Last character seen in the Supergirl trailer: the obviously evil guy in a shining armor battling the heroine with energy blasts (which she answers to with her heat vision) is Reactron, who’ll be portrayed by Chris Browning. In the show, he’ll be an old enemy of Superman who, unable to defeat his nemesis, decides to vent his frustration on his cousin Supergirl, believing he’ll have an easier job in killing her. He’ll surely be unpleasantly surprised. Waiting to see him getting his butt kicked by Supergirl (it’s unlikely he’ll be developed for more than a single episode…), let’s see who the original Reactron is in the comics. Again, two different origins for this one.
Benjamin Krullen was a violent man who, as many others like him, channelled his natural attitude in a socially acceptable form and joined the army. In those years, the United States were at war with Vietnam, and Krullen was among the first ones to take a plane and go fight the commies over the ocean. A combatant born, Krullen positively impressed his superior officers, and soon rose the ranks becoming a sergeant. The war was exactly what Sgt. Krullen had always lived for, and the blood frenzy took over him: one night, Krullen led his men to attack an “enemy village”…only, it wasn’t a military target at all, it was just a group of non-combative civilians who had nothing to do with Ho Chi Minh‘s forces: despite perfectly knowing he was facing innocent people, Krullen massacred the whole village, leaving nobody alive. One of the sergeant’s subordinates, Joshua Clay, was particularly shocked by the event, so shocked that he ended up triggering latent metagenes that transformed him into a superhuman: trying to stop Krullen, Clay apparently vaporized the sergeant with a powerful blast of energy, then he went AWOL, and resurfaced only years after as the superhero Tempest. Krullen, however, wasn’t dead: his body had reacted weirdly to Clay’s energy, and he had become a sponge for radiations. With his body unable to retain the amount of energy Clay had discharged on him, Krullen leaked radiations, and was unable to return to a normal life. He was contacted by the evil scientific group known as the Council, who offered him a chance for revenge (and for becoming a soldier once again): the Council gave Krullen a special costume, that enabled him to control the radiations his body emitted, and informed him of Tempest, who was now a member of the superteam Doom Patrol. Krullen accepted the Council’s offer, and adopted the masked identity of Reactron: now able to control his own power, Krullen could fight on equal terms with the man who had challenged his authority…and won. It was time to settle the score.
Following Crisis on Infinite Earths, Ben Krullen was erased from existence as his entire universe, but he resurfaced soon after in the new one emerging from the catastrophe. Even in this reality, he was an officer in the US Army, a violent man who had become a soldier moved by grudge and unsatisfaction with his previous life. Krullen (sometimes called just Ben Krull) was assigned the mission to guard a top secret scientific military project; the facility he was serving in was attacked, and in the following battle Krullen was heavily injured and contaminated with radiations. In order to save his life (and to complete their experiment), the scientists from the base tended to the officer’s wounds, and equipped him with the StarSuit, an experimental containment suit that allowed him to control a body now constantly emitting radiations. Now calling himself Reactron, Krullen left the army, and looked for more remunerative employers, finding them in several criminal groups. One of his employers eventually sent him against the Doom Patrol, at the time working with Supergirl: Reactron managed to hold his own against all heroes, until Negative Woman overloaded him with too much energy, and he exploded. The villain’s body, however, reformed, and he was retrieved by Amanda Waller: Reactron was forcefully enlisted in the Suicide Squad and sent to Russia…where also Doom Patrol was. Seeing his old enemies, Reactron lost control, and the Squad’s leader, Deadshot, resolved to shoot him down, piercing his containment suit and making him blow up again. Just like the previous time, however, Reactron’s body reformed, and this time he was hired by Lex Luthor in a team of nuclear energy-based villains, the Nuclear Legion. On their first mission in Bludhaven, however, the Legion was confronted by SHADE, a governative team, and again Reactron was apparently killed. He resurfaced some times later, with General Sam Lane recruiting him to form a team with Metallo in his plan to destroy Kryptonians: Reactron was given a new suit, powered by a Gold Kryptonite heart, that allowed him to fight toe-to-toe even with the nearly unbeatable Kryptonians who now walked the planet. Finally, Krullen was once again a soldier with a mission.
Ben Krullen is a violent and brutal man, a soldier addicted to war who fights to destroy rather than to protect. As Reactron, he has the ability to absorb and redirect nuclear radiations, that he usually concentrates in lethal energy blasts; his body is mostly made of radioactive energy barely contained by his StarSuit, so any time he’s destroyed he can put himself together again. His new armor is equipped with a shard of Gold Kryptonite, able to remove Kryptonians’ powers for a limited time. Fierce and pitiless, Reactron fights for fight’s sake, eager only to spill the blood of his enemies…whoever they may be.