Season 3 of Superman & Lois revealed a villain that the Man of Steel cannot take down, even with his immense power.
Three seasons in, The CW’s Superman & Lois remains a definite fan-favorite, thanks to its strong writing, compelling characters, and cinema-quality visuals.
Clark Kent is used to solving most of his problems by punching them, especially if that problem is named Lex Luthor or Brainiac. His superhuman abilities are nearly limitless, and only Kryptonite or magic can truly throw off his game.
But in Superman & Lois, Clark is married to Lois Lane with two kids, so he has even more incentive to keep the planet safe for those he loves. But what happens when Lois is afflicted with something that can‘t be fixed with heat vision or freeze breath?
Superman & Lois Reveals Lane’s Cancer Diagnosis
The latest episode of Superman & Lois revealed the revelation that Elizabeth Tulloch’s Lois Lane was diagnosed with aggressive, inflammatory breast cancer. In essence, Lois’ cancer became the true villain of Season 3.
Showrunner Brent Fletcher broke down the shocking reveal (via TVLine). He noted the amount of care and attention that the production put into this storyline to ensure that it remained respectful:
“We reached out to so many people — doctors, oncologists, people who had been through it, spouses who have been through it, families that have been through it. All of our scripts have been vetted to make sure that it’s playing real, because we don’t want it to be taken lightly.
Fletcher also remarked that he hoped Lois’ cancer battle is resonant with viewers who may be going through something similar in their own lives:
"We want to put Lois on a real journey that so many other women in the world are going through. Hopefully they can take solace in seeing that a character as iconic as Lois Lane is suffering the same thing, and to feel like they have someone to relate to. We thought long and hard about it, and we felt like we had something to say.”
With such a serious narrative for the season, fans might be worried that the show won’t be as optimistic as it’s been known for being. Fletcher reassures that this is not the case:
“We’re not going to despair and darkness all the time. We have a very hopeful family, and we hold onto that, but we’re never telling the audience that the threat isn’t real.”
Superman has long been known as a beacon of hope, so it’s encouraging to see that the series will not lose sight of this.
Elizabeth Tulloch, who, of course, plays Lois on the show also weighed in on what her character is dealing with, noting that Clark will be “completely powerless” against this particular threat:
“I was a little shocked when [the producers] first told me that’s what they wanted to do. But I actually think it’s pretty wonderful. This storyline hasn’t been done, and cancer is such a prevalent force in so many people’s lives. This villain is so relatable and so real, and more than anything it’s one that Clark and Superman can’t just go handle. For Superman, who is this all-powerful superhero, to be faced with something he’s completely powerless against is even more grounding for the show, and it places a greater emphasis on the strength of us as a couple and the family dynamic. I thought it was exciting, and I hope the fans feel the same way.”
How Lois’ Illness Will Affect the Series
Lois herself is no stranger to putting herself into harm’s way, often as she chases down a story as the intrepid reporter that fans know her as. But this is something much different.
As Tulloch noted above, this is a story that other Superman incarnations haven’t really explored, just adding to the twists and turns coming in Season 3. Audiences are used to Clark swooping in at the very last second to rescue Lois, but in this season of the show, the couple faces an adversary far more insidious.
The show’s creative team promised that, despite Superman & Lois Season 3 featuring some traditional Superman foes, the series will not shy away from Lois’ cancer battle and will be surprisingly in-depth in how the series portrays it, so one should expect a large amount of screen time devoted to this issue.
Clark going up against something that his powers just can’t fix is a recurring aspect of the character. Even in Superman & Lois, it’s established that he lost his father Johnathan to a heart attack. The Man of Tomorrow, even with all his strength, just can’t solve everything.
Sadly, about 42,000 women in the real-world United States pass away from breast cancer every year. Hopefully, Lois’ character will be victorious in this fight, and maybe even serve as an inspiration to those who are going up against the same enemy.
Despite the Arrowverse coming to an end this year, Superman & Lois will continue on into the future with Season 3 airing on Tuesdays on The CW.