Over the course of Smallville’s ten seasons, Tom Welling’s Clark Kent encountered a veritable “who’s who” of evildoers.
Some of them had previously appeared in other comic book adaptations, while others made their live-action debuts on the show. Creatively speaking, some of them were very faithful adaptations of their comic book counterparts, while others were merely inspired by them.
This list of ‘forgotten’ villains won’t include Michael Rosenbaum’s Lex Luthor, for obvious reasons. Nor will it include Doomsday and Darkseid, two iconic villains the show featured extensively in its later seasons. Otherwise, every villain who turned up to menace Clark and his friends is fair game.
Some of these villains proved to be no match for the future Man of Steel, while others made his life miserable on more than one occasion. From some of Superman’s greatest enemies to mere curiosities, these are 15 Supervillains You Forgot Appeared On Smallville!
15. Darkseid’s Prophets – Granny Goodness, Desaad, Gordon Godfrey
Darkseid was the main villain of Smallville’s tenth and final season. The ruler of Apokolips made grand preparations for his invasion of Earth, sowing discord among humanity and inspiring fear and doubt in its heroes, even Clark himself. But he didn’t do it alone. A trio of ‘prophets’ helped prepare the way for Darkseid’s arrival on Earth.
Gordon Godfrey, a Metropolis radio shock jock, is briefly possessed by Darkseid, but later chooses to serve him of his own free will. Given the task of weakening humanity, Godfrey uses his radio pulpit to condemn all vigilantes in an effort to make people lose faith in their heroes.
Desaad is the owner of a club in Metropolis where he encourages people to give in to their worst vices. He is also a seemingly ageless servant of Darkseid with telekinetic powers as well as the ability to manipulate the minds of his victims.
Granny Goodness oversees an orphanage for wayward girls. With an array of dark powers, she trains the girls in her care to become deadly warriors in the name of her master.
Maxima is the seductive queen of Almerac. In DC lore, she is more selfish than evil, determined to marry Superman (or another man with extraordinary power) whether he is interested or not. The Man Of Steel has rejected her more than once, and her relationships with other heroes never end well. Still, she has used her abilities for good on occasion, even serving as a member of the Justice League for a time.
It was Maxima’s more selfish and destructive incarnation that was introduced on Smallville during its eighth season. Like in the comics, this Maxima believes she is destined to marry a Kryptonian man. When a signal of Kryptonian origin arrives on her planet, she believes it to be a message from her soulmate, and she follows it to its source in Metropolis.
Unsure of who she is looking for, she greets every man she meets with a kiss that can make any man fall in love with her. Unfortunately, her kiss is lethal to mortal men. She eventually tracks down Clark, who is almost swayed by her seductive powers, before an encounter with Lois Lane reminds him where his heart truly lies. With a cleared head, he is able to send Maxima back to Almerac.
13. Silver Banshee
Conceived in 1987 by the legendary John Byrne, Silver Banshee is a villain with a deadly sonic scream. She made just one appearance on Smallville, during its ninth season.
While newer fans may know Silver Banshee best in her New 52 iteration (which was the inspiration for Supergirl’s recent take on the character), it was Byrne’s original story that inspired Smallville’s version of her.
When Clark, Lois, Oliver and Chloe arrive at a sleepy country inn, the two couples expect to have a nice romantic weekend. Unfortunately for them, the hotel is home to a painting with a dark history. It contains the spirit of Siobhan McDougal, a Gaelic woman who was betrayed and killed by her family. When the painting is damaged, Siobhan’s spirit escapes, inhabiting a series of women including Chloe and Lois.
A volatile young woman with explosive powers, Bette Sans Souci (later dubbed Plastique) turned up in Smallville’s eighth season and appeared periodically throughout the rest of the series.
Like many villains on the show, Bette was held captive in a LuthorCorp facility for years after her powers were discovered. Escaping from the facility, she eventually makse her way to Metropolis. When LutherCorp agents catch up to her, she attacks with her fledgling powers, resulting in a bus crash that brings her to Clark’s attention.
Though Clark and friends try to help her, Bette’s distrustful nature wins out and she refuses their aid. Eventually recruited by Tess Mercer, she serves in the Injustice League that tracks Doomsday and later becomes a member of the Suicide Squad.
A genius in manipulation and gamesmanship, Roulette has been a thorn in the side of many DC heroes. The character is currently a recurring villain on Supergirl, where her immoral nature is well on display through her involvement with an illegal alien fight club and an intergalactic slavery ring.
On Smallville, by comparison, she played a relatively benign role. She made her debut in the ninth season in the appropriately titled “Roulette”, one of the strangest installments the series ever produced. Oliver Queen is mired in depression and unsure about his future as the Green Arrow. Reverting to his old playboy self, he parties his way through Metropolis and gambles a substantial portion of his riches away. During one of these reckless evenings, he is kidnapped by Roulette and forced to play a game with life or death stakes. The game is seemingly designed to destroy Oliver’s life, as his vast riches evaporate, he is framed for Roulette’s supposed murder and Lois Lane is kidnapped.
