The Silver Age Potential of Superman and Lois’ Fortress of Solitude
The second season of Superman and Lois ended with the Lane-Kent family creating a new fortress of solitude somewhere in the open sea. Until then, the two fortresses featured in the TV show – Superman’s in the Arctic and Tal-Rho’s in the desert – didn’t have much. They mainly consisted of holographic parents, diagnostic equipment and computers capable of projecting 3D images. This more or less matched the versions of the fortress that appeared in Christopher Reeve. Superman movies, The Return of Superman and Smallville. However, it was a far cry from the weird sci-fi wonderland the Fortress became during the Silver Age of comics.
Under the editorial direction of Mort Weisinger, the Superman comics of the 1950s and 1960s moved away from the raw, tumbling influences of the Golden Age and into a more fantastic science fiction realm. It was the era that introduced now classic elements of the Superman mythos like Brainiac, the Phantom Zone, and the Bottle City of Kandor. This version of Superman was less of a two-fisted scrapper and more of a smiley father figure who built look-alike robots and conducted bizarre science experiments in his Fortress lab. The introduction of a new Fortress of Solitude on Superman and Lois is an opportunity for the CW series to embrace some of these weird and fun elements.
Although one of its main characters is a super-powered refugee from a distant and cursed planet, Superman and Lois has been largely the strongest of The CW’s DC-based offerings. His effects seem more refined and his playing is more naturalistic than those of the flash Where batman. But more representative of the real world or not, Superman and Lois is a superhero series. His attempts at plausibility can only be crowned with success. As such, why not have fun with the dumbest aspects of Superman lore? Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely proved with Superman All Star that it is certainly possible to do so without sacrificing narrative quality or sophistication.
The writers of Superman and Lois could use many features from the Fortress of Solitude to complete Clark’s story and hint at the two decades of adventures he had before the series began. Trophies, memorabilia, and even the Intergalactic Zoo might give viewers and the Kent twins a better sense of what this Man of Steel has been up to and where he’s been. Jordan Kent could use the giant battle robot to further hone his developing powers. Seeing references to Kryptonian history and folklore like the Adventures of Nightwing and Flamebird might inspire Jonathan Kent to start embracing his alien heritage as he potentially uses Fortress technology to create his own heroic personality.
The Fortress of Solitude encapsulates everything that drives and matters to Superman. It contains relics of his greatest exploits and rooms dedicated to all the most important people in his life. More than a monument to a dead planet, it’s the only place in the world that marries the two halves of the Man of Steel. It’s a Kryptonian scientific playground and a place for a sentimental farm boy to relax among reminders of loved ones from the past, present, and – with the help of his handy time telescope – the future.
Grounding and realism have their place, but it’s usually not alongside characters that can juggle subs. Once the superpowers enter the picture, there’s no reason not to embrace the wonderful and the fantastic. Bringing the warm weirdness of the Silver Age to the new Fortress of Solitude, the creators of Superman and Lois can add another layer of heart and a greater amount of sci-fi fun to an already excellent series.
Superman & Lois Season 3 will premiere on The CW in 2023.