Before the comic book movie and television boom, there was a show called Smallville (2001-2011). Running for ten seasons (and a canonical eleventh season in the comics), Smallville followed the adventures of a teenage Clark Kent (played by Tom Welling).
The show begins with the meteor shower that brings the infant Kal-El to Earth, where he is raised as Clark Kent by Jonathan (played by John Schneider) and Martha Kent (played by Annette O’Toole). This same meteor shower also imbued some of the people in Smallville with powers, who were called “meteor freaks.” Later seasons would follow Clark to Metropolis, where he would get a job at the Daily Planet.
This pre-Superman story featured Clark’s friendships with iconic characters such as Lex Luthor (played by Michael Rosenbaum), introduced new memorable characters like Chloe Sullivan (played by Allison Mack), and explored Clark’s various romances with Lana Lang (Erica Durance), Lois Lane (played by Kristin Kreuk), and others.
Viewers got to watch Clark grow over the years and face countless villains, including Lex’s father Lionel Luthor (played by John Glover), Brainiac (played by James Marsters), Zod (played by Callum Blue), and other iconic comic book baddies.
Even superfans may not be aware of some Easter eggs and other little gems of trivia in the show. Check out our list of 15 Cameos, References, And Easter Eggs You Missed In Smallville.
15. Clark Kent/Kal-El’s Mother Played Supergirl
When most people think of Clark Kent’s mom in Smallville, they think of Martha Kent (played by Annette O’Toole). However, his biological mother is mentioned in several episodes and seen in a few flashbacks. Lara-El was the wife of Jor-El who died with him on Krypton. She appears in the flashbacks during season three (“Memoria”), season seven (“Lara” and “Blue”), and season ten (“Abandoned”).
In all of her appearances (except for “Memoria”, in which she was played by Kendall Cross), Lara-El is played by Helen Slater. She is well-known for her role as Kara Zor-El, aka the titular character from the Supergirl (1984) movie. Some of her other comic book related roles include the voice of Talia al Ghul in Batman: The Animated Series (1992-1995) and Martha Kent in the DC Super Hero Girls TV show and movie.
Slater also takes on the live-action role of Eliza Danvers, whose adopted daughter is Kara Zor-El in the Supergirl (2015-) TV show.
14. Multiple Lois & Clark Actors Appear In Smallville
Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1993-1997) followed the excursions of reporters Lois Lane and Clark Kent… as well as Clark’s secret identity as the Man of Steel! Several of the actors in the show appear in Smallville.
Dean Cain, the actor who played Clark Kent/Superman, appears as Dr. Curtis Knox in the season seven episode “Cure.” Knox is a doctor who says he can cure meteor freaks of their special abilities. Teri Hatcher, the actress who played Lois Lane, plays Lois Lane’s mother Ella Lane in the season 10 episode “Abandoned.” She only appears in a video tape. She also played Rhea in the second season of Supergirl.
Other familiar faces from other Superman related shows include Michael Cassidy as Grant Gabriel (who played Jimmy Olsen in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice), James Marsters as Brainiac (who voiced Lex Luthor in both the animated film Superman: Doomsday and the MMORPG DC Universe Online), and Marc McClure as Dax-Ur (who played Jimmy Olsen in Superman, Superman II, Superman III, and Superman IV, and Supergirl).
13. Twins Shawn And Aaron Ashmore Played Different Characters
If you happened to see double when you were watching Smallville, don’t worry, you don’t need to see a doctor! Twin brothers Shawn and Aaron Ashmore both had roles on Smallville.
Shawn Ashmore appeared in two episodes of the show, season one (“Leech”) and season three (“Asylum”). He played Eric Summers, a nerdy nobody who turned into a somebody after accidentally absorbing Clark’s superpowers. Shawn Ashmore is well known for his role as Bobby Drake, aka Ice Man, in the X-Men movies and Mike Weston in The Following (2013-2015). He also played and voiced Jack Joyce in the video game and tie-in television show Quantum Break (2016).
Aaron Ashmore appeared in later seasons as Jimmy Olsen. Some of his roles include John Jaqobis on Killjoys (2015-), Steve Jinks in Warehouse 13 (2009-2014), and Troy Vandegraff on Veronica Mars (2004-2007). He also played Marcus in the horror movie The Shrine (2010).
12. Lex Luthor’s Mansion Appears in X-Men And Arrow
One of the most memorable sets in the history of Smallville, Lex Luthor’s mansion was a beautiful sight to behold. The real mansion is located in the Hatley Park National Historic Site in Colwood, British Columbia in Greater Victoria. It is known as Hatley Castle and is a Classified Federal Heritage Building. However, this mansion has been used in several other comic book related movies and television shows.
The mansion was used for Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters in the television film/failed pilot Generation X (1996) and in the X-Men film series, starting with X2: X-Men United (2003) as well as making appearances in X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), Deadpool (2016), and X-Men: Apocalypse (2016).
