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
Superman & Lois Review – Uncontrollable Forces (302)
Superman & Lois Season 3 Episode 2 delivered such an intense blow, revealing that the main villain this season would be less supernatural in nature and something that affects quite a lot of people—cancer.
Coming off of Lois’ pregnancy scare, the cancer diagnosis wasn’t entirely surprising, but it was heartbreaking to watch her try to come to terms with it first, then share it in such a bold way with Judge Regan (and Clark) before finally clueing in her family that everything would be changing.
Lois informed Clark of the inflammatory breast cancer, which is rare and aggressive, and I can’t help but think that everything that happened in the mines is somehow to blame.
But that’s still my attempt at trying to deflect from the very real situation at hand, which will play a huge role this season. The “why” doesn’t matter, it’s the “how we fight it” that does.
As Clark mentioned, Lois is the strongest person he’s ever met—there’s no situation she isn’t equipped to handle—so there’s no doubt in my mind that she’s going to beat this. However, the road to the end likely won’t be pretty and will take a toll on her and her loved ones. She’s always been the source of support, but she’s going to need to rely on them more than ever.
Personal matters are made even worse when there’s a menacing threat looming large, with Mannheim’s zombie-like experimental trials that involve Onomatopoeia, who just took out the former mayor, George Dean, in a rather gruesome way. It was evident that Dean got into bed with some bad people and they came for him almost immediately following the change of hands.
Lana heard the whole thing go down, so it’s understandable that she was rattled. The jist of their deal or partnership was never made known to Lana, who took the reins as Mayor of Smallville, though Dean did give her a call right before his death to lead her to a mysterious USB hidden behind the seal in his office.
Take this as a reminder never to plug in random and unknown USB drives because they can wreak havoc—and apparently summon the former mayor’s murderer, who created an office nightmare with papers flying everyone and laptops shattered into pieces. She also stole the drive, so we’ll never know what was on there, but thankfully, Lana and John Henry Irons got away unscathed.
While not much is known about Mannheim and Onomatopoeia’s goals, the latter was pretty thrown off by the fact that John, who she recalls killing, was very much alive. I can understand how this would be confusing, but trust us, there’s a logical explanation!
In the Superman & Lois season premiere, things between Kyle and Chrissy heated up—and that spark is still there when they briefly meet up while working Dean’s crime scene—and now, Lana and John are giving me “soon-to-be” couple vibes.
And honestly, what’s stopping them? Lana signed the papers, so she’s officially divorced from Kyle, there’s an evident connection between her and John, and she’s in the know about all the super secrets so he can be totally open and transparent with her. I’ll be honest, this transparency is refreshing. Nothing is standing in the way of John and Lana, especially as they are both single and lonely people who could, frankly, use the company. Plus, Sarah and Natalie are already like sisters anyway.
Before Jonathan and Jordan’s worlds came tumbling down with Lois’ cancer news, they experienced one carefree high school day, traveling to Metropolis for a party. Turns out, those Metropolis kids kind of suck—and are super stuck up. Not to mention, they don’t stand a chance against Sarah and Jordan in beer pong. The fact that they were dominating everyone didn’t sit well with the birthday boy, who tried to exert some kind of power move over Jordan before Sarah, his ex-turned-best-friend, stepped up to the plate and doused him with beer.
The guy is lucky because Jordan is capable of so much more. People think it’s so fun to bully him because he’s different and quiet, which makes him an easy target, but Jordan could wipe the floor with that guy, and part of me wishes he did. Though, props to Jordan for having such a good grip on his powers and not losing his temper when it would have been totally valid. Plus, his payback idea was even more brilliant—icing the guy’s car seems like a pretty good use of superpowers.
As for Clark and Lois’ time in Metropolis, they were teaming up like in the good old days for a story that involved questioning Judge Regan about her decision to reverse her decision and free Henry from prison. She chalked it up to his tumor, but when Lois pressed for more information, she hit a nerve with a team of “fixers” coming to shut down the interview and relay a message to Regan, who then proceeded to attempt jumping off the building.
