Note: Spoilers ahead for Superman & Lois season 2.
Superman & Lois is not part of Arrowverse’s Earth-Prime, and the show is better off for that. Superman & Lois Season 2 ends with the Man of Steel defeating Ally Allston (Rya Kihlstedt) and ending her plot to merge Earth with the Bizarro World. During Superman’s efforts to stop her, his father-in-law General Sam Lane (Dylan Walsh) delivers a speech to Kent boys Jordan (Alex Garfin) and Jonathan (Jordan Elsass) that makes Superman the world’s only superhero.
This news made it clear that Superman & Lois takes place on a different Earth and universe from the shows that make up the Arrowverse. Since Tyler Hoechlin already played Superman in the Arrowverse, this reveal surprised some fans of both. Superman & Lois has hinted that it’s not an Arrowverse entity all along, but the more pertinent point is that the lack of Arrowverse connectivity actually favors the show.
Superman & Lois has always had day and night differences with the general style of the Arrowverse, and even before the news of the Season 2 finale, the suspected connection between the two was never more than casual. Of Superman & Lois certainly in its own world, the series has a lot of advantages on its side that it wouldn’t have as an Arrowverse series. Here are the reasons why: Superman & Lois was, and still is, better off not taking place within the Arrowverse.
Superman & Lois has worked well as a standalone show
Superman & Lois, in its contained format, really succeeds in its unique focus on Tyler’s Hoechlin’s Man of Steel and his family life. By putting Superman’s exploits on an equal footing with Clark Kent’s familial obligations, Superman & Lois is both a family drama and a superhero adventure. That’s also a combination the series got by not also having to divide its attention over its role in hooking up to the Arrowverse’s shows. If it had been obligatory from the beginning, Superman & Lois would probably have to change a lot from how it presented itself and its story to sustain a larger universe. This comes in the face of the challenges in what a connected universe of shows or movies brings.
Shared universes are a great tool for world building and bringing ensemble casts together, and especially for superhero fans of Arrowverse shows like The flash, the perfect tool to bring to life the interconnected continuity in the pages of comic books. Shared universes don’t come without their burdens and narrative parameters, though. As seen on the Arrowverse, the shows all set in the same world formed a strong foundation for team ups, crossovers and annual events with all shows playing a key role. The balancing of the benefits it brought comes in the fidelity each series has to maintain the general continuity structure that they form as one greater whole. Superman & Lois as it would be, significant customization would be required to be a true Arrowverse player, and Superman himself would hardly be the only character to need to adapt.
Superman & Lois has allowed supporting characters to thrive
As can be seen in the title, Superman & Lois recognizes the importance of Lois Lane to the Superman mythos, making her role in the series as central as her husband’s. Moreover, since Superman & Lois started, Jordan with his superpowers and Jonathan in his own story were anything but minor characters; their normal adolescent struggles and amplified challenges as an effective part of the House of El on Earth are crucial elements of the show. Clark’s high school friend Lana Lang (Emmanuelle Chriqui) also lives her own compelling story of becoming the mayor of Smallville as she faces a crumbling marriage to her husband Kyle Cushing (Erik Valdez) and a relationship with her daughter Sarah (Inde Navarrette). .
The list doesn’t stop there either, with John Henry Irons (Wolé Parks) becoming a hero on his own terms as well as showing off her collaboration with Superman in his comic book, a major turnaround from DC’s 1997 big-screen flop. Steelwith John’s daughter Natalie (Tayler Buck) also following in his footsteps. Superman & Lois, like an Arrowverse show, would probably have required jettisoning or cutting off other character arcs or even entire supporting characters. Now that Superman himself was brought in to help make that happen, Superman & Lois’ supporting characters would be the ones who get the short end of the stick.
The multiverse is where Superman and Lois can best connect with other shows
While it’s not strictly an Arrowverse show, Superman & Lois doesn’t necessarily have to be completely separate from other DC TV shows or movies. The shared universe itself is increasingly moving away from the more encompassing idea of the Multiverse, especially in superhero media where that idea is as entrenched in the comics as single universes. DC would undermine reboots when the entire history of film and television was made into one big multiverse with the CWs Crisis on Infinite Earths miniseries, creating countless worlds in which everything from Tim Burton’s Batman to the cinematic DCEU exists.
Superman & Lois may not take place on Earth-Prime, but the show is heavily infused with Multiverse stories from day one, so there are no barriers to having a Multiverse story take Hoechlin’s Superman to the Arrowverse or vice versa. This could even bring Hoechlin’s Arrowverse Superman and his Kal-El from Superman & Lois face-to-face as a way to further explore the Season 2 story featuring Bizarro and his Superman life in the parallel universe of the Bizarro world. However the show would choose, the doorway to the DC Multiverse is one that: Superman & Lois has long been unlocked, so real Arrowverse crossovers are far from ruled out.
Superman & Lois may still feature cameos and new supporting characters
Aside from taking a Multiverse trip to the Arrowverse, Superman & Lois was able to expand his world with his own cameos and newly debuting characters from the Superman family. Superman’s Kryptonian cousin Supergirl is the one that comes to mind the most, and might even involve Melissa Benoist as another version of Kara Zor-El from super girl similar to Hoechlin’s own new version of Superman. The show has also already set up an all-new John Diggle with David Ramsey’s cameo, so keeping him in a capacity other than his role as Oliver Queen’s (Stephen Amell) ally on Arrow would be another option.
Even with the potential to expand its character roster as a Superman show, throwing in new characters just to do so is not a direction. Superman & Lois should move to either one, especially with how well the show has managed its cast of characters so far. But as a Superman series where the DC hero focuses on Superman himself, it’s completely possible to build up the show’s ensemble in a way that serves the bigger story. Without having to pay attention to his role in the Arrowverse, Superman & Lois post-season 2 twist has the freedom to bring on board new characters it wants.
The Arrowverse has built many enduring shows and interpretations of various DC heroes since its inception Arrow and expanded with the addition of The flash, Legends of tomorrow, and the other shows that were the cornerstones. Shared universes have brought a lot of great possibilities in the time of superheroes who have a big foothold in every corner of the popular media. Finally, with the path it has chosen to travel, Superman & Lois is much better off in its own corner of the vast DC Multiverse than in the Arrowverse, and with its status made clear, it can continue to do everything it does so well with the adventures of the Last Son of Krypton.
NEXT: Everything We Know About Superman & Lois Season 3
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