“Smallville’s” last season is zooming along. Already, Lois has discovered the secret of Clark’s powers. Chloe has vanished mysteriously. Clark and his hero allies know something is coming. As the season approaches its half way point, two stories are looming on the horizon. The first deals with the anti-vigilante law escalating, seemingly headed up by a new villain (to the show) named Darkseid. Also coming soon though is the return of Lex Luthor, which if done right has the chance to be much more explosive. So which should be the bigger conclusion to the show?
Darkseid’s story has been building slowly in the background. The anti-vigilante law, which indicates the big villain to be Darkseid, goes all the way back to the “Legends” crossover published in the 1980s. In it, Darkseid manipulated things, leading to the superheroes of Earth being outlawed. This predates Marvel’s similar themed “Civil War” storyline by 20 years. Also, he is one of the rare Superman villains to have not shown up in one form or another in the show. He has the explosive potential to destroy the world if not dealt with properly. Supergirl’s recent heart to heart with Clark implies a world ending threat is coming. If they bring in his army of para-demons, son Kalibak, and the Female Furies (WOW!), this could truly be an epic storyline, worthy of filling up the back half of the season.
Lex is in a totally different ball game. For one thing, he has fought the Man of Steel since the 40s. The first “Death of Superman” story was an imaginary tale (but as the immortal Alan Moore once said, “Aren’t they all?”) in which Lex finally killed off Clark. Throughout the years, he has been Clark’s best friend and worst enemy. He has been a rival for Lois’s affections, in “Lois and Clark,” and Supergirl’s boyfriend in the comics. No one has the desire to destroy Clark more than Lex, and no one is the yang to Clark’s yin like the bald one. Lex returning at this point in Clark’s life would be the perfect catalyst to propel the young hero into the limelight.
However, my hope is for the end of the season to be a little different. Some of the greatest comic book stories have featured two monumental threats both endangering the hero at the same time. What if Clark suddenly finds himself struggling with Lex in what can only be considered the worst fight of his life. In the midst of the war with Lex, though, a boom is heard. A circle of light appears in the sky. Out flies a horde of what can only be described as demons. Suddenly, the war becomes a totally new level of chaos and destruction. All of Clark’s heroic allies would have to fight the greatest war the world had ever known, all the while Clark would have to deal with Lex also.
This could lead to a brief team-up with Lex. Lex doesn’t necessarily want the world destroyed. He just wants Clark destroyed. This need not end up with a “Darth Vader” moment for young Luthor though. He shouldn’t sacrifice himself to save the world. Although he sees himself as a hero, he is clearly not the noble soul it takes to do this. Instead, it should end up with him hopefully helping stop Darkseid, and then betraying Clark. This is just how Luthor works. In the recent crossover “Blackest Night,” Luthor finally got super-powers and the chance to defeat the ultimate evil (in the comics), but blew it when his lust for power got in the way of the greater good. It just seems to be the way his mind works.
The last episodes of “Smallville” are upon us. Two big threats are coming for Earth’s oldest and greatest super-hero. How this will all play out is a mystery to all of us. All I can say for sure is that you should be tuning in now.