Superman & Lois Can Perfectly Revive Christopher Reeve’s Worst Villain
While there’s no arguing that he was a poorly realized villain in Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, having a stronger support system in place certainly could have given him more of a fighting chance. Brian Michael Bendis and Ivan Reis both recognized that with their work on Nuclear Man when the character was officially brought into DC Comics in 2018. Nuclear Man’s appearance was largely maintained and the villain re-imagined as a failed Kryptonian experiment sent to the Phantom Zone. Though Nuclear Man died at the hands of Rogol Zaar, his comic book appearance showed that even widely reviled super villains are not necessarily doomed to being forever forgotten on their bad first impressions. Superman & Lois shares that perspective.
From the beginning, Superman & Lois has not only told a compelling story of Clark Kent as a family man protecting all of humanity, but the show has also shown great respect for the entirety of Superman’s character history. Easter eggs to Superman’s stories in every medium are all over Superman & Lois, while the show also has worked in frequent tributes to every live-action take on Superman under the sun. Not only is the team behind Superman & Lois still eager for crossovers that tap into DC’s multiverse, but they also regard all the Man of Steel’s stories as equally valid.
Superman III, itself widely seen as one of the lowest points of the character’s big-screen stories, received an homage in the very first episode of Superman & Lois with Superman using the frozen water from a nearby lake to prevent a nuclear power plant from going into meltdown. All that the series sees is an act of heroism by Superman and retrofits its own version of that into its story. With the view of Superman & Lois being one in which all of Superman’s history is welcomed and cherished simply for having a common love for their shared hero, it would be the perfect place for Nuclear Man to get a second chance at live-action greatness.