Seyg-El

With most of the series coming to the end of season, we start to see the trailers for the new ones coming next Autumn, and the first among these is Krypton, set on the doomed planet Krypton a couple of centuries before Superman arrives on Earth. The protagonist of the series will be Superman’s grandfather, Seyg-El (in this version mispelled Seg-El), who’s introduced as a young member of the disgraced and ostracized House of El who fights to reconquer the lost honor of his family. The series will be part of the DC Extended Universe, acting as a prequel to Man of Steel, and as we see from the trailer it will all be told in a message Seg-El leaves to his future grandson Kal-El. Now, waiting to meet Superman’s grandpa in flesh and blood, let’s take a look at his paper version…who surely doesn’t start as a disgraced nobelman at all.

Seyg-El was born in Kryptonopolis, one of the richest and most populated cities on planet Krypton, second only to the capital Kandor; he was the son of Ter-El, and he was a member of the renowned House of El, one of the most important noble families on the planet. Since his birth, Seyg-El was genetically destined to the Kryptonian Science Council, and his formation was programmed so that he could excell in it and lead it. He grew up along with his brother Zim-El, but the relationship between the two wasn’t exactly a siblings’ one, as relations were in general pretty cold within the House. As all the nobles on Krypton, Seyg-El didn’t chose his mate, as she was selected by the Master of the Gestation Chambers to preserve the purity of his blood: he was introduced to a girl named Nimda An-Dor, who became his wife. From her, Seyg-El had two children: a son, Jor-El, and a daughter, Kara Seyg-El. Just as sibling relationship, even the father and son one wasn’t exactly a passionate and warm bond on Krypton, and Seyg-El, who took care of Jor-El’s education personally, treated him with cold interest, making sure that he learnt Kryptonian traditions and science, but with the same attention a particularly detached teacher could have for a promising student. Jor-El, however, wasn’t like his father at all: albeit he properly studied Kryptonian etiquette and history, and he proved to be a versatile scientist and a curious researcher, he didn’t like the strictness of Krypton’s traditions, and dreamed of something more in his life than genetic perfection and oppressively organised society. Seyg-El didn’t understand his son’s ambitions, quite the opposite, he came to consider him a public embarassment, an apple that had fallen far distant from its tree. The greatest dishonor that Jor-El ever brought to his father came when the boy was about fifteen years old, and a great opportunity came to him and to the House of El in general, albeit in one of the harshest times ever for planet Krypton, as the Green Plague was claiming thousands of lives.

Among the ones who fell victim to the plague was Zon-Em, a respected nobleman, and his mate-to-be, Lara, was left without her future husband. The Master of the Gestation Chambers selected Jor-El as a replacement for Zon-Em, finding his genetic template worthy of mixing with Lara’s one. Seyg-El, understanding the honor this represented, prompted his son to accept, informing him of the privilege the Lords had granted him (Jor-El had not yet participated to the rite of passage to adulthood, and it was unheard of that a “child” was chosen as a mate for a noblewoman). Much to Seyg-El’s relief, Jor-El accepted the offer…but he managed to put him in great embarassment the moment he demanded to actually meet the woman he was supposed to marry and to conceive children with, a request that nobody, in centuries of genetic perfection-oriented combinations, had ever promoted. Father and son argued harshly about this, with Seyg-El seeing this request just another sign of Jor-El’s disrespect for Kryptonian traditions, a meaningless whim of a maverick; Jor-El, however, was unmovable, and when the Master of the Gestation Chambers actually granted his request and allowed him to meet Lara, Seyg-El rushed away, not wanting to have anything else to do with his rebellious son ever again. Seyg-El completely focused on leading the Kryptonian Science Council, and he did so with total respect of Kryptonian traditions, becoming a renowned conservative judge of any Kryptonian matter. To make things worse, soon Jor-El, who had in the meanwhile fallen in love with Lara and had married her nevertheless, became a scientist himself, subject to the Council as a result. Even more, in the moment when all Krypton’s greatest minds were trying to find a cure to the Green Plague without success, letting it destroy millions of lives, Jor-El started exposing theories about a destabilization of the planet’s nucleus that would have brought to the destruction of Krypton. Seyg-El refused to listen to his own son, and ordered him to keep quite about this not to spread panic among the population: this last act of pride, however, would have costed him much…

Seyg-El is a serious and proud member of the House of El, the heir of a long legacy of rules and traditions who consecrates his entire life to respecting and protecting them. A brilliant scientist and a deep connoisseur of Kryptonian history and customs, he’s the leader of the Science Council, a perfect man shaped by eugenics who doesn’t accept the slightest flaw in himself or in others. Severe and inflexible, Seyg-El represents everything that made Krypton great…and everything that marked its downfall as well.

