In the opening episode of Supergirl Season 2, fans of The Girl of Steel got a bit of a surprise at the end – assuming they avoided spoilers – when the DC comics super villain Metallo was introduced. The Season 2 episode essentially served as the character’s origin story in the DC television universe, and Episode 2 sees Metallo wreaking havoc in Supergirl’s hometown.
DC Comics Metallo History
As with most comic book characters, DC’s super villain Metallo has had multiple incarnations, from an early Golden Age version who was essentially a villainous Iron Man equipped with steel armor, to the modern version of Metallo named John Corben.
As retconned over the years, this character has become one of Superman’s principal opponents – largely because he is powered by kryptonite. Fighting a super villain who can negate Superman’s powers the moment he appears is a stretch even for the Man of Steel.
Obviously, since Supergirl in the comics – and the Supergirl Season 2 version as well – has the same vulnerability to kryptonite, she should have similar problems with the John Corben version of Metallo. And of course she does.
The latest version of Metallo in the New 52 reboot of the DC comic book universe had him working for General Sam Lane – yes, the father of Lois Lane. In this incarnation of Metallo, the character was created on the general’s orders to fight Superman if necessary, since he considered Superman – and all Kryptonians – a threat.
Supergirl Version of Metallo
As reported by CNN, there are significant differences between the John Corben Metallo we saw in the Supergirl Season 2 episode last week and the character as now depicted in the comic books. But it’s fairly clear that the producers of Supergirl are going for a Metallo who’s an amalgamation of previous versions.
Like the early Golden Age and Silver Age Metallos, this John Corben starts out as a villain from the beginning. By the end of the episode, we realize he’s an assassin apparently employed by Lex Luthor to kill Luthor’s sister, Lena. When Lena Luthor instead shoots and presumably kills Corben, that seems to be that. But not so fast.
Cadmus and Supergirl Season 2
As the closing scene in last week’s episode of Supergirl makes clear, in comic books – and in shows based on comic books – death is rarely certain. And if it is certain, it’s never permanent. Although Corben – soon to be Metallo – was Swiss cheese by the time he hit the ground, his rescue and resurrection by Cadmus was only a few commercials away.
Clearly, we’re meant to think that the menacing woman who injected the suspiciously Wolverine-admantium-like liquid metal into Corben to transform him into kryptonite fueled Metallo is the person who runs Cadmus.
As we’ve already seen in Season 1 of Supergirl, Cadmus is a government-run, off-the-books operation that attempts to create or control meta-humans for their own purposes. Clearly, Cadmus considers Supergirl and Superman a disease, and Metallo is supposed to be the cure.
But misdirection and red herrings are the hallmark of any Berlanti-run The CW superhero show, so it may be that the person installing supergoo and kryptonite into Metallo isn’t the one actually in charge of Cadmus. It would be the ultimate emotional gut punch if Lucy Lane learns it’s actually her father, General Sam Lane, who runs Cadmus.
We already know that the general doesn’t trust meta-humans at all, or Kryptonians for that matter. Plus, if Berlanti and crew are trying to draw on aspects of the comic book version of Metallo, we also already know that Lane was the one responsible – in the comics at least – for transforming John Corben into Metallo in the first place. This would be an awesome reveal in Supergirl Season 2 – assuming of course that it’s true.
[Featured Image by The CW]