Audiences have always questioned whether Superman & Lois was set in The CW’s Arrowverse. Yes, it saw Tyler Hoechlin and Bitsie Tulloch reprise their roles of Clark Kent/Superman and Lois Lane from Supergirl — but there were clearly differences between the two versions of the characters. Superman & Lois also debuted a distinct look that was different from any Arrowverse show before.
Any character differences or recastings could simply be chalked up to “Crisis on Infinite Earths” — which was referenced in the series — yet Season 1 featured an appearance from David Ramsey as John Diggle. This cameo proved the show’s connection to the wider Arrowverse, which was later confirmed by the comic book event Earth-Prime. The Superman & Lois Twitter account specifically referenced Earth-Prime in a tweet promoting the Season 2 premiere. Then the Superman & Lois Season 2 finale aired, declaring the show to not be on Earth Prime at all… and throwing away all the established canon with it.
References to other Arrowverse properties have been few and far between in Superman & Lois, mostly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which scuppered plans for a crossover with Batwoman. Yet it was still assumed that the show was set within in the continuity established after “Crisis,” with the heroes of Earth-38 merging with that of Earth-One to create Earth-Prime. Therefore, it came as a surprise when it was revealed in Season 2, Episode 15, “Waiting for Superman,” that Superman was the only hero on his Earth. This was later elaborated on by show runner Todd Helbing in an interview with TVLine, where he said the decision to keep Superman & Lois out of the Arrowverse was made during Season 1 but he “couldn’t make it public until the end of the season.”
But June 21 — less than a week before the finale aired — saw Clark Kent make an appearance in the Earth-Prime comic, which as the title suggests, is set on Earth Prime. The comic storyline reintroduced the villain Magog as he tried to destroy the vigilantes of Earth-Prime, believing himself to be a hero more worthy of the title than the likes of The Flash, Batwoman and Superman. The second issue of the series focused entirely on Superman and Lois Lane and issue #6 showed Clark interacting with the children of Barry Allen and Iris West. If Superman & Lois was intended to be set on a different Earth from early on, why did the producers create unnecessary continuity errors?
Some may argue that just because an issue of Earth-Prime was focused on Superman & Lois doesn’t mean it was connected to the CW series; the fourth issue was tied into Stargirl, which is set on Earth-Two. However, Stargirl was always intended to be separate whereas the implications from the comic and the TV show both pointed towards Superman & Lois being set on Earth Prime. It’s a strange move for DC to alter continuity so drastically within the space of a week, suggesting that a little communication between the television and comic divisions (and the relevant social media managers) is necessary.