Superman makes his epic return to television… and Smallville, once again.
The CW reintroduces the well-known superhero to the Arrowverse lineup. This version of Clark Kent and Lois Lane first made their debut on Supergirl, but based on the pilot, it’s clear that Superman & Lois will allow Tyler Hoechlin and Elizabeth Tulloch to explore the characters outside of the rushed and compact constraints of their sister-series (or cousin-series if you will).
And when that happens – they soar to new heights!
Regardless of whether you’re a fan or not, Superman is a character we’re all familiar with through various comics, movies, animated shows, and TV dramas. But for the first time ever, we’re meeting a Clark Kent that’s hoping to be a father first and foremost.
With family drama at the forefront, the show offers a much different experience than the other superhero dramas while also embracing a more character-driven narrative and a raw and unfiltered sincerity that’s much appreciated.
For this Clark Kent, raising twin teenage boys – Jordan and Jonathan – is equally as important, if not more, than his responsibilities protecting the rest of the world.
It’s a side of Clark that hasn’t been explored much, which many fans have said was a “turn off” from tuning into the show.
And I’d agree, initially. My reaction to the trailer and premise was “ugh, teenagers, because, let’s be honest, the idea of a superhero juggling parental responsibilities doesn’t seem all that exciting on paper.
But surprisingly, it works really well as, maybe for the first time, it makes Superman more relatable and down-to-Earth. Alien abilities aside, he’s just a “meh” dad who regularly misses important family events and definitely has a favorite son.
He’s also accused of abandoning his hometown and raising privileged city teens who are far removed from the harsh and bleak realities of Smallville, which Sarah (the daughter of Clark’s high school sweetheart, Lana) sums up as “a sadness” with communities overrun with drug addiction. That’s briefly mentioned but not truly tackled in the pilot, so we’ll see if it comes into play in future episodes.
After getting fired from the Daily Planet (even Superman experiences job cuts and layoffs) and losing his beloved mother, Clark and Lois uproot their lives and leave Metropolis for the small-town appeal of Smallville, his childhood stomping grounds, where they plan to restart the farm and live a more low-key life.
Clark’s desire to be more dad and less Superman might not be what fans signed up for, but the action never takes a backseat despite his desire to be more present in the boys’ lives.
The supersized pilot episode kicks off with an efficient montage that briefly sums up Clark and Lois’ history in a few minutes. It skips from his pod crashing in Smallville to the couple meeting for the first time at the Daily Planet to their wedding, and other milestone moments.
Their established and secure relationship allows us to move past the first-love and romantic struggles that tend to be at the forefront of other Arrowverse shows, and it’s refreshing to see a TV couple defy all odds and work together through the everyday problems that arise.
However, this is still a CW series, so those soapy high-school romances you anticipate from every teen drama are centered around Jonathan and Jordan. For now, Jonathan seems to have a stable girlfriend at home (can’t see that one lasting), while Jordan makes a few missteps with Sarah. Do I smell a love-triangle brewing? At this point, I’m conditioned.
The small-town, high-school aspect of the series strongly delivers on showrunner Todd Helbing’s desire to draw inspiration from shows like Friday Night Lights and Everwood, and it’s largely why it feels like a standalone series from its Arrowverse counterparts.
The twins are polar opposites; Jonathan is a star quarterback and all-around popular kid, while his brother, Jordan, feels like a loner and struggles with social anxiety disorder.
And while they initially seem pigeon-hold into their roles, the series quickly breaks free from tired tropes and cliches as their performances gain depth and they emerge on their distinct paths.
Kent doesn’t waste any time filling in his son’s of his secret identity, though, it’s such a bummer to see the series play into the secret identity issue. I can understand others possibly not putting two-and-two together, but how inept do Jordan and Jonathan have to be in order to be fooled by some steel spectacles protecting the identity of the Man of Steel.
