Copperhead (DC Comics character).png
The "John Doe" version of Copperhead on the interior artwork from Underworld Unleashed: Patterns of Fear #1 (November 1995).
Art by Howard Porter.
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceThe Brave and the Bold #78 (July 1968)
Created byBob Haney
Bob Brown
In-story information
Alter ego(I) John Doe
(II) Nathan Prince
(III) Sameer Park
(IV) Jane Doe
(V) Nora Park
Team affiliations(I & III) Secret Society of Super Villains
Suicide Squad
Black Lantern Corps
(II) Terror Titans
AbilitiesSupreme contortionist
Prehensile serpentine tail
Secretes deadly poison

Copperhead is the name of different characters in DC Comics.

Publication history[edit | edit source]

Copperhead's first appearance.

The first Copperhead first appeared in The Brave and the Bold #78, June (1968) and was created by Bob Haney and Bob Brown.[1]

Fictional character biography[edit | edit source]

John Doe[edit | edit source]

The criminal known as Copperhead first appeared in Gotham City in a copperhead costume. He committed numerous thefts before finally being apprehended by Batman and Batgirl. Copperhead then turned to more deadly pursuits as a super-assassin, constricting victims to a suffocating death with his costume's tail. During this time, he would become obsessive about his target and think of nothing until the target was dead, which proved to be a weakness at times as he would ignore anything he did not consider immediately relevant.

At various times, he fought Hawk and Dove, Superboy, and Jack Knight, in addition to joining the original incarnation of Secret Society of Super Villains. Copperhead used the travel opportunities his freelance career afforded him to pursue his hobby of collecting transistor radios.

Although a master contortionist, Copperhead was largely powerless without his snake-skin costume.

During the Underworld Unleashed storyline, Copperhead sold his soul to the demon Neron in exchange for power, being transformed into a deadly human-snake hybrid.[2][3]

He was later killed by Manhunter, Kate Spencer.[1][4]

During the Blackest Night storyline, Copperhead has been identified as one of the deceased entombed below the Hall of Justice. He is listed as "John Doe", as his real name had never been discovered.[5] He was reanimated as a member of the Black Lantern Corps.[6] Copperhead is destroyed by the combined efforts of seven Lanterns during the Black Lantern Corps' attack on Coast City.[7]

Nathan Prince[edit | edit source]

Teen Titans #56 featured a team of villains called the "Terror Titans", legacy villains whose mantles are inherited from older villains. One of the members shown is identified as Copperhead and appears visually as the character prior to the deal with Neron. The story did not reveal any information about the character or provide context with regard to previous stories.

In the subsequent Terror Titans miniseries, it is revealed that the second Copperhead's true identity is Nathan Prince, and he is the only member of the Terror Titans who does not have a family connection to his predecessor. As a child, Nathan drowned his baby sibling out of jealousy, and even attempted to kill his parents. Unable to go through with it, he instead ran away to live on the streets, where he would solicit himself, having sex with older men, after which he would kill and rob them. It is still unknown how Prince came to work for Clock King. During The Dark Side Club's metahuman battles, the heroine TNTeena is badly injured, and Clock King tasks Copperhead with watching over her as she recuperates. Copperhead complies, and over time, falls in love with her.[8] However, Nathan is later forced by Clock King to kill her.[9] Nate and the rest of the Terror Titans are then sent to assist the Martyr Militia, a group of brainwashed metahumans, in destroying Los Angeles, but the tables are turned by Ravager and Miss Martian, who uses her telepathy to undo the brainwashing. The Terror Titans flee to their base, only for Clock King to kill Disruptor, and leave them to be apprehended by the metahumans. Two weeks later, Nate breaks his fellow Terror Titans out of custody, and the group swear revenge on Clock King.[10]

New 52[edit | edit source]

Copperhead appears in the New 52 (a 2011 reboot of the DC Comics universe). He is a mutated anthropomorphic snake man as opposed to being a villain wearing a snake costume. Copperhead as a member of the Secret Society of Super Villains.[11] He is killed by Deathstroke in Forever Evil #5.

