“So what are you? Man or superman?” Lana Lang innocently asks this question in the pilot of Smallville, well before Clark himself knows the answer. What he does know is that he’s not normal. He has superpowers, like the ability to run faster than a speeding bullet. We see a demonstration of this in the pilot, when Clark misses the school bus and must run to get to school on time. He cuts a swath through a massive cornfield and doesn’t even pause to catch his breath!
As the series progresses, Clark begins to use his super speed for less mundane purposes, like saving the lives of innocent people. We see it every week in the opening credits when he arrives in time to wrap his body protectively around a small child. He used his super speed to save Lex from being run over in “Shattered” and he kept Jason from smashing on the ground in “Spell” and he super speeds Chloe out of the way of a bullet in “Checkmate.”
Once Lois arrives on the scene, Clark often uses his super speed to keep her from knowing anything is amiss. Need coffee, Ms. Lane? No problem. Just a quick stop to save a few lives, then hit the coffee cart and he’s back in a flash. It’s this particular ability that earns him the less than stunning nickname of the “Red-Blue Blur” but lucky for Clark, Lois soon realizes he’s “super” in more ways than one.
In the finale, Clark uses his super speed to catch Lois when Dark-Side Oliver sends her flying and of course, he uses it to save the whole planet in the end. Superman may now a be a publicly-recognized superhero, but thanks to his ability to move faster than the human eye can see, nobody (except the chosen few) will ever know that he and Clark Kent are one in the same.
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