Several of the characters from Superman’s rogues’ gallery have already been used ahead of Superman & Lois, but a number of his villains are still missing from the Arrowverse. Their absences provide The CW with plenty of storytelling opportunities in the future as the new superhero series gets underway.
One potential obstacle for the new show centered on Tyler Hoechlin’s Superman and Elizabeth Tulloch’s Lois Lane is the fact that so many of his enemies have already been adapted to the Arrowverse. His biggest rival of all-time, Lex Luthor, has served as a key antagonist on Supergirl; the show also made use of Metallo, Parasite, Mister Mxyzptlk, Silver Banshee, Toyman, Morgan Edge, and General Zod.
Fortunately, the rebirth of the multiverse enables the Arrowverse to create new incarnations of some of these characters. One Supergirl character that will be reintroduced in Superman & Lois is Morgan Edge, who will be played by a new actor. More could follow. While “Crisis on Infinite Earths” does mean Superman & Lois can reinvent old villains, it would also be good for the series to bring in characters that haven’t been shown at all yet.
In DC Comics, Ultraman is the evil Superman from Earth-3. In his world, he was raised by the Luthors instead of the Kents, which is why he ultimately turned into a villain. With his powers, he was able to kill the President of the United States, and form a large team of supervillains. Smallville season 10 adapted Ultraman by exploring a timeline where Kal-El was recovered from the meteor shower by Lex Luthor’s father, Lionel. As for the Arrowverse, the time for it to have its own Ultraman may have passed. By limiting the Arrowverse to one Earth, Crisis on Infinite Earths has created a situation where alternate timeline characters appear to be off the table.
Introduced in the late 1950s, Titano the Super-Ape was a chimpanzee who mutated into a super-powered ape and possessed enough strength to pose a physical challenge to Superman. DC has reimagined this classic Silver Age character a few times over the years, but usually keeps his status as a Superman villain. Because of the Crisis, the Arrowverse has a rather easy method of introducing Titano. Now that Gorilla Grodd’s city has been moved to Earth-Prime, he could be depicted as a member of his species who somehow escapes to Smallville and battles Clark.
Commonly identified by the green energy radiating from his head and hands, Atomic Skull is normally portrayed as a scientist involved in an experiment gone wrong. After obtaining super powers, Atomic Skull clashed with multiple Justice League heroes, with Superman being his most notable rival. Interestingly, Atomic Skull was believed to be among the metahuman villains spotted in Zoom’s army in an episode of The Flash season 2. That being said, his possible Flash cameo isn’t a story problem since Superman & Lois can always use a new, post-Crisis Atomic Skull.
Created as a flawed duplicate of Superman, Bizarro is shown to be the polar opposite of the Man of Steel in numerous ways. For that reason, he’s often been at odds with Superman for years, and though there have been times where he’s been utilized as an anti-hero, Bizarro is considered to be a key Superman antagonist. The Arrowverse did deliver a Bizarro Kara Danvers in Supergirl, but there hasn’t been a Bizarro Superman. It may be that a villain will find a way to create a Bizarro version of Tyler Hoechlin’s character in Superman & Lois.
Known as the “Collector of Worlds” in DC Comics, Brainiac is an alien android who had a hand in Krypton’s destruction in many versions of Superman’s story. He hasn’t appeared in the flesh in the Arrowverse, but characters connected to him, such as Indigo and Brainiac-5, have been utilized on Supergirl. Brainiac himself has been discussed though, which means that his existence in the world has been confirmed. Being one of Superman’s greatest villains in DC Comics, it would be a surprise if Superman & Lois didn’t use him eventually. Given his history, it would make sense for him to join the show as a main villain for a season-long arc.
Arguably one of the greatest threats the comic book version of Superman has ever faced is Imperiex; he was the main opponent of Superman (and several other DC Comics heroes) in the “Our Worlds At War” crossover event from 2001. Composed entirely of energy. Imperiex lives inside a suit of armor. His main goal, which he has carried out repeatedly for millions of years, is to destroy the universe in order to make room for a new one. Despite all his Kryptonian abilities, Superman had no choice but to rely on members of his own rogues’ gallery to take him down. Given how absurdly powerful Imperiex is, he feels like a character that the Arrowverse should save for a large-scale crossover event between multiple Arrowverse shows. Admittedly, it may be a bit soon for Imperiex, considering that his plan to destroy the universe bears some similarities to the Anti-Monitor’s in Crisis on Infinite Earths.
Often considered the DC Comics equivalent to Marvel’s Thanos, Darkseid is a member of the New Gods and a tyrant from a world called Apokolips. Darkseid’s attempts to conquer Earth and Superman’s leading roles in beating him have turned him into one of Superman’s most important enemies. That has a lot to do with why Smallville chose him to be the final villain for Clark to face before becoming Superman. As fun as it would be for the Arrowverse to go in the same direction, Darkseid may not be an option for a while. He was mentioned as a prior opponent to Superman in Crisis, but that reference may be all the Arrowverse is willing do with him for the time being, especially given his relevance to the DCEU.
An alien bounty hunter and a fan-favorite anti-hero, Lobo is renowned for his over-the-top violence. Unsurprisingly, his antics have made him a foe of Superman. On certain occasions, Lobo has attempted to hunt down and capture Superman. Due to his super strength and healing factor, Lobo is even capable of going toe-to-toe with the Man of Steel. So far, there’s only been one live-action Lobo, which is the one that appeared in Krypton season 2, played by Emmett J. Scanlan. The Arrowverse’s Lobo was teased in Supergirl when Kara Danvers and Martian Manhunter speculated about an unnamed intergalactic bounty hunter. His name didn’t have to be spoken out loud for fans to know who they were talking about. So far, Lobo hasn’t been the subject of anything bigger than an Easter egg in the Arrowverse, but that could potentially change in Superman & Lois.
Similar to Imperiex or Brainiac, Mongul is a villain who could fit into Superman & Lois as a long-term threat for the main characters to deal with. In the comic books, Mongul was originally an alien warlord whose physical abilities exceeded Superman’s. He was the ruler of Warworld, where he forced skilled warriors to engage in deadly combat against each other for his entertainment. If he were to ever make his way to Earth, he’d be a serious thorn in Superman’s side, and one that might require help from his fellow Arrowverse superheroes.
Doomsday, the alien monster notorious for killing Superman in the 1990s, is one of the biggest DC Comics characters yet to be adapted to the Arrowverse. However, the Arrowverse’s Superman has already fought Doomsday; the encounter was confirmed by Lois Lane during the first hour of the Crisis. It’s not known how the fight played out or if Doomsday survived, but the fact that Superman still lives indicates that he won the fight. Since Doomsday’s fate is uncertain, he could still appear of course, but it may be difficult for Superman & Lois to make his debut as exciting as it would be if Clark had never encountered him. Even if the post-Crisis Doomsday hasn’t arrived on Earth yet, Clark will still retain his memory of their original meeting.