That comic’s pretty relevant to what I’m seeing about Superman & Lois, the CWverse DC show spinning out of the soon-ending Supergirl series, because it looks like Superman and his family is getting CWed like they did to Riverdale and The Tomorrow People. The CWverse, known first to fans as the Arrowverse since it all started with the CW’s take on Green Arrow, has basically followed the formula for nighttime dramas they had back before the merger of the WB and UPN. Dark, not necessarily gritty but focusing more on teen and college age drama with some kind of gimmick. It could involve space aliens, vampires, or just general superpowers but CW’s sci-fi and hero shows are all teen drama with (insert favorite paranormal circumstance here), with some exceptions. I think. I didn’t watch Supernatural, even when the did the Scooby-Doo crossover because dismembered bodies and Scooby-Doo SHOULD NOT GO TOGETHER!!!!!!!! And it’s rare when I use “should” these says but some limits are necessary.
At any rate, doing a teen Superman story wouldn’t work. For one thing the last live-action “Superman” series was Smallville, so they can’t redo that. Also, this spins off of Supergirl, and they’ve depicted Kara’s cousin as being older and established as Superman since the CBS season, with Tyler Hoechlin as Superman, who is not a teenager. He also looks the part pretty well. So how are they going to stick this into the CW mold? Well, he has a son that DC already aged up and that worked to our advantage with Black Lightning…but we can do worse. We’re the CW Network!
Um….okay. What was any of that?
Yes, the show is going to focus on Clark Kent and Lois as parents. I looked up a few articles on the show and it seems like they’re not going to focus as much on the superheroing…you know, the reason we watch a Superman story. Instead it’s on Clark and Lois raising their two sons. Wait, two?
Coming to The CW in February 2021, the new DC series centers around Clark Kent (Tyler Hoechlin) and Lois Lane (Elizabeth Tulloch) as they balance their hectic professional lives (in Clark’s case, he’s got two gigs as a journalist and superhero) with a more low-key home life that involves their boys: Jonathan (Jordan Elsass) and Jordan (Alex Garfin). The former is, of course, named after Clark’s late father.
“As a father who happens to have two boys, that felt like a really great way to bring in some personal experience to tell a story that is as grounded as you can possibly be to have Superman in it,” executive producer/showrunner Todd Helbing said at DC FanDome in September. “And as a couple, we really get to lean into Clark and Lois not being Superman and the most famous journalist in the world, but really as parents. What is that like when you have jobs like that? Which a lot of people can relate to nowadays.”
Remember, this is how they are SELLING A SUPERMAN SERIES TO THE PUBLIC! It’s not about Superman fighting supervillains, monsters, and space alien invaders. It’s about him being a father, Lois about being a mother. You know, like most of the other “adult” protagonists on CW dramas. Black Lightning had two daughters but I didn’t really have an interest past the pilot episode because it didn’t impress me. Did they fall into the same trap or was it actually about Black Lightning battling the gangs while his daughters developed their powers? Did they get to fight crime too? As it is he was kept apart from the rest of the CW DCU until their version of Crisis On Infinite Earths, which also put Supergirl into that universe after she moved from CBS. Instead we want to make Superman “relatable” again because modern Hollywood doesn’t know how to be aspirational, which is what Superman is supposed to be. We’re supposed to be like Superman, not in the power set but in what we do with our talents to help others and make the world better.
I’m not even against giving some focus to their lives as parents. That’s rather important, but I want to see Superman teaching young Jon how to use his powers, Lois teaching him that there are other ways to help without using powers but not causing a division between Clark and Lois about using powers because both know these lessons. It’s just Lois is Jon’s mother and needs to be part of his education.
Yes, Jon’s mother. There IS no Jordan Kent in the comics, nor has there been. I tried to research this and even asked on Twitter with one person confirming Jordan Kent was made up for this show. It doesn’t even seem to be a reference to alternate universe stories involving other sons (or daughters, surprised they didn’t go there) of Superman. My guess for this addition is because as the showrunner mentioned he has two sons and thus can relate to two sons better than one. Jon is going to be 19 now, which I think is even older than Bendis aged the 13 year old in the comics. Jordan is 16, both now the perfect age for the usual teen drama plotlines that the CW likes to break out. Then there’s this from the New York Post:
According to the official synopsis, the series — a spinoff of the network’s “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover event in December 2019 — will take place in Superman’s earthbound hometown, Smallville.
It will follow Clark and Lois as they “come face-to-face with one of their greatest challenges ever — dealing with all the stress, pressures and complexities that come with being working parents in today’s society.”
Making things worse than raising a pubescent teen: Their sons, Jonathan (Jordan Elsass, “Little Fires Everywhere”) and Jordan (Alexander Garfin, “The Peanuts Movie”), may develop superpowers of their own down the road. Sounds way more stressful than fighting off supervillains and monsters looking to kill everyone in Metropolis.
Ha ha, but it doesn’t sound like….wait, they don’t even have their superpowers yet??????!!!!!!!!! Jon in the comics at least had partial powers since his debut because the comics post-Crisis Superman wasn’t granted all his powers the moment he first saw a yellow sun. You’re telling me 19 year old Jon doesn’t have any powers? When does Jordan have to wait until he can run at superspeed, when he’s old enough to drink? You’re re-treading the ground Black Lightning already did with Thunder and Lighting (they did both eventually get powers, right?) and showing them just developing powers? Or is this just guess work by the article writer because they haven’t mentioned anything about their powers? If you really want to go this route make JON the 16 year old with his powers not as strong as his dad’s but still with the full set trying to master them just as a younger Jordan first gets them and has both his big brother and his dad getting through the early stages, the only good part of Man Of Steel (as far as a Superman origin…I’ve said it’s a good superhero movie but a terrible Superman adaptation). But we can’t do that because then Jordan wouldn’t get to have the angsty teem drama storylines. They aged up the Tomorrow People for the same reason.
And of course they had to mess with the costume. Part of the “no trunks” brigade they’ve opted to follow the New 52 and Zack Snyder in assuming the belt is enough to break up the blue, and again it doesn’t. Apparently they think it’s just fine.
In a recent statement provided by The CW, Hoechlin and costume designer Laura Jean Shannon share some new details about Superman’s suit–in other words, the show is very much still a reality.
Shannon says the suit focuses “on a new neckline and cape to maximize the billowing and movement we all love to see in the books and films that have defined this character for generations. A streamlined muscle structure and updated paint job combined with some dynamic design lines and a sculpted armored belt all took his established custom fabric into a new direction.”
Except again the red area. Just make it a part of the costume that has red fabric. I’d be okay with that. Nope, we have to just use a belt and call it good. It looks like they darkened the blue again, though not as much as they did for Kara, but that could just be the lighting. Oh well, can we at least hope the actress playing Lana’s going to either dye her hair red or wear a wig? I’ll quash that dream on Friday.
So no, I am not looking forward to this show. This isn’t the Superman, Lois, or Jon Kent Superboy I want to see in action. We have a new kid who’s in high school while the actual kid is an adult. They’re in Smallville instead of Metropolis. The focus will not be on superheroics but raising a family as if there aren’t a bunch of other shows about that already. Just like the first live-action Superman/Batman team-up was a poor adaptation the first out of comics appearance of Jon Kent is already in trouble and the latest live-action Superman series is just Smallville: The Next Generation with a different cast. Oh I’ll review the pilot because I’m me and this is allegedly Superman, but I will be surprised if it’s good. Pleasantly mind you, but it’s already failing on the adaptation front before it even aired. That is not a good sign.