Sunday, 13 January 2013

Smallville Novels

Gladiator, a novel by Philip Wylie;
Superman comic strips, set in Metropolis;
Superboy comic strips, set in Smallville;
the Smallville TV series;
Smallville novels.

I assume here that Gladiator was a source for, or at least a precursor of, Superman although, of course, the latter character originated in a comic strip - one that was originally intended for a newspaper, not for a comic book.

Thus, the above sequence comprises:

original prose fiction;
graphic fiction;
screen drama;
unoriginal but expertly written and enjoyable prose fiction.

The Smallville TV series was free to contradict the (not consistent over time) Superman comics and even, like the later comics, to deny the Superboy period of Clark Kent's career whereas the Smallville novels are obliged not to contradict the TV series. It must even be made clear during which season of the TV series any given novel is set, eg, who was the Principal of Smallville High School at the time?

The novels written by, among others, Roger Stern and Alan Grant, perfectly reproduce the setting and characters of the TV series and are like a more leisurely way to experience that fictitious scenario. The Prologue of Dragon by Alan Grant even recapitulates the opening sequence of the pilot episode with a swarm of meteors passing Pluto, Jupiter and the Moon and approaching Earth while the Luthors and Kents go about their business in Smallville, Kansas. (Grant writes "...meteorites..." but I think that that term applies to meteors only after they have hit the Earth?(1))

I have acquired Omnibus 1, containing:

Strange Visitors by Roger Stern;
Dragon by Alan Grant;
Hauntings by Nancy Holder.

- also, Omnibus 2, containing:

Whodunnit by Dean Wesley Smith;
Silence by Nancy Holder;
Shadows by Diana G Gallagher.

- and, as separate volumes:

Runaway by Suzan Colon;
Greed by Cherie Bennett and Jeff Gottesfeld;
Curse by Alan Grant.

- and maybe one or two others shelved elsewhere.

Having read each book perhaps once when bought, it will be good to reread them while watching Season One on DVD's. It would also be good to have all the novels but books of this sort are more like magazines, printed and published once, then soon out of print.

(1) Smallville Omnibus 1 (London, 2006), p. 231.

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