Though he’s made prior appearances, the Man of Steel officially joins the Arrowverse full time in the new series, Superman & Lois. Fans are excited because this marks the first time a member of DC Comics’ Trinity will have a regular show in the shared TV universe. But how does the famous pair’s first outing fare?
The pilot begins with an efficient and quick montage covering the origin of the superhero and the events that lead up to the present. It serves as a nice refresher to Superman’s past but is easy to follow for those unfamiliar with the character. It also sheds some light on how this version will be different. He marries Lois Lane and together they raise twin boys. Tragedy strikes the family and the Kents find themselves returning to Smallville.
In Superman & Lois, the personal lives of the main characters are uninteresting. There are many clichés starting with how completely opposite the children are. Jonathan is outgoing, likeable, and a star football player while Jordan is an introvert that prefers video games and suffers from social anxiety.
Clark’s inability to connect with Jordan is portrayed as if he plays favorites throughout the episode, which doesn’t feel on brand for Superman. The move to the rural setting tries to serve as social commentary on the decline of small-town America but comes off as superficial comparisons between city and country living.
For a show with two people in the title, it sure likes to focus on only one of them. Lois is relegated to the sidelines but maybe the audience is more attracted to Superman and thus his lion’s share of screen time in the pilot. Elizabeth Tulloch does make the best of her scenes making Lois the loving mother and the glue that holds the family together. She is definitely the parent that both boys feel most comfortable with.
There are the hopes of a team up as the titular pair explore the shady dealings of Morgan Edge, a rich mogul who’s taken a great interest into Smallville. Across any medium the Superman and Lois dynamic is entertaining when they work together combining the superpowers of the former and the investigative journalistic skills of the latter. It will be nice to see this as the story progresses.
The series is far more successful when it focuses on the superhero elements. Of course, there are scenes with Superman saving the day. The special effects are well done with high production value showing off his abilities. The moment he reveals his true identity to the twins is especially awe-inspiring as he lifts up a truck and the camera takes a 360-degree shot.
A close second is the part when his son’s powers manifest. The accompanying soundtrack conveys the emotions he’s feeling at that moment. Composer, Dan Romer does an all-around great job scoring the episode and making the viewer feel something.
There is even a big globe-trotting fight scene where Clark encounters the mysterious Stranger, who will probably be one of the main antagonists this season. The villain’s main motivation is to expose Superman and show the world they don’t need him. The big reveal of who the Stranger is might not be surprising but the version that is introduced is very intriguing and I can’t wait to learn more.
The series premiere of Superman & Lois is a mixed bag with engaging superhero elements but a lackluster look into the family life of the Kents.
Episodes of Superman & Lois air Tuesday nights on The CW.
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