EXCLUSIVE Natalie Gumede has been cast as a recurring guest star on the DC Universe original series Titans in the role of Mercy Graves, the formidable bodyguard and ruthless right hand to the megalomaniacal Lex Luthor.
The official character bio from the show’s producers: “Mercy Graves is the ruthless, cunning, right hand and bodyguard to the notorious Lex Luthor – serving her boss with unquestioned loyalty. Her connection to the Luthors runs deep, as Mercy has been a friend of the family and in Lex’s life since they were young.”
Gumede is best known for starring as Ashley in the Doctor Who Christmas Special that aired Christmas Day 2014 to an audience of 9.6 million viewers. More recently, Gumede was seen in the 10-episode ITV series Jekyll & Hyde, playing the head of the criminal underworld in 1930s London and the love interest of Hyde.
Gumede’s other television credits include the BBC One crime drama Death in Paradise and as a competitor and finalist on Strictly Come Dancing. Gumede made her feature film debut in Clubbed (2008), a British club-circuit drama set in the early 1980s.
Within the pages of DC Comics, the Graves character was introduced in a 1999 issue of Detective Comics but comics were her second medium. That’s because Graves, a sardonic martial-arts specialist in a mini-skirt and chauffeur’s cap, first appeared in 1996 in Season 1 episode of Superman:The Animated Series.
It’s relatively rare for a character to be imported from television animation into the central publishing mythology of either DC Comics or Marvel Comics. For DC, the most notable example would be Harley Quinn, the Joker’s daft but deadly companion (who was introduced on Batman: The Animated Series in 1992) while Marvel’s short list of cartoon immigrants is topped by Spider-Woman and Firestar.
Last September, Titans launched as the first original programming franchise for DC Universe, the subscription streaming site. The executive producers of Titans are Greg Berlanti, Akiva Goldsman, Geoff Johns, Sarah Schechter, and Greg Walker.
Gumede is repped by Wishlab in the US and United Agents in the UK.