Jane Doe[edit | edit source]

A female Copperhead using the alias Jane Doe makes her debut sometime after the death of her predecessor. This version of the character resembles its appearance in Batman: Arkham Origins, DC Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns has said that this new incarnation and daughter of Copperhead would appear as a villain in the New 52 after the game's release.[12] Copperhead is described as a deadly hitwoman and one of the two most toxic individuals on the planet (the other being Cheshire).[13]

Real name unknown, Copperhead is a crime boss in Central City, as well as a former mercenary. She is an antagonist of both Batman and the Flash. Two-Face placed a large bounty on Batman's head that many super-villains and mercenaries intended to collect, including Copperhead. Alongside several other villains Copperhead tracked down the Bat to an active train. Climbing on board the train Copperhead attempted to kill Batman but he was able to escape by jumping into a flowing stream. After a brief stint of assassinations and other mercenary jobs, Copperhead was called up to lead her families' crime business in Central City. After a mysterious rival boss started muscling in on her territory she decided to hire several mercenaries to enforce her rule, two of these mercenaries were Shrapnel and Black Spider. However Black Spider was arrested by the Flash for robbing a diamond exchange, and Shrapnel was arrested after murdering the Road Reapers. Soon after this another pair of mercenaries were apprehended by the Flash- Trigger Twins, this prompted Copperhead to open negotiations with the mysterious crime lord whom she discovered was Captain Cold of the Rogues, in order to find away to defeat the Flash. Copperhead followed Cold's plan to eliminate the Flash, but Cold turned on her when he planted a cold bomb in a weapons delivery. The Flash was able to save her after he apprehended Cold, but without any evidence of her involvement she was allowed to walk free.

Another Copperhead appears as one of the many villains Batman and Catwoman take down when he takes her on a typical night of his job. This version appears again to be inhuman, with copper skin but with some un-snake-like qualities, such as teeth.[14] She is later shown as one of the many villains in Batman's Rogues Gallery to be beaten down by Bane in his attempt to reach Batman in Arkham.[15] They later appear in the Batgirl and the Birds of Prey comics.

Powers and abilities[edit | edit source]

Copperhead's contortionist skills allow him to fit himself into incredibly small spaces (such as chimneys). He originally wore a snake-themed costume. The suit was a weave of metallic and elastic fibers and covered vulnerable points (such as the chest) with Kevlar, making it bulletproof and impenetrable to almost any cutting edged weapon. The costume had been treated with a highly slippery water- and heat-proof silicon gel, allowing Copperhead to slide along any surface and slip out of tight spots. The tail could be stretched several feet and was strong enough to snap bone and shatter stone. The suit's helmet contained two seven-inch-long fangs which were capable of piercing human skin, and were coated in a potent neurotoxin derived from copperhead snakes. The toxin could paralyze a person almost instantly, and death would follow within 30 minutes. Later, Copperhead sold his soul to the demon Neron and was transformed into a human-snake hybrid. His reflexes and agility were greatly increased, and he gained venomous fangs, a forked tongue, claws, and a prehensile tail.

In "Terror Titans", Clock King mentions that the second Copperhead does not have any superpowers, meaning he utilizes a snake-themed suit, like the original once did.[16]

The Copperhead from "The New 52" has snake-like abilities.

The female Copperhead does not appear to have any superpowers and instead uses different poison equipment such as darts.

Other versions[edit | edit source]

Sensation Comics[edit | edit source]

A different version of Copperhead appears in Sensation Comics #15 (March, 1943). This version is an enemy of Little Boy Blue.

Tiny Titans[edit | edit source]

A kid version of Copperhead named Johnny appears in Tiny Titans comics.

Arkhamverse[edit | edit source]

A second Copperhead Appears in Batman: Arkham Unhinged #10 (March, 2013). Copperhead was a criminal who was recruited to Amanda Waller's Suicide Squad.

Injustice Comics[edit | edit source]

Copperhead is a Suicide Squad criminal who obeys Wonder Woman and the regime. She first appears in the Injustice vs Masters of the universe crossover.

