The CW’s Supergirl introduced the character Veronica Sinclair, aka Roulette, back in the fourth episode of season 2 titled ‘Survivors‘. Played by Dichen Lachman (The 100), the episode’s supervillian was found running an underground alien fight club for the rich and famous in National City. She uses J’onn’s newfound home-world friend M’gann M’orzz to kidnap him and force the two to fight to the death – which all takes place before he knows she’s a white Martian.
Roulette’s involvement in the episode ends when Supergirl shows up to save the day and Alex arrests her. But Sinclair’s capture is short-lived. Before they can even take her in she’s out of cuffs and in the back of a chauffeured black car. It’s one of those exits that lets you know you’re sure to see the character again. And Supergirl never disappoints when it comes to characters coming back to stir up more chaos in later in the season. Roulette returns in ‘Supergirl Lives‘. The highly anticipated, Kevin Smith-directed episode features Roulette again, but this time Kara, with Mon-El, finds her on another planet at the head of a trafficking ring.
Roulette’s history in the DC Comics universe isn’t as long as some characters on Supergirl, but it definitely starts before her first appearance on the show. Let’s take a look at where she came from exactly, and how she fits in the world of DC Comics.
Roulette came straight from the minds of DC Comics president and chief creative officer Geoff Johns and comic book artist Derec Aucoin. The character made her very first appearance in the Justice Society of America‘s JSA Secret Files and Origins #2 where she captures most of the Society in her underground superhero fighting ring, The House, and forces them to fight amongst each other while attending supervillians place bets on the outcomes of each bout. Her grandmother, Debra Sinclair, is a villain from the Golden Age of DC who went by the very same moniker, ran a casino, and faced off against Terry Sloane, who happens to be Veronica’s uncle, and the very fist character to take up the mantle of Mister Terrific.
Since then, Veronica Sinclair has made appearances in other comic book runs like Formerly Known As The Justice League and One Year Later. She also has been on the animated series Justice League Unlimited, and an episode of Smallville in season 9. In all of these iterations of the character, Roulette has been in the same business: putting superheroes through games and trials for other people’s entertainment.
Veronica has always been lacking in the powers department — she doesn’t really have any. But that clearly hasn’t done very much to stop her from finding a way to capture and force some of the most powerful aliens and heroes in the universe to fight each other to the death. She has been known to be adept a martial arts, but her hand-to-hand combat isn’t what really makes her dangerous to her enemies. Instead, most of Sinclair’s strength comes from her intellectual gifts.
Roulette is written to be a genius when it comes to gambling and calculating probabilities. So she has to rely on tricks, traps, finesse, and her friendships with people in high places to get the upper hand. In Supergirl, it seems as though her grandmother’s wealth made its way down the family tree to her because she attended boarding school with Lena Luthor, which it’s safe to assume was not in any way inexpensive. In some runs of the comics she appears in, Sinclair also has robot security dogs whose blueprints are modeled after the guard dogs on Apokolips, the counterpart of the planet New Genises, ruled by famous DC Comics villain Darkseid. Since her robot canine companions are canon in the source material and The CW has stayed fairly close to her representation in the comics, maybe they’ll show up in live action sooner or later.
Although she doesn’t appear in many story arcs, Roulette’s appearances always bring some of the most challenging circumstances for the heroes she goes up against. And it can be expected that the same will be true for Supergirl. The first time around Kara only needed two rounds to shut down Sinclair’s alien fight club ring, for the time being. But this brand new episode of Supergirl finds she and Mon-El completely out of their element and, to make things even more interesting, there’s a red sun in play, too. There are sure to be some traps waiting for the girl of steel and her Daxamite apprentice.
Supergirl continues next Monday with ‘We Can Be Heroes’ on The CW at 8pm EST.