Tracing Superteens Throughout History, Starting With The WB's New Drama 'Smallville'
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Being a superpowered teen may sound like a sweet deal, but it involves the same dramas and traumas that regular high schoolers deal with every day. The WB’s Smallville (Tuesdays at 9 p.m.) is the latest to follow the growing pains of a young Clark Kent, but how does the new Boy of Steel stack up to previous adolescent keepers of the cape? Up, up, and away we go.

1. SMALLVILLE (with Tom Welling) Fashion Style Superstud or J. Crew model? You be the judge. Who’s Your Daddy? Bo Duke (a.k.a. John Schneider). Best Buddy Lex Luthor. Say wha? Archenemies Various villains, including one electro-powered supergeek. Smells Like Teen Angst ”I just want to go through high school without being a total loser.” Super Ego ”Don’t mess with me right now!” he warns a jock…right before getting his butt kicked. Showboating Skills Throws his arm into a wood chipper. Why? Because he can.

2. SUPERGIRL (with Helen Slater, 1984) Fashion Style Blond, and having more fun! Who’s Your Daddy? Some nobody, but Mia Farrow makes for a nice mom. Best Buddy Lucy Lane, who introduces our heroine to Popeyes chicken. Archenemy Faye Dunaway, as camptastic witch Selena. Smells Like Teen Angst Not even Supergirl is above stuffing her bra. Super Ego ”I am Kara of Argo City,” she declares. ”And I don’t scare easily.” Showboating Skills Embarrasses mean math teacher for fun.

3. SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE (with Jeff East, 1978) Fashion Style Godfather of grunge — heavy on the flannel. Who’s Your Daddy? Marlon Brando. Best Buddy His Earth pop, who, sadly, has a heart attack and dies. Archenemy The bully who knocked over his neatly stacked football helmets. Smells Like Teen Angst ”Guys like that Brad, I just want to tear them apart!” Super Ego ”Every time I get the football, I can make a touchdown,” he brags. ”Every time!” Showboating Skills Races a train to impress a young Lois Lane.

4. THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERBOY (animated, 1966) Fashion Style Classic tights and cape. Who’s Your Daddy? A cartoon. Best Buddy Krypto, the flying pooch. Archenemies Carnies, aliens, and a wannabe named Mighty Lad. Smells Like Teen Angst ”Let’s be honest, Dad. What good is a blind Superboy?” Super Ego ”Knock it off, Krypto,” he snaps. ”You’re just jealous.” Showboating Skills Beating up robots is one thing, but time-traveling back to King Arthur’s court — that’s just overdoing it.

Smallville

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s the action and heartbreak of Clark Kent — before he was all things Super

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