Lois was able to talk her down by simply finding a way to connect and empathize with her. She didn’t have to dig hard because she was all too aware of what it felt like to deal with a situation that felt impossible and as though it had no resolution in sight. The one thing that matters most is that they stay strong and face the danger headfirst.
Regan may be scared, and she has every right to be considering how things turned out for Dean, but she also has Superman on her side, who will do anything to protect her. She can tell her new superfriend everything she knows, and maybe, just maybe, he’ll be able to stop Mannheim and whatever plan he has in motion that involves reviving dead people.
He says he’s just helping his community, but that’s far from the truth if he’s actively killing people.
What did you think of the episode? Do you think Lois will beat cancer? Will Sarah and Jordan find a way to stay just friends? Will Kyle and Chrissy go back to the formalities? Will Lana and John spark a romance? And how will everyone who knows Clark’s secret rally together to stop the new enemies?
Superman & Lois
Superman & Lois Season 3 Premiere Review – Closer
Superman & Lois made its grand return on Tuesday night, March 14, and season 3 wasted absolutely no time getting back into the action while also nailing the balancing act of throwing in plenty of emotional moments that resonated with the show’s family-first theme.
At the kickstart of Superman & Lois Season 3 Episode 1, Lois pointed out that it’s been 27 days since the world almost ended, which has brought everyone closer together. When you almost lose the people that matter most, you never take them for granted. For the Kent couple, that meant tapping into their romantic side, so much so that they had a pregnancy scare, though, I use the term scare very loosely because, by the end of the hour, both were in agreement that they would be open to welcoming another super baby shortly after celebrating Jonathan and Jordan’s 16th birthday with a very Smallville-like celebration.
A baby wasn’t in the cards for them at this point, and while it’s a bit of a bummer, it’s probably for the best since Clark’s plate is pretty full with two new villains, including Bruno Mannheim, the boss of Metropolis’ Intergang, responsible for killing this earth’s Johny Henry Lyons, who is also the brother of Lois’ doctor, who is still concerned/curious about what’s causing her pregnancy-like symptoms. And while that’s a lot to digest—also same. Is Lois going to be subject A and develop symptoms from the near-apocalyptic showdown of last season? Only time will tell.
Another realization stemming from the earth’s near destruction is the need to prioritize one’s own self-happiness. Despite Jordan’s feelings, Sarah knew that she simply needed to take time away from their relationship to find herself, and she asked him to respect it. It’s a tough situation to navigate for a teen boy, especially since she’s the only person that knows about his powers, but I believe that the time apart is good for both of them. Sarah needs to figure out who she is and what she wants, while Jordan needs to focus on his training right now. He doesn’t need any distractions, but a good friend is always welcome.
Good friends are the backbone of Smallville as the episode digs into the strong connections between Lana, Clark Lois, and Chrissy. Since Lana and Chrissy are both clued into Clark’s superhero identity, my guess is that they will play a huge role in the super events that will follow, which I’m also assuming involves former Mayor Dean. It’s nice to see Lana take charge and really go above and beyond for the town, trying to undo the mess that he left behind, but it’s a bit scary when his warning comes off as more menacing than just a threat about uncovering his cooked books. I’m going to go out on a limb and say he made a deal with some bad people like Mannheim, and so it’s a good thing she has Superman on her side. Did anyone also pick up on some romantic energy between Lana and John Henry? The moment was brief, but when he defended her, it was electric.
The end of Lana and Kyle’s relationship was also addressed, with the former finally signing the divorce papers after stalling for quite a bit. It’s heartbreaking to see the demise of this relationship, but it makes sense in terms of their characters. They weren’t serving each other anymore, held together only by memories and a fondness of what once was. Lana is in a different place in her life—and she’s thriving.
And while Kyle might not be there just yet, the next phase of his life is about to start. I truly didn’t expect for things between Kyle and Chrissy to take off, but I’m so glad it did because it just makes sense. Chrissy made it clear that this was a one-time occurrence, but we all know that’s not the case, and when Lana finds out, it’ll be, as Chrissy suggested, very messy but also a fun shakeup. Small towns, am I right?
