Vartox

VartoxTime for the last character appearing in Supergirl trailer and first episode (there are a couple of unconfirmed cameos, for those we’ll wait some official confirmation). The first villain Supergirl has to face in her newly started career as a heroine is Vartox, portrayed by Owain Yeoman. In the show, he’s an intergalactic criminal escaped from Fort Ros who went on hiding on Earth for twelve years, only to appear again and challenge Supergirl when she makes her public debut. He’s a violent axe-wielding brute and a chauvinist (“Where I come from, females bow before males!”), and he proves to be far stronger than Supergirl…even if not as smart. In the comics, he’s pretty much different: he has no axe, he’s not even a villain…even if he’s a chauvinist, and when he clashed with Superman it was over a woman. The character was originally modelled on Sean Connery in his Zardoz appearance (even the costume is practically the same), and he was much funnier than his live action version. Let’s see together.

Not much is known about Vartox’s past: he was born on Valeron, a remote planet in the Sombrero Galaxy, and he somehow acquired incredible powers that made him a Hyper-Man, able to access a variety of psychic abilities. With a nearly unlimited power, Vartox chose to become a force for good, and he became the champion and protector of Valeron. He also had a family on his homeplanet, as he married his beloved Elyra; tragedy struck when Elyra’s psychic twin (some sort of doppelganger, linked on a biological level) died on a remote planet, Earth, causing Elyra to die as well. Using his Hyper Vision, Vartox explored history, and learnt that Elyra’s twin had been killed by a vartoxcomics1criminal, Frank Sykes: wanting to bring the culprit to justice, Vartox examined the future, only to learn that, if he was to break Sykes out of jail to bring him to Valeron, he would have clashed with Earth’s protector, Superman, a powerful yet unexperienced champion like he was, in a titanic battle that would have led to the death of Lois Lane, Superman’s love interest. Wanting to avoid this, Vartox traveled to Earth with his face-shaped ship and explained the situation to Superman: then, he tricked Sykes into willingly follow him to Valeron, where he was trialed and found guilty. He was sentenced to sixty years…and that on Valeron meant he would have been artificially aged the number of years he was sentenced to: following the agreement, Vartox returned Sykes as an old man to Earth. From that moment, he and Supes became good friends, even if they sometimes ended up being rivals, mostly because, not knowing Earth’s uses and costumes, usually Vartox caused some unwanted trouble anytime he came visiting his alien friend (for example, when he unwillingly unleashed the alien Karb-Brak against Superman, only to be infected in turn by a virus that put him against Superman as well). The two heroes obviously liked each other the best when they stayed each one on their planet…but that became impossible the moment Valeron was destroyed, and Vartox found himself without a planet and a people to protect. Superman offered Vartox a place to stay until he found another planet that needed him, and provided him with a secret identity: Vernon O’Valeron, security guard at Galaxy Communications, a media company in Metropolis.

During his stay on Earth, however, Vartox met and fell in love with Lana Lang, who at the time had given up her ambition to be Superman’s girlfriend, since she couldn’t be with a man who had the responsibility of an entire world on his shoulders. Lana proved to be pretty unlucky, as she not only got a crush on another man who was the same as Superman, but who had just found a world to protect, Tynola, in another galaxy, and a planet with an atmosphere that was lethal to earthlings. Vartox had to leave Lana and move to the new planet, vartoxcomics2which was crowded with threats and menaces…but just because some of the inhabitants themselves provided them: in fact, they wanted to charge Vartox with a special kind of energy, which would have made him the perfect sacrifice for the space god they worshipped. With the help of Superman, Vartox defeated the cosmic god and exiled him for good, but chose to stay on Tynola to help the ones who really needed it. There was yet another survivor from Valeron, however: Vartox’s first lover, Syreena, whom the hero had arrested when she broke bad and became a criminal. To exact her revenge, Syreen involved Lana, and she turned her into a stone statue after making her able to breathe on Tynola, so that Vartox would have suffered the most for her demise. At first, Vartox believed to be the one responsible for Lana’s fate, but eventually he found out Syreena was alive and wielding a fraction of his power she had stolen from him. After confronting his psycho girlfriend, Vartox managed to convince her to restore Lana…but the petrification process couldn’t be undone, only transferred, so Syreena became a stone statue in Lana’s place. Being human again, Lana was also unable to breathe Tynola’s atmosphere, so Vartox had to part from her once again. Of course, this wasn’t the last time Earth saw Vartox: nothing could keep Valeron’s champion far from the woman he wanted for long…

