Actress Rhona Mitra has been cast in a familiar female antagonist in the Superman mythos to fill the Luthor family shoes: Mercy Graves. And she’s not coming alone.
Mitra is best known for both minor film roles – the rape victim of an invisible Kevin Bacon in Hollow Man – and major television roles – TNT’s The Last Ship, Cinemax’s Strike Back, and Netflix’s Santa Clarita Diet – on her resume, so she has both the gravitas and fan following to give her character a presence on one of the most prevalent female-dominant shows on TV.
In Supergirl, Mercy steps into the fourth season as the new number one woman behind the “humans first movement” begun by the long-incarcerated Lex Luthor and continued by his recently-imprisoned mother, Lillian. She is joined by her brother, Otis, played by Robert Baker, who is a skilled alien assassin. Superman fans best remember Otis as the bumbling henchman of Gene Hackman’s Lex Luthor in the first two Christopher Reeve movies played by Ned Beatty. The character of Mercy, meanwhile, has a much more recent history.
Much like the infamous Harley Quinn was introduced as a throwaway character in the 1993 Batman: The Animated Series, Mercy had a similar beginning in 1996’s Superman: The Animated Series. From the pilot onward, she appeared as an unwaveringly loyal chauffeur/bodyguard to Lex Luthor and was simultaneously introduced into DC canon that same year. Her character was described as a street vagrant whom Lex found and trained personally. She was brought back as the new CEO of LexCorp in the Cartoon Network’s second season of Justice League, following Luthor’s exposure and incarceration, and ending her storyline by finally wising up and cutting off all ties with Lex. Mercy also had a minor role in Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice, portrayed by Tao Okamoto. Sadly, given that character’s demise in the film, odds are nil to slim we will see that version appear again in the DCU.
Supergirl returns for its fourth season on Sunday, October 14 at 8pm Eastern on The CW.