The recent episode of Superman & Lois dropped a major bomb — Captain Luthor’s real identity is John Henry Irons, otherwise known as Steel. In the comics, Irons first appears in The Adventures of Superman #500. He was once saved by Superman. After the death of Superman by Doomsday, Irons was one of the four who stepped up to take on the mantle of the Man of Steel in Metropolis, feeling like it was his duty. Unlike the others, however, he never claimed to be Superman. When Superman returned, his name was shortened to “Steel.” He later received a series of his own that ran from 1994-1998.
Last week, Lois was curious about Irons’ real identity after she found out he’s been lying to her and that he’s way more technologically advanced than he should be. Most of tonight’s episode was spent tracking his path and what he’s up to in Smallville, with his ties to Edge and all.
Edge has sent out a small supply of X-Kryptonite, which Clark and Lois are on the hunt for, but so is Irons. Eventually, Irons is able to gather the box, but not before Lois strikes a deal with him: she gets the box, he gets a meeting with Superman. Of course, this is what he wanted, so he agrees. Lois sends the box off to test for prints at the DoD while Superman heads to his meeting with Irons, not knowing exactly what he’d be walking in to.
Soon after he shows up, Superman notes that it’s a bit weird to meet up at the warehouse, but Irons admits that his job is to eliminate the threat. Superman of course asks who the threat is, and Irons speaks to him in Kryptonian, proving to Clark that he is in fact The Stranger. Lois gets the call that his name is John Henry Irons, and she’s rushing to get to Clark. Simultaneously, Jordan overhears what’s going on and he gets Jonathan to take him in the directing of Clark to hopefully save him.
With the red lights on that mimicked the red sun, Superman was rendered useless but still tried his hardest to fight back. Eventually, though, it was nearly impossible to do.
“I made a promise to kill you once. I wasn’t able to keep that promise on my Earth, but I will here.”
About to strike a devastating blow to Superman with his iconic hammer, Jonathan and Jordan pull up in the truck and run Irons over. Jonathan kills the lights with the hammer and Superman gains his abilities again.
Irons was then brought into the DoD where he is currently on lockdown. One way or another, Clark is going to get the answers he’s looking for — at least we can hope.
Between all of the nail-biting action, there are scenes that flash viewers back to Irons’ Earth, his world’s Lois (who he was married to), and Nat. We finally understand his vendetta against Superman in general. He killed Lois, who was broadcasting to the world on live television that Kryptonite was his true weakness. From then on, Irons and Nat set out to make his steel suit that would aid in his takedown of Superman.
The episode ends with Irons still locked away in the DoD when he has yet another flashback, but this time it’s the last time he saw Nat. They both knew what he had to do, but tears were shed nonetheless. He made her one last promise, that he would kill Superman and come right back. “Forged in fire, strong as steel.”
As we know by now, Irons has yet to return to his Earth, and we have no idea what happened to Nat after the destruction that followed with “Crisis on Infinite Earths.” Only time will tell if Nat will make an appearance, and what’s to come with Irons.
Superman & Lois airs Tuesday nights at 9 p.m. ET on The CW. Check out our other coverage here.