Batman '66[edit | edit source]

The original Copperhead appears in Batman '66 Meets Wonder Woman '77 #5 (July, 2017).

In other media[edit | edit source]

Television[edit | edit source]

  • Copperhead appeared in the DCAU, voiced primarily by Jose Yenque.

Copperhead as depicted in Justice League and Justice League Unlimited

    • The John Doe version of Copperhead appears in the Justice League TV series voiced by Efrain Figueroa and later voiced by Jose Yenque. He is similar to the comic version with a poisonous bite and prehensile tail. Copperhead is generally portrayed as an acrobatic idiot, consistently outsmarting himself in almost every appearance. He is not cowardly, however, having once mocked Superman while the latter attempted to interrogate him. He has been seen as a member of both Lex Luthor's and Aresia's Injustice Gang. He also appears briefly in "Only a Dream" in which he fights with Hawkgirl after he, Firefly, Volcana, Luminus, and Solomon Grundy escape from Stryker's Island.
    • Copperhead also appeared in Justice League Unlimited. In "Kids Stuff", during which Morgaine le Fey's son Mordred used an ancient amulet to transport all of the adults in the world to another dimension, so he could rule the world as king of the kids. When the spell took effect, Copperhead, Blockbuster, Cheetah, and KGBeast were fighting Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Batman and Superman at Fort Knox. When they were teleported to the other dimension Copperhead believed that it was judgement day and they all went to the "bad place", though he is confused when he sees the heroes there. Later on in the series, Copperhead appears is a member of the expanded Secret Society led by Gorilla Grodd. During the mutiny within the Secret Society, he sided with Gorilla Grodd against Luthor. Like the other mutineers, Copperhead was subsequently both frozen solid by Killer Frost and apparently blown up by Darkseid.
  • The John Doe version of Copperhead appears in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Legends of the Dark Mite." He is seen robbing a museum only to be thwarted by Green Arrow.
  • A female version of the character appears in Gotham portrayed by Lesley-Ann Brandt.[17][18][19] Her real name is Larissa Diaz and she is a professional assassin who specializes in contortionism and hand-to-hand combat. She first appeared in "Lovecraft" (she is based in Jane Done version of Copperhead that appears in Batman: Arkham Origins), where she and two unnamed assassins are sent by an as-yet-unknown party to target Selina Kyle after killing Wayne Manor's groundskeeper. While one of the unnamed assassins was killed in a gunfight with Alfred Pennyworth, Copperhead and the other assassin went after Selina Kyle and Bruce Wayne. In a discussion with James Gordon, Harvey Dent suspects Dick Lovecraft hired the assassins. When at Dick Lovecraft's condo, Copperhead and the unnamed assassin attacked James Gordon and Dick Lovecraft. Copperhead managed to knock out James Gordon with her contortionist moves. By the time James Gordon regained conscious, he found that Copperhead and the other assassin had managed to kill Dick Lovecraft. Copperhead and the other assassin are tipped off of Selina Kyle's location by her fence Clyde. After the other assassin was knocked out by Selina Kyle, Copperhead held Bruce Wayne at gunpoint asking where Selina Kyle is. Upon Alfred's arrival, Copperhead gets away.

Film[edit | edit source]

  • Copperhead appears in the animated movie Superman/Batman: Public Enemies. He is among the villains that attack Batman and Superman.
  • The Sameer Park version of Copperhead appears in Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay, voiced by Gideon Emery. He appears in the film as a member of Amanda Waller's Task Force X program. While he plays a big role in the mission the Squad is sent for, he is the one who speaks less in the team and through most of his moments, he intimidates others by hissing and showing off his fangs and tongue. In the film's climax, Copperhead fights Killer Frost to stop her from escaping with the "Get Out of Hell Free" card until Amanda Waller detonates the bomb in him, killing him and Killer Frost.

