‘Superman & Lois’ season 2 challenges Kal-El’s allegiance to the American way

Image via The CW

Over the last year, DC Comics caused a minor controversy by officially updating Superman’s traditional motto of “truth, justice, and the American way” to “truth, justice, and a better tomorrow.” This was the culmination of many years of creatives trying to ditch the character’s old-fashioned patriotic ideals in favor of making him a citizen of the world. As The CW’s Superman & Lois heads into its second season, it sounds like a similar storyline is about to play out on screen.

While speaking to TV Line to tease what’s coming in the hit series’ sophomore run, showrunner Todd Helbing revealed that the Man of Steel’s loyalty to America will be called into question. Following his father-in-law, General Sam Lane (Dylan Walsh) retiring from the Department of Defense, Kal-El (Tyler Hoechlin) will now be working under Lt. Mitch Anderson (Hoechlin’s former Teen Wolf co-star Ian Bohen), who will have a much more fraught dynamic with the hero.

For one, he’ll be looking to pin down Supes’ allegiance to his adoptive home country, but the Big Blue will be reluctant to give it. As Helbing explains:

“America benefited from where he landed, but if you’re Superman — or on our show, because he’s Clark Kent, and because he had these fantastic parents — he has a responsibility not just to Smallville or to Kansas or to America, but to the world.”

The decision to tackle this more political storyline “ties into the mythology that we’re doing this season,” says Helbing. It sounds like a major spine of this batch of episodes will be exploring how Superman’s working relationship with the military becomes much more hostile now that he doesn’t have Lane on his side.

“Sam Lane had done that job forever, and he obviously has all of the benefit of knowing who Superman really is, that he’s married to his daughter, their history, all of that,” Helbing continued. “He can get away with things and hide things in a way that someone coming in who doesn’t know that secret wouldn’t be able to do. We’re playing all of that in conjunction with the idea that if you have someone like Superman at your disposal, and you’re a country, you want that person fighting for you.”

superman & lois

Sam Lane, the father to Lois (Elizabeth Tulloch), will still be part of the series, however. Helbing went on to tease that Sam will initially be taking it easy before he gets sucked into the Kents’ problems, and may well get his grandsons, Jonathan (Jordan Elsass) and Jordan (Alex Garfin), in trouble.

“With a job like his that he’s had for so long, he just needs a break,” Helbing says. “He’s out there doing things you wouldn’t normally see General Lane do. The writers had a lot of fun coming up with fun things to do if you’re a retired ex-military person. When we see him, he’s enjoying life and retirement, but he gets folded back into the family and all of their problems. Ultimately, he starts doing some stuff with the boys that maybe he shouldn’t be doing.”

Season two will also follow on from the big cliffhanger of the season one finale, which saw Natalie (Taylor Buck), the daughter of Lois and John Henry Irons (Wole Parks) from another universe, arrive in Smallville. Don’t miss the Superman & Lois season two premiere on The CW tonight, Tuesday Jan. 11.