…it’s Superman! I’ve been a Smallville fan since the first season came out a decade ago. The final season was just released on DVD and I can’t wait to watch it. The origin story of how Clark Kent becomes Superman is well developed, has a lot of great supporting characters and always keeps you guessing. In the first episode, Clark Kent saves the irresponsible and reckless Lex Luthor from a car crash. This single event leads to the complicated relationship they have throughout the series. Let me highlight some of my favorite storylines through the years:
Season 1: You meet Clark Kent, a student at Smallville High School. He has a group of close friends, a love interest named Lana Lang, and a friend named Lex Luthor. A meteor shower is to blame for certain abilities of the people of Smallville. Clark’s friend, Chloe Sullivan, is the newspaper editor who investigates such people. You can pick up an episode, meet a character, and by the end of the episode there will be resolution. The following seasons expand on the Superman mythology, introducing other characters from the comics into the show.
Season 2: Clark’s best friend, Pete, learns of his superpowers. Lionel Luthor invades his way into Clark’s life, further tangling the relationship of Clark and Lex. Pete becomes keeper of Clark’s secret, putting stress on their friendship. So far in the series, Pete is the only non-family member to know of Clark’s birth home and parents.
Season 3: Jonathan Kent meets Clark’s birth father; Jor-El. Pete learns about the burden of being Clark’s secret-keeper, avoiding dangerous people and situations along the way. The Superman I grew up with, Christopher Reeve, makes a few special appearances as Virgil Swan throughout this season. He is the wise one who tells Clark about his family history. Though I have to admit that my favorite part of this season is in the last episode where Lois Lane’s name is mentioned.
Season 4: Lois Lane comes to Smallville as Chloe’s cousin. Lois, a bit older than the high schoolers, gets a job at the Daily Planet in nearby Metropolis. Clark and Lex’s relationship finally fractures, setting the stage for the arch enemies to duel it out.
Season 5: Clark goes to college and contemplates becoming a football star. Other superheroes come into their own including Aquaman, Cyborg and Brainiac, making Clark think about his talents and his future.
Season 6: Green Arrow joins the cast, giving Clark’s unnamed superhero a run for his money. Clark is haunted by his parent’s past as the Phantom Zone allows escapees to come to earth, making Clark’s secret harder to keep. LuthorCorps experiments are exposed, giving Clark and his superhero friends a cause.
Season 7: Clark’s “evil twin” Bizarro joins this season as does Supergirl. Clark learns more about his family history from his cousin, Kara. She’s old enough to tell Clark about the ways of his old world.
Season 8: Clark’s superhero identity is named by photographer Jimmy Olsen at the Daily Planet. Known as the Red-Blue Blur, Clark has to keep modern technology in mind as he shows himself to the world. Arch enemy Doomsday makes Clark’s life (as well as the lives of Kansans) a living hell. The season finale tops the rest of the seasons in a blowout between the Red-Blue Blur and Doomsday.
Season 9: The Justice Society is re-established. Clark and Green Arrow learn a lot from Hawkman and Stargirl about becoming a superhero family and depending on each other in times of need. Clark’s history is exposed as uncle Zod comes into the picture. Lois Lane travels forward in time to see what Zod can do to the world if his powers aren’t stopped.
Season 10: I haven’t had time to watch the entire season yet, but I can’t wait to! There are so many things I love about the show: the gradual build to becoming a true superhero, the complex relationship between Clark and all of the double-L characters, and most of all the good triumphs evil. I urge you to give this show a try over the long winter months!
Lisa Shaia is the children’s librarian whose maiden name gave her the nickname L², which made her eligible to be one of Clark Kent’s love interests or enemies.