Since the release of its debut digital first chapter back in 2012, Smallville: Season 11 has continued the storyline that began on The CW’s long-running Smallville television show. For fans of the show, Smallville: Season 11 offered more of what they loved, on a much larger and all-encompassing scale. For readers unfamiliar with the show, it presented an alternative take on Superman and the Justice League that was free from current comic book continuity and contained no shortage of shocks and surprises. Throughout its run, the Smallville comic saw Superman meet Batman for the very first time, get recruited by the Green Lantern Corps, square off against a vastly altered Lex Luthor, and in its most recent arc, “Continuity,” face an altered reality in Smallville’s take on DC’s classic Crisis.
After a robust run of thirteen years that included Superman’s 75th Anniversary in 2013, the adventures are finally coming to a close for this unique vision of the Man of Steel. Today’s digital first SMALLVILLE: CONTINUITY #12 is the climactic chapter of Smallville: Season 11 and the final installment of the franchise. To commemorate the occasion, we sat down with Smallville: Season 11 writer and former Smallville television writer Bryan Q. Miller as well as series cover artist Cat Staggs to discuss saying goodbye to Superman, which storyline they’re most proud of, and what words of advice they may have for the man in the red and blue.
From Smallville: Continuity #12 (Art by Ig Guara)
First and foremost, how does it feel to be done with Smallville? The series ran pretty much weekly for over two years. That’s quite an accomplishment!
Bryan Q. Miller: Technically this is the second time I’m done with it (I was on deck as the show ended, too!), so it’s a little surreal. But we’ve known for a while that “Continuity” was going to be the finale, and had ample time to get things lined up so that (mostly) nothing was rushed. And, as far as the “two years” thing goes, it’s even more whoa when you look at the numbers - 125 digital chapters which will amount to 40 print issues when all is said and done. FORTY ISSUES! What book—or author, at this point—gets to run for that many issues anymore? It’s crazy and humbling and awesome that we got to play in our little sandbox for as long as we did.
Cat Staggs: I agree with Bryan, it was only after I turned in the final cover and realized that it was number FORTY that I took a moment to reflect on how awesome and special it is to have gotten to do a run like that. An opportunity to do something like this doesn't come along very often, so I feel grateful, both to have gotten to work on an entire run and to have had Bryan writing such amazing and inspiring stories the whole time. I'm especially attached to the few books I also got to do interiors for, like "Titans"—I mean, how often do you get to draw a purple dinosaur?
From Smallville: Olympus (Art by Jorge Jimenez)
Beyond that, what would you say you’re most proud of in the Smallville comic?
BQM: At the initial launch on the apps, 40% of those who bought Chapter 1 were new users to those apps. I’ve heard over and over again that Smallville continuing as a comic opened the doors for folks who had never picked up a comic before to enter that wonderful world. Comics are amazing, and it’s great to know that our Little Book that Could helped welcome new readers to the larger party.
CS: Ha ha—I was going to say the same thing. I've consistently had people come up to me at comic book conventions to tell me Smallville is the first comic book they ever picked up and now they are hooked.
What was your favorite storyline in the comic?
BQM: “Olympus”—hands down. It was by far the most fun to write and gave me a chance to get a take on Wonder Woman down on paper that I’d been itching to write for a long time.
CS: Sorry for the lack of diversity, but “Olympus” was my favorite too. That was some good writing, Mr. Miller. I loved the take on Wonder Woman’s origin and how the two universes were tied together through Lois. Bryan wrote a fantastic Wonder Woman.
From Smallville: Olympus (Art by Jorge Jimenez)
Both of you have been on the series since the very first chapter, and have been the two creators to continue to remain involved with Smallville throughout its entire run. Do you think you’ll work together again?
BQM: Cat is a wonderful person, a talented artist and a good friend, so I can’t imagine a world where that doesn’t manifest again at some point.
CS: I would hope our paths would cross again. Bryan is an exceptional storyteller and it is a great joy to get to draw the world he has written. He’s a wonderful collaborator and friend.
Finally, if you could give your Superman one word of advice for the future, what would it be?
BQM: Keep flying; keep fighting; keep loving; keep smiling. You won’t always be right, but you don’t have to be. Be just. Be fair. Be good. Be brave. Be Superman.
CS: Always hold on to Smallville.
You can download the Smallville: Continuity #12, the final chapter to the Smallville series, in the DC Digital Comics Store. You can also download previous chapters or storylines, or collected editions of the series. Smallville: Season 11 is also available in print, with five volumes currently in stores.