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Friday, April 20, 2012

Smallville Season 11 #2 - "Guardian"



Back from commercial, and the Remy Zero "Save Me" opening credits playing in your head... oh, what the heck, let's play it here too:

Issue #2 of Smallville Season 11 feels just like the television show. Time to get a lot of exposition out of the way as Smallville further checks in on where our heroes and villains are six months after Superman pushed Apokalips out of orbit.

Lois and Clark have settled into easy domestic bliss. They're still not married (and we know they won't be for another seven years), but they kept all the wedding presents from their aborted wedding in the "Finale" that Darkseid had an Omega-possessed Green Arrow interrupt. Though the art by Pere Perez moves into more cartoony caricactures than last issue so that resemblance to Tom Welling and Erica Durance is only passing, Brian Q. Miller's script easily captures Smallville's patented snappy Lois and Clark banter.

We learn the Nexxus space ribbon last issue, which Clark has dubbed the Aurora, suddenly disappeared as mysteriously as it appeared. The Russians have already commissioned a Superman statue (for their "Red Son", according to the Daily Planet headline - wink) because Superman saved them earlier that morning. Lois' Superman shirt with the Superman Returns logo is now outdated with a different looking "S" shield ("It's impossible to draw it the same way twice!") and Clark's new suit has a lead-enforced "S". (Clark: "If you'd been shot with Kryptonite bullets as much as I have, you'd want lead over your heart too.") Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne have the same ideas about their logos protecting their hearts. And hey, is that a WayneTech brand laptop Lois is misspelling her interview with the UN Inspection team on? Why, yes, it is.

Clark wants Lois to interview Superman (maybe not with the headline "I Spent The Night With Superman") to further inspire hope among people that despite the recent alien planet nearly colliding with Earth, not everything from outer space is dark and scary. Some things from outer space wear bright red and blue spandex. Lois doesn't think it's a great idea since images of Hunger Dogs and Parademons on Apokalips leaked before Superman pushed the planet far, far away from Earth.

Meanwhile, at Lexcorp, Lex Luthor (mysteriously wearing a black glove over his right hand), meets with General Sam Lane over matters concerning outer space and the planet's security. Lex either believes or has proof the Russians Superman saved are actually planning to place weapons in orbit. Lex wants the US Military to accept the contract to place Lexcorp's own Guardian weapons platforms into space. General Lane, remarkably prudent for an established hard ass warmonger, questions exactly in which direction Lexcorp's weapons will be pointed at (and at whom, maybe someone zipping by in a red cape?) Lex trusts Superman about as far as Lex himself can throw Apokalips.

The best stuff comes next as Clark drops by That One Cafe on that One Street in Metropolis and runs right into Lex buying coffee for the next 80 people who show up. This is the first time Lex and Clark have met since Lex died in the Fortress of Solitude collapse at the end of season 7 (not counting the various Lex clones that have dropped by the show in seasons 8-10). We learn Lex has no memories of Clark but read some past news clippings (he poured over old issues of the Smallville Torch edited by Chloe Sullivan?) that informed him he and Clark were friends when they were younger.

Lex especially wouldn't recognize Clark now with the dark suits, slicked back hair, glasses, and bumbling demeanor. Also lacking are the blatant homosexual overtones between Lex and Clark from the peak of their friendship, like when they used to share long, passionate, both-their-eyes-closed embraces. Maybe this is for the best. Clark notes that Lex's half-sister Tess Mercer's death was labeled a suicide and they quip back and forth about Lex's plans to go into orbit and snide jokes about Superman, until Clark hears a siren and Super Blurs away. Just in time for Lex to hear and see:

Tess! And thus, along with borrowing the actors playing Dr. Emil Hamilton and General Slade "Deathstroke" Wilson from Battlestar Galactica, Smallville borrows the idea of Dr. Baltar haunted by Six. Not coincidentally, Lex Luthor will be President one day.

To be continued next week...