Why Supergirl Is Giving New Villain Agent Liberty An Origin Story

supergirl season 4 kara

Supergirl is only days away from returning for its fourth season on The CW, and the show is poised to introduce a brand new supervillain who is unlike any Kara has faced before. Unlike previous nemeses, hate group leader Agent Liberty won't possess superpowers rivaling or even surpassing Kara. No, he'll be an ordinary human, and it turns out that he's getting an origin story. The co-showrunners explained why Agent Liberty gets a backstory, with Robert Rovner saying this:

I think what the audience will find very compelling and frightening about him is that we spend most of an episode doing his origin story. So we understand him on a deeper level than we've understood our villains before and we feel the circumstances that turned him into such a powerful villain.

By giving audiences an origin story for Agent Liberty, Supergirl will enable us to understand him and what makes him tick in a way we might not have been able to with Reign or Rhea or any of Kara's other biggest bads. Robert Rovner's comments should come as good news for Supergirl fans, as Agent Liberty will need an extra level of menace if he's going to come across as threatening as past supervillains.

After all, he doesn't have superpowers, and while non-superpowered bad guys can hold their own easily enough on Arrow, the same isn't necessarily true on Supergirl. James hasn't had an easy time as the non-superpowered Guardian; perhaps Agent Liberty's backstory will make him all the more frightening as he uses his powers of persuasion and his charisma to convince the masses that aliens are a problem.

News that Agent Liberty is getting most of an episode of backstory could explain why a Walking Dead vet was cast to play his dad. Although his Walking Dead character recently bit the dust and his schedule could be open to multiple appearances in the Arrow-verse, he has only been confirmed for one episode. It would make sense if that one episode happened to be his son's origin story as a villain.

Supergirl co-showrunner Jessica Queller also talked Agent Liberty's backstory in the chat with EW:

For instance, we are working hard to explain in later episodes why our villain Agent Liberty became a villain and what his history, roots and backstory is, which does not excuse his actions, but if you kind of go deeper and look at the full portrait of a human being and understand why they behave the way they do, then maybe that's a way to bridge the divide. You can't reach someone if you don't understand why they are the way are.

Supergirl going the extra mile to explain some of his motivations doesn't mean Supergirl is going to try and justify his actions. It's entirely possible that Agent Liberty will be all the more frightening once we learn more about his backstory and his roots. Sam Witwer certainly knows how to bring a bad guy to life with only his voice. Witwer voiced Maul and even Emperor Palpatine on various Star Wars series and the latest Star Wars movie!

We'll soon get to see Sam Witwer in action as Agent Liberty. Supergirl returns for its fourth season in a new time slot on Sunday, October 14 at 8 p.m. ET, ahead of the Charmed reboot.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.