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Somebody Save Us: 15 Times Smallville Upset Diehard Fans

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Somebody Save Us: 15 Times Smallville Upset Diehard Fans

Nearly seven years ago, Smallville left the airwaves. The became the premiere show of The WB and, eventually, The CW network. Smallville was a big deal back in the day, and with good reasons. As a Superman origin story, Smallville took many risks — such as pitting Clark Kent and Lex Luthor as childhood friends before rivals — and many of those risks paid off. What could have been a simple show about how Clark decided to don a red cape was able to bring forth some unexpected complexities and some quality entertainment. However, no show lasts 10 seasons without jumping the shark a few times, especially a show rooted in as much well known mythology as Smallville is.

Smallville did a lot to playfully toy and twist the lore of Superman throughout those 10 seasons. Some of it was welcomed by diehard fans, while some of it left those same fans fuming with outrage. When a character like Superman has been so rooted in pre-established canon, it is hard for people to be open to changing it after that canon has been established for so many decades. Thus, there are a lot of moments from Smallville that left diehard fans baffled and angry, and here are a few of those moments.

15. WHEN LEX LEFT

One of the darkest days in Smallville history came when Michael Rosenbaum left the cast of Smallville. There was initially no reason given as to why Rosenbaum left the show in Season 7 and fans assumed that it was due to creative differences. However, in 2016, he revealed that he largely left because his grandmother begged him to start doing comedy again, a genre he had long since abandoned after getting signed on as Lex Luthor.

In addition to that, Rosenbaum originally signed on for six seasons of Smallville, but reprised the role for seven seasons. By Season 7, he was ready to move on. For many diehard fans, Rosenbaum is gave the definitive and the very best rendition of Lex Luthor, making his departure all the more heartbreaking. Thankfully, he came back for the series finale at the very least.

14. LANA LANG GETS POWERS

We could very well use this entry to discuss the criticism against Lana Lang’s entire relationship with Clark Kent, but we are going to choose the aspect of her story arc that arguably ticked off fans the most: the episode where she got her powers. In the Season 8 episode “Power,” Lana Lang got powers from Lex Luthor’s Prometheus procedure, and she became superhuman. In fact, all of her powers and abilities were equal to that of Clark Kent.

Not long after, she absorbs so much Kryptonite that she cannot physically be around Clark without hurting him, so she leaves. This ticked fans off for two reasons. One being that given her abilities equal to Clark was something that made Clark and his powers feel less unique. The second reason being because it was a lazy way to write Lana Lang out of the show.

13. LANA LANG IN GENERAL

Ok, we know we said earlier that we were not going to use an entry to criticize Lana Lang’s relationship with Clark Kent, but on second thought, that is exactly what we are going to do. In fact, we are going to take the time to criticize Lana Lang in general because for many fans, she was the most annoying thing about Smallville. Her on-again-off-again relationship with Clark  felt pointless having to sit through for eight seasons straight knowing that in the grand scheme of things, Clark was going to end up with Lois anyway.

Everyone among the cast felt overly infatuated with Lana Lang whose character was basically a blank space. She had no personality whatsoever, but she remained nothing more than a Mary Sue who was there solely to be an ongoing object of the main character’s affection.

12. THE TREATMENT OF BIZARRO

When Clark Kent’s evil doppelganger counterpart Bizarro was introduced to Smallville in the Season 6 finale “Phantom,” fans were more than excited. Bizarro has always been one of the lesser used Superman villains when it comes to the live action platforms and when it was brought to Smallville as part of his first big mainstream iteration, this supplied the show with some interesting possibilities.

Fans would soon discover that the Bizarro arc was merely a missed opportunity. Bizarro was introduced for only a small handful of episodes and was too infatuated with Lana Lang to do anything memorably evil before getting killed off. Bizarro could have been used to supply the show with a season long arc pitting the two Clarks against each other, but his four episode appearance turned out to be a waste.

