'Superman & Lois' Star Wolé Parks Really Believed He Was Playing Lex Luthor

'Superman & Lois' Star Wolé Parks Really Believed He Was Playing Lex Luthor

May 29, 2021

Superman & Lois revealed Captain Luthor’s true identity as the superhero, Steel. The reveal came as a shock to fans, but it was also a surprise for Wolé Parks. When signing on to The CW series, the actor believed he’d be playing the Arrowverse’s next Lex Luthor. 

‘Superman & Lois’ reveals Captain Luthor is actually Steel

In episode 7, Superman & Lois introduced a new superhero to the Arrowverse. Captain Luthor (Wolé Parks), an alternate Earth visitor determined to kill Superman (Tyler Hoechlin), was revealed as John Henry Irons, aka Steel.   

Steel is a superhero who first appeared in the 1993 comic, The Adventures of Superman #500. In DC comic books, Dr. John Henry Irons is a genius weapons engineer who creates a high-tech suit and becomes a Metropolis superhero in the wake of Superman’s death. 

On the show, Irons comes from a parallel Earth where an evil Superman killed his wife, Lois Lane (Bitsie Tulloch). Believing all versions of Superman are a threat, he travels to Clark and Lois’ Earth and attempts to kill Superman. 

‘Superman & Lois’ star Wolé Parks auditioned for Lex Luthor

When Parks initially read for Superman & Lois, he thought he was portraying the series’ villain. “It was interesting because when I first auditioned, it was Lex Luthor,” he told EW. “[The audition script had] a fake name, like Mark Smith or something, but you could tell.”

Being such a big fan of the DC universe, the actor was excited to take on such an iconic character. But after landing the role, showrunner Todd Helbing called Parks and told him he’d be playing a major DC superhero instead. 

“Todd calls and was like, ‘Hey, I want to talk to you about the character,’” Parks recalled. “And I told him, ‘Just tell me what I need to know. I don’t want to know stuff. I kind of want to find out as we go along.’ And he’s like, ‘No, you need to know this.’”

Wolé Parks got emotional when he found out he’d be playing Steel in ‘Superman & Lois’

Parks was excited enough to be a part of DC’s Superman universe. But when he found out he’d be playing the superhero Steel, the actor was admittedly overwhelmed. 

“No B.S., I actually got kind of emotional about it because I remember when that comic came out, I was about 10 or 11,” the Superman & Lois star told EW.

“And I remember seeing that as a kid — Back then, there wasn’t a lot of diverse representation. So for this little Black kid to see this Black guy who was a superhero in his own right, that was amazing. I felt overwhelmed and appreciative.”

After his call with Helbing, Park realized he’d have to switch his mindset from an infamous supervillain to an iconic superhero. “My perspective on him changed,” he explained. “He got a lot darker, as far as his perspective.”

It’s fair to assume fans will be seeing a lot more of Steel as the season continues. New episodes of Superman & Lois air Tuesdays on The CW.

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