Edgar Cizko (Doctor Psycho)

Apparently Powerless is releasing episodes in a different order than the one announced by the production. Next one will be Emergency Punch-Up, which will see the debut of a new villain, Doctor Psycho, already seen in the promo: he’ll attack Charm City with a poisonous gas, with the immediate effect of locking Emily and her colleagues in their office, unable to come out. This marks the first live action appearance of Psycho, who’s actually a pretty old villain, who debuted in the 1940s. This character crossed four eras of publication, with his deeds being changed and reinvented from time to time, but with his origin story pretty much the same all over Earth-OneEarth-Two, New Earth and Prime Earth. Let’s see together who this madman is.

Edgar Cizko was born possibly in Washington D.C., where he attended college as a medical student, impressing his professors with his superior intellect. Short in size and with a disproportionate head, Cizko was mocked by his fellow students, who called him names and excluded him from any possible friendship; the only relief in his life was Marva Jane Gray, a girl who, albeit she clearly didn’t find him beautiful, agreed to marry him, becoming his fiancée. Cizko, however, had suspicions that Marva was secretly in love with the beautiful and athletic Ben Bradley, and he had a confirmation of this in the worst way possible: one night, some precious radium was stolen from the University’s lab, and Marva testified that she had seen Edgar escaping with it, charging him with theft (actually, the culprit was Ben, who had used a costume to look like Cizko, with Marva knowing nothing of it). In jail, Edgar learnt that Marva was now engaged to Ben Bradley: mad with hatred and jealousy, he lost his mind, and started nurturing a grudge against all women. When he finished his term, he started to study different disciplines than medicine, and albeit becoming a skilled scientist, he also medded with occultism. Inspired by Ares, in the person of his lieutenant the Duke of Deception, Cizko used his new skills to obtain revenge: he tracked down Ben Bradley right before his marriage with Marva and hypnotized him to submission; then, he tortured him and interrogated him, leading him to admit that he was the one who had stolen the radium…trying to exonerate himself, however, Ben lied and told Cizko that Marva was his willing accomplish. Not inclined to spare him under any circumstances, Cizko forced him to eat one of the radium bars, killing him, and then proceeded to meet his once-beloved Marva. By that time, Cizko hated her, but he didn’t want to kill her, as this would have not been enough for his thirst of vengeance: with hypnosis, he forced her to marry him, and he transformed her into his slave, also using her as a guinea pig for his occult experiments. His mental powers kept growing at an alarming rate.

After the Chrisis on Infinite Earths, Cizko’s story remained pretty much the same, apart from the fact that he had studied psychology instead of medicine, and that among the monikers his colleagues used to denigrate him there was “Doctor Psycho”, one that he eventually came to like and use. His hatred for women didn’t change from a reality to the other, and almost inevitably he started to target Wonder Woman, the heroine who incarnated everything he despised. In an attempt to destroy Wonder Woman, he even teamed up with another woman, Circe, whom he considered the lesser of two evils: in a plot aimed to separate the heroine from her closest friends and allies, Psycho implanted horrible nightmares in the mind of Vanessa Kapatelis, Wonder Woman’s friend, and drove her mad, turning her into the new Silver Swan. In the meanwhile, Cizko was also posing as Dr. Charles Stanton, a child psychologist in Boston, and was forcing through hypnosis the students of Adams Junior High School to improve their grades. His “regular” activity was almost spoiled by Helen Andersen, the school’s guidance councillor, who was investigating on the unexpected and innatural improvement of the students’ grades. Doctor Psycho found her and knocked her unconscious, only to start torturing her by projecting horrifying nightmares in the mind of her unborn baby (she was eight-months pregnant), nearly driving her insane and aiming to kill both her and the baby; in that moment, however, Wonder Woman arrived: the heroine had read through Vanessa’s memories and had located her enemy, and she intervened just in time to stop him from killing Helen. Imprisoned in Slabside Penitentiary after briefly joining Circe’s team of villains, he was kept in a dormant state in a straitjacket, as a mental patient, but when the telepath Saturn Girl used her powers to call for her teammates of the Legion of Superh-Heroes, this boost of mental energy was enough to awaken him. Restrained, Doctor Psycho was no match for the guards nevertheless, and he incapacitated many of them running to his freedom: finally, his crusade could continue.

