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You may also be looking for the episode "Livewire".

"Am I the only one who's physically ill from this town's pathetic devotion to that phony flying boy scout?"[1]

Livewire (née Leslie Willis) is a former shock jock turned into an electrokinetic super villain bent on taking revenge against Superman.

History[]

Leslie Willis

Leslie Willis.

Leslie Willis was a popular WLXL shock jock who made a habit of ridiculing Superman. Leslie's outspoken and polarizing style garnered her as many supporters as it did disputants. People all over Metropolis listened to Leslie. Lex Luthor, in particular, enjoyed her radio show, "Live Wire". Bibbo had called her up to denounce her attitude and pointing out how Superman is a great man, and she proceeded to ridicule Bibbo as well. Leslie Willis explained that she believed that Superman was never around when he was needed, that everything came easy for him, and that he didn’t care about anyone but himself. (Ironically, all of these claims were quickly revealed to be untrue.) Superman had apparently heard her show, but didn't let it bother him as he considered creating controversy simply to be what shock jocks do.

Leslie was interviewed by Lois Lane and Clark Kent about an upcoming party in Centennial Park to celebrate the third anniversary of her show. As part of the celebration, there was going to be a concert.

During the party, there was a thunderstorm, and the police tried to stop the festivities because they were concerned for the crowd's safety. Leslie disregarded the police's warnings, and went so far as to incite the crowd against the police. The chaos continued until Superman arrived, but he couldn't convince her to stop the party. In fact, she took Superman's appearance as an opportunity to ridicule him in public.

Livewire Transformation

Leslie gets struck by a chain lightning that bounced off Superman.

While basking in the crowd's reverence, Leslie was moved aside by Superman to protect her from a bolt of lightning, attracted to the stage's metal scaffolding, that hit him instead. Leslie made a run for it, but the electricity arced off Superman and struck her, changing her skin and hair color instantaneously. She was taken to Metropolis Hospital. Despite Superman's effort to save her, and despite it being caused by a fluke of nature and her own recklessness, Leslie blamed Superman completely for the accident. During her stay, she learned that she could manipulate electricity. Willis escaped into the open to test her powers, also discovering she could ionize air itself, which she did to transform her hospital gown into a leotard and boots. Now looking like a super-being, she renamed herself Livewire. Her ultimate goal was to kill Superman; holding him responsible for her transformation.

Livewire used her new abilities to hijack Metropolis and manipulated every medium, including telephones, televisions and billboards. Livewire made herself known by causing a blackout to a heavily populated part of the city, then made herself appear on an outdoor jumbotron television; announcing that she would take control of Metropolis's utilities, and the public would now send her monetary tribute. However, she was forced to terminate her threatening broadcast when she noticed it was browning out. Livewire realized that her powers required recharging in the same manner as electrical appliances. Because of this weakness, Superman was able to track Livewire to a local hydroelectric plant and, in the ensuing battle, she was defeated when exposed to water. After this, she was held under heavy restraint and left in a near catatonic state at Stryker's Island. Her medical care while at Stryker's was financed by Lex Luthor.

Double teaming[]

Superman's vulnerability to electricity

Livewire goes after Superman.

Sometime later, she recovered and was kept in an insulated-yet-otherwise regular cell, although the corridor she was in was cordoned off, banning prison employees from using electrical devices in that area due to her powers. The only form of entertainment she was allowed was reading material, and her own corner bookshelf. However, a young, inexperienced janitor paid no attention to these rules, listening to a Walkman while cleaning the floors, and Livewire manipulated him into letting her borrow it (on the basis she wanted to hear music), and drained the device's power to charge herself and blast her way to freedom. Livewire then engaged Superman, but her power was not enough to destroy him.

Double Dose

Livewire teams up with Parasite.

