The New Adventures Of Superman & Lois

Hasbro’s first Marvel Fan First Friday of 2021 didn’t unveil a Marvel Legends of Polaris from The Gifted. This is both underwhelming (because she deserves one) & a relief (since I just made one). So although I may have jumped the gun on that, I’m arguably punctual for the series premiere of Superman & Lois! The Flash’s return was supposed to lead into this but got pushed back a week. (I’ll cover that next week ahead of Wandavision.) The CW let this series premiere run long & then put a special afterwards to fill up the remainder, but you didn’t miss anything if you skipped that. Do I need to make a specific tag for this show since its title is so close to the “Superman” one I already use? Lois & Clark had the better title. SPOILERS are up, up, down, down, & away!

The dour trailer worried me that this would repeat the mistakes of the movieverse. Luckily Tyler Hoechlin’s Superman is still a wholesome dork like he was previously. Elizabeth Tulloch remains a great Lois Lane even if she didn’t bring the hammer down on anyone in the premiere. I enjoyed it more than I expected to.

The new supersuit’s padded boulder shoulders make Clark’s head look too small. I prefer the surprise Golden Age costume he’s proud of his mom making. Give Superman back his trunks!

Superman

Kal-El grew up to become his adopted planet’s greatest valet parker!

Director Lee Toland Krieger, who previously helmed the pilots of Riverdale & CAOS, made the premiere episode’s cinematography resemble Man Of Steel more than a typical Beeboverse series. WB’s habit of embargoing character on TV if they’ll be on films is often counterintuitive, yet this the best argument in favor of “But we already have Superman at home.” With only thirteen episodes this season, it’s able to stretch its budget more impressively for Superman using his powers creatively to avert a nuclear meltdown.

The Kent family departs to Smallville when Clark’s mom buys the farm. I mean that in the colloquial sense, as the bank literally has a mortgage on the property. (Why didn’t Clark move his crib-ship from his family’s barn basement to the Fortress of Solitude?) I prefer the Post-Crisis status quo (the comics not television, as we’re reaching the era where every term that once had specific meaning become ambiguous) where Clark has two living parents as Superman, but live action disagrees. It turns out Martha Kent only got the second mortgage so she could provide aid to her struggling neighbors, which is more agency than Martha Wayne is typically granted. Now that Clark & Lois are taking over her farm, we can see whether the writers understand modern farming as poorly as journalism. They left Metropolis right after we found out Freeland neighbors it on Prime Earth.

Now that Black Lightning is ending, this is ripping off its family dynamic. (The CW isn’t even making “next time on” promos for it!) The Super Sons look too old. Were they conceived the day Lois met Clark? Since they only had an infant son Pre-Crisis, how awkward is juggling memories from two timelines for Lois & Clark? This show hasn’t broached that topic yet. These kids are less grating than anticipated. It turns out socially anxious Jordan is the one who inherited his father’s superpowers not Jonathan the jock. Neither kid seems upset enough that their parents are suddenly uprooting them to rustbelt Smallville where the townies are vicious.

Speaking of this replacing other shows, Supergirl is ending this season? But they just got her to Prime Earth! They announced it on Supergirl’s birthday too. I’m still disappointed they never had an episode with Melissa  Benoist as Power Girl while they still had the old multiverse.  

The pilot is self-contained so you needn’t worry about watching the rest of the Beeboverse. (I wish The CW would finally acknowledge it’s no longer merely the Arrowverse.) The whole slate was supposed to be doing smaller scale crossovers the season after Crisis, but Covid contamination concerns have kiboshed it. The planned team-up with the new Batwoman has been scrapped. Characters from Supergirl probably won’t show up until after her delayed final season wraps up the danglers from the last one. Diggle is still supposed to appear later as Green Lantern. (Will he meet his sister now that BL has confirmed it’s Lynn Stewart?) When will Steel enter the Beeboverse? I mean hammer-toting inventor John Henry Irons or Natasha Irons, not The Waverider’s guy who doesn’t wear his finned helmet enough.

General Sam Lane has been recast since his Supergirl days. Will his other daughter, Lucy Lane, who’s been missing ever since she got a promotion, be getting recast as well? Or is Lois now an only child in the new continuity? We’re getting a new Morgan Edge, despite Adrian Pasdar being a perfect smarmy blowhard, for Lois to take down too. That terrible tycoon had Clark Kent fired from The Daily Planet the same day his mom died! Hopefully Vartox will get a redo thanks to COIE!

Post-Crisis General Sam Lane feels less antagonistic than usual. He knows his son-in-law’s secret identity & has healthy working relationship with him. I am concerned the series will fall into the standard formula by having General Lane give Clark weekly missions. While I don’t think Superman ought to tacitly endorse the American military industrial complex, I don’t think he can oppose it in a meaningful way on a network series. He & his daughter talk long-distance to Superman with devices resembling Zippo lighters, which are less elegant than the traditional signal-watch.

Contrary to canon, Lana Lang ostensibly doesn’t know Clark was The Blur Superboy. She’s now a banker married to a boorish fireman unworthy of the venerable surname Cushing. As soon as Clark returns for the funeral, Lana looks like she’s thinking of how she’d love him to wreck her home. Smallville was on for a decade yet never had an episode where Lana Lang became Insect Queen? Don’t make the same mistake, Superman & Lois!