Parents get away with lying to their kids all the time, and with Jonathan’s extracurriculars, it’s more believable that he would be less perceptive of the situation, but since Jordan immediately picked up that something was off when they were nearly crushed to the death in the barn, you’d think he wouldn’t be fooled by a pair of glasses.
Initially, Clark isn’t interested in cluing his kids in about the truth and stripping them from their innocent childhood – after all, it’s a big secret to carry, and one slip up could cost them everything – but the barn incident is a catalyst as it establishes that one of the twins has powers just like their father. Even then, he’s hesitant about it until the twins confront him after finding the pod that brought him to Earth.
Clark becomes a sort of mentor while the superpowers become a bit of a foil to “life’s lessons” for the teens finding their place and purpose in the world.
Jordan struggles more than Jon, who can’t seem to figure out if being special is a good thing or if it makes him more of a freak.
Though, I do enjoy the idea of someone struggling with mental health and social anxiety disorder being painted as having superpowers. Heroes are always portrayed as flawless, but it’s about time that we explore the idea that a hero might not always wield confidence and courage right off the bat.
Amidst the family drama, there’s a subplot that focuses on Superman’s latest armored foe, Captain Luthor.
The action and fight scenes between these two deliver a blockbuster experience that almost feels too mature for The CW at times. There’s no denying that the visual-effects far excel what we’ve seen from other Arrowverse shows, and it elevates the experience to the point where it almost feels like you’re at the movies (if movies survive in the post-COVID world).
While there’s nothing new about the Luthor and Superman rivalry, this Luthor is unlike the ones we’ve come across before. For starters, he’s traded in his tux for a metal suit that allows him to compete with the likes of Superman. What do you think his deal is?
Embracing a longer-form arc with a compelling villain rather than doling out the disposable case-of-the-week villain is refreshing, as is avoiding the “group of computer nerds waiting to help the hero” trope.
It’s yet another way the series aims to carve a distinct path.
Sam, the general at the DOD, seems to be the only one in Superman’s corner, and that’s because he’s personally connected to him – he’s Lois Lane’s father and Clark Kent’s father-in-law. Let’s keep it in the family!
The series is called Superman AND Lois for a reason – Lois is a hero in her own regard.
She’s not just in her husband’s shadow or reduced to taking care of the kids in his absence; she has her own career as a successful and inspiring journalist.
After Morgan Edge buys the Daily Planet and sets his sights on Smallville, something doesn’t smell right to Lois and she vows to do something about it.
Edge and Kyle, Lana’s husband, both strike the note of “villain.”
Despite being a necessary counterpoint to Lois, Kyle defends Edge and believes his interest in the town will provide some necessary job creation. It’s a socio-economic sub-plot that I find myself engrossed in considering how it relates to our current realities.
The pilot isn’t groundbreaking, but it does leave plenty of potential for the future by introducing compelling and dynamic characters and villains, stunning visuals, and a relatable family that just so happens to have superpowers.
The mature yet simultaneously teen-focused approach is a nice change of pace and sets the scene for a series that’s grounded and knows exactly what it wants to be – something entirely different from what we’ve seen thus far in the Arrowverse orbit.
Superman’s mass appeal and the rural setting, reminiscent of the previous Smallville (originally on The WB before going to The CW), will also work in its favor.
Alert the Smallville Gazette – we have a hit on our hands!
Superman & Lois Review – Edge Is [SPOILER’S] Brother (1×09)
Superman & Lois Season 1 Episode 9 was a powerhouse episode that put Morgan Edge’s plan for the residents of Smallville in motion.
Lois’s crusade against Morgan Edge was completely warranted, but it also made her a huge target.
She thought that she was being slick by enlisting Clark and Lana to help her gain intel, but Morgan Edge has always been one step ahead of her and put in motion a plan to get her eliminated.
It was really his only option considering Lois knew that he was using humans as vessels and putting alien consciousness into them.
However, how much of a threat could Lois really be with that information? It’s not like anyone would really believe her.
The attack on Lois and Jonathan when Superman was weakened and away was one of the first signs of the war that John Henry Irons warned them about.
