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Friday, June 15, 2012

Smallville: Season 11 #7 - "Guardian"



Back from a two week break after the second batch of Smallville: Season 11 issues went on sale in print, and business is picking up. This issue also has a lot of really funny dialogue and character interplay, especially among the Queens. To wit:

In Smallville, the crack husband and wife investigating team of Queen and Sullivan-Queen (as labeled in the caption) are tracking the mysterious space craft that landed in the cornfield. It's night time and it's dark out there with the corn so Green Arrow shoots a flare arrow into the sky. Chloe takes the opportunity to have some fun with her touchy, defensive husband and mocks his no doubt intensive R&D into developing a boxing glove arrow.

Oliver, a man who spent two years alone on a desert island before running into pirates and Tess Mercer, seems really creeped out to be in a cornfield with his wife in the middle of the night. But he has good reason to be afraid; Oliver points out that in general, Smallville has not had the best of luck with aliens visiting. Especially Kryptonians like Zod, Brainiac, and Doomsday. Chloe points out that "John Jones and Clark have, with infrequent exceptions, been delightful." I like the qualifier Chloe used; Clark has been under Red Kryptonite influence on quite a few occasions, where he's been a real jerk, though kind of cool in a jerkish way. Oliver would have preferred Superman with them as back up if they do run into more Kryptonians, but they discover whipping out Kryptonite isn't going to be necessary, because...

The ship that crashed is from Queen Industries. Not alien. Chloe: "You'd tell me if you built a spaceship, right?" Oliver: "Yes, but this isn't anything my company's built. We're all wrapped up in helping John get that Watchtower outpost built on the moon." Wait, and how is Oliver explaining that to his shareholders and his board of directors? Oh, I guess it's not that hard to explain: He's publicly the Green Arrow, he's a part of the Justice League, the Earth was invaded by Apokolips six months ago, it could be presented as a necessary measure for planetary defense against hostile alien threats. But how is a Watchtower on the moon profitable for Queen Industries? I'm getting distracted again. What's important here is that, in Scooby Doo style, Chloe spots footprints and determines they are size 5. Small feet. Because our mysterious Master Chief is a lady. (And as I said in my recap a few weeks ago, I'm guessing it's Lana Lang. Kristin Kreuk has little feet - I'm guessing.)

Meanwhile, at STAR Labs, Dr. Emil Hamilton receives a visitor he can't and would never refuse in the form of pushy but super attractive girl reporter Lois Lane. Lois is checking up on Commander Hank Henshaw and his prognosis (or is it diagnosis? Whichever.) is not good: He has suffered severe burns, loss of motor function and he's in a coma. His mind functions but he's trapped in his own body. Like Commander Pike on Star Trek. Emil should build him a special wheelchair with a blinking light - blink one for yes, two for double yes (copyright Zapp Brannigan). Henshaw's distraught wife, let's call her Mrs. Henshaw, blames Superman. Like, completely blames Superman. Why wasn't Superman fast enough to save her husband when he pushed a whole planet out of the way? Good thing Clark didn't hear this or else he'd be really bummed out. Lois tries to come to Superman's defense, but there's no consoling Mrs. Henshaw, who demands to know what Superman's "going to do about it?"

I'll tell you what he's going to do: He's going to pick a fight with Lex Luthor, that's what. In the Lexcorp building, where Lex Luthor has for some reason built an elevator that makes the onomatopoeia "DOOM!" sound when it opens, Lex fixes himself a drink when Superman comes knocking on his window. Then he smashes it and all of the glass around, including the glass in Lex's hand, with a mighty Super clap.* When Superman is feeling polite, he'll ask you to step outside. Not now -- Superman is pissed. Superman accuses Lex of activating the Guardian platform in mid-flight. Lex, a very wealthy man, owns a river in Egypt called Denial (I apologize). Clark - I mean, Superman - starts yelling at Lex with balled fists and looks like he's gonna slug him. But Lex calmly stands his ground as three attack helicopters from General Lane and the US Military order Superman to stand down.

That line, "Never seen a stranger get that mad, that fast", is most intriguing. Either Lex does remember or his super intelligent mind is processing things so quickly, he's on the cusp of remembering everything, like how he used to love hugging Superman when he was a teenage boy. Lex plays his hand: Superman was present when the Russian space station exploded. Superman was there when Guardian exploded. Now Superman is at Lexcorp looking to smack around its CEO. It doesn't take Commissioner Gordon holding a Batarang** in a baggie to point out this evidence is purely circumstantial, but Clark isn't thinking straight. The US Military orders Superman to turn himself in for questioning. Superman refuses. Lex: "I think this is the part where you run."

Great. Now Superman is public enemy number one, like Dillinger. I wonder if the Russians will cancel that Superman statue? To be continued next week...

* Strangely, my digital copy of this issue had these pages in reverse. In my issue, Superman claps and smashes the glass, then in the next page he knocks on Lex's window. It was very confusing.

** This is my clever way of shouting out the big news about the Big Guest Star coming soon to Smallville.