It's been eight years since Smallville ended, but now Tom Welling's Clark Kent is returning in "Crisis on Infinite Earths," this year's Arrowverse crossover event. Smallville's Superman was easily the most-requested addition to the highly-anticipated crossover, and fans have got their wish. Tom Welling will join Tyler Hoechlin and Brandon Routh as the third actor to play Superman in the event.
The Superman prequel series was known for its "No Tights, No Flights" rule which kept Clark Kent from taking the mantle of "Superman," wearing the costume, and learning how to fly. Through ten seasons, the series followed Clark as he went to high school, attended college (briefly), and got a job at the Daily Planet. The series also explored his relationships with Lois Lane, Lex Luthor, Oliver Queen, and introduced new characters to Superman lore, like Chloe Sullivan. In the Smallville series finale, Lex Luthor came back to life using a clone body, Tess Mercer was murdered by Lex, and Clark finally became Superman.
Though the TV series had come to an end, Smallville continued in another format. Published by DC Comics, Smallville Season 11 kept the continuity of the show and picked up where Smallville left off. The comic book series lasted from 2012 to 2013, before being replaced by various miniseries that ended in 2015. The events of Smallville Season 11 have always been considered to be in-canon with the show. The comic book series began six months after Clark Kent became Superman, and a number of adventures and disasters followed. Here's what you need to know about Clark's future following the end of Smallville.
Clark Kent Becomes A Proper Superman After Smallville
Clark Kent wasn't well-received when he first burst onto the scene as "Superman." Even though Clark had already been saving lives as "The Blur," this was his first time going public with his heroics. So it took time for the public to accept him. After a while, Superman gained the confidence to confide in the President of the United States that he was an alien.
One of the earliest challenges Superman faced in his superhero career was of course, Lex Luthor. Though Lex had no memory of his friendship with Clark or anything that transpired in Smallville, he was back to his evil ways, forcing Clark to deal with his schemes in classic Superman fashion.
Tom Welling's Superman Becomes The Green Lantern
Superman also became associated with another superhero team: the Green Lantern Corps. Interestingly, his membership in the team wasn't voluntary. A certain Green Lantern ring, designed for use by a Kryptonian, was drawn to Clark. Once it was on his finger, he couldn't remove it. Basically, he was forcibly conscripted into the Green Lantern Corps. As a result, he had no choice but to learn how to use it. It was this storyline that introduced the John Stewart incarnation of Green Lantern to Smallville canon. John Stewart took Clark under his wing and began training him. While Clark learned how to use the ring from Stewart, he found himself swept into one of Stewart's battles with the Green Lantern villain, Parallax. Superman and John Stewart managed to defeat Parallax, and in the aftermath of the battle, the Green Lantern Corps took the ring back and decided not to force anyone else into joining them.
Superman Fights (& Works With) Batman
As Clark's adventures continued, he crossed paths with a number of DC Comics superheroes who were never able to appear on Smallville, such as Batman and Wonder Woman. Batman, for instance, was being used for Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy when Smallville was still on the air. The series wasn't able to use him, but Smallville Season 11, as a comic book, had no such restrictions. Batman finally crossed paths with Superman when the Caped Crusader came to Metropolis on the hunt for his parents' killer. He lured Superman into a fight as a distraction so that his partner, Nightwing (Barbara Gordon) could complete Batman's mission for him. However, her attempts to break a man out of prison were thwarted by Superman's ally, Green Arrow. Both fights went on for a while, but ended when Superman and Batman agreed to a truce. The four heroes teamed up to battle enemies from Batman's rogues' gallery, including Mister Freeze.
Like other versions of the characters, Smallville's Superman and Batman didn't get along, but over time, learned to understand each other's worldviews. After Superman and Batman became allies, Batman began to serve as a key recurring character in later Smallville stories. He even agreed to become a part-time member of Smallville's Justice League, a team that Clark took command of in season 8.
The Justice League Defeats The Monitors
Clark became embroiled in a battle with the Monitors, who were a threat to the entire universe. The Monitors believed that in order to restore order, they would first have to erase all of existence. In this storyline, Clark had to deal with Smallville Season 11's take on "Crisis on Infinite Earths", which saw him interacting with different characters from various timelines. The Monitors were the main antagonists of the whole series, as their presence formed an overarching plot that had been building since the beginning of the series, and came to a head in Smallville: Continuity, the final miniseries in Smallville canon.
It all started when the Monitors destroyed Earth-2, and followed its only survivor, Earth-2's Chloe, to Earth-1. To beat the Monitors, Clark had to put aside his differences with Lex Luthor and form an alliance. Clark called in nearly every ally he ever had, which included forgotten characters from past Smallville episodes as well as new heroes from the comic. Everyone from Batman, Wonder Woman, the Justice League, the Green Lanterns, the Legion of Super Heroes, to the Teen Titans were on-hand for Superman's last stand against the Monitors. Together, Superman led the heroes to victory.
How the Arrowverse chooses to incorporate Clark's post-Smallville history remains to be seen. Regardless, the original report regarding Welling's involvement in "Crisis on Infinite Earths" has revealed that the crossover will indeed address what Clark has been up to in the last eight years.