I'm not sure what to say about Nadira Tucker's comments in Huffington Post. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/nadria-t … 75ac3ea433 It's not easy being a woman and black in Hollywood writers rooms. I am troubled that there's only one significant black character on the show, but Wole Parks is an amazing performer who is inhabiting John Henry Irons beautifully and the characterization for him is tender, gentle, caring and brilliant.
As a boy, I admired John Henry Irons for his humility and sense of duty to Superman having saved his life; his commitment to make sure that the second chance Superman gave him would not be wasted; his grief for seeing the weapons he designed put in the hands of street gangs. And Wole Parks and the writers gave John Henry Irons that same heartfelt humanity in SUPERMAN AND LOIS. But it's true that SUPERMAN AND LOIS is way, way, way, way, way too white. I'd say that about most TV shows.
Tyler Hoechlin's Superman is very interesting. It's significantly different from the Superman who appeared on SUPERGIRL and very, very different from almost every previous Superman ever. Hoechlin's Superman is angry, frustrated, pent up, anxious, uneasy and is very much capable of losing his temper. Hoechlin's Clark Kent is a bit like Tom Welling; he's an adult farm boy but with the self-assurance Welling had by Season 8 of SMALLVILLE rather than the inept juvenile Welling played from Seasons 1 - 7, but there's an undercurrent of danger and being very tightly wound that Welling never, ever put into Clark Kent.
This is completely opposed to other performers who played the role. George Reeves' Superman was a bit of a stern schoolteacher with a streak of mischief. Christopher Reeve' Superman was glowingly charismatic and warmly respectful. John Haymes Newton's Superboy was oddly indecisive; Gerard Christopher's Superboy followed the Reeve model; and Dean Cain played Clark as a goofy eccentric and Superman as a courtly knight of decency. Tom Welling and Brandon Routh played Clark Kent/Superman with gentleness and Henry Cavill gave the character might and power but with great uncertainty as to how to use it (until he went full Christopher Reeve in JUSTICE LEAGUE).
On SUPERGIRL, Tyler Hoechlin played Superman as Christopher Reeve would: he is the most relaxed, laid back, easygoing Superman ever, happily reconciled to his dual life. He was what Kara someday hoped to be. On SUPERMAN AND LOIS, Superman isn't so surefooted. He's nervous about his inability to truly connect with his sons and is shuffling awkwardly in and out of their lives. His professional life is a disaster; he's lost his day job and is wandering between football fields and farmer's fields cluelessly.
As Superman, he is perpetually and eternally enraged: enraged that the US government is locking up superpowered kids like criminals, that the US army is stockpiling Kryptonite weaponry, that Morgan Edge is creating Kryptonian powers somehow, that his life's work as a journalist has become non-existent -- and he works very hard to contain it, to manage it, to control it and to make sure it doesn't cause him to behave rashly or inappropriately.
This is the first time I've seen Superman show anger in this manner, threatening a soldier with his heat vision and telling him to "stand down," knowing full well that he can never, ever use his heat vision on another person like that, but fully intending to terrify an armed man into lowering his weapon. When Tom Welling threatened to kill a corrupt cop in SMALLVILLE's Season 1 "Rogue," it was a loss of control; when Tyler Hoechlin's Superman becomes angry, it's very controlled but also incredibly frightening.
I'm afraid of Tyler Hoechlin's Superman. He scares me and would terrify me if he didn't have scenes as Clark Kent.
There's a moment when Superman defeats John Henry Irons and Superman is furious that Irons invited him to meet as a friend and attacked him with red sun lights and a terrifying hammer. Superman's kids have hit Irons with a car, but Superman raises a fist, prepared to punch Irons in the face, probably not fatally, but to make Irons feel as hurt as Superman feels -- and Lois has to tell him that it's over and not to strike an enemy who is down. And that's followed up beautifully the next week when Superman releases Irons from custody, clearly fuming over their battle, but having made a decision to try to turn an enemy into a friend even though it's difficult.
That anger you felt that made you want to use your powers the way you did tonight -- I have those feelings, too.
When I first showed up in Metropolis as Superman, there was a lot of talk about what the world should do with someone who had powers like mine. And it took me a minute to realize that other people were more afraid of what I could do than I was.
So what I had to do, more than anything, was earn their trust, prove to them that, no matter what, I would never use my powers to hurt them.
Twenty years later, every time I use my powers, that trust is tested. Every time.
Once you break it, it takes a lot longer to heal than a wrist.
I finally see why Superman told Kara that she was stronger than he is. Kara doesn't have to compel herself to be the sunny, goofy Supergirl. She simply is. But Tyler Hoechlin's Superman has to battle himself and his own impulses as a man in order to be Superman.
This is a Superman who struggles to be merciful, gentle, non-violent, present, peaceful and de-escalating -- everything Superman should be -- and Tyler Hoechlin shows that while Superman will never fail, it isn't a natural demeanor or an instinctive reflex. Every morning, he has to consciously wake up and decide to be Superman. It takes effort. It is hard work. This is why Hoechlin's performance as the alternate reality Superman is so disturbing because that capacity for horrific violence is present in the Earth Prime Superman -- it's simply contained and controlled.