The mysterious Doomguy played by Wolé Parks is really Captain Luthor. Grodd forbid they try someone new! That’d explain why his Master Chief armor evokes a Lexosuit. Since John Cryer is already kicking ass as the Pre- & Post-Crisis Lex Luthor, there’s going to be a twist. Most likely he’s a remnant from the prior multiverse. Or he could be a Lex descendent who traveled back from the future.

Supergirl already introduced plenty of Superman’s rogues. If they don’t want to do Post-Crisis recasting for everyone, a few could just reappear. They went to the trouble of making armor for Reactron after all. As far as unused baddies goes, Bizarro & Brainiac are the obvious picks. Terra-Man could be fun since he’s a cowboy with the inverse origin of Kal-El. They’ve not done Conduit yet, but I might be the only person interested in seeing his Kryptonite tendrils. That’d still be a larger integer than than the amount of fans jazzed for the debut of Professor Thaddeus Kilgrave (no relation to Zebediah Killgrave.) I’d like to see Superman fight Atomic Skull based primarily on him resembling black-light Ghost Rider. Lar-On the Kryptonian werewolf & Rampage the orange She-Hulk would be cool monsters. Now can we finally have Solaris the Tyrant Sun?

Alexandra Daddario’s quarantine vlogs with Kate Easton are like Waiting For Godot if Godot was Tyler Hoechlin. Tyler snubbed their homemade dinner to practice his Superdickery. If their Heckle Hoechlin camapaign succeeds, they’ll battle him on TV. Daddario already has the perfect laser-eyes for Faora. Methinks she doth protest too much about not blowing up The Moon. Easton ought to be a supervillainess who constantly cackles, so let’s make that Lady Blaze’s key trait beyond the obligatory horns & crimson skin. It’s that or The Prankster, but only if they she can stick enough pennies in her ears. Kate’s ghost is relatable because she mukbangs.

If the rest of the series lives up to its pilot, it’ll be a strong entry in Superman’s media. (Nadria Tucker was fired from the writers’ room after voicing concerns about representation.) Because it doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel, however, means that it’s a tad familiar. Earlier adaptations may not have presented his mythos so well, but they average out to be roughly equivalent. Flashback montages zip through key moments. Do we really need another series set primarily in Smallville when Smallville ran so long? The most novel aspect are the Kent kids, which are also the element most likely to become grating if the show focuses on teen tropes you can get anywhere instead of high concept sci-fi. There’s already an emphasis on Clark reconnecting with his family, so expect them to go with the budget friendly option. I like Hoechlin & Tulloch as the leads, but it also feels like resources may’ve been better spent getting a less established property some televisual TLC. (The Wonder Girl show about Yara Flor has been aborted like  Green Arrow & The Black Canaries, but Naomi & Painkiller are still on the way. Give us back Swamp Thing!)

Superman & Lois shows you can give Superman emotional weight without making him a deadbeat stalker or a joyless Jesus symbol. The powerful bond betwixt its titular leads hold everything together. The pilot was much better than it needed to be, although doubts that the program will reach the highs of my ideal Superman series linger.

~

Lois & Clark, Smallville, & Supergirl might’ve failed us, but Riverdale picked up their slack to have Archie cosplay Jimmy Olsen the Giant Turtle Boy!

Instead of Breaking Bad, Bizarro World watches Mending Good.

Bizarro was an FBI pitchman.

Us is a Bizarro movie.

Let’s hear it for Htrae campaigning!

Spectacles are the ultimate disguise!

Superman used to etch ultimatums into planetoids with his eyes.

Superman was born on Leap Day like Frederic in The Pirates of Penzance. He can’t even legally drink alcohol yet!

Superman stole the sandal-boots of Hercules for Action Comics Annual #2! The gladiator costume is clearly “What if Steve Reeves played Superman instead of Christopher Reeves?” In the prototype for Injustice, Superman dressed like Gladiator of the Shi’ar Imperial Guard, who was an analogue of Superboy to begin with.

Superman, I moustache you a question.

Superman befriends dinosaurs.

Did Superman know Lex was going to become bald when he acquired his hairs?

Pulmonary gold disease reminds me of the time Lex Luthor got cancer because he wouldn’t remove his Kryptonite ring. Stanley Tucci should’ve been him  instead of Jesse Eisenberg. Someone found a use for all those BVSDOJ Lex Luthors clogging pegs.

Toyman still sells Total Justice toys?

Lois Lane vs. Cat Grant

Lois Lane is a centaur now & forever, no take-backs.

Power Girl is one of those characters who’s fated to be overshadowed by her wardrobe. While there’s an argument to be made that her boob-widow is impractical & sexist, none of her costume redesigns without it have been as memorable. (Her short-lived New 52 suit was almost good, although they should’ve used the version with bare arms to provide the missing pop.) It came as a surprise when I saw active wear that evokes her cleavage window, although often as two pieces combined. I suppose it is practical for keeping cool during exercise. So even though her sartorial choices is one of the factor keeping her off the A-list (combined with redundancy to Supergirl), Power Girl’s wardrobe has subconsciously gained a foothold in the athleisure world.

Editorial hamstrung Superwoman before it even got off the ground.

I got a survey from DC that asked if I liked Gail Simone’s art style & would like merchandise featuring it. I’m not sure if it’s a trick, but I gave her top marks anyway. If everybody who takes the Iconic DC Artists survey clicks they want to buy products featuring her art, DC Comics will be obligated to produce merchandise of Gail Simone’s artwork. Don’t fail; vote Gail!

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