Add Dean Cain to one of those that had mixed feelings about ‘Man of Steel’. The 2013 film, which starred Henry Cavill as Clark Kent and Superman, was financially successful enough to spawn the current DC film universe, but reaction was decidedly uneven and one scene in the film, in which Pa Kent, played by Kevin Costner, willingly died during a tornado in order that Clark kept his powers a secret.
While attending the 25th anniversary panel for ‘Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman’, Cain, who played Superman on that series, revealed his thoughts on that scene. Cain’s Lois, Teri Hatcher, stated that when she thought of Jonathan and Martha Kent, she envisioned the actors that played them on ‘Lois & Clark’, K Callan and Eddie Jones. To which Cain responded:
“Same. I don’t picture Kevin Costner. No offense. By the way, why didn’t Superman save him right then? Seriously, that made me so mad. I would have saved him, I’m just throwing it out there.”
That wasn’t Cain’s only controversial statement. When discussing the state of DC movies, he commented, “Maybe that’s why Marvel is kicking their butts in the movies right now,” to which the audience seemed to react to with half boos and half cheers. That didn’t stop him, as he continued “I don’t know, you tell me. Are the DC movies better than the Marvel movies?” At least one person in attendance responded with a hearty “Yes!” He concluded, “Are the Marvel movies better than the DC movies?… My point has been made.”
‘Lois & Clark’ began airing in 1993 and ran for four seasons on ABC. It was one of the first adaptations that depicted the Kents as still being alive, a change made in the 1986 comic book miniseries ‘Man of Steel’, written and drawn by John Byrne, which reinvented Superman for a modern (at the time) audience. Created by Deborah Joy LeVine, ‘Lois & Clark’ was an attempt to fuse the Superman concept with a soap opera aesthetic, an idea that has influenced later adaptations like ‘Smallville’, ‘Supergirl’ and arguably, even the movies.
Cain has remained attached to the Man of Steel. He appeared on ‘Smallville’ as Dr. Curtis Knox, and had a recurring role on ‘Supergirl’ as Kara’s adoptive Earth father, Jeremiah Danvers. Perhaps most intriguingly, he voices Jonathan Kent on the ‘DC Super Hero Girls’ animated specials.
Though it may ultimately not be everyone’s cup of tea, ‘Lois & Clark’ is an interesting time capsule of a different time in DC’s history. If you’re curious, it is available on DC Universe.