Superman & Lois Season 2 Teases One of the Comics' Most Controversial Stories

Back in 2011, before the internet had a chance to fight about The New 52 or Man of Steel, Superman fans had a different controversy to face: in a backup story to Action Comics  #900, the Man of Steel formally renounced his U.S. citizenship (only as Superman, not as Clark Kent) in a move that drove the right-wing media crazy. The move was not done as a criticism of the United States, but rather because Superman said that he was tired of seeing his actions being interpreted as extensions of American policy -- something which would limit his ability to help people in situations where doing so could endanger U.S. relations with other countries.

Ultimately the story was largely symbolic, and an attempt at reaching a more international audience with the character (see also the recent kerfuffle over changes to Superman's "truth, justice, and a better tomorrow" motto), but it was almost immediately forgotten when the aforementioned New 52 reboot wiped the events of Action Comics #900 from continuity. The controversy, and references to the story by people who feel aggrieved by later Superman tales, long outlived its in-story impact.

But it seems the idea will be explored, at least a bit, in Superman & Lois's upcoming second season.

In the recently-released trailer for the second season, Superman is seen arguing with his new Department of Defense handler, Lt. Mitch Anderson (Ian Bohen), saying that he can't be an extension of U.S. military policy because he promised to help the whole world a long time ago.

While it is not clear how much of an impact this will have on the season as a whole, it does seem likely that it's at least the start of a major conflict. When Bohen, who previously starred with series lead Tyler Hoechlin in Teen Wolf, came on board, the word was that Superman and Anderson would not get along well.

Anderson's role as Superman's handler is a big change from the comics, in which the character was introduced as a selfish teenager who didn't understand why a "boy scout" like Superman was relevant in a world filled with so many other superheroes. He changed his tune when Doomsday barreled through his town, and Superman saved the Anderson family from a house fire caused by the monster's rampage.

Superman & Lois's first season is now available on DVD, Blu-ray, Digital, and on HBO Max. The second season premieres in January 2022 on The CW.