Tyler Hoechlin stars as Superman/Kal El/Clark Kent in the CW series Superman and Lois. The Pilot Episode (E1), Heritage (E2), The Perks of Not Being A Wallflower (E3), Haywire (E4) and last week’s The Best of Smallville (E5) have all aired. You can click to read each a episode assessment. But now, the show is on temporary hiatus until mid-May, due to Covid-related production disruption. So, SciFiPulse thought now is the perfect time to take a look at how Tyler Hoechlin has given us a version of the most famous superhero of all, for today. The introduction of Superman into the “Arrowverse” has been hotly anticipated. So, how does he measure up?
This aspect is often overlooked. Traditionally, we tend to only think of the character as Superman/Clark Kent. Whilst Superman and Lois hasn’t given us much time in the famed Fortress of Solitude, we have at least seen it. Furthermore, we saw Kal-El talk to his father, Jor-El. Also, we know that Jordan (Alex Garfin) is named after the Kryptonian scientist. In the comic-book world we see much more of “Kal-El”. Tyler Hoechlin might be the perfect incarnation to further explore this aspect, as he is able to draw viewers in, emotionally. There’s a depth and deep humanity to his take on The Man of Steel/ Hopefully, we’ll see more of Krypton’s fascinating history, at some point. Family ties are the central theme of Superman and Lois. So, it’s the perfect show for Hoechlin to show us some more of Kal-El.
As Clark Kent
The traditional, bumbling mannerisms are toned down, via Hoechlin’s version of Clark Kent. And, that’s not a bad thing. The skills of the late, incomparable Christopher Reeve gave us awkwardness and a difficulty fitting in. That doesn’t need repeating, or imitating. But through Hoechlin we do see certain elements of those traits. It’s really not hard to believe that Superman is a mild-mannered, deeply sensitive being. And so, that naturally spills over into his role as a husband and a father, which Hoechlin reflects genuinely.
Quite a different take on the all powerful alien, than Henry Cavill gave in his two roles. We recently wrote about Cavill, in our review of Zack Snyder’s Justice League. There’s a brutality to the character, in that film, which isn’t apparent in Hoechlin’s version. For example, when he is battling villains he won’t kill unless he has to. Compassion and goodness are really the superpowers that make Kal-El Superman. We’ve seen that numerous times in Superman and Lois. And, it’s something that Hoechllin captures so superbly well.
If you haven’t already, check out Superman’s Day Off. May The Verse Be With You highlighted Superman’s difficulty juggling the hero and family life long before we even knew about Superman and Lois. It certainly feels very apt and fits in with the show’s themes.
A Hero For The Modern Age
What we get, through Tyler Hoechlin, is a contemporary incarnation of a well-known character. Characters like Superman (or, that specific part of the character) reflect society. Right now, the world around us in chaos. We’ve never needed heroes as much as we do now. Few people would argue with that. Additionally, we also need positive male role models. We need to see that men hurt, that they have emotions and aren’t ridiculously one-dimensional. That’s where Hoechlin really excels, and shows nuance, doing so in a way that feels relatable, not forced. We get a Superman for today, who is the shining example to humanity that is much needed, right now.
Superman and Lois returns to finish its premier season run on Tuesday 18th May 2021, on The CW Network