Sunday, 27 July 2014

Smallville: Pariah

Lois revisits Smallville.
Alicia is murdered.
Chloe learns Clark's secret and has not been made to forget by the end of the episode.
Lex might be starting to learn how Lionel got released from prison.
Every episode feels like a turning point.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

"...Inside You There Is A God"

Mr Cream tells Michael Moran:

"Mr. Moran...Listen very carefully...You are a fool. You are a weakling and a coward...But inside you there is a GOD. Inside you there is SOMEONE BETTER THAN US... ...And whatever the cost, you must PROTECT him."
-Miracleman No 7 (New York, 2014), p. 16.

Comic book dialogue has its own ways of emphasizing words and phrases.

I quote this dialogue because it is true of Moran while he is not Miracleman but also because it is true of every human being.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Smallville: Unsafe

Alicia is back. Clark tells Martha that his and Alicia's marriage was illegal, which it was, but can he prove this in court? Until he does, surely it remains legal? And surely Jonathan and Martha understand the effects of Red K? McBride is deranged to try killing Clark. Alicia acts instantly to preserve Clark's secret by teleporting in front of the bullet. But surely she survives too easily?

Lionel does not tell Lex who got him released. He just calls it a miracle. The real miracles are his cure and his apparent moral transformation. Chloe has had sex with "Jimmy" (Olsen) during her internship at the Planet.

Why did Lex invite Lionel to the Mansion? Maybe I missed it. But he does wind up letting Lionel stay in the guest house so maybe that was what he had in mind?

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Smallville: Scare

I am confused about Lionel Luthor. Now that he is honest, he acknowledges that he is guilty of many crimes that should have put him in prison although not the one for which he was convicted? But we thought that he had murdered his parents. In fact, he confessed it to Chloe. And who got him released?

He wants to stay in prison to continue doing good with other prisoners but it is not for him to say whether he stays or goes.

The situation keeps changing. Jason has left Lana without explanation. Martha, who once worked for Lionel, now works for Lana.

A drug that gives everyone their worst nightmares, used by the military, features in Frank Miller's The Dark Knight. Here, we see Lex as President again.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Smallville: Bound

The whole series, including this episode, is dark and doom-laden. It does not feel like a prequel to Superman. But this will be a different Superman.

Lex has a dark side. Jason has a bad relationship with his mother. His mother is connected with Lana's dreams of witchcraft.

What is interesting and unexpected is the miraculous physical and moral change in Lionel. He says that he deserves to be in this terrible place and that he has no one to blame but himself whereas he used to blame everyone but himself. It would be impossible to trust him but also wrong to deny the possibility of change.

I would like to put the unchanged Lionel Luthor in a society where everyone's basic needs were met and where there were many opportunities for productive and creative activity but where it was economically impossible to employ, exploit, manipulate, blackmail or bully. But the changed Lionel is a more interesting character and I hope that his change for the good continues.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Smallville: Spell

An important stage in the development of Superman: Clark learns that magic exists and that he is vulnerable to it. There are at least two mysterious forces: magic and Kryptonian tech. The witches try to control the tech but, at the end of the episode, it works against them and for Clark.

Smallville characters regularly behave out of character when they are possessed or when they are influenced, e.g., by Kryptonite or magic. Clark was possessed by Lionel. Lana, Lois and Chloe were possessed by seventeenth century witches. The difference is that someone who was possessed cannot remember their bizarre behavior.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Smallville: Jinx

This is a weird new version of a character, not Mr Mxyzptlk from the Fifth Dimension but Mikhail Mxyzptlk from the Balkans - and his family had changed their name for Kltpzyxm?

Will Mikhail later become more like the original Mxyz? Where does Lex take Mikhail and who else is there?

An injury at football takes us right back to the original source novel for Superman. Lex does something to break up Lana and the coach because he has plans for Lana. We are kept in suspense about changes to Lionel.

Chloe refers to Uncle Sam, her Uncle Sam, Sam Lane, father of Lois.

Smallville: Transference

Smallville: Transference is an excellent mind-body transference story, a theme previously addressed by:

HG Wells;
Arthur Conan Doyle;
Tim Powers;
a Star Trek episode;
a Superman comic.

Even when Lionel expresses regret and wants to hold Lex's hand, this is only a way to put Lex in prison and get himself out. When Lionel in Clark's body tries to move funds by phone, he fails voice ID. When he blackmails Clark in his body to make the call, he finds that Lex has already moved the funds.

When everything is returned to normal, Lex asks Clark why Lionel as Clark was so strong, and Clark lies. Lex asks Clark if he knows how the transference was effected and Clark lies. The recovery of Lionel's liver is unexpected but I suspect that an even bigger change has happened inside Lionel right at the end of the episode?

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Smallville: Run

So the first Flash that we meet in Smallville is Bart Allen and the others are just fake ID's that he has used? Bart is faster than Clark and, unlike Clark, can run on water.

Bart tells Chloe that he ran back from the future. A joke maybe but also a reference to the comics. Clark keeps lying to Lex. I am not clear why Bart's fence contacted Lex or why Lex put Metropolis PDU onto him.

Kryptonese symbols are all over Earth, not just in that cave near Smallville. A big story of interstellar contact is waiting to be told. Lionel remains off-stage and unmentioned but I see from the plot summaries inside the CD cover that he will be back big time in the next episode.

Each version of the story is different but I am finding that the differences have their own logic.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Smallville: Devoted

This episode is "In Loving Memory of Christopher Reeve. 'He made us believe a man can fly.'" Wow. All those memories. That really means something. So this means Dr Swann does not appear in the series again - but he has a representative.

I feel sorry for Chloe in this episode.

Clark asks Lex why he lied to him for so long. Clark's inconsistency is breathtaking. This feels like a Greek tragedy: a hero with a fatal flaw and an inevitable doom. Lex gets Lois into Metropolis U with a single phone call merely because he is a wealthy benefactor? This is not right. So Lois leaves Smallville but will visit. Nothing remains the same for long.

Clark playing football and staying with it is unexpected and I do not see how he can limit the use of his powers. In fact, he is using speed and heat more and more openly in front of others.

Lionel Luthor is in prison so it is appropriate that we do not hear from him for a while although no doubt he will return.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Miracleman 8

Excellent contrast between Mick Anglo's and the Original Writer's treatments of Naziism in a superhero comic.

The Original Writer -

Former Nazi: Forty years we have waited for you, for the first of the Blond Gods that would replace us. Overman. You have come at last.

MM (putting his finger, then arm, through the guy's chest): Yes. You can go now.

Mick Anglo -


Marvel Comics are reprinting everything, even Cat Yronwode refusing to pretend that reprints are flashbacks.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Smallville: Facade

I did not really follow what was going on with the plastic surgery - it seems that we can accept that something weird is going on in any particular episode without understanding what it is - but the main changes are:

Clark, Lana and Chloe are in their Senior Year at Smallville High (Lana is back from Paris but Pete is still gone);
Lois is having to repeat her Senior Year, in Smallville High;
she is working with Chloe on the Torch;
Clark has joined the football team;
Martha will be working for Lex at the Talon;
Lana is researching ancient languages connected with her tattoo and with Kryptonese;
she is in a relationship with the Assistant Football Coach;
no mention in this episode of Lionel but one of the opening images for this season is of him in front of the Daily Planet building so is he going to take over that newspaper, assuming that he can get out of prison?