Smallville: The Comic
by Mark Verheiden, Michael Green,
Roy Allan Martinez, John Paul Leon
(DC Comics, 2002)

The success of the WB television show Smallville is well known to most comic-book readers by now. What may not be known, however, is that DC has produced a spin-off comic.

Smallville: The Comic fits right into television continuity, following the life of a teenage Clark Kent and his high-school friends. Containing two different stories, Smallville manages to be big on suspense, action and even characterization.

In the first story, "Raptor," a young man is caught in an explosion at an excavation of dinosaur bones, which also happens to be infused with kryptonite. As a result, he begins a slow transformation into a human/raptor hybrid and sets his sights on settling a family grudge with Lex Luthor. Although the story is standard "mutation of the week" fare, which was so common in the TV series' first season, it is a well-paced story, with very nice artwork by Roy Allan Martinez.

In "Exile of the Kingdom," readers and fans get a peek inside the head of Luthor. Why does the sole offspring of a billionaire choose to make a small Kansas town his home when the big business and nightlife of Metropolis beckon? This is the question posed by Luthor's high-society friends, as well as his less-than-loving father. John Paul Leon's thick lines and rather unexpressive art don't add much to the story, but the examination of Lex Luthor, perceived by so many to be a "spoiled rich kid," is well worth the read.

Note: the Smallville storyline stands apart from the Superman storylines established in other DC comics.

- Rambles
written by Mark Allen
published 17 May 2003