Before the Arrowverse, Smallville was the CW's premiere superhero series, which chronicled a young Clark Kent as he discovered his powers in his formative years before becoming Superman. After 10 seasons, the series ended with its protagonist finally becoming his iconic superheroic persona.
Now, this incarnation of Superman and Lois Lane will be returning for the CW's ground-breaking crossover Crisis on Infinite Earths. While that crossover will give audiences their first live-action look at Tom Welling's Clark Kent and Erica Durance's Lois Lane since the series ended in 2011, those characters lived on in a series of digital-first comic books starting with 2013's Smallville: Season 11. Now, we're taking a look back to see what happened to those characters after the series finale, and how it might affect its protagonists' return.
The first "episode" of Smallville: Season 11 introduces readers to Clark's new life as a fully formed Superman. Not only has Clark fully embraced the costumed identity, but his strained relationship with his now partially amnesiac former friend Lex Luthor has started to resemble its traditional rivalry. Conversely, Lex has not only hired his assistant Otis (based on the character from Superman: The Movie), but he has begun to hallucinate visions of his half-sister Tess Mercer, who had supposedly committed suicide in the series finale.
Lex also uses a technology that allows him to track Superman's location, forcing Clark to abandon his civilian life, including Lois. Meanwhile, an Earth hopping Monitor kills a mysterious traveler, revealed to be Earth-2 Chloe Sullivan. The lack of having to work within a TV show's budget meant that the far more exciting elements of Superman comic books could be used, and this arc also established this universe's version of Hank Henshaw, the traditional Cyborg Superman.
The season's second episode, Smallville: Detective, achieved something the show had only ever hinted at by introducing the Smallville version of Batman. Batman is joined by Barbara Gordon, who is this universe's version of Nightwing. The story sees them attempting to track down Joe Chill, the man who killed Batman's parents. Batman's intensifying methods bring him into conflict with the Man of Steel.
Naturally, Batman and Superman eventually come to an agreement and work together to face Mr. Freeze and Intergang hopeful Oswald Loomis, the Prankster. Elsewhere, Lex Luthor realizes that Tess had transferred her consciousness into his own before her death, and was now fighting for dominance.
Haunted brings back Bart Allen, Smallville's Impulse, who sought his friend Clark's help when he comes under attack from the Black Flash, who wishes to drain the Speed Force life energy from him. In an attempt to save Bart from the literal speed demon, Clark seeks the help of the Justice Society. There, the two meet Jay Garrick, a retired vigilante who gave up using his speed after both a government crackdown on vigilantes and seeing the Black Flash himself.
Clark is given a suit by Emil Hamilton to keep up with Impulse and Black Flash, but the former unfortunately sacrifices himself to defeat the wraith. The effects of the suit, however, rid Clark of Luthor's tracking technology, allowing him to resume his life. Chloe has also begun having visions of the life that her now-dead Earth-2 counterpart had. The gang also manage to remove Tess's consciousness from Lex, uploading her into an artificial intelligence-based existence.
The fourth episode takes place concurrently with Haunted, and stars Batman and Martian Manhunter as they track down a dangerous White Martian in Gotham City. It further fleshed out Manhunter's origins, revealing that he was the last Martian survivor of a grueling civil war. Afterward, he would work with Jor-El and track down criminals fit for the Phantom Zone, before eventually becoming young Clark's mentor. It also introduced a version of Miss Martian.
The next episode, Argo, sees the return of Supergirl, Booster Gold and the Legion of Superheroes, as it sets up Smallville's future. Booster Gold and Superman are transported to the future, where they become entangled in a conflict between EarthGov, the Legion, and the surviving Krpytonians that make up New Krypton.
The conclusion, which also brings back Doomsday and sees Supergirl remaining in the 31st century, where she had been transported after falling out of the Phantom Zone.
In the side story Valkyrie, Lois travels on assignment to the African nation of Tinasha, where she discovers that the nanite and Kryptonite powered Lana Lang has become a local hero. Unfortunately, local warloads have hired Metallo to combat Lana. Metallo's growing control of technology drains Lana of her powers and Kryptonite, but Lois and Lana are able to remove his own power source.
Olympus introduces the Smallville version of Steve Trevor, and, more importantly, Wonder Woman. gent Diana Prince, allies herself with Superman to free her mother, who has long been made captive by the D.E.O.
The villains of the arc include versions of Mr. Bones, Felix Faust, and the dark god Hades. Much like in the DCAU, Hades fills a role usually taken by Wonder Woman nemesis Ares, the God of War. Superman also reveals to the U.S. President that he is an alien.
The side story Hollow was the last official "episode" of Season 11, with the rest of the series being released as individual mini-series. The story sees the now digitized Tess Mercer striking out at her brother Lex Luthor, wrestling with whether to use her newfound existence for good or as a mere means to revenge. The story concludes with Lex learning of the existence of Earth-2.
The first Smallville in the new miniseries format saw Jay Garrick training Superboy, Miss Martian, Blue Beetle, Speedy, and the Wonder Twins as a new generation of heroes, Smallville's version of the Teen Titans. They run afoul of Rose Wilson, who seeks to kill the next generation of vigilantes to complete her comatose father Slade's vendetta against them. The story takes place concurrently between Olympus and the subsequently released Alien.
Alien features the crash landing of a Monitor in Russia, leading both Superman and Lex Luthor to investigate.The Watchtower League becomes more aware of the coming Crisis that the Monitor foretells, with Earth-2 destroyed and various people from that world appearing in their own.
The world is also more fearful of Superman, having become aware of his alien origins.
Taking place at the same time as Alien, the side story Harbinger teams Zatanna with the chain-smoking magician John Constantine to defeat the Church of Blood and their demonic lord, Trigon. Trigon's daughter Rachel joins the Titans at the story's conclusion, referencing her popular role as Raven in the traditional DC Universe.
As the cosmic entity Parallax and his fear mongering yellow rings threaten Earth, Superman joins detective John Stewart, and both are inadvertently inducted into the intergalactic Green Lantern Corps.
Along with the Green Lantern mythos, the storyline also introduced a multitude of Batman's villains, such as Poison Ivy and Man-Bat.
As Metropolis is plagued by a man possessed by the entity Eclipso, Superman and Lois are transported to an alternate world that is being targeted by the Monitors.
This world's fallen Superman was a version of the Wildstorm Universe Superman expy, Mr. Majestic. Meanwhile, Lex creates his own private security firm, which is powered by Yellow Ring technology.
The final written adventures in the Smallville universe see the coming Crisis finally begin. The Monitors use the "blue bleed" to attempt to erase the Smallville Earth, forcing the League, the Titans, and Superman to team up with Lex Luthor to defeat the Monitors and the Manhunters. The grandiose battle feature's widespread carnage, with several, including Lex's assistant Otis, meeting their end. The heroes defeat the Monitors, trapping the Omega Monitor in the Phantom Zone, and the Justice League is officially formed and named.
While there's no telling if these stories will still be canon for Lois and Clark in "Crisis on Infinite Earths" will pull Smallville Superman and Lois from, especially given that universe's own version of the story. What is certain, however, is that Tom Welling will finally be on screen as Superman, on the job for when somebody needs saving.