Arrival: Smallville Book #1
Little, Brown & Co., 2002 (2002)
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
series is based on the popular WB television show of the same name, and features original adventures of teenaged Clark Kent, Lana Lang, and Lex Luthor. This first of the series,
, shows us the devastating impact on Smallville and its inhabitants of the 1989 meteor shower that accompanied three-year-old Superman's spaceship. Close to the site of the impact is a young Lex Luthor and a boy tied up as a scarecrow. A meteor kills Lana's parents. Then the tale fast forwards twelve years to 2001.
mallville, Kansas, '
Creamed Corn Capital of the World
', is a small farming town in the center of America, and only a three-hour train ride from the big city, Metropolis. We see Clark as a teenager who is not fully aware of his powers and knows nothing of his origins. He races a bus, wants to try out for football, and trips over his own feet whenever he comes close to Lana. Lex grows up under the influence of an abusive father. Then comes a car accident, in which young Clark earns his gratitude by saving Lex's life.
n interesting new character is big city girl Chloe Sullivan, a friend of Clark's who wants to be a journalist and has been collecting information in a '
Wall of Weird
' on '
every strange, bizarre and unexplained event that's happened in Smallville since the meteor shower.
' Clark learns from her collection and from his parents what his arrival on Earth did to the town, and especially to Lana. In a climactic ending, he encounters kryptonite for the first time and deals with a shockingly dangerous result of his arrival in town.
veryone loves Superman, and there's lots of scope in his teen years (updated in time to the present so that Clark has CDs, a computer and Internet access) for innovation, excitement and adventure, at a time when he is still physically and emotionally vulnerable. It will be fun to see how the series evolves.
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