Smallville: the guy behind the superhero

Somebody saaaaaave me…
Let your warm hand break right through (me)
Somebody saaaaaaaave me…
I don’t care how you do it
Just stay (stay with me), stay
Come on
I’ve been waiting for youuuuu…

In a beautiful farm on the edge of the city lives a boy who moves tractors with one hand; a boy who is allergic to an ugly green rock and has an eternal crush on the girl from the farm next door. This is Clark Kent.

Nightowls friends, welcome to Smallville.

Wall of Weird

Smallville: The Complete Series DVD
Smallville: The Complete Series DVD
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Clark Kent is ready to go to high school, with a secret to hide. His powers are stronger than he imagines, and will soon hone and new abilities will be added. Super strength, super hearing, super speed, X-ray vision: these will be the extraordinary abilities that will help him solve the mysteries of the “wall of weird”, the wall full of articles and sightings that his friend Chloe has set up in the headquarters of the school newspaper.

It is here in Smallville that some of Clark’s future enemies and many of his closest friends will be born; friends who will accompany him on his path to greatness.

I think this was the initial charm of the show, the one that bewitched millions of viewers: the unfinished hero who has to deal with his diversity, learning to grow and discover his powers together with the audience; and also all the extravagant mutations given by green Kryptonite. I’m talking about the girl who can teleport, the bug boy, the electric boy, the bee girl, and many other mutant beings.

And it is during his high school period that we find the villain par excellence: Lex Luthor, supported by his father, Lionel Luthor. Perhaps one of the best television examples of a destructive relationship between father and son followed in detail and crowned by Lex’s inner battle, which inevitably yields to evil.

Lana Lang or Lois Lane?

Tom Welling and Erica Durance in Smallville (2001)
Tom Welling and Erica Durance in Smallville (2001) © IMDb

If in high school Clark had eyes only for the beautiful and kind neighbor, the sweet Lana Lang, perhaps the rest of the world had already discovered in the messy and enterprising Lois Lane the flame that could ignite the heart of our superhero.

The relationship of ups and downs that tied Clark and Lana’s lives into a vicious cycle of insecurities – on his part – and inability to pick up the signals – on her part – all mixed with a long list of wrong guys, created a troubled love story; complicity made up of shy smiles, stolen kisses, and finally a brief relationship that was doomed to disaster.

Instead, Lois’s squabbles, her mysterious calls to the Blur, the teasing magnetism that pulls her towards Clark, have done nothing but lead her to where she always should have been: in the arms of her “Smallville”.

We, therefore, have two heroines, two brave but opposing girls who create a clear division between the adolescent and adult Clark, contributing to the growth of his character and the development of the story.

Davis Bloome, Zod and Darkseid

General Zod‘s son, the alien trapped in the body of the young paramedic Davis Bloome, is the best-built antagonist in the whole show. The blackouts make him a schizophrenic killer; his alien power makes him dangerous and out of control. His possessive madness towards Chloe, and his threat to the planet, end with an unexpected hero: Jimmy Olsen manages to kill him, sacrificing his own life.

But the real evil descends on Metropolis with two villains who have perhaps been underestimated. Zod’s attempts, with his subtle meanness, to make Clark his brother prove rather ineffective. And the darkness represented by Darkseid is a bit weak and ends in that final attempt to take over the Earth, immediately vanquished by Clark’s disruptive force.

These are the enemies of his adulthood, destined to lead Clark to finally be that superhero the world needs.

What Smallville left us

Smallville, born in 2001 with 10 seasons and 217 episodes, has allowed us to follow the growth of the superhero. It was like a behind-the-scenes look at Superman, that man of steel cloaked in perfection, so distant from our earthly lives. The superhero par excellence, done and over.

Smallville shows us what made him great, the adolescent upsets that make him one of us, his first loves, and the difficult coexistence with his extraordinary abilities, which expose him every minute to human suffering. Smallville shows us a metaphor: every great character has behind them mistakes, life trials, and frailties that make him human, and that have made him strong enough to make it to the top. Each of us can reach that peak if we can treasure every experience.
A well-deserved Old but Gold, then. To Lois Lane! To Clark Kent!

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