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Mild Mannered Reviews - Smallville

Smallville #5

Smallville #5

Scheduled to arrive in stores: November 19, 2003

Cover date: January 2004

Neal Bailey Reviewed by: Neal Bailey

This comic is segmented, and thusly will be reviewed as such...

Cover Art: John Van Fleet

5Cover Art - 5: A little over-dramatic, to be sure (they typically are for Smallville) but at least it's HUMAN, it pertains to what happens in the issue, and it's not trying to sell us something we're not going to find. Whether you like bad Clark or loathe him (I like him but loathe evil Clark when used unnecessarily, like to spurn ratings) it's a dynamic representation of what you're about to read. Plus, I'm glad to say, they're still opting for photos over pictures, when they could easily go with drawings. I don't like words, but it's really more of a magazine than a comic, so I'm going to let it slide this time...

Table of Contents picture: Timothy White

4Picture - 4: It's really cool, that is, until you see that it's Clark looking at a big chunk of Red K, which, while iconic, is kind of cheesy looking, so minus 1.

John Glover Interview: Daddy Dearest

Interview: Mike McAvennie
Pictures: Kharen Hill

This is basically an interview with John Glover (duh) about his role in Smallville as Lionel Luthor.

2Interview - 2: Most interviews either fall into one category, self-congratulatory prattle that show the actor to be a nice guy, or exploratory, asking about aspects of the show and where it's going for a particular character. This is self-congratulatory... not that Glover doesn't sound like a cool guy, he is, it's just that nothing new is offered here. Plus, he insists that Lionel's not a bad guy, which is kind of, well, silly.

3Pictures - 3: Nothing amazing, but nothing horrible. They don't stick out either way. Two pictures of Lionel in a suit looking at you and one stock publicity photo of Lex.


Writer: Mark Verheiden and Clint Carpenter
Pencils: Tom Derenick
Inks: Adam DeKraker

Clark Kent busts into a members only bar and picks up a girl named Chastity. The bar patrons don't like this, so they attack him. Clark throws them about, uses his heat vision, and stops a man who shoots him off panel somehow (it's almost implied that he's shot, but I can't say that for sure).

At the hotel room Clark has, Chastity readies for an encounter and Clark tells her about Smallville. When she suggests he might be a good man to stick around, he kicks her out.

At home, Ma and Pa Kent worry about their son.

Later, on Chastity's recommendation (pre-kicking her out) Clark goes to meet a guy named Mick. He finds a guy on the phone talking to Boss Moxie, and he's met with a hostile attack. Instead of attacking, he simply reads about a flight in a manilla envelope nearby with his heat vision, shows up for the flight, and hijacks the diamonds aboard after fighting the men on board.

Meanwhile, Pa Kent goes to look for Clark and Lana and Chloe discuss Lana's deception with regards to her dating Clark.

Later, at the Savings and Loan, Pa Kent shows up to resolve the issue of the explosion and Clark misses him, barely, depositing the diamonds. Pa thinks he sees Clark, but he's not sure.

3Story - 3: It resolves some interesting plot points, like whatever happened to no one noticing the explosion and why Lana and Chloe were suddenly okay again, and it even throws you a Boss Moxie, but this is not really that tense or forwards moving a plot. Clark fights goons. Sure... he's gonna get hurt or fail, right? Nah. Clark gets a girl. Will he bed her? Well, no. We know that from the premiere. He doesn't stay with a girl until he sees Lana again. And the Kents are going to lose the farm? NO! I mean, it's interesting to know it's because Pa is worried about Clark and goes to find him, but isn't that kind of, I don't know, understood?

5Art - 5: I know a lot of people don't like this art, and I get ribbed about liking it, but I think, given the medium, it's good that these characters look like the actors and not like abstractions, and that things are kept fairly real with rare exception. It makes sense for this format.

Sullivan's Travels: Chloe Sullivan

This is basically an article written by Chloe for the Daily Planet over the summer about what a pressure it is to write for a large audience...

1Writing - 1: I remember high school. I remember reading editorials like this. I remember, further, why I preferred the regular paper. Now while I applaud the characterization (this is a great rendition of a high school writing style, especially a journalist's... ) I just have to wonder... why? What makes this entertaining? It's a good character study, but it's just high handed self-absorbed crumbola, as most writing is without a decade or so of practice. It stank last issue, it stinks this issue. Besides... fictional characters can't write columns! ;)

The Few, The Proud

Writer: Clint Carpenter and Jake Black
Pencils: Pete Woods
Inks: Ron Randall

Whitney, in a troupe of rude and gung-ho marines, gets his video letter from Lana. He starts writing a letter to her which goes the length of the story, telling her that he doesn't like the decision, but he understands.

Whitney goes to an ambushed village and comes under fire. Thinking of Lana, he does his best and saves some fellow troopers, sending them into a helicopter while staying to escape on his own. Soon after, the scene from his death episode happens, and he's blown to bits holding Lana's note in his hand.

2Story - 2: It'd be a 1 of 5, except we get to see the lamest character of Smallville save a freak of the week blown to little bits. This story tries very hard to pull at your heartstrings, sense of nationalism, and bravery under fire. The problem is, we never see an enemy for some reason, we can't care for characters who aren't fleshed out (including Whitney) and we have no idea why they are there, other than to protect villagers. Add into that a silly note that wouldn't happen (He'd be ticked at Lana and you know it), a cheese ending, and we're left with this.

3Art - 3: Generally, as I've said, I like this kind of art, but everyone, and I mean everyone looked the same in this comic. Lame.

Smallville Episode Guide, Season One, Continued: Episodes 16-18

Writer: Jami Bernard
Photos: Brian Cyr and Eike Schroter

This is, as the title illustrates, an Episode Guide continuing from Season One.

3Article - 3: I have the same comments I've always had on these. Basically, I prefer Peter McDermott's on our site, plug plug joke, and these are very true but basically self-congratulatory synopsis pages that do not include much specific scene information.

3Photos - 3: Basic fare... nothing extraordinarily standing out, nothing extraordinarily dull.

2Overall - 2: The stories are interesting and fill the holes in between episodes, but really, why? Why not something new. And all the magazine filler could be better if it weren't so self-congratulatory, but it really is. It needs to be spiced up a bit.

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January 2004

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