For ten seasons from 2001 to 2011, Smallville documented a young Clark Kent’s growing pains as he learned to use his incredible powers. The show was a smash hit, charting Kent’s journey from high school in Smallville to life at the Daily Planet in Metropolis, and finishing just as he fully embraced his destiny and took on the role of Superman.
Spanning more than 200 episodes, Smallville had a lot of stories to tell, and not all of them were about the future Superman. Fans of DC Comics were treated to appearances by a number of their favorite heroes and villains, many of them in their prototypical stages like Clark himself. From iconic members of the Justice League to heroes from the future and the past, there were so many that you may have forgotten a few.
This list features characters who either recurred on the show or appeared just once, so don’t look for series regulars like Green Arrow and Supergirl! These are 15 Superheroes You Forgot Appeared On Smallville.
Long before Jason Momoa played the King of Atlantis on the big screen, Alan Ritchson brought the character to life on Smallville.
Arthur Curry first appeared in the fifth season of the show, making a literal splash by saving Lois from drowning. But his true purpose in Smallville was protecting his ocean home from a weapon designed by LuthorCorp. Naturally, he and Clark initially clashed before ultimately working together to save the day.
Aquaman would continue to make guest appearances on the show, most notably in the Season Six episode “Justice”, which featured a prototypical version of the Justice League.
After the character’s first appearance on Smallville, The WB ordered a pilot for a potential Aquaman series, though it was intended as an original take on the character and Ritchson was replaced by Justin Hartley in the role (who would go on to play Green Arrow on Smallville after the Aquaman pilot wasn’t picked up).
Aquaman wasn’t the only hero to make his debut in Smallville’s fifth season. Victor Stone, aka Cyborg, also got his own episode of the show.
Like his comic book counterpart, Smallville’s Cyborg was saved from certain death by experiments that made him part man, part machine. These modifications gave him powers like super strength and stamina, but they came at a cost. Victor lost his entire family in the accident that necessitated his rebuilding, and he struggled with the feeling of otherness that came with his new life. Clark helped him reunite with his high school sweetheart, but it was Oliver Queen’s offer to join the Justice League that truly gave Victor renewed purpose.
Cyborg would go on to make a handful of appearances in later seasons of the show, though his mechanical augmentations were never truly visualized due to the show’s budgetary constraints.
Fans of Legends of Tomorrow know all about the story of Khufu and Shayera, as it played a key role in that show’s first season. But Smallville beat Legends to the punch by a few years, introducing Hawkman in its ninth season.
First appearing in the two-part “Absolute Justice”, which introduced the Justice Society of America, Smallville’s version of Hawkman was a grizzled crime fighting veteran who initially wanted nothing to do with Clark or his counterparts. The Justice Society he had once led had disbanded and his beloved wife was long dead. It was only a threat to his old crime fighting friends that brought him out of seclusion, when the villain Icicle began murdering former members of the JSA.
After dealing with that threat, Carter was reinvigorated and continued to assist Clark and his friends when needed. He was ultimately killed in battle by Slade Wilson, setting the stage for the next chapter in his and Shayera’s endless cycle of resurrection.
Bart Allen, aka Impulse, was one of the first super powered individuals that Clark encountered.
The pair first met when Bart saved Jonathan Kent from a drunk driver before stealing his wallet. Bart had been using his super speed to facilitate a successful career as a thief, a lifestyle choice that was met with disdain by Clark. Stealing from Lex Luthor would ultimately put Bart’s life in danger, and Clark saved him. The two bonded over their similar powers and became friends, with Bart being inspired by Clark’s example and leaving his life of crime behind. Naturally, they competed in a friendly race, which Bart won with ease.
Like Aquaman and Cyborg, Impulse would later reappear as a valued member of the Justice League, playing a key role in battles against Lex Luthor and Doomsday. He would also reappear in the “Season 11” comic book continuation of the series.
11. Black Canary
Before her role on Arrow (and after the short-lived Birds Of Prey), Black Canary was featured on Smallville as another of Clark Kent’s superpowered allies.
