DC Reveals the Identity & Origin of Superman's Newest Supervillain The Chained

DC has revealed the true identity and origin of the newest Superman villain The Chained!

DC has finally revealed the true identity of Superman's newest supervillain threat, The Chained. And, as teased earlier in the current story arc, The Chained's identity and origin are deeply rooted in the shady history of Metropolis and its power players! 

Superman #8 serves as "The Chained: Part Three" and the issue opens on a flashback of The Chained as a young boy named Samuel (or "Sammy"). However, Sam isn't just any young boy: he's the son of Sebastian Stryker, the affluent Metropolis industrialist who built the Stryker's Island Penitentiary. 

(Photo: DC Comics)

Through a flashback conversation between Lex Luthor, Sebastian Stryker, and Carl Draper (aka The Master Jailer), we learn that Sebastian Stryker actually handed his son over to Lex for experimentation. The result was Lex successfully fitting Sammy with a metahuman ability: Tactile Telekinesis, the same power that would later be given to the Superboy clone Cadmus created. 

However, Sammy Stryker's Tactile Telekinesis power operates at a level that Connor Kent could never imagine, and it quickly becomes apparent that Superboy's powers are just a fraction of The Chained's abilities. 

During the course of the story in Superman #8, we get brushstrokes of history that make it clear there's one pivotal scene we have yet to witness: what inevitably went wrong between father and son. In his own version of "coming clean," Lex reveals to Superman that Sammy's power (and mind) became a threat. At some point, for whatever reason, Sammy and Sebastian Stryker had a falling out, which led to the son murdering the father. After that, Lex hatched a plan to bind and contain Sammy, locking him away in a cell below Stryker's Island until Luthor's mysterious old rivals Dr. Pharm and Mister Graft manipulated Superman into freeing him. 

With The Chained's origin revealed, DC has given Superman a supervillain that both challenges him on a power-to-power level, but also offers a lot of ties back to the history of Metropolis and some larger Superman lore. In this origin reveal alone we see how Sammy Stryker is tied to Lex Luthor, Superboy, Stryker's Island, and The Master Jailer, quickly marking him as a pivotal and important character, even though he's just made his debut. 

The end of the issue also reveals that Lex built one key weakness into Sammy Stryker: Kryptonite. That flaw allowed Superman (in a protective suit) to subdue Sammy long enough for capture – but has cost Clark Kent his on vitality. The Chained may be out of the game now, but it's clear what kind of damage he can (and probably will) do, when he inevitably gets loose again. 

Superman is on sale from DC Comics. Read the synopsis below:

THE MAN OF STEEL VS. CHAINED! Powerless! Superman versus the Chained concludes! One of the biggest battles Metropolis has ever witnessed comes down to Superman doing the unthinkable and sacrificing his powers to stop the Chained. How does that impact Lex Luthor's plans…or is Lex too busy dealing with the shocking return of his mother in Superman #850?!

Written by: Joshua Williamson
Art by: Gleb Melnikov, Norm Rapmund, David Baldeón, Jamal Campbell
Colors by: Alejandro Sánchez, Jamal Campbell
Letters by: Dave Sharpe
Cover art by: Jamal Campbell
Cover price: $4.99
Release date: November 21, 2023

(Photo: DC Comics)