Superman & Lois: How Did Peia (Onomatopoeia) Get Her Powers?


One of the most shocking twists of the last few episodes of Superman & Lois is the fact that Lois’ newfound friend Peia is actually the villain we’ve seen at the start of the season, Onomatopoeia. Peia likewise turned out to be Bruno Manheim’s wife and one of the most crucial members of the Intergang, judging by the flashbacks we’ve seen in Episode 7 of Season 3. We all assumed that Bruno’s experiments led to Peia developing her sound-based powers, but the flashbacks prove that she had them before she was married to Bruno and before she got sick, and he even had the chance to experiment on her. We’ve decided to put a few theories forward to answer this question. Let’s see, how did Peia (Onomatopoeia) get her powers?

So far, it hasn’t been revealed how Peia exactly got her powers. All we know is that she had them before her cancer treatments took place. One theory is that she got her powers from the Toxic Waste that used to litter Hobbs Bay which caused the general population of Hobbs Bay to get cancer at a disproportionate rate. We know that Bruno Manheim used Superman’s blood to develop experimental treatments and, as a side-effect, caused people to develop superpowers. However, this doesn’t seem to be the case with Onomatopoeia, as her powers were crucial in the development of Manheim’s career.

Now that we’ve put forward our theory on how Onomatopoeia got her powers, it’s time to analyze the detail. If you’re interested in more, stay with us and keep reading!

Peia turned out to be the key player in Bruno Manheim’s past

One thing that promptly shocked us was when we saw Onomatopoeia getting unmasked, and behind the mask, Lois’ new friend Peia who she met in the hospital while undergoing treatment.

We’ve learned that Peia has the same type of cancer as Lois does, and she is slowly nearing the end of her chemo treatment, which means that the following few weeks are crucial. Peia and Lois went as far as having dinner together, Peia promising to reveal to Lois some information about Hobbs Bay that she was familiar with due to being born and growing up in the area.

Due to a series of flashbacks, we’ve seen that Peia and Manheim have a long history together. They have apparently known each other since childhood, and she was one of the key people vital for his rise in the criminal empire.
He pitched some ideas to her current boss, Moxie, and everything was going well until Manheim overstepped his authority. Moxie wanted Peia to deal with him, but Bruno talked her into choosing him, becoming his way, and building the better Hobbs Bay together.

Peia murdered her former boss and his associates with her sound-based powers, and considering everything we’ve seen so far, including the fact that Bruno often sent Onomatopoeia to take care of the potential threats, it’s clear that he used her powers to rise in ranks and to deal with any potential future enemies. Having a weapon is one thing, but having a superpowered human as your close associate is another thing completely and gives him a significant advantage. Peia’s powers were beneficial to his career, according to everything we’ve seen. But how did she get them?

Everyone assumed that Onomatopoeia’s powers stemmed from Bruno’s experimental treatments

In the first episode of Superman & Lois season 3, we learned that Bruno Manheim had some experimental treatments that were able to slow down the progression of terminal illnesses but gave the individuals that were experimented upon superpowers. This is how Miller turned into Atom-Man and how James Distefano became Deadline.

Both criminals were in the advanced stages of their illness, with Distefano having lymphoma, and both were able to develop superhuman abilities to some extent by being exposed to X-Kryptonite and Superman’s blood.


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The treatments were developed by Dr. Hook, who frequently worked with Bruno Manheim. In fact, the two of them invested quite a lot of time and money into the Hobbs Bay medical center, which became the leading medical center for cancer-related illnesses.

Everyone assumed that Bruno was doing this to create an army of superpowered criminals, and after we learned who his wife was, we knew that he was doing it to save his wife. Superpowered criminals were only a bonus.

We also assumed, seeing Peia, that her sonic-based powers stemmed from that experimental treatments, but the series of flashbacks revealed that she had those powers long before Manheim could experiment upon people.


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Peia most likely got her powers by being surrounded by toxic waste

Bruno Manheim mentioned on several occasions have Hobbs Bay was called the suicide slum. The neighborhood was filled with toxic waste, and generally, living conditions were not up to standards.

Bruno’s mother died of cancer, presumable from being exposed to the waste. Cancer incidence in Hobbs Bay is much greater than in the surrounding areas. The idea that Onomatopoeia’s powers stem from toxic waste is not as far-fetched. Especially in the comics since this seems to be a common trope.

Toxic waste has enough potency to alter her genetic structure and cause cancer. It likewise could have the ability to alter her genetic makeup so she can develop superhuman powers as well.

And even though this, for now, seems to be the most likely scenario, who knows what the series has in store for us in the future, however.

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