‘Superman & Lois’ Is Contending With Two Major DC Villains This Season
Superman & Lois season 3 premiered on March 14, 2023, and wasted no time in introducing two of the season’s biggest villains. Ever since the series premiered in 2021, it has intrigued viewers with its depiction of Clark Kent (Tyler Hoechlin)’s experience as a father and its exploration of the various DC villains who tend to pull the hero away from his family life. So far, the series has introduced figures like Morgan Edge (Adam Rayner), John Henry Irons (Wolé Parks), and Ally Allston (Rya Kihlstedt).
In the first episode of season 3, “Closer,” the show introduced the DC Comics villain Onomatopoeia and also brought back Atom Man (Paul Lazenby). It’s unclear if Atom Man will continue to have a prominent role in season 3, but the first episode did seem to be establishing Onomatopoeia as a formidable threat. The actor behind Onomatopoeia is still unknown, but as the series progresses, fans are anticipating it will take a deep dive into the mysterious DC character. However, the episode also established that Onomatopoeia isn’t operating alone.
In the final scene, it is revealed that Onomatopoeia is involved with Bruno Mannheim (Chad L. Coleman) and Mannheim’s Intergang.
Who is Superman & Lois‘ Bruno Mannheim?
While “Closer” marked the first time viewers of Superman & Lois have seen Mannheim, it isn’t the first time that they’ve heard of him. His appearance in the series was first teased in season 2, episode 15, “Waiting for Superman.” In the episode, a new incarnation of John Diggle (David Ramsey) visits Irons and questions him about Mannheim, the leader of Intergang who has quite an extensive list of criminal activity to his name. Irons has never heard of Mannheim before and is confused as to why Diggle is approaching him about the gang leader. That’s when Diggle explains that Mannheim killed this world’s Irons doppelganger, and he wants to find out why.
After being name-dropped in season 1, it wasn’t surprising that the season 3 premiere briefly put a face to the nefarious foe’s name. Unfortunately, not a lot is known about Mannheim yet, as he only appeared at the end of the episode. However, he doesn’t even have to use his voice to get his and Onomatopoeia’s minions to do his bidding, illustrating just how much power he holds. Meanwhile, the actor who plays him has plenty of experience playing a DC villain; Chad L. Coleman portrayed Tobias Church in Arrow season 5. His Mannheim character will be quite unique, though, in that he’s a notable strategist and manipulator with many layers to his persona.
Who is Bruno Mannheim in DC Comics?
Bruno “Ugly” Mannheim was first introduced in DC Comics in 1971 in Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #139. He is the son and successor of Moxie Mannheim, who founded Intergang under the supervision of Morgan Edge. Mannheim established Intergang as a prominent crime syndicate and came to prominence for unleashing gruesome attacks on heroes like Guardian. He also used tactics of manipulation to try to discredit and defame Clark Kent and Lois Lane.
In later editions of DC Comics, he pretty much completely went off the deep end after claiming to have been reborn by Darkseid. He turned Intergang into a cult that literally worshiped crime and lived by the Crime Bible, which was allegedly made from the stone that Cain used to kill his brother Abel in the biblical book of Genesis. Mannheim’s crimes became even more brutal at this point, and even took on the form of cannibalism and human sacrifice. Anyone who refused to be a part of Intergang would be promptly killed, while any superheroes he could get his hands on were also brutally killed, ramping up the fear factor of Mannheim and his gang.
Mannheim’s character has varied a bit due to various relaunches in the DC Comics universe. At times, he was the more sophisticated mastermind that Superman & Lois may be shaping him up to be, while at other times, he was one of the most brutal and unhinged gang leaders in the DC Universe. Only time will tell which iteration he will ultimately become in the show.
(featured image: The CW)
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