This article contains Superman & Lois spoilers.
Superman & Lois Season 2 Episode 4
“She is a parasite.”
That’s what Lois Lane tells her sister Lucy Lane (Jenna Dewan, reprising her Supergirl role) during an emotionally fraught flashback sequence in the latest episode of Superman & Lois. Lois is referring to Ally Allston, a cult leader who preaches something known as “The Inverse Method” (which also happens to be the title of this episode), and who has managed to ensnare Lucy during a particularly vulnerable point in her life.
Who is Ally Allston?
So we don’t know a lot about Ally Allston yet other than the fact that she appears to be very, very good at her job. Her job, of course, being a skeevy-ass cult leader. Lois’ choice of words referring to Ally as “a parasite” were no accident, though. In the comics, Ally wasn’t a cult leader, but was in fact an actual, literal parasite. A new version of the purple, energy-sucking Parasite supervillain that has bedeviled Superman and his pals for ages.
At least for the moment, this looks like a case (like we see with Mitch Anderson and the Supermen of America) where Superman & Lois is using a name from the comics, allowing some fairly loose connections for sharp-eyed comics fans, and then building a completely new character. And why not? Even I had to google Ally Allston and you all know by now that I spend far too much time thinking about Superman. Interestingly, though, it’s good to remember that the more traditional, purple, energy vampire version of Parasite is already part of the Arrowverse, having appeared in a handful of Supergirl episodes already. But that’s Rudy Jones, the original comics Parasite, and assuming no Crisis on Infinite Earths related hiccups, Superman has never had any interaction with him, so maybe we WILL see Ally turn purple at some point.
That being said, the comics Ally/Parasite comes from a weirdly forgotten but totally underrated run of Adventures of Superman comics when Greg Rucka was writing, so it looks like I have some homework to do while this show takes a few weeks off.
What is The Inverse Method?
We get some more info about Lucy Lane’s attempted suicide in this episode. While the event definitely took place, Lucy doesn’t see it as a suicide attempt, even though it certainly looked that way to Lois. Instead, Lucy claims that she was following Ally’s teachings, in which an individual can “cross over” and meet some kind of other self, with a union presumably healing one’s emotional trauma. Lucy insists that she was practically there, and was indeed seeing her other self when Lois intervened.
One possibility that struck me, which seems at least a little unlikely considering just how vague this show has been about making its Arrowverse ties more concrete, is that perhaps any legitimacy to Allston’s Inverse Method could involve allowing regular folks to see into the multiverse, or perhaps to see remnants of elements of the multiverse that were destroyed by the Crisis.
On the other hand, this show is dealing with a literal manifestation of one of its title characters’ other self, so perhaps it’s more reasonable to ask…
Is There a Bizarro Connection?
Folks, I am as baffled and intrigued by this new Bizarro as you are. What he’s made of, where he comes from, that painful psychic connection he shares with Superman, the fact that this show even managed to turn the goofy “Bizarro #1” amulet from the comics into something cool and that apparently serves a story purpose. Your questions are probably my questions, too. BUT!
Let’s assume for a moment that this Bizarro is basically Superman‘s “inverse” and is somehow tied to Allston’s teachings. If that’s the case, could people who claim to be glimpsing their other selves actually be seeing an other-dimensional Bizarro World? OK, probably wishful thinking, but I had to get it out there.
However, there’s also some weirdly poetic evidence for there being a link between Allston’s teachings, Lucy, and Bizarro.
In two key Bizarro stories from the comics, blindness is a theme. In the character’s first comic book appearance, in Superboy #68 (1958, kids! Bizarro is old enough to be your gramps!), Bizarro sacrifices himself, and his demise restores the sight of a young blind girl he had befriended.
But perhaps more relevant to this show, in John Byrne’s Man of Steel #5 (1986) which rebooted the character for the post-Crisis era, Lucy Lane is living with Lois for a short period, having lost her sight. As Bizarro runs wild through Metropolis, contact with him starts slightly improving Lucy’s ability to see, and Bizarro allows himself to be destroyed while near Lucy, possibly knowing that doing so would restore her vision.
You could say that the Lucy Lane of Superman & Lois is “blind” considering her devotion to a cult leader who encouraged her to commit suicide. Just as the show is playing it loose with its “parasite” label on Allston, perhaps it’s doing the same with Lucy’s now metaphorical blindness. Will Bizarro somehow be the key to Lucy breaking free of Allston’s influence?
What are your theories about the mysterious origins of Bizarro or the true nature of Ally Allston’s “Inverse Method?” Let us know in the comments!