Edgar Cizko is a cruel and sadistic man, bent on a revenge crusade that targets everyone reminds him of the people who used to mock him (that means, pretty much everyone on the planet); a grudging misogynist, he particularly hates women, and enjoys torturing them in any possible way. As Doctor Psycho, he’s one of Earth‘s most powerful telepaths, comparable to the likes of Saturn Girl and Martian Manhunter: he can read people’s minds, he can project hallucinations realistic enough to kill, and he’s also able to mind-control people to do his bidding; through his occult studies, he’s also able to summon ectoplasm to the physical world, shaping them into life-like beings that he uses for a variety of purposes, from sheer combat to infiltration. A skilled psychiatrist who can understand a person’s fear to use it against him, Doctor Psycho is an extremely dangerous mastermind, whose mind compensates greately for his physical lacks. A man who hates women, Psycho is a serial murderer and torturer who takes pleasure from the screams of his victims, bent on a life-long crusade that will never end.

Thaddeus Bodog Sivana

Going on with Lucy W.‘s list we meet another historical DC villain, Dr. Sivana, the nemesis of the Marvel Family. Sivana is one of the oldest DC villains, born in 1940, and he’s pretty much the prototype of mad scientists in comics. As for now, he received only one live action portrayal, in the 1970s tv special Legends of the Superheroes: portrayed by Howard Morris, he debuts alongside an impressive number of villains in a new incarnation of the Legion of Doom, trying to ruin the party for Scarlet Cyclone‘s retirement celebration, and he comes back in the second part to participate to the roast of the superheroes held by Ed McMahon. In the comics, he’s much more menacing than this, and he’s renowned for being the first villain who expressly doesn’t have any problem in killing children (quite a feat at the beginning of comics). He’s one of the few characters who retained at least part of his biography going from Fawcett Comics to DC Comics, so we can reduce his origin stories to two different versions: let’s see together.

Thaddeus Bodog Sivana was born somewhere in Europe in 1892, from an unknown family. Growing up he became one of the most brilliant minds in the world, so ahead of his time that most of his peers believed him to be a visionary. The only one who encouraged him in his discoveries was Venus, his wife, who also gave him four children: Beautia, Magnificus, Georgia and Thaddeus Jr., children who inherited a part of their father’s character each. The scientific community, however, kept mocking him for inventions they simply couldn’t understand, and after the umpteenth refusal Sivana finally snapped: he decided to leave the very planet Earth, sure that humans weren’t worthy of his genius. With a spaceship of his own invention (one of the creations that weren’t supposed to work according to the scientists), Sivana and his family travelled to planet Venus (a homage to his wife), waiting for the moment Earth would have been ready to accept his superior intellect. Venus, however, wasn’t exactly a heaven of a planet, and Sivana’s wife perished there; embittered by his beloved one’s death, Thaddeus blamed Earth’s scientists for everything, and having to fight for his life every day of his life didn’t make things any better. When, some thirty years later, Sivana decided it was time to come back to Earth, he did so with one thing in mind: revenge. In the United States it was 1940, and the planet was engulfed in World War II: the best way Sivana had to obtain his revenge, was to put the country in danger against its enemies. With one of his machines, a radio silencer, he threatened to destroy all radio communications permanently if he wasn’t given $50,000,000. Anyway, there was something else new on the planet, appeared in the time he had been away: superheroes. During his first adventure, Captain Marvel intervened to stop him, vanquished his lackeys and destroyed his machine. From that moment, Sivana included the superhero in the list of the people he wanted to take revenge against, and becoming Captain Marvel’s living nightmare.

