The television landscape currently has more than enough superhero shows to occupy each day of the week, with each episode packed to the brim with heroes, villains, and other characters from the pages of Marvel Comics, DC Comics and more. So for the folks who haven’t been keeping up with comic books over the last few decades, some of these lesser-known characters might have you scratching your heads. Don’t worry, we’re here to help.
On this week’s episode of CBS’s Supergirl, Kara (Melissa Benoist) will face a very different kind of villain, that of a parasitic alien plant known as the Black Mercy. While not a traditional villain, this creature does have a rich history in the pages of DC Comics, having temporarily taken down a number of prominent superheroes. Should you happen to find yourself coming up against the Black Mercy, the following guide might just save your life!
First appearing in DC Comics’ “Superman Annual #11” in 1985, the Black Mercy is a creation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons from their story “For the Man Who Has Everything.” This story was adapted once before in a 2004 episode of Justice League Unlimited that shared its title. With the upcoming live-action appearance of the Black Mercy in the Supergirl episode “For the Girl Who Has Everything”, it’s clear that the show’s writers had this source material squarely in mind. But don’t expect it to play out exactly the same way on the CBS series.
In the comics, the Black Mercy was a species of telepathic, parasitic, alien plants which are the offspring of Mother Mercy (on the planet Black Mercy, no less), and were originally (although in a retroactive continuity origin story) intended to alleviate the suffering of the sick and dying. At some point, an alien tyrant and warlord known as Mongul corrupted the hosts with the intent of having them infect his enemies and slowly kill them. They did so by attaching through their roots lined with skin-piercing vines and then feeding on the bio-electrical aura of its host. Once attached, the Black Mercy’s infection caused the host to enter a dream-like state where all of their deepest desires would come true, leaving them in a vegetative state until their life’s energy was depleted.
In the comic and its animated adaptation, Mongul used the corrupted plants to attack Superman. Since then, the plants have also been used on Hal Jordan, Oliver Queen, Clark Kent, Bruce Wayne, and even Mongul himself. Now we can add CBS’ version of Supergirl to that list. While it’s unclear at the moment as to how the Black Mercy infects Supergirl — or if Mongul or any of his ilk will ever appear on the show — tonight’s episode should reveal whether or not Kara is up to the test. Either way, now you’re more prepared should you find yourself face to face with this villainous vine!
Here’s a quick look at the Black Mercy as it appears in the latest promo for Supergirl:
Supergirl 1×13 “For The Girl Who Has Everything” – Kara’s friends must find a way to save her life when a parasitic alien attaches itself to her and traps her in a dream world where her family is alive and her home planet was never destroyed. Also, Alex, Hank and the DEO must fend off a Kryptonian attack while Kara is out of commission, on SUPERGIRL, Monday, February 8th on CBS.
Be sure to tune in to CBS for Supergirl tonight at 8pm, and check back with us tomorrow for our Supergirl Video Recap Show! In the meantime, enjoy these new images from tonight’s episode, “For the Girl Who Has Everything.”