The X-Kryptonite made Edge’s minions, including Kyle, immensely powerful.
And if he has an army of those, humans don’t stand a chance.
But it was never actually clear why Irons was scared that Superman would turn on the humans and join the Kryptonians until now.
In a jaw-dropping revelation, Superman found out that Edge is his brother!
I did not see that one coming!
In the comics, Superman never had a brother, which makes this such an unexpected and game-changing twist.
But even with the blood relations, Clark would never turn his back on his family. They mean the world to him and serve as his anchors, which I don’t presume the other world’s Superman didn’t have.
The whole showdown reminded me of Mufasa and Scar from The Lion King, but hopefully, in this situation, Superman finds a way to bring Edge down. After all, he had to make him pay for almost killing his wife and son.
Though, it’s funny cause it doesn’t seem like Edge realizes that Clark is Superman and thus, didn’t know he was trying to kill his brother’s family.
It’ll be interesting to see that pan out.
This also answers the “why Smallville” question that Lois couldn’t figure out. Not only does Edge has a personal connection to Smallville, but he needs the people who were exposed to Kryptonite long enough to accept its affects.
Sadly, Edge convinced all of them under the impression that they were bettering their lives and becoming the best versions of themselves.
If that sounds like a cult mindset to you, well, that’s because it is. Only this cult is the kind where they have absolutely no choice but to obey at the snap of a finger.
Kyle is also part of that cult, which is pretty terrible news for Lana. She tried to keep her husband out of it, but he was too devoted to Edge and fooled by the bullcrap he was selling.
You could tell Kyle truly regretted his decision after he blacked out and didn’t even remember attacking Lois and Jonathan. And also, why didn’t Lois call Lana to warn her about Kyle? I thought they were in this together.
The situation with Edge’s army now justifies General Lane’s decision to make batches of Kryptonite in the “just in case” event.
While it’s understandable that Jonathan and Lois might be upset that he created a weapon that could destroy their loved ones, the fact of the matter is that Superman is really powerful.
There was to be some way to control him if he ever went rogue or if that kind of power got into the wrong hands, which it has.
Lois and Jonathan are alive because of Sam’s invention.
The unfortunate part is that Sam didn’t have time to test the effects of the synthetic kryptonite, which weakened Superman for longer than usual and even got Jordan sick.
The fact that the kryptonite was airborne was the most surprising part of that whole thing, but it was fun to see Jordan manifest some new powers.
That poor kid has just been struggling this whole season and never really getting an explanation of what he can or should be doing.
- I hope Sarah forgives Jordan for not showing up to the performance. It’s a bummer that he cannot be honest with her, especially since what’s happening affects her in many ways.
- Why does Sarah dislike Tegan Wickhem so much?
- Did we all see Clark just bolt out of a diner in public? Wouldn’t anyone notice?
- The irony of Lois telling Jonathan she feels like a failure for not being able to keep them safe right before alien beings come after them and try to destroy them with heat vision.
- Lois’s relationship with her father is pretty strained, but he did protect her and her son so they are on the mend!
What did you think of tonight’s episode? And how are you coping after that brother of a reveal?
Superman & Lois Review – Morgan Edge Is Building an Army (1×08)
Superman & Lois dug deeper into John Henry Irons aka The Stranger.
Turns out, his warning about a Kryptonian army turning on humankind might not be so far off base after all.
But will the Clark Kent of this Earth become the Evil Superman that killed John’s wife and daughter?
That’s to be determined.
Superman took John’s warning at face value considering what he knows about Morgan Edge.
After all, this is the third person who is now exhibiting Kryptonian-like powers after coming in contact with Edge’s mines.
The first was Powell, then Tag, and now, Rosetti.
And if one of Edge’s superhuman men can infiltrate the DOD and get their hands on a weapon infused with kryptonite, well, that says a lot about their security and means that Edge already has a far and wide reach.
John basically confirmed Lois’s theory that Edge is building an army, but these people might be a vessel for alien beings.
