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For the Supergirl episode, see "Livewire".
"Guess I'm a sucker too, huh?"
—Leslie Willis' last words to Supergirl[src]


Leslie Willis (died January 22, 2018), also briefly known as Roseanne, was a former shock jock of CatCo Worldwide Media. After a fatal helicopter accident, Leslie gained electrical powers and turned into the supervillain Livewire. She later became an ally of Supergirl and sacrificed herself to save her from Reign.

Biography

Early life

Leslie Willis grew up in National City. It is implied that she doesn't have any close family.[1]

Working at CatCo

Leslie once worked as a shock jock at a “shoebox of a radio station", where she was discovered by Cat Grant. Recognizing her potential, Cat hired Leslie at CatCo Worldwide Media and personally mentored her. Over the years, Leslie rose to become National City's most prominent, yet controversial, shock jock with her show, “Alive and Wired with Leslie Willis”, working in the basement of CatCo.[1]

Becoming Livewire

Leslie insulting Supergirl

Leslie insulting Supergirl in her broadcast.

In late 2015 during the week of Thanksgiving, Leslie decided to target Supergirl for her annual holiday roast, deriding the superheroine's "adorkable" demeanor, "overkill" costume, body, and "lack of sexuality". However, Leslie's shocking rants began to annoy her audience, including her boss. Furious, Cat summoned Leslie to her office and ordered her to no longer speak her opinions about Supergirl. Angered over Cat dictating her content, Leslie refused, deeming her former mentor a hypocrite. Cat then canceled her show. Since Leslie had another two years left on her contract, Cat couldn't fire her and wouldn’t buy her out. Instead, she had Leslie transferred to the traffic chopper, infuriating the latter, who promised retribution.

Livewire's accident

The accident which gave Leslie her powers.

On her first nightly traffic report, a lightning storm moved in over the city. Despite the pilot's concerns about the dangerous weather, Leslie stubbornly refused to return to HQ until she finished her report. Suddenly, lightning struck the chopper, causing it to start to spinning out of control. Fortunately, Supergirl came to their rescue. While she managed to get the pilot to safety, a bolt of lightning hit the superheroine as she took Leslie's hand. Intensified by Supergirl's Kryptonian DNA, the electricity picked up unknown properties before transferring into Leslie, turning her hair white and giving her powers.

Leslie was rendered comatose and hospitalized at National City General, with Cat paying her hospital bills. That evening, Leslie regained consciousness as the electronics around her began to flicker and short circuit. After being discharged from the hospital, Leslie was walking around town. She began to notice her hands were charging with electricity and accidentally fired a blast, shorting out an electric sign, much to her shock. When a man accosted her in an alley, Leslie inadvertently gave him a powerful electric shock, killing him instantly. Getting a rush from this, Leslie then transformed her whole body into energy and disappeared into an electrical light particle in the alley.[1]

Going after Cat Grant

Livewire attacks CatCo

Leslie appears on CatCo's screens.

After causing a total blackout in National City, Leslie, now calling herself "Livewire", broke into CatCo. Taunting Cat over the monitors, she terrorized her former boss, aiming to kill her. Upon finding Cat, Leslie gloated how she "transcended" before attempting to electrocute her. However, Supergirl arrived up in time to intervene. The superheroine tried to reason with Livewire, offering to help her, but Livewire refused before firing electrical blasts at her. During the ensuing fight, Supergirl fired her heat vision at Livewire, but the latter simply absorbed the energy, allowing her to use it as a power source. As a distraction, Livewire damaged the elevator controls, which Cat tried to flee on, causing the vehicle to plummet and allowing the former to escape.

Livewire electrocuting Supergirl

Livewire using her powers to shock Supergirl.

In an attempt to capture Livewire, Cat broadcasted an invitation to Leslie's old office, where the two of them first met. Livewire showed up and despite Cat's best efforts to talk her down, Livewire opted to electrify her former boss, sadistically musing how there were many ways to "skin a cat". When Supergirl arrived, Livewire engaged her. Fashioning two whips of electricity, Livewire managed to tie up the superheroine and began shocking her. She knocked aside Supergirl's trap and pinned her down, attempting to stop the superheroine's heart. However, Supergirl pulled out a pipe from under the street and drenched Livewire with water, negating her powers and knocking her unconscious.

Afterwards, Leslie was taken into custody by the D.E.O. to be contained for experimentation.[1]

Freedom and partnership

Livewire incarcerated

Livewire incarcerated at D.E.O..

