‘Supergirl’s Tyler Hoechlin May Be the Best Superman Since Christopher Reeve

     October 18, 2016


I have been a fan of Superman for a long time. I can remember watching the original movies with Christopher Reeve in early childhood, moved on to the George Reeves-fronted Adventures of Superman series repeats on Nick at Nite, and then spent most of my early years online chatting and posting endlessly about the 1990s TV series Lois & Clark. In 2001, I created KryptonSite.com, the largest online portal for the WB/CW series Smallville, and even wrote a few official companion guides for the show. There were aspects of Superman Returns and Man of Steel that I liked, and I’ll even admit to liking Batman v Superman in some parts, at least. Needless to say, I have opinions when it comes to DC Comics’ flagship character of the daytime.

Since I was too young to have seen the George Reeves series the first time, Christopher Reeve was my first view into what Superman could be. He cared about people, he saved the world, and he could even make people forget things with a kiss. Best of all, he looked like he flew right off of a comic book page. As much as I loved Lois & Clark, especially Dean Cain‘s portrayal of Clark Kent, let’s be real: In costume, he looked like a guy in a Superman costume. Same, in many ways, for Superman ReturnsBrandon Routh; while his Clark was excellent, he didn’t totally fit the mold of what Superman should look like, for me. Tom Welling gave us an interesting proto-Superman but of course the show cut away before we could see him completely embody the role.


Image via The CW

Henry Cavill, for the most part, has the look. I still wish there was more red in his suit, and I still feel his version of the character is a bit of an “untouchable god,” whereas Superman should be someone we can relate to and aspire to be like. Superman saves kittens from trees. He’d save people he loves in tornadoes. And he’d always stop to say hello to admiring children. I’ve seen pictures and behind-the-scenes footage of Cavill being exactly that kind of Superman, but in the movies, I have yet to feel it.

I admit I was surprised when it was announced that Superman would be coming to Supergirl for its first two Season 2 episodes as the show moved from CBS to the CW. Tyler Hoechlin would not have been my immediate choice, though I didn’t mind the first photos that surfaced of the Teen Wolf actor in costume. But when he came on screen, within seconds I knew this was a Superman and a Clark that I would love.

“Lickety-split?” “In a jiffy?” This Clark Kent is a goober. Not quite to the level that Christopher Reeve’s Clark may have been, but definitely less cool than the Dean Cain version. He certainly has some cool, though, if he can get the attention of a tough character like Calista Flockhart‘s Cat Grant. Then we see him running down the street—the shirt rip, the musical score from Blake Neely, and finally a flight into the air, teaming up with his cousin—this is Superman to me.