Mysterious villain The Stranger gets his true identity officially revealed in the Superman & Lois series premiere, and it’s a big twist.
Warning: the main spoilers of the first series of Superman & Lois!
Superman and Lois has revealed the identity of Wolé Parks’ villainous character, The Stranger, and it’s a major new chapter for the Arrowverse. The CW has added another DC Comics series to its ever-growing DC TV franchise. While several Justice League-related characters have reached the Arrowverse, there’s also the Man of Steel himself, with Superman now a permanent member of the roster. Superman and Lois is the latest TV incarnation of the iconic DC duo with the characters Tyler Hoechlin and Elizabeth Tulloch bringing a new side of them to the media. While there have been several adaptations of Superman in the past, this series explores Lois and Clark as parents.
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However, with the new iterations of Lois and Superman, also come new iterations of other aspects of their mythology. When the series first premiered, a mysterious villain character was added to the cast, which raised many questions. Simply named The Stranger, Parks was cast as the villain, and given his regular series status, he’s likely the main villain of Superman and Lois season 1. Even though The Stranger is not a character in the DC Universe, a name like that always means that it hides their real DC name. As the character of Parks made his debut in the series premiere, fans didn’t have to wait another week to discover his true identity.
Superman & Lois: Every DC Easter Egg From The First
Towards the end of the Superman and Lois pilot, The Stranger is revealed to the public as none other than Lex Luthor, especially Captain Lex Luthor. While the first season will undoubtedly explore this new Lex, it’s time to break down the Arrowverse’s latest DC foe and what Superman and Lois could do with him. What is his story? Why is he here and why is this Lex so determined to destroy Superman?
Who is Superman and Lois’s alien
Initially, the pilot establishes The Stranger as a mysterious new threat that targets nuclear power plants. But everything was to get Clark’s attention as The Stranger leaves behind a Kryptonian message for the man of tomorrow. When Superman first faces him, The Stranger’s face is hidden behind a helmet while wearing powerful armor which becomes a challenge for Clark. As the two have a massive showdown, it quickly becomes clear that he’s prepared. As the Kent-Lane family prepare to start a new chapter, the pilot reveals that The Stranger is, in fact, a new version of Lex.
The premiere ends with Lex returning to his ship, an AI points out that they’ll need more Kryptonite to defeat Superman. The coin he used in his battle with Superman was the last stash they had. As he takes off his helmet, declaring that they will have to go get more, the AI calls him Captain Luthor. It’s unclear how long he’s been planning his attack on Superman and what his next moves are. While Jon Cryer’s Lex is still present on Earth-Prime, there are now two, but depicted very differently.
Where is Luthor from and why he wants to destroy Superman
It’s not uncommon for Superman stories to portray Lex as wanting to take down the last son of Krypton no matter what. However, this version of Lex appears to have different reasoning compared to some of the previous live-action versions of the villain. Based on the exhibition teases at the Superman & Lois series premiere, it appears this version of Lex sees Superman as a destroyer of worlds. During their meeting, Lex explains to Superman that he is the only survivor of his world. Given that this is a completely different Lex, who has a different history with Superman, he is clearly from an alternate Earth in the Multiverse.
While it’s unclear how Superman would have done it, Lex clearly wants him to be eliminated because he has somehow destroyed their Earth. Based on the dialogue, it seems this Lex isn’t quite sure how he survived the destruction of his Earth and how he got to Earth-Prime. This may relate to Crisis on Infinite Earths, as he may be a survivor of an Earth that has not been restored by The Specter. Perhaps on his Earth, this version of Superman was actually a villain and Lex was the hero. But this will likely be explored over the course of Superman and Lois season 1 because this is just a taste.
How the new Luthor stacks up to Jon Cryer’s Supergirl version
Besides the fact that Superman and Lois’ Lex is played by an actor of color, this new Luthor is a compelling contrast to the version of Cryer that has been on Super girl. From what was seen during the premiere, the new Lex feels more warlike than its traditional base in most iterations. While Cryer Lex had a clean slate on Earth-Prime thanks to Crisis on Infinite Earths, evil still exists within him. But this Lex, who is a wealthy industrialist, doesn’t have the same vibe as the Parks version. Even though they both hate Superman, the iteration of Parks comes from the perspective of someone who has apparently taken on a world-destroying Kal-El.
Even though he shares the same intelligence as Earth-Prime’s Lex, the new Luthor could actually be on a higher level. Considering his title as captain, that implies that he was more of a physically motivated Lex than Cryer’s character. Based on his armor alone, it’s certainly something much more advanced than Lex’s Lexosuit that was seen on Super girl. It’s very possible that Lex’s new Earth might be a little more technologically advanced, possibly coming from a future that is obsolete about Earth-Prime’s resources. It’s unclear at this point what Earth the new Lex might be from, but it certainly doesn’t look like Oliver Queen has restored her as The Specter.
Although he says he survived one way or another, maybe it was thanks to Oliver’s reboot of the multiverse that he got to Earth-Prime. Hopefully at some point in the season Cryer’s Lex finds out he has a lookalike running around. It would only be a waste of history if two versions of Lex didn’t come face to face, especially since they have such different reasons for hating Superman. But until then fans will have to stay tuned. Superman and Lois to find out what Arrowverse’s new Lex Luthor has in store for the Man of Steel, and what his full story is.
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