No Tights, No Flights

If you are a fan of a certain show that aired for ten seasons on the WB and then the CW, then you get the reference. If not, let me explain. From its inception, Smallville creators Alfred Gough and Miles Millar had a rule – for the run of the show, Clark Kent would not have the ability to fly, nor would he be seen in tights. With a few creative exceptions, they managed to stay true to that. But, more on that later.

I was and still am a huge fan of Smallville. Um, Superman! Of course I was a fan. I watched every episode, from pilot to series finale, when they aired. For years, I have wanted to do a re-watch. Unfortunately, it’s not available on any of the streaming services. Lucky for me, my husband gifted me the complete series over the last few Christmases. So, finding myself between series last fall, I decided it was finally time for that re-watch to happen.

You know how you can build up something in your mind and make better than it really was, but when you revisit it, the actuality doesn’t live up to your mental image? That totally did not happen as I watched Smallville this time around. If anything, I realized the memory had dimmed a little for me. I found myself thinking over and over that I had forgotten just how much I loved the show. And, for what I consider to be a bonus, I found new things to love about it. Spending the time to re-watch was definitely a win/win for me.

In case you aren’t aware of the premise of the show because maybe you were living under a rock, here it is. Smallville is the story of a young Clark Kent, only fifteen years old in the pilot, growing up in Smallville, Kansas. He’s being raised by his adoptive parents, Jonathan and Martha Kent. Our hero is like any other American teenager. He goes to school, has friends, has a secret crush on the girl next door. He struggles between fitting in and being himself. He wants to make his parents proud and sometimes disappoints them. Because, like any other teenager, he occasionally makes the wrong choice. Even Kryptonian kids need to rebel a little, right? And there is the difference – Clark is Kryptonian. Blending in is key to keeping his secrets just that – secret. Blending in, staying in the background is the difference between having a normal life and being outed as an alien.

Along the way, Clark realized he couldn’t keep such a big secret, lying to his friends all the time. He did tell some of his most trusted friends, Pete, Chloe and eventually, Lana. Just like it was too much for Clark to keep to himself, there were times when it was too much for his friends. Clark learned that not everyone could handle the burden of knowing his secret. Even when Lois came into his life and he realized he was in love with her, he kept his secret, lying to her to protect her. Little did Clark know, Lois discovered his secret long before he told her. She’s not a star reporter for nothing.

Clark faced the monsters of the week who were usually the result of the meteor shower that brought Clark to Earth. He fought against some of his classic DC foes, such as Doomsday, Darkseid and Brainiac. He found allies among the DC heroes, like Green Arrow, Black Canary, Aquaman and Cyborg.

He also made mistakes through the ten-year origin story that is Smallville. (Can you say red kryptonite?) And, like we want for our own kids, Clark learned from those mistakes and became a person because of them. Sounds kind of human, huh? Maybe that’s why he is one of my favorite superheroes. He has great power, not just ‘toys’ thanks to wealth, but he makes mistakes. He learns from them and through it all, his one mission is to protect Earth, the only home he’s ever known. He could have continued to stay under the radar and played it safe. But, he didn’t. He put the needs of humans above his own. That definitely makes him a hero in my book.

Back to the ‘no tights, no flights’ policy – there were a few times that we saw Clark fly, unusually under the influence of something or someone. However, in the series finale, Clark realizes that he has had the ability all along, he just needed to believe in himself. He flies, defeats Darkseid and flies back to the Fortress of Solitude to have a little chat with his fathers – Jor-El and Jonathan Kent. As he flies away, he changes into his new ‘supersuit,’ which we get just a glimpse of through the ice pillars that form the Fortress. I, for one, am so glad that TPTB (the powers that be) relented on the ‘no tights, no flights’ in the end. It was the perfect way to end the series, showing Clark transitioning from Clark Kent to Superman.

So… if you can’t tell, I love this series. If you haven’t watched it, please, beg, borrow or steal it! If you are a super hero fan, especially a Superman fan, it is an absolute must see!

On a related tangent, Batman v. Superman officially opens in two days. I canNOT WAIT!!! I already know I’ll be seeing it twice in the next week, which is only making the suspense worse. Rest assured, there WILL be a post about the movie as soon as I can put a coherent thought together.

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