Livewire attempts crimePosted: 03/14/2014
Harley Quinn didn’t emerge onto the comic book scene alone. A bunch of other less popular, non-solo series starring supervillains joined her in the print medium. It isn’t as great for them as you sound — Superman and his buddies tend to be far more powerful when you read them. Leslie Willis (now the supervillain Livewire) finds this out the hard way, than finds it out three more times with other superheroes. I know supervillains are destined to fail, but this poor girl suffers embarrassing losses. Y’see, much like the Wicked Witch of the West, our electric-themed baddie possesses a debilitating weakness to water — which as you know is like 70% of the planet. And thus, her crime sprees remain short-lived. Very short-lived.
Livewire vs. Batgirl
Batgirl #4, written by Bryan Q. Miller and drawn by Tim Levins & Lee Garbett
But that’s not totally fair to Livewire. The Bat-people always over-prepare. That’s the number one trait that keeps normal humans with zero superpowers alive when facing supervillains who can fry cars and zap batarangs. Worse, there’s nothing subtle about screaming demands and basically lighting an electric flare gun into the sky for all vigilantes to see. Mystique often gets away because she can sneak out as a security guard or whatever — Livewire’s escape plans involve staying away from sprinklers and praying for an alien invasion to distract the Justice League. So what about those opponents who don’t have suits packed full of rubber?
Livewire vs. Supergirl
Supergirl #30, written by Will Pfeifer and drawn by Ron Randall
Look, Livewire has the same problem as Captain Planet. The dude fights pollution but that’s his weakness as well. He can explode garbage barges but he passes out when a banana peel flies out and hits him in the chest. Livewire thrives around technology that she can exploit, but technology also includes sewer systems, pipe lines, faucets, squirt guns, etc. And while I don’t know what creatures of pure energy smell like, she can’t smell terrific without being able to clean herself. Still, I should give her some due — she totally gave Superman some trouble back when she first premiered. Some trouble, as in just a little.
Livewire vs. Superman
Action Comics #835, written by Gail Simone and drawn by John Byrne
This one’ll probably need some back story. Livewire’s half-brother kidnapped Lois Lane, knowing full well that Superman shows up to save her every single time. The same Superman that can bench press the moon.
Notice that even when you smack Superman with enough electricity to power a small village, he still takes the time to address you politely. The bootastic Livewire knows full well what Superman can do, but supervillains always have to find out the hard way.
When even children aren’t scared of Livewire, what chance does she have against the Man of Steel? But the best part of this fight? Besides Lois Lane’s upcoming pun? Superman wins using that wonderful brain of his, like Batman does when his hands get sore from all the punching.
Gail Simone writes the best dialogue in comics. I miss Superman and Lois Lane as a couple, though Wonder Woman does have the same wild abandonment of fear combined with a delightful sense of humor that we enjoy in our superheroes/supporting cast. Plus, swords and lassos and invisible planes and stuff.
But I still may be treating Livewire unfairly. So she can’t go up against the A-listers — very few supervillains can. How about a challenge more on her level? Someone she can battle that’ll gives her a chance at actually winning?
Livewire vs. Jimmy Olsen
Superman #711, written by J. Michael Straczynski & Chris Roberson and drawn by Eddy Barrows