Sunday, May 30, 2021

Superman and Lois: Season 1, Episode 7 - Man of Steel

 For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.


Clark works to help Jordan master a new power, while working to help Lois with her investigation, leading to a fateful encounter.


Man of Steel (Jordan's coping with super-hearing mirror a young Clark's problems), New Krypton (reality where Kryptonians declare war on Earth) and Reign of the Supermen (Superman's black costume, John Henry's origin resemble how he became Steel in the original comics, only acting in response to an evil Superman rather than following the example of a heroic one.)


Wolé Parks does some wonderful silent acting in the montage flashbacks showing his armor being built.


The sound editing to show Jordan's powers going out of control is quite effective.

The fight between The Stranger and Superman is great and the technology of the Steel hammer is realized perfectly.

Super Trivia

This episode was directed by David Ramsey, who played John Diggle on Arrow.

The big revelation of this episode is that The Stranger is an alternate universe version of a man named John Henry Irons. In the comics, John Henry Irons was the secret identity of the superhero Steel - an ally of Superman, who was one of four heroes to emerge following the Death of Superman storyline.

In the comics, John Henry Irons was a weapons engineer for a corrupt company, who faked his own death and worked as a construction worker in Metropolis after learning that his designs had fallen into the wrong hands. After Superman saved his life during a construction accident, he became inspired, following Superman's death, to create a suit of armor that allowed him to replicate most of Superman's powers.

The Stranger is revealed to have been married to Lois Lane on his Earth and to have a daughter nickname Nat-Bug. In the comics, Natasha Irons was John Henry Irons' niece and assumed the Steel name for herself at one point after designing her own armored costume. The Arrowverse version appears to be similarly brilliant, helping her father with his inventions.


The Jor-El hologram confirms that Jordan's mechanosensations have become significantly enhanced. This has resulted in an allodynic response, which will continue until he learns how to focus what he hears.

The Stranger's hammer harnesses kinetic energy, creating more energy the further it travels. From 20 feet, it can stop a car in motion. From 30 feet, it can stop a truck. From 60 feet, it can destroy a tank. Beyond that, its power rivals a blow from Superman.

While working on his armor, Nat notes that the tracking inlay is still glitchy, though she doubled the output on the reflex modules.

Dialogue Triumphs

The Stranger: Lois Lane.
Lois: Hello, guy who is not Marcus Bridgewater.
The Stranger: How about you come inside, and we talk about it?
Lois: Yeah, that’s a hard pass on me entering your creeper mobile.
The Stranger: That’s unfair and pretty hurtful. 

(Clark and Lois are following one of Edge's trucks.)
Clark: What do you wanna do?
Lois: Just keep following. I wanna see where they’re taking the X-Kryptonite.
(Clark looks ahead and sees the Stranger, holding a high-tech rifle, standing ahead of the truck.)
Clark: I don’t think that’s gonna happen.
Lois: What is it?
Clark: I’m definitely starting to think your new friend is a Luthor. 

(Superman enters the machine shop with a woosh. The Stranger is waiting for him, his RV parked in the back.)
Superman: Interesting place for a meet.
The Stranger: I’m a builder. Always felt comfortable in places like this… Surrounded by scraps and parts.
Superman: Building’s a noble profession.
The Stranger: Been a while since anyone’s paid me to do it.
Superman: Any chance one of those people was Lex Luthor?
The Stranger: It was a different life.
Superman: Why are we really here?
The Stranger: Because the world’s about to be destroyed unless I save it. 
(Cut to Chrissy and Lois, whose cellphone rings.)
Lois: (looking at her phone) It’s the DOD. (answering) Hey, Rosetti, what’d you find?
Rosetti: You say this guy’s been creeping around Smallville?
(Cut back to Superman and The Stranger.)
Superman: And how exactly are you planning on saving the world?
The Stranger: By eliminating the threat.
Superman: And you think that threat is Morgan Edge?
The Stranger: Edge is involved, but he won’t be the main source of destruction.
Superman: Then who will it be?
The Stranger: (speaking in Kryptonese) I think you know who, Kal-El.
(Cut back to Lois and Rosetti.)
Rosetti: The thing is, the prints you had us pull are from a guy who died six years ago, and his name’s not Luthor, it’s John Henry Irons.
Lois: (To Chrissy) Give me your keys. I need your car.
(Cut back to Superman and The Stranger.)
Superman: You’re the Stranger.
(Superman tries to rush him, but the lights on the RV and in the shop suddenly click on glowing red. Superman suddenly falls to the ground.) 
The Stranger: I had a feeling you might try that. So I set these solar flares to a motion detector.
Superman: (pained) Why are you doing this?
The Stranger: Like I said, I’m here to save the world. You see, Kal-El, you’re not the Man of Steel.
(The Stranger raises his hand. A massive war-hammer flies across the room into his gauntleted hand.)
The Stranger: (angrily) I am! 

