian DNA. They uses his technology to begin forging the Warseed, a device to begin constructing a new Warworld from the raw material of a city.
5 years ago - Mongul comes to Earth, activating the Warseed and destroying the Warseed with the help of Hank Henshaw, destroying Coast City, driving Hal Jordan insane. He is defeated by Superboy, Steel, The Eradicator & the returning Superman.
4 years ago - Mongul is confronted in deep space by Kyle Rayner, who manages to beat him on his own.
1 year ago - Mongul is broken out of prison by Dru-Zod & Faora and begins assisting them in the construction of their spacefleet.
now - Mongul regains his throne when Faora defeats the current champion. When Dru-Zod captures Superman and Lois Lane, they are inprisoned on Warworld.
In a universe that has Darkseid & the New Gods, it is kind of interesting that Mongul exists. He's essentially a spinoff of a copy of Darkseid. Still, he has a number of stories to his credit that are truely fantastic, and unlike Darkseid you don't really have to break reality every time he rears his head. Mongul is an incredibly versitile villain, and he really needs to be used more often.
Mongul's Comic History
Jim Starlin created Mongul in 1980 (along with Len Wein, the man responsible for Swamp Thing and the fact that the X-Men are actually cool.) Starlin is the man most responsible for the tone of the intergalactic stories over at Marvel where he invented Thanos. He's an unabashed Jack Kirby fan, and while Thanos is generally considered a loving reimagining of the story of Kirby's Darkseid, Mongul is probably a closer aproximation of Marvel's major space bad-guy.
While Mongul is often used as a gigantic superpowered beheamoth and warmonger, he has appeared in two major stories that will forever define him. The first is the absolutely brilliant 1985 story "For the Man Who Has Everything" by Alan Moore from Superman Annual #11, where Mongul ambushes Superman in his fortress of solitude with a Black Mercy, a plant that traps him in a dream of his ideal world. This is a huge moment in Superman's mythology, and an important part of DC's history.
The second is perhaps not as good a story, but the effects are far wider reaching. Mongul is responsible for the destruction of Green Lantern's home, Coast City, during the events following the death of Superman. These two stories firmly establish Mongul as one of the most important villains in DC's history.
Our Mongul Story
Mongul is largely defined by Warworld, which has been depicted both as a planet he ruled and as a gargantuan intergalactic weapon, and we chose to essentially make it both; a Death-Star sized artificial planetoid whose population of warriors he rules through his dominance in their battle-pits. This allows him to both rule a planet and pilot it on a path of destruction through the cosmos.
Much of his later stories are defined by his effort to retake the throne of Warworld or build himself a new one. He is partnered with Hank Henshaw's Cyborg Superman during one of his greatest arcs and this actually winds up being a great role for him; as an ally to another villain to give them grander purpose.
We also really like the idea of Kyle Rayner, still new to being a Green Lantern, having to fight him in space single-handed. If any one act can prove that Kyle has what it takes to be the Green Lantern, this is it.
Mongul worked so well as an ally to Hank Henshaw, that we decided to put him in a similar role for General Zod when he manages to escape the Phantom Zone. Zod is unpowered; he needs to retake the solar system, but to do so he will need a fleet of his own, and there are few ways to build up his military might more reliable than freeing Mongul from prison and helping him retake Warworld. Mongul is an incredibly powerful ally, but in a lot of ways he is his own worst enemy; he is often lost in plots of revenge or petty warmongering and is unable to focus himself to become a true threat to the galaxy all on his own, so having another extremely dangerous villain partner with him is when he becomes truely dangerous.
Moving forward, in the comics Mongul is killed and essentially replaced by his children, who are basically the same character. If he DOES have children, I think there is an opportunity for them to be FAR more interesting.