How Superman & Lois Tried To Make The Man Of Steel More Human

There comes a point when we can't help but wonder, "How many more times do we have to see the same superhero in a different setting?" Batman, his arch-nemesis, the Joker, and Superman are some of the most explored characters in the DC Universe — both on the small and silver screen. It's an excellent time to question whether offering a gritty take on a character or updating it to reflect a real-world setting influences our interest in it — or focusing on their initial principles is a better way to go about it. 

When it comes to Superman, whether you're a fan of Christopher Reeve's compassionate, optimistic hero or Henry Cavill's gritty take on Supes, you'll be pleasantly surprised by Tyler Hoechlin's humane approach to the Kryptonian hero in "Superman & Lois." The CW drama sees Clark Kent and Lois Lane take on their biggest challenge yet — balancing their busy careers with being parents to two teenage boys.

"Superman & Lois" explores a new aspect of the superhero with marriage and parenthood at the forefront. It isn't just about a guy who flies and shoots laser beams out of his eyes — it's a story that offers a glimpse into the many facets of Superman — especially his role as a father figure. This time, he's not the perfect Kryptonian icon we know him to be; "Superman & Lois" allows him to be a far-from-perfect parent too.

Superman might be perfect, but Clark Kent isn't

Perhaps the single best thing about "Superman & Lois" is that it focuses on the principles that make the DC Comics hero an inherently likable character — his humanity. This version of the Man of Steel is not an alien from a different planet that no one can relate to; he's a clumsy parent trying to be a good dad to relentless teenage boys.

In an interview with Den of Geek, ​​writer and executive producer Todd Helbing explained that Superman was a difficult person to dramatize. He's flawless in many ways, but it's virtually impossible to be a perfect parent. This version of the Kryptonian would exude the character's good old boyish charm, and the goodness that made him a superhero (with or without his superpowers). He's just an ordinary guy, the kind of man you wouldn't hesitate to approach if you needed help with something. But as a working parent in today's world, he's learning something new every day.

"The analogy we always use is Superman is sort of perfect, but Clark can be clumsy as a dad. I think being clumsy as a parent, that's something that we all are. We're all figuring it out. There are a lot of books written about it, but the second it happens to you, you don't know what you're doing. So why would that be any different for the Man of Steel? In a lot of ways, that opened up the floodgates about really telling stories where people can relate to him in a way that they haven't been able to before."

Parenting isn't easy, even for Superman and Lois

Helbing wanted to explore the idea that Clark Kent and his partner Lois Lane (aka the greatest fictional journalist ever), despite being prominent characters in the DC and Superman universe, aren't perfect parents. Bitsie Tulloch, who plays Lois Lane in the series, recounted that the on-screen couple often struggled with guilt because they were busy people.

"I think there's a little element of guilt on both of their parts because they're such busy people, with Clark moonlighting as Superman and Lois being this very famous, hardworking journalist."

"Superman & Lois" is a compelling show because it gets Clark Kent and Lois Lane right from the beginning. They're not just responsible for saving the world, they have a family that comes first. Clark often misses fatherly duties because of his superhero lifestyle, and he conceals his superhero identity from his sons because it's safer for them that way. Infusing the story with obstacles the Kent family can face together is an exciting way to continue exploring the man of steel. The complex family dynamic "Superman & Lois" has employed sets it apart as an exceptionally nuanced chapter in the history of Clark Kent and Lois Lane.