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DC Comics Inc. is one of the largest and most popular companies operating in the market for American comic books and related media. DC Comics produces material featuring a large number of well-known characters, including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Green Lantern, Captain Marvel, the Teen Titans, Green Arrow, the Justice League and the rest of the DC Universe.

Smallville comics published

Series Year(s) Issues
Smallville: The Comic 2002 1
Smallville 2003-2004 11
Smallville: Volume 1 2004 1
Smallville Season 11 2012 - 2015 28
Smallville Season 11 Special 2013 - 2014 5

Elements from DC Comics brought into Smallville

General impact of Smallville in DC Comics and other media

Smallville as a TV show, during its ten year-long run, inspired many changes to the DC Universe itself.

A lot of stories focusing on Superman's origin, which took some inspiration from Smallville's version of the story, were published, like the twelve-issue comic book limited series Superman: Birthright (2003-2004) and the six-issue comic book limited series Superman: Secret Origin (2009-2010). Moreover, a lot of characters that were tied to Superman's origin and were main characters on the show, like Lana Lang and Pete Ross, started to appear more frequently in the modern day comics, after the success of the show.

Due to the show, Lex Luthor's origin was also altered in the Modern era. Brightright offers an alternate look at Luthor's history, including his youth in Smallville, and his first encounter with Superman. The story has many similarities to the series and one main plot element shared by the comic and the show is Lex Luthor's problematic relationship with his wealthy father.[1] After Brightright, Lex's origin was revisited many times in Countdown to Final Crisis #34, Action Comics #850 and in Secret Origin mini-series but what all of them had in common was the story element of Lex spending time in Smallville and meeting Clark, Lana and Pete, like in the TV show. Moreover in most of these stories Lex's father was referred to as Lionel, a name that it was originally given to the character in the TV series.

Jonathan and Martha Kent's appearances in the comics, were also altered in the Modern Age of comics, to resemble the younger versions of the actors who portray them in the television series. Although now shown wearing glasses, Jonathan has a full head of blond hair, and Martha has long red tresses. This younger portrayal of the Kents has persisted in the regular DC Universe since Birthright was published.[2] After Infinite Crisis various aspects of Superman's past were clearly retconned from the Birthright version but there was little to specifically indicate that the Kents themselves had been substantially changed. They were initially still depicted with younger appearances and the Schneider and O'Toole likenesses, however this eventually gives way to older, more traditionally generic, gray-haired representations.

Chloe Sullivan was the show's first totally original character and due to the popularity of the show and her character, there were many attempts to bring the character to the main DC Universe. DC representatives and writers initially hoped to bring Chloe into DC continuity in 2007. According to writer Kurt Busiek, the problem of bringing Chloe into the mainstream comic book universe, and keeping her television background, was that she would have filled two roles, which both had already been filled by the adult comic book versions of Lana Lang and Lois Lane, so the plan was to give the character a new background. Busiek hoped to make Chloe the younger sister of someone Clark had gone to school with, who was a now interning at the Daily Planet. Busiek believed that this would make her different from Lana and Lois, but still familiar to readers who also watched the show. Another distinguishing feature would be that this version of Chloe would not know Clark's secret, nor would she be meteor infected. These ideas never came to fruition. In Superman: Secret Origin several nods were made to the character of Chloe. She did not appear in the mainstream DC Comics Universe until 2010, when she was introduced in Jimmy Olsen's Big Week, a serialized Jimmy Olsen story. Writer of the mini-series, Nick Spencer stated that introducing Chloe has been his first "positive contribution" to the DC Universe.

The Red-Blue Blur/Blur name was used by Clark Kent before becoming Superman originally only on the show. However, it was alluded to in the comics too. In Superman/Batman #73 (August 2010), a close-up shot of Lois Lane researching on her computer, shows a newspaper headline in the background that reads, "RED-BLUE BLUR" GETS A NAME.

Smallville featured the first incarnation of the character of Cyborg that was included among the founding members of the Justice League (on the show Victor is in Clark's age), as in the comics he didn't joined the team until the New 52, where he became a founding member, replacing Martian Manhunter. Before Smallville and later the New 52, he had been a long time member of the Teen Titans.

In the Superman 80-Page Giant (2011), Kara is seen sporting the Smallville clothing attire of the character, that was featured in the very first episodes of the seventh season and its promotional photos.

The character of Faora was reintroduced in the New 52, due to the popularity of the character after her appearance in the film Man of Steel. Before that, Smallville first featured the character as Zod's right hand woman and wife, instead of traditionally using the character of Ursa, who had replaced Faora in both comics and other media for decades. The use of the character in the film indicates that the creators were inspired from Smallville's version of the character and decide to use her once again.

In the New 52, Green Arrow's appearance seems to be based on Smallville's version of the character with highlight his new costume. Oliver is now younger, and lacks his trademark facial hair, like in the series. Though the character later started resembling more the newest version of him, who appears on the TV show titled Arrow.

Smallville featured Doomsday, having a Kryptonian background rather that being created by humans, as it was in DC comics. This story element was later used in the New 52 as well.

