WARNING: The following contains SPOILERS for Superman & Lois season 1, episode 9, “Loyal Subjekts.”
Following the massive Superman & Lois reveal that Morgan Edge is Kryptonian, which comics character could Adam Rayner actually be playing in the Arrowverse? The CW’s DC TV franchise has, once again, pulled another secret identity twist where one of the main cast members turned out to be someone else. Superman & Lois season 1, episode 9, titled “Loyal Subjekts,” ended on a massive cliffhanger with Morgan revealing his true nature to the Man of Steel. However, as Morgan had been using X-Kryptonite on Smallville citizens, there was another sinister twist to it. Somehow, Morgan has managed to put the minds of Kryptonians in human bodies.
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But it was the final scene in “Loyal Subjekts” where Superman & Lois dropped a big bomb as Morgan demonstrated to Superman that he has Kryptonian abilities too. Rather than getting it from X-Kryptonite, Morgan explains that he is a Kryptonian, just like Superman. While Morgan referred to Kal-El as “brother,” it seems that he has some connection to the Man of Steel. Another part of the cliffhanger was the uniform Morgan was wearing, sporting a mysterious Kryptonian emblem on his chest. With Morgan’s true nature revealed, has Rayner been playing a different DC character this entire time?
This would mark the second time that Superman & Lois season 1 has revealed that one of their series regulars is someone else entirely. The Arrowverse drama unveiled recently that Wolé Parks’ Captain Luthor was actually John Henry Irons, better known as the DC Comics superhero Steel. But while one turned out to be a DC hero in disguise, the other is still serving as the big bad for the first season. Assuming “Morgan Edge” is just a disguise for Rayner’s actual character, which Kryptonian from the DC Universe could he actually be on Superman & Lois?
The first potential candidate that many are likely thinking of after Morgan’s Superman & Lois twist is the iconic Superman villain General Zod. Interestingly enough, the Arrowverse had been fairly ambiguous about General Zod’s presence in this franchise before Superman & Lois premiered. In the Supergirl season 2 finale, a Silver Kryptonite-infected Superman hallucinated that General Zod, played by Mark Gibbon, was in front of him when he was fighting Kara the entire time. But in the following season, they established that Clark had killed General Zod sometime in 2018. Later on, General Zod was referenced to somehow be alive in the 31st century as he had fought the Legion of Super-Heroes. This was all part of their Earth-38 history before Crisis on Infinite Earths rebooted the Arrowverse continuity and created Earth-Prime.
In the post-Crisis Arrowverse, General Zod’s status has so far not been referenced or explored whatsoever, paving the way for Morgan to perhaps be the iconic Kryptonian warlord on Superman & Lois. If Morgan’s “brother” comment is meant to be taken as them being related by blood, this wouldn’t be the first time a Superman property has made General Zod and Kal-El relatives. The Superman prequel series Krypton depicted Dru-Zod, played by Colin Salmon, as the son of Seg-El and Lyta Zod. Because of that family linage, Dru-Zod became Jor-El’s big brother, and in turn, Superman’s uncle, a concept that 2015’s Superman: Earth One Volume 3 had introduced. Given the prominent role General Zod plays in the Superman mythology, it would be natural for Morgan to be him. It would, however, not explain entirely why General Zod has a different Kryptonian glyph if he genuinely is Clark’s biological brother, but that might be explained sooner rather than later.
While General Zod is one of Superman’s most personal villains in the comics, he isn’t the only Kryptonian super-foe that Clark has had to tackle over the years. Another character that Superman & Lois’ Morgan might be is the Kryptonian criminal Jax-Ur, a mad scientist sent to the Phantom Zone for destroying Krypton’s moon, Wegthor. But like General Zod, Jax-Ur eventually escaped the Phantom Zone and became a threat to Superman. Outside the comics, Jax-Ur has been depicted both on the big and small screen. In Man of Steel, Mackenzie Gray portrayed the DC baddie who was part of General Zod’s Sword of Rao movement. In addition, a female version of Jax-Ur appeared on Krypton, played by Hannah Waddingham, who was the leader of Black Zero, a Kryptonian terrorist group from the comics.
Compared to General Zod, Jax-Ur is not as recognizable to the mainstream audience, which could be an advantage for Superman & Lois. On the other hand, General Zod has appeared in multiple Superman adaptations, from Christopher Reeve’s Superman films to Smallville season 9 and Man of Steel. If Morgan is Jax-Ur, it would be a way for the Arrowverse to do something unexpected since many would likely not think of him at first. Even though he has never been the main villain in previous live-action Superman stories, perhaps Superman & Lois could be the first one to do that. Since Jax-Ur is a powerful scientist, it would explain how he has managed to perform these X-Kryptonite-related experiments on humans.
There is another possible Kryptonian that Morgan may actually be, and it is someone who was created in the comics almost ten years ago: H’el. In December 2012, H’el made his debut in the DC Universe, established as an illegal clone who was programmed to think he was born naturally. Since Jor-El had created H’el through the DNA of multiple multiple Kryptonians, he had different physiology under a yellow sun, compared to the Superman family. Jor-El helped H’el escape Krypton when it was in the midst of being destroyed. H’el managed to leave the planet but was instructed by Superman’s father to preserve the legacy of Krypton.
H’el came to Earth almost 30 years after Kal-El did and became the antagonist of the crossover storyline H’el on Earth, as he strived to turn the planet into a new Krypton. Despite being a clone, H’el essentially became Kal-El’s older brother in a matter of speaking. That is potentially what Superman & Lois may be drawing from when it comes to Morgan’s Kryptonian identity. If he is meant to be H’el, it wouldn’t be shocking if the Arrowverse retcons him to some extent. Since H’el is a recent addition to Superman’s mythology, it wouldn’t be a stretch for the show to use him, perhaps.
It would also line up with something The Flash’s latest two seasons has done by utilizing more recent stories and characters from the comics. Like Jax-Ur, H’el is another Superman villain that most mainstream viewers are not familiar with, compared to General Zod. But Superman & Lois could be doing a completely original character and not use any established Kryptonian villain from the comics. That is not unfamiliar territory for The CW’s DC shows, as the Arrowverse has created original characters since 2012. Hopefully, Superman & Lois viewers will not have to wait for too long to find out who Morgan Edge actually is from the Kryptonian mythology.
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