Onomatopoeia played by an undisclosed actor in Superman & Lois

‘Superman & Lois’ Reveals Onomatopoeia’s True Identity

Superman & Lois season 3 premiered on March 14, and it didn’t go light on the villainy. Since 2021, Superman & Lois has been exploring the life of Clark Kent (Tyler Hoechlin), who struggles to balance being Superman with being a husband to Lois Lane (Bitsie Tulloch) and a father to twin sons, Jordan (Alexander Garfin) and Jonathan (Michael Bishop). Season 3 opens by showing the best of both worlds.

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Part of the episode follows Clark and Lois celebrating the boys’ 16th birthday and working to rekindle the romance in their relationship, while the other part follows Superman as he contends with multiple villains. The latter story arc sees the surprising return of Paul Lazenby’s Henry Miller (a.k.a. Atom Man). The last time we saw Miller, he was imprisoned for attacking Superman and Lois. However, in the season 3 premiere, “Closer,” Miller re-emerges—and this time he has powers. He quickly sets out to kill Superman, but it’s clear he is working for someone else who remains in the shadows.

During their final fight scene together, Superman is shocked when Miller is seemingly shot and killed in front of him. His shock and confusion only grow when he sees the chilling masked figure behind the murder of Miller—a figure fans of the comics will immediately recognize as Onomatopoeia. The mysterious figure has continued showing up in the series, but it wasn’t until episode 6, “Of Sound Mind,” that the villain’s true identity was revealed.

Superman & Lois reveals Onomatopoeia’s identity

Daya Vaidya as Peia (a.k.a. Onomatopoeia) in Superman & Lois
(The CW)

Before the confirmation of Onomatopoeia’s identity, some fans speculated that the villain was a woman rather than a man, as depicted in the comics. However, the changes Superman & Lois made to the villain go a bit deeper than just gender-swapping the character. “Of Sound Mind” reveals that Onomatopoeia is not the nameless homicidal male he is in the comics, but is actually Peia (Daya Vaidya), a fellow cancer patient who met Lois while they were both undergoing chemotherapy treatments.

In the past few episodes, we’ve seen Peia as Onomatopoeia doing Bruno Mannheim (Chad L. Coleman)’s dirty work, such as killing Miller. It was easy to assume the villain was simply a devoted member of Intergang. This new development complicates things, though, as it confirms that Onomatopoeia and Mannheim are working together to try to find a cure for her terminal cancer. This revelation also adds a layer of humanity to Mannheim. While it’s unclear how Mannheim and Peia began working together, “Of Sound Mind” hints that they have a deeper relationship than originally suspected. Having Mannheim display desperation to save the life of a woman he cares about shows that not all of his intentions are evil.

The revelation of Onomatopoeia’s identity and motivations raises the question of how Superman will approach this threat. While she’s the assistant of one of his most formidable villains yet and has resorted to murder, there’s no way her story won’t hit close to home for him, considering Lois’ cancer diagnosis. Her story is also bound to strike a chord with viewers. Vaidya, who is a cancer survivor herself, understands how this development makes Peia’s label as a “villain” more convoluted. She told ComicBook.com:

“We’re already dealing with all these levels of is she really a villain? How is she a villain? She’s trying to save her life. Bruno Mannheim’s trying to save her life. What is the villain and what is the person just trying to live? I really like to play with these levels because my dad had cancer. I had cancer. When you’re trying to save your life, there’s not a lot you won’t do. I really wanted to play with that idea of how far I would go to be here for my child, be here. I think that when you look at it from that perspective, it makes it really fuzzy.”

Superman & Lois giving Onomatopoeia an identity and a very relatable and human storyline is intriguing, and a stark departure from the mysterious and chilling villain from the comics.

Who is Onomatopoeia in DC Comics?

Onomatopoeia mimicking a snapping noise in DC Comics
(DC Comics)

Superman & Lois‘ decision to keep the actor behind Onomatopoeia elusive for so long was actually quite brilliant, as the true identity of the villain was never revealed in the comics.

Onomatopoeia was created by filmmaker Kevin Smith and comic artist Phil Hester, first appearing in Green Arrow #12 in 2002. Virtually nothing is known about his identity and motivation aside from the fact that he’s male. It has never even been confirmed if he’s a metahuman or not. However, he is a serial killer who only targets non-superpowered vigilantes, which is why he is most often seen pursuing Green Arrow and Batman. During his pursuits, he dresses in a large black trench coat, black gloves, and a black mask with concentric circles on it.

In addition to his eerie appearance, he only speaks in sounds, which earned him the name Onomatopoeia. This characteristic works well in comic book form, where his speech bubbles feature him, for example, mimicking gunshots with the word “BLAM.” It was also revealed in the comics that Onomatopoeia lives a double life. When he’s not the masked serial killer, he leads a normal life as a husband and father in Gotham, with his family seemingly unaware of his homicidal tendencies.

Needless to say, he’s one of the strangest and most unsettling DC villains around, and now Superman & Lois has reimagined him on the small screen in a very unique and unexpected way that gives the character more depth than it ever had before.

(featured image: The CW)

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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.