Copperhead
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceThe Brave and the Bold #78 (July 1968)
Created byBob Haney (writer)
Bob Brown (artist)
In-story information
Alter ego(I) John Doe
(II) Nathan Prince
(III) Sameer Park
(IV) Jane Doe
Team affiliations(I & III) Secret Society of Super Villains
Suicide Squad
Black Lantern Corps
(II) Terror Titans
AbilitiesSupreme contortionist
Prehensile serpentine tail
Secretes deadly poison

Copperhead is the name of several supervillains appearing in comic books published by DC Comics, mostly as enemies of the superhero Batman.

Female variations appeared in Batman: Arkham Origins, and in live action on the first season of Gotham (named Larissa Diaz) played by Lesley-Ann Brandt.

Publication history

Copperhead's first appearance.
Copperhead's first appearance.

The first Copperhead first appeared in The Brave and the Bold #78 (July 1968) and was created by Bob Haney and Bob Brown.[1]

Fictional character biography

John Doe

The criminal known as Copperhead first appeared in Gotham City in a copperhead costume.[2] He committed numerous thefts before finally being apprehended by Batman and Batgirl. Copperhead then turned to more deadly pursuits as a super-assassin, constricting victims to a suffocating death with his costume's tail.[3] During this time, he would become obsessive about his target and think of nothing until the target was dead, which proved to be a weakness at times as he would ignore anything he did not consider immediately relevant.

At various times, he fought Hawk and Dove, Superboy, and Jack Knight, in addition to joining the original incarnation of Secret Society of Super Villains.[4] Copperhead used the travel opportunities his freelance career afforded him to pursue his hobby of collecting transistor radios.

Although a master contortionist, Copperhead was largely powerless without his snake-skin costume.

During the Underworld Unleashed storyline, Copperhead sold his soul to the demon Neron in exchange for power, being transformed into a deadly human-snake hybrid.[5][6][7]

He was later killed by Manhunter, Kate Spencer.[1][8]

During the Blackest Night storyline, Copperhead has been identified as one of the deceased entombed below the Hall of Justice. He is listed as "John Doe", as his real name had never been discovered.[9] He was reanimated as a member of the Black Lantern Corps.[10] Copperhead is destroyed by the combined efforts of seven Lanterns during the Black Lantern Corps' attack on Coast City.[11]

Nathan Prince

Teen Titans (vol. 3) #56 featured a team of villains called the "Terror Titans", legacy villains whose mantles are inherited from older villains. One of the members shown is identified as Copperhead and appears visually as the character prior to the deal with Neron. The story did not reveal any information about the character or provide context with regard to previous stories. [12]

In the subsequent Terror Titans miniseries, it is revealed that the second Copperhead's true identity is Nathan Prince, and he is the only member of the Terror Titans who does not have a family connection to his predecessor. As a child, Nathan drowned his baby sibling out of jealousy, and even attempted to kill his parents. Unable to go through with it, he instead ran away to live on the streets, where he would solicit himself, having sex with older men, after which he would kill and rob them. It is still unknown how Prince came to work for Clock King. During The Dark Side Club's metahuman battles, the heroine TNTeena is badly injured, and Clock King tasks Copperhead with watching over her as she recuperates. Copperhead complies, and over time, falls in love with her.[13] However, Nathan is later forced by Clock King to kill her.[14] Nate and the rest of the Terror Titans are then sent to assist the Martyr Militia, a group of brainwashed metahumans, in destroying Los Angeles, but the tables are turned by Ravager and Miss Martian, who uses her telepathy to undo the brainwashing. The Terror Titans flee to their base, only for Clock King to kill Disruptor, and leave them to be apprehended by the metahumans. Two weeks later, Nate breaks his fellow Terror Titans out of custody, and the group swear revenge on Clock King.[15]

The New 52

Copperhead appears in the New 52 (a 2011 reboot of the DC Comics universe). He is an Indian criminal named Sameer Park and is a mutated anthropomorphic snake man as opposed to being a villain wearing a snake costume as well as member of the Secret Society of Super Villains.[16] He is killed by Deathstroke in Forever Evil #5.

Jane Doe

A female Copperhead using the alias Jane Doe makes her debut sometime after the death of her predecessor. This version of the character resembles the incarnation seen in Batman: Arkham Origins; DC Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns said that this new incarnation would appear as a villain in the New 52 after the game's release.[17] It was adapted for comic in November 2016, three years after the game's release. This Copperhead is described as a deadly hitwoman and one of the two most toxic individuals on the planet (the other being Cheshire).[18]

This Copperhead is a South American crime boss in Central City as well as a former mercenary who has fought Batman and the Flash. Two-Face placed a large bounty on Batman's head that many super-villains and mercenaries intended to collect, including Copperhead. Alongside several other villains, Copperhead tracked down Batman to an active train. Climbing on board, Copperhead attempted to kill Batman, but he was able to escape by jumping into a flowing stream. After a brief stint of assassinations and other mercenary jobs, Copperhead was called up to lead her families' crime business in Central City. After a mysterious rival boss started muscling in on her territory, she decided to hire several mercenaries to enforce her rule, including Shrapnel, Black Spider, and the Trigger Twins. However, they were all arrested by the Flash, which prompted Copperhead to open negotiations with the mysterious crime lord, whom she discovered was Captain Cold of the Rogues, in order to find a way to defeat the Flash. Copperhead followed Cold's plan to eliminate the Flash, but Cold turned on her when he planted a cold bomb in a weapons delivery. The Flash was able to save her after he apprehended Cold, but without any evidence of her involvement, she was allowed to walk free.

