A long standing tradition on the CBGXtra website, when the forums are actually up and running, has been reviewing various superhero related media.

One of the programs under this practice has been The WB's/The CW's version of Smallville.

Thankfully the show went on winter hiatus before the forums were closed for hacking prevention/maintenance/updating.

With Mr. Silver Age's kind indulgence and urging, I am resuming reviews of Smallville here, starting with the first new episode of 2011 below.

All opinions are my own. Yours may vary and are quite welcome in this space.

Now then...

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Thanks, CK, for posting the link. I've seen it pop up in other threads, but I can never see it enough. What were they thinking, and what was I thinking when I read those comics?

Going into hiding isn't the same as wiping every scrap of evidence of your existence from the planet's data bases. It just seemed rather dramatic and suspenseful with all the hoods and total cutoff of communication for it to turn out to be just that. I think that's my problem this season--several big lead ups have resulted in nothing much, including the All-Fall-Down cliffhanger that led into that episode. Hopefully, those things are in the past.

It's always possible Clark can hypnotize the guy who bumps into him at the Planet; there's not much he's going to do about the guy at the crime scene who sees the image from London who thinks the Blur looks an awful lot like Clark Kent--without his glasses. There are way too many guys who know Clark without his glasses by now. He needed that disguise back when he first got to the Planet. But I imagine that ship has sailed, and we're going to pretend this gets the job done at this late stage of the game.

BTW, I was pleased with all the furniture smashing that got done in DISGUISE when fighting the FBI agents, but I sure don't understand why the table didn't have a glass top. A missed opportunity. I've never actually fallen onto a chair or table hard enough to smash it into pieces, but I'd think I wouldn't bounce right back up. Those Smallville people are made of stern stuff. Literally.

-- MSA

The Superman mythos has been added to from a number of outside sources over the years Jeff.

You’re not telling me anything I don’t know, Lee. It used to drive me crazy when the TV show “violated” the “established continuity” of the comics, especially when the tail wagged the dog and the “violation” filtered back to the comics (such as kryptonite bullets being able to pierce Clark’s invulnerable skin, for example), until I eventually came to accept Smallville continuity as its own thing.

From roughly the mid-forties through the mid-eighties, “the adventures of Superman when he was a boy” is probably the earliest and longest-running continuity implant (with stories such as “When Clark Kent Met Lois Lane,” and so on). Some of them were so contradictory to the adult Superman’s backstory they had to be taken with a sizable grain of kryptonite. As much as I’ve enjoyed Smallville over the years, though, I’ve never thought of it as anything other than backstory to whatever might come next.

Of course, I have no inside knowledge that the mythos will be continued, but I hope it will. If Smallville does spawn a spin-off about a flying, costumed Superman, it’s conceivable that a whole generation of kids who have never seen Smallville might grow up with a new Adventures of Superman or Metropolis or whatever they might choose to call it. If so, there won’t be a need for outlandish continuity implants, because stories such as “The Night Lana Lang Died” or “Jimmy Olsen’s Older Brother” (my titles) will already exist.

So when I referred to last week’s episode as “the origin of the ‘Clark Kent’ persona,” that’s the paradigm I was getting at.

Good or bad, Fortune is what you make of it.

A joint bachelor/bachelorette party amongst close friends, mixed with spiked champagne courtesy of Zatanna the Magician, and winding up in the middle of Amos Fortune (in his Smallville debut) trying to pull off an insurance scam against his own casino; made for some madcap hi-jinx worthy of the Silver Age comic books.

 

The plot was a bit convoluted in the middle, which made sense in hindsight as the party goers tried to figure out what happened to them.

The lowest point for me was not having Serinda Swan back on screen as Zatanna. The second lowest was Chloe announcing at the end she was leaving again. Whether actress Alison Mack will actually be back for the series finale remains to be seen, but it will be a dang shame if she aint!

The highest points? I'm torn between two, both of which came at the end of the episode. Chloe, when explaining where she had been during her absence, dropping hints of encountering "a millionaire with some amazing gadgets and an Amazon Princess", obvious references to Batman and Wonder Woman; two characters who have been promised in the series since before the pilot ever aired.

The other? Phillip Portelli called it above! Congratulations to Mister and Mrs. Queen.

 

NEXT (March 4): Clark versus the Alexander clone, and it will actually be a 'super' battle!

The Lionel Luthor from a parallel world wants a Scion!

While the newlywed Queens enjoy their Star City honeymoon, it's Lionel versus Tess for control of the Luthor Empire while he battles Clark for control of the fledgling Superboy clone that was Alexander and the life of Lois Lane.

An action packed hour whose only real drawback was being light on background material for those who came in late.

