In the final minutes of the Legends of Tomorrow Season 1 finale, Rex Tyler, a.k.a. Hourman, found the remaining members of Rip Hunter's time traveling team and introduced himself as a member of the Justice Society of America. With Season 2 arriving in the fall, this tease paid the way for JSA members to be introduced to the DC TV universe, and while the exact lineup of heroes hasn't been revealed yet, Legends of Tomorrow has already cast at least one member from the comics. Minority Report's Nick Zano has joined the show as Nate Heywood, better known to comic book readers as Citizen Steel.
In Legends of Tomorrow, Dr. Nate Heywood will be a historian whose grandfather fought in World War II as Commander Steel in the Justice Society of America. This matches the previous character description released last month back of a new hero with a "Han Solo-esque persona" who wants to distinguish himself outside of his family's legacy. However, there's no word yet on whether Legends of Tomorrow's Nate will become a superhero, but it seems more likely than not. Deadline also reports that the character will be a series regular during Season 2, so expect to see a lot of him aboard the Waverider. It's worth noting to fans not familiar with the comics that this is not the same character as Steel, a.k.a. John Henry Irons, one of Superman's heroic allies in Metropolis.
When it comes to legacy heroes in DC Comics, Nate Heywood definitely ranks near the top. His grandfather, Henry Heywood, was introduced in 1978 as a super strong hero who fought during World War II as Commander Steel. His grandson, Hank Heywood III, inherited the Commander Steel identity decades later, but later died in battle fighting with the Justice League Detroit. This led Henry to retake the mantle, but he also perished eventually. Nate was introduced in 2007 as another grandson of Henry's (and Hank's cousin) who was a football star until an accident forced his leg to be amputated.
Nate gained his powers when the liquid metal blood from a super villain named Reichsmark was absorbed into his skin. This not only regrew his leg, but turned him into a human made of living steel, granting him abilities like super strength, super speed and invulnerability. Following in his relatives' footsteps, he became a superhero and joined the modern version of the Justice Society of America. As of the New 52, Nate has been replaced by Hank Heywood Jr., who goes by Captain Steel, on Earth 2, so Legends of Tomorrow is a way for Nate to live on in another form.
Nick Zano is best known for his appearances in What I Like About You, The Final Destination, 2 Broke Girls and Happy Endings. He most recently starred as Arthur Watson in the short-lived Minority Report series on Fox. With Hawkgirl exiting the series and Captain Cold only recurring in Season 2, Legends of Tomorrow will certainly benefit from Zano's Nate joining the team. Assuming last month's casting description was correct, viewers will see his journey from transitioning from historian to hero in his own right.
Legends of Tomorrow will return Thursdays this fall on The CW.