Livewire decided that the best way to defeat him was to team up, so she sprung another super villain, Parasite, from his cell. She convinced Parasite to cooperate by promising to let him have a taste of his power, which proved tough as Parasite was addicted to draining. Together, they committed a series of crimes in Metropolis, but eventually Parasite betrayed Livewire by draining her powers. He subsequently used Livewire's powers to attack Superman, all while holding Livewire captive to feed off of her energy. While trying to get away from Parasite, Superman was inadvertently given a fire source in an area with a fire suppression sprinkler system. When Parasite realized Superman was setting off the smoke detectors, it was too late for him to react, and he was shocked because he now had Livewire's electrokinesis. After the Parasite was defeated, he and Livewire were delivered to the authorities. Livewire would be moved to a new prison.

Triple teaming[]

Livewire, Harley and Ivy

Livewire introduces herself to Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy.

Some time later, when she was being transported through Gotham City, Livewire escaped again and escaped into the city's underworld. There, she met Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy. The three formed an alliance to commit a series of crimes. With Superman unavailable, Supergirl headed to Gotham, where she met Batgirl who informed her about Livewire. Batgirl and Supergirl teamed up to fight Livewire, Ivy, and Harley at Gotham Park. During this melee, Livewire almost electrocuted Batgirl, but Supergirl saved her and Livewire was defeated. She was later returned to the Metropolis prison system.

Superman Revenge Squad[]

Superman Revenge Squad

Livewire joins forces with other supervillains sharing her grudge against Superman.

Years later, Livewire became a member of the Superman Revenge Squad to destroy Superman once and for all. They started a rampage at Daily Planet Plaza, but the Justice League intervened and Livewire was easily knocked out by J'onn J'onzz. After Superman was "killed" by Toyman, Livewire and Kalibak started another rampage at Metropolis. Flash defeated Livewire by running ahead of her and dropping one end of the wire she was traveling along into water, causing her to reappear there and short out. When Superman returned, the remaining villains were taken down.

She later joined Grodd's Legion of Doom. She attended several meetings and was present when Doctor Polaris attempted to kill Luthor. During Grodd's mutiny, Livewire is not seen on his or Lex Luthor's side, leaving her fate unknown when Darkseid destroyed the Hall of Doom.

Powers and abilities[]

Livewire blasts

Livewire's electric blasts.

  • Electrokinesis: After being augmented, Leslie is now a being of pure energy; she had the ability to absorb and project high amounts of electricity in numerous ways, from channeled beams to bolts. By focusing electricity, she could rapidly heat metals to melting point, and reflect laser fire. She could also travel through wires and enter machines, forcing them to perform actions according to her will. She can ionize the air surrounding her, which is how she created her costume. She does not require food/water for sustenance any longer.
  • Superhuman strength: She was once shown be able to effortlessly throw a turbine aside with her bare hands.

Weaknesses[]

  • Electricity Dependence: All of Livewire's active powers depended on her being charged; without electricity, she could be held in an insulated cell with a door she would have otherwise smashed her way through.
  • Insulators: Being coated in an electrically resistant substance, such as silicate dust, could nullify her powers even when she was fully charged.
  • Water: As an electrical being, Livewire is vulnerable to water.

Background information[]

  • Livewire was created for Superman: The Animated Series and later incorporated into DC comics, though she made her first appearance in March 1997 in the Superman Adventures #5 tie-in comic, a few months before her debut episode aired. Her first mainline comic book appearance was in DC Action Comics #835 (March 2006).
  • Andrea Romano had been a fan of Lori Petty's voice before casting her as Livewire, noting that she was able to make Livewire sound "cute, as well as bizarre."[2]

Appearances[]

Superman: The Animated Series

The New Batman Adventures

Justice League

Justice League Unlimited

See also[]


References[]

  1. Dorkin, Evan, Dyer, Sarah (writers) & Geda, Curt (director) (September 13, 1997). "Livewire". Superman: The Animated Series. Season 2. Episode 5 (airdate). Episode 18 (production). Kids WB!.
  2. Superman: The Animated Series - Menaces of Metropolis: Behind the Villains of Superman (DVD featurette)
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