The universe was destroyed, recreated and rewritten, and Dr. Sivana along with it: when he was reborn, he did so much time later, in the second half of the XX Century. In this time, Sivana was always a brilliant (and mad) scientist, but he was also a renowned genius, rewarded with success in business and even in politics; also his family made it out to the new reality, but this time his wife Venus divorced him soon after the birth of their fourth child. He lived in Fawcett City, and he was easily one of the world’s richest and most powerful men. Some researches of his evidenced the presence of an ancient power somewhere in Egypt, and he employed renowned archaeologists C. C. and Mary Batson to retrieve what he wanted from an ancient pyramid; he also sent one of his lackeys, Theo Adam, along with the couple, instructing him to kill them as soon as they digged out the ancient power he wanted for himself. Sivana invested quite an amount of money in the expedition, sure that the final prize was worth any sum of money…but something went wrong: the Batsons found what they were meant to, Adam killed them both, but it was the archaeologists’ young son, Billy, the one who obtained the power, becoming the superpowered Captain Marvel (both Adam and Sivana recognised him, as he assumed his late father’s appearance when he turned adult as the hero). Already on the brink of bankrupt for the money he had lost on the expedition, Sivana received the finishing blow by Captain Marvel himself, who confronted him and destroyed his research facilities, ending his financial empire. For Sivana, this meant the beginning of a war, and knowing that his adversary was a ten years old boy didn’t represent a problem for him. With no resources at his disposal, Sivana formed an uneasy alliance with the alien warm Mr. Mind, but his humiliation grew as he was forced to ally himself with Captain Marvel himself to get rid of the parasite. Next, he joined forces with Lex Luthor, a kindred spirit who helped him get back on his feet and to elaborate a plan to utterly destroy the Big Reed Cheese‘s life (that’s how he called Marvel): the war had just begun.

Dr. Thaddeus Sivana is an extremely intelligent and brilliant individual, but also a ruthless and greedy man who only seeks power and dominion. With no superpowers of sort, his incredible intellect gives him advantage against any foe: a skilled inventor and engineer, he can create pretty much everything, from mind-controlling devices to death-ray machines, to his best known and most effective invention, the Unternet, a network system used by criminals all around the world which is completely undetectable and impenetrable by unwanted guests (including the super-hacker Oracle). Bent on a vengeful quest against a world who fails to acknowledge his superiority, Sivana is as dangerous as he is intelligent, a genius who’s devoted his science to utter evil.

Daniel Turpin (Brooklyn)

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.

John Henry Irons (Steel)

Happy Easter everybody! Today we select a fan-loved superhero from Lucy W.‘s list, one of the many who debuted as a replacement for the deceased Superman and who later became a widely popular hero on his own: Steel. This unlucky hero made his live action debut in one of the worst superhero movies ever, Steel indeed, where he was portrayed by NBA star Shaquille O’Neal. In the movie, John Henry Irons is a weapon designer for the US Government, who quits his job after his weapons cost his friend Susan Sparks her legs; when a rogue military officer, Nathaniel Burke, starts selling Irons’ weapons on the black market to criminal gangs, the engineer builds himself a suit of armor and a futuristic hammer to fight him and his new clients. This version of the character is extremely different from the original one, in both backstory and powers: let’s see together what the real Steel is made of.

John Henry Irons was born in Washington, D.C., and he was orphaned when he was still a kid, since his parents got killed in a robbery. Moving to his grandparents’ house, John became quite obsessed with protecting his family and his dear ones, and he came to the realization that the only way he could achieve it was by becoming rich and powerful. Gifted with an impressive physique, John became an athlete in high school, and he earned a scholarship that brought him to Yale, where he studied to become an engineer. Brilliant and creative, he was hired immediately after his degree by Amertek Industries, a renowned (and infamous) multinational company that was looking for a gifted ballistic expert. Irons started designing and developing advanced weaponry for the Government and for its contractors, and earned all the money he was looking for, sending quite an amount of his salary to his family: finally, he could say he had achieved what he wanted in his life. Then, some of his high-tech prototypes, the BG-60s, were stolen by a terrorist group from Qurac, causing a massive battle that killed hundreds of innocent civilians. Irons was sent on the scene to identify his weapons, and upon realising what his work truly led to, he resigned, disgusted by himself…but not before destroying the remaining BG-60s and the blueprints of their perfected version, the BG-80s. He then went into hiding in Metropolis, changing his name into Henry Johnson and finding a job as a steelworker: surely he worked twice as harder as before and his genius wasn’t rewarded in the slightest, but this way he could make amend for his past, and nobody was hurt by what he did. One day, one of his colleagues fell from a high-rise and John, trying to save him, fell as well. The workers were both saved by Superman, who grabbed them in mid-air and brought them to safety: when he thanked the hero for saving his life, Superman told him to make it count, and left. This single encounter deeply influenced John and when, months later, Superman was killed in battle by the monstrous Doomsday, the man realised it was his time to make something to honor the fallen hero.

