The bizarre world of Superman and Lois looks like Riverdale

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Superman and Lois SSeason 2, Episode 9, “30 Days and 30 Nights,” airs Tuesday, March 29 on The CW.

Superman and Lois Season 2 introduced Inverse World to a strange, inverted version of Arrowverse reality, with its own familiar faces mirroring the main cast, including the brutal Bizarro. Briefly glimpsed as Bizarro recounted how he arrived in the Arrowverse, the reverse world appears to be ruled by this reality’s version of cult leader Ally Allston, with this world’s super-powered iteration of Lana Lang as its enforcer. As the series prepares for a deeper exploration of this dark and twisted reality, the promo for the season’s tenth episode suggests the inverted world will take stylistic cues from Riverdale.


The promo for the episode “Bizarros in a Bizarro World” appears to expand on Bizarro’s origin story, with Superman and Lois from the reverse world seen embracing the fame and glamor that comes with Clark Kent being the superhero. the most famous of this universe. In this morally inverted reality, decadence and debauchery seem to be the de facto law of the land, with the citizens of Smallville indulging their basest urges while Ally discovers ways to access the Arrowverse. In this preview, the fashion, cinematography and lighting are visually reminiscent Riverdale.


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Among the most notable similarities between the two CW series is the difference in outfits worn by the Inverse World characters compared to their Arrowverse counterparts. There’s a lot of leather and black in the Inverse World wardrobe, with this world’s Jonathan practically looking like one of Riverdale’s Southside Vipers while nodding to Conner Kent’s original Superboy suit. Lois and Lana have dressed more suggestively than their Arrowverse lookalikes, while many around Smallville are seen in similar, more edgy outfits.



Lt. Anderson killed Bizarro in Superman & Lois

There are tonal similarities too, with the wealth and adoration that Superman and his family like to evoke the wealth and social status that the Lodges and Blossoms have ruled over their Riverdale neighbors for years. Lois and Lana are shown hinting that they have their own sinister side, with a quiet menace for their appearances in the promos. Smallville is no longer the wholesome image of a small American town, but a place where everyone has a deadly secret and can indulge their worst impulses.

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Riverdale has always been a show that took the poster boy for wholesome, family-friendly cartoon fun and turned it into a gory crime story, complete with serial killers on the sidelines and rival gangs. Recognizable Archie Comics elements were still there, but were repurposed to provide an unsettling edge as Archie Andrews found himself literally struggling to survive against the hidden evils of his hometown. Coincidently, Riverdale recently had its own exploration of parallel dimensions with the “Rivervale” event, as it offered an even darker and more gruesome take on the series at the start of its sixth season outside of its main continuity.


Superman has now been stuck in the Reverse World for a full month while Jonathan from that Reverse World has arrived in the Arrowverse to encounter the Kent Family’s iteration of Prime Reality. It’ll be interesting to see how intact this more bawdy Smallville is without its biggest hero, and how the Arrowverse Superman reacts to it. But judging by the promos, the man of tomorrow is sure to find the reverse world to be a downright unpleasant place and a nightmarish twist on the home he left behind.

Developed for TV by Greg Berlanti and Todd Helbing, Superman & Lois airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW. Season 2 resumes Tuesday, April 26.

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