And guess who a broke and broken Lionel met in the episode's cliffhanger ending!

 

Meanwhile, the countdown to the grand finale will resume April 15.

Now that we're in the last respite before the grand finale, let's conduct an informal poll.

What, if anything, should replace Smallville on The CW's schedule this fall?

With or without David E. Kelly, Wonder Woman might end up on NBC.

The Batman franchise is committed to movies and animated series right now.

The last rumor I heard was DC/The CW was considering a Raven series to not only maintain their current teen/young adult demographic, but also have an "appropriate" lead in to Supernatural.

Of course you could always put Tom Welling in the familiar red and blue outfit, rename the series Metropolis, and just carry on wherever you left off at the end of the finale.

Plus there are plenty of guest stars from past episodes that might get the nod, including: The Justice Society, Zatanna (my personal favorite); the current Blue Bettle, who is allegedly making a guest appearance soon; or even give Green Arrow his own show, with or without Chloe Sullivan Queen and the Black Canary.

So what do you folks think?

The floor is now open for discussion.

My vote is for Metropolis (although I prefer the title The Adventures of Superman). Perhaps they could combine the titles and let people call it whichever they want (as they did with The New Adventures of Superman in the '90s).

I have to say, I wasn't overly impressed with this second flight of the final season. My expectations were probably too high after the first series, where something eye-popping was happening every episode. They said they'd front-loaded some of the stuff, but I didn't realize how much they'd drop off after that.

Scion was okay but a little predictable. I wish Clark would stop leading in every battle with his chin. He's battling a guy who's had super-powers for, like, a half-hour, while he's had his for about a decade, and he still gets thrown all over the place like rag doll? I'd think he'd have developed some kind of moves by now.

Hopefully, that's the last we've seen of the bizarro super-people. It sure is a tempting story to put together, I guess. Sadly, the mansion was in ruins, so Lois could only be thrown through the 2 x 4 framing rather than a glass coffee table. Metropolitans are sure durable people.

Two other nice touches: Clark commented on Tess just opening the door and coming in. "There is a doorbell," indeed. There are also locks, Clark, except at the Kent Farm! And I liked Connor referencing all those cows he'd have to milk if he stayed at the Kent farm any longer. I'm sure Daisy would appreciate it if somebody did a little milking now and again.

I'm really looking forward to the final episodes in April. This was a definite lull to get us ready for the big finale, and I'm ready. I liked the teaser line, "The End of the Beginning." I hope they end the beginning the way it should be ended.

As to what will follow, before this week's Scion, I would have figured it was pretty well up for grabs. But unless it was just a cute homage to current comics, they set up a Superboy TV series pretty well. They may have more in mind for him, but I would guess from the way they ended it, with him going off to high school and Darkseid rising by Lex's grave, Alex won't be carrying the evil load any more.

Whether they want to do that, continuing the idea without any of the key icons, is another thing. It keeps the high-school vibe that the CW likes, but it eliminates a lot of Super-tie-ins except for die-hard comics readers. But it would be an option, unless they don't want to compete with the Young Justice show--which would be a cool idea too, if it weren't already an animated show (one that I don't think is going to be lasting all that long, but you never know).

Needless to say, Young Bruce Wayne would be cool and very similar to what was done with Smallville. As I remember, Superman was committed to movies and animated shows when Smallville started, and that didn't stop it.

I still don't understand the benefit to a Raven show, unless she's more popular from the Teen Titans Go show than I would expect. She wouldn't seem to offer much as a lead character, and if they're going to change her enough to be interesting, they could start fresh. I doubt we'd see any of her TT friends.

If we assume it should be a DC series, then certainly JSA would be great, but Zatanna would seem more likely. A GA-Chloe/Oracle show would also be on my must-watch list, especially if they threw in Aquaman and (woo-hoo) Mera every so often. Mort would be so proud.

Sadly, I'm not sure any of that will happen. More likely, it will go back to being some teenagery thing without a big SFX budget. OTOH, I hope they do decide to keep their Supernatural Friday concept intact somehow.

At one point, Warner was working up a Sandman show, based on Gaiman's version, with him introducing stories and possibly involved in some. Work it around Death, too, and I bet you'd have a CW show.

-- MSA

Geoff Johns announced this past summer that a Blue Beetle series was in development.

 

http://www.superherohype.com/news/articles/102444-blue-beetle-live-...

 

http://www.ksitetv.com/2306/the-blue-beetle-on-television/

 

As for the Raven series, we briefly discussed it a few months ago.

 

http://captaincomics.ning.com/forum/topics/raven-tv-series

 

If either of these shows actually manages to get off the ground, I'm guessing it won't be until the 2012-2013 tv season.