Several months later, Livewire was sitting in her cell when a piercing scream shattered it. She electrocuted two guards who came after her and escaped to a nearby warehouse, where she found a young woman waiting for her. She introduced herself as Siobhan Smythe, a former personal assistant at CatCo.

Siobhan told Livewire that she had been the one who had busted her out of her cell; she had recently discovered that she was a meta-human with the power to sonic scream. The night before, she had overheard Livewire vowing to kill Cat and Supergirl if she ever got out. Siobhan wanted to kill Kara, but knew that Supergirl was protecting her; she proposed that they team up to further their "shared interests". Livewire readily agreed--but suggested that Siobhan get a makeover and a new nickname: "Silver Banshee".

Livewire and Silver Banshee

Livewire and Silver Banshee.

With the help of the Flash, Supergirl tracked Livewire to the warehouse. The Flash tried to overload her with a blast of Speed Force Energy. However, it did the opposite, giving her a supercharge which she used to blast the Flash to the ground. Just as Supergirl was about to short her out with a sprinkler, Silver Banshee incapacitated her with her sonic scream. Supergirl and the Flash blew the two meta-humans to the ground, but realized they wouldn't win and retreated.

Livewire, Silver Banshee and Cat

Cat kidnapped by Livewire and Silver Banshee.

Later that day, Livewire took over the monitors at CatCo Plaza before blasting her way in. James tried to summon Kara, but Livewire blasted him down. She and Silver Banshee then kidnapped Cat and handcuffed her to a bench at National City Park. The two meta-humans wreaked havoc in the park, pausing long enough for Livewire to decide to finish Cat off. Just then, Supergirl and the Flash arrived. Livewire tried to blast Supergirl and the Flash, but missed and fled to a nearby roof. The Flash chased her down. They fought, but Livewire managed to get the better of it. She then returned to the park, and saw a helicopter flying overhead. Remembering her accident, she tried to blast it down in the middle of the park. However, Supergirl jumped in front and took the blast full-on. Livewire and Silver Banshee saw their chance and started to go in on the incapacitated Supergirl. However, a crowd of bystanders surrounded the downed Supergirl, moved by her self sacrifice. Annoyed by this, Livewire prepared to kill them all when a fire crew doused her with water, shorting her out. The blast intended for the crowd arced and hit Silver Banshee instead.

Leslie was arrested by the NCPD, housed in a special cell the Flash helped design to contain meta-humans.[2]

Abduction and escape

Livewire in jail

Livewire undergoes a therapy session while in jail.

Livewire was in prison undergoing some therapy, but only talked about how she would find Supergirl and kill her. A disguised guard and inmate then went to break her out of prison. At first, it looked to everyone that Livewire escaped. However, the truth was that she was abducted by a scientist who wanted to use Livewire's electricity to create super soldiers. Guardian and Mon-El showed up to rescue her but they were subdued by the scientist who had taken some of Livewire's powers for himself. However, Supergirl showed up and incapacitated the scientist.
Supergirl talking Livewire out of killing the scientist

Supergirl talking Livewire out of killing the scientist.

She freed Livewire but then she went to try and destroy Supergirl for revenge. Supergirl tried to reason with her, arguing that even if she destroyed her, this was Leslie's life now. Livewire then attack the scientist but Supergirl moved to reason her not to kill him but letting him go to jail insisted. Livewire agreed as Supergirl promised not to look for her until after the scientist was locked away, then Livewire left her, promising to return.[3]

Fighting Reign and death

Roseanne

Leslie Willis as Roseanne.

Upon seeing Supergirl's brutal defeat at the hands of Reign on Christmas Eve,[4] Livewire grew worried that Reign would target her next. She decided to go straight and got a job as a waitress at a diner under the alias "Roseanne".

Livewire Death

Livewire dissolves into electricity.

She was recruited personally by Supergirl to go with her into space where Fort Rozz was seeing as Supergirl needed backup due to being powerless due to a blue star being in that area of the galaxy. Livewire agreed after learning it would be beneficial to take out Reign for good as she personally knew some of the victims and told Supergirl despite them being criminals they didn't deserve to die. She sacrificed herself knowing that Supergirl couldn't die there as she believed that Reign would be taken down permanently by the hero. Her body dissolved into electricity as witnessed by Psi and Supergirl.[5]

Legacy

Leslie's death was avenged when Lena Luthor used the Harun-El to force Reign out of Samantha Arias's body,[6] allowing the Dark Kryptonian to be defeated by Supergirl and Samantha.[7]

Personality


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Leslie was prone to anger, along with not caring for the feelings of others such as Supergirl or Cat Grant. She takes sadistic pleasure in hurting others such as when she nearly killed Cat Grant multiple times, and when she nearly electrocuted Supergirl. Leslie also loves insulting others, and being rebellious, mirroring her mentor Cat Grant.

