I’m back, and so is Smallville on the CW network. Also, expect reviews of Civil War #4 and Cable / Deadpool #30-32 this weekend.


Tom Welling as
Clark Kent
Kristen Kreuk as
Lana Lang
as Lex Luthor
John Glover
as Lionel Luthor
as Martha Kent
Erica Durance as
Lois Lane
Allison Mack as
Chloe Sullivan.

Written by Steven S. deKnight.
Directed by James Marshall.

Original Airdate


originally aired on Thursday,

September 28, 2006.


Clark tries to escape the Phantom Zone in time to save Earth from Zod, who is in control of Lex.

High Point

The superbeing knockdown. After five years, I’m ready to see the training wheels come off and the hero emerge.

Low Point

Is it just me, or are the phantoms just a little too much like the ring wraiths?

The Review

The originality is boosted by the introduction of the Phantom Zone and Jimmy Olsen (both of which were previously referred to but not seen). It’s also nice to see a few more steps taken toward Clark choosing to assume an active hero role. I give it 5 out of 6.

The effects were, for the most part, pretty good. While the interactions between Clark and the phantoms early on were somewhat weak, some of the other effects (including most of the fight and the “stabbed through the hand” scene) were very well done. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story was a nice way to wrap up last season, and move this season forward. There was a bit of a deus ex machina moment, but it wasn’t terribly overdone. I give it 5 out of 6.

The acting was quite well done. Welling is comfortable with the deliberate hero role, just as Rosenbaum is a great fit for the villain. I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response wasn’t quite as strong as I was expecting. I don’t know if I was just expecting too much coming into this after watching the movie this summer, but it didn’t quite grab me the way a Smallville season opener usually does. I give it 4 out of 6.

The production has never been an issue for this show. They nicely play with colour, composition, and editing to keep the series moving. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a season opener that may be marking a shift from the more passive “I’ll help out when I hear about the problems” role to the “I’ll go find out if there’s anyone who needs my help” role. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total,
out of 42.