No Supergirl this week, but the promotional material for next Sunday’s episode already gives us a look at a new entry. In What’s Funny About Truth, Justice and the American Way? we make the acquaintance of the Elite, the team that in the comics makes its debut in the story of the same name. Among Manchester Black‘s new allies we count also a guy with a bowl hat, who’s consistently named The Hat. Portrayed by Louis Ozawa Changchien, it looks from the pics that he’ll give a hard time to Brainy and Dreamer. Waiting to witness his debut, let’s take a look at his comicbook counterpart.
The Hat’s past and exact nature is quite mysterious. The Atlantean wizard Manitou Raven recognized him as the demon Rampotatek, while Vera Black referred to him as The Dragon, but neither of them explained their past history with the fancy-dressed guy. At first, it looked like he was “simply” a human being, hailing from somewhere in Japan, who had come in possession of a magic hat empowered by some unspecified demon, and Manchester Black recruited him in his Elite believing it so, but later it was revealed that he had never been a human being to begin with, as he was an ancient elemental demon who had been haunting the world for millennia, often disguised as a human. As part of the Elite, known simply as The Hat, he used his powers (or rather his hat’s powers, even that’s unclear) to embark into a number of bloody and violent missions with Black, Coldcast and Menagerie, totally embracing the team’s belief to end evil and injustice in the most brutal way, killing off criminals for good. When they were slaughtering a bunch of terrorists in Tripoli, Libya, the Elite came into conflict with Superman, who embodied a totally different type of justice. Mocked and humiliated by the young anti-heroes, Superman eventually accepted their challenge and met them on the moon of Io, orbiting around Jupiter, for an all-out battle. Here, The Hat could fully exploit his magic advantage against the Kryptonian, who had a known weakness against it.
The duel didn’t exactly go as planned: after a severe beating that apparently put an end to the Man of Steel‘s life, Superman came back to his feet, and assumed a much more aggressive stance. Using his enemies’ methods against them, Superman brutally “killed” each one of them: he caused a massive wind with a nuclear explosion on Io, and even if Hat’s magic protected him from any physical blows to his body, the air was clocking at five hundreds miles per minutes, and his lungs collapsed for the vacuum created. The Hat, however, merely collapsed, as Superman took care of saving him and his teammates just to teach them (and Manchester Black especially) a lesson. Arrested, The Hat was soon freed by President Luthor, who aimed to make a government-sanctioned team of the Elite, but after the betrayal of Manchester Black the project was abandoned. The Hat was called back to the team when Vera Black became the new leader, after her brother Manchester’s suicide. Her plan was to unite all Earth against a common enemy so peoples and countries stopped killing each other, but of course, the cost would have been high. Superman stopped them once again, and after the incident, Vera obtained to form a black-ops team, Justice League Elite, that gathered all the members of the previous team… but The Hat, who was the only one excluded. Maybe Vera had seen in him something her brother had failed to see, but what the demon would have done away from the team had yet to be seen…
Rampotatek is a living mystery, a demon whose real motivations are never revealed. As The Hat, some kind of runic magic makes him impervious to any physical damage, and he’s an elemental with mastership over earth, capable of flying and of breathing fire; his hat possesses magic powers as well, and he can materialize anything he wishes from it, from weapons to living demons to a shot of scotch. With a special liking for violence and murder, The Hat is possibly the most dangerous member of the Elite… if only someone understood his true intentions.