Superman and Lois – Man of Steel review S1 E7

Well, I absolutely did not see the results of the Man of Steel coming.  If anything Superman and Lois is proving there’s plenty of fertile storytelling ground and characters in the Superman universe fully capable of working in a TV setting. Even without relying on staples like Lex Luthor, Brainiac and Bizarro.

Jordan’s super hearing kicks in so Clark has to work with him in slowly fine tuning and focusing out the noise. In another excellent example of the writers actually getting cool ways to implement Superman’s powers, he uses a little freeze vapor to get Jordan’s attention. That’s a little thing, but it shows the writers are capable of thinking outside the box with powers we think have been used in every conceivable fashion.

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We get a bit more of the likely Kent siblings schism as Jordan tunes in to hear Jon talking to Sarah and takes it completely out of context. Jon rightfully is pissed that his brother is not only spying on him, but think he’s trying to move in on his girl.

Lana is trying to take Lois’ suggestion to find something outside the norm with Morgan Edge. He wants Lana to identify five candidates for his leadership campaign. Rightfully suspicious and leery of her new boss, she doesn’t bring up Kyle or one of her old friends who’s very excited about the opportunity.

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That’s a subtle thing, but it was cool seeing Lana try and protect her friend instead of just hoping for the best since Edge wouldn’t get Kyle.

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Lois confronts Capt. Luthor/Marcus and smartly won’t go into his place to talk. While Marcus meets up with Lois, Clark investigates his RV and is shocked to hear the monitoring device refer to him as a Luthor.

While the device realized after the fact it really wasn’t Luthor, it was able to record Clark in the RV. Interestingly, Marcus doesn’t see Superman here. Those are some effective glasses.

Marcus is deep in remembrance mode and reflecting on the life he had with Lois on his world and the teen daughter they had. We see Superman and other Kryptonians blasting the city and Lois’ impromptu broadcasted telling the world about their vulnerability to Kryptonite just before getting killed by Superman.

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His daughter helped him tinker with the design of battle suit he planned to use to stop Superman. This was a big clue in hindsight, but the way these DC shows pick and choose elements from other characters, I didn’t piece it together.

Lois and Clark learn Edge is trying to move the X Kryptonite, but before they can follow the convoy to its final destination, Marcus hijacks the truck to take the Kryptonite. I was wondering if there would be some effect on Clark that would reveal his identity, but this strand doesn’t have obvious physical effects.

Marcus hands the Kryptonite over as a show of good faith so Lois can arrange a meeting with Superman. Clark is fine with this and comes to Marcus with cautious hope that they can be allies. Right until Marcus turns on a red UV emitter that immediately starts sapping his powers.

Lois’ government contacts are finally able to get Marcus’ ID for her and reveal he’s not a Luthor at all. His ID matches up with a guy who was killed a few months back…John Henry Irons. Whoa!

John meanwhile is pounding away at Superman with a metal hammer and defiantly proclaims ‘You’re not the Man of Steel. I am.’ This was a very well done twist. Superman is on the bad end of this planned out beat down so there’s no need to gripe about him being a chump.

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He’s only spared as Jordan hears this attack and directs Jon to help him by knocking out the red UV lights. With his edge gone, Irons is no match for Superman. Time for Steel to go behind bars.

As he sits in his cell, John remembers his final conversation with his daughter about stopping Superman and quickly coming back to her. “Forged in fire, strong as steel.” That works for a catchphrase for me.

Steel has long been one of my favorite underrated DC characters. In the aftermath of The Reign of the Supermen it felt like DC was going to make a real effort to position him as a player.

Then nothing really happened with Steel until Grant Morrison added him to the Justice League and he was prominently featured in 52.

For whatever reason, DC writers than handed the rein over to his niece, Natasha, and John Henry was just a background character. He hasn’t been much of a factor in the comics currently so it’s great to see John Henry’s stock rise again with this key role in Superman and Lois.

Clark and Lois get the value of being upfront with the boys about their crazy lives and what’s likely in store. Good thing they’re sharing as Edge was able to get the X Kryptonite transported to his factory while Superman was busy with Steel.

The Man of Steel showed the value of a writing team capable of making use of the multiverse concept and having fun doing something different. That’s going to pay off big time as this season continues to play out for Superman and Lois.

Rating: 9.5 out of 10

Photo Credit: The CW

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