Who Is ‘Superman: Legacy’s Villain The Engineer?


The Big Picture

  • James Gunn’s upcoming film, Superman: Legacy, will feature the obscure DC Comics character, The Engineer, as an antagonist.
  • The Engineer, aka Angela Spica, is a member of The Authority and possesses the ability to shape-shift and weaponize herself due to nanotechnology.
  • The inclusion of The Engineer in the film is in line with Gunn exploring morally gray characters and diving into lesser-known corners of DC Comics.

I don’t know about you, but when I think of Superman’s enormous rogues’ gallery of iconic villains, The Engineer isn’t exactly the first (or 50th) that comes to mind. Apparently, James Gunn disagrees, because the word in the street is that The Engineer will be the big bad in his upcoming film, Superman: Legacy, with María Gabriela De Faría playing her. Yes, we’re skipping over characters like Brainiac, General Zod, and Bizarro to jump in on this odd figure from DC Comics’ deepest corners of obscurity. Given James Gunn’s track record, this shouldn’t come as too big of a surprise. Pulling weird characters out of thin air and making them huge names in pop culture is kind of his thing!

But who is The Engineer, and why should the Man of Steel be intimidated by her? Well, for quite a few reasons, honestly. The Engineer, also known as Angela Spica, is nowhere near as well-known of a villain as most of Superman’s foes, but she sounds like she could kick all of their butts pretty easily. Spica is a member of The Authority (also soon to be adapted into a film by Gunn and his creative team at DC) that picked up the mantle of a previous hero, also known as The Engineer. After infusing herself with nanotech, the machinery replaced her blood and essentially turned her into liquid metal, giving her the ability to shape-shift and weaponize herself. So, essentially, Superman is going up against the T-1000 from Terminator 2: Judgement Day. If that doesn’t sound kick ass, I don’t know what does.

Superman: Legacy

Follows the titular superhero as he reconciles his heritage with his human upbringing. He is the embodiment of truth, justice and the American way in a world that views kindness as old-fashioned.

Release Date
July 11, 2025

James Gunn

David Corenswet, Rachel Brosnahan


Main Genre

How Will The Engineer Tie In to ‘Superman: Legacy’ and the Rest of the DCU?

Superman’s (David Corenswet) first outing into the DCU sounds a lot like James Gunn just firing off on all cylinders. On the small scale, we have word that Superman: Legacy is hitting the character’s typical hallmarks. Lois Lane (Rachel Brosnahan) will be a major character, Superman will wrestle with his Kryptonian heritage, and the movie will take place in Metropolis and Smallville to some degree. That said, it also seems to be swinging for the fences in just about every other way possible. Loads of characters from other DC Comics will be making appearances, including the Guy Gardener (Nathan Fillion) iteration of the Green Lantern, Hawkgirl (Isabela Merced), Mister Terrific (Edi Gathegi), and of course, The Authority.

Before their own big screen outing, The Authority will be making some kind of appearance in Superman: Legacy. To what degree, we aren’t exactly sure yet, but it seems as though this film is set to establish them as a major force in the DCU. The Authority is a group of superheroes that functions more like a conglomerate of anti-heroes. This is the kind of band of misfits that Gunn specializes in; comic book characters that have good intentions but will take any drastic or violent measures in order to achieve the greater good. There have been various members of The Authority over the years, but their main lineup consists of characters like Jenny Sparks, Apollo, Midnighter, Swift, the Doctor, Jack Hawksmoor, and Angela Spica, also known as the Engineer.

How Did Angela Spica Become the Second Engineer?

The Engineer Angela Spica Stormwatch Volume 3 Issue 11
Image via DC Comics

This second Engineer was first introduced in 1999, in “The Authority #1” and was created by Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch. The Engineer’s true identity is that of Dr. Angela Spica, a scientist who worked on research relating to fusing human beings with various forms of machinery. While Dr. Spica was working in her own field, the original Engineer (whose identity is unknown) was living as a member of The Changers, a superhero team that, like most others, sought to change the world for the better. The way that the Engineer in particular sought to change the world was through the use of nanotechnology, but unfortunately, he was killed in an attack by the team Stormwatch. This left the mantle open to be taken, which is where Spica steps in.

Dr. Spica took the original Engineer’s notes on nanotechnology and related it to her own research on fusing humans with machinery. During this next stage of her research, Spica made the move to merge her body with nanotech and replace her blood with liquid machinery. This move covered her body with metal and gave her the ability to create metal weapons at will, to fly, and even the opportunity to enter atmospheres that would typically harm most humans. The Engineer’s name officially became hers, which then led to her being recruited by Jenny Sparks as a member of The Authority. Until the New 52 came into effect at DC, the Engineer was typically presented as a hero. Ever since then, she has taken on more of a villainous role. Now, with the help of The Authority, she still hopes to create a new and better version of the world, just with more sinister methods.

James Gunn Works Best When He is Writing Morally Gray Anti-Heroes

This makes the Engineer’s role in Superman: Legacy all the more interesting. Given her various histories as a hero, an anti-hero, and even a villain, there’s no telling where exactly her allegiance will fall in Gunn’s upcoming movie. He himself has described The Authority as a group of superheroes, so given Spica’s membership in that team, she can’t exactly be too evil. The line is sure to be blurry, and only time will tell if the Engineer will cross paths with Nicholas Hoult‘s Lex Luthor. However, Gunn never shies away from showing the darker side of characters. As a matter of fact, he kind of excels with morally gray figures! Any way you roll it, you can’t deny that the Engineer will be a new kind of foe that Superman has never faced on screen. It will be fascinating to see whether this ethical ambiguity will rub off on Legacy’s titular character in any way. I think it’s safe to say that we all hope that isn’t the case — we worked our way through an entire decade of that!

The Engineer is a truly fascinating pick for the villain of Superman: Legacy, but it’s undeniably an inspired choice. This is clearly a move by Gunn to show audiences that he hopes to dive into some strange corners of DC Comics and not play the hits that we’ve seen a thousand times. If his Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy and Suicide Squad movie are any proof, they show that Gunn can make the weirdest comic book narratives work for both fans and mass audiences. Let’s hope that when Legacy hits theaters in the summer of 2025, the Engineer isn’t a fluke and gives us Superman’s best on-screen villain yet.


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