While Jordan is training to become his father’s sidekick—and he has a long way to go because his desire to help with the tower in Malaysia was probably not his best moment)—Jonathan was also looking for his thing, which turned out to be as simple as passing his driving test. It might not be flying, but it’s his freedom, not to mention a right of passage. As the boys forge their own paths, the series really gets to underline their difference on a larger scale.
It was a bit of an adjustment to get used to the new Jonathan Kent. The recasting isn’t bad by any means—I’d actually say he fits in with the family more than the original actor–but even if pretty seamless, it’s an adjustment nonetheless.
And finally, the villains. As mentioned, Mannheim is on the radar along with a black-hooded figure that DC Comic fans may recognize as Onomatopoeia. There’s a big plan in motion in the Suicide Slums, and though it’s unclear how things will progress, I’ve heard the creative forces feel that Mannheim is a formidable foe for the super family. Spoiler alert—Lex Luthor will also be making his appearance with The Walking Dead alum Michael Cudlitz in the supervillain role.
I’d imagine John Henry Lyons, Superman’s other ally, will also be pulled in considering he’s fighting for justice for his doppelgänger on this earth. It’s deeply personal.
Another surprising yet wholesome moment during the episode involved Natalie and Sam Lane. It’s easy to forget that on her world, Sam was her grandfather, so it’s understandable that she’d be eager to forge a relationship. Though Sam expresses interest, she quickly learns that he’s nothing like the man she knew as he only seems interested in getting to know her to recruit her for the DOD Academy. Eventually, he realizes the error of his ways and makes a genuine interest in forming a bond, which is just sweet. He doesn’t always get it right the first time, as we’ve seen with his daughters, but he does get it right. I will say, however, that while John Henry wants Natalie to have a normal life, her life is far from it and it never will be. She’s smarter than anyone in this town, so not only would the DOD benefit from having her around, but she’d also benefit from it.
What did you think of the Superman & Lois Season 3 premiere episode? Are you as excited about this season as I am? Hitting refresh seemed to put things into perspective and allow the series—and the characters—to grow.
Superman & Lois
‘Superman & Lois’ Season 3 Trailer Teases a Pregnancy and Reveals New Jonathan
Superman & Lois is gearing up for its third season to take flight.
It was previously announced that the season would land on The CW on March 14, but now, the network is giving fans a first look at what’s to come.
The most shocking development that’s revealed mere seconds into the trailer? Lois (Bitsie Tulloch) informs Clark Kent (Tyler Hoechlin) that she might be pregnant. As you can imagine, he’s a little befuddled and overwhelmed, considering that he carries the weight of the world on his very strong and muscular shoulders. The teaser also reveals that Lois is taken hostage, with Superman leaving her behind because “lives were at stake.” Will she miscarry after going through a traumatic experience?
Elsewhere, fans are given the first look at the new Jonathan Kent played by Australian actor Michael Bishop, who is taking over the role following Jordan Elsass’ departure. Jonathan will seemingly help his brother, Jordan (Alex Garfin), explore his powers.
The official synopsis explains that season 3 kicks off “weeks after Superman’s blowout defeat of Ally Allston. Clark and Lois are now working at the Smallville Gazette together and enjoying small town life. But the Kents’ romantic bliss only shines a light on how isolating ‘the secret’ can be, as Chrissy struggles to balance a new love interest and her friendship with Lois. However, Lois’ own work-life balance is put to the test when an undercover assignment reveals a deadly foe that promises to change the Kent family forever. Superman would move heaven and earth for his family, but with a villain this merciless, even that might not be enough.
“Meanwhile, the Kent boys find themselves being pulled in opposite directions as Jordan discovers what a superhero-identity really means and Jonathan searches for purpose beyond the football field. Amid all this upheaval, John Henry is haunted by his doppelgänger’s past, leading to dangerous consequences for him and Natalie. Lana Lang and Kyle redefine their family post-separation, while Sarah explores what the future holds for her and Jordan now that she knows the truth about his powers. Having learned the hard way that no one else can be trusted to work with Superman, General Samuel Lane reclaims his post at the Department of Defense, only to face his own conflict in working with his grandson, Jordan.”
Superman & Lois Season 3 Episode 1 will be titled “Closer.”
You can also get more info about the final seasons of Riverdale and Nancy Drew here.
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