Missed Directions

Small-Ville, Big Run

by C.E. McAuley

12 May 2010

Nine years on, and Smallville has shed its history as a Dawson's Creek clone like an unwanted skin, and is now ready to fly...

It’s almost time for a full-on celebration of all things Smallville as it ends its ninth season and has already been greenlighted for its tenth. While the show began as a the Dawson’s Creek of DC Superhero adaptations, it has emerged, in the eyes of this writer, as the most legit adaptation of the Man of Steel since Superman: The Motion Picture.

Come Together Right Now, Over Me: Without Superman, Smallville's heroes prepare to repel a full-scale invasion

Come Together Right Now, Over Me: Without Superman, Smallville’s heroes prepare to repel a full-scale invasion

Moreover, the show has, in many, ways surpassed the movie in terms of complexity and character development. The creative team on Smallville has been able to transition characters well from adolescence to adulthood. This creates a vehicle that could see the show continue to run almost indefinitely. But let’s hope it’s at least for another five seasons.

But right now the show is facing one of two possible directions, both of which seem equally appealing. In many senses, behind the Dawson’s Creek mascara, and the beneath the “no tights, no flights” blush, Smallville has always painted a far darker vision of the DC universe. In many senses the world is broken, not in the least because Superman has not yet appeared to inspire a generation.

Behind You: Even as the nascent Justice League begins to grow, Clark Kent discovers a heroic legacy

Behind You: Even as the nascent Justice League begins to grow, Clark Kent discovers a heroic legacy

But things are being shaken up in Smallville, Clark Kent is taking his first steps into reconciling his Kryptonian heritage with his human life. And already heroes are beginning to gather. Aquaman, Green Arrow, Flash, Cyborg and Zatanna have already appeared. Many have banded together to face extraordinary threats. And a Watchtower already exists, all the necessary groundwork has been laid for a Justice League to be formed.

So it’s also possible to phase the show straight into a Justice League spin-off or let it become straight-on Superman—abandoning its original “no tights, no flights” philosophy.

This Kryptonite-proof adaptation can still run faster than a speeding bullet. And missing out on it now, will definitely be a Missed Direction.

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