The newest addition to the Arrowverse features a surprising nod to Superman's iconic first appearance way back in 1938 -- but this is definitely a Superman story like we've never seen before!
The future of The CW's Arrowverse takes a decidedly different tone than most of the series presented so far, which is a refreshing evolution for the franchise, as "Superman & Lois" offered both a classic and more grounded take on DC's leading man.
Tyler Hoechlin and Elizabeth Tulloch have had their fans for years thanks to their infrequent appearances across the Arrowverse, but in the wake of the epic "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover, they're stepping into fresh territory for the characters.
The super-sized premiere dropped on Tuesday, leaving fans flabbergasted and stunned. The opening montage alone was such a loving tribute to classic Superman that old-school fans were beside themselves on social media.
Not only was this a throwback to the joyful Superman of yesteryear, but the show even featured a near perfect recreation of Superman's appearance on the cover of Action Comics #1 way back in 1938.
The green car was there and even the costume Hoechlin wore was perfectly in line with the way he looked in his first appearance. It was the kind of detail that told fans that the creators took their Superman seriously. They knew exactly who he was, even as they were about to push him into a whole new territory.
By the time we'd settled into the show's actual timeline, Superman and Lois were fully established adults trying to raise twin teenage sons. DC has toyed with Superman and Lois as parents before, and the current version even has a teen son (though he was aged up rapidly).
This is a Superman who's been doing this for a long time now, he's beloved by everyone around the world -- even Lois's dad, who knows who he is! -- and is the classic superhero fans had come to know and love over the past 80+ years.
It's a far cry from the far more dark and somber interpretation of the Man of Steel portrayed by Henry Cavill in his most recent big-screen appearances (and likely in the upcoming "Zack Snyder's Justice League").
Even as we start to get a glimpse of the "big bad" that's set to plague him this season -- that should prove an interesting twist -- and see Clark Kent suffer the shocking death of his mother, as well as the challenges of parenthood, he never loses that shining sense of hope.
By the time the premiere was over, we'd learned that one of his sons appears to have started developing his gifts and that he and Lois are considering relocating the family from Metropolis to Smallville.
But lest we think this will turn into a modern-day "Smallville," there is that huge difference in that Superman is the father here. He's fully in the suit and invested in worldwide disasters at all times. He's a long-time professional at this.
At the same time, the twins are obviously here to represent that younger demographic that most CW, and even Arrowverse shows, focus on. The same thing is happening over on "Black Lightning," which is "Lois & Clark's" most similar companion.
There, the titular character's daughters are as much a part of his story as he and his wife, which often creates a far more complex and mature overall story than shows like "The Flash," "Batwoman" and "Supergirl," with their focuses on the young leads and their exciting young lives.
This is a story about family first, but it's a story about love and hope and that joyousness that seems as intrinsic a part of Superman's identity as darkness is Batman's and responsibility is Spider-Man's.
The closing scene has the whole family laughing and walking out to the barn to learn how to use farm equipment together. That's a family wholesomeness that is all too rare in popular entertainment.
And yet, Superman's enduring optimism and wholesomeness has seen him dubbed a "boy scout," and not with flattering intentions, with many modern writers saying his positive sensibilities make him extremely difficult to write.
These writers seem to have struck a great balance, humanizing Clark and Lois in a way that's reminiscent of the '90s series "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman." But it takes it further than that by settling us deep into their lives together.
Here is a Superman both totally familiar to longtime fans of the character, and yet totally fresh as a father of two teenagers. And with his sons developing abilities (well, one so far at least), fans will get to have their cake and eat it, too.
"Smallville" fans loved watching Clark develop his powers and see what he could do, but wished they could have seen him in the suit actually being Superman. Finally, after years of waiting, fans can have both. They can watch a very experienced Superman and see a young teen discovering his abilities at the same time.
As for that "big bad" teased above, we love that it's a Luthor while clearly not being Jon Cryer's Lex Luthor from "Supergirl." Considering how many different realities we've explored already with these characters, our minds are wide open as to who this could be.
Meanwhile, fans are debating whether Hoechlin's joyful Superman is truer than Cavill's somber take, or even Christopher Reeve, Brandon Routh and George Reeves. The truth is there's room for all of them.
You can check out some of the reactions to the series premiere below:
#SupermanAndLois is the best pilot i've seen since #TheFlash. Nostalgic, hopeful, & inspirational. I cried multiple times not because its Superman but because Smallville is Superman and Superman IS Smallville. The core of Superman is his heart. The CW got this one right. pic.twitter.com/bwzDTPYzEQ
Wow. I can’t lie — #SupermanAndLois is some of the best Superman content we’ve ever gotten, and I don’t say that lightly. I went in with low expectations, and I was absolutely blown away. 👏 pic.twitter.com/u6dMrHyE7d
Im glad gatekeepers are getting the pandering they so desperatly cried for, i hope they now use their time watching that cw show instead of talking shit about snyder superman 24/7 pic.twitter.com/aLCjJQgx0V