tom welling

The CW’s current Arrowverse of shows proves that you can make straight-up superheroes work in live action.  But before that, producers were wary of being too faithful to the four-color comic book source material, as evidenced by ‘Arrow”s dark, grounded first season.  Before ‘Arrow’, The CW inherited The WB’s long-running hit ‘Smallville’ an examination of Clark Kent’s teenage years as he came to terms with his fantastic Kryptonian powers.  Tom Welling won the plum role of young Clark, who never adopted the Superboy identity the comic book version did.  And as the years wore on, despite a move to Metropolis and Clark’s increasing use of his powers– not to mention his alliances with Green Arrow and other outright superheroes– the show’s producers never allowed Welling’s character to make the jump.  And that’s just how the star likes it.

While appearing on ‘The Talk’, Welling discussed his years as a plainclothes hero.

Kathy Hutchins /

“One of the things when we started the show was that it was going to be about Clark in high school. It was not going to be about Superman. So at the end of the series, it was about trying to put Clark in the position where you knew he was going to become Superman, but you couldn’t go with him. But we hope the fans felt like it was good that they knew Clark was out there being Superman.”

As watchers know, the last shot of the series was of Clark ripping off his shirt to reveal the blue shirt bearing the red and yellow S shield Superman is famous for.  This compromise suits Welling fine.  When asked if he was happy with the series ending, he replied “Very much so.  I wasn’t exactly excited with the idea of getting into tights anyways, so it worked out.”

Currently, Tyler Hoechlin appears periodically as the Arrowverse’s Superman who has no problem with the tights and fans seem to feel the same way, embracing his older, slightly more experienced Man of Steel.

‘Smallville’ ran for an impressive 10 seasons, starting on The WB in 2001 and ending on The CW in 2011.  In addition to Clark, the series also introduced live action versions of Green Arrow (Justin Hartley) who was a series regular, plus Aquaman, Mera, Cyborg, Kara Zor-El (Supergirl, also without a code name), Impulse, the Legion of Super Heroes and other DC Comics characters.

Welling currently stars on the series ‘Lucifer’.  He also worked as a producer on the last few seasons of ‘Smallville’ and after that produced the series ‘Hellcats’.

In other Superman prequel news, Syfy is rapidly moving forward with ‘Krypton’ set on the hero’s birth planet decades before its destruction.

Would you have liked to have seen Tom Welling as Superman proper?  Or are you happy they left him as Clark Kent for the duration of ‘Smallville’?

Source: Just Jared