Superman & Lois is currently in the midst of its second season and is still a clear take on the DC Comics canon. Overall, the show has eschewed the traditional “villains of the week” in favor of longer-running bad guys, the majority of whom are remixes on existing lore. This week’s issue Earth Prime comedy miniseries shed a little more light Superman & Loisrogues gallery – which apparently features one of the most infamous villains to ever grace a DC movie. Spoilers for Earth Prime: Superman & Lois #1, from Jai Jamison, Adam Mallinger, Andrew N. Wong, Tom Grummett, Norm Rapmund, Hi-Fi and Tom Napolitano below! Watch only if you want to know!
The song’s main story is structured around the first birthday of Clark Kent (Tyler Hoechlin) and Lois Lane (Elizabeth Tulloch), with their dinner plans constantly interrupted by various predicaments. Among these are quite a few run-ins that Clark (like Superman) has with villains, one of whom is Nuclear Man, who he fights while in Las Vegas.
As Superman fans may remember, Nuclear Man first appeared in Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, the 1987 film that served as the last big screen outing for Christopher Reeve as the Man of Steel. The film sees Superman dealing with the growing nuclear arsenals of the United States and the Soviet Union, made more complicated when Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman) clones Superman’s DNA to create Nuclear Man (Mark Pillow). In the end, Superman killed Nuclear Man by literally throwing him into a nuclear reactor, but the character still remained infamous with fans in the years since.
Most recently, Nuclear Man was canonized in the main DC line within Brian Michael Bendis and Ivan Reis’ Superman run, which established the character as a villain trapped in the Phantom Zone. While the Nuclear Man comic period spanned a single issue, the Earth-Prime comic now confirms that it exists in the universe of Superman & Lois also – and fought the character many years ago. Given the current debate on Superman & LoisWithin the greater continuity of Arrowverse, this detail at least provides more context as to what Hoechlin’s Superman has been up to.
“All I’m saying is I think everyone has this question why we don’t bring it up super girl or The flash or other heroes and aside from the fact that we can’t do crossovers and want to put our own stamp on this property, I’ll say at the end of this season you’ll get the answers to the questions you have,” showrunner Todd Helbing explained at a recent congressional appearance.
Earth Prime: Superman & Lois #1 is now available wherever comics are sold.