Video games[edit | edit source]

  • Copperhead appears in Batman: The Brave and the Bold – The Videogame, voiced by Dee Bradley Baker.
  • The Jane Done version of Copperhead (character created in the game) appears in Batman: Arkham Origins voiced by Rosa Salazar. DC Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns has said that this new incarnation and daughter of Copperhead would appear as a villain in the New 52 "after the game's release."[20] Copperhead is among the eight assassins that are hired by Black Mask to kill Batman. She is portrayed as a skilled contortionist and escape artist wearing metal, clawed gloves coated with a toxin that makes those she scratches experience intense hallucinations before dying. This version is also implied to be part of a group of South American assassins who all use the moniker "Copperhead", as Batman is surprised that this Copperhead is a woman as previous versions were supposed to be male. Copperhead first appears in the Sionis Steel Mill, killing some of the Joker's men before attacking Batman as he interrogates Roman Sionis about Joker (who has been posing as Black Mask). Black Mask offers to pay Copperhead double Joker's rate for killing Batman, but Copperhead calls him a fallen king with no money stating that she knows about the Joker causing Black Mask to flee. Copperhead catches Batman by surprise and slips away after she slashes him with a hallucinogenic poison. While infected, Batman experiences visions of Alfred Pennyworth dismissing him as a failure, a female bank manager that Joker killed saying it was his fault for letting her die, and Commissioner Gillian B. Loeb saying he wasn't a real hero for letting him die. Copperhead later attacks him head-on using the toxin to its full advantage as Batman is forced to fight dozens of Copperhead illusions along with the original, fighting more and more Copperheads as the poison weakens him. Eventually, Alfred delivers a cure into the Steel Mill, allowing Batman to easily defeat her and throw her into one of the shipping containers. She tries to bargain for freedom by revealing that a meeting between all the assassins enlisted by "Black Mask" had been called, but Batman leaves her in the shipping yard anyway tracing the meeting using the electromagnetic pulse from Electrocutioner's gloves. Batman later tells Alfred to send an anonymous tip for Captain James Gordon about Copperhead's location. If the player listens in to corrupt cops, they say that Copperhead was put in a cell without bars to prevent her escape (most likely similar to the one Clayface would be put in years later). This female interpretation is notably barefoot, with claws from her toes. She has ritualistic tattoos known to be found on the skin of gang members in Spanish gangs across the country, she also wears leather skin tight pants which cover both her ankles and partially her feet. Fans have speculated this version of the character is the daughter of Bane due to her Spanish accent and Bane not knowing who he is; however, none of this has been confirmed by DC.
  • In Batman: Arkham Knight, Copperhead's poison can be found in one of the tables of Ace Chemicals.
  • The John Doe version of Copperhead appears in Lego DC Super Villains.

Toys[edit | edit source]

  • Copperhead's first toy released was an action figure in the Justice League Unlimited toyline with Lex Luthor and Mirror Master. He reappeared as a single figure with a snake as an accessory.
  • Copperhead appears in Wave 12 of the DC Universe Classics line of action figures.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Beatty, Scott (2008), "Copperhead", in Dougall, Alastair, The DC Comics Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, pp. 87, ISBN 0-7566-4119-5, OCLC 213309017 
  2. Underworld Unleashed #1 (November 1995)
  3. Damage #18 (November 1995)
  4. Manhunter #1 (October 2004)
  5. Blackest Night #1
  6. Blackest Night #3
  7. Green Lantern (vol. 4) #50
  8. Terror Titans #4
  9. Terror Titans #5
  10. Terror Titans #6
  11. Justice League of America vol. 3 #4
  13. All-Star Batman #2
  14. Batman (vol. 3) #14
  15. Batman (vol. 3) #19
  16. Teen Titans #59
  17. "The #DCTV Secrets of GOTHAM: Episode 10 – "Lovecraft"". DC Comics.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. Jamie Lovett. "Gotham: First Look At Copperhead".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. "'Gotham's' Copperhead Debuts on Fox's Fall Finale (Exclusive Photos) – TheWrap". TheWrap.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. Siegel, Lucas (July 18, 2013). "SDCC '13: BATMAN: ARKHAM ORIGINS Panel Reveals COPPERHEAD, More". Newsarama. Retrieved July 18, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>


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