Naming himself the Man of Steel, Irons used his advanced engineering to build himself a suit of armor, jet-boots and an experimental weapon, then he tailored a red cape with an “S” on it, ready to take Superman’s place; a psychic, Rosie Kratz, even declared that she sensed Superman’s soul was now inhabiting the Man of Steel’s body. In that time, other three wannabe successors were presenting themselves as Superman’s heirs (SuperboyCyborg Superman and the Eradicator, all calling themselves with different monikers previously attributed to the original Superman), but Irons had a precise target: someone had found his BG-80s blueprints, and was selling advanced weapons to the street gangs, someone he needed to stop so that his work didn’t kill anybody else. That “someone” turned out to be his previous coworker, Angora Lapin, who had become the arms dealer White Rabbit: it was while chasing her and her product, the Toastmasters, that Irons first met and battled the Eradicator, who called himself the Last Son of Krypton and pretended to be the real Superman, while killing criminals in cold blood. The battle for the right of being Superman’s successor excalated when Cyborg Superman destroyed Coast City trying to blame the Eradicator for it, forcing the Man of Steel and Superboy to join forces against him. Unexpectedly, the duo was soon reached by a reborn Superman, this time the real deal as confirmed by Lois Lane, who thanked them for keeping an eye on Metropolis while he was gone; Superman renamed Irons “Steel” for short, and along with him and Superboy made a move on Cyborg Superman: while Superman and Matrix Supergirl fought the Cyborg’s ally Mongul and Superboy stopped some missiles aimed to Metropolis, Steel himself battled Cyborg Superman, stopping his machine and halting his plan…only to have his armor wrecked by him in retaliation. Saved by Superboy, Steel lent his hammer to Green Lantern, who used it to defeat Mongul while Superman beat the Cyborg. After the battle, Irons came back to Washington, believing that his career as a hero was over now that Superman was back…but in the capital he was caught in a gangwar between Toastmasters users and Tar users, a situation that forced him to rebuild his armor and resume his Steel identity to protect his city and his family…

John Henry Irons is a selfless and althruistic man, who’s been moved his entire life by the urge to help and protect the ones dear to him; his sense of guilt for his past actions lead him to an often solitary crusade against weapons dealers, a task that he always considers a personal matter. As Steel, he’s a genius engineer specialised in weapons manufacturing: this allowed him to create a high-tech armor that allows him to fly and grants him superhuman strength and durability (nearly on Kryptonian levels), while his trademark Kinetic Hammer is controlled vocally by him, and can stop in midair to return to its owner; the hammer is a weapon that increases its impact strength by storing kinetic energy, and that can emit electromagnetic pulses with a variety of effects. Mainly powered by his incredible intelligence, Steel is a capable leader and a compassionate hero, possibly the best replacement for a living legend like Superman.

Beatriz Bonilla da Costa (Green Fury/Green Flame/Fire)

Powerless came back from the hiatus…and I totally missed it, testifying how much I like this show. Anyway, some big news had come in the previous episodes, as in Van v. Emily: Dawn of Justice a new hero came to Charm City, after Crimson Fox decided to move to Metropolis: it’s Green Fury, portrayed by Natalie Morales. If we needed any more confirmation that Powerless was aiming for characters from the Global Guardians, now it’s official, as Green Fury is another member of the team…even if she’s known with her most famous moniker, Fire. With this super-name, she appeared in the tv movie Justice League of America, portrayed by Michelle Hurd, as a member of the title’s team and a quick friend of the newcomer Tora “Ice” Olafsdotter. She also appeared in a cameo in The Flash: if Earth-1‘s Bea da Costa is reportedly deceased, an evil (and male) version of her from Earth-2 can be seen in Zoom‘s army of meathumans. Now, while we enjoy a third live action incarnation of the character, let’s take a look at the original one.

