Superman. Truth, Justice and the American way. Anyone who says Superman is boring has clearly never read a comic book. He’s not as perfect as everyone thinks he is, but he never stops striving to save everyone and anyone he can. Sometimes by literally saving them from a disaster or getting attacked by supervillains, but most of the time, he saves us by inspiring us with hope and trying to be the best we can be.
The best Superman stories in any medium often reflect those ideas, like Grant Morrison’s All-Star Superman, Alan Moore’s For The Man Who Has Everything or if we’re talking about adaptations; the first two movies directed by Richard Donner and starring the late legendary Christopher Reeves.
Does Superman & Lois stand up to all that? Is it worthy enough to enter the legacy and canon of great Superman stories? After only one episode, it’s simply too early to say, but it definitely has the potential to do so.
First, while Superman & Lois is technically a spinoff series of Supergirl and the rest of the CW Arrowverse DC shows, you don’t really need to have watched them all in order to understand what’s going on. Showrunner Todd Helbing has opted for a brand new beginning tone to the plot, so this first episode brings you up to speed on Superman’s origin and what he’s been up to in the first several minutes of the episode.
Unfortunately, Arrowverse fans will probably be disappointed due to the lack of easter eggs or references to the wider Arrowverse. Still, it’s worth pointing out that this is just the very first episode. We still have time to expand and explore deeper into the Arrowverse in coming episodes.
That said, Superman & Lois looks incredible for a CW show. It’s clear that the CW has funnelled a lot more money and resources into this show compared to Supergirl or the other DC shows. The production value is very high for a TV series, and the visual effects look pretty decent as well. This show won’t get the same criticisms as Supergirl (horrible CGI), that’s for sure. The cinematography looks cinematic and Superman’s suit is gorgeous.
Superman & Lois very much explores the relationship between Clark Kent AKA Superman (Tyler Hoechlin) and his family, which consists of his wife Lois Lane (Elizabeth Tulloch) and his twin sons; Jonathan Kent (Jordan Elsass) and Jordan Kent (Alex Garfin). It puts an emphasis on how Clark has to juggle his responsibilities as Superman while dealing with his family.
I was initially afraid that the show would drown itself in stereotypes and tropes. While it does look that way at first (with Jonathan Kent as the popular, outgoing jock and Jordan Kent as the brainy, awkward loner), these characters have more depth as they develop throughout the episode. The main cast delivers great performances all-around with some heartfelt drama and not too much teenage angst. However, it’s still the CW so I’ll have to warn you to still expect some cheese and cringe-worthy teen shenanigans.
I’m very much excited for more episodes of Superman & Lois. Superman fans should rest easy and enjoy the ride; this might finally be the Superman series we’ve been waiting for.
FINAL SCORE: 80/100
We received an early access screener of the first episode courtesy of Warner Media.
Oh, I’m not done yet. Let’s delve into some easter eggs that I discovered in Superman & Lois Season 1 Episode 1 ‘Pilot’ below. Before that, I’m going to have to slap a few spoiler warnings first.
Action Comics #1
Earlier in the episode, we see a homage to the iconic cover of Superman’s first-ever debut in history; Action Comics #1, which was first published in 1938. It’s not exactly the same, but it’s close enough.
Jonathan Kent Superboy Reference
In one of the more emotional scenes (when the twins finally learn their father is Superman), Jordan cynically refers to his twin Jonathan as Superboy.
That’s clearly an easter egg to the fact that in the comics right now, Superman only has one son and his name is Jonathan Kent, who also goes by the name Superboy.
Captain Luthor Might Be An Established Villain From The Comics
Captain Luthor might actually be Alexander Luthor Jr. from Earth-Three in the comics. They both hail from a different Earth which was destroyed by the events of Crisis On Infinite Earths.
In Infinite Crisis, he plotted to bring back the Multiverse by manipulating events in the main DC Universe at the time. Perhaps this Captain Luthor has the same idea? We’ll have to wait and see.