After the critical success of the 1990s ABC series, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and the unquestionably potent exploration of a young superman in The CW’s 2000s series, Smallville, it was inevitable that a network would come along and merge the essence of both successful series together: the importance of love and family in the face of absolute power. What is the purpose of power without love and family, and when both elements humanize power, how can they complement it? Enter Lex Luthor and Morgan Edge.
With less than five episodes into this season, The CW has already announced that plans are underway for a second season. This not only proves the company’s financial reach, but it also points towards the new series’ success with the viewers. Its 90-minute premiere drew 1.75 million viewers. There are various incentives to keep the series alive. What, however, should entice the unconvinced average viewer beyond bogus ratings from a cash grab characters’ pilot episode? Enter WKMUp.
Here are five reasons you should give The CW’s Superman & Lois a chance:
1. Superman is a Man
Antithetical and perhaps, counterproductive, the ethos of the character, Superman, has always been his ability to reflect the height of what it means to be human yet embody his humanity in an alien body. While we want to see the man of steel beat Doomsday or Lobo to a pulp and lead the Justice League to victory against Darkseid, we hold an intriguing affinity towards him largely because Superman doesn’t view mankind through the spectrum of supercilious hopelessness that alien characters (like Thanos) usually view our race with.
And in this new series, Superman (Tyler Hoechlin) couldn’t be any more human and humane. Now a father of two teenage boys, married to Lois, and living a quiet family life in Smallville, his childhood town, what ails superman, more than keeping earth safe, is how he must connect with his teenage sons and wife. The action sequences come along, and they are gorgeous, but now, his decisions are heavily conversant with his family. This is a very different portrayal from how we expect the hero.
2. This isn’t About Superman Alone
As the title suggests, it is also about Lois Lane (Bitsie Tulloch). And credits be given where it is due, the writers portray her in the fore, as an equal driver of the plot—and, indeed, even though it should be difficult to write Lois into a secondary role, writers have done it countless times. Here, Lois has her personal war with her personal villain, Morgan Edge (Adam Rayner), largely independent of Superman’s battle with “The Stranger”. Expectedly, these battles will merge towards the end of the season, and the power family will become one in saving the world.
3. Superman’s Kids Are Supers
Be rest assured, that will be the last super, superman, or super-powered pun here. But it is intriguing and, perhaps, relieving, to find that Superman’s children, Jonathan (Jordan Elsass) and Justin (Alexander Garfin), are both manifesting powers. Although not as potent as Superman’s yet, it is already a possibility that they will be involved in the finale’s battle. Will they have suits? What a sight that would be. The boys deal with the same troubles Superman dealt with as a teenager. Imagine 2000’s Clark from Smallville but much more erratic.
4. The CGI isn’t Shit
While TV series often have the drama they tell at stellar level, the CGI usually fails them; the dragon in Merlin (2008), the dinosaurs in Terra Nova (2011), Medusa’s hair in Inhumans (2017). Couple that with the consideration of Game of Thrones’ $15 million CGI budget, and you realise it is wise to question how Superman & Lois would fare with Superman’s alien enemies. It is the third episode now and the CGI has been quite impressive. Superman has lifted a bridge, frozen a villain with his breath, has run at super speed, and has flown into space. None of it feels like the collaborative effort of a toddler and a failed artist. If the show keeps this up, then we are in for a visually scintillating final battle.
5. Lex Luthor is Super Powered…and Black
While changing the race of staple comic characters isn’t a new phenomenon, it still feels bizarre to see Lex Luthor (Wole Parks) as a black man. But that is secondary, with what is more arresting here being how his fights with Superman aren’t brain vs brawn. Here, Luthor matches Superman punch for punch and they have some satisfying battles without the shady usage of kryptonite or dirty tricks. Luthor solely fights from a place of anger and the knowledge that he can match Superman’s powers. Where this will lead to, considering Superman must deal with family drama, can only be waited upon. But wherever it is, there is much wisdom in hopping on the Super-train now to find out. I know. I know. Forgive one last super pun.