DC announced yesterday that Smallville will continue a la the Buffy route by developing the next season as a digital comic series. Given that the show tied up most of the major plotlines, particularly those around Clark’s ‘daddy issues’, while introducing dozens of major DC characters along the way, we’re inclined to hope that we’ll get the formal introduction of the Justice League and the Legion of Doom at the very least. It’s really, really unfortunate that Time Warner didn’t want to continue the series on television, because getting all of those characters together on a regular basis would just scream fangasm and make us all forget about the multiple botched attempts at a JL movie. So let’s take a look at what we can expect in this series, some of the more pressing questions fans may have, and what we hope to see most out of the new Smallville series.
When will the series take place?
The final episode of Smallville was framed with Chloe reading a Superman comic to her son 7 years after preventing Apokolips. Side bar: it’s also implied that the boy is or will be the Smallville universe version of Speedy. [Let’s hope Chloe takes drug abuse education pretty seriously. And invents bionic arms, he’ll need those.] The finale ends with several great moments; the resurrection of Lex Luthor, the death of Tess, Clark’s first spin in the official duds, and Superman preventing Darkseid’s invasion of Earth.
If the comic started post Chloe’s bedtime story, with Clark firmly established as Superman, Lex as President, and the JL presumably in place, we’d have to be disappointed. Thankfully the press release says we’re coming in 6 months later. Lex’s path to the White House, Clark dealing with now having become Superman and freshly wed to Lois, along with the previous episode’s reveal of what appeared to be the Legion of Doom is a much more interesting space to play in and, one would assume, the creative team agreed. Let’s face it, if you like Smallville one of the reasons is that this show is about the journey, not about Superman fighting big nasties, and there’s still a ton of room for growth for all of these characters in those years.
So 6 months later leaves us perfectly poised for…
We’ve seen the beginnings of the Justice League, Legion of Doom, Suicide Squad, and Checkmate and want to see the further development of all of them, starting with the JL. How about bringing back Maxwell Lord and teaming him with Ted Kord to help fund the JL with Oliver and Chloe? We then have Aquaman, Green Arrow, Black Canary, Cyborg, Impulse (who should change his name to Flash), Zantanna, the Wonder Twins, Booster Gold, Blue Beetle, J’onn J’onzz, and the yet unseen Hawkgirl. I’m probably even missing a couple of folks, but you get the idea. There’s a great opportunity to tell the origin of the JL in this universe and do it with a great line-up and ton of dramatic tension. The fact that Max kills Ted in the official DCU will only add to the speculation of how things will play out here.
We’ve also seen, if you didn’t blink, Black Manta and Solomon Grundy, so at the very least we need Clark and AC to square off with these 2 in an issue. Ideally, the writers will establish the League while slowly developing the Legion of Doom.
Smallville departed from the comic book romance of Green Arrow and Black Canary, one of the more famous couples in the DCU, to pair Oliver with Chloe. We totally get why this was done for the show, but now we’d hope the writers can take a stab at developing Oliver and Dinah’s relationship a bit more. The series has often lead with the love stories over the action, and it was always well done and created a nice balance we don’t often get in comics but is necessary for a broad television series. We implore the creative team to keep this going and this is a storyline that should appeal to fans of both the show and the comics. Six months after nuptials neither of them remember is a perfect way to bring Canary back into the mix.
This is where we’re obligated to discuss Lana Lang. As much as we’d love to see more of Oliver/Chloe/Dinah, we do NOT want to see any romantic story with Clark and Lana. The show covered that as thoroughly as it could and going back there would just be retreading old ground for no reason. Though if Lana were to return in another capacity we wouldn’t be against it.
And while we’re talking about it, let’s see a bit more of Mera.
While we might not be ready to read Lex in the White House, and, you know, because we already have, we’re super interested to see him build his political career and how it might conflict with Martha’s. And if you haven’t noticed, we’re in an election year in the U.S., and though we’d prefer to keep what’s happening in the real world a bit removed from Smallville comics, it’s another great chance for DC to leverage the buzz around the real world elections to get more readers.
There was also the whole superhero registration act, or whatever it was called, that we’ve seen in versions of in everything from Watchmen to the Incredibles to the X-Men films to Civil War, during season 10. Yeah, it’s been done to death, but it makes decent b-story material while these teams and characters are still in their infancy in the Smallville U.
Here’s a chance for the comics to shine where the show never could. We all know J’onn is from Mars, Booster from the future, and Aquaman from Atlantis, now we get to see those setting realized in the Smallville U. We hope the creative team really takes the time to consider how these environments would differ from their traditional depictions in DC comics and design them as if they were big sets for the show that they could just never afford to produce.
We’d also like to see a step up in the Phantom Zone and our first look at Apokolips .
Batman and Wonder Woman
There were really only three major ‘Leaguers who never appeared in the show. Setting aside Green Lantern for now, this is the perfect chance to get Bruce and Diana into the series. Chloe alluded to already having met both them in season 10, and though the show doesn’t stick that closely to the comics in a lot of places, we can’t imagine adult Clark without them in his life. Batman in particular should have an adjusted origin that ties him more closely to the characters from the show. We could easily see the Luthors having ties to the deaths of Thomas and Martha Wayne. And come on, someone needs to point out that Superman’s and Batman’s moms have the same name. Yeah, purists will freak but that’s what the 15 other Batman titles DC puts out are for. And since we’re busy inducing fanboy rage how about making Wonder Woman one of a group of Kandorians who got lost in the Amazon years ago? You know you want it.
Continue the ties to the show that made it great
Yeah, making comics is drastically different than making television, but would you really mind if Welling guest wrote, or co-wrote, an issue or story. Or Hartley, or Gough? Sure, Miller and Perez need to make the book their own, but this was a great cast and crew who were tight and fed off of each other. If they’re at all enthusiastic about the comic DC needs to find a way to have them involved, even in the smallest sense. And if nothing else, will give Miller and Perez a bit of time with them to absorb all those intangible qualities and energy that made the show work.
So keep it here at MTV Geek as we anxiously await what’s next for the Smallville cast in season 11, and, hopefully, beyond!