I don't think it can be for Fall 2011 at this point, as the CW has named all the pilots it picked up, and none of them were connected to DC. That means that at best a new DC show would be a midseason replacement and that something else will fill Smallville's slot. Granted, Smallville's slot has varied all over, but it doesn't look like there can be a DC show on the CW this fall.

I frankly think Birds of Prey would be a good choice if they revamped it, but that ship may have sailed. Some version of Batgirl would be a good choice, I think. I also saw they were thinking of doing a show on Dick Grayson and his family before he became Robin, which doesn't seem that compelling to me, although his rights may not be as tied up as Batman's are. 

Probably the coolest option would be to have Smallville's Legionnaires get stuck in 21st century America and be visited by friends and foes from the future. There are lots of spin-off options if they wanted to go that way that would have a built-in audience (assuming the actors are still interested). If Raven can work, I can't imagine what wouldn't.

I'm definitely going to miss having my weekly hit of the DCU, as warped as it sometimes was. Smallville has always had a strong Silver Age thread running through it, which isn't always a compliment, but it's been a fun ride.

-- MSA

And we're back for the last handful of new episodes before the series finale.

 

The doppleganger from the alternate Earth is back and sends Clark Kent to Earth 2 (as Lois refers to it), although long time comic book fans would recognize it as Earth 3 regardless of whether or not it is now supposed to be in the anti-matter universe of Qward.

Anyway, as our Clark tries to get back to us, their Clark wants to set up a new life for himself here because everyone there knows he is the evil Ultraman and that the green meteor rocks can kill him, facts which do not help our Clark in his quest.

But he does discover that Jonathan Kent (reprised by John Schneider) is still alive, but separated from Martha, and tries to get in touch with him.

Yet doesn't take long for anyone on either Earth willing to listen that they have the wrong Clark, and ours sends his evil twin home in the usual fashion, pleading with him to do good and that it's not too late to change his ways.

 

Overall, a nice basic episode that gave our Clark a chance to remember who he is and where he came from, especially in light of the fact that Martha gave him the deed to the farm, which Lois and Clark are now considering selling.

Meanwhile, the possibility of GOLD Kryptonite is rearing its ugly head.

The only real quibble I have is the personal belief that my local CW station shows too many commercials. One return to the show started with our Clark already free from the bonds he was being held by and Jonathan trying to help. A far cry from how things were at the beginning of that commercial break.

NEXT: BOOSTER GOLD! BY GEOFF JOHNS!

 

Meanwhile, I am going to need a bit of help from everyone out there in Captain Comics Land.

Between my professional commitment as a writer/editor to attend the Pulp Ark convention in Batesville, Arkansas as a guest and the CW's idea of a TV schedule (and why they couldn't show both episodes back to back the following week is beyond me), I will be away from home the night of the grand finale!

Can someone else review the finale in case I do not get to see it on the motel room's TV that night? I will try to tape it, but even if successful, the earliest I would be able to watch it is the middle of the following week.

Thanks in advance!

I was a little disappointed to see Clark's evil twin rear his evil head again, to no real purpose. I hoped this last group of episodes would be really memorable and have major events going on, as the first group did, given that they won't have to live with these changes for every long. But bringing back that world was just a placeholder mostly. Clark gets to remember who he is and where he comes from an awful lot to still be doing it now.

The notion of selling the farm seems to imply a wrapping up and change, but it's not that big of an event, really. I will be happy to see those cows have someone around to tend to them for a change. If it were earlier in the show, then removing the farm and its iconic living room and barn sets (not to mention that establishing shot with the mooing cows) would be significant. But at this point, re-establishing themselves away from Smallville isn't that important, beyond it being the title.

I'm not so sure you missed anything in that commercial break; I think Clark had convinced Jonathan prior to the break by mentioning people that Ultraman wouldn't know in his personal life, and he was free afterward and going for the gun (which further convinced him). I may have forgotten something.

I did think it was nice how quickly everyone realized that it was Clark's evil twin, which often takes most of the episode, when it really shouldn't, considering how often it happens. It was no doubt necessary to the plot, but it was still good to see they're getting smarter.  

I don't think I've ever read any Booster Gold adventures outside of part of his run in JLA and a few animated JLU episodes. So I can't say I'm eagerly awaiting his appearance. But I'm hoping he gives Clark one more final lesson to take to heart.

I DO like the promo shot the CW is using for the finale, which shows Clark standing against a wall where his shadow is wearing a flowing cape!

If you don't get to see the finale, which would be a real crime, I'm sure there will be enough talk about that episode for awhile to keep things going. There will definitely be things to say about the wrap-up!

-- MSA

REMINDER: Booster Gold makes his debut tonight!

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