Lex Luthor’s Guardian space shuttle heads to the stars, but not all is as it seems, in Smallville Season 11 #5.
Smallville Season 11 #5
Oliver confronts Lex about his real plans for the GUARDIAN platforms heading for Earth’s orbit in a few hours, while at the same time, Clark interviews GUARDIAN’s pilot Hank Henshaw. Henshaw assures Clark that his only goals are to fly and to help protect Earth, something Clark can agree with. But when the mission finally launches, a mysterious explosion threatens the ship. Meanwhile, the occupant of the supposedly alien vessel that fell to Earth through the Rift proclaims this “a job for Superman…”
Things finally kick into high-gear. Despite Miller continuing his habit of filling scene after scene with only two characters talking each other’s ears off, both the launch and the explosion of the GUARDIAN, along with the appearance of the space-suited “alien” really move the story forward. Honestly, I’m amazed that only one chapter after Lex announces GUARDIAN’s existence, we are already launching into space. I could complain about how rushed that feels, even with the six month lead time Lex’s people would have had. But I’m just glad we’re getting into the meat of the story.
This issue gives us a peak into Hank Henshaw’s personality. His pleasant lunch with Clark feels like a short-hand version of every relationship Clark has on the show. At first, he dislikes everyone he’ll like later and likes everyone he’ll eventually dislike.
Henshaw’s love for physical sensation pretty much telegraphs what his main problem will be as a cyborg; that he will lose the ability to touch, taste and smell the world around him. It’s a motivation that worked well for Metallo in The Animated Series, but that was left out when the character appeared on Smallville. Also, his take on helping people by “forcing them to see the light” again telegraphs that at first, Cyborg-Superman will try to help people, but will become corrupt with power.
My current guess as to the identity of the “alien” is this: It is Henshaw from the future. The explosion surrounding the ship looked not unlike the Rift from chapter one. Perhaps Henshaw falls through into some other world where he is transformed into a cyborg, and then is sent back. When he says, “This is a job for Superman,” he might even be talking about himself.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|The story is moving along at a breakneck pace||Is six months really enough time to get something like Guardian off the ground?|