(Jordan knocks on Jonathan's bedroom door.)
Jordan: Hey, I just… I wanted to apologize for spying on you and Sarah earlier. I… I’m really sorry you have to lie for me like that all the time.
Jonathan: Actually, this time, I kinda told the truth. I mean, not, like, all of it, obviously, but… But somehow it… It almost felt worse this way, ’cause it was, like, um, it’s, like, I don’t know. Like, intentional.
Jordan: It feels like everything since we got here has just been a big secret. I just… I want it to go back to normal so bad.
Jonathan: To be fair, Jordan, I mean, I’m pretty sure normal people have stuff that they’re hiding too.
Jordan: Tonight’s probably been the most scared I’ve ever been in my life.
Jonathan: (grinning softly) But gotta say, it was also pretty awesome.
Jordan: (laughing) Yeah, okay, you did total that truck. Pretty sick.
Jonathan: Bro, I don’t even have a learner’s permit.
Jordan: Or know how to drive!
Jonathan: I know!
(The two laugh as Clark enters the room, with Lois behind him. They fall silent as Clark raises his voice.)
Clark: Which was incredibly reckless and dangerous and irresponsible and absolutely… necessary. (lowering his voice.) You both saved my life tonight, so I think I owe you a pretty big thank-you.
Lois: Listen, we know that you two must have a lot of questions about what’s been going on around here.
Clark: Look, we’ve taught you not to keep secrets from us.
Lois: So we’re not gonna keep secrets from you anymore.
Jonathan: Isn’t most of that stuff, like, like, classified though?
Lois: Yes. Which is why none of what we tell you can ever leave this house. Is that understood?
(Jordan nods as Jonathan looks to him.)
Jonathan: Definitely. Yeah.
Lois: All right, who wants to go first?
Jordan: What was that deal with the guy tonight? 


The episode opens where the previous one left off, with Jordan and Clark arriving at the Fortress of Solitude.

Jor-El confirms that Jordan's super-hearing has developed and that he will continue to feel pain until he learns to focus it, as Clark did.

Clark says it took him a couple of weeks to learn how to control his super-hearing.

Clark says he'll speak to Principal Balcomb about Jordan missing school, so Jon doesn't have to worry about making up excuses.

Lana calls Lois to ask what she should be looking for while spying on Morgan Edge.

Lois finds a picture of the real Marcus Bridgewater, who is visibly older than The Stranger. She also determined that The Stranger erased all photos of Marcus Bridgewater from the Internet, somehow, but thankfully her old editor Maxy knew someone at Reuters who had a photo of him.

Clark makes reference to both times someone working for Morgan Edge manifested Kryptonian powers and tried to kill Lois, in 103 and 106.

Clark thinks they should tell Jordan and Jon about Lois' investigation and the people manifesting Kryptonian powers. Lois wants to learn more about what Edge is planning and how The Stranger is connected to him first, saying the boys already have enough going on.

According to Lois, Jon hasn't made any real friends since coming to Smallville.

Morgan Edge has been unable to identify The Stranger since he and Lois snuck into his mine. This confirms that he has no idea who The Stranger is either and isn't working with him.

Leslie Larr suggests sending a small shipment of the X-Kryptonite out of the mines and seeing who goes for it, so they can gather intel on their enemies and how they are being watched. Edge agrees, but warns Larr he will not tolerate any more failures.

Edge asks Lana to develop a leadership program, to find passionate people with untapped potential who want to become their best selves. He suggests five people to start.

Clark starts training Jordan on focusing his super-hearing.

Lois confronts The Stranger on his lying and asks him to meet her at Victoria May's in one hour, ready to tell the truth.

The Stranger recalls his past, being married to Lois and having a daughter he nicknamed Nat-Bug and the day that Superman apparently went bad, with many Kryptonians attacking Metropolis.

Jordan wears headphones to muffle the sounds of the outside world.

Jon noticed that Sarah skipped lunch and asks her about it. She, in turn, asks him about why Jordan is missing school again.

Jon denies that there's anything weird going on with Jordan and tells her that he knows about Tag's powers and that the truth is Tag attacked Jordan.

Clark goes to explore The Stranger's trailer while Lois talks to him. The AI addresses him as Captain Luthor.

Lois' favorite drink is trenté green tea with a splash of almond milk.

The Stranger claims that, apart from his name, he's never lied to Lois about anything.

The Stranger claims that Morgan is trying to build an army of super-powered people to take over the world and that Metropolis will be the first city to fall.

Chrissy Beppo calls Lois and tells her that she has a contact (an ex who never got over her) who works the shipping department at the mines and a shipment of something big is about to go out.

