This article contains Superman & Lois episode 9 spoilers.
Superman & Lois Episode 9
Another week, another unexpected twist coming in the final moments of Superman & Lois. This is definitely becoming a theme with this show, ain’t it? But this week the big revelation is about Morgan Edge, the guy who you’d probably be forgiven for thinking was the secondary baddie of the series back when we all had the name “Captain Luthor” on our lips. But no, Morgan Edge is clearly the true big bad of the season, and there’s even more to him than we initially suspected.
The last few weeks have finally given us a better picture of what Morgan Edge is up to, specifically his obsession with Smallville. We know that he’s putting people through a process that gives them Kryptonian powers, and seemingly the personalities to go along with it. It’s ominous, considering John Henry Irons’ warnings about how Superman could be swayed to be loyal to fellow Kryptonians rather than his adoptive home planet.
Let’s break it down…
So much of this season has hinged around “X-Kryptonite,” a variant of the famed element that seems to grant humans Kryptonian powers. It’s a nod to the comic book version, which was a kind of synthetic Kryptonite that gave Supergirl’s pet, Streaky the Supercat her powers (look, the Silver Age of comics was a weird time). On Superman & Lois it’s the central maguffin of the season, and in episode 9, “Loyal Subjekts,” we learn exactly why.
When Kal-El’s rocket landed on Earth, it was followed by meteor showers as debris from the explosion of Krypton landed all over the world. It just happens that Smallville has the highest concentration of X-Kryptonite of anywhere in the world, which means that the residents of the town have been exposed to low levels of XK radiation for decades, making them more receptive to the effects of direct dosages and whatever else “the process” that Edge is subjecting them to.
It’s kind of neat that X-Kryptonite and the idea of the meteor showers following Kal-El’s rocket is a subtle nod to the Smallville TV series, as well. Of course there, ordinary green Kryptonite would give people random abilities, as opposed to the full scope of Kryptonian powers they get here, but it certainly seems that Edge’s poor dupes are getting more than just powers out of the deal…
The Truth About Leslie Larr
The key to this may very well come in the reveal that “Leslie Larr” was once a Smallville resident by the name of “Irma Sayers.” Leslie has always seemed to be a very loose adaptation of an obscure Supergirl villain, a Kryptonian baddie with the true Kryptonian name of Lesla-Larr, who made a handful of appearances in Supergirl comic stories between 1961 and 1981.
As with X-Kryptonite, Superman & Lois is probably taking considerable liberties in adapting this relatively obscure concept for the show, but now we know that the character’s name isn’t just a convenient Americanization of a formerly Kryptonian name: it would appear likely that the body of Irma Sayers now houses both the powers and the consciousness of the evil Kryptonian Lesla-Larr. Is there anything of Irma’s mind or soul left? And what does this mean for Kyle Cushing…what Kryptonian spirit has now inhabited his body?
Edge has been pretty blatant about how he wants “to change this world.” But in this case, that isn’t just corporate-speak for transformational business practices or whatever. It would seem that his plan might very well be to literally change the world…into Krypton. He seems to have developed a process where, via a combination of X-Kryptonite and Kryptonian super-science, he’s able to put a Kryptonian soul in a human body.
Where are these Kryptonian souls coming from? Considering the way they’re behaving, I’d have to expect they’re the souls of criminals who have been imprisoned in the Phantom Zone.
Once you have enough Kryptonians, as we saw on John Henry Irons’ world, turning Earth into “New Krypton” probably won’t be all that hard. So why would someone from Earth do that? Unless, of course, he isn’t from Earth at all…
When we last see Edge, he’s confronting Superman while dressed in traditional Kryptonian garb, complete with a chest emblem of his own. So is Edge himself actually a Kryptonian, who has been keeping his powers a secret on Earth for all this time? Or is he, like his “subjekts” a human body housing a Kryptonian spirit? And then there’s the REALLY big question…is Edge speaking metaphorically about Superman being his brother in that final scene?
Superman’s had metaphorical/adopted brothers in the comics before, most notably Lar Gand/Mon-El (who Arrowverse fans will be more than familiar with thanks to his time on Supergirl), and more recently, H’el, a clone who was “adopted” by Jor-El, who was tasked with making sure the prototype for the rocket that would eventually carry Kal-El to Earth was safe…and in the process he’d become a kind of Kryptonian cultural ambassador. Of course, nothing ever goes as planned, and he was a fairly significant villain in the early days of the “New 52” era of Superman comics.
It’s worth noting that the crest on Edge’s chest is NOT a “House of El” crest, so it’s likely that he isn’t implying he’s a blood relation, but the truth should become clear soon enough.
If the “Captain Luthor” fake out has taught me anything, it’s not to take these final scene reveals on Superman & Lois at face value, so I’m not going to speculate for too long on the potential veracity of Edge’s claim to kinship with Kal-El, or even the true nature of his powers, since we’ll likely get these answers soon enough. But the broad strokes of Edge’s plan seem pretty clear: bring enough Kryptonians to “life” here to take over the world and remake it in Krypton’s image.
Better call the folks at Project 7734 after all!
What do you think Morgan Edge is up to? Let us know in the comments!