Of course, John’s worried that Superman will turn on the humans and join his “own” people, which seems to have happened on his planet.
However, we know that unless Clark was somehow hypnotized or affected by what’s in those mines, he’d never do that.
For some reason, I thought that John knew that Clark Kent was Superman, but since that isn’t the case, he has no reason to trust Superman’s credibility.
Otherwise, he’d know that the Superman of this Earth would never turn willingly considering he has a family with two very human people in it.
After an intense interrogation to get answers and a stand-off during which John almost took out a weakened Superman, the two of them finally found common ground and were civil with each other.
John even reluctantly agreed to help Superman if the time ever comes.
And that’s key here. John is the only person who knows how this might pan out, so his intel will be crucial in bringing down Edge.
As a Supergirl fan, I’ve never seen a storyline wrap out so quickly, but I’m glad they aren’t dragging things out with John unnecessarily.
He’ll be a better ally than a villain, especially because he wasn’t a villain to begin with. He’s just a man trying to do what’s right and to help save a woman from suffering the same fate on this Earth that she did on his.
If it wasn’t for Lois Lane, I don’t think that John would’ve listened to reason as he was so consumed with grief and revenge. He wanted to, er, needed to avenge Lois and Natalie’s deaths so badly that he was willing to kill an innocent man for it.
Eventually, he realized that this Lois could never give him the closure he needed. She may look like his wife, but she isn’t her. He needed to find it on his own.
Superman wasn’t pleased with General Lane for housing a whole room of weapons that could destroy him.
While he never intended for them to be used on Superman, I can’t say I blame him for creating these experimental weapons.
It’s better to be prepared on the off chance that they need to use kryptonite to thwart a threat. If Edge really is building an army, they’re going to need it.
There are weapons that kill humans, so there should be something that could kill Superman in the event that he ever goes rogue. And it’s best that it’s locked up in a safe place like the DOD.
Lois was forced to deal with the past after a scary incident with Jonathan.
When he broke into the RV, he was simply trying to help his mother, who seemed too overwhelmed about what she saw in John’s files.
It’s one thing to find out that another version of you is married to the man, but it’s another to find out that you have a child named Natalie.
The latter part really hit home for Lois because on this planet, she miscarried a girl who they planned to name Natalie.
It’s painful to know that somewhere out there a version of you has what you’ve always wanted.
I still think that the other world’s Natalie is alive and will find her way to this planet, which would make things very interesting for the whole Kent family.
Lois’s pain was only amplified when Jonathan almost died. Lois blamed herself for losing Natalie, and if something happened, she would’ve blamed herself for Jonathan’s death.
Her outburst came from a place of fear, but I’m glad she recognized that it wasn’t fair and sought out counseling.
It’s so important to put a positive spotlight on therapy and seeking help when you need it. Confronting your pain is difficult, but it’s also necessary to move on and make amends.
Once Lois understood her feelings, she was able to have an honest conversation with Jonathan and explain why she reacted the way that she did.
Jonathan has been feeling a bit inferior next to his superhero dad and brother, which is why he broke into the RV in the first place.
I keep thinking that we’ll find out he also has superpowers, but the series is putting a lot of emphasis on him being a mortal, so maybe that isn’t the case.
Still, Lois and Jonathan are useful in other ways, and I’m glad she’s going to help him find ways to cope with his new reality.
In such a short timeframe, Jonathan and Jordan found out so much about their family, so it’s understandable that they’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and having trouble navigating it.
Jordan’s powers were at bay for much of the episode, but he was a hero to Sarah, who needed moral support at her audition.
When Kyle bailed, Jordan stepped in and played the piano for her. If Sarah doesn’t get the part, I will riot because that girl can sing!
Kyle wants to be part of Edge’s plan to revitalize Smallville so badly, but I wish he would just take a seat and let Lana handle things.
She’s trying to protect him in the best way she can, and one day when Edge is exposed, he’ll be grateful.
What did you think about the episode?
