Next in Lucy W.‘s list comes one of the best known cops in the DC Universe, Dan Turpin, the toughest policeman in Metropolis. Just as many others, Turpin made his live action debut in Smallville, in Season 8, portrayed by David Paetkau: a young police officer, he’s a subordinate of Detective John Jones, and he’s partnered with rookie Joe Fordman…actually Clark Kent investigating on some crooked policemen. Turpin is initially a strictly anti-vigilante cop, but after cooperating with The Blur and Green Arrow to stop Talbert and the other corrupt colleagues he changes his mind. In the comics, Turpin is a long-time ally of Superman and one of the recurring characters in his mythology, with a story starting from the 1940s: let’s see together.
Daniel “Terrible” Turpin was a street kid born in New York City in the 1930s, one of the many street-smart children who grew up pretty much on their own, most of them (Dan included) being orphans. When World War II began in Europe, Dan was little more than a kid, but he wanted to make his part as well: nobody, however, was interested in sending children to war (quite comprehensibly, actually), and the US Army simply laughed his battling ambitions off. A single officer, however, took him seriously, and invited him to a one-time opportunity to make something of his life: the officer was Captain Rip Carter, the on-field leader and guardian of the newborn Boy Commandos, an elite group of children from all around the Western world who wanted to fight in the war like adults. Dan was the first American kid to be recruited, and he joined French André Chavard, English Alfie Twidgett and Dutch Jan Haasan as one of the founding members of the Commandos. The four orphans, under Carter’s supervision, accomplished many tasks the adults were unable to, thus making quite a name for themselves in such dire times; Turpin, deeply patriotic, chose for himself the moniker Brooklyn after the neighborhood he had grown up into. Obviously, being defeated over and over again by a bunch of kids made the Nazis feel quite humiliated, so that they targeted Carter’s unusual squad with unbelievable ferocity, but the Boy Commandos always managed to walk away from it with a laughter, albeit often changing their roster. Dan Turpin was among the only one of the original team who made it through the entire war, and when it ended, he came back to the United States as a war hero. Wanting to start anew, he didn’t come back to New York City, but he moved to the Suicide Slums in Metropolis, where he enlisted in the local police, having acquired a taste for kicking bad people’s butt. Albeit a young man, Turpin became quite famous within the MPD for being an extremely tough guy, who put to shame the local veterans with his incredible courage and his uncompromising attitude towards criminals.
Dan Turpin, who resumed his old nickname “Terrible” for both colleagues and thugs, was the scourge of Metropolis’ criminals, but the world was rapidly changing, as more and more superhumans popped around, crowding the city with heroes and villains alike. The MPD needed to evolve to respond to the threat, so the Metropolis Special Crimes Unit was created, a unit specialised in dealing with situations far too extreme for regular policemen to handle; needless to say, smelling a new challenge, Dan Turpin was among the very first candidates for the newborn SCU, and he was promoted inspector to join the unit. The veteran officer was partnered with Maggie Sawyer, a detective who was among the very few ones who can handle his harsh character with one that could match it, and the two formed quite a formidable couple, always on the front line even against threats they could not possibly overcome. While battling crime, Turpin had the time to had a daughter, Maisie, from an unknown wife, who eventually divorced him. The only woman Dan ever felt attraction for afterwards was Maggie, who even became his boss when she was promoted head of the SCU, but after finding out she was a lesbian he had to put away his romantic ambitions on her; he remained fiercely loyal to her, always standing on her side even against superior officers anytime her work was questioned. Despite being a subordinate, he again became quite a living legend when he battled an impossible foe, Kalibak, the rampaging New God: he assisted Lightray and Orion into fighting him, and eventually it was him who defeated the monster by hitting him with the entire city’s energy accumulated into a generator. Badly injured but alive, Dan Turpin became a role model for his colleagues, albeit from there on he had to learn to work alongside Superman and the other heroes in similar situations. When Maggie Sawyer moved to Gotham City, however, the SCU was entrusted to Turpin, as nobody could be a better candidate than he was: with Terrible Turpin as a leader, there was no supervillain the SCU wouldn’t have fought.
Dan Turpin is a tough as nails man, a no-nonsense cop who does his job the same way he did war as a kid. Feared by criminals and respected by his subordinates and colleagues (albeit he’s quite a pain in the back for his superiors), Turpin is an exceptional marksman and an expert combatant, who brings on the field an experience matched by nobody else’s; he doesn’t have any superpower, but his Simm-Bot armor, obtained from reverse-engineering a Kryptonian Warsuit, grants him enough firepower to face even superhuman threats…not that he actually needs it, as he does the same even bare-handed. A policeman like nobody else, Dan “Terrible” Turpin keeps fighting the same war he did in the 1940s, he just changed the battlefield.