Why Supergirl’s Agent Liberty Works As a Villain


Why Did Lockwood Become a Villian?


On Monday, October 29, fans of Supergirl got to see the origin story of Agent Liberty, who is played by Sam Witwer. In an episode titled “Man of Steel,” fans saw Benjamin Lockwood make the transition from peaceful professor to an alien-hater. The best thing about this episode is that it allowed us to understand why Lockwood became the villain he is. Instead of just being a man who wants to take over the world for mankind, he is a man who wants justice for his kind. It is almost relatable in some form.

Political Side

Supergirl S04E03 Man of Steel - Sam Witwer - courtesy the CW
Sam Witwer as Ben Lockwood – Supergirl
Image courtesy of the CW

It is obvious that this version of Agent Liberty is based on President Trump’s campaign and actions since taking office. The show even uses President Trump’s campaign slogan. Instead of Make America Great Again, Agent Liberty wants to Make Earth Great Again. Since President Trump has taken office, more racial bias has been made public. Supergirl is known for tackling political issues, so it makes sense that they would want to talk about racial bias. Though what Supergirl shows us, perhaps unintentionally, is that Agent Liberty is almost right, in a sense.  

Human Vs. Alien Bias

Racism and harassment are inexcusable, no matter if it is a person of a different color or an alien. Though Benjamin Lockwood and his father bring up good points when it comes to aliens living on Earth, how is a man supposed to compete for a job against an alien that could probably lift 10 steel bars with their hands? Employers would obviously hire the alien since it would cost them less than having to bring in cranes and other machinery. 

Alien Effects on Humanity

When two aliens came to deliver Nth metal to the Lockwood factory, they were attacked by the human workers there. That attack was uncalled for, but one of those aliens released spikes from his body as a biological response. Benjamin Lockwood, who was trying to stop the attacks, got hit with one of those spikes. When the DEO showed up to stop the violence, Agent Alex Danvers patched Benjamin Lockwood up, but told him that he and his friends needed to stop picking on the aliens. 

Benjamin Lockwood was trying to stop the attacks, though Agent Danvers wouldn’t believe him. It makes sense that Lockwood would feel betrayed by what he believed to be the FBI. They are supposed to be helping out humans as well, but instead, they just blame the humans for the attacks. When Lockwood asked Lena Luthor to help out his father’s business, she rejected him, saying that they need to adapt in order to survive. They needed to learn how to process alien metals like Nth metal to stay in business, something Lockwood’s father was against. 

We also get to see how the Daxamite Invasion at the end of Season 2 affected the Lockwood family. Martian Manhunter crashed a Daxamite into the Lockwood home as they were ready to leave National City. After Martian Manhunter finishes off the Daxamite, he turns to the family and tells them they are safe now. The problem is, their house was on fire after Martian Manhunter left and no one came to help.

No Choice

Benjamin Lockwood was given no choice after everything he had endured with his family. When he asked James Olsen to continue covering the aftermath of the Daxamite Invasion, he basically said no. With everything happening to Lockwood he started to get angry with the world. He lost his home, and his father lost his business due to aliens arriving on Earth. Not every alien is to blame for Lockwood’s problems, but the government sure doesn’t seem to be helping those who were affected.

The government and everyone else just keeps calling it progress, but no one seems to realize how dangerous aliens could be. Instead, they are just treated as if they are another skin color. These aliens have powers that can sometimes go out of control. Yet there seem to be no regulations for them. While his actions and his methods are wrong in so many ways, you can’t blame Lockwood for wanting to get rid of aliens. 

Agent Liberty Compared to Other Villains

Agent Liberty is the fourth major villain that Supergirl will have to face, though he seems to be the only one the audience could really understand. The last three season-long villains Supergirl had to face were Non, Queen Rhea, and Reign. Each of them was interesting in their own way, but were not relatable. They each wanted to take over the world for some reason or another. It’s a trope used for many comic book villains. What’s interesting about Agent Liberty is that he has no interest in taking over the world.

Lockwood wants aliens off of his planet. He uses the public’s fear of them and their unreliable nature as proof they are dangerous. Through Sam Witwer’s acting throughout the episode, we see the beautiful transition into the cold-blooded killer we see throughout the season. Sam Witwer does an amazing job of showing us why Benjamin Lockwood became evil and why he believes himself to be the hero. Agent Liberty may possibly be the best villain on Supergirl by a long shot. 

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About the author

Renji Kuriakose

Renji Kuriakose is a big comic book fan. His favorite character has been Batman since he could remember.

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