Back in January of 2018, it was announced that the streaming service of DC Universe would add on another live-action show (in addition to Titans, Doom Patrol, and Swamp Thing): Metropolis, a prequel series about Lois Lane and Lex Luthor “as they investigate the world of fringe science and expose the city’s dark and bizarre secrets.” Basically, think of it as The X-Files crossed with Fringe crossed with Gotham. Mainly because that’s what I think they pitched it as.

However, in June, it was said that the show as being “redeveloped” and is now on the backburner. And, frankly, I think that’s for the better. Prequels are all about exploring who a character was prior to the main story — and we already know who Lois and Lex were. Heck, they were main characters in the prequel we already got, Smallville. And the thought of doing a Superman show without Superman was just weird...until I began to think of it as something other than a prequel. And then it became intriguing — after all, that could be it’s main, driving mystery: what happened to Superman?

So now, I present to you, another installment of Hypothetical TV:

Metropolis

“Time forks perpetually toward innumerable futures. In one of them I am your enemy.”

– Jorge Luis Borges, The Garden of Forking Paths

Metropolis is the City of Tomorrow, largely thanks to billionaire inventor Lex Luthor and his company, LuthorCorp. But there are strange and dangerous things happening in Metropolis, too, beginning with a string of disappearances – people just vanishing into thin air – and strange bits of futuristic technology left behind. In order to get to the bottom of things, Lex decides to team up with the Daily Planet’s star reporter, Lois Lane, to investigate all the strange phenomena.

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There is a deeper secret at work, however, even as Lex and Lois realize that something is amiss with reality itself. Something is wrong and there is only one person who can fix things...unfortunately, “Superman” doesn’t exist.

1x01 – “The Man Who Wasn’t There”

Daily Planet reporter Lois Lane joins billionaire Lex Luthor to investigate the strange phenomena happening in Metropolis. During the investigation, however, they find a newspaper from five years ago...mentioning a superhero named “Superman,” someone who doesn’t exist.

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1x02 – “The Unknown Unknowns”

Lex becomes obsessed with figuring out if the newspaper is real. Lois looks into the redacted parts of the Pentagon’s Metahuman Report to figure out if Superman actually existed.

1x03 – “Find and Replace”

There are doppelgangers showing up around Metropolis – but they don’t look exactly the same. Instead, they have chalk white skin and talk in strange backwards speak. Why are they are here and what do they want?

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1x04 – “Point at Infinity”

A government think tank called Checkmate takes interest in Lex and Lois’s investigation. A strange creature called a Chronovore appears to eat time.

1x05 – “There Is No Cabal”

Lex follows the trail of Checkmate and Task Force X. Lois looks into missing metahumans and finds more than what she bargained for.

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1x06 – “Mockingbird”

The head of Checkmate makes herself known. Lex and Lois’s investigation stalls. But there’s another option – someone who calls themselves Oracle.

1x07 – “The Wise Men of Gotham”

Oracle sends Lex and Lois to Gotham City, where the same strange phenomena from Metropolis has also been seen.

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1x08 – “Ship of Fools”

There is a patient at Arkham Asylum who knows the truth. Unfortunately, the Asylum is currently in lockdown, with both Lex and Lois trapped inside.

1x09 – “The Temple of Immensity”

Back in Metropolis, Lex sets out to dismantle Checkmate with the help of Oracle and Lois seeks to learn about the missing reporter – Clark Kent – that nobody remembers.

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1x10 – “The Uninvited Guest”

Lois visits the abandoned Kent Farm in Smallville, Kansas, only to find that it might be haunted. Lex is invited to join Checkmate as its White King.

1x11 – “The Memory Hole”

Checkmate is over. The missing metahumans are returned to their lives and families. But nothing is as it seems – and the paper thin walls of reality are about to be torn asunder.

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1x12 – “All Hours Wound, The Last One Kills”

Lex and Lois finally figure out what is behind the strange phenomena – specifically, who erased Superman from existence. There is a being trapped at the end of time itself – the embodiment of entropy, a being of pure and utter hatred. How can they ever hope to stop him?

1x13 – “Eternal Return”

The time has come for the end of time. Lex Luthor, now a hero, now a villain; Lois Lane, forever seeking the truth; and Clark Kent, the man who wasn’t there. But where are they now?

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And yes, this was inspired a lot by Supreme: Blue Rose by Warren Ellis and Tula Lotay.