SAN DIEGO, DAY 3: Smallville's Men of Steel

[Smallville]Though the new season doesn't start till September 24th, the hit television show "Smallville" is seemingly growing in popularity if the Comic-Con International in San Diego is any indication. CBR News was able to attend the overflowing "Smallville" panel on Saturday where the show's season finale was aired, with both executive producers Al Gough and Miles Millar in attendance for some Q&A.

The most common criticism or comment regarding "Smallville" usually centers around the fact that most episodes deal with Kryptonite corrupting people in the town. Gough explained that this was on purpose but that the Kryptonite's influence may manifest intself differently in the second season. Additionally, Gough said we'll see red Kryptonite.

For what may be the first time officially, Gough did confirm that Clark's romantic interest Chloe Sullivan is connected to his future. "Lois [Lane] and Chloe are cousins."

Possibly the two most satisfying words for fans in the audience were "Whitney's gone," an answer in reference to the question of the fate of Lana's Lang's boyfriend. Those cheers were almost equalled when Gough said, "yes there will be more episodes with wild Lana," referring to the episode "Nicodemus" where certain characters became uninhibited.

"Sam [Jones III] will have a bigger role next season, he's a terrific young actor and deserves more than three lines an episode," said Gough referring to the actor portraying Clark's best friend, Pete Ross. He also added that the show will, "explore Lex's past more next season...the path to the dark side is a journey, not a light switch"

Another journey that the series will spotlight is that of Clark learning about his heritage, specifically his Kryptonian ancestrage. He'll also gain a new super power, but it won't be until the second episode.

There's also been a lot of discussion regarding possible "Smallville" DVD releases, as it seems the U.S was the only place where the initial disc was not sold. Gough said that he'd love to see a first season disc set and while he indicated a preference towards a box set, he also didn't seem to mind the idea of individual disc set releases either.

Gough also says that he and Millar aren't ruling out possible "Smallville" movies, though he is concentrating on finishing the TV series before looking at the films. When asked about moving the characters to college he said it could perhaps happen, "as we tend to do on the WB."

One of the interesting things about "Smallville" has been all the little references to the DCU and Gough said to expect to see more in the upcoming season. "There will be other characters from the Superman universe but not in first half of the season."

He also addressed the question of a young Bruce Wayne, aka Batman, appearing in the show at some point, though he admitted the upcoming "Batman/Superman" movie could complicate matters. He said that Bruce would likely be Lex Luthor's "very tortured" boarding school friend. One statement that drew laughs from the crowd was that the laugh line Clark would utter to Bruce would be, "Dude, you should really see a therapist."

Arthur Lender contributed to this story.

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