Crisis on Infinite Earths had a surprise for eager Smallville viewers with Tom Welling’s appearance as Clark Kent, aka Superman. In part 2 of the event, which occurred during Batwoman’s episode, Iris West-Allen (Candice Patton), Earth-38’s Lois Lane (Elizabeth Tulloch), and Superman (Tyler Hoechlin) visited Earth-167 where they encountered the Smallville version of the Man of Steel. However, the conversation was cut short when Earth-38’s Lex Luthor (Jon Cryer) teleported the heroes away and tried to take down Clark Kent with a piece of green Kryptonite. Kent put a wrench into the villain’s plans by throwing the Kryptonite away unharmed, then explained that it doesn’t affect him because he gave up his powers.
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The Crisis episode thus indicates that some time after the Smallville finale, Clark Kent retired his Superman persona. Welling’s character indicates that after having been the Man of Steel for a couple of years, at the very least, Clark Kent decided to just live a normal life with Lois (Erica Durance) as they had started a family. Kent didn’t provide any further details about his retirement, and many viewers were left wondering how the Man of Tomorrow had managed to give up his Kryptonian abilities.
There are two possible explanations for how Clark Kent safely rid himself of his powers in the Smallville universe. While green Kryptonite weakens Kryptonians, the 10-season long series set up the existence of blue and gold Kryptonite. In the Smallville canon, blue Kryptonite completely strips away a Kryptonian’s powers as long as they’re in contact with it; however, the effects reverse once exposure has ceased. Given that Kent explained to Lex that he had “given up” his abilities, it’s more likely the gold Kryptonite that caused this to happen, since the statement implies the effects are permanent.
What Is Gold Kryptonite
In the tenth and final season of Smallville, gold Kryptonite was introduced during Clark Kent’s visit to Earth-2. In that world, his evil doppelganger Ultraman had been briefly exposed to it by his step-brother Lex, which left a scar on his arm — indicating that gold kryptonite causes irreversible damage. In the penultimate episode of the series, gold Kryptonite was discovered to exist on Earth-1 as well; Oliver Queen (Justin Hartley) — under the control of Darkseid — obtained a piece, which he made into a wedding band intended for Clark during his and Lois’ wedding. While Darkseid’s plans were stopped, they never explained whatever happened to that gold Kryptonite ring.
Given that there are no explanations specified in the crossover, it’s likely that Clark Kent used the gold Kryptonite ring to get rid of his abilities. Smallville established that long exposure to gold Kryptonite was required in order for a Kryptonian’s abilities to be taken away forever. It’s possible that Clark found that ring at some point again and just put it on when he decided to no longer be Superman. A less likely, but still possible, scenario is that Clark is literally wearing blue Kryptonite, perhaps as a watch, to have his powers dampened, but not permanently gone.
Superman has always been a character who tells the truth, so the idea that this version would simply lie about having given up his powers is unlikely; however, he could be bending the truth in order to throw off his opponents. The idea of Clark wanting to have his powers accessible isn’t out of the question. It remains to be seen if viewers have seen the last of Smallville’s Superman in the crossover, as all the Earths have been destroyed by the Anti-Monitor. Fans will have to tune in on Tuesday, January 14 for the two final parts of Crisis on Infinite Earths to find out if The CW has seen the last of Smallville’s Superman.
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