'Superman & Lois' season 1 episode 7 review: Man of Steel

Don't be fooled! "Man of Steel" isn't what it appears to be.

Elizabeth Tulloch as Lois Lane in 'Superman and Lois' Man of Steel.
(Image: © The CW)

What to Watch Verdict

A neat character reveal and some reckless behavior from the Kent boys push a "meh" episode over the edge.


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    💥 Captain Luthor's true identity is a fun twist.

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    💥 Wolé Parks is a tremendous addition to the series. Hopefully we continue to see more of him on screen.

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    💥 We love it when those Kent boys work together!


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    💥 We do not need silly fabricated drama between Jonathan and Jordan.

This post contains spoilers for Superman & Lois: "Man of Steel."
Check out our season 1 episode 6 review

Everyone who assumed "Man of Steel" was about Superman must donate to their favorite charity. Think of the money we'd raise! As that sentence implies, Superman & Lois had something clever up its sleeve, and it all revolves around the curious Captain Luthor (Wolé Parks). Turns out "Luthor" isn't his real name at all. Instead, it's John Henry Irons. A name that astute comic readers may recognize as Steel. It's an infinitely more interesting story than the character being some distant relative or alternate Earth version of Lex Luthor (currently portrayed by Jon Cryer on Supergirl), even if it is a curious departure from his standard origins. But there's more to "Man of Steel" than this new take on Irons and his motivations. 

Morgan Edge (Adam Rayner) continues to try to manipulate Smallville by putting Lana (Emmanuelle Chriqui) on a project to find townsfolk who have "untapped potential" (read: he wants test subjects for his little Kryptonian-creation project). Thanks to her friendship with Lois (Elizabeth Tulloch) and her daughter being put in danger last week, Lana's already on team Edge Is Sus. Meanwhile, "Man of Steel" decides to fabricate some pointless drama between the brothers Kent. It's quickly resolved, but wholly unnecessary — especially given the fact that it still feels like their entire function is drama. 

If anything "Man of Steel" is a refreshing middle ground kind of episode for the series. Superman & Lois was so completely hit or miss in the first half of the season that its early chapters were either amazing or utterly tiresome. This week's episode has an exciting — albeit curious — reveal and a strong rescue sequence balanced out with some boring corporate stuff with Edge and the silly drama between the children. 

Because the show has so many moving parts "balance" is a little bit more complicated to achieve. With that acknowledgment, the CW is known for tackling huge ensembles and, particularly within the DCTV universe, doing so well. Superman & Lois is still finding its footing, but here's to more scenes like the Kent boys diving into Dad's car because they know he's in grave danger and recklessly throwing themselves in front of a speeding bullet (hammer) and infinitely fewer scenes where some prefabricated drama results in them squabbling.

With Steel — not Nate Haywood — in custody, the Superman/General Lane discourse is likely to get a whole lot worse. Steel had already paid the General a visit prior, and we all know how easy it is to get him to try and kill his son-in-law. Add his paranoia to Steel's real-world experience with murderous Kal-Els and you've got yourself a very dangerous duo that will only feed off of one another's hatred. The series is already heavily telegraphing that Lois will be the only one able to talk any sense into her other-world husband, but it remains to be seen if even she can get through to him.

Amelia Emberwing

Amelia is an entertainment Streaming Editor at IGN, which means she spends a lot of time analyzing and editing stories on things like Loki, Peacemaker, and The Witcher. In addition to her features and editorial work, she’s also a member of both the Television Critics Association and Critics Choice. A deep love of film and television has kept her happily in the entertainment industry for 7 years.