Hatley Castle was also used in the Arrow (2012-) television show as the Queen’s Mansion, where Oliver Queen and his family resided. The Castle has definitely become a part of cinematic history.
11. Former Superman Christopher Reeve Appeared In The Show
Christopher Reeve became a legend in comic book history when he starred as Clark Kent/Superman in the four Superman movies: Superman (1978), Superman II (1980), Superman III (1983), and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987). The actor was unfortunately paralyzed after a horse riding accident, but his career continued well after that.
His final role was as Dr. Virgil Swann on Smallville. He appeared in two episodes, first in the season two episode “Rosetta” and then in the season three episode “Legacy.” Dr. Swann was purely a creation of Smallville. He was a scientist who dedicated his life’s work to communicating with other planets. He founded “Veritas” and S.T.A.R. Labs (Swann Technology and Research).
10. Tess Mercer Is A Combination Of Several Characters From The Comics
Tess Mercer is another Smallville creation who shares several traits of comic book characters. She first appeared on the show in season eight and would later be revealed as Lex’s half-sister Lutessa Lena Luthor. She was killed but thenresurrected as an A.I. that took on a robotic form in the Smallville Season 11 comic books.
Tess was supposed to be a mix between Eve Teschmacher and Mercy Graves.While Oliver Queen was dating Tess, he called her “Mercy.” This is a reference to Lex Luthor’s bodyguard and chauffeur in the comics known as Mercy Graves, who is also a robot in the Young Justice cartoon. Eve Teschmacher, who was a heavy influence for Tess’s name, was Lex Luthor’s secretary and possibly his girlfriend. She made a few comic book appearances and also appeared in the Richard Donner Superman films.
9. Wonder Woman Lynda Carter Appeared On Smallville
Lynda Carter is best known for her appearance as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman on the superheroine’s TV show Wonder Woman (1975-1979). She has shown up in a couple of superhero related projects, including Sky High (2005) as Principal Powers and in the television show Supergirl (2015-) as President Olivia Marsdin.
However, Lynda Carter makes one appearance on Smallville in the season six episode “Progeny”. She plays Moira Sullivan, the mother of Clark’s longtime friend and confidant Chloe Sullivan. Moira is able to control meteor freaks and has been in a catatonic states in an asylum, preventing her from having any part in her daughter’s life. She is woken up by Lex Luthor in order to force her into helping him recapture several escaped meteor freaks.
8. Clark Kent And Lex Luthor’s Outfits Revolved Around Certain Colors
Clark Kent and Lex Luthor often had very purposeful wardrobes. And they weren’t just trying to make a fashion statement!
Clark would often wear clothing that had red, yellow, blue, or white in it. He frequently sported a red jacket, blue shirt, and jeans, synonymous with his alter-ego’s super suit having a red cape and blue tights. The occasional yellow represented the yellow around the “S” symbol and the white finished the “red, white, and blue” associated with the American flag.
Lex would wear darker colors to symbolize his villainous origins. He would wear his typical suits at times, but he would also sport dark shades of black, blue, purple (something Lex really enjoyed wearing in the comics), brown, or gray. When he started to go full-evil, he would wear black gloves and a long black leather trench coat (which just screams evil, of course). We do see him wear a white suit a few times, including when he is President of the United States, but he still wears one black glove.
7. Smallville Had A Season 11 (In Comic Book Form)
Smallville ran for ten seasons, but that didn’t mean the writers were out of ideas for stories. The show actually continued in comic book form for an eleventh season. The series continues where the tenth season left off, with Clark donning his suit at last and becoming Superman.
The stories feature numerous comic book characters including Batman, Nightwing, Martian Manhunter, Supergirl, Booster Gold, the Leigon of Superheroes, Wonder Woman, and others!
The primary story arcs in the series were called “episodes,” and digital chapters would come out every Friday for three weeks. Then, for the fourth week, the three chapters were collected into a print issue to be released on Wednesday.
The ongoing series ended but continued in several mini-series such as Smallville: Titans (featuring Jay Garrick and the Teen Titans), Smallville: Harbinger (featuring Zatanna Zatara and John Constantine), and Smallville: Lantern (featuring John Stewart, Parallax and the Green Lantern Core).
6. Lex Luthor’s First And Last Scenes Parallel One Another
In his very first appearance during the “Pilot” episode of Smallville, Lex is seen getting out of his car at the LexCorp plant, followed by him turning to the camera. In his final appearance during the “Final Part II,” Lex is elected President of the United States in 2018. He turns to face the press cameras the same way he did ten seasons earlier, in the “Pilot” episode.
