|First appearance||Superboy #2 (May 1949)|
Kent family farm
Kent General Store
Jonathan and Martha Kent
Lois Lane (Smallville)
Smallville is a fictional town in American comic books published by DC Comics. The childhood hometown of Superman, Smallville was first named in Superboy #2 (May 1949). The town is the setting of many Superboy comics where Superboy defends Smallville from various threats.
In the earliest Golden Age comics, the name of Clark Kent's hometown is uncertain. Earliest stories would either show Clark's hometown as unnamed or even as Metropolis. However, as of Superboy #2, Smallville's name is permanently identified.
Smallville is retroactively shown as the Golden Age Superman's childhood hometown as well, as seen in the "Mr. and Mrs. Superman" series in Superman Family, as well as in The New Adventures of Superboy #15-16 (March–April 1981). Unlike Earth-One's Smallville, Earth-Two's Smallville stays a much less prominent small town since the Earth-Two Superman was never Superboy. Additionally, the Kents never owned a general store on Earth-Two, but instead stayed farmers until their deaths.
Smallville's history, as well as that of the Kents, is delved into in the late 1980s World of Smallville miniseries, plus the 1997-1998 miniseries The Kents.
Later, Smallville was retconned to have a violent history, with green kryptonite, a common substance in the area, having a mutating, dangerous effect on normal citizens of the town (similar to the TV show Smallville). This history, plus the near-destruction and reconstruction of the town by overzealous government forces, is explored in the storyline "The Search For Kryptonite."
Smallville's chief of police is Chief Douglas Parker, who in pre-Crisis stories is considered a close ally of Superboy. Superboy is capable of being contacted by Chief Parker, as well as Lana Lang's father Professor Lewis Lang and the President of the United States, via a secret signal lamp hidden in the Kent household. Chief Parker exists in the post-Crisis DC comics, but his role is much less prominent.
In the modern comics, Smallville also has a sheriff department. It is headed by Sheriff Hayes who is murdered by a Black Lantern version of Earth-Two's Superman at the time when he was talking to his superiors about transferring to Metropolis.
A storyline late in the run of The New Adventures of Superboy sees Smallville's town council propose building Smallville's first shopping mall, though the mall's construction is revealed out to have sinister ulterior motives. While the storyline is unfinished as the comic was cancelled before the story could be concluded, it does see Jonathan Kent decide to run for a city council seat to try to thwart the mall's construction.
Noted residents of Smallville include the Kent family, Jonathan and Martha Kent, or Ma and Pa Kent as they were often called, and their adopted son Clark Kent; Clark's friend, classmate and sometimes romantic interest Lana Lang; Clark's best friend Pete Ross, and Smallville's chief of police Douglas Parker.
In the original Superboy comics, other noted residents include Professor Phineas Potter (Lana's uncle), archaeologist Lewis Lang (Lana's father), and the young Lex Luthor.
In post-Crisis comics, Conner Kent, the current Superboy, also lives in Smallville with the now-widowed Martha Kent. The super-powered dog Krypto lives with them as well. While not initially enjoying Smallville, Conner eventually changes his mind.
Smallville is usually portrayed as an idyllic, small isolated American town, with a "Middle America" atmosphere – resembling the settings of some paintings of Norman Rockwell. Its residents are generally very friendly, though in Silver Age Superboy stories, it also tends to attract various threats (from criminals, alien invaders, etc.).
Smallville's economy mostly consists of various locally owned businesses, along with various farms surrounding the town, including the Kent family farm. In the original Superboy comics, the Kent family sells their farm when Clark starts school, and open a general store in town. Post-Crisis comics, however, show the Kents residing on their farm through Clark's adulthood.
Smallville has one high school, Smallville High School, which Clark, Lana, and Pete attend.
Smallville also was the home of the Smallville Orphanage, where the Kents originally brought the infant Kal-El after his rocket landed on Earth; the Kents returned several days later to formally adopt Kal-El, renaming him "Clark."
