Superman & Lois — the newest series on CW — premiered March 23rd of 2021, sending many fans into hopeful perseverance for what’s to come. The series takes some of the most dramatic components of soap-dramas, like The Flash and Arrow, then blended them with beautiful cinematography and gripping writing that no other CW show could match; but to be honest, what did you expect from a show starring one of the most prominent superheroes in pop culture media? The series takes on the concept of a parental Superman; this was once attempted in the film, “Superman Returns,” where Clark Kent struggles to balance his vigilant life and his fatherhood. While many fans of the character are dissatisfied with the concept, the execution in this premiere was near flawless, with a few inconveniences. The show heavily tackles Clark and Lois’ relationship and their increasing struggle trying to raise their children, both of which have opposing personalities. Tyler Hoechelin takes on the role of Superman in this series; his first appearance as the character was in the Supergirl television series 5 years prior. He plays the character of both Superman and Clark Kent flawlessly, juggling the charisma that many other actors before him displayed. Superman is mostly proclaimed by many as a simplistic character who is too powerful to engage with. Yet, this show uses that to its advantage and even embraces the idea, by focusing much more on the mental side than it does the physical. Clark is a fragile person; he is someone who strives to do what’s right, even if, at times, it leads to drastic consequences. In this series, Clark is left in a moral stand-off between him and his two teenage sons that could put his personal life in ruins. Will he push through it, or will something far more drastic occur? This narrative puts that question on the forefront of who Superman is, and it is incredibly well-done.
While some of the features of the series seem very simplistic and cliche, the show delivers what it was wanting to deliver: a Superman story.
Some problems that I encountered during the episode were the cliche plot-lines that can be very predictable at times. The angsty teen plot-line is basic to be completely honest. The writing, while some portions are very well written, can be a bit cringy at times; even if it is very much the staple of plenty CW shows, it isn’t delivered the same way as many other shows did. The suit design for the villain looks simplistic. It appears as a mix of Doomguy and any other armored bad guy, it could have been uniquely designed like its comic counterpart; but instead, we just got the stereotypical bad guy suit.
Lois plays a minor role in this series which seems … off. While Lois is a key part of the series as her name is literally in the title, it is much more focused on Superman and his journey through parenthood rather than Lois’. This isn’t a bad thing per-say, just caught me off guard. The Arrowverse gets two new characters added to their roster, with the sons of Superman — Jordan, and Jonathan Kent — both making their live-action debut. They are the key plot of the first episode; they tackle the concept if one of them discovers their newly formed powers and the other must have to deal with the grief of being alienated in a family of superheroes.
The death of Martha Kent brings the Kent family back to Smallville to take care of the Kent farm and the financial issues accompanying it. As they bury Martha, Clark gets reminiscent of his father’s funeral when he was a teen.
Both of the sons of Superman have parallel personalities, Jordan is the angsty, edgy teen that you usually see in most soap dramas, while his brother, Jonathan, is the optimistic football jock with a heightened sense of charisma. The plot-line they are applied in throughout the episode is on their expedition to when they find out that their father is Superman, an alien from the planet Krypton, and that one of them must have taken the trait of super-powered abilities.
A new character is introduced in the show named “Sarah Cushing”. She is part of the Cushing family, whose guardian, Lana Lang, dated Clark Kent in his early years as a resident in Smallville. She befriends Jordan and Jonathan and invites them to a bonfire at the end of the episode. The bonfire scene quickly turns violent as Jordan kisses Sarah; her boyfriend sees this and quickly intervenes. There is a fight scene between Jonathan and the boyfriend as Jordan gets pushed to the ground. In a call for action, Jordan unlocks his abilities and fuels the bonfire with his laser beams, imploding it into a violent ball of fire that engulfs the party. Luckily, no one was harmed in the scene, even if the fire was quite monolithic. The episode ends in a satisfying conclusion as the two sons learn of Clark’s history as the symbol of hope for Metropolis.
Superman encounters plenty of situations relating to nuclear facilities, some of which were purposefully executed. In the final fight scene, Superman and the mysterious figure engage in a battle that ultimately wounds Superman. However, Clark quickly gets back on his feet in the final portions of the episode. The mysterious figure is revealed as “Luthor” in the concluding scene. Lex Luthor already exists in the Arrowverse, so who could this individual be? Is he the real Lex, or is something much larger at play?
The chemistry between the two characters of Clark and Lois is something else; the writing that delivers a satisfying approach to the characters is also phenonemal. Superman & Lois, starring Tyler Hoechelin and Bitsie Tulloch, airs weekly on the television platform: CW.