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 Season Finale Review – Last Sons of Krypton (1×15)
Smallville, Superman, and John Lyons geared up for the biggest (and most personal) fight of their lives on Superman & Lois Season 1 Episode 15.
Everyone had something at stake in the battle against Morgan Edge — now the Eradicator — who turned the DOD’s men into Kryptonian fighters without even lifting a finger.
The residents were protecting their home from Edge and his Kryptonians, John Lyons was getting revenge for his late family, and Superman and Lois were not only trying to save their friends, but they also needed to get Jordan back, who had become a vessel for Zeta, Edge’s father.
Yep, a lot was riding on this to go well.
Being forced to fight your own son, even if he’s been body-snatched by an evil alien, isn’t for the faint of heart. Even Clark couldn’t hurt Jordan while he was channeling Zeta.
Thankfully, Jonathan was able to take the shot that others couldn’t when Lois went into Jordan/Zeta’s mind in order to find her son.
If it hadn’t been for Jon and Lois’s bravery, Jordan would’ve been lost forever. It’s cool that even without powers (he’s really good at staying calm in tense moments), he’s still able to help out and get involved.
It was also a cool moment to see the brothers levitating as they embraced — it never gets old.
Meanwhile, Superman and John teamed up to bring down Edge, and it took every bit of power that they had to pierce through his forcefield.
The two have proven that they make a great team on multiple occasions. In this situation, John put it all on the line and was willing to sacrifice himself in order to stop Edge.
Of course, Superman wouldn’t let him fall to his death, and he swooped him to save him right after they successfully made Edge a mere mortal.
It’s a good thing John survived because he’s the perfect person to take over the DOD. He has the experience along with the built-up repertoire with Superman.
Although, it is a bummer that General Lane is stepping down just as we were beginning to vibe with him.
Morgan Edge’s plans went splat, and Smallville came out stronger than ever. The people rallied together to overcome the crisis and come out on the other side.
Even Kyle redeemed himself and his reputation while getting his role at the fire station back.
By all counts, it was a pretty happy ending, but that’s also what made it too predictable.
Superman defeated Morgan Edge with ease, which seemed rather silly considering we spent a whole season on developing Edge as the almighty villain who is always one step ahead.
Getting Jordan back also didn’t present too much difficulty as Lois was able to tap into his subconscious and pull him back with little effort.
And finally, seeing John content with dying because he lost everything that mattered to him, including Natalie and Lois from the other planet, almost lent itself to Natalie’s arrival.
We never found out how Natalie died, so when a pod crashlanded on the Kent farm, it was obvious that it was hers.
Yet, predictable or not, it’s still a cliffhanger that’s going to change everyone’s lives.
John might not be so eager to take risks now that he’s gotten a second chance with his daughter.
Natalie, on the other hand, looked at Lois and saw her mother. If it’s hard for John to look at Lois and not see his wife, it’s going to be impossible for a girl who is still grieving the loss of her mother.
And Lois has always wanted a daughter named Natalie, so I can see her gravitating towards the motherly role naturally.
It will also affect her boys and her relationship with Clark. We can’t forget that on Natalie’s planet, Superman killed Lois and she watched it happen.
Lois can’t have two families, but knowing her character, it seems likely that she’ll want to fill in the shoes of her doppelganger from another planet. It’ll be interesting to see this dynamic unfold between them moving forward.
Other Smallville Musings
- Amidst all the chaos, Jonathan and Jordan both had time for a love life. Sarah and Jordan are the cutest. Is she ever going to find out the truth?
- The vibe at the barbecue was much different than it was when Lois and Clark decided to stay in Smallville. I’m glad Kyle finally came around.
- Lois bought half of the Gazette, which she plans to run with Chrissy. Dynamic duo, here they come!
- Will we get to see more of Jordan’s powers next season?
- Can Superman never call Morgan Edge his brother ever again?
What did you think of the episode? Did you enjoy the season?
What do you hope to see next season on Superman & Lois? Let us know in the comments below!
Superman & Lois Review – Morgan Edge Kidnaps One of the Kent Boys (1×14)
It was only a matter of time before Morgan Edge, who has now morphed fully into the Eradicator, went after one of the Kent boys.
Superman is nearly indestructible, but he has one weakness that Edge is privy to — he has a family that he would do anything for.
This can be used against him, and it also has the potential to manipulate his actions.
It’s why he keeps his identity a secret so that no one can have any leverage over him.
But the show is just as much about the Kent boys as it is about their father, so it only makes sense that they’d be roped into the dangers of his “career” at every turn.