In terms of media, Smallville has had several newspapers mentioned over the years, including the Smallville Sentinel (shown in various stories in The New Adventures of Superboy) and the Smallville Times-Reader (in Elliot S. Maggin's "Last Son of Krypton" text novel). In Action Comics (vol. 2) #8, the Daily Star's editor George Taylor mentions to Clark Kent having met Ma and Pa Kent while working as a reporter for the Smallville Sentinel. Smallville receives most of its television and radio broadcasts from a larger nearby city, though Superboy #195 shows Smallville has its own radio station, WSMV.
In the original Superboy comics, a billboard outside of Smallville greets those driving into and out of town. The billboard features a picture of Superboy waving, with words next to it reading: "Welcome to Smallville, Home of Superboy."
Similar to the whereabouts of other fictional DC Universe cities, the location of Smallville was, originally, never specifically stated in the comics.
Smallville's location varied widely throughout many stories, many of which placed Smallville close to Metropolis and Midvale, home of Supergirl. All-New Collectors' Edition #C-55 (notable for featuring the wedding of Legion of Super-Heroes members Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl and published in 1978) calls Smallville "a quiet town, nestled in the hills just inland from the eastern seaboard." Most sources since the 1986 John Byrne Superman origin reboot point the location of Smallville to be in Kansas.
In the Superboy story in Superman Family #195 (May–June 1979), Interstate 70 is shown as running through or near Smallville, as Lana and Clark drive along the highway. States the real-world Interstate 70 passes through include Utah, Colorado, Kansas (Smallville's usual post-Crisis location), Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland (cited in some pre-Crisis references as Smallville's location).
In Amazing World of DC Comics #14 (1977), an officially sanctioned fanzine with articles on DC Comics characters and series, Smallville was stated to be in Maryland. The Maryland location was supported in the comics with a map of Smallville and the surrounding area that was published in New Adventures of Superboy #22 (October 1981), which situated Smallville a few miles west of a large bay very similar to Delaware Bay (the same map placed Metropolis and Gotham City on the east and west sides of the bay.
A map of Legion-era Metropolis included in Legion of Super-Heroes (vol. 2) #313 (July 1984) indicates that Smallville was believed by the 1980s to be somewhere in northeastern Pennsylvania or northern New Jersey, while incorporated into Metropolis proper at that time as a historical district. In revisions of the map published after 1986, this was retroactively removed to accommodate changes of Smallville's location in other titles, as detailed below.
In the novel The Death and Life of Superman (1993), Jonathan and Martha Kent drive to Smallville from the Great Bend, Kansas, airport which would put Smallville somewhere in central Kansas.
The 1990s limited series The Kents places Smallville in eastern Kansas, within approximately one day's horse ride from Paola, Kansas, which is located in Miami County.
In "Repo Man" Pt. 1, Smallville is placed approximately 55 miles from Salina, Kansas, and in line with Junction City, giving it approximately the same location as Dorrance, Kansas.
Smallville Season 11 is the comic book sequel to the Smallville television series. This version of Smallville has a zip code of 67524, which is the real world zip code for Chase, Kansas. Although this Smallville is described as being about two hundred miles west of Wichita and southwest of Dodge City, placing it around Liberal, Kansas, while Chase is 73 miles Northwest of Wichita.
The first time in any media that Smallville or the Kent farm were linked to a specific location was in The Adventures of Superman radio show. In the storyline "The Secret Rocket" (9/29/47-10/30/47), mention was made several times that young Clark Kent grew up on Eben Kent's farm in Iowa. The farmtown was unnamed in the story (as the name "Smallville" appeared for the first time two years later in Superboy (volume 1) #2); the nearest town named in the broadcast was the real-life Centerville.
Smallville is also a nickname given to Clark Kent by Lois Lane. Adaptations of the Superman mythos that feature Lois using this nickname include the television series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Superman: The Animated Series, and Smallville.
On June 21, 2013, Hutchinson, Kansas officially changed its name to Smallville for a day, thanks to a campaign started by local residents Ben Eisiminger, KC Mcneely, and Christopher Wietrick. The annual "Smallville Comic Con" has been hosted at the Kansas State Fairgrounds since 2017.