New DC Comic show starts season off strong

The CW releases Superman & Lois, a show covering the lives of Lois Lane and Clark Kent


Eric Omorogieva, Staff Writer

The past nine years have been full of twists and turns for the CW Channel’s DC Comics Universe. Since the arrival of Arrow, the universe has expanded to cover multiple Earths and features popular heroes such as the Flash, Supergirl, Black Lightning and many more from DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. For the past couple of years, these shows have exhausted their characters, trying to sell bad plots and disregarding continuity.

However, the CW has recently found a lifeline through a familiar and likable character: Superman. The announcement of “Superman & Lois” didn’t immediately excite fans, as actors Tyler Hoechlin and Elizabeth Tulloh have already made appearances as Clark Kent and Lois Lane in “Supergirl”. The two characters are now depicted slightly differently, as a stronger iteration, turning the show into the CW’s crown jewel. After just the pilot episode, the channel has ordered a second season following record-breaking premiere viewership. “Superman & Lois” follows Kent, Lane and their two 14-year-old twin boys on their move from Metropolis back to Kent’s hometown of Smallville.

What impresses viewers about “Superman & Lois” right off the bat is the tone and vibe of the first episode, which immediately separates the show from its CW counterparts. Taking a similar visual feeling from Zack Snyder’s 2013 film “Man of Steel”, the first episode features a very upbeat and happy Superman, similar to those depicted during his early Golden Age comics of the 1940s. The Kent family is caught up in family turmoil, as their son Jordan continues to struggle with mental health issues, while his brother Jonathan is a successful football quarterback. Also, questions arise as to why their father is always out “working.”

The death of Kent’s mother, Martha, takes the family back to Smallville for her funeral. The family decides to stay there, allured by the promise of starting fresh and working out their family conflicts.

The boys then learn of their father’s true identity as Kryptonian Kal-El, who arrived on Earth from his destroyed planet and is trying to blend in as a human, while helping the world as Superman. Given Kent’s Kryptonian abilities, the question arises of whether or not the children inherited any of them. Aside from all of this, there is the threat of Captain Luthor, but not the Lex Luthor you typically know. 

This Luthor comes from a different Earth. He is a Black man who faced a ruthless and rogue Superman on his destroyed Earth, and has dedicated his life to preventing the same fate for this Earth.

The familial approach to the show is what makes Hoechlin’s iteration of Superman so fascinating. We’ve never really seen Superman be a father on screen before, and he fits well in this role. Exploring Lois’ career as a journalist is also an interesting component. The show immediately pulls Superman fans from their comfort zone in Metropolis, where Kent and Lane work at the “Daily Planet,” to a more slowly-paced environment where new stories can be brought to the table.

This family approach, however, comes with a couple of downsides. The first of which being the troublesome father-child dynamic of the show. Jordan is quite the nuisance, having harsh mood swings when he is happy around his father and exhibiting brash behavior when he isn’t. This grows old very quickly — hopefully, the boys’ purpose in the show takes shape in future episodes.

“Superman & Lois” is worth a watch for both DC fans who had long given up on the CW’s shows and for lingering fans who hope to see a cool Superman adaptation. Hoechlin’s suit is awesome, the action is great (even with  the CW’s often low budget) and the premise promises storylines that can avoid the standard pitfalls that Superman stories usually succumb to. Captain Luthor seems like a worthy villain as well.

After three episodes, it definitely appears that this show truly has the ability to be the best CW DC Comics-show, but that’s only if executives keep their promise and do not overextend these characters and plotlines.