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Old May 18 2010, 11:18 PM   #60
Lapis Exilis
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Re: Re-branding Smallville as a Superman show (spoilers up to S9 final

Christopher wrote: View Post
^No, I don't agree. As I said, the arc of the past two seasons has been about Clark's evolution from a self-absorbed farmboy resisting his destiny (as Millar and Gough forced him to remain as long as they were in charge) to someone who was more and more embracing his destiny as a hero. Yes, he's been operating as a hero, but he hasn't been fully Superman yet, in terms of being the leading light of the superhero community. He's gone through a lot of growth into his role over the past two years, and has had setbacks along the way. It's not like the new writers just flipped a switch and suddenly he was Superman in all but name. You said there was no real sense of Clark evolving toward becoming Superman, but to me, that's exactly what the past two seasons have been about.
Fair enough - I haven't watched the show regularly since about season three. My sense of it then though was that it was Superman in all but name - not in seeing the character evolve in any specific way because at that point he did not evolve, but meandered around a soap operaish territory of good-boy-bad-boy-lovesick-teen-memory-loss-personality-alteration-etc-etc - not unlike the way the character in the comics meanders around through various dramatic events involving a set of regular or semi-regular characters, villains and abilities which result in no character development but that keep the series going indefinitely.

In other words, I'm not talking about approving of the direction of the character's development towards writing that makes him fit a heroic ideal, I'm talking about a narrative structure and exploration of a set of characters and abilities which make up the mythos. And in that way, Smallville has been a pretty full, if reimagined, treatment of the Superman mythos (as opposed to a prequel that is exclusively about leading up to the moment in time when a character enters the mythos proper with all its attendant characters and narrative structures) sans name and cape, for a very long time. If they are continuing with the prequel conceit in order to avoid using the name and costume, more power to them for sidestepping some of the more awkward trappings of superhero stories - though it's certainly a case of having your cake and eating it too. That never has stopped them from introducing every other element of the Superman mythos from Perry White to the Justice League. And I don't see how, if you have absolutely everything associated with Superman except for the word "Superman" and tights and a cape - it's not simply Superman that you're doing.

As I said above, I'm talking more about a way to approach the material than I am about entering the story and trying to make it fit with the extablished mythos regarding when and how and what sort of person Clark was when he donned the cape.
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