SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Supergirl #12, on sale now.
One of the long-running mysteries of DC Comics’ Rebirth has centered around what’s going on with the Legion of Super-Heroes and how it relates to the larger DC Universe. We’ve seen Saturn Girl is currently locked up in Arkham, while Phantom Girl is set to join The Terrifics in the coming months, but we don’t know the reason these Legionnaires are showing up in the twenty-first century. One person that’s just as curious as we are is the Emerald Empress, another citizen of the thirty-first century who has travelled back in time in order to find Saturn Girl, though she’s recently changed her attention to National City and Supergirl.
In Supergirl #12, by Steve Orlando, Robson Rocha, Daniel Henriques, Michael Atiyeh and Steve Wands, the Emerald Empress assembles a new Fatal Five comprised of familiar characters from this era of DC in order to take the fight to Supergirl and the DEO and change the future forever.
The Fatal Five, in their original incarnation, were created by Jim Shooter and introduced in 1967’s Adventure Comics #352. In their first appearance, the group was actually rounded up by the Legion of Super-Heroes who needed help from the universe’s most dangerous criminals in order to stop an even greater danger than a team of villains. With a Sun-Eater threatening the entire system, the Fatal Five and the Legion of Super-Heroes worked together to destroy the the entity, although Ferro Lad perished along the way, sacrificing himself in order to make sure the system was safe. Following their victory, The Fatal Five turned on the Legion of Super-Heroes, but were defeated and sent packing to fight another day.
The original incarnation of The Fatal Five was led by Tharok, a once small-time crook who lost half of his body in a bungled robbery; his form was rebuilt with robotic parts that boosted his intelligence to that of a supergenius. His cyborg brain also allows him control over The Fatal Five’s big bruiser, Validus, a brutish creature of unknown origin who was eventually revealed as the son of Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl, sent back in time and monstrously transformed by none other than Darkseid.
The Emerald Empress is a woman named Sarya, who hails from the planet Venegar. She has no powers of her own, but wields the powerful Emerald Eye of Ekron which can fly, shoot deadly blasts and augment the Empress’ own abilities as well. It has been implied in numerous stories over the years that the Empress herself is actually under the Emerald Eye’s control and on more than one occasion the Eye has sought out replacements to Sarya to be the new Emerald Empress.
The final two members of the original incarnation of The Fatal Five are The Persuader and Mano. The Persuader is a sort of cosmic executioner with an atomic axe that cut through literally anything, including hypothetical or theoretical concepts, including time and space. Mano is an alien from the planet Angtu with the mutant power of an anti-matter touch, which can destroy anything he comes across, including his home planet which he destroyed, killing every other member of his race.
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