‘Superman & Lois’ Has the Best On-Screen Version of Lois Lane
Lois Lane is a character who is often not utilized to the fullest of her potential on screen. But with Superman & Lois on The CW, we get a fully realized, meaningfully fleshed out character who drives the story as much as Superman (Tyler Hoechlin). And it’s a lot of fun to watch.
Lois Lane is the show’s actual co-star
On Superman & Lois, Lois Lane (Elizabeth Tulloch) is a full co-star, meaning she’s as responsible for driving the plot forward as Superman. She’s not just a supporting character. Rather, she’s right there in the fray along with Clark.
This is a rare thing when it comes to representations of Lois Lane. We saw it to a degree way back with Lois & Clark, but Teri Hatcher’s version of the character was cast in much more of a “Superman’s girlfriend” light than we see with Elizabeth Tulloch’s portrayal.
And when compared to Amy Adams and her version of the character in the DC Extended Universe, there’s no competition. Adams is an impressive actor, but the character is written to be essentially a damsel in distress. She’s a device to drive Superman’s (Henry Cavill) emotional arc.
On the other hand, the series on The CW truly is about Lois and Clark’s partnership, and how they approach challenges together, as a unit.
Lois has a stronger personality
On Superman & Lois, its’ really Lois who has the more assertive personality. Not that Clark isn’t assertive himself, of course. But it’s Lois who uses her journalistic resources to go after Morgan Edge (Adam Rayner). And she’s the one who stands up to her father, General Sam Lane (Dylan Walsh) to advocate on Clark’s behalf.
This is a great way to approach their dynamic. Superman, with all of his incredible abilities, is often shown as being the lead character not just in a given movie or series, but in their relationship as well. It’s the default that a lot of on-screen versions of the two of them fall back on.
But by making Lois more proactive in terms of her personality, the series starts to even out their interpersonal power dynamics. Her assertiveness goes a long way toward correcting the inherent power imbalance between them, and it makes them genuine partners.
They’re equal partners in their family
Another aspect of the show that is done well is the family element. We get to see a lot of Lois and Clark being parents, and it’s fantastic. It’s something that, again, doesn’t get a lot of screen time in Superman stories.
It’s important to note that Lois and Clark are equally involved in parenting their teen sons, Jonathan (Jordan Elsass) and Jordan (Alex Garfin). It would be easy for the series to fall back on traditional gender roles here. Particularly when Clark has all the demands of Superman that could potentially pull him away from his parenting responsibilities.
But instead, we see them working together to parent their sons. And they talk quite a bit about how to approach challenging issues with them, how to keep them safe, and how to make sure they’re on the same page as parents. And by doing this, the series avoids the trope of relegating Lois largely to the domestic realm while Clark goes out and has adventures.
Overall, the series does a good job of portraying Lois as a smart, compelling character in her own right. She and Clark are actual partners, and she is not limited to the role of a damsel in distress or a plot device.