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Monday, July 2, 2012

Smallville: Season 11 #9 - "Guardian"



Gang's all here for this issue, although Lois and Clark only make a token appearance. After saving her from a helicopter landing and exploding on top of her, Superman whisked Lois up, up, and away for a romantic interlude in the clouds. We'll leave the Lane-Kents alone for now, they deserve a little quietude.

Meanwhile, on Smallville's terra firma, Green Arrow and wife are still stalking through the cornfields on the hunt for the mysterious woman with size 5 feet. Since Oliver can never seem to keep his mind on the business at hand, he takes this opportunity to ask Chloe whether she really wants to leave Metropolis for Star City. Chloe feels like she needs to, so she and Oliver can jump start their adulthood. Oliver: "What's more adult than forming an international League of heroes?" Hey guys, I feel like you should have had this conversation, oh, six months ago. Isn't there that reporter job that's been waiting for Chloe for six months in Star City? And now she's waffling?

Whoa, foreshadowing! Gotham! Later this summer, a Dark Knight rises in Smallville season 11! But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Oliver floats the idea of a little archer joining the Sullivan-Queen family (start buying Superman comics to read to him now, guys) and Chloe humorously ponders whether they've already hit the point in their marriage that hunting for the occupant of a downed alien spacecraft isn't enough to keep the spark alive. Soon they find more foot prints, but not dainty size 5s. "In no way intimidating" boot prints burned into the ground. Time to whip out the arsenal: Chloe packing heat, Oliver packing pointy. Little do they know the man(?) they seek is right behind them! (Abed in Community would be disappointed they didn't stand back to back.)

At STAR Labs, Lex Luthor is in the rest room washing his hands and we see his badly burned right hand clearly for the first time. How'd that happen? Bad cloning mishap? Couldn't be a Kryptonite ring like in the comics, could it? Anyway, Tess picks this time and not when he's on the can to haunt her big brother. As usual there are taunts and threats in their banter, but this panel is kind of interesting:

"St. Louise's Orphanage". I don't remember whether or not that was the human alias Granny Goodness was going under. Probably? It was her orphanage Lionel Luthor left Tess in. Anyway, before I get on another tangent, this time about Tess' crazy life being raised for a while by Granny Goodness and then getting recruited by Amanda Waller for Checkmate, Tess steers Lex on the subject of Commander Hank Henshaw. Lex has made immediate good on his promise to download Henshaw's mind into the body of one of Emil Hamilton's drones. Now comes my favorite part of the issue: Tess says she "can't believe Emil would ever" let Lex go through with this, and Lex totally went there:

Lex: "So you knew Dr. Hamilton. Perhaps in more than one way?"

Wow, so Tess can physically make contact with Lex. But that doesn't change the fact that Emil totally banged her. Emil might be the greatest hero of Smallville when it's all said and done.

Lex tries to tell his compellingly less-than-ghost sister on the BS of the benefits behind this mind-transfer-to-drone technology, on giving the dying a second chance at life. "Albeit a mechanical one," Tess notes. But his real master plan is to download Tess into a robot body, then he'll have her dismantled. This latest brother-sister less-than-bonding is interrupted by Otis, who caught his boss Mr. Luthor talking to his invisible sister again. Then, in my second favorite part of the issue, Otis, talking to thin air, apologizes to Miss Mercer for her condition. Otis is awesome. Lex thinks he's an idiot, but then, why did he hire him to begin with? Lex is like Ricky Gervais to Otis' Karl Pilkington. They should get together with Tess and do a podcast, then send Otis to the Seven Wonders of the World.

Lex and Mrs. Henshaw then go to check on Hank Henshaw. Lex tries to ban Emil from the room amid protest. Henshaw awakens and drops the shocking reveal his wife's name is Terri. Then he notices weird things, like how he can't feel his wife's hand and everything he sees is via digital readout. Lex's bedside manner is super upbeat but for a super genius, Lex Luthor really, really underestimated how delighted a hotshot astronaut like Hank Henshaw would be to wake up and find out he's a robot. Henshaw immediately goes for the jugular - Lex's jugular - and grabs him by his throat, while Superman's pal Emil breaks out his cool new Superman Signal Watch!

This looks like a job... that Superman will take on after a one week hiatus....