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Superman meets ''Batman'' on ''Smallville''

Superman meets ”Batman” on ”Smallville.” The May 18 season finale will include an eight-minute sneak peek of ”Batman Begins”

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Christian Bale, Batman Begins

Get ready for a superhero summit (of sorts) on Smallville‘s season finale. On the 90-minute May 18 episode, the young Superman (Tom Welling) will spare a few minutes for a visitor from Gotham City. That is, the episode will include an eight-minute sneak peek of Batman Begins, in which Christian Bale plays the Caped Crusader. For Batfans, it’ll be the first extended glimpse of the long-awaited film, which opens June 17.

The Batvisit comes during a season finale that the WB says is already ”packed with murder, betrayal and an unforgettable graduation day for all.” ”Superman and Batman have always been inextricably linked to each other, so it seems fitting that a show chronicling the Man of Steel’s youth give you the first look at the birth of the Dark Knight,” said Smallville executive producer Al Gough in a statement. David Janollari, the WB’s president of entertainment, said, ”This is a great night for fans of the two most popular superheroes in the history of American Pop Culture.”

Gee, you’d think they were talking about convening a Middle East peace summit. Actually, getting Superman and Batman together has been tricky, even though both heroes spring from the pages of DC Comics (which, like the WB, Batman Begins distributor Warner Bros., and EW.com, is a Time Warner outlet). A few years ago, that corporate synergy was supposed to yield a Superman vs. Batman movie, but that plan was scrapped in favor of separate movies, with Bryan Singer currently directing newcomer Brandon Routh in the next Superman film. So this promotional event is about as close to sharing a screen as the two characters are likely to get.