On the penultimate episode of Superman & Lois Season 1, the stakes were raised when Edge kidnapped Jordan, the Kent boy that was exhibiting Kryptonian powers, and used his body as a vessel to bring back his father, Zeta Rho.
Poor Jordan just can’t catch a break.
This seemed to be the first phase of Edge’s meticulous plan. In fact, the whole attack on Metropolis (and yes, I did notice that they tried to pass off a shot of Chicago — which is supposed to be Gotham — as Metropolis) was staged solely to throw Superman, Lois, the DOD, and John Henry off his scent.
He knew that attacking the major city would draw out the group and thus leave the Clark boys unprotected.
And while they did have General Lane with them for the ride, he didn’t stand a chance against Edge. That should tell you exactly how dangerous he is!
I was hoping that maybe Jordan would tap into his powers and fight back against Edge, which would inform Sarah of his capabilities, but he seemed to succumb to the villain immediately.
At least he told her he loves her.
Jonathan managed to remember to keep his father’s secret even in such a dire time and told Sarah to run off and get Kyle.
Listen, if you’ve ever driven through a small town that consists of farms and cornfields, you know that the nearest house isn’t for miles.
Where was Sarah supposed to run in the dead of night? Were they by her house? What was Kyle going to do anyway? Ridiculous, Jonathan.
This moment was vital in underscoring how important it is for the boys to be equipped to fight off any evil that might target them.
Lois and Clark want to spare the boys from getting too involved in anything dangerous and keep reminding them to focus on high school things, but the truth of the matter is that they could get ambushed pretty much anywhere at any time.
This was proof. If they can’t fight back, they’re sitting ducks.
Jonathan was right in wanting to learn from John Henry. They need to be able to defend themselves and their loved ones at the slightest turn of events in the instance that Superman is unavailable.
Jordan ended up being the victim, but it was a close call for Lois Lane, whose death almost paralleled Lois’s death on John’s planet. On that planet, she was killed on national television by an Evil Superman, but this time, the threat was posed by Larra.
Thankfully, John, who was unable to save his Lois, was able to redeem himself by saving this planet’s Lois with his Thor-like hammer.
He. Never. Misses!
It may not bring his wife back, but I’m sure Lois is beyond thankful that he came through for her.
Who knew John would be such a blessing in disguise?
I don’t have that he’s Superman’s right-hand man in this fight. I really don’t.
He has the brains also as he was able to figure out that Edge must’ve turned himself into the Eradicator.
There were a few B-plots that permeated the episode, including Smallville’s downfall post-Edge and the townspeople turning on the DOD.
Both of those things were connected as the townspeople felt as though the DOD was an occupying force that was driving away business.
Trust was also broken amongst everyone, so it was no longer the tight-knit community it once was, which convinced Lana and Kyle to put their house up for sale and look for a fresh start.
Is it understandable? Totally. Their names have been tainted in town. Kyle, who was once a fire chief, was now being looked down upon.
However, since we know that they won’t actually leave the show, it’s hard to put any stock into the “we’re moving” storyline.
And even so, with everything going on, a long-distance relationship for Sarah and Jordan is the least of their worries right now.
The Clark and the Lane Cushing family’s are forever intertwined now because of their children.
What happens to Jordan affects Sarah and vice-versa. The series used the “best friend” card when it came to Clark and Lana, which was rare. It was easy to forget that these two were besties this season as Lana mostly dealt with Lois.
However, I think everyone is going to ask a lot of questions about why Jordan was targeted by Edge.
Mostly Sarah since she seems to be the one that is most observant.
The warning about mixing business with pleasures takes on a whole new meaning when it comes to the Kent family.
General Lane couldn’t even be honest with the people of Smallville because revealing the truth about Edge also revealed their family secrets.
It’s all too closely connected, and someone is bound to figure it out.
Jordan’s love life isn’t the only one flourishing as Jonathan and Tegan finally connected. Turns out that under that bitchy exterior is a down-to-earth girl with plenty of secrets of her own.
Tegan briefly mentioned that she moved to Smallville with her mom after her dad went to jail, so I’m wondering if we’ll dive deeper into that storyline or if it was simply meant to create a connection between her and Jon.
Once again, however, the relationship plot fell flat amidst all the action.
What did you think of the penultimate episode? Do you think Superman has a chance at getting Jordan back safe and sound? Or will he forever be affected by this experience?
Let us know in the comments, Cravers. We’ll see you next week for the Superman & Lois Season 1 finale!
