Great superhero adaptations don’t limit a fan’s understanding to the character from the comics. It expands upon them and allows the viewer to see nuances that could have been overlooked before. Many shows focus on the action and the villain. But it’s the characters themselves that should be the focus and highlight. This is what Superman & Lois undoubtedly excels at. Watching Superman (Tyler Hoechlin) with his sons has taught me that Clark Kent is just as heroic as the Man of Steel. He isn’t just strong on the outside. He’s strong on the inside too — both in mind and in character. To be sure, he’s not perfect. As a father, Clark constantly makes mistakes, but he’s honest. You can feel his genuine presence on the screen and can’t help but root for him both while wearing the cape or the glasses.
Another character that’s shown surprising growth is John Henry Irons (Wolé Parks). I don’t know nearly enough about his comic character as I should, but watching him in this show has been a pleasure. He’s gone from a tortured man consumed by rage to an ally that’s also struggling to raise his child. He might not have powers, but he has taken on a role that I imagine Lex Luthor might if he and Clark had become legitimate heroic friends.
And then there’s Jordan (Alex Garfin). Great superhero stories are able to take the real and the familiar and expand upon them in a fantastical way. Yes, Jordan has super powers, but his struggles are that of any normal teenager in love. You can feel his pain and heartache when he’s told by his girlfriend’s mother that she’s better off without him. Not to mention the very awesome scene that grounds Superman’s training in a manner that hasn’t been done before. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is expanding into television with Disney+, but Superman & Lois is somehow giving it a run for its money.
Superman & Lois airs Tuesdays on The CW.