Vartox is a larger-than-life hero, an experienced yet brash man with an explosive personality and an overflowing manliness. Deeply devoted to his planet and people, Vartox lives to serve others…especially if they are pretty women (as even earthlings such as Lana Lang and Powergirl have learnt). As the champion of Valeron, he’s extremely powerful: he possesses strength, speed, stamina and durability equal to Superman’s, he can fly, his senses are extremely precise and heightened, he can manipulate matter at will (including shape and density), he possesses some degrees of telepathy and telekinesis, he can manipulate energy and emit freezing or burning rays, he can see through time and change history before events happen, all thanks to his Hyper-Energy, a power he can even transmit to others; where the Hyper-Energy doesn’t arrive, his remarkable intellect does, as Vartox is also a skilled inventor armed with an arsenal of futuristic gadgets. Charming, heroic and nearly unstoppable both in war and in love, Vartox is a relentless force for good…and quite an annoyance as a rival.

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Henry Henshaw (Cyborg Superman)

Hank HenshawDuring the Supergirl trailer we meet also the last recurring character of the series, Hank Henshaw, portrayed by David Harewood. In the show, he’ll be a former CIA agent who’s now in charge of the Department of Extra-Normal Operations, a secret taskforce born after Superman‘s arrival on Earth. Henshaw hunts down the many criminal aliens escaped from the Kryptonian prison Fort Ros when Supergirl arrived, and finds in Supergirl herself a worthy ally for his cause…even if he doesn’t like nor trust her, as with all aliens. In the comics, Henshaw is not exactly known for being a good guy, quite the opposite: whether we’ll see him transform into his evil alter ego during the series or not, it remains to be seen…in the meanwhile, let’s see who he is in the comics.

Henry “Hank” Henshaw was one of the most brilliant scientists in Metropolis (and that says a lot), an expert of cosmic radiations and space engineering. His researches brought him to work for LexCorp, where he could use the company’s nearly unlimited resources for funding his first space mission. Henshaw personally designed the Excalibur, the space ship that would have brought him in space, while he chose as members of his crew his beloved wife Terri and his friends Jim and Steve, who had shared his work from the very beginning. The exploration aboard Excalibur went smoothly untill the moment of returning to Earth: a massive radiation storm hit the ship, and the four explorers crashed far from Metropolis. Even more, the radiations had horribly mutated them: Jim’s and Steve’s bodies had been destroyed, but their minds still lived, and they had managed to build new bodies using the debris around the ship and pure energy, respectively. Hank and cyborgsupermancomics1Terri didn’t show any change, but Hank knew it was only a matter of time: he decided to come back to LexCorp with his wife and friends to try and find a cure…unfortunately, a monster made of rock and a flaming man didn’t exactly go unnoticed, and soon they attracted the attention of the city’s protector, Superman. Due to a misunderstanding, Steve and Jim, whose mental state was quickly deteriorating, started battling the Man of Steel, but they soon descended into madness and flew directly into the sun, committing suicide. In the meanwhile, also Hank and Terri started to mutate, and while Hank’s body was rapidly decaying, Terri was slowly shifting to another dimension: thanks to Superman’s help, Hank was able to save Terri, but for himself it was too late, and he died when his body rotted completely…or else so it seemed: Hank’s mind had been transferred into LexCorp’s mainframe, as he had now the power to control and merge with any kind of technology. Using LexCorp’s machinery, Hank built for himself a robotic body, and he visited his wife with it: that, however, wasn’t the happy reunion he was hoping for, since the shock of the accident, the transformation and her husband’s death, united with the appearance of the talking robot, led Terri to madness, and eventually to death. Distraught, Hank decided to leave the planet, and merging with the Birthing Matrix Superman had arrived on Earth with, he built a small spaceship and started traveling alien worlds.

