Copperhead

CopperheadAnd Gotham reached its mid-season finale, leaving quite a funny door open for the second half of the season. In LoveCraft we also meet another villainess who’s inspired by a comics’ character. A mysterious instigator, in fact, hires a professional killer to hunt down and murder Selina Kyle, the street girl who witnessed the Waynes‘ homicide who’s now hiding in Wayne Manor. As a result, both Selina and Bruce Wayne end up on the run, followed by a deadly assassin: the hitman (hitwoman) in question is Larissa Diaz, codename Copperhead, portrayed by Lesley-Ann Brandt. In the show, she proves to be quite a skilled hand-to-hand fighter, overwhelming both Jim Gordon and Alfred Pennyworth, and she also puts Gordon in an unpleasant situation by killing Dick Lovecraft with his gun: quite a pest. The character seems to resemble her videogame version in Batman: Arkham Origins, and she suffered some major changes from the comics: not only her costume is (luckily) different, but she changed gender as well, as Copperhead is not a “she” at all. Let’s see together.

Little or nothing is known about Copperhead’s early life, not even his real name (on the Justice League files he only appears as “John Doe“). A skilled escapologist and a master contortionist, Copperhead decided to use his abilities to become rich in the easiest and fastest way, and turned himself to crime. He targeted Gotham City first, realizing that the corrupted metropolis gave him a lot of occasions to take whatever he wanted: upon learning that an important (and rich) dignitary was visiting Gotham, Copperhead disguised himself as an old man and approached copperheadcomics1his victim, stealing a precious tiara from him. Needless to say, the city’s protector Batman intervened, but the thief’s skills proved to be too much even for him, and he managed to escape with his booty. Adopting a snake-themed costume which increased his contortionist’s skills, Copperhead attempted yet another heist, and targeted the precious Golden Casque of Montezuma: this proved to be a trap set for him by Batman, who had teamed up with Batgirl and even Wonder Woman for the occasion…but Copperhead managed to escape once again, despite the three heroes pursuing him. Even more, after the theft he followed Wonder Woman to Gotham Park and confronted her directly: using his athletic skills only, he managed to subdue the Amazon and to kidnap her, bringing her to his lair. Batman and Batgirl, however, eventually found him, freed Wonder Woman, and arrested him. Copperhead was sent to jail for the first time…luckily enough, he was a master escapologist, and no prison could hold him for long.

Copperhead came back on the scene with a new, improved costume: this time he had also a prehensile tail he could use to help him in his acrobatics or to suffocate his enemies to death, like a real copperhead snake. Copperhead was hired by Manhunter in his Secret Society of Super-Villains, but he ended up being arrested again when Gorilla Grodd betrayed him during a mission. He was freed by Lex Luthor, who then became the new leader of the Society: Copperhead remained in the team even when Luthor left, but he quit the moment he realised the new leader, Funky Flashman, was using all the money of the team for his personal benefit. Abandoning Grodd and copperheadcomics2Star Sapphire during a mission, Copperhead left the Society, never to be part of it again. During this period, he suffered some major changes in personality, and abandoned his career as a thief as well: realising there were easier ways to get rich, and trusting his new costume’s potentialities, Copperhead became an assassin for hire, and improved his costume by poisoning his “fangs”. The first contract he accepted had him go to Paris to kill the French Minister of Finance, but also the Elongated Man was in Paris at the time, and he prevented Copperhead from accomplishing his mission. Warp helped Copperhead escape, and together they teamed up with an Italian criminal, Il Calamari, who they attacked the Pan-European Economic Conference with. The three villains overpowered Elongated Man, but the hero as well had some back-up: the Justice League Europe sent to him an old friend, the third Flash, who helped him defeat the three assassins. Once again, Copperhead evaded capture, and came back to the United States waiting for another contract, knowing that, despite his failure, his talents were pretty required by many people…

Copperhead is an enigmatic man, who never revealed much of himself. Originally, he was just a greedy man who wanted to make money fast, and who ended up being a killer due to quite a lack of morality or empathy. He suffered another major change when he sold his soul to the demon Neron to obtain more power: from that moment, Copperhead is more and more similar to the snake he looks like, and he’s reduced to a brutal and feral predator, a cannibalistic serial killer who acts on pure instinct. A superb athlete, escapologist and contorsionist, Copperhead derives most of his “superhuman powers” from his costume: he has control over a prehensile tail, which he mostly uses to suffocate his enemies, and he possesses sharp fangs and claws, which he has bathed in powerful poison. Deadly and determined, Copperhead won’t stop until his designated prey is dead.

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4 Comments

  1. […] latter, there’s also one taken from the comics…almost. Just as they did with Dollmaker, Copperhead and others, this villainess will appear with a different secret identity and background, so that […]

  2. […] Now, the show’s writers have done with him the same thing they did with Copperhead, and just provided a name for an established character, who in the comics never reveals his […]

  3. […] lawyers. The final straw, for Kate, arrived when she was unable to incarcerate the vicious villain Copperhead, a mass murderer and a cannibal. Copperhead avoided death penalty after killing an incredible […]

  4. […] seriously, and over the years he faced and defeated many menaces, including Knockout, King Shark, Copperhead, Scavenger and many others. His fame as a hero grew so much that eventually he was contacted by […]


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