For a while, Tyler Hoechlin’s Superman was considered by many people to be underwhelming, but the Arrowverse is finally fixing this problem in Superman & Lois. The Arrowverse’s Man of Steel has been drastically improved now that he has his own Arrowverse TV series, which allows him to shine as the Last Son of Krypton.
Superman & Lois, the first project in the Arrowverse to give Hoechlin a starring role, has sent the titular hero – along with his new post-Crisis family – back to Smallville. Now, he’s being forced to contend with a mysterious new villain called Captain Luthor (Wolé Parks). In the Superman & Lois series premiere, he proved to be a great physical challenge for Clark, who had trouble holding up against his seemingly unbreakable armor. Episode 2 changed things a bit by putting Clark on the offensive and having him pound on the villain in scenes that called back to the fights between Henry Cavil’s Superman and Michael Shannon’s Zod in Man of Steel.
Whereas Superman was depicted as being weaker than other Kryptonians in the Arrowverse, Superman & Lois is taking a different approach to the character’s physical capabilities. The way he pummeled Luthor, dented his armor, and knocked him through the air are impressive reminders of who Superman is in DC Comics. Superman is one of the most powerful forces on Earth, and that’s how viewers expect him to be depicted, whether it be on the big or small screen. The way Superman was utilized during the fights with Luthor fixed a long-standing issue that fans have had with how the Arrowverse has used Superman thus far.
Despite his reputation as one of the greatest superheroes on the world, Superman was forced to take a backseat to Melissa Benoist’s Kara Danvers up until now. A mind-controlled Superman lost to her in combat in the Supergirl season 2 finale. And, it didn’t go unnoticed by fans that Supergirl outlasted her cousin when the two had to use their heat-ray vision at the same time in Crisis on Infinite Earths. Also, Hoechlin’s Superman was losing against the Kingdom Come version of the hero before the fight was interrupted. Both Kara and Brandon Routh’s Superman have the same powers since they, too, are Kryptonian, but of the three, Hoechlin’s Clark Kent was shown to be the weakest.
Superman making short work of Captain Luthor in a remarkable fashion helped the Arrowverse succeed in pulling off his true potential. As for why the Arrowverse has waited so long to bring out this aspect of the character, this can likely be explained by the emphasis on Supergirl. The writers and producers may have been concerned that doing too much with Superman would risk him overshadowing her. But now that he has his own TV show and is able to thrive without her presence, this isn’t an issue anymore. Hopefully, this will open the door for Hoechlin’s character to receive several more impressive moments that feel appropriate to the Man of Steel in Superman & Lois.