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  • Writer's pictureRobin Yong

Smallville ヤングスーパーマン

Updated: Jan 14

Smallville, a photo series for male super model Denek Karnia when we first met quite a few years ago. The idea was inspired by the action adventure TV series of the same name of the coming of age Superman.

Interestingly, I was never quite a fan of Superman, but much more of a fan of Superboy.

Superboy is the name of several fictional superheroes appearing in American comicbooks published by DC Comics. These characters have been featured in several eponymous comic series, in addition to Adventure Comics and other series featuring teenage superhero groups.

From the character's first published story in 1944 until 1992, the title "Superboy" was applied to versions of the adventures of Superman (Kal-El) as a boy, teenager or young adult. The primary settings for the stories were the fictional town of Smallville, the 30th Century (where Superboy featured in time travel adventures with the Legion of Super-Heroes) and universities attended by Clark Kent. In 1993, a second Superboy was introduced, a young clone of Superman who was eventually given both the name Kon-El and the secret identity of Conner Kent. In 2016, DC Comics introduced another Superboy, Jonathan Kent, the son of the contemporary Superman and his wife Lois Lane.

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.

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.

The photo series was actually done at an old rundown castle in Austria. It was during the time when superhero T-shirts were in fashion and Denek had a few with him - Superman, Batman and Flash, so we picked the Superman one. It was done at a time when both of us were newbies in our careers. Denek's a super model now, becoming the face for the fashion houses of Tom Ford, Philip Plein and Moschino...

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