SDCC 2018: 'Supergirl' Casts Manchester Black

DC villain Manchester Black is coming to Supergirl in the form of actor David Ajala, fans learned today at Supergirl's panel at Comic Con International in San Diego.

Black is a dangerous and manipulative psychic and telekinetic, and as the head of a team of self-styled superheroes called The Elite, he sought to upstage Superman and the Justice League in his first appearance. The story, titled "What's So Funny 'Bout Truth, Justice, and the American Way?," is widely considered one of the best Superman comics in the last 25 years.

Black was created by Joe Kelly and Doug Mahnke, and a loose adaptation of "What's So Funy..." happened in the feature-length animated film Superman vs The Elite.

The story, and the character, proved so popular that he returned over and over, with The Elite being brought into the Justice League franchise for a while as a team of Authority-like antiheroes operating within the DC Universe. Besides believing that might makes right and the Justice League needs to get more brutal, Black particularly dislikes Superman, believing that nobody can be genuinely as good as Superman appears to be.

Later, he returned to his roots as a villain, and had a major storyline during Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason's recent run on Superman. In that story, drawn by Mahnke and Gleason, Black returned to terrorize Superman by going through his son, and was ultimately turned into a cow for his troubles.

On the show, Black is the type of guy who brings a knife to a gunfight and still walks away the winner. With a dark past, he easily deflects the brutality of his mission with his charm and sense of humor.

No word yet on what role he will play exactly in the season, although one could imagine someone like Manchester Black as an effective big bad for the year -- and one who would present a dramatically different screen presence than the physically strong characters who have popped up time and time again.


Supergirl returns in October. The show's fourth season will air on Sunday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.