Traditionally, Smallville has been located in Kansas, and Metropolis in New York, basically a comics-alternate version of New York City. But the geography seems a little bit off in Superman & Lois.

In the season 1 episode Broken Trust, the Smallville high school football team goes off to Metropolis to play a game against them. This seems odd to say the least; college sports teams may fly around the country like that, but high school teams?

In the season 3 episode Uncontrollable Forces, it implies that Metropolis is a medium distance away from Smallville, a place you could get to and back within a day but it would be bit of a long drive. So maybe Smallville is in a rural part of New York now?

No such luck; in the season 3 episode Too Close To Home, Clark makes an offhand reference to Shawnee County being near Smallville. So we are still in Kansas, Toto.

All this leads to a very strange implication: Metropolis appears to be in or very close to Kansas in this continuity. And yet, establishing shots for scenes in Metropolis show it's in a coastal location, which would seem to rule out landlocked Kansas. So... do we have any definitive information about its location in this show?

2 Answers 2


I don't watch the show, but almost certainly the details you cite have nothing to do with Smallville or Metropolis changing from their traditional/canon locations. Far more likely one or more of the following:

  1. The show's budget is so tight that the writers don't have time to proof everything for "world building consistency".
  2. The writers were aware of the contradictions, but they wanted a certain plot (e.g. high school away game at Metropolis) more than they wanted "world building consistency".
  3. The writers simply goofed, or were careless/sloppy.

In other words, I think you are trying very hard to find consistency where none exists. Different shows or writers have different priorities, and even when internal consistency is important, it can be impossible to get perfect. For example, even hard science fiction movies will get the science wrong, or will make up things when the science is unknown, or cheat in service of the story (or budget). Most of the time the story is most important thing.


In my experience Metropolis and Gotham City are moving cities, travelling hundreds of miles between different comics, movies, and tv shows.

It is common to put Metropolis and Gotham City near New York City on opposite sides of New York Bay, one on long Island and one in New Jersey.

In the 1960s Batman tv show (1966-68), it was common to make jokes & pun indicating that Gotham City was a parody of New York City.

Back in the previous millennium, I saw a large format Superman comic which had a map putting Metropolis and Gotham city on opposite sides of the lower Delaware River, one in Southern Pennsylvania or Delaware and one near Salem, New Jersey.

I think I also read somewhere a statement that either Metropolis or Gotham City was supposed to be near Cape May, New Jersey.

As I remember, in the tv series Smallville (2001-2011), Smallville was in Kansas and Metropolis was close enough to Smallville to commute there, and so also in Kansas or in a neighboring state like Missouri, Oklahoma, Colorado, or Nebraska.

So that is precedent for having Metropolis in or near Kansas.

And I am not certain I have heard of all the suggested locations for Metropolis or Gotham City, not being a big fan of superhero comics, movies, and tv shows.

If there were real life large cities in all the suggested locations for Metropolis and Gotham City the USA would be much more urbanized than it is.

Possibly some terrible science fictional disaster or sea level rising due to global warming has created a seacoast in or near Kansas in the fictional universe of Superman and Lois (2021-).

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