Superman & Lois Review – Fail Safe (1×13)
The aftermath of Morgan Edge’s plan to take over the world was felt throughout Superman & Lois Season 1 Episode 13.
The town was trying to slowly pick up the pieces and make sense of everything, and sadly, that meant that all the blame continued to be placed on Kyle and Lana.
It’s unfortunate that they are the target of the town’s wrath since he wasn’t the only one welcoming Edge with open arms; everyone trusted the billionaire to better the town.
Unfortunately, Kyle was the most spoken out about his support for Edge, which made him the perfect scapegoat.
It didn’t help that the Mayor was also egging on citizens and placing the blame on the Cushing family.
Something tells me that Lana is going to try to run for Mayor in the near future, and if she does, well, she has my vote.
The kiddos (okay, fine, teens) also felt that all eyes were on them, so it wasn’t surprising that they decided to skip assembly and play hooky.
The only thing disappointing about that is that Jordan has super hearing and still got caught. Come on!
His relationship with Sarah is so pure that I can’t help but root for them.
The same cannot be said for Tegan, however. I’m glad that Jonathan was perceptive and called her out for hanging out with him only to gain information about what happened with Edge and how he was able to mind control people.
She was using him for her own benefit and could care less how it affected him.
Hopefully, Tegan is just a mean girl at school looking to boost her popularity and not actually some villain trying to get intel.
I’m hoping Jonathan’s luck changes soon because it’s been a rough go for him in the small town.
Lois struggled with juggling her journalistic integrity and being the wife of Superman and the daughter of the General of the DOD.
There are times where her connections come in handy, but in this case, she couldn’t tell the truth about what happened with Edge without risking her family’s safety.
Chrissy caught her in the lie, which didn’t go over very well, and Lois searched near and far to find another story that could remedy the situation.
Eventually, Sam gave Lois a statement that allowed them to write a piece putting all the blame on Edge rather than the citizens of Smallville. Sadly, the town shouldn’t need some note from the DOD telling them Kyle isn’t to blame; they should’ve just trusted the man they knew their whole lives instead.
For that reason, I could understand Kyle’s frustration with the situation. These people were supposed to be his friends and family and the people who had his back rather than those who turned on him the moment the opportunity presented itself.
Lois also struggled to see eye-to-eye with Superman, who told Sam that he shouldn’t get rid of the 7743 weapons. It makes sense that there would be a fail-safe against Superman in the rare event that he was corrupted and manipulated.
Superman is the most powerful being, and the people of Earth should have a weapon that could stop him if it comes down to it. Nothing in this world should be indestructible.
Lois was approaching the situation as Clark’s wife, so she was obviously against anything that could harm him, but she wasn’t thinking of it from the point of view of every other human being on the planet who didn’t personally know Superman.
It was refreshing to see Superman acknowledge that he isn’t perfect and could potentially lose control.
He now knows what it’s like to go to the dark side, and while he’s going to fight it every single moment of every single day, there’s a war brewing that proves he shouldn’t be able to go unchecked.
Sam meant well by offering to get rid of all the weapons, but at the end of the day, it wasn’t a sound call.
It became personal, which is never good.
Instead, Sam should’ve been more focused on locking up the weapons so that they couldn’t get into the wrong hands.
And that’s why John Lyons will be the ideal gatekeeper for 7734.
He came to this planet with the sole purpose of stopping Superman.
It might not have been necessary, but it also makes him the right man for the job of keeping the only weapon that could destroy him.
John also has no stake in it — he doesn’t work for the DOD, and while he likes Clark, he’s also not going to hesitate to take him out if he poses a threat.
Plus, he already proved that he’s trustworthy as he knows Superman’s real identity.
Who knew John would become one of the Kent family’s closest confidants? Also, is anyone else really excited to meet his sister?
This is the second time they mentioned her, so she must be crucial to the story!
Edge was sitting in captivity for most of the episode and struggling to silence the voices in his head.
However, the flashbacks played a much bigger role as he eventually pulled the trigger and did what he promised his father he would — he became the one he was chosen to be.
Edge turned into the Eradicator and then began siphoning the powers of the sun.
All I’m going to say is good luck to Superman — he’s going to need it.
Is Leslie Larr going to help them defeat the Eradicator?
Is there anything on the planet that can destroy him since Kryptonite doesn’t seem to work anymore?
Hopefully, John has some insight here!
What did you think of the episode? Do you find Lois as relatable as I do? Do the Kent twins hold a special place in your heart? Are you terrified for Superman’s upcoming battle with his brother-turned-weapon? Let us know in the comments below!
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