Spoilers ahead for Season 1, Episode 7 of Superman & Lois, “Man of Steel.”
The latest episode of The CW’s Superman & Lois included a major revelation. While it was suspected that Wolé Parks’ character was Lex Luthor from another Earth, he is actually John Henry Irons, a DC Comics character who fights under the name Steel. Considering the truth, it looks as if the episode title alone was meant to throw fans off, since “Man of Steel” is another nickname for Superman. Portraying an iconic character can be overwhelming, especially if you want to get it right, and Parks is sharing what he thinks about the chance to play John Henry Irons.
John Henry Irons, a.k.a. Steel, made his first DC Comics appearance in issue #500 of The Adventures of Superman in June of 1993. The character is a genius engineer who built a mechanized suit of armor that replicates Superman’s powers and bears Superman’s logo. This is Steel’s first introduction into the Arrowverse, and most likely one of the first of many familiar heroes and villains from the comics that will cross paths with Superman. Wolé Parks opened up to TVLine about the idea of portraying such an iconic character and how overwhelmed he was when he was first offered the role:
When they told me I was going to be playing John Henry Irons, I was overwhelmed, a little emotional. I remember growing up with him, but it’s not just me anymore. There are other kids who grew up with this [character], and there are kids growing up now who will know a different version of it. The responsibility is crazy. This is by far my most important role, if I want to phrase it that way, and I don’t take that lightly.
This reveal now contradicts the series premiere twist, in which Wolé Parks was "revealed" to be Captain Luthor. After all this time of being suspected to be another Earth’s Lex, the latest twist makes the series that much more exciting. Now that we’re starting to find out more about John, and that he’s actually on the side of good, it’ll be interesting to see what has brought him to Smallville and if he’s really on the hero side or has turned to the dark side.
On top of the twist, this episode was also directed by Arrow’s own David Ramsey, who will begin an exciting summer journey through the remaining Arrowverse shows, between directing and guest-starring. The actor is set to direct two other episodes besides Superman & Lois, both of which he will be guest-starring in, and will also appear in three additional episodes.
New episodes of Superman & Lois air Tuesdays at 9 p.m. EST on The CW, following new episodes of The Flash.