?No one knows how to reward patience like TV’s Smallville. Sure, the show has it’s problems. But if you kept up with the first few seasons, you only got Clark Kent battling forgettable meteor freaks (Jonathan Taylor Thomas anyone? Remember him? Anyone?) or some lab experiment Lex Luthor was cooking up. But if you stuck around past those initial episodes, things started to get interesting, and more and more familiar faces started popping up in Metropolis, to the point where most of the major DC heroes have popped by to say hi to the young Clark Kent (with two notable exceptions, of course).
Of course, there have been so many villains straight from the pages of the comic books that they deserve their own list, but one could cobble together a pretty good Justice League Unlimited from the ranks of Smallville guest stars! Warning, though — many of these videos are fan-made tribute videos with completely ludicrous music choices. You’ve been warned.
Helen Slater might have played her on the big screen, but Laura Vandervoort’s the Supergirl we Super-fans like the most. Her “straight from a Kryptonian ship” origin mirrors the comics somewhat closely, and she already had the power of flight down way before Clark figured out his. While she was mostly out of the picture in seasons 8 and 9, she’s lined up to make an appearance in season 10.
I really was going to stay away from the classic Superman friends in this daily list, so I had to justifiably ignore the Kents, Jimmy Olsen, Lois, and Perry White. But Krypto is one of those DCU characters that no one can hate. Out of all the heroes on this list, only he, Cyborg, and Aquaman have ever starred in their own series! And while he’s not pure white with a cape (have you ever tried to put a cape on a dog? It’s really really funny for about 5 minutes, until they start tripping over it), he’s still a heroic companion to Clark. Krypto is always a good dog.
Arthur Curry has the look of Aquaman down, as well as his nonexpressive, wooden demeanor. But Smallville has done a good job of presenting all of his comic book powers in the show, including talking to fish and that ball of water energy that he throws. He works well as a supporting character, and would be a great part of a Justice League TV show, if they ever got around to that. Hell, every team needs someone who can tell fish what to do.
If comics have taught us anything, it’s that Victor Stone is a team player. Despite the occasional solo mini-series, he’s better on a team than alone. Possibly because the DCU has enough cyborg characters as it is (cyborg Speedy? C’mon.) and it’s hard to make them stand out when all they have is robot parts. Victor in the show is, of course, part robot, but he’s all Justice League! There’s no hesitation about him, the guy’s a faithful member of Oliver Queen’s League, almost from day one. Sadly, his costume of a puffy silver vest, is kinda goofy.
7) The Legion of Superheroes
Originally, when the Legion contacted young Clark Kent, it was only Saturn Girl, Cosmic Boy, and Lightning Lad (aka Lighting Boy) who made the trip through time. In Smallville, the same trio dropped in on Clark for a little hero worship, and to dispense some advice on Brainiac and Doomsday. It took the Legion from a globe-hopping super police to three kids, hanging out with Clark Kent on a farm. And it was a damn fine Smallville episode.
6) Black Canary
In the comics, Dinah Lance had brown hair that she’d cover with a blonde wig when she fought crime. On the show, she has blond hair and puts on a brunette wig when she wants to be Dinah Lance. It all makes sense, trust me. All the screaming powers are there, as well as the mastery of hand-to-hand combat. Even the romance with Oliver Queen, as those two are like peas in a pod in the comic books. Well, except now, they’re broken up while Ollie goes crazy in the forest by himself.
5) Martian Manhunter
The first time we saw John Jones, he was in silhouette, bald, and had glowing red eyes. Then when he was finally revealed, he was just some bald black dude, not wearing that little bandolier thing, and not giant and green. He went around being helpful for a couple seasons, but fans knew that John Jones in human form was just the producer’s way of saying, “Hey, I know how we can save a few bucks on Martian Manhunter – have him just look like a regular person!” In season 9 though, we got it all: bandolier, red eyes, phasing power, and green skin. It was all worth it.
Why is Impulse so high on the list? Easy. Because he beat Superman in a race. That’s just ballsy for any writer. “In this instance, we’re going to prove that the Flash is faster than Superman.” Know how many times that’s happened in comic books, and not due to some trickery? Once. And it happened on Smallville the first time we meet Bart Allen.
I don’t think any costume on Smallville is more comic-accurate than Zatanna’s. True, it’s not like you have to create too much from scratch, since it’s fishnets and a jacket with a stylish top hat. And actress/model Serinda Swan is exactly what Z would look like if she stepped off the comic page. All the magic’s there! She has her own DC comic series now, but wouldn’t it be great if Serinda did a spin-off show? Man, that special effects budget would be f’n insane. Lufituaeb!
2) Justice Society of America
Hooray for Geoff Johns! Thanks to his writing, and his “well, it could happen” approach, we got the whole JSA! ALL OF THEM. Sure, the Spectre and Hourman only appeared in a painting, but that’s an in-continuity painting! Having just Dr. Fate, Hawkman, Sandman, and Star Girl make appearances was enough for us fanboys to geek out to for weeks. They’re definitely going to come back in Season 10, or so we’ve been told. But Johns did the impossible: introduce an entire fully-fleshed out super team in two episodes.
1) Green Arrow
When his pilot for an Aquaman TV show didn’t get picked up, star Justin Hartley did, by Smallville. Would he have made a good Aquaman? Sure. Does he make a great Green Arrow? Oh hells yeah. He’s been a series regular in season 6 and has virtually wrestled with Clark Kent for screen time ever since. He’s notched arrows against some of Metropolis’s biggest threats, and organized Smallville‘s heroes into the Justice League to take on world-wide problems. Don’t ever change, Ollie.
Robert Bricken is one of the original co-founders of the site formerly known as Topless Robot, and its first editor-in-chief, serving from 2008-12. He brought the site to prominence with “nerd news, humor and self-loathing” as its motto, raising it from total internet obscurity to a readership in the millions, with help from his savage “FAQ” movie reviews and Fan Fiction Fridays. Under his tenure Topless Robot was covered by Gawker, Wired, Defamer, New York magazine, ABC News, and others, and his articles have been praised by Roger Ebert, Avengers actor Clark Gregg, comedian and The Daily Show correspondent John Hodgman, the stars of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Rifftrax, and others. He is currently the managing editor of io9.com. Despite decades as both an amateur and professional nerd, he continues to be completely unprepared for either the zombie apocalypse or the robot uprising.