Wednesday, 25 March 2015
In the Silver Age, The Fortress of Solitude was a hideout built by Superman but it became a Kryptonian construct in a Christopher Reeve film and in John Byrne continuity. In Smallville, that construct is Jor-El's repository of all knowledge.
Kal-El's destiny is not to catch bank robbers or to promote Truth, Justice and the American Way but to prevent civilization from being destroyed on Earth as it was on Krypton. To do this, he must accept some training laid down by Jor-El but must first capture several Phantom Zone escapees. Meanwhile, Lex Luthor sees himself as protecting Earth from alien threats...
This one episode makes the entire Superman series seem like a single story.
Addendum, 26 Mar:
Jimmy Olsen interviews Lex Luthor.
Clark has now fought three super-powered Zoners, only one of them Kryptonian.
The Kryptonian, Raya (a potential Supergirl?), escapes from the Zone but dies.