Has it really been 10 years since we, and Comic-Con, were introduced to teenage Clark Kent, Lana Lang, Lex Luthor, Chloe Sullivan and the rest of the gang living in Smallville, Kan.?
Well, no, it’s been nine, but as “Smallville” goes into its 10th and final season, the show has been a mainstay at Comic-Con. It’s hard to imagine that this crowd heard much that it hasn’t heard in the past 10 years that the show has been coming to San Diego with various members of the cast and crew.
The 10th-season promo gave us glimpses of Hawkman, Lois Lane in a desert, Allison Mack’s Chloe with Dr. Fate’s helmet, Cadmus labs and what looked to be Doomsday, and Clark Kent finally taking flight in a black and silver suit. Or what looked to be flight. We’ll find out later.
Moderated by comics/TV writer and exec Geoff Johns, this year’s panel included writer/producers Kelly Souders and Brian Peterson and actors Justin Hartley, Erica Durance, Cassidy Freeman, John Schneider and, of course, Tom Welling.
The prevailing questions that even those who have dropped “Smallville” off of their DVR lists continue to ask — “Why isn’t he flying yet?” and “Why isn’t he in the suit yet?!?” — were asked and answered, probably for the umpteenth time.
“Before Clark Kent can really become Superman, he has to go through some trials and tribulations. The [black-and-silver] suit he’s wearing reflected what was inside at the time,” Souders said.
The cast was asked about favorite episodes (“Roulette,” “Checkmate” and the 100th episode came up), training for fight scenes (Freeman on stunt people: “They’re there and they’re dressed like us and it’s creepy”), and new characters (members of the Suicide Squad might show up).
Welling was asked about filming with Christopher Reeve, which was Peterson’s favorite episode.
“I don’t think I’ve ever understood what it was like. He was such an awesome guy, and he made me feel so comfortable,” Welling said. “One story … he was only allowed to be there for five or six hours a day per the doctors and nurses, but I think he was there for something like 10 hours. He wouldn’t let them take him away…. It was an out-of-body experience for me.”
The entire cast was really grateful for the live audience and the viewers, and they expressed that before ending the panel.
Durance: “I hope [fans] have the reward and satisfaction of being absolutely in love with it.”
Schneider: “I hope that you understand that even though the actor types and cast and crew are sequestered from the people … that you understand that we know and appreciate that viewers are out there buying magazines and watching TV and now on the Internet.”
Welling: “It is the idea of the fans giving their support and their passion that keeps us running.”
Souders: “A personal thanks for all of us because you’ve made our dreams come true, so thank you very much for a decade of support.”
– Jevon Phillips
Photo: Tom Welling as Clark Kent on “Smallville.” Credit: The CW
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PHOTO GALLERY: Scenes from Comic-Con 2010