Meeting new cultures, Henshaw expanded his knowledge, but also grew increasingly paranoid, and started to blame Superman for the accident: the Man of Steel, in fact, had thrown the hostile artificial intelligence Eradicator into the sun more or less the same time the Excalibur met the unexplained radiation storm, and Hank started to believe that the hero had willingly killed his wife and his crew. Coming back to Earth seeking revenge, Henshaw learnt that Superman had died in a battle with the monstrous Doomsday, so he was unable to destroy him in person…so he decided to destroy his reputation. Using his power over technology, Henshaw built a nearly undestructible cybernetic body, and he merged it with organic parts whose DNA he extracted from the Birthing Matrix. He then presented cyborgsupermancomics2himself as “Superman reborn”, and even acted as a hero to convince the people he was the real Superman: he defeated Doomsday and exiled him into open space, he saved the President of the United States from an assassination attempt and he even prevented a nuclear meltdown. Thanks to all this, the President himself publicly acknowledged him as the real Superman, back from the dead. Finally, Hank’s plan could be accomplished: he called from outer space his new ally, the warlord Mongul, and had him attack Coast City, the hometown of Terri. When one of the other heroes who had taken the mantle of Superman, Eradicator (now calling himself the Last Son of Krypton), tried to stop Mongul, Cyborg Superman attacked him and destroyed him, then he helped Mongul destroy Coast City, killing seven million people in the process. Cyborg Superman’s next target was Metropolis, but he and Mongul found on their way a formidable alliance formed by Superboy, Supergirl, a rebuilt Eradicator, Steel, Green Lantern and the true, resurrected yet weakened Superman. In the ensuing battle, Eradicator died for good, but he managed to restore Superman’s full strength: powered up, Superman destroyed Cyborg Superman’s body with ease, believing he had disposed of his enemy…but Hank’s conscience moved to a device he had attached to Doomsday when he battled him time before, believing “near Doomsday” was the safest place in the universe. From there, he would have been able to rebuild himself and to continue planning his vengeance. It was just a matter of time.

Hank Henshaw is a brilliant scientist, a genius engineer and a skilled researcher, whose personal mission of knowledge brings him to the farthest corners of the universe…unfortunately, he’s also a paranoid lunathic, gone mad for the loss of his beloved wife and friends, and who blames Superman for everything that happened to him. As Cyborg Superman, he’s able to freely transfer his consciousness into any machine, and to control any kind of tech at will; he can manipulate machines and shape the mechanical parts of his body in any way he likes (usually weapons). Having learnt of Kryptonian DNA from the Birthing Matrix, he’s able to replicate also organic parts that allow him to access all of Superman’s powers (and to suffer for the same waknesses, since he’s weakened by Kryptonite). Extremely powereful, totally deranged, Cyborg Superman is a monomaniac mass murderer who wants Superman to suffer for what happened to him…and if world must perish in the process, so be it.

Frederick Danvers

Fred DanversExactly like we did with the family’s women, let’s see now Supergirl‘s adoptive father after the biological one. In the same, single frame in which you can spot Sylvia Danvers, there’s also her husband Fred at her side, portrayed by former Superman actor Dean Cain. This is not Danvers’ first live action appearance, even if the first one was pretty much different than usual: in the Supergirl movie, David Healey portrayed the character not as Kara‘s foster parent, but as the principal of Midvale Prep, the school Supergirl attended to with Lucy Lane. The original version is not nearly as neurotic as Healey’s one, and it’s likely Cain’s portrayal will stay closer to the source…but just as with his wife, we also have two differend Freds, and which one the show will pick is still a mystery. Let’s see together.

Frederick Danvers was born in MidvaleNew York, a small suburbam town near Metropolis. He was a brilliant engineer, specialised in rocket science, and he worked all around the country, always coming back to his loving wife Edna. The two of them had a son, Jan, but in the 1950s, when he was a young adult, he was sent off to Korea to fight in the war, and was killed on Chu-Li Island. Not even his remains were sent back home, and Fred and Edna remained with only the memories of their lost son. Being beyond middle aged already, they couldn’t have another child of their own, but they still felt they had a lot of love to give, so they decided to adopt: in Midvale Orphanage, they adopted a teenager girl, Linda Lee, a sweet and loving girl…with a secret. As Superman told Fred and Edna, Linda was actually Kara Zor-El, his cousin, another alien with his exact same powers. Fred and Edna didn’t step back because of this, quite the opposite, they freddanverscomics1were extremely proud of having as a daughter the Supergirl everybody was talking about…although of course they had to keep the secret. Life for Fred Danvers became extremely more animated than before, having to deal with aliens and superpowered beings from time to time, but it was also happier, with a whole family reunited once again. Fred eventually was the one who helped Kara bring back her biological parents, Zor-El and Alura In-Ze, who were trapped in a dimensional shelter to escape Argo City‘s destruction. Despite having her true father with her again, Kara still loved deeply Fred, and when he was kidnapped by a man called Jasper Casbeer, she followed him to Gotham City. In here, Casbeer had delivered Fred to the supercriminal Colonel Sulphur, who wanted to force him to given him the formula of a new rocket fuel he was developing; when Danvers refused, Sulphur used a truth serum on him. Luckily enough, Supergirl and Batman intervened just in time, and together they managed to defeat Colonel Sulphur and his Army of Crime, saving Fred Danvers in the process.

