Superman & Lois quickly got off to a strong start on The CW, both with regards to pulling in a number of early viewers and when it comes to its rapidly developing story. After only two episodes, Lois, Clark, and their twin sons, have already had to leave Metropolis behind (along with the couple's jobs at the Daily Planet) to move to Smallville, and encountered some trouble with the locals, while Superman and Lois are already doing battle with two very capable trouble-makers. Now, star Tyler Hoechlin is opening up about why some aspects of the villain story will "unfold differently."
The man who appears to be our only super-powered Big Bad right now (even if those powers do come from a high tech suit of armor) has been revealed to be Captain Luthor. We don't know yet what this Luthor's full deal will be, but he has already confirmed that he's from another world. Plus, Episode 2 showed some of his history and why he hates Superman so much, and it's meant that he might not be as much of a bad guy as we originally thought. When asked by TV Line if that reveal will take the new Arrowverse series into some familiar villain territory, Tyler Hoechlin said:
That’s still unfolding, so we’ll see exactly how that goes. But in the same way that you can tell from these first few episodes that [Superman & Lois is] not those other [Arrowverse] shows, it’s fair to say that this will also unfold differently. It’s a familiar character, but it’s a new character at the same time. Just like the fans enjoy watching as it comes out, I’m going to enjoy watching it unfold when the scripts come out.
Alright, so while it's already up in the air as to whether or not Captain Luthor is really another Arrowverse Lex (we currently have a different one on Supergirl), Tyler Hoechlin was, specifically talking about the Episode 2 reveal of evil Superman. In the final moments, after Luthor talks to General Lane, we see his memory of fighting alongside a version of the general from his own, destroyed, world with a whole team who are battling a black-suited Superman. This Kal-El is not at all kind-hearted and helpful, and pretty quickly uses his laser vision to mow down the army, with Luthor as the only survivor.
Obviously, we last saw an evil Superman in the 2018 Arrowverse "Elseworlds" crossover, but that turned out to be an imposter, and not the real Superman gone bad at all. But, as Hoechlin noted, with regards to both Luthor and the evil Last Son of Krypton, Superman & Lois really can take a lot of different paths, simply because of the position which the show finds itself in as the first new Arrowverse series to debut after the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover destroyed the previous multiverse (and several worlds), and began a new one.
At the end of that event, literally everyone and everything was destroyed for a time, until Oliver Queen and the Paragons were able to create a new multiverse and bring people back, but with a lot of changes. It seems that the version of evil Superman which Captain Luthor is desperate to stop our Clark from becoming was, indeed, a real Kryptonian who used his power for his own gain, so it makes complete sense that once Luthor was integrated into this new multiverse, he'd assume that any Superman is a bad Superman.
However things progress with Captain Luthor, Tyler Hoechlin is eager to find out more about what led to that world's black-suited Superman in the first place, and noted:
It’s always interesting when you have a character like this who’s so unflinching in his commitment to doing good and to doing the right thing. What is his breaking point? What is that tipping point? What is the one specific thing that finally makes someone like that say, ‘No, I’m not doing this anymore’? Every bad guy is the good guy in his own story. For me, the curiosity is always ‘What changed?’ I’m very curious to see where that story goes and what it evolves into.
Is this a hint that something actually might turn our lovely Clark into an evil, world-dominating dictator? We can keep up with the evolving situation on Superman & Lois, as it airs Tuesdays on The CW, at 9 p.m. EST.