Previously on SUPERMAN & LOIS…
There’s a lot of attention given to the Marvel series on Disney+ and even the upcoming DC Comics series headed to HBO Max over the next year, but somehow, Superman & Lois continues to fly under the radar. The series, in its inaugural season on the CW, is criminally underrated. The writing, the acting and even the visual effects are so well done, everything about this show should be considered a premiere series that garners a lot of attention, especially when it comes to awards season, but I have a feeling it won’t.
Aside from the production of the show, another thing that I really love about Superman & Lois is how they’re drawing from so many different eras of the character’s history and bringing them all together to give a modern take on the Man of Steel. So far this season, we’ve seen references to the Fleischer era costume, Morgan Edge as the main villain, John Henry Irons in a supporting role and, in this episode, we had an appearance from Dabney freaking Donovan, the Cadmus mad scientist who helped Paul Westfield create Superboy from the Reign of the Supermen. I nearly fell off the couch when I heard Donovan’s name, though I admit to being a little upset that he didn’t have the classic comics look.
We also got mention of the Eradicator, which in the comics was a program created on Krypton to preserve the Kryptonian way of life. The program gained sentience after the DEATH OF SUPERMAN and was also one of the replacements during the REIGN OF THE SUPERMEN. If not for SUPERGIRL using the name Hank Henshaw in its early seasons, I’d say the series could be hinting at an iconic 1990s story line. But that’s been a bit OVERDONE in the last decade.
But hey, if they can recast Morgan edge from Supergirl to Superman & Lois post-Crisis, I guess anything is possible.
Going back to the teases of the show we got at the end of last season’s CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS crossover and even into the PILOT episode, I had no idea what the shape and scope of Superman & Lois would be. Sure, it would be a family drama, but this series has also been filled with so much action and so many homages to Big Blue’s history. I was excited for the series when it was announced, and now I find myself excited to watch every episode.
At the end of the last episode, it seemed like we were building up to a War of the Superman for the second half of the season, as Morgan Edge announced that he was actually a Kryptonian named Tal-Rho the whole time and was, in fact, the brother of Kal-El. This week, Edge reveals he’s actually Kal-El’s half-brother, the product of a union between his mother Lara Lor-Van and Zeta-Rho before she met and fell in love with Jor-El. Tal-Rho on Earth is continuing his father’s perversion of his mother’s work to use the Eradicator program to preserve Krypton’s legacy by replacing an entire species.
Maybe “Eradicator” means something different in Kryptonian.
Superman, Lois and Sam Lane’s Department of Defense manage to steal the Eradicator device creating Kryptonians from Smallville residents, along with Dabney Donovan and come up with the brilliant idea to bring back Lara Lor-Van, since the holographic Jor-El in the Fortress of Solitude told his son that Lara was brilliant beyond him and was the only one who could adapt the programming. After her husband was turned into a Kryptonian last episode, Lana Lang volunteers to take on Lara’s essence.
With Lara’s help, the heroes develop a plan to reverse Tal-Rho’s plan and Superman draws all the Smallville Kryptonians away from town, unleashing a solar flare that returns everyone back to normal. But it leaves Superman temporarily powerless, in possession of the Eradicator, at the Fortress with no way to communicate with any of his family. And Tal-Rho and Leslie Larr, the only others left with Kryptonian powers, are left to enact a different plan to take over the planet.
I am ridiculously excited to see where the rest of the season goes, though the next episode seems to be a little bit of a breather before we get into the final arc. It is called “A Brief Reminiscence Between Cataclysmic Events,” after all. I’m looking forward to seeing a little bit more of the history of this version of Superman.