Back in February, DC Comics announced that they were going to continue The CW’s Smallville in comic book form and written by Bryan Q. Miller, one of the show’s writers who wrote such episodes as season 8’s Hex and season 10’s Luthor.
The first issue of Smallville Season 11 was entitled Guardian (keeping with the show’s theme of one word episode titles) and takes place 6 months after the series finale.
In Guardian, Clark has fully embraced being Superman (a moniker that he is known by –so long Blur) and lives happily with his fiancée Lois Lane in their Metropolis apartment that they moved into in season 10’s Dominion.
The first issue dealt with Superman rescuing a Russian spaceship that was damaged while on a secretive mission in space.
I don’t want to recap all 12 issues but basically the Russians were in space putting something in space to protect Earth from another planet (i.e. Apokolips) from barrelling into Earth as was in the series finale. Apparently seen on the surface of Apokolips were alien creatures and demons.
In all of this Lex Luthor, who has lost all of memories thanks to Tess, fears Superman because he pushed a planet away from Earth so enlists the help of the army in the form of General Sam Lane to have them use LexCorp’s Guardian project as a space weapon.
Manning the first Guardian space craft is Hank Henshaw but something terrible happens after launch and Superman rescues Hank’s crew then Hank but Superman barely makes in time and Hank has suffered radiation burns and is in an almost vegetative state but still has high brain function. So thanks to S.T.A.R Labs, which was established either by Virgil Swann or in memory, and Emil Hamilton, they transfer his conscience into these drones. Of course, Hank goes crazy and becomes cyborg Superman and blames Superman for his condition and they battle it out but Superman saves him from himself.
And everything about the Guardian project including the accident was all deliberate by Lex. He caused the accident knowing that Superman will come to the rescue, which allowed Lex to paint Superman with radiation so he could track Superman’s movements thus temporarily separating Clark and Lois because Clark doesn’t want to lead Lex to the life he has built with Lois.
There was a sub-plot with Oliver and Chloe searching for a spaceship that crashed during the initial Russian space shuttle incident. At first, I thought it was Lana in the ship because we knew it was a human woman who landed but it ended up being Earth-2 Chloe who stated that Earth-2 was gone and that a crisis was coming.
Another sub plot is that the neuro-toxin that Tess administered to Lex in the series finale has caused her spirit to somehow attach itself to Lex. Also, Guardian introduces Otis, who was Lex’s henchman in the Christopher Reeve Superman movies and was played by Ned Beatty.
What I loved about Guardian was the fact that it continued on Smallville. Bryan Q. Miller has still captured Justin Hartley’s portrayal of Oliver, Tom Welling’s Clark, Erica Durance’s Lois and Allison Mack’s Chloe.
However, the artwork of our beloved characters in Guardian doesn’t quite watch their in the flesh counterparts from the TV series. There are some exceptions. Cat Staggs cover art for issue 1-3 and 9-12 totally captures Tom Welling and Issue 4-6 captures Michael Rosenbaum perfectly.
Pere Perez does somewhat capture Justin Hartley’s Oliver Queen and Allison Mack’s Chloe Sullivan and Cassidy Freeman’s Tess Mercer. He totally misses the mark on Lois Lane and Clark Kent though. Perez artwork does not capture Erica Durance and Tom Welling at all nor does he get Alessandro Juliani’s Emil Hamilton right. The only character he actually captures spot on is Michael Ironside’s Sam Lane.
There was some nods to Smallville episodes like Lois’ Bear Hug mug, which appeared in season 8’s Hex, in Issue 2 and Oliver and Clark talking about an exploding baby in issue 3, which happened in Ageless.
Like Smallville, I loved any issue of Guardian that featured Lois and Clark or at least alludes to their relationship. Issue two was awesome because you have Clark and Lois at their apartment getting ready for work. You have a shirtless Clark (who is still sexy even in comic book form) brushing his teeth, telling Lois everything that he experienced up in space that morning to him making her breakfast and wondering if they should return all the wedding gifts. Lois replies that they don’t have to since the wedding is just postponed and not cancelled.
This leads to one of my favourite panels of Guardian is they give each other a kiss and they tell each other how they miss each other due to their busy lives.
I also loved how Sam Lane didn’t like how Apokolips cause him to miss his daughter’s wedding and how he didn’t want to attack Superman with Clark suspecting that he believed Sam knew who he really was based on what was said in season 10’s Ambush.
When the military attacked Superman and the bullets ricochet off him and almost kills Lois, I loved how Clark swoops in and saves his lady-love from death and they share a very romantic mid-air embrace and kiss.
What I didn’t like was Smallville again separating Clark from a love interest. First Clark was separated permanently from Lana because she is walking kryptonite and now because he is painted with radiation that has a lifespan of 500 years, he can’t go back to his normal life with Lois without exposing who he really his. Damn you Lex!
But what I loved is that both are fighting to be together, unlike Lana who said in Requiem that she can’t be in his life if she can’t go near him. But with Lois, Clark promises that he will find a way for them to be together again and that Lois will find a way to make Lex pay. The very last panel of Guardian I loved. It has Lois talking to Clark who is high above Metropolis, she tells Clark that she loves him and both have tears in their eyes. I love every time Clark and Lois declare their love. Clark tells Lois earlier that he loves her during Lex’s press conference announcing the Guardian project.
We know that Lois and Clark are temporarily separated because we know that seven years later, we see Clark Kent working at the Daily Planet with Lois Lane.
I can’t wait for the second episode of season 11 to start on Friday, August 17. The episode is called Detective and features Batman and Barbara Gordon as Nightwing.
Aside from Batman finally arriving on the Smallville canvas, I hope they explain what happened to Earth-2 and Earth-2 Chloe, what is the crisis that Earth-2 Chloe talked about. What does Lex’s finger moving mean and why Ghost-Tess wanted that to happen and I really hope that they resolve Lois and Clark’s separation. I can’t stand that they are apart. Lois and Clark are better together than apart.