Smallville continues - as a comic book

Posted by CB Droege

DC Entertainment has announced that Smallville: Season 11 will be part of this year's comic book line-up.

Perhaps this explains the origin of the rumor we heard a couple months back about a Smallville ‘novel’ that was supposedly being penned by lead writer Brian Q. Miller - who is now confirmed to be writing the Smallville comics line.

"Six months after Clark Kent donned the cape and took to the skies to save Earth from Apokolips… enter Season 11!" Miller wrote in an official DC blog post.

"New allies abound! New enemies afoot!  And old friends return where they’re least expected! Pere and colorist Chris Beckett have done a fantastic job of capturing the look of the show and the players, and Gary and Cat are knocking it out of the park on covers. I couldn’t be more excited to help give seasoned viewers and new readers an all-access pass to Clark’s first year in the cape."

Smallville is a ten-season series which covers the high school and college years of Clark Kent, providing an interesting long-form origin-story for Superman.

It was unique because of the truly teenaged conflicts, mixing in awkward angst and (blown-out-of-proportion) romance issues, but it was mostly noteworthy for the staunch resistance to the Superman mythos. 

Most stories of Kal-El’s youth have him put on the costume almost as soon as he discovers his powers, even adopting the name or some form of it, like Superboy, and then fighting the same kind of battles that Superman would wage later in life.

In Smallville, however, his powers evolve slowly over the ten-year period, with simple flight being one of the last to be discovered. In addition, while he was fighting crime most of the time, the actual Superman costume doesn’t show up until the very last episode, and even then, it’s just a glimpse in the final scene, as if to say, ‘now he’s finally Superman, the story of Smallville ends here.’

This is what makes this decision so interesting. The Smallville story is over, and while there are likely lots of Smallville fans who will buy the comic while avoiding the ‘real’ Superman comics, it is now invading the story space of Superman and Action Comics - so I’m worried it might dilute the official canon.

A novel would have been one thing, but to create a comic means that they will be introducing two illustrated Superman worlds. More than that: There will be two full DC worlds, since the JLA and the rest of the DC universe exist in altered form in the Smallville story-universe. Think about it: DC canon lines are confusing enough without adding yet another parallel story.

They already have Action Comics which is supposed to be telling the story of Superman’s early years, just after donning the costume, and worse, Smallville’s Clark Kent is based on an old version of Superman, one which doesn’t apply anymore. He has a completely different background, and a different social outlook from the New 52 Superman.

DC's new philosophy starting with the New 52 is to preserve and improve the canons of their stories, which this seems counter to. I just hope that they never find a way to create crossover comics between Smallville and the canon DC Universe.

The synopsis of the new comics line is thus:

"The new comic book series picks-up where the show left off (with Clark officially now as Superman!) and features other fan-favorite characters including Oliver Queen/Green Arrow, Chloe Sullivan-Queen, Lois Lane, Lex Luthor, and General Lane.  The book features an all-star creative team – in addition to Miller, SMALLVILLE SEASON 11 creators include print cover artist Gary Frank (SUPERMAN SECRET ORIGIN), digital cover artist Cat Staggs and interiors by Pere Perez (BATGIRL)."

Smallville Season 11 #1 will be available digitally on April 13, 2012 with a weekly schedule thereafter. The issues will be collected monthly into hardcopy with the first print issue out May 16, 2012.