When Roulette and Oliver have a final confrontation, an explosion traps the villainess in a fire, and he risks his life to save her even after everything she has put him through. That’s when she reveals that the entire ordeal has been an elaborate ruse designed by Chloe (who enlisted Roulette as well as unseen members of the Justice League) to show Oliver he is still a hero.
10. Amanda Waller
A ruthless government operative who can hold her own with the most powerful superheroes (and supervillains), Amanda Waller isn’t a villain in the traditional sense. She doesn’t want to destroy the world. In fact, she wants to protect it. But it’s the methods she employs to that end that land her on many lists of DC’s greatest villains. Waller is the ultimate pragmatist, willing to work with, use, deceive, or murder anyone if it furthers her goals.
Introduced to the DC Comics universe in 1986, Amanda Waller has received no less than four live action adaptations in recent years. Angela Bassett played the role in 2011’s Green Lantern, while Viola Davis took over for last year’s Suicide Squad. In The CW’s Arrowverse, Waller was played by Cynthia Addai-Robinson.
All three are talented actresses, but it was the iconic Pam Grier who was the first to bring the character to live action, and she did so in Smallville’s ninth season.
A number of different villains have taken the moniker of Parasite in DC Comics history, and all of them have been a lethal threat to Superman and his fellow heroes. True to his name, Parasite needs only to touch his victims in order to leech their power and knowledge for himself.
On Smallville, Parasite is a young man named Rudy Jones who has the ability to steal the abilities of other enhanced individuals. Unlike the pink/purple monstrosity that is the comic book Parasite, Rudy retains his human form (though it could be argued that was more of a budgetary decision than a creative one). Rudy becomes incredibly dangerous when he steals all of Clark’s powers, but he also inherits his vulnerability to Kryptonite. When confronted with the substance, it causes him so much agony that he willingly gives Clark his powers back.
8. Mr. Mxyzptlk
Not all villains want to destroy the world. Some just want to annoy a hero as much and as often as they can.
Mister Mxyzptlk has been a thorn in Superman’s side for decades. Created in 1944 by Jerry Siegel, he’s an imp from another dimension who can bend reality to suit his mischievous whims. He’s not a threat to Superman’s life like other, more powerful villains, but he has tested the hero’s patience on more than one occasion.
Smallville’s take on Mr. Mxyzptlk bears almost no resemblance to his comic book counterpart. Rather than a magic-wielding imp, he’s a European exchange student who can control people with his voice (much like Jessica Jones’ Kilgrave). In his sole appearance on the series, he interferes in a high school football game with his spoken commands, causing players to trip and fumble the ball in order to manipulate the outcome.
You might say that Toyman is to Superman as The Riddler is to Batman: a villain who threatens not with physical force, but with trickery and mind games – and the occasional bomb.
A recurring presence in Smallville’s final seasons, Winslow Schott is a disgruntled former employee of Oliver Queen. After he was fired by Queen Industries, he lost his already precarious grip on sanity and took to fashioning bombs out of children’s toys.
Hired by Lex Luthor to kill Oliver Queen and Tess Mercer, he fails in the attempt, and winds up a fugitive when Oliver uses one of his bombs to kill Lex (who later comes back to life – long story). Framed for Luthor’s murder, he makes an unsuccessful attempt to force a confession out of Oliver before being captured and sent to jail. His wrongful (though certainly justified) imprisonment drives him even further into madness, and only deepens his hatred for Oliver.
He’s been rattling around the DC Universe since 1950, but the assassin known as Deadshot has risen to new heights of popularity in recent years. That’s mostly thanks to superstar Will Smith’s portrayal of the character in the DC Extended Universe and Suicide Squad. Before that, the character was a standout on The CW’s Arrow thanks to Michael Rowe’s excellent performance.
But Smallville beat them to the punch, introducing Deadshot in its final season. Bradley Stryker appeared in two episodes as Floyd Lawton, the deadliest assassin in the world. Unlike the Suicide Squad and Arrow incarnations, who don more modern apparel, this Lawton adopts the look of a classic western gunslinger, complete with cowboy hat and trench coat.
His first action on the series is, fittingly, an attempt on Clark’s life. Of course, even the best assassin there is can’t kill the Man Of Steel, and he is captured, only to be set free and recruited by (you guessed it) the Suicide Squad. He reappears along with the Squad when they assist Clark in the battle against the Vigilante Registration Agency and its leader, Slade Wilson…
Like Deadshot, Deathstroke (aka Slade Wilson) is a character who continues to grow in popularity. Manu Bennett was terrific as the character on Arrow, starting as Oliver Queen’s friend and mentor before slowly losing his mind and becoming a murderous enemy. Fans are already excited about Deathstroke’s upcoming appearance in The Batman, where he’ll be played by Joe Manganiello.
