I just finished watching the Superman & Lois extended pilot and I can honestly say it was not what I was expecting at all. It doesn’t really resemble the other arrowverse shows and it even less so resembles past Superman shows. It more so feels like a family drama with a Superman mask over it. With that being said, it’s not a bad pilot per se, it’s just a very different angle on the man of steel.
The show begins with a flashback montage that catches us up on this Superman and the changes that Crisis has brought to his world, and there were a lot. Basically, the entire timeline of this Superman has changed from what was established in Supergirl. But that isn’t really a problem, Crisis gave the writers the perfect opportunity to rewrite the character’s past to line up with the story they wanted to tell. Also in this sequence, we get to see Superman’s original suit, which is an homage to the old school Fleischer style Superman suit. And personally, I love that we finally got to see this suit in live-action. It’s not a suit that would ever work as a modern Superman’s main suit, but for an original suit, it really does work.
Once we move back to the present and get a look at Superman’s actual suit for this show, It leaves a lot to be desired. We know the CW can make a good Superman suit, look no farther than Brandon Routh’s Crisis Suit, but they really miss the mark for me on this suit. The logo is flat and the entire suit just has a very cheap look to it. I really even prefer the suit Hoechlin wore on Supergirl to this suit.
But enough about the suits, let’s talk about the actual episode. The episode centers on Clark trying to balance his life as Superman with his two sons: Jordan and Jonathan. This task only becomes harder when Clark is fired from the daily planet and his mother dies. Clark’s family returns to Smallville for the funeral. After the boys get in an accident but walk away without a scratch it seems like Jonathan has inherited his father’s powers, but we later find out that it is actually Jordan who has powers. The boys eventually stumble upon their father’s pod and find out that he is Superman. This leads to the two of them getting very angry with him. Clark and Lois eventually decide that the best thing for the family is to move them to Smallville, and for Clark to focus less on being Superman and more on being a father.
All throughout the episode, a mysterious threat is attacking nuclear plants. A man in a suit who knows a lot about Kal-el. This story doesn’t get a ton of screentime, and Superman only confronts him once the entire episode, getting stabbed with kryptonite, while the man gets away. The man states that he is from another earth and is later revealed to be someone named Captain Luthor. The obvious conclusion being that this is another universe Lex Luthor, though it is possible that is not the case.
Overall, it was a pretty decent pilot episode. It had a few swerves to keep people interested (Jordan being the one with powers, Lex being from another universe). The angle of it being a family show first and a superhero show second, isn’t something I necessarily love, but it is a fresh take on Superman nonetheless. I do think that there was far too little action in this episode however and the villain (Captain Luthor) was such an afterthought when a character as important as Lex Luthor really shouldn’t ever be sidelined so much. I do expect moving forward for there to be more action, but it was sorely missing from this extended episode. It seems as many predicted, Lex Luthor is slated to be the main villain of the season, but introducing a new Lex (played by Wolé Parks) from another universe rather than using Jon Cryer’s Lex, is an interesting decision. Superman & Lois seems to be distancing itself from the rest of the arrowverse, between this new Luthor and no mention of Supergirl throughout the episode. I don’t know if I fully agree with that decision but it will be interesting to see how the show progresses as seemingly its own thing.
Superman & Lois airs Tuesday nights at 9 pm on the CW.