The CW had high hopes for their new superhero show Superman & Lois but it may be even exceeding their own expectations. The freshman series’ first three episodes have been getting great reviews and fan interest has driven the series to the top fifteen in the United States on both the iTunes and Google Play platforms. This is notable for the fact that no other superhero show is even in the top 20 on those platforms.
There was a lot of buzz surrounding Superman & Lois as soon as the CW announced its presence. The superhero show brings one of the most popular DC characters, Superman, back to the small screen accompanied by world-famous journalist Lois Lane as his wife. The twist (and buzz) to this new series is the fact that the CW is now showing Superman and Lois in roles we haven’t seen them in – parents.
The series pilot sets up Superman and Lois as they return to Smallville with their twin teenage sons, Jonathan and Jordan, to attend the funeral of Clark’s mother. Clark has also recently lost his job at the Daily Planet when the nefarious Morgan Edge bought it. While in Smallville, Clark meets up with his old high school flame Lana Lang. She is now married and has a daughter Sarah. At the Kent family farm, the twins discover Clark’s spaceship forcing him to reveal to them that he is really Superman. Both Lois and Clark suspect that Jonathan has inherited Clark’s superpowers, so Clark takes him to the Fortress of Solitude. But it is loner Jordan who actually has inherited Clark’s powers, though for now, it comes only in shorts bursts. Meanwhile, Superman is dealing with a new mysterious enemy who has begun to sabotage nuclear power plants in order to study how Superman responds and uses his powers. When the two meet one-on-one, Superman is defeated. This enemy is revealed to be named “Captain Luthor.” After all is said and done, Superman and Lois decide to live at the Kent farm to help Jordan develop his powers in virtual privacy.
This superhero show is a breath of fresh air to the CW’s ArrowVerse. Tyler Hoechlin again plays Superman as he did in the many other CW superhero shows Supergirl (where he was introduced), The Flash, Arrow, Batwoman, and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. Elizabeth Tulloch, of Grimm fame, is also back as Lois Lane, a role that saw her introduced in Supergirl and then follow up in The Flash, Arrow, Batwoman, and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. The breath of fresh air comes in how the CW and Hoechlin have decided to portray Superman. Gone are the recent “dark” takes on Krypton’s favorite son. No longer will we be seeing a Superman who kills the innocent or who gets killed himself. Gone is the Superman without a smile (or a fuzzy lip). True, even Hoechlin fell into the recent Superman is evil trope when he appeared in a black costume threatening to snap the neck of The Flash. All of that is water under the bridge as Hoechlin’s Clark Kent/Superman is now having to deal with the horror of all horrors: being a father to twin teenage boys.
Superman & Lois is a superhero show that takes fans back to the earlier days of Superman when he was likable and stood for something. But it strategically brings fans (and Superman) into the 21st century dealing with all the trials and tribulations as a parent of teenage boys. Luckily, he has Lois to help. On top of that, Clark’s alter-ego Superman is also having to deal with the evils of the 21st Century and new supervillains who threaten the world. It’s a balance, at least in the first three episodes, that Hoechlin, Tulloch, and series creator Greg Berlanti has wonderfully navigated.
Superman & Lois is a boost for the CW and their slate of superhero shows. With Arrow having already left the network and Supergirl on her final run, the CW’s ArrowVerse was beginning to get a little thin. They still have The Flash, which is hanging in there in its eighth season, Black Lightning, and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, but Batwoman has pretty much fallen off a cliff and by the looks of it, may not recover.
The CW needed some luck with Superman & Lois and they definitely got it. The hope now is, after their strong pilot and ensuing two episodes, that fans will continue to flock to the new superhero show. If the numbers from iTunes and Google Play are any indication, the freshman season of Superman & Lois should continue to succeed. Obviously, the CW is happy as it gave Superman & Lois a second-year renewal after the premiere, making it the fastest CW series to get a second year. Previously, the fastest for the CW was The Flash, but it took two weeks for that to come.