Superman & Lois debuted Tuesday night on The CW and the latest DC Comics-inspired series to join the network's connected Arrowverse of shows didn't just offer fans a new take on the iconic titular characters by offering a story set around the challenges they face as working parents trying to juggle their professional responsibilities as well as their teenage sons. The series premiere also set up new villains for Superman and Lois to take on and while Morgan Edge was established as being the sort of corporate evil for the series, a mysterious character called The Stranger also factored in. But as for who The Stranger really is, that's a mystery that fans got at least some idea of in the series premiere, though his identity may offer more questions than answers.
Spoilers for the series premiere of Superman & Lois below. Read on only if you really want to know.
Early on in the episode, Superman (Tyler Hoechlin) responds to an imminent meltdown at a nuclear power plant and soon discovers that the damage that set off the near-catastrophic event was man-made and deliberate, though who specifically was behind it was a mystery. It's soon established that this is not the first issue at a nuclear facility and, later, a message for Superman is discovered at one of the sites. Written in Kryptonian, the entity behind the events declares that "Kal-El" is no hero making it clear that whoever it is, he knows a lot about Superman.
Later, Superman heads off to another nuclear facility and The Stranger (Wole Parks) is waiting for him. Clad in an armored and powered suit, The Stranger declared that his world was also destroyed and clearly has some major beef with Kryptonians. After some chase and a fight in which The Stranger stabs Superman with Kryptonite -- don't worry, Superman saves himself at the last moment -- the mysterious adversary retreats to what appears to be a large ship tucked away in the mountains or somewhere cold. When he walks in, his A.I. calls him by name: Captain Luthor.
For any Superman fan, the Luthor name instantly rings bells. Lex Luthor is, after all the villain most tied to Superman. However, the Arrowverse already has a Lex Luthor as played by Jon Cryer on Supergirl, and the last time we saw him he was not only considered by the masses to be a "good guy" but also wasn't claiming to be from another world. Or a captain of anything except, maybe, industry. So, who is Captain Luthor? This is an area of Superman & Lois that, for the moment, appears to be charting a bit of its own path away from comics but that doesn't mean that there aren't some possibilities as to who this mysterious man could be.
If the Captain Luthor name is real and not a red herring, it's almost certain that whoever this Luthor is, he's from another Earth, and given Crisis on Infinite Earths, that's a real possibility. In Crisis, the multiverse was destroyed and while it was reborn, Earth-Prime isn't aware that other Earths were reborn as well. And, as we saw on Supergirl, there are those on this new Earth-Prime who know they are from another world. This Captain Luthor could be one such refugee of sorts, one with an axe to grind against Superman.0comments
If he is from another Earth, visually-speaking we might be getting a version of comics' Alexander Luthor, Sr. from Earth-3. That character, who was created by Geoff Johns and David Finch and first appeared in Justice League Vol. 2 #23 in 2013, has something of an armored-looking appearance and while not a perfect match, may be someone the series is adapting. Of particular interest, even if this is a Lex Luthor (or Alexander Luthor) from another Earth, it is the first time Lex Luthor has been portrayed as a Black man on live-action television.
Superman & Lois airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on The CW.