Sure, Welling did a great job as a young Superman. And the show produced the best live-action Lex Luthor to date. But the truth is that Lana Lang was the Smallville character everyone was drawn to. We were all “Meteor Freaks”.
Throughout the years of amazing Superman stories, few have captured the Man of Steel’s connection to humanity quite as well as the Smallville TV show. What began as “Superman as a teenage drama” quickly turned into a fascinating look into the formative years of the would-be icon, from his friendships and bitter rivalries to his first and awkward brushes with high school romance.
When it comes to Smallville fans, there are two very distinct – and very vocal – groups: those who loathe Lana Lang (played by Kristin Kreuk), and those who swear that she’s the best part of the show. However it might be, no Smallville fan seems to have a neutral opinion on her character; another testament to how influential she is in the series.
Since she grew up close to the Kents, Lana was one of Clark Kent’s very first acquaintances, eventually becoming a close friend and an even closer love interest as the series progresses. But, as we all know, the Man of Steel only has eyes for one Lois Lane – which was a plot point that was deliberately omitted as much as possible in Smallville.
With Clark and Lois’ romance being left to bloom only in the latter parts of the series, Lana became a much more pivotal character in Clark’s life. Smallville as a show was all about showing us what some of the most iconic characters in the Superman mythos were like as teenagers, and this includes the changes they underwent during their formative years.
Lana is no exception to this – her character is virtually unrecognizable in the later seasons compared to how she was when the show began. For better or for worse, Lana Lang became the centre of many of Smallville’s overarching plots, something that fans have been quick to notice.
In the show’s early seasons, Lana was a true rebel. She ran away from everyone’s idea that she was just destined to follow his parents’ legacy, but, at the same time, enjoying the benefits of her massive popularity. Season 1 of Smallville centred on Lana Lang’s change from a popular cheerleader, to a self-made entrepreneur that wouldn’t let the shadows of her past determine her future.
However, as the seasons went on, Lana went through a series of changes that weren’t necessarily well received by fans of the show. While the character began as a rebel, some eventually began to see her as an eternal victim. In Lana’s defence, some of the metahumans in the show – particularly the so-called “Meteor Freaks” – seem to have an obsession with her. And that includes Clark Kent (Tom Welling) and Lex Luthor (Michael Rosenbaum).
Still, considering how much screentime the series devoted to Lana Lang’s character, it’s easy to see that her absence was incredibly noticeable in Smallville’s last two seasons. After all, she’s the only main female character that’s missing from the series in seasons nine and ten, even though Clark reminisces about her in the show’s final episodes.
As we mentioned earlier, everyone seems to have a strong opinion of Lana’s character, one way or another. Whether you love her or hate her, there’s no denying that she might have been the sole reason why so many fans tuned in each week.
What kind of Lana Lang was going to appear in next week’s episode of Smallville? Is it going to be Rebel Lana? Victim Lana? How about that creepy version of Lana that’s obsessed with the deaths of her parents?
Superman will always be Superman – we know Clark’s history inside and out. So, whenever a comic book or show gives us such a detailed glimpse into the lives of those characters that surround the Man of Steel, we know we’re in for a treat. And no other piece of Superman media has done this better so far than Smallville.
Tell us, do you think Lana Lang was the best character on Smallville?