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Wonder Woman 1984: Who is Simon Stagg in the DC Comics?

Contains minor spoilers for Wonder Woman 1984

Wonder Woman 1984, the long-awaited sequel to 2017's Wonder Woman, directed once again by Patty Jenkins, is finally available to watch in theaters and stream on HBO Max. The film is rich with DC Comics lore and fun Easter eggs in the characters, plot, and many little background details. Actress Gal Gadot returns as the title character, also known as Diana Prince, while Chris Pine unexpectedly comes back as her love, Steve Trevor, after dying at the end of the first film.

Along with these familiar faces, Wonder Woman 1984 features two villains, Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal), a greedy, ambitious businessman who turns to an artifact to find success, and one of Wonder Woman's key archenemies, Dr. Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig), also known as Cheetah. On top of that, the film includes another DC Comics character in a supporting role. He's a much lesser known face than either Lord or Cheetah — a deep cut from the DC comics world, if you will. His name is Simon Stagg, and he's played by Oliver Cotton in Wonder Woman 1984.

Another businessman, though a smidge more successful than Lord when the story starts, Stagg is an investor in Lord's company, Black Gold Cooperative, and isn't happy with its ongoing failure. While the character doesn't have a huge role in Wonder Woman 1984, Stagg's DC Comics storyline is a bit more interesting.

Simon Stagg is a villain from deep in DC Comics history

Wonder Woman 1984 dug deep into the DC Comics canon for Simon Stagg. The character is definitely a lesser known one, with no direct ties to Wonder Woman or any of her allies. That doesn't mean he's not interesting. For starters, though Stagg is a villain, he teeters on the line between good and evil, continually trying to better himself for the sake of his daughter, Sapphire Stagg.

First appearing in 1965 in The Brave and the Bold vol. 1 issue #57, Stagg is introduced as the founder and CEO of Stagg Industries who works in research and invention, alongside his daughter Sapphire and a man named Rex Mason, who are in love with each other. When Stagg sends Mason to Egypt to secure an artifact, the young man becomes exposed to the rays of a meteor trapped in a pyramid. Through this, Mason becomes the Elemental Man, also known as Metamorpho, and can now change his body into any element at will.

As Stagg works on a cure, he occasionally helps Mason and Sapphire use Metamorpho's power for good, but really, he wants Mason out of the way and away from his daughter. Stagg tries to keep them apart by any means, even if it harms Mason. Like Lord with his son Alistair (Lucian Perez), Stagg's only allegiance is to his daughter. Throughout his comic book storyline, Stagg goes back and forth between good and evil depending on how he feels about Mason and what he sees as best for his daughter.

Simon Stagg's role in Wonder Woman 1984

Stagg doesn't interact with any of Wonder Woman 1984's comic book counterparts throughout his scattered DC Comics history. Because of that, his appearance in the film seems a little random, but he fits right in with Lord and his business magnate dream. Cotton definitely looks the part as Stagg, with his iconic thick eyebrows and swooshed-back long hair that fits right in with the 1984 setting. Like the comics, he is the founder and CEO of Stagg Industries, and invests in Black Gold Cooperative, believing in Lord's oil plan.

After nothing comes of Black Gold except lost money, Stagg calls Lord a conman and tells him he owes him the money he previously invested. Soon after, Stagg becomes the first victim of Lord's plan to use the Dreamstone, now a part of him, to trick others into wishing for his success. In return for granting the success of their joint business venture through the wish that "Black Gold would change the world," Lord takes Stagg's shares and promises to remove Stagg from his path quickly. 

Right after the meeting, Stagg is arrested for tax fraud. Will we be seeing more of Stagg in the DCEU? Only time will tell, but there's certainly plenty of material to mine from the comics.