The potential return of Henry Cavill as Superman could lead to the emergence of a villainess whose presence could elevate “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” with her role. Henry Cavill’s desire to continue the role of Superman is shared by fans of his image of the Last Son of Krypton, while the merger of WB and Discovery reportedly seeks to emphasize Superman’s presence on the big screen in modern media. With the discussion emerging that Cavill might be taking to the skies again, there is one Superman antagonist who might be particularly suited to Cavill’s Superman, namely Leslie Ellis, also known as Livewire.
Like Harley Quinn in Batman: The Animated Series, Livewire was introduced in Superman: The Animated Series and later worked on DC comics and other Superman adaptations. In her origin story, Leslie Ellis was the radio shocker of Metropolis (voiced by Laurie Petty), who often expressed great disdain for Superman on her radio show, not unlike Kal-El’s public interrogation in Batman v Superman. During an accident at a concert, lightning passed through Superman and reached the cable on which Ellis’ foot was standing, which gave her electrical powers and led to her adopting the villainous nickname Livewire. As a result, the story of the Livewire character makes it especially ideal for use alongside Cavill’s Superman.
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In the films Man of Steel and Batman v Superman, Kal-El faces the same distrust as the adoration of the public because of the alien power he possesses. A radio shocker like Leslie Ellis would be exactly the kind of person who could benefit from the paranoia that Superman encountered from skeptical people. It also makes the idea of another Superman movie featuring Cavill taking place between “Man of Steel” and “Batman v Superman” a particularly great place to continue it.
With the 18-month time jump between the two films, a lot happened in the interim period between “Man of Steel” and “Batman v Superman” that was never shown. Deepening into this time frame can show many acts of Superman heroism and bring Superman villains who have not yet received their due on cinema screens. Livewire can make significant strides in this regard, stoking the fears of much of the world (and Ben Affleck’s Batman) towards Superman on her radio show as Leslie Ellis, and later becoming a direct opponent after converting to Livewire.
There are many great villains Cavill will face in his eventual return as Superman, but Ellis’ attempts to demonize the Man of Steel on her radio show perfectly fit Kal-El’s story in Batman v Superman. This may also play a role in the “Meta-Human Thesis” mentioned by Senator June Finch (Holly Hunter) in Batman v Superman, with the presence of aliens and people with powers gained through accidents, which has led some, such as Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg), to conclude that on Earth there are naturally born meta-humans.
However, Cavill may return as Superman; enthusiasm for him is clearly present after the release of Zack Snyder’s Justice League, which breathed Kal-El after the fiasco of the theatrical version. Livewire may just be a Superman villain challenging Cavill’s virtually ageless Man of Steel with a platform to blacken his name and electrical abilities to match. Best of all, Livewire can also complement Kal-El’s arc in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and become a catalyst to help bring other major Superman villains off the bench of the big screen.