While Chloe Sullivan isn’t expected to return for the final season of “Smallville” this fall, fans of the character (played by Allison Mack for the past nine seasons) will be pleased with DC Comics’ major Saturday announcement from Comic-Con International in San Diego.
During the DC Universe: Event Horizon panel, it was announced that the popular TV character will make her first ever appearance in DCU comic book continuity in “Action Comics” #893, as part of the cast of the Jimmy Olsen co-feature written by Nick Spencer (“Existence 2.0”) and illustrated by R.B. Silva.
CBR News spoke with Spencer from the floor in San Diego and the writer said that as a long-time fan of Chloe, he plans to remain very true to the character and believes her fans have nothing to fear when it comes to how she will be portrayed in the pages of “Action Comics.”
CBR News: I see you’re wearing a bow tie today for the big announcement.
Nick Spencer: Yes, I am. It’s Jimmy Olsen Day, but I’m the only one celebrating it. I guess they forgot to put it in the program.
Was bringing Chloe Sullivan from “Smallville” to the DCU proper offered to you when you took on this assignment, or was it your idea?
No, that was my idea. That was my little brainchild. So eventually, when the backlash happens, everyone now knows who to blame. It was completely my idea.
Are you a fan of “Smallville”?
Yes, that’s how it happened. I am a big “Smallville” fan and I’ve always thought that it was sad that she hadn’t been worked into the DCU continuity yet. She’s an amazing character and it was always something I wanted to do. And then when the Jimmy thing happened, I realized that it was the perfect chance to get Chloe in there. But yes, it definitely started with me being a fan of “Smallville.”
You joke about backlash, but in all seriousness, how loyal will your depiction of Chloe be to how Allison Mack portrayed her on “Smallville”?
If you don’t know, “Smallville” fans are a religious bunch. They feel very strongly about their characters. And as a comic book fan, I’ve been on the other side of that where you’re seeing your favorite character played by an actor in TV or film. And things get changed. But what I can say is that we very much are striving to keep the spirit of the character true. And to respect as much of her history as possible. She is from Smallville. She is a reporter. She is still the same fearless, funny character that she is on “Smallville” and that’s something that I take very seriously. I definitely want all of the “Smallville” fans to check out the book.
It’s going to take us a little while because she’s a supporting character but as I’m telling Jimmy’s story more and more, my hope is “Smallville” fans will look at my portrayal of her and say, “That’s our Chloe. That’s the Chloe that we know.”
That’s real important.
Obviously, there are things that have to change due to continuity, but I’m trying to keep as much as humanly possible. Because, believe me, dude. “Smallville” fans are a very fervent bunch but Chloe “Smallville” fans are the highest order of that.
The thing I would tell them is: “Give it a little time.” Don’t make a snap judgment after the first story. Wait until we’ve told the whole story, and I think by the very end of it, they’ll say: “That’s the Chloe that we know.”
Why do you think fans respond to her so well?
She’s fun. She’s incredibly clever. She’s quick. She’s very ambitious. She’s very idealistic. She’s very principled. She has a lot of passion for what she does. I’m jumping ahead a bit, but we definitely see her being a journalist. That’s the stuff I always liked about her on the show, especially in those early seasons, her real determination.
But more than that, like I said, she’s fun. She always had the best lines on the show. She’s a very entertaining character. So yeah, it was a no-brainer.
Have you been watching old episodes of “Smallville” to get down Chloe’s pacing and personality?
Oh yeah, absolutely. I’ve been studying a lot of my old favorite episodes just trying to make sure that we get that character right. It’s definitely not something where we’re just taking the name and creating a new character. I want this to be Chloe and I want it to feel like Chloe. And I’m doing everything that I can, in the limited space that I’ve got, to really make sure that she shines.
Will Chloe be working at the Daily Planet?
No. She is not working at the Daily Planet but she is a reporter. And where she works, and how that affects Jimmy, is a big part of the story.
So this isn’t a one-shot, guest appearance, type of stunt-casting. She’ll be a part of your cast.
She is a part of Jimmy’s story for as long as I’m writing Jimmy’s story. She is an important part of Jimmy’s life and I think she’ll be in just about every installment that we’ve got mapped out right now.
On “Smallville,” Jimmy and Chloe had a romantic relationship. Will that be explored in the co-feature?
Yes. Her and Jimmy have a history. That’s all I say about that for now. But her and Jimmy definitely have a history.
Do they have a future?
[Laughs] I guess we’ll have to see, right?
I had to try.
Yeah, of course.
Is your hope that now that you’re introducing Chloe to DCU comic book continuity that other writers and artists will look to use her, as well, and incorporate her in stories?
That was Priority #1. Listen, I’m writing a 10-page co-feature and Jimmy is the star and there’s a lot going on it, so obviously, while she’s in just about every installment, she’s a supporting character in the story. One of my big goals was to get her into the DCU, and hopefully everybody uses her. I would love to see Chloe all over the place. Nothing would make me happier. She’s a terrific character and she makes a lot of sense in a lot of books. I hope that this is a start of a very long history for Chloe in the DCU.
So we’ll see her right away in your first issue in September, “Action Comics” #893?
You will see her right away in the first issue. She’s right there in the first installment.
Can you share any details about the story you’re going to tell, specifically with Jimmy and Chloe?
Here’s what I’ll say. Chloe’s relationship with Jimmy is what drives the entire story, their history and the current status of their relationship. It is the impetus for everything that happens. That’s all I can say for now.
One more question about Jimmy. Over the years, he’s not only been Superman’s pal, but he’s also been Giant Turtle Boy, Elastic Lad, even Flamebird. Will Jimmy get to play superhero in your story?
A little bit. I didn’t want to just go back and re-do those stories. I didn’t want to just copy some formula. But the thing about Jimmy is that he is constantly inserting himself into crazy and dangerous situations and things happen to him, as a result of that. All I’ll say is, by the first page of the first installment, you’ll see that Jimmy is still up to the same tricks. He’s still landing himself in these spots. He’s both blessed and cursed.
“Action Comics” #893, featuring Chloe Sullivan’s first appearance in DCU comic book continuity, is scheduled for September 29.