The Stranger tells Lois he needs to speak with Superman. She says maybe that will happen once she knows his real name.

Clark tells Lois about the AI in the trailer and how the Stranger is apparently a Luthor.

The AI tells The Stranger about Clark's break-in and shows him a picture of him. The Stranger dismisses Clark as not being a threat, while recognizing him as Lois' husband in this reality.

Lana interviews a woman named Emily about what has been dubbed the Young Executive Program. She has a son named Avery who is in high school.

Clark believes the Strange to be an alternate version of Luthor, mentioning the Multiverse and how anything is possible. Lois thinks it is more likely he's related to Lex somehow, possibly an illegitimate son. They both agree his claiming to work for LuthorCorp can be a coincidence.

Lois says she'll ask Chrissy to investigate the possibility of the Stranger being a Luthor family member.

The Stranger attacks the van transporting the X-Kryptonite and takes it.

Clark moves the van carrying Edge's security team to a plateau in the nearby wilderness, so there will be no chance of violence.

Lois and Clark confront the Stranger immediately afterward. Lois complains that now they won't know where Edge is taking the X-Kryptonite. The Stranger claims it is more important to stop Edge from getting more X-Kryptonite, but agrees to talk with them elsewhere.

Leslie Larr listens in on the conversation from a distance with her super-hearing.

Jon is approached by a popular girl named Tegan Wickhem. Sarah tells him she is way out of his league.

Jordan, trying to focus his hearing on one thing, looks at a picture of Sarah and tries to listen to her. This leads to him overhearing Jon talking to her and telling her how special she is. While Jon's intentions are friendly and made in response to Sarah's apology about thinking he and Jordan were lying to her or hiding something, Jordan presumes Jon is flirting with the girl he has a crush on.

Again, the Stranger asks to meet with Superman, saying he's the only one who can stop what Edge is planning.

Lois agrees to set up the meeting, but only if she is allowed to keep the X-Kryptonite.

The Stranger has another flashback, remembering seeing his version of Lois (who was a television reporter) die on-screen at the hands of Superman, as she was trying to tell the world about Kryptonite and how it could weaken Kryptonians.

Lois reveals she asked for the X-Kryptonite case so they'd have a fingerprint sample for the Stranger. Clark takes it to the Department of Defense, figuring that the Strange is military, as he was addressed as Captain by his AI.

The Stranger has another flashback, making his armor with his daughter and building weapons into an RV. She inscribes a bug onto the chest piece, so she will be there with him in spirit. Many of the parts he uses come from boxes marked LuthorCorp.

Jordan confronts Jon over his conversation with Sarah. Jon becomes angry that Jordan was spying on him.

Lana picks out four people for the executive program. Edge notes this and wonders if Lana was intending for one space to be reserved for Kyle. Lana says he'd be thrilled, but she isn't quite done with the interviews.

Chrissy Beppo spoke with Lex Luthor's biographer and confirmed that Lex never had any children and that there's no one on any branch of the Luthor family tree who was currently in any branch of the US Military.

The Stranger meets with Superman in an abandoned machine shop and sets up an ambush there.

Leslie Larr hears the fight between Superman and the Stranger and tells Edge to move the X-Kryptonite now.

Jordan overhears the fight as well, and tries to get Jon to help him do something.

Jon winds up driving Clark's truck while Jordan tries to zero in on their father's location.

Jon has only ever driven Lois' car before.

Jon and Jordan save their father by smashing the lights.

When asked about why John Henry Irons came back from the dead to kill him, Superman remarks it wouldn't be the first time one of his enemies did that. This seems to be a reference to Lex Luthor's resurrection during Crisis on Infinite Earths and the cross-reality killing spree which followed.

The Stranger is held until General Lane comes in the next morning, with Superman noting he wants to be there as well.

Emily thanks Lana for getting her the job, even though Lana hadn't actually picked her. Her other child is named Duc.

Edge says the X-Kryptonite was delivered safely, but there's no guarantee the Subjekts Lana found will be receptive hosts. He also notes that Leslie Larr is the only person who hasn't shown any signs of rejection to the bonding process.

Jordan apologizes to Jon for yelling at him and for him having to lie on his behalf all the time.

Clark thanks the boys for saving him and he and Lois agree they will all be totally honest with each other about everything from now on.

The Stranger recalls his going off to confront his version of Superman. This was apparently the last time he saw his daughter before he wound up on Earth-Prime.


The Fortress of Solitude
Metropolis in an unnamed alternate Earth.

Untelevised Adventures

Through The Stranger's flashbacks, we see more of a world where Superman apparently went bad and led an army of evil Kryptonians, created by Morgan Edge, against the people of Earth.

The Bottom Line

Another fantastic episode with a brilliant twist that is well-played regarding The Stranger and his identity.

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