Following the Chrisis on Infinite Earths this version of Fred Danvers was erased from existence. A new one, however, emerged soon after: this Fred Danvers didn’t chose to become an engineer as his counterpart, but he enlisted to become a cop. He became a police officer in the small town of LeesburgVirginia, where he met Sylvia, the woman he fell in love with. The two got married, and they had a daughter, Linda. Being Linda’s parent wasn’t exactly easy for Fred, especially considering he was a policeman: his daughter, in fact, went to the bad growing up, and she ended up being involved in a number of illicit and illegal activities. Fred tried his best to make his daughter freddanverscomics2listen to him once again, and to gain back some sense, but her new boyfriend, Gaius “Buzz” Marcus, led her to a dark path, and she only listened to him. Then, something happened to Linda, and she underwent a major change from a day to another: Fred really didn’t know what to think, but he was happy she didn’t hang out with Buzz anymore, and that she didn’t behave like a thug anymore…he didn’t know how much she had changed, however: during an occult ritual in which Buzz had tried to kill her, Linda had been fused with Matrix, an alien who had given her the power to become the new Supergirl. Fred learnt of this only months after, when Supergirl had to face an unprecedented threat and couldn’t hide anymore. At first, Fred was pretty much shocked, and he and Sylvia actually believed that Matrix had taken possession of their daughter’s body, erasing her personality and posing as her. Eventually, however, Fred came to accept Linda’s change and her new “mission” as Supergirl, and tried to help her fighting the Extremists (or at least cleaning the streets allowing her to fight without worrying about everybody else). Sylvia, on the other hand, didn’t react so well, and soon became a depressed alcoholist, who ended up distancing also her husband. Fred tried his best to support and help her, but she repelled him time after time, and he eventualy gave up, leaving her to her problems. He already had a superpowered teenager to look after, and he simply didn’t know how to manage a alcoholic wife as well.

Fred Denvers, depending on the reality he belonged to, has been both a brilliant space engineer and a heroic cop, a genius scientist able to deal with alien technology and a brave law enforcer who doesn’t pull back even in front of superhuman enemies. In both cases, however, he’s a man deeply devoted to his family, a caring husband and a loving father, ready to protect his loved ones in every way he can.

Zor-El

Zor-ElAfter the mother(s), it’s time to take a look at the father(s) appearing in Supergirl trailer. When Kara is sent to Earth from a dying Krypton, we can spot her father, Zor-El, portrayed by Robert Gant, standing behind Alura; his role in the show will likely be minimal, since the guidance part will be entrusted to his wife, but we’ll see. In the 1984 movie, he was portrayed by Simon Ward, a peaceful scientist leaving on Argo City who could do nothing but watch as his heroic daughter left on a solo mission to Earth. There’s been yet another version of Zor-El, this time in Smallville, where he was portrayed by Christopher Heyerdahl: this time, he was a villainous character, a corrupt councilman who loathed his brother Jor-El and who anthagonised him on everything, including his love for Lara Lor-Van; he appeared as a secondary villain in season 7, trying to exact his revenge on Jor-El through his son Kal-El, coming back as a replicant. Now, waiting to see what kind of a role Zor-El will have in Supergirl, let’s see who he is in the comics.

Zor-El was born on Krypton, and he was the younger son of the leader of the Science CouncilSeyg-El. Zor-El grew up with his beloved older brother, Jor-El, but differently from him he didn’t follow Seyg-El’s footsteps, and he dedicated himself to something different than science (although he was a pretty skilled engineer, among other things). He became a Ranger, serving Krypton differently from most of his ancestors in the House of El, and because of his creative and passionate nature he even became a prominent member of the Artist Guild. In his youth years, Zor-El moved from the capital Kryptonopolis to Argo City, where he met the woman he desperately fell in love with: Alura, a brilliant scientist who had apparently erased every emotion from her heart in order to perfect her skills as a researcher. Only Zor-El of all people managed to see through the facade Alura had built in order to look zorelcomics1more “professional”, and he passionately courted her, reawakening feelings and emotions she believed she had cancelled a long time before. Alura finally reciprocated Zor-El’s love, and they got married. They settled in Argo City, and they had a daughter, Kara, who inherited her mother’s brilliance and her father’s creativity. Zor-El’s family lived happily for a while, until Krypton faced a series of catastrophes one after the other: first the alien Brainiac attacked the planet, shrank one of its greatest cities, Kandor, and took it along with its entire population, then the leader of the army General Zod rebelled and tried a copu d’etat; finally, Jor-El’s researches brought him to the conclusion that Krypton’s core was about to explode, but the Science Council didn’t believe him. Zor-El, trusting his brother, supported him in front of the council, but with no result: so, he helped his wife reverse-engineering Brainiac’s technology to create a force field to protect the planet, but time wasn’t enough, so they only managed to save Argo City. Krypton died, and most of its population along with it: only Argo City remained as a legacy of one of the greatest civilizations ever lived.

