It’s a great time for Superman fans, with the Man of Steel soaring into movies, TV, animation and comics. To help us stay on top of it, writer Tim Beedle shares what's grabbed his attention and why in this monthly Superman column.

If there’s one thing you can say about Superman, it’s that he always sees the best in people. It’s one of the ways he inspires hope and motivates people to improve their lives. He’ll see the best in you even if you don’t see it in yourselves.

We’ve witnessed him doing this with the people of Metropolis for over 85 years. But lately, in the pages of Joshua Williamson’s Superman, we’ve seen him demonstrate this sort of faith in some of his biggest villains. Now, let’s be clear, it’s not at all surprising that the Man of Steel would do this. To do otherwise would go against everything he stands for and believes in. But you couldn’t be blamed for questioning it and wondering if he truly knows what he’s doing.

That’s because some of these people have terrorized the citizens of Metropolis for years. Parasite, Silver Banshee and Livewire have murdered dozens of people, and all have been given new opportunities for redemption by Superman and his family. Parasite is working at Supercorp. Livewire has a new Daily Planet column and podcast. Silver Banshee is dating Jimmy Olsen for crying out loud. (Though admittedly, they’re super cute together and I kinda want a comic focused just on them.) These are big opportunities that just about anyone would trip over themselves for. Should Superman really be handing them over to the very people who have stood against him and the people he’s sworn to protect?

I honestly can’t say, and I’d argue that no one can with any sort of authority. If it were possible to know that Superman was doing the right thing, then his willingness to forgive and demonstrate belief in his former enemies wouldn’t say nearly as much about him, would it? Kal-El’s faith in even the worst of us is the sort of thing that makes him someone we all aspire to. And yet, even those of us who are inspired by him can still wonder if he’s making a mistake.

Livewire, Parasite and Silver Banshee are a handful, but I have no doubt Superman could handle them if they were to ever get out of line and start hurting people again. But Lex Luthor? He’s a different story entirely, and yet, Superman seems willing to believe he can change as well.

Granted, it took him a while to get to there. When an imprisoned Luthor rebranded his business as Supercorp and turned control of it over to the Man of Steel, Superman was wary. Lex has claimed to have seen the error of his ways in the past (he’s even been on the Justice League), only to reveal it was all a ruse and break bad again. And it should be said, it’s not like Superman is giving Lex free rein. Lex is still in prison and Kal-El is making sure to verify any claims he makes. He’s certainly being cautious when it comes to this new alliance. However, he is proceeding with it. Superman has been working alongside Mercy Graves and accepting the help of Supercorp, while actually taking Luthor’s advice on occasion.

If you’re at all alarmed by that…well, you’re not the only one. Lois certainly doesn’t seem like she’s onboard. In fact, no one seems to be fully in favor of it, other than Lex and the people at Supercorp. So again, we have to ask…is Superman making a mistake?

It’s possible. For all of his strengths, Superman’s not perfect. But when you really get down to it, this is philosophical debate. Does everyone in the world truly have the capacity for good? Does everyone who commits some sort of crime or atrocity deserve a second chance? What about a third or fourth chance? Or are there people out there who are just so broken, corrupt and evil that they should be locked up forever?

The big irony of “The Chained,” Williamson’s current storyline with artist Gleb Melnikov, is that the person making the argument that some people are too dangerous to set free is the same person many would say deserves to be on the receiving end of it—Lex Luthor. The top-secret project that Luthor helped spearhead and then quickly covered up, Project: Chained, was a system of imprisonment designed to hold the most dangerous super-villains in a state of sensory deprivation and isolation forever. Superman, naturally, is horrified when he discovers it, and promptly releases the one person to ever be subjected to it.

Unfortunately, it seems like that may have been a serious mistake.

We don’t yet know how the situation may resolve itself, but the now-free victim is revealed to be an extremely powerful Sammy Stryker, the son of Stryker’s Island Penitentiary founder Sebastian Stryker, and he seems to only want revenge for being locked away. Will Superman be able to talk him away from vengeance? It’s hard to say, but the fact that Superman is currently working alongside Lex Luthor sure doesn’t inspire much trust in Sammy’s eyes. We also don’t yet know what exactly Sammy did to warrant being imprisoned in such an extreme way—though with his superpowers, he’s a pretty big threat.

Yet, while there’s much we don’t know about Sammy Stryker, we know quite a bit about Lex Luthor. So, perhaps we’d be best off looking at what all of this has to say about him. Lex says that he’s changed and that he realizes he’s been wrong about Superman. He says that now, he only wants to help him as well as the people of Metropolis. While Lex isn’t asking to be released from prison, he is asking for trust from people who have no reason to trust him. He’s asking for a show of faith.

However, he’s partially responsible for creating something that would eliminate that sort of opportunity for people. He’s asking for the very thing that he’s denied Sammy Stryker for years. When you consider that, it all seems pretty hypocritical of Lex.

Does that mean he should be locked away forever and not be given a chance to redeem himself? I suspect Superman would say no, and I’d never argue with the Man of Steel. But Lex still has a long way to go until he’s anywhere near redemption and after decades of falling short, you’ll forgive me if I’m not holding my breath.

Look for new chapters of “The Chained” each month in issues of Superman.

Tim Beedle covers movies, TV and comics for, writes our monthly Superman column, "Super Here For...", and is a regular contributor to the Couch Club, our recurring television column. Follow him on Twitter at @Tim_Beedle and Bluesky at @TimBeedle.

NOTE: The views and opinions expressed in this feature are solely those of Tim Beedle and do not necessarily reflect those of DC Entertainment or Warner Bros., nor should they be read as confirmation or denial of future DC plans.