Carl Draper (Master Jailer)

Master JailerAnother trailer for the next Supergirl episode has been released, and we finally get a look at the new villain. In Truth, Justice and the American Way, the DEO will have to hunt down a mysterious serial killer who’s systematically abducting and executing the alien escapees from Fort Rozz, being them dangerous or not. The killer in question is the leather-wrapped Master Jailer, portrayed by Jeff Branson. Although he looks like a BDSM lover, he’s lethal enough to murder aliens much more powerful than regular humans, and apparently he also corners Supergirl herself. Waiting to see how the new villain will influence on our heroine’s life (even if he’ll probably make just a single appearance as the “freak of the week”), let’s see who he is in the comics.

Carl Draper was born in SmallvilleKansas. He was a fat and shy boy, constantly mocked by his schoolmates, who gave him the nickname Moosie (which he clearly hated). Despite his physique, Draper had only one real talent: he could find a way out from virtually any situation, a skill he used to avoid the bullies’ traps. There was one time, however, in which he could have actually used this ability to do something good, to gain popularity, and maybe even to impress the girl he was desperately in love with, Lana Lang: during a trip with Smallville High Geology Club, Draper and his entire class got trapped into a cave, with no way out. Carl bravely explored the cave on his own, and found an alternative passage: he used it to get out and to go looking for help, this way he would have been a hero to Lana and the others…but Superboy had already arrived, and had saved the class. Nobody ever knew that Carl had already found a way out before the hero even showed up. If this wasn’t enough, Lana only had eyes for Superboy, leaving poor Moosie mostly unnoticed. That was the moment of resolution: Draper underwent sever diet and training, masterjailercomics1sculpting his body into a more muscular figure. By the end of high school, he was already a completely different person. He moved to Metropolis, where he became a master engineer: he used his talent to escape traps to conceive cells nobody could escape from. He used his remarkable genius to build a prison specifically set for supervillains, naming it Draper’s Island; some villains, however, were still powerful enough to escape from it, so Superman, in an attempt to make it more secure, moved it into orbit. The media only reported this last fact, and the prison was renamed Superman’s Island: this was the final drop, and Draper finally exacted his revenge. He created the masked identity of Master Jailer, kidnapped Lana Lang, and forced Superman to overcome a series of deadly traps to save her. The superhero, however, managed to beat Draper’s genius, and defeated him, later locking him up in his own unescapable prison.

Following the Chrisis on Infinite Earths, Carl Draper’s life changed a bit. He was still a skilled and renowned engineer, known for his talent in designing unescapable cells and owner of a security agency, but he had no known history with Superman. When the supervillain Conduit was arrested, Draper was hired by S.T.A.R. Labs to create a cell able to contain him, something that he did. Not impressed by her father’s success, Carla Draper challenged Carl to create a prison able to hold Superman to really prove his skill. Teased in his pride, Carl accepted his daughter’s challenge, and devised the holografic identity of Deathtrap to lure Superman into a cell designed specifically for him. Despite the first trap was designed so that Superman could actually escape, when the Man of Steel did escape something awakened in Draper’s mind, and he became obsessed with the idea of being able to capture him. Using the Deathtrap hologram, Carl tried to capture Superman several times (he even “captured himself” during a Draper Security press conference, so to divert suspicions from himself), but the hero always proved to be superior to him. When Carla masterjailercomics2started using the Deathtrap identity for herself, Carl became the Master Jailer, devising more and more intricated traps to defeat the Man of Steel. For a time, he was even mind-controlled by Manchester Black into working for him, but he eventually broke free and came back to his independent activity…this until someone found out his multiple identities. The secret organization known as Checkmate discovered Master Jailer’s true identity, and used this information as leverage to force Draper to work with them. Draper was forcefully hired as head of security, codename Castellan, whose task was to protect Checkmate’s base from attacks. Soon, an unknown party started launching more and more complex attacks against the secret organization, and Draper, foiling one after the other, started suspecting that the culprit behind them was his own daughter Carla…

Carl Draper is a brilliant man, a genius with remarkable technical skills, and a challenging personality. Extremely proud, he’s prone to obsession when it comes to things that put his intellect in doubt. As Master Jailer (or Deathtrap, or Castellan), he doesn’t possess any superpower, but he’s able to study any person, superhumans included, and create prisons, cells or traps able to counter each of their ability; he succesfully trapped and contained Conduit, ParasiteAtomic SkullTerra-Man, Metallo and others, with Superman being the only one ever been able to escape his devices, even if with some help. A master escapologist, Master Jailer knows far too well what makes a trap unescapable…and it’s only a matter of time before even Superman surrenders to his genius.

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1 Comment

  1. […] and quite an obscure one in the comics. In Truth, Justice and the American Way, the serial killer Master Jailer is targeting the escapees from Fort Rozz, and one of them is the peaceful Professor Alphonse […]


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