“My most vivid memories are of the days when my life changed. I remember coming to this Earth, feeling the sun on my face for the first time. Hearing the voices of my parents. My mother called me their greatest surprise. And boy, there sure were lots of them. I remember loving Smallville; the people, the community, how the small things were the big things. And I thought I’d live there forever. But my father’s death set me on a different path. Eventually, I moved to Metropolis to become who I was meant to be. But my most vivid memory of all was the day I met her.”
The her, of course is Lois Lane. Together they are Superman & Lois, and they’ve joined the ever-expanding Arrowverse for their first season now out on Blu-ray from Warner Home Entertainment. While this is their first season, the characters and these actors portraying them are not new to the Arrowverse. Tyler Hoechlin as Superman and Elizabeth Tulloch as Lois Lane have been here for a few years. Both have shown up on Supergirl, and both appeared in a couple of the crossover events that have pulled together the various Arrowverse shows in the past. Now the focus is on them. They have their own show, and it’s quite a different approach to the characters and their story.
Martha Kent (Scarabelli) has died, and the Kent family have returned to Smallville, where they make a decision to stay. It’s not just Clark and Lois here. They now have two sons who are not aware that their father is Superman. Jonathan, played by Jordan Elsass, is the athletic type and most believed to potentially have his father’s powers. Jordan Kent, played by Alex Garfin, is the introvert who doesn’t appear to fit in socially and feels he lives in his brother’s shadow even in the eyes of his parents. Of course, something goes wrong, and Jordan is revealed to be the one with powers. No spoiler here; it’s a quick reveal that tends to drive much of the season’s story arc. Much of the season is taken up with Jordan learning to control those powers and trying to bond with a father he just discovered is Superman. The dynamic between the brothers changes, as does their relationship with their parents, when they learn the truth. It’s all a part of why they decide to remain in Smallville. It’s a chance to focus on the family and leave some of the big-city Metropolis grind behind. But when you are Superman and Lois Lane, trouble will always find a way to follow you.
Lois quits The Daily Planet and works for the floundering local paper. She thinks she’s had her last dealings with Morgan Edge (Rayner), who had taken over The Daily Planet and took away its journalistic integrity. But Edge now has his sights on Smallville. He’s buying up property from poor farmers who couldn’t afford to stay afloat. He’s gotten the city leaders to push his attempt to acquire the land with the idea he’s going to resurrect the town. Two of his supporters are Clark’s old high school flame Lana Lang, now Cushing (Chriqui) and her new husband Kyle (Valdez). We know that Edge has something more sinister in mind, and Lois decides to look into him, earning her a lot of hostility from the town, who think he’s saving them. We know the truth is going to come out, and it’s bad news for Superman and the world.
Beneath Smallville there are large deposits of a new kind of yellow Kryptonite. It allows the spirits of dead Kryptonians to take over human bodies. Edge is being controlled by one such alien, and the plan is to replace Earth’s population and build Krypton again on Earth.
Part of the family business is Lois’s father General Sam Lane, played by Dylan Walsh. He knows Clark’s secret and acts as a kind of liaison between Superman and the American military. He’s not happy with Clark’s new focus and direction. He believes he needs to be focused on being Superman and particularly working with him. When the crisis explodes, they both are forced to make some important choices. It doesn’t help that these newly inhabited bodies have the same strength and powers of Superman.
Another character who gets thrown into the mix is a guy who we first are told is Captain Luthor but is really John Henry Irons, known in the comics as Steel and played by Wole Parks. He’s from another Earth and was trapped here when the big crossover crisis destroyed all of the multiverse. In his world, Superman goes rogue and destroys the planet. In that world, he was also married to Lois Lane. So he’s introduced as a Superman enemy with a weaponized armor suit. Eventually he becomes an ally and fights with the good guys to defeat Edge’s plans. That includes fighting Superman again when Edge places the spirit of General Zod in The Man Of Steel. When that doesn’t work, he attempts to place their leader in Jordan, turning him into a super enemy.
If much of this sounds familiar, that’s because you’ve seen something very much like it in a season of Supergirl. It was another race which were enemies of Krypton that were being resurrected in human hosts, but a lot of that story arc is unfortunately repeated here. That’s a pretty huge shame, because this series has more potential than any of the other newer shows to arrive here. I love the cast, and there’s a lot of character development going on here. I love that it’s a unique version of the Superman mythos, and I can’t wait to see how it plays out with hopefully a more original villain story going on in the second year.
Each episode is presented in its original broadcast aspect ratio of 2.20:1. The 1080p image is arrived at with an AVC MPEG-4 codec. There are five episodes per disc, and that helps the bit-rate somewhat. There are good production values here, and you get something better than broadcast or streaming, to be sure. Black levels are fair, and the colors do pop on this show in particular.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 is much more dynamic than the video presentation. The score is very uplifting and pierces through even when it’s not overly loud. You still always hear the dialog with clarity and perfect placement. The surrounds complete the immersive experience with wind while he’s flying and sweet sub range during the more explosive scenes.
Deleted Scenes on select episodes and extended versions of each episode.
Never Alone – Heroes And Allies: (20:48) This extra is for all of the Arrowverse shows and looks at the heroes and their teams with some nice callbacks to the pages of their comics.
Superman & Lois – Legacy Of Hope: (18:57) An introduction to the show that was televised before the first episode to get you ready for the series.
DC Fan Dome Panel – Superman & Lois: (27:41) With COVID and ComicCon missing last year, this is a virtual get-together in which the cast and crew appear from home and answer questions.
Superman – Alien Spirit: (9:05) An overall look at the character throughout the years.
You get 15 episodes on three discs, and it’s a pretty good start for the show. I see this one as carrying the Arrowverse forward in the future as The Flash eventually ends in the next couple of years. The arc is borrowed, but let’s see what they can do with the Superman story going forward. “For a sad story, it’s pretty basic.”