Even Argo City, however, wasn’t exactly a safe place, as Brainiac came back to understand who was using his technology: just before he could sum Argo City’s population to Kandor’s for his researches, Zor-El and Alura sent Kara to Earth, the same planet on which Jor-El and Lara had sent their infant son, Kal-El, so that she could raise him. Then, Zor-El, his wife and many of his fellow citizens were abducted by Brainiac, while all the others were killed. The Kryptonians survivors lived in Brainiac’s mothership until they were saved by Superman, the man infant Kal-El had become: Superman brought the bottled city to his Fortress of Solitude, a remote refuge near Earth’s North Pole, and he studied along with Kandor’s scientists a way to return city and people to normal size. zorelcomics2Eventually, he succeeded, and Zor-El and the others could finally start a new life. Kandor was located near the Fortress of Solitude (cold temperature wasn’t a problem for Kryptonians, since Earth’s yellow sun granted them unimaginable powers), but they were obviously seen as a potential threat by Earth’s government, being a new nation of alien origins, small but entirely inhabited by people with the same abilities as Superman. Zor-El tried to convince his fellow Kryptonians that they had to adapt to the new environment and to try and communicate with earthlings, aiming to a peaceful meeting of cultures, but there was a faction that wanted to preserve Kryptonian culture from any outsider influence (and soon Alura became the leader of this rival faction). Zor-El was elected ambassador of Kandor, and he attended meetings with Earth’s leaders to try and find a peaceful agreement. In Washington, D.C. he met the President of the United States of America (Earth’s most powerful nation), Jonathan Horne, and participated to a summit with all the greatest presidents and prime ministers, but the meeting was interrupted by a humongous monster, Doomsday, one of Superman’s deadliest enemies. Zor-El and the Kryptonian delegation, working together, managed to defeat the monster, and that was taken as a sign of good faith from the earthlings. The first step for a peaceful cohabitation had been made, but Zor-El would have learnt soon enough that the biggest threat to peace came from inside his own house.

Zor-El is a noble and enlightened man, who perfectly understands the limits of his science-centred culture and tries to surpass them through the re-discovery of unscientific elements such as art and emotions. Passionate, yet calm and reflective, Zor-El works for peace and understanding in every situation he’s in, always trying to do the best for his people. As all Kryptonians, on Earth he possesses amazing powers granted to him by the yellow sun: immense strength, speed, stamina and durability, flight, freezing breath, heat vision, heightened senses, x-ray vision and much more. Even as powerful as he has become, however, Zor-El remains the same man of peace he’s always been, refusing to see earthlings as weaklings to be conquered by Kryptonians, but wanting them as partners in a common future for both peoples.

Edna and Sylvia Danvers

Sylvia DanversAfter meeting Supergirl‘s biological mother, let’s introduce her adoptive one. In Supergirl trailer, she only appears in a single frame, hard to catch but visible nontheless: she’s Sylvia Danvers, and she’ll be portrayed by Helen Slater, the original Supergirl from the 1984 movie. In the show, she’ll apparently be an amalgam of two characters from the comics: obviously Sylvia Danvers, who gives her her name, but also Edna Danvers, the very first version of the character. The two women share the same husband in different realities, but have different daughters, albeit both of them become Supergirl at a certain point. Let’s see together.