Powers and abilities

"You're Element X. Normal electrostatic discharge intensified as it passed through your Kryptonian DNA, picking up unknown properties. That's what's created her."
J'onn J'onzz to Kara Danvers on Leslie's powers[src]

Powers

  • Meta-human physiology: As a result of Supergirl being struck by lightning while making physical contact with Leslie, the lightning was enhanced after passing through Supergirl's Kryptonian DNA. After being transferred into Leslie's body, the lightning augmented her physiology, allowing her to access her abilities.
    • Electrokinesis: Leslie is able to control and siphon electricity, as well as to transform into electricity. She has used it to conjure lightning blasts of various intensities and lengths and, while siphoning the entire city, her electricity became powerful enough to incapacitate Supergirl herself with one blast and potentially kill her, though she could also simply fight her off with lesser amounts. Her lightning can form into solid constructs, such as a whip or flail, which she used to restrain Supergirl. This electricity could be used knock people backwards without truly harming them, which she did to James Olsen, or to lift people into the air, as she did to Barry Allen while shocking him, before slamming him into the floor. In addition, she can electrify her touch enough to electrocute a person to death if they came into physical contact with her. If Leslie is completely drained of her power, or exposed to water, she reverts to her solid form and cannot use most of her abilities, nor will she then be able to transform into living electricity.
      • Levitation: Leslie is able to use the electrical energy to rise into the air.
      • Electricity mimicry: Livewire can completely transform into living electricity and travel through anything that will conduct an electric current, such as circuits and wiring. In her electrical state, Leslie can possess and control any device that conducts electricity, such as electronic screens and audio systems, as well as cause a blackout through an entire city.
        • Technopathy: In her electrical state, Leslie can possess and control any device that conducts electricity, such as electronic screens and audio systems, as well as cause a blackout through an entire city. After she entered an electrical outlet at CatCo, she effortlessly took control of the elevator Cat Grant had been taking to safety, thereby putting it in a free-fall as it moved toward the ground floor.[1]
    • Energy absorption: Leslie's powers depends on the amount of energy she possesses, and like a battery, her powers are not indefinite. To re-power herself, she must absorb a vast amount of electricity from an available power source. However, she is able to absorb not only electricity, but other forms of energy, to give herself strength. Even the energy from Kryptonian heat vision, or a speedster's residual Speed Force energy can be a suitable power source for her, though the latter can make her even stronger, due to its electrical nature.
    • Superhuman durability: Leslie possesses superhuman durability, as she could take hits from Supergirl and could fight her off with the help of her electrical abilities.
    • Superhuman strength: Leslie could divert electricity into her touch and physical attacks, allowing her to fight Supergirl on equal grounds.

Weaknesses

  • Charging: Leslie does not create her own electricity, nor is her power indefinite, so she needs a source of electricity to use it.
  • Power-dampening tech: As long as Leslie is wearing power-dampening cuffs, her powers do not work.
  • Water: Leslie's main weakness is water, and even a small amount can harm her. To suffer a major power loss, Leslie has to be completely drenched in water, which will cause her to short-circuit.[1]

Appearances

Supergirl

Season 1

Season 2

Season 3

Comics

Adventures of Supergirl

Trivia

  • Leslie shares many similarities with Leonard Snart/Captain Cold.
    • Both were nemeses to their shows' respective heroes.
    • Both eventually developed a newfound respect for the heroes after being saved by them and even went as far as to say they were friends.
    • Both sacrificed themselves to save their friends.
  • Leslie was the first meta-human to appear on Supergirl.

Behind the scenes

  • Leslie Willis first appeared in Superman Adventures #5 (March, 1997), a tie-in comic book based on the DCAU series, and was created by Bruce Timm. Six months later, she appeared as a recurring villain in the Superman: The Animated Series, debuting in the episode "Livewire", voiced by Lori Petty. She made her debut in the mainstream comic books in Action Comics #835 (March, 2006).

References

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