‘Smallville’ – ‘Booster’: The red & the blue vs. the blue & the gold

I don’t believe I’ve ever done a blog post on “Smallville,” in part because I can’t remember the last time I actually watched an episode of “Smallville.” But I gave “Booster” a try, because the episode was written by top DC Comics scribe Geoff Johns, because it featured the introduction of two of my favorite lesser-known DC characters in Booster Gold and the Blue Beetle, and because we’re close enough to the finish line that I wanted to see how the show was approaching the inevitable, long-delayed moment when Clark Kent becomes Superman. And I have a few thoughts – and then some questions for those of you who are still watching this show after all these years – coming up just as soon as I get you a soda…

Though I haven’t watched “Smallville” since maybe the second or third season, I’ve paid enough attention to enough stories about the show that I wasn’t lost with this whole idea of Clark being The Blur, which I guess the show is using as a transitional identity to get him to Superman we all know. From an outsider perspective, it doesn’t seem the most elegant approach – Tom Welling’s not young anymore, and it seems like the producers are doing this just because they didn’t want him to put on the tights and cape before the finale – but I suppose there’s some value in showing how Clark piece-by-piece becomes Superman.

And here we got to see a crucial key to that puzzle, as Lois teaches Clark – very, very quickly – how to act nerdy enough that no one would ever think to confuse him with the superhero who looks exactly like him. And Johns cleverly tied that idea to the first appearance by Booster (depicted pretty darned close to his ’80s comics origins, other than making Skeets a Bluetooth rather than a flying robot to avoid another clunky but expensive piece of visual FX costs), a character who’s always gone back and forth between glory hound and well-meaning hero. If you’re going to have Clark face off with another superhero as he’s struggling to accept that he’ll never get celebrated as himself, Booster’s the guy to bring about.

I also thought it was a nice touch that the “villain” of the episode would wind up being the Blue Beetle, given how often Booster has partnered up with both the Ted Kord and Jaime Reyes versions of the character in the comic. Though the FX on the Beetle’s armor was pretty terrible, both characters were written and played true enough to their comic versions that if “Smallville” were to continue past this year, I imagine I could get sucked into watching the occasional episode focusing on those two.

But I’m less interested in what I thought than what those of you who are still “Smallville” fans (or who were once “Smallville” fans but are reading this post) think of where the show’s at now. It’s been on a long time, has been through a lot of evolutions, lost and added a ton of characters, gone back and forth with how close it will let Clark be to Superman, etc. Ultimately, have you been happy with where the show is ending up? Would you have rather the producers and/or DC give the blessing to make this a straightforward young Superman series a while back? And other than seeing Welling in the tights and cape, what’s the one thing you most want to get out of the finale in a few weeks?