Smallville’s reign as DC’s premiere live-action television show passed nearly a decade ago. It is almost hard to believe. In that lengthy span of time, other series of a similar nature have come and gone. As the years pass and the finer details of Smallville become a distant memory, it’s fun to reflect on ten years of superhero television history. However, for some, those many seasons may now seem blurred. As such, we forget not only the overarching narratives and side plots that ran through each of the ten seasons, also lost to time are the characters that would crop up every so often.
These characters were not a part of the main cast and rarely, if at all, were they consequential to the story featured in the episode(s) in which they guest starred. Some guest appearances are memorable and known to even those that have never watched a single episode of Smallville; such characters include Green Arrow, Black Canary, and Supergirl. Others, though, are relatively forgettable by comparison. This list intends to celebrate 15 of the forgotten heroes and villains, regardless of their significance overall; that some of them made their live-action debut on Smallville is a feat worthy of recounting.
Played by the Famous Jet Jackson himself, the late Lee Thompson Young, Victor Stone aka Cyborg first appeared during Smallville’s fifth season. A star athlete with a bright future ahead of him in sports, Victor and his family were involved in a tragic car accident that killed his family and left him in critical condition. Thanks to experimentation by SynTechnics that gave him mechanical implants, Victor survived.
His appearances in the show are sporadic, only featuring in a handful of episodes across four different seasons. After befriending Clark Kent and suffering subsequent tragedies, Victor is taken in by Oliver Queen/Green Arrow, made a member of the Justice League and adopts the Cyborg moniker. In doing so, he gets a suit that doesn’t exactly look like what he would normally don, but works in the context of Smallville quite well.
As one of DC’s most formidable marksmen and assassins, Floyd Lawton/Deadshot often makes the cut when it comes to translating DC mythos across other mediums. Interestingly, apart from the eyepiece that he famously wears, the marksman is almost unrecognizable. Instead of a suit of armor, Deadshot’s two Smallville appearances (“Collateral” and “Shield”) see him donning western-inspired attire, fully equipped with a dark cowboy hat and brown duster.
In the show’s tenth season, the assassin attempts to kill Cat Grant, both of his endeavors are thwarted by Clark Kent. Deadshot’s final occurrence on Smallville involves his working alongside the Justice League as a Suicide Squad member, saving lives as opposed to taking them. It’s a shame he was utilized so infrequently, but a show starring the would be Man of Steel probably couldn’t find too much use for a man with a proficiency in guns.
13 GREEN LANTERN
The CW’s Arrowverse is no stranger to Green Lantern teases and subtle easter eggs. Many fans are still holding out hope that in some form or fashion the hero will make his way to the small screen. If such an appearance does come to pass, it is more than likely we’ll see the Golden Age iteration, Alan Scott. People forget, though, that Alan Scott has already made his television debut on Smallville.
No, Green Lantern is never actually seen on screen. However, footage of Scott is featured during season nine and details, though minimal, are revealed about his heroics as a Lantern in the '70s. Furthermore, to the pleasure of many, his mask, battery, and lantern ring are shown on display in the Justice Society of America’s brownstone headquarters.
12 BLUE BEETLE
Despite never being referred to as Blue Beetle, Jaime Reyes does guest star in a season ten episode of Smallville entitled “Booster.” And during his brief role on the show, the scarab armor does indeed take form. Honestly, especially considering the television budget and special effects at the time, the suit is fairly impressive in its first live-action use.
An inadvertent run-in with a Kord Industries vehicle, wherein he is saved by the time-traveling hero Booster Gold, is the cause of the blue scarab’s merging with an adolescent Jaime Reyes. While being overtaken by the unfamiliar alien technology, Jaime decides against having Ted Kord separate him from the scarab. Under the tutelage of Booster Gold, Jaime learns to better control the scarab and his new abilities. Because he only appears in one episode, Blue Beetle’s heroic feats are primarily witnessed in the eleventh season's tie-in comics.
