In CW’s “Superman & Lois” (getting a special 90-minute premiere Tuesday at 8 p.m.), the Man of Steel faces a challenge unlike any other, one in which all his vaunted powers are useless.
Ace reporters Clark Kent (Tyler Hoechlin, “Teen Wolf”) and Lois Lane (Elizabeth Tulloch, “Grimm”) are the parents to 14-year-old fraternal twins, Jonathan (Jordan Elsass) and Jordan (Alexander Garfin).
Jordan is something of a golden boy with a sardonic wit.
Jordan is socially inept, moody, and has been diagnosed with anxiety disorder.
Neither boy knows their father just happens to be the World’s Greatest Hero, and Clark plans on keeping it that way. He believes it would put too much pressure on them, and one slip-up on their part would end his secret identity.
Lois, however, pushes him to be honest. She believes one of their boys has inherited his Kryptonian powers and will need his guidance.
A tragedy brings the family back to Smallville and the Kent farm, where Clark reunites with his first love, Lana Lang (Emmanuelle Chriqui), now a bank loan officer, and her husband, Kyle Cushing (Erik Valdez), a fire chief who has the grace of a pitbull with rabies.
Lana and Kyle have two daughters, and the oldest, Sarah (Inde Navarrette), clicks with Jordan.
There’s so much more than family drama here:
A mysterious figure in an armored suit has been sabotaging nuclear power plants and leaving warnings for Superman – in his native Kryptonian.
This stranger knows all about Superman and is determined to destroy him.
One of the best things to emerge from “Supergirl” was Hoechlin’s Superman. That series introduced him in its second season, and he shined by crafting an interpretation that balanced Clark’s awkwardness – an homage to Christopher Reeve – with Superman’s innate decency and optimism. He was simply and immediately television’s best and greatest Superman.
Hoechlin continued to pop up, mostly in the Arrowverse extended crossover events, but in “Superman & Lois,” he gets to dig deep beyond the cape into Clark’s humanity.
He aches to be a good father to his boys. He screws up. He knows it. It’s hard to be the hero the world needs and to give his boys the time they crave.
Hoechlin is matched by Tulloch, who presents the most grounded Lois since, well, ever anywhere in any medium. You believe these two people have loved each other for years now and are devoted to one another. In capturing Lois’ determined reporter, the show also delivers a devastating critique of the state of the newspaper industry.
Warner Bros. reportedly doesn’t know what to do with Henry Cavill’s Superman – tho’ he will be seen next month in HBO Max’s “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” – so it remains encouraging that the television division is able to run with a small-screen Superman, one that shows how it should be done.
DC is the home to the multiverse, and if this version takes off, perhaps one day Warner will take a chance on a Batman show. There’s certainly an audience for it.
And here’s hoping cousin Kara will stop by “Superman & Lois” sometime soon.
“Superman & Lois” premieres Tuesday at 8 p.m. on CW. A behind-the-scenes special, “Superman & Lois: Legacy of Hope,” airs at 9:30 p.m. The series moves into its regular Tuesday 9 p.m. time slot on March 2.