Hannibal Bates (Everyman)

Hannibal BatesLast episode of The Flash introduced a brand new villain…with quite a lot of faces, considering he doesn’t even remember what his original one is. In Who Is Harrison Wells?, the team investigates on Harrison Wells‘ accident, and in the meanwhile has to deal with a new metahuman, Hannibal Bates, portrayed by Martin Novotny (in his “true form”, by many others in his transformations), a shapeshifter able to turn in whoever he touches. Bates’ name already appeared in Oliver Queen‘s list, but we don’t know why yet (and it’s likely we’ll never know). Hannibal comes from the comics, and he’s a villain (you can’t expect much from a guy who has the first name of The Silence of the Lambs‘ killer and the surname of the Psycho‘s one) a little bit more gruesome than the show’s one: touching somebody is not enough for him to become a person, he has to do something more…let’s see together.

Hannibal Bates was born in Gotham City, a regular guy in a world crowded with metahumans with amazing powers. Bates’ life would have been a mediocre and unnoticeable if it wasn’t for Lex Luthor, the renowned mogul: Luthor had started a revolutionary intiative, which he called the Everyman Project, a scientific research aimed to grant normal human beings the same extraordinary powers of metahumans (Luthor would have also been able to remove said powers at will from the eperiment’s subjects). Hannibal Bates was selected as the very first candidate of Everyman Project, and the experimentations gave him the ability to shapeshift: upon consuming organic matter of everymancomics1any individual, Bates was now able to transform into an exact replica of said individual. Bates was nicknamed Everyman, the first of many mutated who represented a new future for superheroes…and for Luthor himself, since he obviously had his own agenda for the mutates. Along with Everyman, others underwent the treatment, and Luthor formed the new Infinity, Inc., a private superhero team that soon became known as Luthor’s Justice League, whose heroic deeds more often then not served the only purpose of increasing Luthor’s fame and popularity. Hannibal was extremely grateful for the opportunity of being a superhuman, preferring his new situation to his original one in everything; however, he wasn’t exactly loved by his teammates, since they found disturbing his continuous request of genetic samples, such as hair or nails, so that he could mimic them in case of need. Not everybody in Infinity Inc. shared Hannibal’s gratitude towards Luthor: one of them, Starlight (real name Natasha Irons, the niece of Steel), had some suspects on Luthor’s real intentions, and decided to investigate on her own; she shared her suspects with her love interest, teammate Jacob “Skyman” Colby, who agreed to assist her: when Luthor learnt about this, he ordered Hannibal Bates to spy on them with every means possible, to protect his new life as a superhuman: luckily enough, spying wasn’t a problem for Everyman.

Bates lured Colby into a trap, and killed him; he then conserved his body to consume it…but then something weird happened: although he just needed a small sample of genetic material, such as a fingernail, Bates actually discovered he liked the taste of human flesh, so he started eating, little by little, Skyman’s legs and arms, cooking them and accompanying them with good red wine. Everyman’s absence was covered by Lex Luthor himself, while Bates posed as Skyman and “helped” Natasha with her investigations, reporting to Luthor and diverting her from actual results. Eventually, Natasha went too far, and everymancomics2Everyman revealed himself to her by showing her the corpse of Skyman: enraged for her lover’s death, Starlight beat Hannibal nearly to death, until Luthor intervened, saving his spy and subduing the heroine. Upon knowing what happened to his niece, Steel led the Teen Titans to a rescue mission, during which Everyman acted as the first line of defense: he first transformed into Natasha, trying to deceive her uncle, then turned into a giant crab to crush him, but he was easily defeated. Steel and the Titans won the battle and saved the lady in peril, and they even arrested Lex Luthor…at least, they one they believed to be Luthor: Hannibal, in fact, protected his boss to the end, and transformed into him so that he went to jail in his place. A journalist, Clark Kent, saw through Everyman’s deceit, and eventually the real Luthor was arrested. Upon being arrested, Luthor was forced to remove the artificial superpowers from his test subjects, and Everyman became the puny and mediocre Hannibal Bates once again, just a cannibal psychopath as many others. His skills, however, didn’t go unnoticed, and the sorceress Circe decided she would have made good use of him: using her magic, she restored Everyman’s powers, and the psycho shapeshifter came back on the loose. First, he consumed Ted Kord‘s remains to make the heroes believe the second Blue Beetle had returned from the grave, but he was spotted and arrested. Freed by Circe once again, he was ordered to pose as Sarge Steele, and to manipulate the U.S. Army into attacking Themyscira in an all-out war against the Amazons. There would have always been work for Everyman…and food for Hannibal, of course.

Hannibal Bates is an unbalanced and deranged individual, led by an overwhelming sens of inferiority to seek superpowers through Lex Luthor’s experimentations, and loyal to the death to the man who made it possible for him to become “something more”. As Everyman, he’s able to transform into any person or animal he’s consumed genetic material of, becoming an exact genetic replica of the original; training with Infinity Inc. also made him a master in different martial arts and a proficient weapon user. With his abilities, Hannibal discovered even an unnatural taste for human flesh, and he’s become a cannibal, who takes pleasure in consuming the ones he’s supposed to impersonate. Nearly impossible to detect and eager to please the ones who saved him from mediocrity (Luthor and Circe), Everyman is the ultimate spy, able and eager to go behind enemy lines…even just for a snack.

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3 Comments

  1. […] Wells?, detective Eddie Thawne is incriminated for two murder attempts actually committed by Hannibal Bates, and the one prosecuting him is Central City‘s District Attorney, Cecile Horton, portrayed […]

  2. […] well for Green Arrow’s wife, but Cupid fled after it (she would have allied herself with Hannibal Bates, the former shapeshifter Everyman now believing to be Oliver Queen himself and going under the […]

  3. […] McKenna, Erik “Fury” Storn, Jacob “Skyman” Colby and Hannibal “Everyman” Bates, but she didn’t bond with any of them in particular, keeping her relationship on a personal […]


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