11 CAPTAIN COLD
Everyone can be forgiven for not remembering Leonard Snart/Captain Cold’s minimal role in Smallville’s tenth run. In fact, he is almost too easy to miss. In the “Prophecy” episode, the Flash rogue can be spotted around a large table with other Marionette Ventures (Legion of Doom) members, seated to the right of Roulette. The blue parka with white fur is easily identifiable, but his role in the episode overall is of absolutely no significance. Snart’s face is never shown and he doesn’t even have any lines of dialogue.
The villainous Toyman, evidently the leader of the Marionette Ventures, assigns each of the members a target to take out. Not so surprisingly, Captain Cold is tasked with eliminating Impulse/Bart Allen (a descendant of Barry Allen’s from the future).
Very few villains in the DC Universe are as threatening as the Apokolips ruler, Darkseid. He is similarly formidable in Smallville’s tenth and final run on The CW. The backstory the show provides Darkseid is familiar, yet still manages to break new ground in a myriad of ways. Chief among them is seeing him possess the form of others, using them as hosts of a sort to hide in plain sight. Very rarely is the character seen in his own form; when he is, though, it’s pretty impressive.
With tactical manipulation, Darkseid uses his possession of Gordon Godfrey to instill fear in Metropolis citizens about the prevalence of superheroes. He attempts a similar feat with Clark Kent, intent on turning the Kryptonian into a weapon. However, his machinations prove fruitless and he’s ultimately defeated by the fledgling hero.
As expected, Mia Dearden/Speedy’s role on Smallville is far more intrinsically tied to Green Arrow’s arc on the show. She’s featured in just one season, where she appears in a mere two episodes (“Crossfire” and “Disciple”). However, even in this incredibly short span of time Speedy’s backstory is explored in a relatively deep manner, which sees her and her story depicted somewhat tragically.
Mia is first shown fighting in an underground fight club; her prowess in hand-to-hand combat impresses an onlooking Oliver Queen. As he learns more about the young woman, so too does the audience. She’d been forced into prostitution and things were not looking good for her future. Thus, Oliver takes her under his wing, trains her in archery and she quickly becomes an ally of the Emerald Archer. Beyond these couple of appearances, Mia is only ever seen again in the eleventh season's comics.
Smallville’s version of Leslie Willis/Livewire looks nothing like she does in the comics, most notably because her usual white hair was traded in for black in her appearance on the television series. Featuring in only the “Injustice” episode during the show’s eighth season, Livewire’s origin story receives minimal exploration but is at least able to garner interest. Enough interest is incited that her death is quite tragic, and unfortunate because it would have been nice to see her character recur in the series.
Joining Tess Mercer’s team of meta-humans was the first of Livewire’s mistakes. Mercer assembled a band of superpowered beings to defeat Doomsday; as Livewire would later see it, though, the objective was nothing more than a suicide mission. Airing her grievances about the job was yet another mistake, one that culminated in her death.
7 SOLOMON GRUNDY
Solomon Grundy never fails to make an appearance when it comes to DC’s television ventures. And who can forget his fascinating role in Rocksteady’s Arkham trilogy? The zombified foe unfortunately only had a fleeting appearance during Smallville season ten. So fleeting, in fact, that he doesn’t particularly stand out. Sitting around the table at the Toyman-led Marionette Ventures meeting in “Prophecy,” Cyrus Gold, with his stark white hair and donning all black attire, can be seen seated as a member of the villainous team.
In the episode, Toyman gives him the task of killing The Blur/Clark Kent. The order is later rescinded in favor of Lois Lane being forced to take the job under subjection of mind-control. Cyrus is instead assigned a new target -- Dinah Lance aka Black Canary.
6 BOOSTER GOLD
It doesn’t get anymore fun than Booster Gold. Sure, his arrogance is off-putting, even obnoxious in some instances, but his heroics often outshine his lesser personality traits. This is exactly the superhero on display in the “Booster” episode of Smallville’s final season. Booster Gold arrives from the future in search of fame and has to look no further than Metropolis to get it. After saving Jaime Reyes, he quickly wins over the citizens and begins seeking further renown.
