Wednesday, June 15, 2016

LEGENDS OF TOMORROW Casts Nick Zano as Citizen Steel

Ohio State's own superhero is hitting the small screen.

Deadline reports that the CW series Legends of Tomorrow has cast Nick Zano as Dr. Nate Heywood, better known to DC Comics fans as Citizen Steel.  According to the article, Heywood is "a historian whose grandfather was Commander Steel, a member of the Justice Society of America."

The article also mentions that "the producers of the CW series are being ambiguous whether Nate will walk in his grandfather’s super heroic footsteps but, given the superhero nature of the show, that appears almost certain."  Citizen Steel will be the second Justice Society member to appear in Season 2, after Hourman (Patrick J. Adams).

Zano, 38, is probably best known as Vince on the WB sitcom What I Like About You and as Arthur on the Fox series Minority Report.  In addition to appearing in the films Catch Me If You Can, Fat Albert, and The Final Destination, Zano has appeared on other TV series, including One Big Happy, Mom, 2 Broke Girls, Drop Dead Diva, Melrose Place, Cougar Town, and One Tree Hill.

Created in 2007 by Geoff Johns and Alex Ross, Citizen Steel first appeared in Justice Society of America (vol.3) #1 as Nathan Heywood, the grandson of Henry (Commander Steel) Heywood and Cousin of Hank (Steel) Heywood III.  Formerly a football star at The Ohio State University, Nathan retired after shattering his kneecap and having his leg amputated due to an undiagnosed infection. The incident left Nathan addicted to painkillers.

While attending a Heywood family reunion, he was attacked by the Fourth Reich, a team of metahuman Neo-Nazis ordered by Vandal Savage to wipe out the bloodlines of Golden Age heroes. The Fourth Reich failed to completely destroy the Heywood bloodline, as both Nathan and a few children managed to survive. Both Nathan's brother and mother are turned to metal statues by the villain Reichsmark.  Nathan jammed his crutch into Reichsmark's mouth, causing him to spit liquid metal blood onto Nathan.  Hawkman took him to Dr. Mid-Nite, who noted that the metal was absorbed by Nathan's skin.

The metal grew out from where Nathan's amputated leg once was, forming metallic bone, muscles, and flesh.  Waking in his hospital room, Nathan discovered he had superhuman strength as a being of living steel, due to an unknown reaction to Reichsmark's blood. However, the steel tissues didn't give Nathan tactile response, meaning he cannot feel textures or temperatures, nor gauge exerted pressures, and his weight greatly increased, causing his footsteps to crack the ground.  He was given a costume, a "second skin" of a stainless steel alloy developed by Dr. Mid-Nite and Mr. Terrific specifically to restrict his movements and reduce his strength to a more manageable level.  He then joined the Justice Society to defeat the Fourth Reich.  Afterwards, the press asked if he was the new Commander Steel.  Nathan denied it, saying he was just an ordinary citizen, so he was christened "Citizen Steel" by Power Girl.

Legends of Tomorrow returns to The CW sometime in the fall.

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