Mild Mannered Reviews - Smallville

Smallville #4

Smallville #4

Scheduled to arrive in stores: September 17, 2003

Cover date: November 2003

Neal Bailey Reviewed by: Neal Bailey (

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

4Cover Art - 4: The cover has a misleading aspect to it, in that Superman under the influence of red K is never shown, nor is the Daily Planet. This is a blatant attempt to capitalize on the influence of the ratings of the Red K issues and anticipation of the Daily Planet. SHAME.

Still, it's a cool picture, and below, there is something that really happened in the issue. So...unlike most comics, that lie to you totally to get you to buy, this one has an element of truth and an element of the subjective fantasy about what people like in Smallville. So I forgive it, to a degree. And it IS a cool picture.

Words on the cover...ARG! But it's not so bad. It's a TV comic, not a comic comic, so it's more magazine-ish. I forgive that.

Table of Contents photo: Kharen Hill

3Photo - 3: Nothing special, nothing horrible.

Alfred Gough - Smallville's Big Talker

Interview: Mike McAvennie
Photos: David Gray and Timothy White

5Interview - 5: Sore point...I interviewed Al Gough once. This guy did it better. Reviewer bias!

Nah, it's okay. I'm just kidding. This interview is actually pretty good for spoiler material. I look for spoilers at times, and this guy does a pretty good job on scooping most everyone, or at very least regurgitating very current information. There are some softballs, but most of the questions are informative, making the section worth the read. This interview isn't just a back pat for a star, it's information. And good information.

4Photos - 4: The first one: Shocking, but I do NOT want to remember what I look like after I flush the toilet and the bathroom explodes. Too many repressed memories.

The second one: Technically, it's a bit off. It's a side profile of two people in dark clothing. Hard to judge. Still, it's got Chloe in it, and I'm a Chloe sucker. Chloe or not, the picture lacks pinash!

The third one: This one has better, more stark, camera friendly colors, but the background suffers the picture en toto.

Chimera - Part 2

Writer: Mark Verheiden and Clint Carpenter
Pencils: Renato Guedes
Inks: Oclair Albert

Lex has a gun to his father's head, but Lionel insists that he has nothing to do with the death of his friend. Lex pulls his cell phone and checks his balance, only to have his father chastise his use of a bank account number over a cell phone. As he does, Lex's balance is taken away and Lionel's security arrives to escort Lex out.

Outside, Lex figures out that the security guards are actually a part of the goons that killed his friends. Outside, a van awaits him again. Lex fights his way out, and as the van chases him, it flips and wrecks.

Lex calls a taxi, which takes him away from the chaos.

Lex recognizes the taxi driver as one of the security guards from the original kidnapping, and demands to know what is going on.

The driver insists he was just a hired actor.

Goons arrive and shoot up the taxi...they speed off just in time.

Lex figures it out...he was double crossed by his own best friend. At the crime scene, Lex finds him, brandishing a gun and squawking the truth about his associate, a man with a British accent...Dominic.

Lex confronts Dominic in his limo, driven by the actor from before, but Dominic claims no responsibility. Lex tells Dominic that they are at war. He then kicks Dominic out of the limo at 40 miles an hour.

Back home, in Smallville, the gang throws Lex a birthday party.

5Story - 5: Sure, there was some silliness to this adventure, but when it comes down to it, we have some of the most important themes of the series...son vs. father, Lex's goodness vs. his need to be on top, and the betrayal, an ultimate betrayal, of one best friend to another. Some great twists, an unforeseen conclusion, and an explanation of what happened to Dominic... good stuff.

5Art - 5: Like I said before, these guys have the real life actors down to an uncanny art. It's really neat. What I didn't like, the corny van flip, was more than covered with the coolness of the likeness to the main characters. Enjoyble.

Sullivan's Travels

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 am totally perplexed. TOTALLY perplexed. Not only was this article written by a FICTIONAL CHARACTER (poorly, I might add), it is credited to said fictional character. Why? I'm guessing the real author realized how adolescently geared it is. My guess? It's the guy who wrote the novel excerpt last issue, Dean Wesley Smith. But then, this is merely OPINION. No sue-ey, get me? Joke.

That said, the article was a waste of time. Not fun. Silly. More for the teeny-boppers than the serious fans.

Yes, I just wrote SERIOUS fan of Smallville. We exist.


Writer: Mark Verheiden
Pencils: Tom Derenick
Inks: Adam DeKraker

Clark is sitting in a diner with Lex, talking about the aftermath of the encounter with the evil detective Phelan (see? I'm not making any jokes about the evil Phelan!). Clark stares off into space, and starts remembering some of the things he did.

He remembers driving towards Metropolis, with Phelan threatening his family, when they see a car wreck nearby. Phelan isn't going to stop, but he does. Clark pulls the car out of the water, and Phelan is able to save one of the boys. They leave before the medics arrive.

Clark realizes, through Phelan, that some people, though seemingly evil, can still have at very least some good.

He ponders this with Lex, and then Lex leaves.

4Story - 4: A nice little tuck-in story that makes sense with relation to Clark's character, and fills in not an important gap, but an interesting gap in Smallville's story.

I like the talk with Lex, as opposed to someone else, illustrating that this can be correlated to Lex, who seemed like he would be a good man in Smallville, but later blames his own clone for destroying Metropolis, if you know what I mean...

4Art - 4: The caricatures are just downright uncanny... I like as well the remake of Clark stopping the bus. All in all, very good.

Smallville Episode Guide, Season One, Continued: Episodes 12-15

Writer: Jami Bernard
Photos: Brian Cyr

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

4Article - 4: As I've said before, I much prefer the one on the Superman Homepage...but this one is pretty good. It lacks a lot of finality at times, but it's a good general guide.

Look for the Superman Homepage version of the guide coming up for the new and save, like they say at whatever supermarket you may shop at.

Besides, you can write the people who do the guides at the Superman Homepage, and they likely write back, huh?

3Photos - 3: First one: It's not that great a picture, but it's a Wizard moment. I turn to the page, and the first thing I thought? WONDER TWIN POWERS...ACTIVATE! And the caption? WONDER TWIN POWERS...ACTIVATE! Perfect.

Second one: The Iceman holdeth...what?

Third one: Whitney and Clark are...the scared out of their wittinators!

Fourth one: Hey, baby!

Fifth one: Good googly moogly! Someone get me a wet-nap, cause I'm drooling! Thigh high boots and bad mascara on a Neutrogena model? Give me one good song by the Sex Pistols we can dance to, and it's gabba gabba hey, folks.

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Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

January 2003

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