By Adam Basciano
“What happens after Clark puts on the costume? Can he keep his super-secret quiet? Pere Perez illustrates Bryan Q. Miller’s story in the first chapter of this ongoing series.” (DC Comics)
As I read through the issue, I felt instantly at home in the “Smallville Universe.” For me it was like no time at all had passed since the last episode. Despite my warm and fuzzy disposition, the issue takes place six months after the finale. This issue is like “Cheers.” It’s a place you want to go to because everyone knows your name, you know their’s, and everything’s pretty much the same as when you left it. That’s good for this first issue because this book is an extension of the T.V. series. Beyond that though, virtually nothing happens in this issue. We have Oliver/Chloe waiting on the roof of the Watchtower for Clark to fly by. Similarly, Lex looks out the window of his office as Superman flies by. We get a glimpse of Lois but she’s sleeping. It’s not until near the end of the book that Superman appears, saving a Russian space station from cabin de-pressurizing and a loss of gravity. It’s not that this first issue was bad, it wasn’t. Having been through ten season premiere’s of Smallville, I expected more. Smallville premiere’s have been known for their excitement and the sense of direction they provide for the coming season. This issue is severely lacking those qualities.
For the most part, I enjoyed the artwork of Pere Perez. Chloe and Oliver are pretty spot on renditions of their television counterparts. The classic Smallville scene of Lex looking out his office window couldn’t look any better if it was in live action. The only missteps were with the rendition of Superman. There are many pages where he looks like a 12-15 year old boy rather than a Superman. I realize that for the first seven seasons of the show, Tom Welling looked like a perpetual teenager who had never shaved. However, season’s 8-10 you could really see that Welling had grown up. Superman has changed his costume. Can you blame him? I wouldn’t want to wear the “Superman Returns” one either! This costume definitely is in line with the other heroes of the show. It has the “Smallville” aesthetic. To me, it looks like a hybrid of the New 52 costume and the “Man of Steel” costume. I think it works. I absolutely love the cover for this issue. Superman is the spitting image of Tom Welling (as it should be for this book), and the image is visually captivating and explosive. Superman flying straight towards you, busting through the “Smallville” title card. Perfect!
I can’t rate this issue. To me this issue feels like a small part of the Season 11 premiere, which will unfold over several issues. If I’ve understood the press release then that is likely the case. To be fair, I will rate the premiere as a whole at a later date. For now, I will continue to read this comic book. I’ve watched this series for ten years, and I’m eager to see the “Smallville” version of the “Superman Years.”