It’s Superman to the rescue in Smallville Season 11 #6.
Smallville Season 11 #5
As the Guardian space shuttle is rocked by a mysterious explosion, Clark jumps into action as Superman. With Chloe’s help via Watchtower, Superman is able to get all the crew to safety. Only pilot Hank Henshaw is horribly wounded by the radiation leak, and needs to be hospitalized. But before losing consciousness, Henshaw imparts a message to Superman: the explosion was not an accident. Meanwhile, Lex Luthor eagerly awaits his coming confrontation with an angry Superman.
First off, kudos to Bryan Q. Miller for giving Clark an awesome showing as Superman. As a longtime fan of the show, I adore this notion that, after all these years of tripping and stumbling, when Clark finally “gets it” he is unstoppable. Not only that, but the idea of a Superman who is “plugged in,” getting an assist from Chloe and Watchtower, is an intriguing concept, and presents a Superman who is not only proactive, but prepared for anything.
And yet, at the same time, while I liked the idea, the execution left a little something to be desired. Why would Clark need Chloe’s help at all in this situation? Why does he need her to tell him how many people are on the shuttle? Isn’t that what x-ray and telescopic vision are for? Is Chloe’s typing really faster than a speeding bullet, if you get what I mean? Why does Clark need Chloe to ensure that Hank Henshaw’s ambulance gets all green lights on the way to STAR Labs, when he could just fly the man there in a few seconds? For God’s sake, Clark flew all the way into space to save Henshaw, why didn’t he just bring him back down at STAR Labs, instead of wherever the heck he landed?
And I’m sure this is all story-driven. It not only gets Chloe in the story, but makes her awesome as well. Okay, fine. But at the same time, it makes Clark looks very similar to the bone-head he often was on the show. Chloe’s tricks would be brilliant if used with, say, Green Arrow, who would need Chloe to give him intel, like Terry and Bruce in BATMAN BEYOND. But Superman is worlds above needing that kind of practical assist.
Superman’s rescue of the space-shuttle is very John Byrne. The storyline itself takes inspiration from the one that introduced Henshaw in the comics, plus it also reminds one of Clark’s debut in MAN OF STEEL #1. Add to that the use of Angela Chen, a reporter from the Animated universe, and we are getting a Superman comic that is drawing from all eras and media, which is something I, again, have always loved about SMALLVILLE.
And it looks like we’re going to get another classic trope next chapter, the one where Superman and Lex have a tense conversation, hopefully set in Lex’s office, with Superman hovering outside the window. Another favorite.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|Now THIS is a Superman comic!||Let’s try to avoid making Chloe awesome at Clark’s expense.|