Superman & Lois goes where Batman v Superman failed

Clark Kent can do a great deal of extraordinary things: circumnavigate the world prior to you can make coffee, bench press my apartment, and flambé a steak simply by taking a look at it. Yet the 2nd season best of Superman & Lois wishes to make it clear: None of that makes him a much better Other half Person.

[Ed. note: Spoilers for the season premiere of Superman & Lois follow.]

This is the main plot of “What Lies Beneath”, an episode that depicts Lois Lane (Elizabeth Tulloch) reeling from the arrival of a surprise visitor in the season 1 finale: Her daughter from an alternate Earth where she was married to John Henry Irons (Wolé Parks) and also murdered by an evil Superman. Her difficulty processing this, and her husband Clark Kent’s (Tyler Hoechlin) difficulty grasping her plight, results in some marital tension that baffles Clark. It’s the sort of intimate family drama that Superman & Lois has made its calling card, However, the episode ends with a tease of another thing Superman & Lois has established a rep for: Making audacious picks for the comic book plots the writers want to adapt.

Throughout “What Lies Beneath”, Superman is plagued by shockwaves that overwhelm his senses. Their origin is a mystery until the very end of the episode: Deep below the Earth’s surface, a gloved hand is punching its way out.

Comics fans will know that this is exactly how Doomsday, the monster that kills Superman in The Death of Superman comics epic, first appears in the comics. It’s an ominous tease preceding a rampage across the country that only Superman can stop, one that results in his death (and a story about multiple Supermen that Superman & Lois partially adapted last season).

The swagger on this choice is admirable. This will be the third time Doomsday has been introduced in live action, and the previous two times — as the monstrous alter ego of Sam Witwer’s “Davis Bloom” in Smallville and a dull CGI monstrosity in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice — were big duds. This isn’t necessarily anyone’s fault: Doomsday isn’t really a character. He’s a force of nature, and his only narrative purpose is to kill Superman.

Because of this, it’s a surprising choice to see Superman & Lois bringing Doomsday on board this early in the show’s run. It’s something that feels like it would hit harder with more of the show behind it, to make the dread of Superman’s fate more sharply felt. However, the show’s writers have proven themself to be deft adapters of the comics canon, so the series has more than afforded itself the viewers’ good faith. There’s plenty of room for surprise here. Maybe Doomsday is merely coming to prove that he is the better Other half Person.

Superman & Lois airs brand-new episodes on Tuesdays on The CW. Episodes are readily available to stream free of charge the next day through The CW app.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.