It was announced this morning by DC Comics that Smallville will be returning for an 11th Season in printed form rather than as a live action television series. This is great news for fans of the long running show who were distraught with news it was coming to an end, and for those of us who have been longing to see how Clark Kent is coping in his new identity as Superman.
Written by Bryan Q Miller, a former staff writer on the show, the series promises to pick up six months after the events of the finale. The series will launch digitally on April 13th 2012 with new chapters being released each week following its debut. The series will then be collected and released in printed format on May 16th, presumably as monthly comic book issues.
As a fan of the show and of the Superman character I would like to take this opportunity to share with you my 10 wishes for Season 11 of Smallville.
I was never a fan of this character becoming a series regular on the show. Sure I enjoyed the occasional Justice League episode here and there, especially ‘Run’ and ‘Justice’ but allowing the Green Arrow to become a regular recurring character on the show diluted Clark’s journey. Why move to Metropolis, become a reporter and don a suit to protect the city when Oliver Queen is there and doing a pretty good job of it?
Oliver belongs in Star City, not Metropolis. Let’s be honest he was probably added to the cast as per request from the CW who wanted a character who would constantly take his shirt off just to appeal to the young female audience. Seeing as how this is going to be a DC publication with no involvement from the CW this no longer applies, therefore I see no reason for another superhero (who outside of this show has never really been closely associated with Superman) to share the spotlight with Clark.
Please get rid of him for series 11. If however Bryan Q Miller must insist on bringing more heroes into this mix please let them belong to the Superman Family as opposed to the Justice League- which leads me to my next point.
Kara and Conor are vital to Clark’s life. He served as family and mentor to both Supergirl and Superboy. The show ended with Conor living on the farm with Martha and enrolling in Smallville High whilst Kara slipped on a Legion ring at Jor-El’s request and was presumably transported to the 31st Century. I think it would be great to see these two characters get separate stand alone stories.
It would be lovely idea to get a Kara or Conor story as filler in between the big story arcs with Season 11. They don’t even need to intertwine or interact with Clark’s plot. I would love to see Kara join the Legion and finally find her place among Brainiac 5, Rokk, Imra and Garth. It would also be great to see Conor come to terms with life in Smallville High, hopefully we may even see some old faces return like Principal Reynolds, Zoe and Clayton with their viral Wall of Weird and Greg Arkin who I’d like to see become a guidance counsellor in the school for students affected by the second meteor shower. Kara and Conor are both important parts of Clark’s life, more so than Oliver Queen so I hope that they will get the stories and credit they deserve in the new season, ideally like I said as stand alone filler issues.
While Lois Lane and Clark Kent understandably did not wed in the Finale given Darkseid’s arrival on Earth, it was less understandable that they would have to wait seven years until they could finally tie the knot. It was a strange decision to place the flash forward scene at the end of the show 7 years in the future. Perhaps it was to accommodate for the fact that Chloe and Oliver have a son and that Lex is running for President but why on Earth were Lois and Clark not happily married by that stage? This may have to be retconned in the comic.
One of my favourite aspects of the show was their depiction of Lois and Clark’s relationship. The writers knew how essential the characters were for each other and Tom Welling and Erica Durance had a great chemistry as the famous duo. I hope that Miller doesn’t tie himself down with the fact that it took them such a long time to get married. If he sticks to this future plot point then does that mean that we’re in for a few years of Lois and Clark being on again/off again? Or worse- frog eating Lois clones? It can easily be fixed by having the couple marry early on in Season 11 and then claim that in the flash forward of the finale they were simply renewing their vows. Please don’t ruin their relationship. Let them get on with it and become a happily married couple.
It was foreshadowed in the finale that Lex Luthor would soon return to power and the family business of Luthorcorp would, like it’s owner, ascend from the ashes and become LexCorp (which should be familiar to comic fans). I’d imagine that the rise of Lex’s company may be swept under the rug by Miller which would be a tragic mistake. Smallville was notorious for allowing story details to slip through massive plot holes, I think that Lex’s return to power would be a fantastic subplot in the new comic.
Lex Luthor was pronounced dead to the world in Season 8, surely his miraculous resurrection would raise many eyebrows in Metropolis. The writers of the show dropped the ball with a similar plot in season 10 when a Lionel from another dimension took over the deceased Lionel’s chair in LuthorCorp. They never properly addressed how he reintegrated into a society that believed him to be dead. It would have been very interesting to see how he managed to do all of this so successfully without causing a stir. I hope that Bryan Miller sees fit to address such a major issue as Lex returning from the dead.
6. Returning Heroes & Villains From the Superman Universe
And no I don’t mean the Justice League. Now that the story will be continuing in comic book form as opposed to live action we can see old favourites return to the series seeing as how we can bypass pesky contracts and scheduling issues for actors. Most importantly we are getting Lex Luthor back. I’m over the moon with this, the character was a very important part of the show and it will be great to see him back in Metropolis causing grief for Lois and Clark. In terms of heroes I’d much rather see Pete Ross, Emil Hamilton, Dan Turpin and Maggie Sawyer return to the series before any member of the Justice League. This is a Superman story now so let’s keep it that way.
I’d also love to see Brainiac return. He was one the shows most interesting and intelligent villains. He had a huge fan following and I’m sure nobody would refuse another appearance from him.I’d love to see how he would react to Clark finally accepting his Kryptonian heritage. Throughout season 5 of the show Brainiac was hell-bent on releasing Zod from the Phantom Zone. Since then we have had a Zod clone arrive in Smallville only to be vanquished to the Phantom Zone eventually. Presumably the show’s declining budget meant that the writers were never able to afford to team James Marsters and Callum Blue together for a Brainiac/Zod team up. However, now the stage is set story wise for this to come to fruition. I would love to see the pair take over Metropolis and even turn the public against Superman. We may even see Darkseid return in his intended form instead of a possessed Lionel Luthor to get revenge on Clark for defeating him in the finale. Lets also see Metallo, Mxyzptlk and Toyman return to wreck havoc on Clark’s new life. Oh, and it would also be very interesting to see Bizarro come back somehow. I’d love to see his reaction to the fact that Clark is now wearing tights and flying around Metropolis.
