Smallville made a multitude of massive changes to the Superman mythos when it reinvented the Man of Steel’s origin story. The Superman prequel series, which chronicled ten years of Clark Kent’s life, offered its own interpretation of his DC Comics story. Over the course of its ten-season run, Smallville found room for nearly every major figure in Superman comics, including Lois Lane, General Zod, Doomsday, and more.

Due to the iconic nature of Superman’s story, it’s no surprise that Clark’s story in Smallville shares some of the most important moments from the source material. Like the comic character, Clark fell in and out of love with Lana Lang, suffered through the tragic death of his adopted father, began a romance with Lois Lane, and of course, formed a heated rivalry with Lex Luthor. It’s true that all of these elements of Superman’s comics were incorporated into Smallville’s story, but that’s not to say that the series didn’t take some huge liberties with the character. In fact, much of what it did with Clark were inventions of the series. Here are the six biggest changes Smallville made to Superman’s origin.

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6 Clark Came To Earth In A Meteor Shower

A change that defined Smallville’s first four seasons relates to his arrival on Earth. In the Smallville pilot episode, Clark crash-lands on Earth in a meteor shower that devastates Smallville, killing Lana Lang’s parents and secretly infecting countless people with Kryptonite powers. Making Clark’s arrival an event that touched so many other lives in a negative way had a huge impact on Clark’s early years. For a long time, he felt responsible for the pain people like Lana experienced as a result of the meteor shower. These were hardships that Clark’s comic counterpart never had to go through, as his arrival wasn't a disaster that affected an entire town.

5 Clark Kent & Lex Luthor Were Best Friends

Tom Welling as Clark Kent and Michael Rosenbaum as Lex Luthor in Smallville

Perhaps the most obvious difference between Smallville and other Superman stories is where Lex fits into the equation. The series turned the comic book archrivals into best friends to start the series, with the expectation that they would become enemies later. In the end, that’s exactly what happened, but going in this direction marked a significant departure in the comics. Essentially, Smallville made Clark a big part of the reason Lex turned evil.

Lex’s evolution into the classic villain was motivated by several factors, one of which being Clark’s repeated lies. Lex had tremendous respect for Clark and his values, but felt betrayed by Clark’s refusal to be honest with him. That, combined with his willingness to cross lines to get the answers he wanted, contributed to the path Lex ultimately took in Smallville.

4 Clark’s Greatest Ally Was A New Superman Character

Chloe Sullivan Smallville Superman Sidekick

Played by Allison Mack, Chloe Sullivan started out as one of Clark’s high school friends, but as the story progressed, she evolved into so much more. After discovering Clark’s secret in Smallville season 5, Chloe became Clark’s closest confidante, assisting him in most of his adventures from that point on. Chloe, whose importance to Smallville’s story culminated in her officially becoming DC Comics canon, was the only character (other than Clark) to appear in all ten seasons. When considering all the help and advice she provided, it would be hard to argue that Smallville's Clark still would have become Superman without her.

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3 Ancient Kryptonians Prepared For Superman’s Arrival

Smallville season 2 introduced a brand-new concept into the world of Superman when it brought in the Kawatche Caves, an underground cavern filled with Kryptonian symbols. The idea of there being a cave under Smallville with a connection to Krypton was a massive development. As for where these drawings actually came from, it was explained that a person from outer space came to the area hundreds of years ago and befriended a Native American tribe. Obviously a Kryptonian, this unknown character inexplicably predicted the coming of Superman and his future rivalry with Lex Luthor. Whoever he was, what he left behind in the caves was instrumental to Clark’s journey of self-discovery in seasons 2 and 3.

Building onto the idea that Clark’s trip to Earth was known to Kryptonians centuries before its destruction, Smallville unveiled the Stones of Power in season 4. After seeking out the Stones of Power, Clark was able to create the Fortress of Solitude in the season 4 finale. In the comics, it was born from a crystal found in his spaceship, whereas the show made it part of a preordained plan by ancient Kryptonians. Some time ago, members of his race came to Earth and hid the Stones of Power in various locations, all with the intent that Clark would eventually find them. How they knew about Clark wasn’t clear, but it seems that their goal was to help Tom Welling's Clark fulfill his destiny.

2 The Kents Finding Clark Wasn’t An Accident

Like the ancient Kryptonians, Jor-El also made secret arrangements for Clark’s future. Smallville dropped a shocking twist in a season 3 episode by confirming that Clark being raised by the Kents wasn’t an accident. Jonathan and Martha Kent just happening upon Clark’s crashed spacecraft has long been an integral piece of Clark’s origin, but Smallville went a different route when it aired “Relic.” In the episode, Clark discovered that a young Jor-El visited Smallville in 1961 and met Jonathan’s parents. Their kindness during their first-and-only meeting seemingly inspired Jor-El to pick their family to raise Clark. Their decision was revisited in Smallville season 7 when a flashback showed Clark’s biological mother, Lara, going to the Kent Farm to look at the home Clark would grow up in.

1 Lois Lane Discovered Clark’s Secret (Before He Became Superman)

Smallville-Clark and Lois

Lois Lane’s early introduction represents another striking deviation from the source material. In most traditional versions of Superman’s story, Clark meets and falls in love with Lois Lane when he moves to Metropolis and becomes a reporter for the Daily Planet. Smallville shook up the formula by sending Lois to Smallville when Clark was still in high school. Smallville held off on their classic romance for a few years, but still saw the two become romantically involved extremely early. This led to Lois discovering Clark’s powers before the latter could even become Superman. So, in Clark’s future after Smallville, Superman would never have to use his “mild-mannered reporter” disguise to fool Lois, given that she would already know the truth.

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