The Pilot episode of Superman & Lois is finally here. We’ve met both of the leading characters in the Arrowverse during crossover season, but this is the first time we get a glimpse into the Kent/Lane home. Superman is all grown up, and so is Clark Kent. Clark and Lois are married with twin boys, and the biggest irony is that the teenage boys have no idea their dad is Superman!
So let’s talk about what went right in this pilot episode as well as the set up for their world. Tyler Hoechlin has done a wonderful job bringing both characters to life. His Superman is charming and sweet, and his Clark Kent is goofy and clumsy. It’s refreshing to see both sides played beautifully. Bitsie Tulloch embodies all aspects of Lois Lane, both as the tough as nails journalist and the better half to Clark Kent. Tulloch’s Lois understands that Superman has an obligation to protect the world as only he knows how, but she also knows that he has responsibilities as a father to their boys.
Lois is the one who wanted their sons to know who their father really is, but Clark was only trying to protect them. He never wanted his secret to be their burden. Unfortunately, there’s only so long this can be held from two boys who quite literally have alien DNA. As for the twins, Jonathan Kent is the more outgoing teenager. He’s the naturally (supernaturally?) gifted football star with a pretty great life in Metropolis. On the other hand, Jordan Kent is introverted and has been diagnosed with a social anxiety disorder. While the twins couldn’t be more different, their bond is apparent. They may pick on one another like all siblings, but you can see their connection and care for one another.
With Superman & Lois taking a new direction, the show starts with a punch to the gut. Clark is let go from the Daily Planet. If Clark isn’t a reporter, now what? Leave it to Clark and Lois to find a blessing in disguise. This is just what they needed to move their family back to the Kent farm in Smallville. With their concern over their boys potentially developing powers, it will be easier to keep an eye on them on the farm. Now, I won’t spoil anything, but I’ll give you one guess as to which boy we think will for sure have powers. And if the other son doesn’t have powers, how will that manifest through the rest of the season? It will be hard for him to not resent both his brother and father.
Superman & Lois has done a great job of utilizing color schemes that are similar to the DCEU, most notably Man of Steel. The use of red, orange, and yellow tones makes Smallville, Kansas feel warm and inviting. Meanwhile, Superman’s fight scenes are a bit darker and more gritty. It helps to set the tone for each of these scenarios. Another advantage to waiting until now for another Superman TV show are the graphics. While I thoroughly enjoyed Smallville, there was only so much they could do with Clark’s powers. In the Pilot we saw Superman’s flight, heat vision, ice breath and more, and all of the effects looked great. I’m sure they will be strategic when they use these effects, but so far so good.
Keep an eye out for more easter eggs for those who know their Superman lore. In the Pilot episode, we got a wonderful homage to the iconic cover of Action Comics #1, as Superman catches a car and gently brings it to the ground. Also, Jordan was playing the video game, Injustice, but not as Superman, since he’s lame. You’ve got to love teenagers. In Smallville, we meet the infamous Lana Lang, who seems to be struggling in her marriage and in her small town life. And don’t forget the rich and powerful, Morgan Edge, who is marking his territory all over both Metropolis and Smallville. And who is this villain we’re seeing? He sure knows a lot about Superman. Are we getting a famous Superman villain from day one?
I think what’s great so far with Superman & Lois is that they show life as complicated and messy. Even for Superman, things aren’t always sunshine and rainbows. After a particularly rough day, Lois quips, “No one ever dreams about their problems, but every life has them… even the extraordinary ones.” This show is very clearly not just another retelling of Clark Kent as Superman. This is a story about family, maybe not the most ordinary family, but a family all the same. I remember watching Smallville during my highschool and college years, and I’m glad it took until now to bring Superman back to our tv screens because Superman & Lois feels different, in all the right ways.
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