‘Superman & Lois’ Tyler Hoechlin Reminds Us Why He’s Such a Perfect Clark Kent
In the latest episode of Superman & Lois, Tyler Hoechlin reminds fans once again why he’s the perfect dorky Clark Kent. Ever since Hoechlin first made his debut in the Arrowverse as Superman, he has been a pleasant surprise to fans of the iconic superhero. After all, he was contending with eight other prominent actors who have taken on the role and had to translate a hero of Superman’s stature to the small screen. However, he has proven himself very capable in the roles of both Superman and Clark, to the point that some have hailed him as one of the best Superman actors yet.
One of the best things about Superman & Lois is that it provides a balance between Clark’s adventures as Superman and his personal life as a father and husband. Viewers get the typical superhero action with the show’s integration of comic book villains like Bizarro (Hoechlin), Bruno Mannheim (Chad L. Coleman), and Onomatopoeia (Daya Vaidya). However, they also get to see Clark’s human side, especially because he is very firm about his family coming even before his Superman duties. This decision sometimes draws criticism from characters like Sam Lane (Dylan Walsh), but it provides viewers with a realistic depiction of what Superman’s life as a family man looks like.
This season, the personal side of Clark’s family life has been fairly heavy, considering Lois’ (Elizabeth Tulloch) cancer diagnosis. Because the show strives to be realistic, Clark’s personal life can almost be just as intense as his superhero life as he struggles to keep his marriage fresh and manage two teenage boys. However, the show does still give viewers a lot of wholesome, heartwarming, and comedic moments from the Kent family, especially from its endearingly goofy and enthusiastic patriarch.
Tyler Hoechlin captures Clark Kent’s dorky side
In Superman & Lois season 3 episode 10, “Collision Course,” viewers got one of Hoechlin’s classic Clark moments. The episode sees Clark attempt to spend some quality time with his boys, Jordan (Alexander Garfin) and Jonathan (Michael Bishop), by nabbing tickets to WrestleMania. Of course, instead of casually asking his sons about going to WrestleMania, he uses his Superman speed to burst into the room, yelling, “Who wants to wrangle and tangle, huh?” His sons look on askance as he laughs infectiously and shows off the WrestleMania shirt he bought specifically for their night together.
It’s such a small moment, but fans immediately picked up on Hoechlin’s peak dorky Clark Kent mode. While he can definitely be serious, intimidating, and noble as Superman, what Hoechlin does best is capitalizing on his less serious Clark side.
This is just one example of how Hoechlin captures Clark’s goofier side. It’s a side of his character that tends to pop up whenever things aren’t too serious, suggesting this is actually his natural personality. He often comes across as awkward and uncomfortable in social situations. We can see this in Clark’s and Lois’ first meeting, where Clark bombs his interview for the Daily Planet by knocking things over and only having his high school newspaper as experience. However, his adorable earnestness wins them over, and in no time, he’s rambling to Lois while trailing after her as the bumbling rookie reporter.
It is reminiscent of how he later gets hired as the assistant coach of his sons’ football team by enthusiastically agreeing to do all the work for free, then shows up for work grinning like a kid on Christmas, repping the football team head-to-toe. No matter how much time passes, underneath, Hoechlin’s Clark is always that overly-enthusiastic, bubbly, goofy, and clumsy guy who gets excited over the little things and doesn’t always know what to say in social settings. Meanwhile, this depiction is perfectly in line with the Clark Kent of the comics.
Hoechlin brings back goofy Kent from the comics
While there is a preference nowadays for more dark and brooding heroes, like Henry Cavill’s Superman, Clark was never quite like that in the comic books. There was always a stark contrast between the hero Superman and the reporter Clark. As Superman, he was nearly god-like and the epitome of strength and hope. However, Clark was a lot more introverted and shy. He was prone to clumsiness and just a bit of a nerdy reporter who was hopelessly crushing on his co-worker. While it’s debatable how much of this personality was really him and how much was an act to throw people off his scent as Superman, it was still an important part of Clark’s character.
Meanwhile, Hoechlin really plays up this aspect of Clark, which hasn’t been done extensively. In fact, aside from Hoechlin and Christopher Reeve, most Superman actors struggle to really contrast their portrayal of Superman and Clark or only dabble in Clark’s more goofy personality. Hoechlin does such a good job differentiating Clark, by making him so goofy and lovable, that he almost does make it believable that other characters don’t guess his identity.
Not only does he portray a comic book-accurate Clark, but he shows audiences how endearing a little bit of shyness and dorkiness can be.
(featured image: The CW)
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