One of the most enjoyable guest stars to appear on the show throughout it’s 10 year run was Michael McKean with his fantastic portrayal of Perry White. Although he only appeared in two episodes (I’m not counting his voiceover in the finale) he made a lasting impression on both the character and the show. He bounced of Tom Welling and Erica Durance so much that it’s a shame he was never used on a more regular basis. I hope that season 11 won’t waste any time in bringing him back into the fold.
Now that Clark will be spending most of his time in the sky protecting Metropolis it would be wonderful to Lois spend her time at the Daily Planet building upon her friendship with Perry. I’d really like to see his climb up the ladder from fellow journalist to editor in chief of the paper. Another classic character from the mythos that got a rough deal on the show was Jimmy Olsen. The ‘Henry’ plot was a cop out, thankfully though they brought Aaron Ashmore back for the finale as the ‘real’ Jimmy. Sure, Season 11 takes place 6 months after the events of the Finale which would mean that Jimmy would be at least 10 years old but screw it, skip over that fact, it’s a sore point among fans. We love Jimmy Olsen and we want him back in the Planet where he belongs so here’s hoping it won’t be long until we see him again and hopefully it will mean we can see his first encounter with Perry.
She may have a devise character among fans, for years Smallville forums were ablaze with debates over whether she should stay or go. In 2009 those who couldn’t stick her got their wish. In the season 8 episode ‘Requim’ Lana Lang finally left Smallville unfortunately her departure left a lot to be desired. Armed with a nano-suit made from Alien DNA, Lana absorbed a ton of Kryptonite and became lethal for Clark to be around. She was forced to leave Clark for good, staying with him may have killed him. It was a silly storyline and far removed from her heartbreaking goodbye in season 7 episode ‘Arctic’ where she left Clark after accepting the fact that the world needed him more than she did.
That was far more fitting for both her character and her relationship with Clark. Having her leave the show as a superhero who radiated Kryptonite was very disappointing and raised a lot of questions. Here’s hoping that she will make an appearance in Season 11 and free herself from that stupid power suit. I’d also like to see her congratulate Clark on his engagement with Lois and have the former lovers become good friends who can confide in each other.
A key element to the success of Smallville was in the way it portrayed the Kents. Making them younger and more relatable was an inspired move and the perfect casting of John Schneider and Annette O’ Toole was essential in making the audience understand that Superman is who he is not because of tragedy or loss but because of the way that he was raised. I always loved their speeches to Clark and the fact that he could always come to them with whatever problems he was having.
Unfortunately it seems these days that DC Comics has no clue about what makes Superman such a fantastic character by having killed off both of the Kents in the New 52. It’s a shame but it’s also incentive for the Smallville comic book to make sure that they include Martha in substantial role. Occasional flashbacks to Clarks time on the farm with Jonathon would also be nice, or even some more graveside chats at his tombstone would be welcome. The Smallville comic may well be the last time we see Clark interact with his adoptive family whilst wearing the cape so I think it’s vital that he should come back to Smallville every now and again to see Martha and ask for her sage advice.
I hated the fact that Lex Luthor lost his memories at the end of the finale. It was such a cop out. For years we’ve followed his story from hero to villain. His story on the show was as important as Clarks. The writers really succeeded in making what was really a two dimensional villain into a hugely sympathetic, complex and engaging character. It was a major feat and Lex was always my favourite character on the show. It took balls for the writers to allow Lex to discover Clark’s secret. It worked really well, Lex was a major player in this series, when he finally discovered that Clark was the traveller and faced off with him in the Fortress it carried great weight and really cemented this version of Lex as the definitive take on the character.
It was his seven years in Smallville that shaped him into the tragic villain that he became. Clark’s hesitancy in trusting him really pushed him over the edge, it was a wonderful reason behind their rivalry. I was so disappointed to see the writers double back in the finale and give him amnesia. It makes no sense. If he has no memories of Clark, Lionel, Jonathon, Lana, Helen Bryce, then he really has no reason to be a villain. I have a horrible feeling that this won’t be addressed and that Miller will simply start Lex’s arc in season 11 with him being a fully fledged villain who just doesn’t know that Clark is Superman. I love the fact that Lex knew Clark’s secret in Smallville. It adds so much more weight and complexity to their relationship. Please Bryan Q Miller - make sure that Lex retrieves his memories sooner rather than later and I mean ALL his memories. Don’t cop out on us again by having him regain everything apart from Clark’s secret.
One of the biggest issues with the finale of the show was that we were cheated out of seeing Tom Welling in the suit saving the day. After ten years of waiting and spending the entirety of season 10 being constantly teased by the fact that the costume was waiting in the Fortress it will be great to see Clark in the red and blue tights saving the day. Sure we had a few scenes with Superman in the finale but let’s be honest we all felt cheated by the fact that it was a tiny CG figure rather than Tom Welling in the suit. Judging by the promo art for Season 11 it looks like we’ll be seeing Superman in all his glory which is a delight. Another joy o having the story continue in comic form is that there will be no limitations when it comes to action sequences. We can see Superman let rip at villains, use his powers on a more regular basis and best of all, he can fly depending on the situation rather than the budget. It will be very rewarding to see this incarnation of Clark Kent in action as Superman!
Season 11 of Smallville will be released online April 13th and published on May 16th 2012. Can’t wait!