After having seen only fleeting glimpses of the City of Tomorrow in episodes of Supergirl, fans will get a much more complete sense for the Arrowverse's version of Metropolis in the upcoming Superman and Lois series, which was ordered straight-to-series earlier this month ahead of the pilot's planned filming dates this spring. In the series, the Man of Steel (Tyler Hoechlin) and his wife Lois Lane (Bitsie Tulloch) will be raising a pair of boys -- one of whom is Jonathan Kent, their son from the comics, and the other is as-yet-unnamed, but was apparently introduced to the timeline as a result of the events of "Crisis on Infinite Earths."
It seems likely that fans will get to meet characters like Perry White, Ron Troupe, and Steve Lombard again for the first time since Smallville or, in some cases, even Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman -- and we have to wonder: will the series introduce one of the most famous cops in Metropolis, Inspector Bill Henderson?
Originally created for the 1940s radio drama The Adventures of Superman, Henderson also appeared in the '50s TV series of the same name, and later made his comics debut in 1974. He has appeared in radio, TV, comics, and animated form (on Superman: The Animated Series), and most recently appeared on Black Lightning. Played by Damon Gupton, Inspector -- later Chief -- Henderson has been the voice of the Freeland Police Department on the show. Sometimes antagonistic, sometimes an ally, but always a fundamentally decent man, Henderson has been one of the most stable and steadfast voices in an ever-changing city -- and last night, Gupton revealed that he would not be returning for the show's fourth season.
Given a post-"Crisis on Infinite Earths" DC Universe that has seen Black Lightning and Supergirl migrate to the same Earth as the rest of the shows, and a Superman TV show coming in late 2020 or early 2021, it seems like as good a time as any to wonder: could Gupton's Henderson be headed to Metropolis, where he could play a supporting role to Superman rather than Black Lightning?
If nothing else, it would keep Gupton in the conversation to eventually appear on Black Lightning again, since he and series star Cress Williams have such great chemistry. It would also provide a reason for Superman and Lois to include references to and cameos from Black Lightning -- something that could be a lot of fun given that until the Crisis happened, Jefferson Pierce and his family only knew superheroes as the stuff of comic books. During his opening monologue last night, as he made his way home to Freeland, Jefferson monologued to Gambi about the events of the Crisis, and giddily revealed, "Superman? He's real!"2comments
It will be quite a while before we start to learn much about Superman and Lois, but here's hoping that one of the best supporting characters in the Arrowverse gets his due -- and Bill Henderson gets to pal around with the superhero that birthed him into existence to start with.
Black Lightning airs on Monday nights at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW, following episodes of All American.
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