Superman & Lois fixed the Arrowverse’s metahumans powers problem by using an approach similar to the one taken by Sam Raimi’s first Spider-Man movie. Though set in totally different superhero universes, 2002’s Spider-Man and Superman & Lois both involve teenagers coming to terms with their new powers.
In Superman & Lois season 1, episode 9, titled “Loyal Subjekts”, Jordan (Alex Garfin) began to develop yet another Kryptonian ability when he contracted a disease that cause him to sneeze ice everywhere. The sudden manifestation of his ice breath power resulted in him hurriedly walking out on Sarah (Inde Navarrete), who was depending on him to help her with her singing audition. Afterward, Jordan returned home and continued to sneeze ice uncontrollably. He even froze a lamp by accident. This episode is not the first (nor it is likely to be the last) time Jordan’s powers have produced awkward moments for him at school. His abilities have already led to some hard-to-explain absences, and his latest disappearing act is sure to only make things worse for him going forward, since Jonathan (Jordan Elsass) can’t keep coming up with rational explanations for Jordan’s actions.
The problems that Jordan has experienced with his Kryptonian powers draw fun comparisons to other superhero stories, particularly Spider-Man. The most humorous scenes in the first installment in Raimi’s trilogy stemmed from Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) discovering that he possessed super powers. Peter accidentally webbing a lunch tray to Flash Thompson’s body and using his enhanced agility to win a fight against him in the hallway amounted to an entertaining sight, and it’s certainly been interesting to see Jordan go through a journey not unlike Peter’s in Spider-Man.
Just like it was with Peter, developing his abilities throughout season 1 has not been an easy or smooth process – nor should it have been. Getting control of powers shouldn’t be simple for a teenager, or anyone for that matter. That’s in contrast to how the Arrowverse has handled other super-powered characters. Some metahumans do have difficulties in reaching an understanding of their capabilities, but most don’t usually waste much time in learning to use their powers effectively. With training, they’re able to evolve into somewhat capable heroes (and villains) within the span of an episode or two, such is the case with Elongated Man (Hartley Sawyer) and Fuerza (Sara Garcia) from The Flash. It’s actually a common Arrowverse trope.
One advantage that Superman & Lois has is time. Since there’s no need for Jordan to instantly transform into Superman’s successor or a new Arrowverse hero, the series can take its time and have fun with his character, which is what Smallville was able to do when teenage Clark (Tom Welling) was acquiring his own powers. That gives the show all sorts of opportunities in season 1 and beyond, as there’s no telling what embarrassing situations Jordan’s Kryptonian heritage will put him in during the episodes to come.