Back to the Source: The Origins of ‘Superman & Lois’

George Reeves in The Adventures of Superman
Courtesy of Everett Collection

This is an excerpt from TV Guide Magazine’s Sci-Fi & Fantasy Special Collector’s Issue, which is available for international pre-order online at and available nationwide on newsstands.

The Last Son of Krypton first flew into pop culture on the pages of DC Comics’ Action Comics No. 1, published on April 18, 1938. The story of Kal-El, an alien posing as mild-mannered Metropolis journalist Clark Kent, was created by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster.

The issue (a copy of which recently sold for $3.25 million) also introduced the world to Lois Lane, the intrepid Daily Planet reporter who would go on to become both Supes’ confidant and wife. In the decades since, the pair has grown to be regarded as one of the most iconic—and immortalized—couples of all time. But it took time to get them together.

In 1952, Adventures of Superman found George Reeves filling the famed costume (alongside platonic Lois); the animated New Adventures of Superman hit the air in 1966, followed by his cartoon inclusion in 1973’s Saturday-morning classic Super Friends. Fifteen years after big-screen audiences fell in love with newcomer Christopher Reeve’s inimitable turn as Superman in 1978’s epic, TV gave us the rom-com camp of 1993’s Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman starring Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher, followed in 2001 by the teen drama of a young Clark Kent (Tom Welling) in Smallville, opposite Erica Durance. And since 1996, various cartoon versions of the couple have run around the small screen in such projects as Superman: The Animated Series, Justice League and Young Justice.

Smallville (Jack Rowand / © Warner Brothers Television / Courtesy: Everett Collection)

The latest take on the duo first took shape when Tyler Hoechlin guest starred as Kal-El opposite cousin Kara (Melissa Benoist) on Supergirl in 2016, with Elizabeth Tulloch debuting as Lois in The CW’s 2018 Arrowverse crossover event “Elseworlds.” A year later, they featured heavily in the multishow “Crisis on Infinite Earths” storyline, which also placed DC’s Legends of Tomorrow cast member and Superman Returns star Brandon Routh as an alternate-timeline iteration of Kal-El. All in all, Lois and Clark have had, well, a super run.

Superman & Lois, Season 2 Premiere, Tuesday, January 11, 8/7c, The CW