- "No. Leslie Willis is dead. D-E-A-D. Dead. She died in that CatCopter of yours. This is Leslie 2.0. Livewire. And you and I... We're gonna have words."
- —Leslie Willis to Cat Grant.[src]
Leslie Willis is a former shock jock of CatCo Worldwide Media. After a fatal helicopter accident, Leslie was turned into the supervillain Livewire.
Becoming LivewireLeslie Willis was once National City's most prominent shock jock, working in the basement of CatCo Worldwide Media, until her shocking rants about Supergirl started to annoy everyone, including her boss, Cat Grant. Furious, Cat ordered Leslie to no longer speak her opinions about Supergirl. She refused, prompting Cat to cancel her show. Since Leslie had another two years left on her contract, Cat couldn't fire her. Instead, she had her transferred to the traffic chopper, much to Leslie's fury. On her first nightly traffic report, a lightning storm moves in over the city. Despite the pilot's concerns about the dangerous weather, Leslie refused to return to HQ. When lightning struck the chopper and started to spin out of control, Supergirl came to the rescue. Whereas she managed to return the pilot to safety, when she took Leslie's hands, a bolt of lighting hit both of them.
Leslie was in a coma after being hospitalized, and after Kara and Cat paid her a visit she regained consciousness as electronics around her began to flicker and short circuit. After being discharged from the hospital, Leslie was walking around town as she began to notice her hands were charging with electricity. When a man accosted her in an alley, she inadvertently gave him a powerful electric shock, killing him instantly, but she got a rush from it. She then transformed her whole body into electrical energy and disappeared into an electrical light particle in the alley.
Going after Cat Grant
After causing a total blackout in National City, Leslie, now calling herself "Livewire", paid Cat a visit and attempted to use her new powers to kill her. However, Supergirl showed up in time to intervene. Supergirl offered to help her, but Livewire refused. During the ensuing fight, Livewire fed off of Supergirl's heat vision, which she was actually able to use as a power source to give her more energy. She then caused the elevator, which Cat was using to try to escape, to fall out of control before fleeing and promising she'd return. During the DEO's investigation, "Hank Henshaw" deduced the lightning that hit Kara and passed into Leslie was intensified by her Kryptonian DNA, picking up unknown properties and gave Leslie her powers.In a attempt to capture Livewire, Cat and Kara (as Supergirl) broadcast an invitation in Leslie's old office to meet her on the street where Cat and Leslie first met. Livewire showed up and despite Cat's best effort to reason with her, Livewire opting to electrifying her former boss, only to be stopped by Supergirl. The two women engaged in a fight, and it was clear Livewire quickly overpowered Supergirl, making it impossible to use the DEO's trap. Supergirl then found an underground water pipe on the street and drenched her with water, knocking her electric powers out of use as well as her unconscious. Afterwards, she was imprisoned and later taken into custody by the DEO and contained for experimentation.
Freedom and partnership
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".
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.
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. She was then taken into custody and housed in a special cell the Flash helped design to contain meta-humans.
Abducted and escapeLivewire was in prison where she had been undergoing some therapy but insisted to talk about herself, 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 supersoldiers. 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. 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.
Powers and 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.
- 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 inhuman resilience, 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.
- Water: Leslie's main weakness is water, and even small amount can harm her. To suffer a major power loss Leslie has to be completely drenched in water, then she will start to short-circuit.
- Charging: Leslie does not create her own electricity, nor is her power indefinite, so she needs a source of electricity to use it.
Adventures of Supergirl
- "Chapter 6" (mentioned)
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).