While the first Arrow backdoor spinoff titled Green Arrow and the Canaries, starring Katherine McNamara, Katie Cassidy and Juliana Harkavy is still waiting for their series to get picked-up, Superman & Lois the series has already leap-frogged past the pilot stage and received a green light to go forward with production. For long time fans of the original DC characters created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, Superman and Lois is a show that many thought we would never get due to Warner Bros. having a long history of refusing to license any characters to the CW network that were currently featured in its movie universe. But with the future of the DCEU in disarray and no plans for Henry Cavil to reprise his role as the big screens version of Superman anytime soon, it appears the time has come for the CW to take a different approach with its own adaption of the globally beloved character.
Now ready to go forward with executive producer Greg Berlanti and The Flash’s former show-runner Todd Helbing at the helm, the show will star Tyler Hoechlin (Teen Wolf) as Superman and Elizabeth Tulloch as Lois Lane, who are both already established characters within the Arrowverse and will join the CW networks fall lineup for the 2020-2021 season. Unlike in the Superman films, the series is said to follow Clark Kent and Lois Lane while they try to balance their private lives as parents with their professional lives as journalists — as well as Clark’s life as a world-renowned superhero. At this point in the process, those are the only details that have been released pertaining to the shows overall narrative for the upcoming season, but recently a plot synopsis was leaked for the pilot episode of the series and it shed light on what the audience can expect when the first episode of Superman and Lois hits television screens in October.
The script, which is written by Todd Helbing and has a page count of 61, opens with Clark narrating a series of flash backs that begin with his origins and early days in Smallville, Kansas, then ends with him becoming the Superman we all know and love. These flash backs go on to explain how he eventually married Lois and started a family that includes twin sons, Jonathan and Jordan Kent. And for the record, that’s a unique plot twist on the source material that inspired Jonathan Kent’s original character creation in the comics and nobody saw that coming at all.
To add further intrigue to this dynamic, Jon and Jordan are revealed to be 13 years old when the series begins and are described as bring total opposites of each other that are both unaware of their father’s secret identity as Superman. While Jon is depicted as being stronger than the other boys his age and a star athlete, Jordan is characterized as having a darker personality due to a social anxiety disorder that leads to him living his life through his computer. It’s also here in the script where its hinted that maybe Jonathan inherited his father’s powers, but Jordan did not which is obviously a plot device designed to cause tension between them as the season progresses.
From there, the show jumps forward to the present day where Superman and General Sam Lane must work together to neutralize a nuclear reactor on the verge of imminent destruction. Once the disaster has been nullified, Superman returns home to his normal life just to be fired from the Daily Planet the next day due to the company being downsized after its acquisition by billionaire, Morgan Edge. Unfortunately for Clark, he never gets a chance to think about the future of his career before he hears a cry for help from his mother, asking him to “come home”. But when he arrives back at the farm, she’s already dead. The script concludes a few days later at Martha’s funeral where Clark runs into his childhood friend/sweetheart Lana Lang who tells Clark that she has something to tell him that’ll make him rethink his whole life which ends the episode on a cliffhanger of tedious suspense that’s sure to lead to mass levels of speculation going forward.
As a lifelong fan of DC comics and someone who considers themselves a near expert on most things Superman related, I have to admit I was not very confident that the CW would do a good job producing a show capable of meeting the high level of expectations I have when it comes to anything concerning the man of steel and his mythos. Even though the shows premise immediately gave me good vibes that were resonant of Lois & Clark, The Adventures of Superman series from the 1990’s, I couldn’t stop myself from feeling fearful that the CW would continue its trend of emasculating Superman like they’ve been doing ever since the character first appeared on Supergirl back in 2016. Time and time again, the Arrowverse has depicted Superman as always being second to his cousin Supergirl as he’s often been depicted as a hero who is incapable of handling himself competently in the heat of battle. It’s because of this prevalent trend that I found myself unwilling to get invested in this show at all.
But after reading the pilot script and getting a few details that shed light on the overall premise of the show, I must admit I’m now very much intrigued and somewhat excited to see where they go with this. After many days of careful consideration, I think the plot twist of giving Jonathan a twin brother as a result of the crisis crossover event is a good one that will give the show a unique dynamic that hasn’t been explored on the CW yet which should make it compelling. I think bringing Morgan Edge back into the picture is a good move and as long as he doesn’t end up being the main antagonist of the season, I’ll be happy to see him come back into the Arrowverse. I also feel like opening the series with the death of Martha Kent shows a lot of guts on the part of the writers behind the show because it’s a circumstance of the story that’s hardly, if ever, explored in the Superman mythos. Finally, the implication that Lana Lang has something of importance to tell Clark that can change his life makes me think there’s a small possibility that the writers could explore the prospect of giving Lana powers of her own like the New 52 story arc that turned her into Superwoman. If this were to happen, I feel like it would add yet another fascinating aspect to the show that will keep me engaged for as long as it’s interesting.
Overall, as a show that’s seemingly designed to be a hybrid of Lois & Clark, The Adventures of Superman & Smallville, I feel like the show has the potential and promise to be full of heart, mystery, and suspense. With organic writing and careful attention to Superman’s capabilities as a powerhouse hero on the same level as Supergirl, I expect Superman and Lois to be a crossover success for the CW network that can not only appeal to the existing fans of the Arrowverse, but also cause a new broader audience to gravitate toward it as well. Only time will tell.