Another fun fact about the actor who played Lex Luthor, Michael Rosenbaum, is that he has worked in voice acting. He actually voiced the Flash in the animated Justice League television series. In one episode titled “The Great Brain Robbery”, The Flash and Lex Luthor switch bodies. This means that Michael Rosenbaum got to reprise his role of Lex Luthor while he was inhabiting the body of the Flash.
5. Dukes of Hazzard References
There are plenty of references throughout Smallville to the action-comedy television show The Dukes of Hazzard (1979-1985). The show was about two cousins, Bo and Luke Duke, who ride around in a Dodge Charger and serve as the Robin Hoods of their Hazzard county town. The references to this show in Smallville was in large part because of the cast in the show. John Schneider, who played Clark’s father Jonathan Kent, played Bo Duke in The Dukes of Hazzard.
Tom Wopat, who played Luke Duke, guest starred as Senator Jack Jennings in the season five episode of Smallville titled “Exposed”. The most references to Dukes of Hazzard are definitely in this episode. Jennings is an old friend of Jonathan’s who drives around in the same type of car the Duke brothers drove. The car was also busted and he needed to get into the seat by going through the window of the car, the same thing he did in Dukes of Hazzard. Jennings even mentions Chickasaw County, the place the Dukes couldn’t enter due to their probation in the show.
4. Daily Planet Digital Image
Metropolis is home to the Daily Planet, one of the oldest newspapers around with stories “Straight from the Source.” It’s been the home away from home for Clark Kent, Chloe Sullivan, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, and numerous reporters and photographers.
The famous Daily Planet globe on top of the building is digitally created. The building is based on the Marine Building, a tall skyscraper located at 355, 1000 Broadway in Metropolis, Kansas. In the show, it is next door to LuthorCorp Plaza and across the street from the Ace of Clubs.
In reality, this building has been used in various movies, including Timecop (1994) and Blade: Trinity (2004). It also stood in for the Baxter building, the headquarters for the superhero team in Fantastic Four (2005) and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007).
3. Batman and Wonder Woman References
A lot of famous heroes were mentioned in Smallville briefly– mostly in sweet Easter egg moments since Smallville unfortunately couldn’t use characters such as Batman and Wonder Woman without running into copyright issues.
Batman is mentioned a few times in Smallville. During the Metropolic Comic Con, there are several banners spouting corny sound effects that are referencing the Batman television show from the ’60s. Several convention-goers are wearing costumes like Batman and his iconic friends and foes. His home of Gotham is also mentioned by several characters, as well as its sister city Blüdhaven (the home of Dick Grayson, former Robin, and current Nightwing).
Wonder Woman and her world are mentioned several times in the show. In the episode “Asylum”, a newspaper headline reads “Themyscirian Queen Addresses The Vatican”, which references Wonder Woman’s mother Queen Hippolyta and her home of Themyscira. Lois also wears a Wonder Woman-like costume and comments that she doen’t understand how it’s supposed to be an “Amazon” outfit.
2. Tom Welling Wasn’t A Superman Fan
Tom Welling, who played Clark Kent in Smallville, was not a fan of the Superman comics. This may seem surprising, but even Christopher Reeve wasn’t a fan before he played the Man of Steel.
Welling avoided Superman comics and other adaptations so his portrayal of Clark would not be influenced by other interpretations. Reportedly, Welling almost didn’t take the role, turning it down twice before reading the script and finally accepting. If he hadn’t taken on the role, it’s been said that Jensen Ackles (now well-known for his role of Dean in Supernatural) would have gotten the role of Clark Kent. Jackson Stewart, who worked on Supernatural, actually wanted Tom Welling to guest star in a Supernatural-Smallville crossover.
According to the DVD commentary, Tom Welling would walk around the set calling Clark an idiot because he would make the same mistakes. He was also strongly against ever wearing Superman’s iconic suit, which never made an appearance… to many fans’ disappointment.
1. Famous Actors In The Show You Forgot About
A lot of famous actors made appearances in Smallville, some even before they were famous. Amy Adams, who would go on to play Lois Lane in Man of Steel (2013) and Batman v Superman (2016), was the one-off character Jodi Melville in the episode “Craving.” Spoiler: She has a craving to eat human body fat! Jensen Ackles, while he did not end up playing Clark Kent, did appear as Lana’s boyfriend Jason Teague.
Carrie Fisher, best-known for being Leia in Star Wars, played the editor-in-chief of the Daily Planet Pauline Kahn. Then there was James Marsters as Milton Fine, aka Brainiac. There are a few nods to his popular role as Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003) in the vampire-centric episode “Thirst.” 9
0210 (1990-2000) star Tori Spelling played gossip columnist Linda Lake and her fellow co-star Brian Austin green played Metallo. Paul Wesley of Vampire Diaries (2009-2017) played Lex’s brother Lucas Luthor. The list goes on and on.
What did we miss about Smallville? Let us know in the comments below!