Not much is known about Edna’s early life, not even her maiden name. At a certain point, she met a charming engineer, Fred Danvers, and she fell in love with him. The two got married, and soon had a son, Jan. They lived a normal and happy life, until the United States declared war to Korea: Jan was sent off to serve his country, but he never came back, and even his body remained in Korea, buried on the island he died in, Chu-Li. Jan’s death, of course, was a terrible trauma for the Danvers, even more considering they found out they weren’t able to have children anymore. A nearly elderly couple, Edna and Fred decided to adopt, and they tried to Midvale Orphanage. They ended up adopting a grown up girl, Linda Lee, a beautiful and nice girl who was pretty much enthusiast to finally find parents. She wasn’t a normal girl, however: immediately before leaving the orphanage, Edna and Fred were warned by Superman in person that Linda was actually his cousin, and that she had all of his powers. This fact didn’t ednadanverscomicsdiscourage the Danvers at all, quite the opposite, they both were extremely proud of having Supergirl as their (adopted) daughter. Of course, life would have never been as easy as before, even if it was surely happier: they helped Linda keep her real identity secret, but they also struggled to manage not only a superpowered daughter, but also the superpowered pets she brought home, like the cat Streaky. They also had to deal with an impostor, Lesla-Lar, a Kryptonian criminal who took their daughter’s place for a while. Eventually, they managed to rise Supergirl for three years without serious problems, until she left for studying at Stanhope College. When Linda graduated and got a job in New York, Edna and her husband called to congratulate with their adoptive daughter, a young woman they were extremely proud of. Then, the Chrisis on Infinite Earths occured, and the multiverse was merged into a single reality: Edna Danvers, who belonged to Earth-1, was erased from existence, along with her entire story.

In the new universe emerging from the Chrisis, New Earth, Edna lived on through a “spiritual successor”, whose name was Sylvia. She lived in LeesburgVirginia, where she met Fred Danvers, a young policeman she fell in love with. The two got married, and they had a daughter, Linda, a sweet yet stubborn child who grew up to become quite a problematic teenager. Linda’s boyfriend, Gaius “Buzz” Marcus, led her on a dark path…only, not Linda nor her parents imagined how dark it was, since he intended to sacrifice her to a demon he worshipped with a cult. Neither Fred nor Sylvia knew what happened the night Linda “changed”, but she was saved by Supergirl (the alien from a pocketverse known as the Matrix), and in the process she fused with her savior, becoming able to turn at will from short and raven-haired Linda Danvers to tall and blonde Supergirl. Linda revealed her new identity to her parents sylviadanverscomicsduring a climatic battle with the Extremists, a villainous group from another dimension. While Fred accepted more easily his daughter’s change, first of all happy because she had embraced a new way of living, Sylvia had some sort of a mental breakdown, and she refused to believe to the one she couldn’t recognize as her daughter anymore: she believed that Matrix had taken over Linda’s personality, and that the latter had disappeared forever. As the battle against the Extremists and their leader Twilight became more heated, Sylvia found herself directly involved, and she almost lost her life at the hands of the monstrous Despero: only Supergirl’s intervention saved her, and she finally found herself ready to accept that two different persons were now inhabiting her daughter’s body…but that didn’t solve her problems at all. Sylvia had always been a woman of faith, but being part of Supergirl’s world, a world of multiple dimensions and realities in which demons and aliens roamed free, in which two different souls could inhabit the same body, proved to be too much for her, and she lost her faith, falling into a deep depression. She eventually tried to find comfort in alcohol, and before she could even realize it she was addicted to it. Her alcoholism ruined even her marriage, and Fred left her, unable to help her with her problem: he obtained divorce, and Sylvia found herself alone, in a world she didn’t understand anymore…with only a bottle to calm her down.

Despite being two different versions of the same woman, Edna and Sylvia Danvers couldn’t be more different: the first one is the traditional housewife, a devoted wife and mother who finds in herself and in her family the strength to face any difficulty or chrisis, to the point that she’s also able to take a step back when her beloved adoptive daughter finds her biological parents trapped in an alternate dimension; the second one, on the opposite, is a fragile woman, who holds on to something she believes is faith, but that’s actually only a thin shield she tries to protect herself from the world with. Both Edna and Sylvia love their respective husband and daughter, but only one of them has the strength, the wisdom and the good heart to endure anything life has in store…and that’s not Sylvia.

Alura In-Ze

Alura In-ZeLet’s go on with the characters appearing in Supergirl trailer: at the very beginning of it, we witness the destruction of Krypton, as well as Kara‘s departure from her homeplanet. Warning and consoling her there’s her mother, Alura In-Ze, portrayed by Laura Benanti. Obviously, Alura dies with the planet’s explosion, but her role is a recurring one, so maybe she’ll find a way to let her coscience follow her daughter’s progresses, similar to what Jor-El did with his son. This is Alura’s second live action appearance, as the first one was in the Supergirl movie: in here, she was portrayed by Mia Farrow, and she was one of the few Kryptonians surviving in the Argo City colony. She didn’t have much of a role, apart from pleading her daughter not to follow the stolen Omegahedron to Earth (something that she obviously does). Waiting for the tv show, let’s see who Alura is in the comics.