11. DARKSEID

When it came time for The CW to finally close the curtain on Smallville after 10 superb seasons on the air, fans expected a big villain to put a cap on the show. By Season 10, we had seen virtually every Superman villain make an appearance. It was tough trying to figure out who would be the show’s finally villain. To the delight of long time fans, the answer would be Darkseid, one of Superman’s biggest adversaries.

On the show, the character was a shell of his comic book self. In the comics, Darkseid is, essentially, a God who gives Supes a run for his money on a physical and mental level. On the show, Darkseid is dark mist that possesses different people as vessels. When we finally do see the almighty Darkseid in his true form, he is compiled using a poor excuse for CGI.

10. THE MATRIX RIP-OFF EPISODE

Throughout Smallville‘s run, the show produced a plethora of filler episodes that paid “homage” to classic movies. And by homage, we mean the show straight up ripped off the concepts behind these movies. “Metamorphoses” ripped off the origin story of Spider-Man. “Sacred” ripped off Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. “Mercy” ripped off the Saw franchise. The worst rip-off of them all had to be “Collateral,” which ripped off The Matrix.

What made this rip-off in particular so infuriating to watch was because the episode made no qualms about being a rip-off in the first place. While the other rip-offs at least tried to do something original with old concepts — well, maybe not the Saw ripoff — the “Collateral” episode was just a blatant rip-off that did not even try to do something new. They just copied and pasted The Matrix‘s formula with new actors.

9. TURNING A LEX LUTHOR CLONE INTO SUPERBOY 

When Lex Luthor’s half-sister Tess found Lex Luthor’s clone LX-15 (later named Alexander), she hoped to stray the clone away from living through the same tragic fate that her half-brother did. However, when that failed to work, she locked him away in Cadmus, which Alexander escaped from. He ran into Lionel Luthor, who took the boy under his wing to dominate the Luthor dynasty. Unfortunately, that did not work either.

Through a number of convoluted twists and turns that followed, we found out that Alexander was not only a clone of Lex, but a clone of Clark as well. When Clark found out, he took Alexander under his wing and taught Alexander (later, Conner Kent) to use his powers for good as Superboy. Many fans reminisce on this storyline being an overly complicated way to introduce the first live action appearance of Conner “Superboy” Kent to the world.

8. TURNING MR.MXYZPTLK INTO A FOREIGN EXCHANGE STUDENT

Mxyzptlk

Mr. Mxyzptlk was always a minor, but incredibly entertaining villain in the Superman comic book series. He was always portrayed as a short, balding man with charisma that was as limitless as his world bending powers. Smallville fans were excited to see how the show would introduce the character, but what they got was a version of Mr.Mxyzptlk that very much deterred away from the usual canon.

For Season 4, Mr.Mxyzptlk lost all of his short and stocky charm and was rebranded as Mikhail, a super hot foreign exchange student who was too cool to even try to crack a joke. At the end of the episode, Mikhail Mxyzptlk was captured by Lex Luthor and placed in his mysterious and elaborate Level 33.1 containment facility. There was an implication that we might see Mikhail again in the future, but we never did.

7. CHANGING THE SUPERGIRL/SUPERMAN DYNAMIC

In traditional canonical Superman lore, the dynamic between Supes and Supergirl was that after she crash landed onto Earth, he would teach her how to control her powers and how to properly live among the regular human civilians. On Smallville, the showrunners decided to switch that dynamic. Instead, when Kara (aka Supergirl) arrived onto the scene, she had all of her powers at her disposal and was teaching Clark how to use and develop his own abilities.

For many fans, seeing the usual dynamic between these characters change so drastically from classic canon was a jarring scene to witness. It also made Clark appear less special. Not only because Supergirl had all of her powers already, but because she had mastered them. We failed to see Clark fly once, but Kara was soaring through the sky on a regular basis.

6. SHAMELESS PRODUCT PLACEMENT 

One of the audience’s favorite characters among the original cast was Pete Ross, played by Sam Jones III. He was there for the first three seasons of the show before his character was written out of the show when Pete moves to Wichita for the sake of his own safety. Fans were delighted to find out he would return for one episode in Season 7 called “Hero.” Unfortunately, it would be a bittersweet return as his presence was overshadowed by a highly noticeable piece of product placement.

