LITG: The dangers of being a fan By Mandy Stegall

Long-time readers of this column know that I’m a huge fan of Smallville. In fact, I could probably write a column every week if it was Smallville related.  But, I don’t think the general reader on this site would want to read my comments week-in and week-out.  I’ve read comments all over the Internet blasting the show for killing the character of Superman by drawing out Clark’s journey for so long, so I know my feelings of love aren’t necessarily shared.

Like many people, I have searched out other people on the Internet who share the love, just like I sought out Raging Bullets because I read DC comics.  More specifically, I sought out people who love Lois and Clark.  And because this is Smallville, most of the conversation is about the building of their relationship and how Lois fits into his world and is instrumental toward him becoming Superman.

We’ve all done something like this at some point.  Otherwise, this website wouldn’t exist and the guys wouldn’t have so many listeners and readers.  We search out others who share our enthusiasm for shows, comics, and characters because we like the idea that other people are out there doing the same thing: obsessing over the next show or comic, geeking out over a scene or a panel, and marveling at the genius of the writers, directors, or artists.  And, of course, the interest wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t, at one point, believe that we could have done it better.

That’s where the whole point of this column comes in.  With Smallville hurdling toward the end of its 10-year run, many fans are getting very anxious about how exactly everything is going to play out on the show.  More specifically, Lois and Clark fans—or Clois fans, if you’re up on all the shipping terms—are getting nervous about getting to see the aspects of the show they’d like to see from a relationship standpoint. (On a side note, these are the same people who are refusing to watch the series of episodes right now involving Chloe because they have a belief that she is the devil.  You want to know why Smallville’s numbers have been down the last few weeks?  Look no further than rabid Cloisers—and they are many—who wait to hear the response of people on message boards about how much the episode sucked before deciding whether or not to watch at all.)

The one item on every Cloiser’s wish list right now seems to be a baby for the soon-to-be-married couple.  Seriously.  I’ve seen whole threads on message boards devoted to the topic.  People hear that an upcoming episode is titled “Scion” and they look up the definition and proclaim that there’s going to be some long, deep, and meaningful conversation between Lois and Clark about having children.  Some even declare that it means that Lois will announce that she’s pregnant, and the last two hours of Smallville ever will jump forward nine months to when the miraculous Super-baby is born.  And not to be outdone, said child will in some way be named after one or both of Lois and Clark’s deceased parents.

Don’t get me wrong, the idea of Lois and Clark having a baby is, well, super.  We know from the comics that they have to at some point because of all the descendants Superman has in the far off future.  We also know that the existence of Conner Kent is proof that human and Kryptonian DNA can create another being.  But…we also know that the “can or can’t” of the matter isn’t the only concern.  Lois and Clark/Superman lead busy and most of the time dangerous lives.  They have many enemies.  The decision to bring a child into the world would have to be one that is long-considered with them.

I’ve seen this idea of Clark and Lois having a baby take over fans and make it the one and only thing they feel like they need to see.  Truthfully, I’ve struggled not to become one of them.  I’ve always been that Smallville fan who is okay with some of the tweeks the writers and producers make to the mythos, simply because I understand that this is essentially—even if DC won’t acknowledge it—part of the multiverse.  But when it comes to something like this, I prefer the powers that be to stick with established continuity.  Can there be a discussion about it?  Sure.  In fact, I expect there to be one in “Scion” when Clark and Lois realize that Conner (the ex-Lex clone) is really a clone of Clark.  But ultimately, I don’t see the version of Lois and Clark on the show being in a place where they are ready to explore that possibility.  Lois and Clark in the comics?  Absolutely.  I’d actually love to read that story.  I’d love to see Clark repeatedly tell Lois the reasons why not only to have her refute every single one of them until he has no choice to give in.

I think the point I’m trying to get across here is that I have faith in what the showrunners, writers, and actors are trying to accomplish with these last episodes of Smallville. While I have some things I’d like to see happen, I don’t let it take control.  It’s been disconcerting to go to the message boards lately, mostly because of all the hate I’ve seen there for certain characters.  Seeing that has made me lose some of my enthusiasm for something that used to be lots of fun for me.  As much as I love Lois and Clark, I was a Smallville fan before Lois even showed up on the show.  I geek out when I see some of the old characters coming back for one last go, whether they’re dead, from an alternate universe, or just visiting from Washington.  I don’t think it regresses Clark’s character.  In fact, I think it makes us realize just how far he’s come since the pilot episode.

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