Alura In-Ze was born on planet Krypton, in one of the biggest and most important cities of her world, Argo City. Extremely brilliant and determined, Alura managed to study her way to the Science Guild, and she soon became one of the most capable and brilliant scientists on the planet. Becoming a scientist, for Alura, also meant to embrace an extreme philosophy, and she learnt to suppress every emotion, every instict and desire, so that she could mold herself onto the image of the perfect woman of science as she imagined it: through her eyes, the universe was a cold world alurainzeecomics1of mathematical proportions and physical laws, and she dedicated her entire life to measuring and categorising it. There was one single variable she couldn’t forsee: Zor-El, a passionate artist from the noble House of El, who got interested in her and started courting her. At first, Alura reacted coldly to her suitor’s advances, but she was eventually won by Zor-El’s way of looking at the world: his universe was much more alive, complex and colourful than her own, and he completed her life with all the passions and feelings she had worked so hard no to feel anymore. Alura In-Ze fell in love with Zor-El, and the two of them got married: from that moment, Alura mitigated her husband’s sometimes rushy attitude, while he brought love and compassion to her cold-minded point of view. In a few time, they had a daughter, Kara, who grew up inheriting her mother’s brain and her father’s compassion. Alura and her family spent years of pure happiness, but that life wasn’t destined to last long, as tragedy soon befell Krypton and it inhabitants.

First, the Coluan conqueror Brainiac attacked Krypton, to make its people part of his personal collection: Brainiac used his advanced technology to shrink the city of Kandor and to bottle it, so that he could literally remove it from the planet. The Kryptonian army couldn’t prevent Kandor’s disappearance because of an impenetrable force field Brainiac used to protect his operations. Soon after, Zor-El’s brother, Jor-El, tried to convince the Kryptonian Council that the entire planet was about to blow up, but nobody believed him…nobody but Alura, who was able to confirm his researches, and Zor-El, who always trusted his older brother. Since the government was moving too slowly, Alura decided to act on her own: she obtained one of Brainiac’s drones that were succesfully destroyed by General Zod‘s army, and started studying it, looking for the secret of the alien’s technology. She had little time to accomplish anything, but she managed to reverse-engineer Brainiac’s force field, alurainzeecomics2and to use it to protect Argo City. Unfortunately, there was no time to make it bigger or more powerful, and Alura was able to save only her own city, while the rest of Krypton exploded. Zor-El, however, knew that his brother had sent his own son, Kal-El, on a distant planet, Earth, to save him: Alura then used the following years to find a way to move all the surviving Kryptonians on Earth, where they could have joined Kal. Brainiac, however, sensed that somebody was using his technology, and attacked the refugees. Alura couldn’t save her people, but she saved at least her daughter: she instructed her to guard over her infant cousin Kal, and she sent her to Earth on an escape pod. Brainiac, in the meanwhile, was assimilating all the new elements he found in Argo City to Kandor, destroying everything and everyone he found “redundant”: Alura and Zor-El were among the “lucky” ones he found interesting, and they were taken prisoners, shrunk and bottled with many others. At least, Alura knew her beloved daughter was safe, and not alone.

Alura In-Ze is an extremely intelligent woman, a scientific genius who has sacrificed her emotions and passions to achieve a purely calculating mind. With the help of her husband Zor-El, she managed to balance her feelings and her logic, but she usually ends up following the second. After years of being a refugee, Alura has become fiercely protective over her people, and she is ready to use any possible means to protect them…even extreme measures she wouldn’t have taken in consideration before. As all Kryptonians, on Earth she converts the yellow sun‘s radiations in incredible powers, such as immense strength, speed, durability and stamina, superhuman senses and reflexes, flight, heat vision, freezing breath and much more. A scientist to the bone, Alura will always follow the most logical way of action…even when it sacrifices any form of humanity or compassion.

White Canary

The last new character appearing in the Legends of Tomorrow trailer…is an old one. We already met Caity Lotz‘s Sara Lance as Laurel‘s cheating sister, who arrives on Lian Yu little after Oliver Queen and who is later welcomed by the League of Assassins as The Canary after the second near-death experience. Well, the Canary was killed during this season…but Sara is coming back thanks to the Lazarus Pit (it’s still unknown who will use it on her), and she will join the new team of heroes and villains with a brand new identity: the White Canary. Apparently Sara will suffer some sort of personality change during the resurrection, and her new self will be represented by a new costume and battle name. In the comics, the White Canary is a pretty recent character, and her true identity is pretty much different…it’ll be fun to see how Lotz will portray her, but it’s more than likely that the show’s version won’t be as villainous as the comics’ counterpart. Let’s see together.