Unknown

An unidentified Copperhead takes part in a scheme organized by Helena Bertinelli's mother Fenice and is arrested by the Birds of Prey. He later appears as one of many villains that Batman and Catwoman defeat when he takes the latter on a typical night of his job. This version appears to be inhuman, with copper skin and non-snake-like qualities, such as teeth.[19] They are later shown as one of the many villains in Batman's Rogues Gallery who were beaten down by Bane in his attempt to reach Batman in Arkham.[20]

Powers and abilities

Copperhead's contortionist skills allow him to fit himself into incredibly small spaces (such as chimneys). He originally wore a snake-themed costume. The suit was a weave of metallic and elastic fibers and covered vulnerable points (such as the chest) with Kevlar, making it bulletproof and impenetrable to almost any cutting edged weapon. The costume had been treated with a highly slippery water- and heat-proof silicon gel, allowing Copperhead to slide along any surface and slip out of tight spots. The tail could be stretched several feet and was strong enough to snap bone and shatter stone. The suit's helmet contained two seven-inch-long fangs which were capable of piercing human skin, and were coated in a potent neurotoxin derived from copperhead snakes. The toxin could paralyze a person almost instantly, and death would follow within 30 minutes. Later, Copperhead sold his soul to the demon Neron and was transformed into a human-snake hybrid. His reflexes and agility were greatly increased, and he gained venomous fangs, a forked tongue, claws, and a prehensile tail.

In "Terror Titans", Clock King mentions that the second Copperhead does not have any superpowers, meaning he utilizes a snake-themed suit, like the original once did.[21]

The Copperhead from "The New 52" has snake-like abilities.

The female Copperhead does not appear to have any superpowers and instead uses different poison equipment such as darts in addition to being a skilled martial artist.

Other characters named Copperhead

A version of Copperhead appears in Sensation Comics #15. This version is an enemy of Little Boy Blue.[22]

Another character named Copperhead appeared in Leading Comics. Francisco Pizarro is a criminal who briefly turns the Seven Soldiers of Victory against each other during an Andes treasure hunt.[23]

Other versions

Tiny Titans

A kid version of Copperhead named Johnny appears in Tiny Titans comics.

Arkhamverse

Another Copperhead appears in Batman: Arkham Unhinged #10 (March 2013) resembling the classic version who is seen with Amanda Waller's Task Force X.

Injustice

In the Injustice series, Copperhead is a Suicide Squad criminal who obeys Wonder Woman and the Regime. She first appears in the Injustice vs Masters of the Universe crossover.

Batman '66

The original Copperhead appears in Batman '66 Meets Wonder Woman '77 #5 (July 2017).

In other media

Television

Copperhead as depicted in Justice League and Justice League Unlimited.
Copperhead as depicted in Justice League and Justice League Unlimited.

Film

Copperhead as he appears in Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay.
Copperhead as he appears in Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay.

Video games

Toys

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Beatty, Scott (2008), "Copperhead", in Dougall, Alastair (ed.), The DC Comics Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, p. 87, ISBN 978-0-7566-4119-1, OCLC 213309017
  2. ^ Cowsill, Alan; Irvine, Alex; Korte, Steve; Manning, Matt; Wiacek, Win; Wilson, Sven (2016). The DC Comics Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to the Characters of the DC Universe. DK Publishing. p. 72. ISBN 978-1-4654-5357-0.
  3. ^ Jimenez, Phil; Wells, John (2010). The Essential Wonder Woman Encyclopedia. Del Rey. p. 96. ISBN 978-0345501073.
  4. ^ Rovin, Jeff (1987). The Encyclopedia of Supervillains. New York: Facts on File. pp. 66–67. ISBN 0-8160-1356-X.
  5. ^ Underworld Unleashed #1 (November 1995). DC Comics.
  6. ^ Damage #18 (November 1995). DC Comics.
  7. ^ Cowsill, Alan; Irvine, Alex; Manning, Matthew K.; McAvennie, Michael; Wallace, Daniel (2019). DC Comics Year By Year: A Visual Chronicle. DK Publishing. p. 255. ISBN 978-1-4654-8578-6.
  8. ^ Manhunter #1 (October 2004). DC Comics.
  9. ^ Blackest Night #1. DC Comics.
  10. ^ Blackest Night #3. DC Comics.
  11. ^ Green Lantern (vol. 4) #50. DC Comics.
  12. ^ Teen Titans (vol. 3) #56
  13. ^ Terror Titans #4. DC Comics.
  14. ^ Terror Titans #5. DC Comics.
  15. ^ Terror Titans #6. DC Comics.
  16. ^ Justice League of America (vol. 3) #4
  17. ^ "Newsarama | GamesRadar+".
  18. ^ All-Star Batman #2. DC Comics.
  19. ^ Batman (vol. 3) #14. DC Comics.
  20. ^ Batman (vol. 3) #19. DC Comics.
  21. ^ Teen Titans (vol. 3) #59
  22. ^ Sensation Comics #15 (March 1943). DC Comics.
  23. ^ Leading Comics #6 (March 1943). DC Comics.
  24. ^ a b "Voice of Copperhead". Behind the Voice Actors. Retrieved December 15, 2019. Check marks indicates role has been confirmed using screenshots of closing credits and other reliable sources.CS1 maint: postscript (link)
  25. ^ "The #DCTV Secrets of GOTHAM: Episode 10 – "Lovecraft"". DC Comics. 24 November 2014.
  26. ^ Lovett, Jamie. "Gotham: First Look At Copperhead". Comicbook.com.
  27. ^ "'Gotham's' Copperhead Debuts on Fox's Fall Finale (Exclusive Photos) – TheWrap". TheWrap.
  28. ^ Siegel, Lucas (July 18, 2013). "SDCC '13: BATMAN: ARKHAM ORIGINS Panel Reveals COPPERHEAD, More". Newsarama. Retrieved July 18, 2013.