How The Arrowverse Can Make Smallville Canon

The Arrowverse crossover, Elseworlds, is changing The CW's Multiverse. Here's why Smallville deserves to officially become part of the Arrowverse.

Tom Welling Superman CW Arrowverse

Smallville deserves to become an official part of the Arrowverse's canon. The CW's longest-running superhero series (to date) about a teenage Clark Kent (Tom Welling) premiered in a totally different cultural landscape in the fall of 2001. It predated the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy, Sam Raimi's Spider-Man, and even The CW itself (it premiered on the WB Network before it rebranded as The CW). After 10 seasons and 218 episodes, Smallville concluded in May 2011 with Clark finally donning his iconic costume and becoming Superman, and, despite its flaws, the series remains beloved by a generation of fans.

This year's Arrowverse crossover, Elseworlds, is poised to shake up the Multiverse in new and exciting ways. Not only will Elseworlds introduce Batwoman (Ruby Rose) and Gotham City into The CW's shared universe, but leaked photos from the set reveal John Wesley Shipp is suiting up as the Flash once again. Shipp starred in the fondly remembered The Flash TV series on CBS in 1990, and his role as TV's original Barry Allen is one of the reasons why he was cast as Henry Allen, the father of Grant Gustin's version of Barry, in The Flash (and as Jay Garrick, the Flash of Earth-3 as well). Originally, the Arrowverse's 53 Earths were alternate versions of Earth-1, but by including The Flash 1990, Elseworlds is opening the door to something grander: other DC superhero shows can now become part of The CW's Multiverse - and even appear within the Arrowverse!

Related: What Elseworlds Means For The Arrowverse And Batwoman

For fans, one of the best things about the Arrowverse is how each series respectfully pays homage to its predecessors and makes sure to cast former actors in key supporting roles. For example, Supergirl has honored its past by casting Helen Slater, who played Kara Zor-El in the 1984 Supergirl movie, as Melissa Benoist's Kara's adoptive mother Eliza Danvers. Supergirl has also created major roles for Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher, the stars of Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, and Erica Durance, who played Smallville's popular Lois Lane. But Elseworlds is now going beyond recasting former DC actors in new roles. If The Flash 1990 is joining the Arrowverse then Smallville deserves no less of an honor, and it can happen the exact same way:

Smallville Should Have Its Own Earth In The Multiverse

The easiest and best way to make Smallville a part of the Arrowverse is to acknowledge that it exists as one of the 53 Earths in the Multiverse. It would be that simple: the Arrowverse can establish that Smallville's Clark Kent, Lois Lane, Lana Lang (Kristin Kreuk), Lex Luthor (Michael Rosenbaum), and all of the other characters exist in their own Earth with its own self-contained continuity. This would also guarantee that Smallville's canonical future (which has now become our present) is uninterrupted: DC's official Smallville Season 11 comics introduced Batman and Wonder Woman into their universe, and in Smallville's series finale, fans learned that Clark had been saving the world as Superman for 7 years and finally married Lois in 2018.

The added benefit to giving Smallville its own Earth is that it creates the possibility for a monumental crossover that would be sure to boost ratings. In fact, before Tyler Hoechlin was cast as Supergirl's Man of Steel in season 2, fans clamored for Tom Welling to be cast in the role so that his Superman could become a part of the Arrowverse. However, Welling joining Supergirl was never more than mere fan-casting, and the actor felt his version of Superman wasn't a good fit to be retconned into the Arrowverse (also, a few of his fellow Smallville actors have been recast on Supergirl, and Welling coming aboard as Clark Kent might create unnecessary confusion). But the tantalizing idea of Welling's fully-formed Clark from Smallville possibly meeting Kara Danvers in National City could be a different story altogether - or if not Clark himself, then other major Smallville characters like Lana Lang or Lex Luthor.

Speaking of Superman's bald-headed arch-foe, when Supergirl announced Lex Luthor is finally being introduced in the series, fans urged producers to cast Michael Rosenbaum as Lex to honor his status as arguably the best live-action Alexander Luthor ever. Indeed, some fans even suggested Tom Welling to be cast as Lex so he can be the only actor to play both the Man of Steel and Superman's greatest enemy. Overall, the passion for Smallville to join the Arrowverse has not abated and a groundswell of support certainly exists for Tom Welling's Superman series to be officially acknowledged by the Arrowverse.

Page 2: How Smallville Could Join The Arrowverse

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