Superman & Lois Introducing DC’s Biggest Villain?
Walking Dead actor Chad Coleman seemed to be indicating that he will soon be playing cosmic DC villain Darkseid in Superman & Lois.
The Walking Dead actor Chad Coleman may have dropped a bombshell on DC Comics fandom, teasing the introduction of DC’s biggest baddie into the “Arrowverse” DC shows running on the CW network. Over the weekend, Coleman confirmed that he would be joining the cast of Superman & Lois for season three, playing the character Bruno Mannheim, according to ScreenRant. However, in making the announcement, Coleman shared some artwork on social media featuring another villain: Darkseid, the mightiest villain in the DC Comics universe. DC superfans quickly noticed the reference, and the internet went wild.
Arrow star David Ramsey, at an appearance at Atlanta’s Dragon Con this weekend, revealed that Coleman would be playing the main bad guy in the upcoming season of Superman & Lois. Coleman himself followed up soon after via Instagram to reveal his character, stating “I am thrilled to be joining the family!!! Superman & Lois #BrunoMannheim @GregBerlanti Thank you soooo much!” Despite the announcement of the Bruno character’s appearance, the inclusion of Darkseid in the post’s artwork may be the biggest news of all.
For those unfamiliar with Darkseid and his place in the DC Comics hierarchy, he is what Thanos is to the Marvel universe (movies and comics): a cosmic villain who is a threat to all superheroes in the universe. First created in 1970 by the legendary artist Jack Kirby, Darkseid is a cosmic being of super strength who shoots “Omega Sanction” beams out of his eyes. He seeks the Anti-Life Equation, which would allow him to control all free will in the universe.
Even if Chad Coleman had not shared artwork featuring Darkseid, fans would have likely speculated about his possible appearance in the series. In the DC comics, Bruno Mannheim runs the criminal network Intergang, which takes its orders from Darkseid, who supplies them with weapons. It’s still not clear if this connection to Mannheim will be depicted in Superman & Lois, but it would be a game changer for the series. Darkseid last appeared in live-action television in the final season of Smallville, and of course, he was the biggest addition to Zack Snyder’s Justice League, which restored the character’s storyline to the film after Joss Whedon cut it from the theatrical version. He has made multiple appearances in DC animated projects.
Superman & Lois could certainly use some positive press about now. Last month, it was revealed that Jordan Elsass, who played Jonathan Kent in the series, would not be returning for season three. Elsass had revealed earlier in the summer that he had sought out help to deal with his personal mental health, and there are indications that played a role in his decision not to return to the series. However, it appears the CW was caught off-guard by the announcement, and other factors may have been in play. With so many other Arrowverse shows already ended or canceled (only The Flash and Stargirl are the other shows still in production), upping the stakes with an iconic villain like Darkseid would certainly keep viewers engaged. Superman & Lois doesn’t premiere until next year, so we won’t know for some time if Darkseid will even be a part of the storyline, or held in reserve as a season-finale tease for a bigger introduction in season four.