There have been multiple attempts to update Superman in the last few years. DC Comics decided to reboot him with a new costume and a new attitude and Zack Snyder made him grim and gritty. Color me shocked that the best way to update and humanize Superman was accomplished on the CW of all places… just give him human problems with his human family.
Yes, Superman has a family now. He’s married to Lois and has a couple of teenage boys (thanks to some Crisis on Infinite Earths shenanigans which isn’t really important to know as Superman and Lois never mentions Crisis or any of the other CW shows and pretends that Supes has always had kids). This is such a deceptively brilliant move as it paints Superman in a role that the casual viewer has never seen him in: Not only a father, but a distant father who choses to hide his gifts from his teenage sons.
The first episode has a lot of changes in Superman’s life. He’s lost his job, he has a personal tragedy, and a new villian is poking his head over the horizon, but the most important takeaway from Superman and Lois is that blue tights and superpowers aren’t the focus… the focus is on characterization and the new family dynamic that we have found our boy in.
The plot isn’t anything special, but Tyler Hoechlin injects so much heart into the role that you cannot help but instantly fall in love with this emotionally struggling Superman. I’ve been saying since he first appeared on Supergirl that Hoechlin is one of the most underrated actors… if not one of the best actors to don the cape. He’s got an innocence about him, a radiating wholesomeness that is absolutely infectious. This is a Superman who believes in the best of people and you cannot help but feel that optimism as well, no matter how dark things get.
Overall, I’m more than happy with this first episode of Superman and Lois. This show has been a long time coming, I love the characters, the events brought a tear to my eye once or twice, and, as a long time fan of Superman, it’s nice to see someone not reinvent the wheel, but rather take that wheel down a new road.