When any iconic character manages to endure for decades upon decades, it’s only understandable that they be recast every so often, with fans debating over who was the actor to have best portrayed them. In the case of Superman, I admit that I have a difficult time choosing between the likes of Christopher Reeve, Tom Welling and Henry Cavill. But what I can tell you, though, is what TV show presented my favorite live action version of the hero, and that was Smallville.
If you require somewhat of a refresher, Smallville ran for ten seasons and chronicled Clark Kent’s journey to becoming Superman. Along the way, we followed him from his days as an awkward teen right up to when he became protector of Metropolis, even if Welling never technically put on the suit.
We met villains such as Lex Luthor, Brainiac, Doomsday and Darkseid, and even some other DC heroes like Aquaman, Cyborg and Green Arrow, thus paving the way for The CW’s modern landscape. Not only that, but the adventures continued in the Season 11 comics that showed us the Superman this Clark became, free of budgetary constraints!
Of course, many scribes have cited the challenge of writing for a character who is so supremely powered, but those working on Smallville had the luxury of having a Clark Kent going through growing pains at their disposal. In fact, Steven S. DeKnight, who was a producer on the show for a time, said as much when speaking with Screen Rant while doing his press rounds for Pacific Rim Uprising:
“Superman is one of the hardest characters to write for. One of the brilliant things about Smallville is it’s all about Clark. He wasn’t Superman yet.”
As he continued, he couldn’t help but compliment Zack Snyder’s work, with DeKnight saying he thought the auteur found the right formula:
“Superman’s very different from Batman. Batman is this dark, psychologically messed up guy, Superman’s the man we all aspire to be. He’s inspirational and to try to find the human side of that, and not to mention, he’s so powerful it’s harder to relate to him so it’s very, very difficult.
“I actually really like what Zack Snyder has done with that character. It’s a super hard, very tricky character to do and like I said, if we were doing on Smallville, if he were Superboy on Smallville, I don’t think it would have worked.”
Personally, I found Snyder’s Superman to be somewhat in keeping with how the Earth One series of books examined the character, insofar that both called into question how the world would react to having a powerful alien in its midst.
Still, Smallville reigns supreme in my view because it managed to show that despite wherever Kal-El came from, he was just as human as any one of us. He still had a family, played football and had romantic relationships in addition to having to deal with the freak of the week. And if he weren’t relatable like some claim, then the show wouldn’t have lasted for ten seasons.
Source: Screen Rant