The episode itself was sponsored by Stride Gum and naturally, the whole episode had to be plastered with Stride advertisements. The Stride logo eclipsed over the plot itself as the characters go to a concert at the Stride Gum factory, and Pete got powers of his own after eating a piece of Kryptonite laced Stride Gum.

5. MESSING WITH SUPERMAN’S ORIGIN 

One thing that diehard fans hate to see is when basic history about their favorite character gets tampered with for the sake of a storyline. To the chagrin of many Smallville fans, this was the case for their favorite show in the episode “Apocalypse.” In this episode, Jor-El puts Clark in an alternate reality where Clark never crash landed to Smallville as a baby. When Clark realizes just how important his presence in the town really is, he is taken to the past to stop Brainiac from tampering with the timeline by killing baby Kal-El.

This results in Clark placing the baby version of himself in a space pod and sending him to Earth. For many fans, the iconic image of Kal-El’s parents putting baby Kal-El in a pod is a quintessential aspect of the character’s origin. When fans saw the showrunners tamper with it, they rioted.

4. THE TREATMENT OF DOOMSDAY

Fans were anxious at the news that Doomsday not only would make an appearance on Smallville in Season 8, but he would be given an entire season long arc. There proved to be promise in the air for the character who kills Superman in the comics, but the show’s version of the monster was a whole different beast that fans were not expecting. In the comics, the character is essentially a prehistoric Kryptonian experiment gone wrong that battles Superman to the death.

On the show, Doomsday is the better half of one Davis Bloom in a Beauty and the Beast type of storyline. The storyline has divided audiences between those who love the change and think it fits the tone of the show, and fans who hate it because it robs the character of Doomsday of who he used to be in the comics.

3. VAMPIRES, WITCHES, OH MY!

Many would argue that Season 4 was undoubtedly the worst season of Smallville there ever was. It gave us some of the worst and most cringeworthy moments to ever come about in the show’s entire history — some of which can be found littered throughout this list — but the worst thing that this season gave us was the witch filled episode “Spell.” First, we saw an episode where Lana’s ancestry dated all the way back to 17th century witch Margaret Isobel Thoreaux.

It turned out to be one of the most critically panned episodes of Smallville ever. Even worse than that was the Halloween episode that followed a season later. “Thirst” saw Lana become a vampire, and was even more critically panned. So much so that the whole vampire thing only lasted one episode for Lana, whereas the witch arc lasted all of Season 4.

2. JIMMY OLSEN’S BROTHER 

One of the more vilified decisions by the fans that the fans ever made was writing for Jimmy Olsen to die at the hands of Doomsday in Season 8. Not because they killed off a beloved character, but because we soon found out that Jimmy Olsen was never Jimmy Olsen to begin with. In a strange swerve that was revealed at Jimmy’s funeral, the Jimmy Olsen who had been a staple of Smallville since Season 6 was actually Henry James Olsen, and his brother Jimmy Olsen would become the man who would become Superman’s sidekick in the future.

Only adding to the confusion, when we finally did see the real Jimmy Olsen in the series finale, he was also played by Aaron Ashmore. The writers probably thought they were being clever with this twist, but all it did was leave fans scratching their heads.

1. THE “REVEAL”

From the very beginning, the showrunners promised that as an origin story to Superman that tried to restrain itself as close to reality as possible, they would stick to the “No Tights, No Flights” motto to never show Clark fly or show him in his signature costume. Of course, Clark was always surrounded by guys who flew and had goofy costumes, but that’s beside the point.

When it came time for the final episode of the show, fans were hoping to finally see Clark put on the Superman suit. After all, we did finally get to see him fly a few times. Maybe they were finally going to give us a glimpse of Clark in his suit. NOPE. Just barely. The final image of the show saw Clark getting ready for action. We see Clark unveil his signature S on his chest, but that’s about it.

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