DC fans were delighted to see Smallville star Tom Welling back as Clark Kent for “Crisis on Infinite Earths” last December, as a trip back to the Kent farm in Kansas was an awesome hit of nostalgia. The only thing is there was a fair amount of backlash against the reveal that Earth-167’s Clark had decided to give up his Kryptonian power in order to live a normal life with Erica Durance’s Lois Lane and their daughters.
In an illuminating interview with Fake Nerd Podcast, Arrowverse EP Marc Guggenheim addressed the elephant in the room and explained a little about the thinking behind having Clark give up his powers and why the reasons behind it were left unsaid.
“We discussed a nod to, believe it or not, Superman II. It wasn’t relevant to the story that we were telling in terms of getting into the specifics of it, and there are certain things that I believe are best left for the fans to discuss and debate.”
Guggenheim noted that the concept of Clark living a happy, regular life “resonated” with the team – especially Welling himself. This gels with what the actor, who’s always been keen to stay out of the Superman suit, has said before about how he was convinced to return.
“I don’t believe in giving the fans the entire picture all the time,” the showrunenr added, “But the idea that Clark would give up his powers in order to have this kind of life, that really resonated with all of us, and I think it really resonated with Tom [Welling]. It just makes sense.”
Despite losing his abilities, it was fully the intention that Welling’s Clark had experienced a full career as Superman prior to his “Crisis” cameo, as evidenced by the Daily Planet front pages on display at the farm. These are a mix of articles taken from the 10-season run of Smallville and references to the Christopher Reeve movies.
“It was one of the reasons why it was so important for us to show you those Daily Planet articles that Lois wrote. We very much wanted to tell the audience that the promise of Smallville was, ‘He’s going to become Superman.’ We wanted to make it very clear that that did happen, that he did become Superman, that he did have all these adventures, but they are left to your imagination.”
Smallville fans will probably be debating Welling’s “Crisis on Infinite Earths” cameo forever now, but then again, that’s kind of fitting considering that the show’s finale was equally controversial.