In keeping with the show’s pattern, she started out as an enemy of Clark and his friends before becoming an ally. Introduced in the seventh season of the show, she was manipulated by Lex Luthor into believing the Green Arrow was a killer, and attempted to bring him to justice. Ultimately betrayed by Lex, who attempted to kill her, she was saved by Clark and reconciled with Oliver Queen. After that she joined the fledgling Justice League and assisted in a number of their missions.
When Clark went missing after the collapse of the Fortress of Solitude, she teamed with Green Arrow and Aquaman to find him, and later took part in the battle against Doomsday. Like Impulse, she was also featured in the comic book continuation of the show.
In its eighth season, producers imbued a little magic into the show by introducing Zatanna, the beautiful magician.
First arriving in town under the guise of a simple trickster at a birthday party, she granted wishes to Chloe Sullivan and Clark Kent that immediately became problematic. While they were distracted, she pursued her true purpose; finding the spell book that once belonged to her father, with the goal of bringing him back to life by sacrificing herself. In typical Clark fashion, he saved her just in time and convinced her to honor her father by moving on with her life.
Her second appearance on the show was equally as memorable, when she appeared at a convention to undo a hex her late father had placed on a comic book. The hexed book turned a child into the superhero Warrior Angel (Shazam in all but name) with the potential of turning into a supervillain. Once again, she worked with Clark to save the day.
Smallville had no shortage of heroines. Though she only appeared on the show briefly, Stargirl made a lasting impression.
Like Hawkman, Stargirl was introduced to the series in the “Absolute Justice” two-parter. A youthful protégé of the Justice Society’s Star-Spangled Kid, she took up the mantle of Stargirl in honor of him after he was murdered by Icicle. Teaming with Hawkman and Clark’s team, she sought to bring Icicle to justice, utilizing the Cosmic Staff she inherited from her mentor.
She would later reappear on the show as an ally of Clark and the Justice League, and attended Hawkman’s funeral in Egypt.
8. Dr. Fate
The enigmatic Dr. Fate was also introduced in the “Absolute Justice” episodes of the series.
Few characters in comic books are as mysterious as Dr. Fate, and that held true for his appearances on Smallville. During the glory days of the JSA, Kent Nelson had bonded with the Helmet of Nabu to become Dr. Fate, a magic wielding hero who could see into the fates of others. When the JSA disbanded, Nelson decided he had seen too much under the helmet and took it off, reverting back to his normal self. His long exposure to the helmet had addled his mind, however, and he spent years living on the streets.
When the threat of Icicle brought the JSA back together, Nelson reluctantly wore the helmet once again. He saw a glimpse of Clark’s destiny as Superman, while cryptically telling Chloe Sullivan that her fate was akin to his. He also helped Martian Manhunter regain his powers, before dying at the hands of Icicle.
7. Martian Manhunter
David Harewood is doing a fantastic job playing J’onn J’onzz on Supergirl, but he isn’t the first to bring the character to life on television.
On Smallville, Phil Morris played the role of Mars’ sole survivor, who watched over Clark Kent and served as a mentor for the younger hero, in much the same way as Harewood’s version of the character now mentors Supergirl.
Like his comic book counterpart, Smallville’s Martian Manhunter had incredible powers that rival those of Superman, from super strength to flight. He surrendered those powers willingly in the eighth season when he flew a powerless Clark to the sun to restore him; being from Mars, the sun had the opposite effect on J’onn. Even without his powers, J’onn proved himself a hero by working as a police officer. Dr. Fate later restored his powers by momentarily transporting him into Mars’ atmosphere.
6. Booster Gold
If nothing else, Booster Gold is a hero like no other.
Arriving in Metropolis in the show’s tenth season, he made an immediate impact, literally coming out of nowhere to become the city’s new hero. Of course, he had to come from somewhere, and soon Clark had his answer: Booster Gold came from the future.
