DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, like all of The CW’s DC shows continues to go for the ‘deep cuts’ when pulling out characters to feature on their tv adaptations of the comic books. The most recent casting announcement is no exception as they cast Nick Zano as Citizen Steel (aka ‘Commander Steel’) in the show’s second season.
Nick Zano is probably best know to UK audiences as as Johnny on 2 Broke Girls & Pete on Happy Endings. but has also appeared on Melrose Place and 90210.
The character of Citizen Steel/Commander Steel/Steel was first introduced in 1939 as Steel: The Indestructible Man, created by Gerry Conway. Like many DC characters, there have been multiple versions over the years, but in most cases, he gains his powers after some sort of accident which results in the use of experimental, or ‘living’ metal being used to fix the problem. This gives him Superhuman strength & speed, and invulnerability from having organic metal skin.
The first version was Henry Heywood, part of Earth-Two’s All-Star Squadron during WW2. The second version, introduced in 1984, Henry “Hank” Heywood III, was grandson of the first Commander Steel, and served as part of the Justice League Detroit. The third take on the character arrived in 2007, and was Nathan Heywood. He was grandson of the original Henry Heywood and cousin of Henry Heywood III, who becomes body becomes ‘living steel’ after an accident.
In addition to those 3, a new version of the character, arrived in 2011 during the New 52 reboot. Henry Heywood Jr. who was from Earth 2, who gained his powers after his father used an experimental metal to cure him of a degenerative bone disorder.
Just to confuse things a bit more, there is also another character called Steel in the DC universe, which is John Henry Irons, who emerged during the Death Of Superman storyline in the 90’s, however he is an entirely different character.
It appears the version DC are going with for Legends is Dr. Nate Heywood, a historian whose grandfather was Commander Steel, a member of the Justice Society of America. They haven’t actually confirmed that Nate will take over the mantel of his grandfather, but lets be honest, this is Legends, of course he will! It’s not clear exactly how he’s going to get his powers, but given the character’s history, it will probably involve an accident and being given some sort of experimental metal to fix it.
Season 2 of Legends of Tomorrow will have a number of cast changes, as there are a few open slots left on the Waverider at the end of Season 1, which finishes on Sky 1 tonight. As we mentioned last week, a version of Vixen will be joining the crew, and Patrick J. Adams will play Hourman in the series, although I suspect that’s more of a guest spot given is current commitments on Suits.
“The season finale planted some very significant flags in terms of what the new concept of the show will be in season 2.” commented co-creator/EP Marc Guggenheim. “The team’s mission statement for Season 2 is more compelling than Season 1, and at the same time, it is more streamlined. It’s a little bit higher concept, a very clean notion that will allow the show to do things that it does best.”
The Finale of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow airs on Sky 1 tonight.