I remember it like it was yesterday when I first found out that there was a new live action t.v. show about the early adventures of Clark Kent set in high school, well before he becomes... you know. Me and my buddy were sitting at a bar drinking and playing trivia, and he looked over at me and said, "Hey dude, did you know there's a t.v. show about Superman when he was in high school, kinda like a Dawson's Creek with Superman." Then I said, "GET THE F**K OUTTA HERE, Dawson's Creek sucks!" Then my buddy goes, "But it's Superman dude!" After he said that, I was sold. We ended up throwing our money together, bought a case of beer, some steaks and the first season on dvd; this was while the second season was wrapping up, and the rest is history! Me and my buddy were hooked ever since and for the longest time I was really in the closet about liking the show; it was my GUILTY...GUILTYYY...GUILTY pleasure! (That was a Superman reference you dummy!) Now I just don't give a krypto's ass anymore about what people think of me when I tell them that I love this show and thankfully I wasn't the only one because Smallville's about to enter it's tenth and final season, and the ninth season is hitting Blu-ray and DVD this week. Take that HEROES!
The show has come a long long way since Clark's high school days of discovering his powers, battling kryptonite freaks of the week and dealing with everything Lana (I still find her hot dammit). In this ninth season we (finally) get to see Clark/Kal-El (Tom Welling) embrace his destiny and kryptonian heritage while facing a new potential threat...ZOD, MAJOR Zod that is (played damn well by Callum Blue) and his fellow Kandorian soldiers from Krypton that were released from an orb created by Superman's daddy, Jor-El (Julian Sands). This creates a pretty solid storyline for this season as we get to see how Clark tries to do the right thing for his people while knowing very well the potential consequences he may have to face when dealing with Zod (who's actually a younger version of Zod and not the Terrance Stamp General we all kneel before) who obviously has ulterior motives. Duh! Clark does all this while sporting a new prototype "Neo/Punisher" super suit sporting the Superman "S" sheild under the moniker "The Blur", which I still don't like. Well at least he's not called Fast Guy...I guess. (Note to self, work on comedy.)
Along the way Clark gets pitted against plenty of other well established DC villains like Metallo played by Terminator destroyer (Brian Austin Green), Toyman (Chris Gauthier) and Amanda Waller played by Foxy Brown herself, (Pam Grier). Old fan favorite allies return like Chloe Sullivan (Allison Mack), she really needs to chillaxe and stop playing Big Brother so much at the watchtower, Green Arrow (Justin Hartley), who finally lays his demons to rest thank Jebus, John Jones (Phil Morris), who needs to be in more episodes next season and Zatanna (Serinda Swan), who really needs to get nake...Superman would never say that, as well as new DC allies like the JSA's Hawkman (Michael Shanks), Dr. Fate (Brent Stait), Star Girl (Brit Ervin) and hell, even the Wonder Twins (Allison Scagliotti and David Gallagher) show up! (Insert Wonder Twins joke here) And of coarse you have the super beautiful (Erica Durance) playing my most favorite incarnation of Lois Lane ever. I mean what Clark Kent story is complete without good ol' Lois Lane there to provide some much needed sexual tension and have Clark deal with his whole dual identity issue. And talk about chemistry; these two really have it and it's played to great length this season. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that Martha Kent (Annette O'Tool) returns and gives Clark something that the fans and non fans have been crying for for like a really long time! She did...she did...
I have to admit, this has been my favorite season in quite awhile and I have the new producers (their second year in) to thank for that who are really making this show fun again by bringing in characters from the DC Universe and integrating them into the Smallville Universe which I've always seen as an Ultimate Universe, (Marvel people know what I'm talking about. Damn, that's a lot of universes). I also I like the fact that they're finally trying to line this show up with the comics while also paying homage to the Richard Donner Superman movies like in the episode "Kandor" where you see Jor-El in front of those floating head dudes while on trial. Watching this season I also noticed that the storyline seemed to riff on what was going on in the Superman comics, like New Krypton, in which a similar story was taking place involving the return of Zod and the Kandorians and placing them on Earth with Superman dealing with this new situation, forcing him to figure out just where his loyalties lied, either with the Kryptonians or his adopted homeworld, which for me created an interesting new challenge for the Man of Steel to face that I found fascinating.
Season nine had some memorable episodes like "Absolute Justice" written by Superman and Green Lantern comic writer Geoff Johns which was by far the funnest comic book like episode of the season, featuring some great character moments between Hawkman and Green Arrow and any scene involving Dr. Fate, who really stole the show. I was begging for a Dr. Fate, Martian Manhunter spin-off after watching that episode. It also introduced new villain, Amanda Waller, who may have a bigger role in the 10th season if the rumors I've been hearing are true. Geoff wasn't the only comic book writer on the show this year, there was also the return of Bryan Q. Millar, writer of the new Batgirl comic who penned "Warrior" that was Smallville's version of a Captain Marvel story involving a little boy who magically becomes a Superman like hero. Other stand out episodes were "Kandor" where you get a glimpse of Krypton before it's destruction and see how Jor-El and Zod's friendship went horribly wrong. "Pandora" explores what a world led by Zod would be like and the season finale called "Salvation" delivers a pretty solid season cliffhanger unlike last years season finale which left me limp.
Now the extras on the blu-ray are pretty damn entertaining, like the "Kneel Before Zod!" feature where you'll get an entertaining in depth look into that character with interviews by the real Zod himself, Terrance Stamp and the youthful Zod, Callum Blue, along with interviews with Richard Donnor and Geoff Johns and the producers of the show. The big highlight is the "Absolute Justice: From Script to Screen" feature where you get a fully detailed look at what went into the production of the Absolute Justice episode, from the script, to the props, sets, costumes, and the casting choices. Everything that you're looking for about that episode, it's all there and worth checking out.
As for the Blu-ray itself what else can I say besides it looks great. Everything really pops out at you and the show looks very much like a comic book show. Smallville has always been great at keeping a consistent look to their show and they keep that standard up for this season along with the great sound quality. I crank this Sh*t UP!
Now don't get me wrong, this is still Smallville that we're talking about and from time to time you'll get plenty of cringe worthy dialogue and episodes, but it doesn't linger long enough at all like some past seasons leaving you wondering if you should still stick with the show or not. This is pure fun and whenever they do something wrong, they make up for it by doing something really really right. What really impresses me this season is that you get a sense that they really do care about what they're doing and this show always does feel like a Superman show to me because I think the heart of the show is in the right place and that's why I still watch it. Plus Tom Welling is still a great Clark Kent and looks to be shaping up to be a great Superman if the finale season delivers on it's promises and gives fans and non fans something worth talking about.
So anyway, KNEEL BEFORE ZOD BITCHES! (Note to self, keep working on comedy)