Beatrix Bonilla da Costa was born nearly during Chrisis on Infinite Earth, so as a result her origin story was changed almost immediately after being told. In her first, short-lived incarnation, she was the last born in a mystical Brazilian tribe, the Ge, daughter of Ramon Corvalho, a surveyor in the Amazon River Basin, and Carlota da Costa, the mother she grew up with. A prophet from the Ge foretold she would have received a great power from the Sky Spirit, and indeed when she was fifteen years old the same man contacted her telepathically, unlocking her dormant pyrokinetic abilities. The girl grew up and became a brilliant woman, head of the Brazilian branch of Wayne Enterprises, but she also started using her powers for good under the alias Green Fury. During her career she often helped the Super Friends, but it was meeting Superman that changed her life: although she first battled the Man of Steel since he was mind-controlled by Overlord (managing to hold her own thanks to Superman’s weakness to magic), the two became allies, and when Superman was contacted by Doctor Mist to help him in battling the evil wizard El Dorado, Green Fury was among the heroes gathered to repel the menace, and she proved essential into dealing with the magician. Following this adventure, she joined Doctor Mist in his newly formed international superhero team, the Global Guardians. As said before, however, this version of her early life soon changed, as the entire universe was rewritten. In this new reality, B. B. da Costa was born in Rio de Janeiro, and she grew up to become a beautiful model. Her career led her to become a showgirl, until she was recruited by the SNI, the Serviço Nacional de Informações, the Brazilian secret services. When her boss and recruiter stole an experimental pyroplasmic gun (a special flamethrower) and ran, she was assigned to retrieve the weapon and arrest the man: during the following battle, however, the gun exploded, imbuing her with pyrokinetic powers as an unexpected side effect. Hunted by the other spies for her failure, she became the heroine on the run Green Fury.

Green Fury was recruited by Doctor Mist as a founding member of the Global Guardians, an international superhero team where she could find a shelter from the Brazilian authorities. While she was in the GG, she changed her codename in Green Flame, right before her team was replaced by the Justice League International, that took all the United Nations‘ funds that kept the Guardians alive. With her team disbanding, B. B. and her friend and teammate, Icemaiden, approached the JLI hoping to be allowed in…and they turned out to be pretty lucky, since the team was short several members who had been kidnapped, and Black Canary had quit: they were both accepted as new members. To celebrate their inclusion in the Justice League, the two heroines shortened their battle
names into Fire and Ice, respectively, and they immediately blended in, bonding particularly with Booster Gold and Blue Beetle. Fire accompanied the JLI in many adventures, but it was during the Dominators‘ invasion that she went through another major life-changing event: the aliens’ Gene-Bomb affected her as well, making her fall into a coma. When she woke up, her powers had been increased radically, as she was not only able to shoot fire, but to become a fiery creature as well. At first, she couldn’t control these new abilities, as they were triggered mostly by strong emotions such as fear; Big Barda and Mister Miracle helped her regain control by training her the same way on Apokolips they taught discipline to the Female Furies. After such a harsh training, she came back to be a reliable member of the JLI, always proving her worth in the most difficult battles…until she found herself completely outmatched when the team faced a grey monster later known as Doomsday: as hard as she hit him, the monster wouldn’t even slow down, and she arrived to the point of burning herself out to try and damage him, leaving her powerless. It was during this time that her best friend Ice was killed by the Overmaster: she regained her powers too late to help her, but certainly not to avenge her…

B. B. da Costa is a Reinassance woman, with a career just as various and diverse as a flame can be in time; strong and independent but also carefree and self-conscious, Bea makes all the experience she has had in the years before becoming a heroine an asset for her teams. As Fire, she can generate and control green fire; she’s also able to turn herself into a fiery being of pyroplasm, thus gaining intangibility and flight. A committed heroine, fiercely loyal to her friends (particularly to her best friend Ice), Fire is also one of the few members of the JLI who doesn’t shy away from killing, having learnt from her spy days that extreme situations call for extreme measures…

Rokk Krinn (Cosmic Boy)

No more Green Lanterns for a while now, as Lucy W.‘s request takes us to the future, as the next name in the list is Cosmic Boy, one of the founding members of the Legion of Super-Heroes. Cosmic Boy appeared in Smallville, portrayed by Ryan Kennedy in a couple of episodes: he travels to the past along with Saturn Girl and Lightning Lad to meet Clark Kent, and tells him that his influence as a hero goes beyond time and space; albeit he nearly kills Chloe Sullivan, he’s pivotal in extracting Brainiac out of her brain, and he brings the A.I. to the future to be reprogrammed. He comes back in Season 8’s finale to give clark a Legion Ring, telling him to send Doomsday to the XXX Century where the Legion is ready to fight him, as he’d be surely killed if he tries to fight the monster. In the comics, Cosmic Boy is the historical leader of the Legion in many timelines, and a precious member of the team even when he’s not leading it. Let’s see together.