Otis is a character that was first created to appear exclusively in Superman: The Movie (1978) and its sequel (1981). There were some references to the character and he did some cameo appearances in Elseworlds stories over the years but he didn't crossover into the main DC Universe until 2014. In 2012, Otis was introduced and also reinvented in some way in Smallville: Season Eleven as a major recurring character, where he was also given a last name for the first time in the character's history. After his appearance on Smallville, he made his first animated appearance on Young Justice and he finally made his debut in the comics in the New 52's title, Forever Evil.

On Superwoman #6, Lillian Luthor made a cameo appearance. However unlike Smallville, where she is Lex's mother, she is introduced as Lex and Lena's aunt, who also raised Lena and mentored her. Lex and Lena's mother is also referred to as "Leticia", a name traditionally associated with that character.

Elements from Smallville brought into DC Comics


Original Characters
Character Revamps


Elements from Smallville brought into other media


  • Michael Rosenbaum, who played Lex Luthor also voiced The Flash in many of his animated appearances in Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. In the episode The Great Brain Robbery, the two characters change bodies giving the chance to Rosenbaum to voice Lex Luthor. In Justice League: Chronicles special feature, producers Bruce Timm and Dwayne McDuffie said that they'd been planning to switch Lex and Flash for a while.
  • DC Direct has released action figures for Clark Kent, along with other Smallville characters. The first set of action figures was released on October 2, 2002, and was modeled after Clark's appearance in the first season. Following the end of the sixth season, DC Direct announced at the San Diego Comic-Con that they would be releasing new action figures, this time modeled after Smallville's Justice League as they appeared in the season six episode Justice. The toys featured detailed likenesses of Welling, Hartley, Ritchson, Gallner, and Young.
  • Allison Mack, the actress who portrayed Chloe Sullivan, voiced the DC superheroine Power Girl (cousin of Superman from an alternate reality) in the animated film Superman/Batman: Public Enemies.
  • In the movie Superman/Batman: Apocalypse, during the fashion montage of Kara adapting to Earth's customs by trying on clothes, Kara can be seen sporting the Smallville attire of the character, which she also wears again when she and Clark head to the Kent Farm to meet Jonathan and Martha Kent.
  • Smallville's Green Arrow was the first live-action version of the character and it was also the first time the character was treated as a main character, and not having a supporting role. During the sixth season and after the show's end, there was talk of spinning off the Green Arrow into his own series. According to Hartley, "talking" was as far as the spin-off idea ever got. The idea of making a Green Arrow TV series later came in fruition in the form of a show titled Arrow, which airs on the same network Smallville did, the CW. The producers decided to avoid any direct connections to Smallville and start clean by finding a new actor to portray the character. The creative still took inspiration from Smallville, as one of the main themes of Arrow was to "look at the humanity" of Oliver Queen, as Smallville had done with Clark Kent. The pilot was directed by David Nutter, who also directed the pilot of Smallville.
  • The live action film, Man of Steel, also made many references to the show as well. During scenes taking place in the small town of Smallville, there were several Easter eggs like the massive ‘Sullivan Truck & Tractor Repair’ sign, a nod to Chloe Sullivan and the local post office, bearing the name ‘Ezra’s Mail Depot’, a nod to Ezra Small. Moreover during the scene where Superman is fighting the Kryptonians in Smallville, the water tower from the TV show can be seen.
  • In Man Of Steel, the character of Nam-Ek was used, as one of Zod's followers. Smallville was the first to use this minor character from the Silver Age of comics, as a disciple of Zod.
  • Interestingly enough, many of the show's alums were also cast in the film like Amy Adams, Mackenzie Gray (appeared in season 10's episode Lazarus), Alessandro Juliani, Chad Krowchuck (appeared in season 3's episode Forever), Tahmoh Penikett (appeared in season 3's episode Resurrection and season 6's episode Prototype), Ian Tracey (appeared in season 5's episode Mercy) and David Paetkau (appeared in season 1's episode Hothead and season 8's episode Bulletproof).
  • Another original character specifically created for the show, Whitney Fordman, with his last name changed to Fordham, appeared in the live-action film, Man of Steel. He was portrayed by the young actor Robert Gerdisch. Whitney is also mentioned in the film's pre-release material.
  • A nod to the TV show was that in the animated short video for Superman’s 75th anniversary, the water tower from ‘Smallville’ was featured.
  • Laura Vandervoort is the first Smallville alumni to appear on Supergirl. There she played the villain Indigo/Brainiac 8.
  • The TV show Supergirl, has taken inspiration from Smallville in several occasions, specifically regarding the Luthor family:
    • The mother of Lex and Lena Luthor is named Lillian Luthor. The name "Lillian" was first used for the character in Smallville.
    • The company owned by the Luthors was originally named "LuthorCorp" before the name was changed to "L-Corp". Smallville was the first to use that name instead of the more traditional name, "LexCorp".
    • On Supergirl, Lena Luthor is the daughter of Lionel, born from an affair, and the half-sister of Lex. Smallville was the first to feature Lena as an illegitimate child of Lionel. Moreover, before Smallville, Lena and Lex had the same parents or they were step-siblings.