The world of Greg Berlanti’s DC TV universe is continuing to bring obscure heroes from the pages of DC Comics to life, characters that if you’re a longtime fan, you probably never expected to see. First we heard that Red Tornado was coming to CBS’s Supergirl show, and now the upcoming Legends of Tomorrow is adding actress Stephanie Corneliussen to the cast. Viewers might recognize Corneliussen most as Joanna on USA’s recent hit show Mr. Robot
Corneliussen will join the show for a multiple-episode arc as Valentina Vostok, described as “a beautiful and brainy Russian scientist who the time-traveling heroes will meet at the height of the Cold War.” Although she is being described as villain for the show, in the comics Valentina Vostok was a hero and a member of the Doom Patrol, where she went by the codename Negative Woman. Suspecting her allegiance to the series’ main villain Vandal Savage (Casper Crump), The Atom (Brandon Routh) and Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) must fight for her affections in order to suss out her true loyalties.
The original Doom Patrol from 1963 was a group of heroes better described as “freaks,” led by wheelchair bound genius Dr. Niles Caulder (a few months later, Marvel would debut their own group of hated freaks led by a wheelchair-bound genius with the X-Men, leading to a decades long debate about whether or not Marvel’s mutants were a rip off of DC’s Doom Patrol). One of the Doom Patrolers was Negative Man, an Air Force pilot named Larry Trainor who contained a radioactive negative energy being inside of him, so he had to be covered head to toe with special bandages. Much like the X-Men, the Doom Patrol was not a huge success in their original 60s incarnation. They were not only cancelled by the end of the decade, but they were all killed off in their final issue as well, a ballsy movie in 1968.
When Marvel revived X-Men to wild success in the 70s, DC then followed suit by reviving the Doom Patrol with a mostly new team. Instead of a Negative Man, they now had a Negative Woman, a Soviet Air Force pilot, who bonded with the negative energy being that once resided in Larry Trainor. She took the name Negative Woman and was also wrapped in head-to-toe bandages, except for her luxurious blonde hair, because this is still comics. She remained a mainstay of the DC Universe for years till being killed off in Final Crisis. Whether or not her character eventually goes the heroic route in her TV incarnation remains to be seen.
Legends of Tomorrow is expected to debut mid-season in 2016 on the CW.
HT: The Wrap