His role on the show may have been transient, but it was certainly impactful. Admitting that he stole his suit and tech to visit the past and reclaim former glory, he also offers advice on heroism to others. Booster Gold takes Jaime Reyes under his wing, and suggests Clark adopt the word “super” for his alter ego. Needless to say, many wish he could’ve been employed in a larger capacity.
In the comics, and several other iterations of the character, Mister Mxyzptlk is nothing if not a thorn in Superman’s side. The fifth-dimensional being brings with him his own brand of humor and clever use of magic, but in Smallville that isn’t the case. Named Mikhail Mxyzptlk, the character makes an appearance for but one episode during season four, “Jinx.”
Instead of origins that trace him back to an another dimension, Mxyzptlk is a teenage meta-human. During a Smallville football game, Mxyzptlk discovers he has an unusual ability -- the power to speak an act into existence. For instance, he wills Chloe Sullivan to kiss him. Eventually, his powers are diminished by high frequency soundwaves. Lex Luthor sees his potential, though, and transports the young man to a secret LuthorCorp facility. Like many other characters, Mxyzptlk doesn’t return until season eleven’s comics.
John Corben/Metallo is inarguably one of Superman’s better known rogues. Outside of comics, he was probably best utilized in Superman: The Animated Series, where a recurring role kept him active in the DC Animated Universe and provided him a compelling arc. To an extent, this is replicated in his handful of guest appearances in Smallville’s ninth and tenth seasons.
Hired at the Daily Planet to replace Clark Kent, Corben endures a tragic accident that all but kills him. Following the accident, Corben is experimented on by the Zod-led Kandorians who implant him with cybernetics and a kryptonite heart. At one juncture, Metallo attempts to regain a life of decency, spurred on by Lois Lane and a heart made of red kryptonite. The red k does him little good. By season ten he’s back to committing nefarious deeds; this time, however, such deeds are under the employ of Toyman.
3 SLADE WILSON
Slade Wilson does not typically have run-ins with the Man of Steel. But, then again, Smallville took a number of liberties in developing its incarnation of the famed DC assassin. His debut on The CW series occurs in season ten, where he’s introduced as a General in the United States Army.
As a staunch supporter of the Vigilante Registration Act, Wilson begins implementing further restrictions on vigilantes. Specifically, facilities are utilized under his command to detain superheroes and use them as the government sees fit. A failed attempt to kill Clark Kent results in his loss of an eye. Of course, the disability doesn’t keep him from continuing his crusade. A final encounter with Clark culminates in Slade’s imprisonment in the Phantom Zone. Slade is comatose upon his return to Earth, and his character lacks further exploration until the comic series for season 11.
He’s likely one of DC’s stranger foes, yet Bizarro is integral to the Superman mythos. Bizarro’s a fun character that is rarely portrayed twice in the same manner, making each iteration unique in its own right. Smallville’s depiction of the evil version of the Man of Steel is no exception. The character only plays a part in a few episodes, all of which are in seasons six and seven.
Life on Krypton was rough for him, as he’d been created in a laboratory and terribly mistreated. Developing a fervent hatred for Kryptonians, Bizarro was eventually sentenced to the Phantom Zone. His arrival on Earth provided him no redemption, due to his malevolent antics of possessing and killing people. Season seven marks the death of the villain; he dies at the hands of a blue kryptonite explosion handed to him by Lana Lang.
The daughter of the famed magician Giovanni Zatara, Zatanna is an incredible magician in her own right, surpassing many of DC’s magical beings in terms of raw power. Like several other characters on this list, Zatanna never fails to take the limelight across multiple forms of media. On Smallville, she appears in a total of three episodes, which is odd at the outset considering Superman isn’t typically a character with whom she interacts. Yet, she works well in the world of the show and was always a fun addition to the cast.
Zatanna’s initial introduction to the show was driven by her desire to resurrect her father. Discovering his death was an act of sacrifice for her survival, she abandons the endeavor and promises to return should the need for her magical prowess arise. Unfortunately, Smallville doesn’t put her character to use too many times afterwards.
Which of these appearances do you remember? Let us know in the comments!