In the comics, Deathstroke is a mercenary and assassin of unparalleled skill. While serving in the army, he volunteered for an experimental process that turned him into a sort of super soldier with heightened senses.
Smallville’s take hones in on the military aspect of the character. Played by Michael Hogan, this Slade is older than most interpretations of the character, and is a lifetime military man. A general, he is a vehement supporter of the Vigilante Registration Act and is extremely distrustful of all superheroes. It’s later revealed that he has been marked by Darkseid, perhaps explaining some of his more violent and paranoid behavior. He strikes a grave blow in his war against vigilantes when he kills Hawkman, but he is defeated when Clark traps him in the Phantom Zone.
Metallo is one of the most iconic villains in Superman’s rogues gallery, though he has yet to make the jump to the big screen. Instead, he has been a recurring villain on television, with appearances on Superboy, Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and most recently, Supergirl.
Of course, Smallville also tackled the man with the Kryptonite heart, casting Brian Austin Green as reporter John Corben.
Introduced during the ninth season, Corben is a reporter who nurses a hatred for Clark’s alter ego, The Blur, who he blames for not stopping the murder of his sister. After he nearly dies in a brutal accident, he is experimented on by Major Zod and his Kandorian army. Their work leaves him with the cybernetic enhancements he needs to survive, and makes him infinitely stronger, but it also addles his mind. Driven to destroy the Blur, he almost succeeds, but Clark uses lead to negate his Kryptonite power.
Metallo is powered down, but he is later restored with a new Kryptonite heart that has cleared his mind. This time, rather than attempting to kill Clark, he actually saves his life, before disappearing once again…
3. Legion of Doom
Ok, this isn’t really the Legion of Doom, but it’s the closest Smallville ever got, and it’s an interesting Easter egg for fans.
In “Prophecy”, the penultimate episode, we learn that Toyman has gathered a group of supervillains to help him destroy Clark and his friends. The audience receives only one brief glimpse of this ‘legion’, which is referred to as Marionette Ventures. It’s a ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ moment, for sure, but there are some interesting people seated around the table.
Roulette can be spotted, as can Oliver Queen’s former mentor Vordigan (known as Merlyn in the comics). Also seen is Metallo, who has presumably had another change of heart towards The Blur.
But more notable are three characters we haven’t seen on the series before. Facing away from camera and/or shrouded in shadow are Captain Cold, Solomon Grundy and Black Manta, noted enemies of The Flash, Batman and Aquaman respectively. We don’t get to see these characters in action, but it’s a fun inclusion regardless.
Bizarro is a strange clone of Superman, and his opposite in almost every way. Through almost 60 years of comic book history, he has been portrayed as both a malevolent force and an innocent (but catastrophically inept) victim of circumstance.
Smallville’s Bizarro followed the former template, at least at first. A wraith who escapes the Phantom Zone, he crosses the Earth searching for a host body, killing innocents and wreaking havoc in the process. When Clark tracks the wraith down, it is able to use his DNA to create a permanent body for itself, and Bizarro is born.
With all of Clark’s powers (and none of his morals), Bizarro causes all kinds of trouble. But for all his destructive power, it’s Clark’s personal life that he harms the most. When Clark is locked away in the Fortress of Solitude, Bizarro steals his life. Clark’s own girlfriend, Lana Lang, can’t tell the difference and lives with him for a month. It’s his time with Lana that brings Smallville’s Bizarro closest to his more sympathetic comic book counterpart, as he genuinely comes to love her, even after she learns the truth and destroys him by exposing him to blue Kryptonite.
Zod. One of the deadliest rivals Superman has, and certainly the most personal. The iconic villain had a complex history on Smallville, appearing in two different forms.
He first appeared as General Zod during the fifth season of the show. Having been held captive in the Phantom Zone, he had been reduced to a wraith that needed a host when he finally escaped. Unable to possess Clark, he instead chooses Lex Luthor to be his vessel. In this form, Zod defeats Clark, then traps him in the Phantom Zone and prepares to make Earth into a new Krypton. Upon his return to Earth, Clark is able to trick Zod by pretending to pledge his allegiance to him, only to place the Crystal of El in his hand, which purges Zod’s wraith from Lex. In a nice touch, the wraith that emerges bears a strong resemblance to Terence Stamp in Superman 2.
In the ninth season, Major Zod was introduced. Released from a Kryptonian orb, this is a clone of a younger Zod (played by Callum Blue). Though Clark tries to befriend him, the younger Zod has no interest in living a subservient life on Earth and seeks to rule it along with his Kandorian followers (also released from the orb). The Kandorians eventually turn against Zod and seek to start over on a new planet, and after an epic battle with Clark, he is forced to leave Earth with them.
A lot of villains appeared on Smallville throughout its ten seasons. Did we miss any of your favorites? Let us know in the comments.