Nick Zano (TV’s “Minority Report,” “2 Broke Girls,” “90210“) has signed on to portray historian Dr. Nate Heywood in season two of The CW’s DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. For the non-comic book readers, this is a significant addition as it adds to the merit of the Justice Society of America forming on the television series.
Zano looks to be appearing in an episode next season as Dr. Nate Heywood first, and likely taking up his mantle as Citizen Steel not long after. Nate is actually the third person to carry the name “Steel” in the comics. His grandfather, Henry Heywood (Commander Steel), who was a member of the original Justice Society in the WWII-era, and Henry “Hank” Heywood III (Steel), his grandson, was a member of the Justice League. Nate is another grandson of Henry’s.
First appearing in Geoff Johns 2007 series Justice Society of America (vol. 3) #1, Nathan “Buckeye” Heywood would join the Justice Society to defeat the Fourth Reich, a team of metahuman Neo-Nazis ordered by Vandal Savage (see the connection) to eradicate the bloodlines of Golden Age superheroes. Afterward defeating the Fourth Reich, the media asks if he is the new Commander Steel. Nathan says that he is just an ordinary citizen, but Power Girl christens him Citizen Steel in Justice Society of America #7.
Nate gained his powers when a liquid metal, from the Fourth Reich’s Reichsmark, was absorbed by his skin. As it progressed in his body, it regrew his amputated leg but now made of metal. He virtually became a man of living steel, granting him abilities like super strength, speed and invulnerability.
Since the season finale wrapped with the appearance of Rex Tyler (Hourman) and revealed comic book’s first-ever superhero team (debut 1940) would play an integral role in next season, this seems like just the first of many names to be announced as joining the time-traveling TV series.
“The composition of the team is going to change; there will be some new faces on the Waverider,” said the producer. “The season finale planted some very significant flags in terms of what the new concept of the show will be in Season 2. The team’s mission statement for Season 2 is more compelling than Season 1, and at the same time, it is more streamlined. It’s a little bit higher concept, a very clean notion that will allow the show to do things that it does best.”
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow stars Arthur Darvill as Rip Hunter, Brandon Routh as Ray Palmer/The ATOM, Caity Lotz as Sara Lance/White Canary, Victor Garber and Franz Drameh as Professor Martin Stein & Jefferson “Jax” Jackson/Firestorm, and Dominic Purcell as Mick Rory/Heat Wave.
Wentworth Miller, who plays Leonard Snart/Captain Cold, will no longer be a series regular on the show but rather will jump around to all of the Berlanti-verse shows (Arrow, The Flash, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl).
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow returns Thursdays this fall on The CW.