A pretty average guy living in the 25th century, Booster Gold stole a number of items from a superhero museum and traveled back to the 21st century with the intention of using his stolen tools to become the era’s greatest hero. With a costume covered in the logos of sponsors, Booster Gold seems to care more about fame and fortune than helping people, but underneath his bluster he wants to do the right thing. By the end of his visit to Smallville, and thanks to some guidance from Clark, he was on the path to being a real hero.
5. Blue Beetle
When Booster Gold arrived in Smallville, he made his presence known by saving a young man from being hit by a car. That young man was Jaime Reyes, and the car just happened to be transporting an alien scarab. The scarab found its way into Jaime’s backpack and ultimately transformed him into the super strong and nearly impervious Blue Beetle.
Unfortunately for the city of Metropolis, Jaime had no control over the advanced technology he had obtained. Upon his first transformation, the powerful Blue Beetle wrecked havoc while Jaime watched helplessly from inside the suit.
When Blue Beetle attacked him, Booster Gold admitted that he wasn’t a real hero, but told Jaime he could be one if he believed in himself. With that inspiration, Jaime was able to take control of the armor and stop his rampage. The pair ultimately decided to team up and work together as heroes.
4. The Legion of Superheroes
Booster Gold was not the first time traveler from the future that Clark Kent ever met.
Two years before Booster Gold arrived in Metropolis, Clark encountered the Legion of Superheroes. Arriving from the 31st Century, Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl were aliens who were inspired by the legend of Superman. Meeting Clark before he had taken on that moniker, they found him to not be quite what they expected, but they still needed to work together to defeat Brainiac, who was once again threatening the world during Clark’s time.
Brainiac had taken over the body of Clark’s close friend Chloe Sullivan, and the Legion members were willing to kill her if it meant stopping him. Clark, however, was adamant that they save his friend no matter what, and they were able to do so.
3. Brainiac 5
After Clark and the Legion extracted Brainiac from Chloe Sullivan’s body, the trio of heroes returned to their own time. But they didn’t do so alone; they took what remained of Brainiac with them. Back in the 31st century, they were able to reprogram the once-villainous artificial intelligence and give him a more noble purpose as Brainiac 5.
Traveling back in time to visit Clark at his high school reunion (and for Smallville’s 200th episode) Brainiac 5 stopped time and helped Clark regain his own purpose as a hero. With Darkseid on the way, Clark was overcome with fear, guilt and regret. He still had not forgiven himself for his father’s death, and was shutting out his friends like Oliver Queen. Taking Clark on a guided tour of his life, Brainiac 5 demonstrated to Clark how much his friends needed him, and then sent him into the future to see his destiny as Superman. With this new perspective, Clark was able to embrace the present and face Darkseid head on.
2. The Wonder Twins
It takes a lot of commitment (and no small amount of free time) to stick with a show for ten seasons and over 200 episodes. Even the most dedicated fans may have checked out by then. But those who stuck with Smallville until the end were treated to a number of unexpected events. One of those was the first (and to date, only) live action portrayal of Zan and Jayna, the Wonder Twins.
In the ninth season episode “Idol”, Smallville introduced the iconic Super Friends characters as a young pair of gifted twins who idolized Clark’s vigilante identity, the Blur, and wanted to help him protect Metropolis. Utilizing their shape shifting abilities, they went to work stopping crimes on their own, and left behind the ‘S’ shield of the Blur as a calling card. Unfortunately, a number of their efforts backfired on both them and the Blur.
It’s only fitting that a show about a young Superman would eventually get around to introducing Superboy.
Lex Luthor had a number of clones of himself stashed away, but LX-15 was unique among them. Not just a genetic copy of Lex himself, LX-15 also possessed the genes of Clark Kent; half Lex, half Clark. Half human, half Kryptonian.
That’s not an easy legacy for anyone to live up to, and LX-15 (eventually named Conner Kent) was understandably confused by it. With Lex Luthor’s memories rattling around inside his head, he initially fell under the sway of Lionel Luthor before ultimately finding something like a family with Tess Mercer and Clark himself.
With Clark’s genes came his powers, and Clark was determined to help guide Conner on his path to heroism, enrolling him in Smallville High School and watching over him like an older brother.