Do you think John and Superman are the key to bringing down Edge’s empire?
Superman & Lois Review – Man of Steel (1×07)
Metropolis is in danger, but it’s becoming quite unclear who the real threat is.
On Superman & Lois Season 1 Episode 7, we finally got more insight into the man known as Marcus Bridgewater, Captain Luthor, and finally, his real name, John Henry Jones.
Yep, turns out he’s not really a Luthor, and I can’t be the only one who isn’t a little bummed by that reveal.
To sum it all up, Jones came to this Earth to stop Superman from turning evil and destroying the planet. We get glimpses into what happened on his planet, and well, it’s not pretty.
Superman and his army — which we can only assume was created by Morgan Edge as Jones insists that Edge plays a role in the Earth’s demise and knows how it’ll happen (and it explains why he knows so much about Edge’s operation, to begin with) — is seen destroying buildings and hurting innocent people including Lois Lane.
On that Earth, Lois is Jones’s wife and the duo, who are madly in love, share a daughter.
That daughter, who Jones affectionately refers to as Nat-Bug, helps him build his super suit after her mother is killed on national television.
This explains why it’s so difficult for Jones to see this Earth’s Lois not only in cahoots with Superman but also married to him.
There’s just one little problem — the Clark Kent we know would never do what dark Superman did. At least not willingly and consciously.
Since we know Edge is involved and has his hands of X-Kryptonite, it’s safe to assume that the army he’s building will be programmed to kill and destroy. And the mineral will likely have an adverse effect on Clark that will make him fall in line and hurt others.
However, there’s also the possibility that Jones’s actions are contributing to the events that he’s trying to stop.
After all, he played right into Edge’s trap, which gave Leslie Larr the upper hand and allowed them to transport the batch of X-Kryptonite while no one was looking.
Speaking of traps, Superman walked right into Jones’s when he agreed to meet with him and then realized the man was actually the villain known as The Stranger, who was trying to kill him in the pilot.
Jones activated solar flares, which weakened Superman, and if it wasn’t for Jordan, Jonathan, and Lois, he likely wouldn’t have made it out alive.
It’s the first time we’ve seen someone return the favor and save Superman instead of the other way around.
Jordan’s superhearing kicked in, and though he struggled to control it, he figured it out just in time to help his father out.
Fans of Superman have always wondered how he can selectively hear everything and nothing at the same time, and it’s interesting to see Jordan get trained on isolating the sounds and not letting them overwhelm him.
However, I’m more impressed with Jonathan’s ability to pick up the hammer with such ease. There was a lot going on so maybe they didn’t realize that it was effortless for Jonathan, who only had one working hand.
If I were to guess, I’d say Jonathan has a different set of powers than his brother that will activate at any moment.
Jonathan has never shied away from the action, but it’ll be great if his role in the series is no longer to cover for his brother. How lame is that?
The whole incident convinced Lois that they need to be honest with the boys about what’s going on. I know they were trying to protect them by keeping secrets, but since there is an active threat against the family, they probably should be aware so that they can defend themselves in the future.
As Lois and Superman dealt with Jones, Lana started her first day working for Edge and tried her best to get Lois the scoop about his plans.
Lana’s heart is in the right place, but she has no idea who she’s messing with or what she’s getting herself into.
I don’t see this ending well for her at all.
Other Smallville Musings
- I’m not interested in a love triangle between the Kent boys and Sarah. Let’s stop that right now.
- Jonathan may have a new crush!
- Sarah is going to figure it out sooner rather than later, especially now that she knows Tag has powers.
- Will Nat-Bug come to this Earth to save her father, who is currently in captivity. He shouldn’t have promised her he’d be back soon… never make promises you can’t keep!
- Is Lois going to have to incorporate these new family members from a different reality into her life?
- Emily seems sweet, but she’s Edge’s top pick for the “Subjekts.” Will Lana blame herself?
What did you think of the episode? Will Jones be able to prevent a catastrophe?
Has Edge already gone too far? Let us know in the comments!
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