For all those people who still lie awake at night, eyes wide open, unable to sleep, because they still can’t figure out how the CW’s Superman & Lois fits into the larger Arrowverse, I have to assume you finally got a good night’s sleep after last night’s season two finale. Or maybe didn’t, because the answer the show gave is... hoo boy.
If you’ve been sleeping contentedly, believing that Superman & Lois has taken place in the main Arrowverse this entire time since it stars the very same actors playing Superman and Lois—Tyler Hoechlin and Bitsie Tulloch—I regret to inform you that you’ve been living a lie. True fans haven’t been sure of the show’s Arrowverse status because, well, in S&L Clark Kent and Lois Lane have two teenaged boys, never mentioned in any of their many appearances in the crossovers, and just as importantly there’s never been any other Arrowverse hero mentioned on the series... with the exception of Arrow mainstay John Diggle (David Ramsey), who stopped by last night’s finale. But, as it turns out, that wasn’t Arrow’s Diggle. Nor is it the Arrowverse’s Superman and Lois, as confirmed by a small speech General Sam Lane, Lois’ father, gave to his grandchildren:
“I’ve been working for the DOD for a long time. I’ve seen things you would not believe—glimpses of other worlds, and the leagues of superheroes they have on them. And even though we only have your father on this planet, thank God that we do, because he’s the finest of any Earth.”
The key takeaways here are the fact there’s no League of superheroes, Justice or otherwise, in the universe that S&L takes place, which is patently untrue of the Arrowverse proper. That’s because the S&L world only has a Superman, meaning there are no other superheroes around. Now, if you’re wondering why the show’s power couple looks and acts exactly like the Superman and Lois of the Arrowverse, or how Diggle could stop by, showrunner Todd Helbing gave an explanation to TV Line although I’m not sure how satisfying it’ll be:
“We have to think about this as a separate Superman, a doppelganger of the one who was in the Arrowverse. I understand why everyone has been wanting the references, but it would have felt wrong.” As for Diggle: “This is also a new Diggle. David Ramsey had grown a beard and grew his hair out. He called me and said, ‘I’ve been growing my hair, I look different. Do you want me to shave and get a haircut?’ So not to add more confusion to it, but he’s a different Diggle.”
Doppelgangers? Sure. While it might be annoying to some to have gotten invested in the Arrowverse’s Man of Steel only to discover the hero’s solo show starred a different incarnation, this is exactly the sort of thing the idea of a Multiverse allows for. Admittedly, bringing in a, but not the, Diggle only serves to muddy the waters, and I think this idea of Superman & Lois being separate would have been served better by not bringing another character who looks and acts identically (other than that all-important haircut and beard) to his Arrowverse counterpart, but oh well.
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