Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Should Tom Welling Actually be Superman?

No, I'm not asking if Tom Welling should portray Clark Kent/Superman in the upcoming Superman: Man of Steel (2012) film. Henry Cavill already won that role. Let it go, rabid Tom Welling/Smallville fans. Let it go.

I mean, should Tom Welling actually portray the Man of Steel in full Superman costume in the last reel of the two-hour Smallville series finale scheduled to air on May 13th? In other words, should Tom Welling actually be Superman on the small screen for any length of time at the end of the series?

My answer is "no".

OK, here's my take. The entire series is based on the audience watching Clark develop his abilities and his personality, from a 15 year old kid who, at the start of the series, is just beginning to become aware of his powers, who he is, and (gasp) where he really comes from ("You mean you're not my real Mommy and Daddy?") to a 25 year old (plus) young man who is just a heartbeat away from donning the red cape.

For ten years, it's been "no tights and no flights". The "no flights" part has become tiresome lately, but once you etch it in stone, that's that.

The show is called "Smallville" because this is the time in Clark's life before he's Superman. This is where we see what happened to him in all of his "pre-flight" experiences that eventually turns him into earth's greatest hero.

It's not about him actually being Superman. That's what the movies are for. Making Clark Superman (and the Smallville writers have come dangerously close on more than a few occasions) completely trashes the premise of the series (not that season 10 hasn't been sufficiently trashed already).

The best...the very best I think should happen in the last 30 seconds of the series, is that some emergency should occur, Clark ducks into a storage room or something, we get a close up of his chest as he opens the shirt (iconic moment, please), and reveals the Superman shield.

Fade to black. End of series. Run the closing credits and play the show's theme.


Probably...but that's where the show demands to end. Anything more hopelessly blurs the line between Clark's journey of self-discovery and the realization of being Superman. Clark's adventures in Smallville lead him to become Superman but they're not about actually existing as Superman, even for a few minutes.

Tom Welling is Clark Kent; a sort of "diamond-in-the-rough". He's "Superman-in-the-making", but he was never meant to really be Superman. It's time for Welling to pass the torch. We've already learned that it will be Henry Cavill who receives that torch and who carries it as the fully realized Man of Steel. Smallville is dead. Long live Superman: Man of Steel.


  1. How can you outright say serious 10 has been trashed? It is by far the best sesion to date. Tom welling was made to play SUPERMAN. And that is who he is he may not be called that by name yet but in many smallville watchers he is superman and always will be. Now get off yor high horse because when it come to no flight, no tights that is what the viewers have been waiting for and if it is only shown for a matter of three seconds at the end. No one will be happy, except maybe you. And if that is what u think. YOU DONT HAVE TO WATCH IT SO STOP SLAGGING IT OFF!!!!!!!!!!

  2. To quote the Joker (Heath Ledger), "why so serious?" It's one thing to disagree with my opinion, it's another thing entirely to lose your temper over it (as evidenced by the all caps in your last sentence). I've watched all the episodes in each season to date, and I have to say that, while Season 10 has had some good shows, it's also had some real problems. I could probably live without seeing the final set of episodes but, having gone this far, I'll go ahead and see it through.

    Remember, it's a TV show...not your life.

  3. You might be the most ignorant person on this topic, and for you to post this opinion is even more iconic than superman. Get a clue, and try to even for one moment see this through a smallville fans eyes. You know; the "10" seasons of one of the most popular shows in the history of television???? A foreigner to play superman is ridiculous. We might as well have kanye west play superman. That's how preposterous this selection is. Go get or find a clue, and maybe your opinion holds more water over on the "Wonder Woman" selection process. Geeeeeees, I. Can't believe you even wrote this story. I suppose you think Americas favorite past time game is europes football? I have to go now, as I'm disgusted with your painfully dumb "no tights/no flights theory. IDI%T!!!!!! Ten years of a great show for many people to be discredited by you, please go pick your perfect Wonderwoman and leave superman up to us. Hey, I hear there looking for who the next republican presidential canidate should be, and I'm sure your man Daniel Craig is perfect.

  4. Gee, Billy. Don't hold back. Tell us how you really feel.

  5. this is what i dont get with the storyline of Smallville... didnt Clark Kent actually leave Smallville close to this 18th birthday as part of his calling and spent the next 12 years in the Fortress of Solitude discovering his true calling and from then he flies out of the Fortress of Solitude at the age of 30 cape and all.. the Smallville plot just doesnt make any sense to me!

    1. That's how the Christopher Reeve films have the chronology, but I think the Smallville TV show took a different course. The "history of Superman" varies widely depending on the specific source.