Watch: Smallville Ninth Season DVD

Out
this week via Warner Home Video, the six-disc Smallville: The Complete Ninth
Season  had more than a few challenges to
surmount.

 

By Chris Zimmerman

 

Given how good Smallville‘s
eighth season was, fans of the series waited with baited breath to see just
what else the show had left. Ever since it’s shift from soap opera teen romance
to genuine super heroics, the series has undergone a drastic change in quality.
When the series first made it to the airwaves, a set of rules were put into
place by the overseers of Alfred Gough and Miles Millar with the most
controversial being no flights and no tights. Ironically enough, Gough and
Millar’s departure from the series the season before last allowed the writers
to expand their horizons and break the rules that had continually handicapped
them. What we got was a drama filled season of Clark
finally coming face to face with his destiny as he encountered time travelers,
laid to rest close friends, and battled his ultimate nemesis in Doomsday.

 

The series writers knew they had a challenge ahead of them,
having to outdo what was arguably the most satisfying season to date. With that
knowledge fresh in their minds, season nine began what should be labeled as the
jam session, with characters from the Superman mythos weaving in and out of
episodes as Clark acquainted himself with other super powered beings. Sure
Batman is still nowhere to be found and Wonder Woman is MIA but considering the
series managed to produce a faithful adaptation of the Justice Society of
America in what is considered the best episode the series has done to this
point, fans should be more than satisfied with the trade off.

 

The finale of last season saw Clark
finally take up his role as the guardian of Metropolis. Though not quite as
super as one might expect at this stage of his career, the soon to be man of
steel found himself confronted by multiple enemies such as the kryptonite
infused Metallo, the shadowy organization of Checkmate, and the familiar threat
of Zod, bearing a more youthful appearance and with an army of Kryptonians this
time around.

 

Of course, the series still managed to evoke emotional drama
with the ever growing relationship between Lois and Clark
as well as Green Arrow’s downward spiral after his disastrous handling of the
Doomsday situation.  While the latter is
cleared up early on in the season’s run, there are plenty of moments that will
leave fans’ jaws hanging.

 

The special effects of the show have been among some of the
strongest for a network television series. Season nine remained fairly constant
aside from the two-part, aptly named “Absolute Justice,” in which Smallville was granted a movie-like
feel. Everything about those episodes was so well done, they bear special
mention and are the main draw of this set. From the brief glimpse of the
Martian Manhunter’s true form to the retention of the classic appearances of
the Justice Society, “Absolute Justice” was a fanboy’s wet dream.

 

Given the overall scope of the season, the writers should be
commended for having not dropped the ball under the mounting pressure to
deliver a satisfying payoff to the much anticipated confrontation between Clark
and Zod. Season nine took everything great about the previous eight and meshed
them into a cohesive arc that was as much a journey for fans as it was for Clark. Sadly though, it looks to be the penultimate
season with ten being the climax to Clark’s
growth from boy to man. Given how strong the series has been over the past few
years, one can only imagine what the show has in store as it prepares for its
final bow. With the writers’ new found desire to integrate as much of the mythos
into the show as possible and the continuing upping of the ante every year,
those looking for the definitive live action take on Superman need look no
further than Smallville.  

 

Special
Features:

Commentaries on 2 Key Episodes

Unaired Scenes

Kneel Before Zod!: the Evolution of a Classic Evil Character

Absolute Justice: From Script to Screen Introducing
Venerable Justice Society of America Heroes into Smallville’s Universe 

 

 

 

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