The CW is adding a Superman and Lois spin-off series to its Arrowverse line-up for next season. Starring Tyler Hoechlin and Elizabeth Tulloch as the Man of Steel and Lois Lane respectively, the show would follow the iconic couple as parents. This marks a new venture for the two DC icons, as the previous live-action Superman media hasn’t explored Clark and Lois dealing with parenthood. While their child is set to debut in Crisis on Infinite Earths, casting breakdowns is indicating a coming aging-up twist for the spin-off.
David Rapaport, casting director for the majority of Greg Berlanti’s DC TV shows, revealed recently that they’re currently seeking teenage actors for two main roles. Named “Matthew” and “Ethan”, these are most likely cover names to keep their DC identities under wrap until they officially announce who is playing the specific parts. The description for “Matthew” matches the characterization of Jon Kent, the current Superboy in the comics, who is the biological son of Lois and Clark. The baby will most likely be named during the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths.
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When it comes to “Ethan” however, fans have speculated that this character, described as possessing an “inherent darkness”, could possibly be Damian Wayne, son of Batman. While the theory is a rumor, to a degree, it has not been confirmed by Warner Bros. TV and The CW as of yet. If “Ethan” is in fact Damian, Superman and Lois could be staging a Super-Sons adventure from the comics. There is, however, the Batman-factor that could possibly make it problematic for Damian to be the candidate. In the scenario that “Ethan” isn’t Damian, there’s the opportunity to have the series use a different Super-Son that goes back to the Pre-New 52 era with Chris Kent, the adoptive son of Clark and Lois.
Using Damian Wayne Is Too Soon for the Arrowverse
Since Batwoman kicked off this season, the Bat-mythology has slowly been fleshed out in the Arrowverse’s continuity. With Kate Kane (Ruby Rose) currently protecting Gotham City in Bruce’s absence, little is known about the state of the Bat-family. One of the earlier episodes established that Robin exists in this universe, although which iteration remains to be seen. While not appearing in the flesh, Alfred Pennyworth is seemingly still alive: his daughter Julia (Christina Wolfe) made her debut in episode 7 “Tell Me The Truth”, implying that the famous butler is around.
Introducing Damian into the Arrowverse at this point in the continuity is beyond premature. It goes back to the notion of Bruce still being MIA for unknown reasons. In the lore, Damian is the son of Bruce and Talia al Ghul, who in the Arrowverse has appeared in the recent seasons of Arrow. However, no hints have been given that this Talia (Lexa Doig) has had a child, let alone any history with Bruce. Should “Ethan” be Damian, it would be demanding too much suspense of disbelief. If Warner Bros. Studios are still strict with not letting The CW use Batman, excluding Kevin Conroy’s upcoming appearance as a Kingdom Come-inspired Bruce Wayne, then having Damian introduced would be too problematic.
How would this show justify that Damian is running around as Robin without ever having his father on-screen? Was his child the reason why Bruce left Gotham to begin with? What would Damian’s existence mean for Batwoman, since Kate would be his cousin? Even if all this groundwork was established off-screen, it would take away major moments for the Arrowverse’s Batman just to set-up this particular Super-Sons dynamic for the Superman spin-off. However, that’s where a character like Chris Kent could come in and make it feel more organic.
Chris Kent Was Adopted – Just Like Clark Kent
While Jon may be the biological son of Clark and Lois, he isn’t the first character to carry the title as the son of Superman. Christopher “Chris” Kent, created by Geoff Johns, debuted in Action Comics #844 back in December 2006 as the biological son of General Zod and Ursa, two of Kal-El’s Kryptonian villains. During his time before Flashpoint, Lor-Zod was taken in by Clark and Lois, whom named him Christopher. While his DC Rebirth incarnation portrayed Chris as a villain working closely together with his real father, it’s the original version that has the bigger appeal.
One of the major aspects of Clark’s personal journey is how he was adopted by Martha and Jonathan Kent. The Last Son of Krypton became the hero he is today because of the care that the Kents provided for him when he landed on Earth. The beautiful aspect of Chris being brought in by Lois and Clark is that it echoes back to Clark’s origin story of being adopted himself. As a way to pay it forward, Clark taking Chris in brings everything full circle by following his parents’ footsteps.
Based on the “Ethan” description, characterizing Chris as the opposite of his brother Jon would be a compelling contrast as a major character journey. What would it mean for the son of Zod to be under the care of the last son of the House of El? If Clark had been found by the wrong people, he could have very well ended up being as ruthless as Zod, if not worse. Chris struggling with his biological legacy versus his adoptive upbringing poses great potential as an overarching story.
A Jon & Chris Story Would Live Up To The Super-Sons Title
Characterizing Clark and Lois as having not one, but two sons, would be a refreshing way for the Arrowverse spin-off to honor the Super-Sons title. It would add a unique aspect to Superman and Lois that the comics currently don’t have, which is giving Jon a brother. Introducing Chris into the series, as his Pre-Flashpoint version, would extend the family dynamic even more. While Damian may be the other half of the Super-Sons dynamic in the comics, having Chris be the one in the show would make it more personal.
The bigger appeal is the brotherhood that can come out of a Jon and Chris dynamic. Having Chris struggle with his heritage is where Jon (along with their parents) could play a pivotal role in showing him that being a Zod doesn’t mean being destined to become a villain. Then there’s also the potential to eventually have the show give viewers a new storyline between Superman and General Zod; a battle for Chris’ soul would be a refreshing story that hasn’t been done before with other live-action versions of General Zod.
Whether or not the series could have Chris becoming Nightwing, as in the Kryptonian god, is up to Warner Bros. (although Titans just had Dick Grayson (Brenton Thwaites) take on that name). But if portrayed as leaning more into the Kryptonian God aspect of Nightwing, it could be possible to have Chris suit-up as a hero too. With Crisis on Infinite Earths approaching, fans may soon get a glimpse of what the family dynamic will look like on Superman and Lois.
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