Black Lightning Brings Doomsday Clock's Supermen Theory To the Arrowverse

The Supermen Theory -- a debunked conspiracy theory from Geoff Johns and Gary Frank's Watchmen [...]

The Supermen Theory -- a debunked conspiracy theory from Geoff Johns and Gary Frank's Watchmen sequel Doomsday Clock -- is apparently (at least partially) true in the Arrowverse, after Black Lightning revealed that the United States of America have been creating metahumans for military reasons in the U.S. and around the world for decades. The fact that the current storyline pits Black Lightning and the ASA against soldiers from Markovia -- a country that generated the Supermen Theory report in the comics -- makes it feel even more like a funhouse-mirror version of the story which accused numerous superheroes of being government plants who could be turned against humanity at any time.

In the early issues of Doomsday Clock, the comics revealed that much of the public in the DC Universe was skeptical of the world's superheroes, following a report out of Markovia. The report suggested that the concentration of most of the world's superheroes in the United States was because the U.S. government had been experimenting on its own people for years, and that many of the world's self-appointed protectors were in fact agents of the government serving at the will of the President.

The notion that superheroics were "all a cover" to keep the true agenda of the metahuman population obscured from view would, if true, would have been a game-changing revelation, but as many fans suspected, it turned out to be part of an elaborate hoax by Ozymandias.

On TV, though, Tyson Sykes's backstory (and the MacGuffin briefcase that has been hanging around Freeland sine season one) revealed that the U.S. had created Gravedigger as part of a "super-soldier" program prior to World War II and that the government actively experimented on people in the United States as well as in Markovia -- a country that was located close to Russia and did not prohibit human experimentation -- throughout the Cold War era.

While he has not yet appeared in the Arrowverse, it seems worth noting that one of the principal targets of the Supermen Theory conspiracy hoax was Rex Mason, aka Metamorpho -- a character who has a long history of working alongside Black Lightning and Batman with The Outsiders. Mason was singled out in "The Supermen Theory," with documents on a viral website released ahead of Doomsday Clock #2's release ostensibly proving that his powers did not happen in an accident, as has always been suggested, but by design and with Mason's consent. Simon Stagg, whose company was involved with a great many of Metamorpho's stories, appeared briefly in the first season of The Flash before being killed, but his company was referenced again much more recently.

It's also interesting, given the themes of racial injustice that permeated the most recent TV reimagining of Watchmen, that Tyson Sykes's story from Black Lightning might have felt right at home on that show, which makes us wonder if the showrunners intentionally chose to introduce themes used in Doomsday Clock as a nod to Watchmen.

Black Lightning airs at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW, following episodes of All-American.