Rokk Krinn was born on Earth in the XXX Century, the son of Hu and Ewa Krinn, two aliens who came from planet Braal. When he was still a kid, his parents were forced by poverty to come back to their homeplanet, where Rokk could train in the use of the magnetic powers typical of his race. His parents were very poor, and Rokk did his best to support them; in one timeline, he became a professional athlete in the Braalian sport known as Magno Ball, earning enough to take care of his family, but in the original one he helped by doing minor jobs, although it wasn’t easy on his rocky and wasted world. Still wanting to do something useful for his family, albeit being only fifteen years old, Rokk decided to leave Braal and to come back to Earth alone, hoping to find a job that would have allowed him to send money home. During the travel he met two other kids his age, Garth Ranzz from Winath, able to control electricity, and Imra Ardeen from Titan, a natural telepath: the three became fast friends, and travelled together to Earth. Once there, they sticked together trying to make up a living, until they ran into an assassination attempt against billionaire René Jacques Brande. The trio used their unique abilities to dispatch the attackers, brilliantly coordinated by Rokk himself: impressed by his saviors, R. J. Brande made them an unusual but irresistible proposal, asking them to form a superhero team he would have personally financed. Rokk Krinn didn’t have to be told twice, and accepted the offer. He took the codename Cosmic Boy, becoming the first (unofficial) leader of the Legion of Super-Heroes; Imra became known as Saturn Girl, while Garth chose the name Lightning Lad. Together, they started an adventure that would have led them to become the most renowned superheroes of their time…and not just that.

In the following year, Cosmic Boy became the official frontman of the team, and together with his two teammates he travelled the galaxy to recruit new members, enriching the Legion with unique people from all the corners of the universe. One of the recruits, a Coluan named Brainiac 5, proved to be fundamental to the Legion, as he shared with them his amazing inventions that, among other things, allowed the young heroes to travel through time, thus permitting to Rokk to find new recruits even in other eras (albeit it also caused some unforseen side effects, as it would have been later revealed). At the end of the Legion’s first year of life, Cosmic Boy had managed to gather eighteen superhuman heroes, transforming the original trio into a well-organised and well-known group of fighters for justice. At a certain point, the candidates for the team were so many that the Legionnaires started to be more selective, and many would-be heroes got rejected, either for being not fit for being heroes or for having “useless” powers; some of the latter eventually formed a team of their own to prove Cosmic Boy and the others wrong, the Legion of Substitute Heroes, that became something close to a competitor for the original Legion. In the main team, Cosmic Boy had been replaced by Saturn Girl as the team’s leader, since the other Legionnaires had voted her to guide them (a decision that Rokk himself supported, and he remained a loyal consultant to his best friend and a valuable member of the team nevertheless), while in the “unofficial” one something was going on for Rokk as well: a founding member of the Substitutes, Lydda “Night Girl” Jath, discarded because her super-strength only worked if she wasn’t exposed to sunlight, became romantically interested in him, and he found himself reciprocating her feelings. The two started dating, and this brought even the two Legions closer. In the meanwhile, he had collected money enough to bring his family to Earth: finally, things started to look brighter than the poor neighborhood he had been growing up in…at least until some bombers decided to target his parents’ cargo…

Rokk Krinn is a strong-willed and selfless young man, a natural born leader with the instinct of a hero and a charismatic personality. As Cosmic Boy, he has complete mastership over his Braalian powers over magnetism, that allow him to manipulate magnetic fields, to fly, to manipulate metals, to create force fields, to shoot powerful concussive blasts using magnetic energy, and to create bonds with a planet’s natural magnetic field; he also has access to all the Legion of Super-Heroes’ equipment, and he’s a skilled fighter and athlete. The spiritual if not factual leader of the Legion, Cosmic Boy is the one who united the Legionnaires from all around the universe and gave them purpose, and he’s the one everybody’s ready to follow until the end, a man who knows no compromise in his morality and who’s rightfully trusted to always do the right thing even in the most difficult situations.