The woman known as White Canary was born in China, in the Saanxi Province, in a small house along the legendary Silk Highway, an ancient road on which some of the most skilled and powerful martial artists dwelled. White Canary herself was the daughter of Si Fu Huang, an undefeatable master who raised his own children to be his successors, teaching them the ways of his kung fu; Si Fu, however, only wanted male heirs, so he had every female newborn killed upon birth. The White Canary’s mother died during childbirth, and upon finding she had given birth to a girl, Si Fu ordered the midwife to drown the baby into a nearby river. Despite her will to save the girl, the midwife obeyed Si Fu, and brought the newborn to the river…but something unexpected happened: a whitecanarycomics1single lighting bolt hit the woman just before she could drown the baby, and while the midwife died on the spot, the baby was left unscathed. Si Fu Huang understood that some divine power wanted the girl to live, so he decided to make one single ecception, and to keep the girl. He had named all his children (twelve in total) after the signs of the Chinese Zodiac, but he didn’t name her, keeping her a secret from the outside world. Si Fu trained the girl with her brothers, and transformed her into an ecceptionally skilled martial artist. She was the thirteenth heir to Huang, always hiding in the shadows, never revealing herself: when Huang died, his sons stepped into the world as the Twelve Brothers in Silk, a group of infallible assassins hired all over the world. Their sister witnessed their rise from behind the curtain, but she also witnessed their fall: during a mission, the Twelve Brothers came into conflict with an American heroine, the Black Canary, a proficient martial artist who proved to be a worthy opponent to them. In her final battle with the Brothers, Black Canary summoned in Gotham City a small group of heroes, forming a team that defeated the once-unbeatable Chinese warriors. After their defeat, the Twelve Brothers scattered around the world…but they were soon to be found.

Seeing Black Canary as the one who had shattered the pride of her family, Si Fu’s daughter finally chose a name: she would have been the White Canary, the heroine’s reverse. She didn’t only blame her newly found nemesis for her brother’s failure, however: it was their weakness that caused their defeat in the first place. She tracked down each one of the Twelve Brothers in Silk, and she beat them to death one after the other. This wasn’t such a hard task for her: with years of practice, White Canary was a more proficient martial artist than each one of her brothers, and the assassins, by the way, trusted her, so they didn’t see her attack coming. After punishing with death all of her brothers, White Canary took upon herself the task of succeeding where they had failed, so that she could have been whitecanarycomics2able to restore the pride of Huang’s legacy. She travelled to Gotham City, and she spent time collecting any possible information on a number of heroes and villains, including secret identities and personal data; then, she sent it to Oracle, the intelligence operator of the Birds of Prey, the group Black Canary was a part of. To the briefcase containing the files she added a note, in which she declared she would have killed a person from those files once every hour, until the Birds of Prey stopped her. While Oracle summoned her teammates, White Canary allied with one of the men on her list, Oswald Cobblepot, the crime lord known as The Penguin; Penguin accepted her services in bringing down the Birds of Prey, and he hired also the mercenaries Savant and Creote, two members of the team that defeated the Twelve Brothers, to fake their deaths at the hands of White Canary. Penguin then lit a different version of the Bat-Signal, displaying the symbol of the Birds of Prey, and when the heroines arrived, he pretended his life was threatened by White Canary (she even stabbed him to make everything seem more believable). As the Birds of Prey “saved” The Penguin, White Canary finally faced her enemies, but she defeated Black Canary, the Huntress, Hawk and Dove and Lady Blackhawke without the slightest difficulty. The fight was interrupted by the arrival of GCPD and a local tv station troupe, but White Canary had proved her superiority: she then challenged Black Canary to find her and fight her alone, while The Penguin carried on his plan to destroy the rest of the team: the last of Si Fu Huang’s children would have had her vengeance, finally.

White Canary is a deadly and mysterious woman, a warrior born who allows herself no weakness or flaw. She’s blindly devoted to her father’s cause, and she feels upon herself all the burden of a legacy she’s now alone to bring. She’s a nearly undefeatable warrior, extremely skilled in hand-to-hand combat and in the use of weapons, to the point she’s able to single-handedly defeat all the Birds of Prey with no effort. Determined and cold-hearted, White Canary will resort to any means and will stipulate any alliance to kill the woman she considers responsible for all her family’s misfortune: the Black Canary.