As some of my earlier posts have hinted at, I am a bit of a comic book fan. A good portion of my childhood was spent reading what I thought were current issues of Batman from the city library and watching animated series such as Paul Dini’s Batman and the Spider-Man series. Since then, they have been replaced by shows such as The Spectacular Spider-Man and Young Justice, but my love of comics remains the same. DC, Marvel, or whoever, it does not matter to me so much as it maintains a great pedigree that devoted fans expect.
The only thing better than reading comic books is watching them. There is nothing better than being a six-year-old boy and watching superheroes fight bad guys and save the day. Joel Schumacher’s Batman run, as embarrassed as I am to admit, got me hooked, but movies like Spider-Man kept me coming back.
As I got older and prices for movies increased, I began to wonder why there weren’t live action versions of heroes to watch from the comfort of my home. When Smallville first came on the air, it was very different from what I was expecting. Rather than Superman kicking butt and looking like a roided out gentleman, I saw a boy scout who complained about his powers rather than using them like a hero should. From that point on, I skipped the television run of each Smallville season up until the reportedly famous Justice League episode. That episode made me interested in Smallville again; I braced myself for the eighth season, wondering if it would leave a bad taste in my mouth. It was not entirely without its faults, but it was damn good start to showing Clark’s real evolution into the Man of Steel. Even Sam Witwer as Doomsday was something I enjoyed, though the ultimate reveal of Jimmy Olsen was basically a slap to the face to everyone who watched him since his first appearance on the show. Season nine set a pretty high bar, with a great storyline featuring Zod and an even greater two-hour special with the Justice Society that was nothing short of awesome.
Now here we are at season 10, the Final Season. The show has a few episodes left before it hits the big two-hour finale, and then it is gone for good. Honestly, I am not sure what to feel. Is it supposed to be pride, since it is presumably the longest running live action portrayal of a superhero to date? Anticipation, since recent events hint at a certain Kryptonian clone’s possible solo series? Anger at how the show spent nearly seven seasons worth of piddling about before they realized that the whole goal of a Superman story is have Kal-El become Superman?
Smallville may not be the most evenly paced superhero show, or the most consistent in terms of quality, but it is a great one nonetheless. The impact that it has made will not go unnoticed even after its impending end. DC and Marvel both have properties they can make in the same formula, and they both undoubtedly will, but nothing will beat the original Red-Blue Blur.