Smallville Ended 10 Years Ago Today

Ten years ago, Smallville aired its last episode, titled "Finale, Part 2." In the episode, Clark Kent turned back the armies of Apokolips, defeating Darkseid (in his first live-action appearance...kind of) and, for the first time, wearing the familiar blue-and-red costume of Superman. The series centered on the adventures of a young Clark Kent (Tom Welling), who discovered his alien origins and super powers and began battling the forces of evil in his rural hometown of Smallville, Kansas. Welling was joined by a talented cast that included Michael Rosenbaum (Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2) as Lex Luthor, Kristin Kreuk (Beauty & the Beast) as Lana Lang, Erica Durance (Supergirl) as Lois Lane, and John Schneider (The Dukes of Hazzard) as Jonathan Kent.

Smallville is widely regarded as the big bang of the current crop of superhero TV dramas, particularly those which, like Smallville, air on The CW. Characters from Smallville (Welling and Durance's Clark Kent and Lois Lane), and iconography popularized by the series (the Green Arrow costume worn by Justin Hartley) have appeared in episodes of shows like The Flash and Arrow.

Smallville ran for 10 years and, in addition to earning some of the best ratings in The CW's history, also brought DC's comic book universe to life in live action in a way that no show had previously done. Series like Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman or 1990's The Flash always tried to bring elements of the comics into a realistic world, but struggled with some of the sillier or more fantastical elements of the DC multiverse. Smallville brought in character liks J'Onn J'Onzz (Phil Morris), Cyborg (the late Lee Thompson Young) and Booster Gold (Eric Martsolf) as well as telling stories that toyed with elements from the DC Universe's past (the Justice Society of America) and its far future (the Legion of Super-Heroes).

It's likely that without Smallville, something like The Flash -- with a telepathic gorilla, a multiverse, and a wide variety of super-powered villains -- likely would have looked much different when it came to air. It also remains a fan-favorite, one of the best-reviewed comic book shows in TV history and beloved enough that the cast have made themselves quite popular on the convention circuit where, a decade after the last episode aired, they still field questions about a possible revival, animated sequel, or some other kind of follow-up aside from Welling and Durance's cameo in "Crisis on Infinite Earths."

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