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Clark Kent's destiny

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"And when you show yourself to the world...it will be a different age than ours, Clark. A silver age of heroism...that will start when they look up into the sky at you with hope for tomorrow. You will help everyone to embrace it." - Dr. Fate, to Clark, Absolute Justice

Clark Kent's destiny is a major theme in Smallville.

Throughout the series, Clark struggles with his destiny, as he decides what to do with his powers:

  • Hide his powers and use them largely to help his family and friends
  • Use his powers to help humanity and save lives
  • Use his powers to rule Earth
  • Balance his Kryptonian and human sides
  • True love

Hide his powers

Future Clark in Homecoming

Clark's mild-mannered reporter disguise.

"The Blur is not the disguise, Lois. Clark Kent will be the mask. " – Clark, to Lois, Masquerade

Clark largely hides his powers from people outside of his immediate circle, using them mostly to help his family and friends. He is willing to reveal his powers to save a life but, so far, has yet to reveal his powers and abilities to the world at large. For years, Clark has tried to hide his abilities from the world as the ultimate anonymous hero until recently. Clark joined the Daily Planet in order to stop crime. After the death of Jimmy, Lois' disappearance, and Davis finally turning evil, Clark gave up hope on humanity and decided that his human persona, Clark Kent, is now dead, believing his human attachments caused him to lose perspective and prevented him from saving more lives. However, he came back to the Daily Planet to keep an eye on Lois. (Odyssey, Plastique, Doomsday, Metallo)

Clark has begun to come up with a secret identity - first with an alias, then two separate identities. (Identity, Turbulence) After an incident with Lois almost finding out he is the Blur, Clark decided to wear glasses more (Idol). In a recent dream sequence of the future in the year 2013, on Clark's desk there was glasses which he took off in order to save the bi-plane as Superman which probably means he wear it more in the future (Salvation). By October 15, 2017, Clark had been known as Superman for nearly 6 years. He and Lois both still worked at the Daily Planet but were now top reporters, working on the 8th floor of the building in their own private office. Clark's disguise appearance was now that of a nerdy, glasses wearing uptight mild-mannered reporter to conceal his identity as Superman. (Homecoming).

Lois brings up to Clark attention that he needs to be more careful in protecting his identity now that the Blur is starting to be seeing more frequently in the public eye. Clark sees first-hand how some of his work colleagues are already starting to jump to the conclusion that he's the Blur. So he decides that in order for him to continue his superhero duties as the Blur and still maintain an ordinary life, he must make "Clark Kent" the disguise and so he dons a pair of black horn rimmed glasses and begins to adapt a mild mannered persona as "Clark Kent".(Masquerade)

Help humanity

Normal 01382

Daily Planet article from the year 2017.

"More than once, I've touched people, and I've seen such pain and despair. But then you appeared and the pain was gone. I think that's your destiny: To help people, to save them from fear and darkness."Cassandra Carver, to Clark, Hourglass

Clark has yet to embrace his true destiny: To use his powers to protect humanity and give them hope. However, many people try to convince him to embrace it. The Kawatche try to convince Clark that he is Naman and that it is his destiny to protect the world. Ben Meyers, an obsessed Warrior Angel fan, believed that if he killed Lana, Clark would embrace his destiny as a hero and save the world.

This destiny was foreshadowed in Clark's conversation with Oliver Queen, who told Clark that using his abilities to help his family is honorable, but he can't wait for people to ask him for help. Oliver suggested that Clark use his powers to help anybody who needs it, and tells Clark that he can contact him when he is ready to do so.

Kyla Willowbrook told Clark that Naman was destined to protect the entire Earth. (Skinwalker) Several other members of the Kawatche believe that Clark is destined to become Naman and save the world.

Jor-El wanted to help prepare Clark to save Earth from the coming of Brainiac and General Zod. (Vessel)

Recently, it seems that Clark has accepted this destiny by working at the Daily Planet to find those who need him. While working at the Planet, Clark, by night, listens to a police scanner, waiting for trouble, then steps in as the Red-Blue Blur/Good Samaritan, trying to inspire hope by letting people know about his existence. He is also acting more of a leader, taking a more active role as a member of the Justice League. (Prey, Turbulence, Doomsday) Wanting to be a better hero, Clark is training with Jor-El as well as saving people and leaving the House of El family crest as a calling card to give people hope. (Savior) As the Blur, Clark wears dark clothing with his family's Kryptonian symbol on his chest, which alludes to the Superman costume.
Sup-Salvation

Superman saves an airplane in the Planet's reflection

Doctor Fate told Clark that he is destined to lead the present generation of heroes on Earth and bring hope to mankind. (Absolute Justice)

Jordan Cross told Clark that he didn't have an end like other people. "You don't have an end like other people. It's like you live forever." He was the only one who could change fate, and stop one of Jordan Cross's fates from coming true. Which would give him the power of altering destiny for the better. (Hereafter)

In a recent dream sequence of the future in the year 2013, Clark has assumed the role he was destined for as Earth's protector. He is dressed in the traditional red and blue attire with the House Of El family crest placed on the chest of his costume and a yellow crest on the back of his cape. (Salvation) Brainiac 5 comes back from the future to help Clark to leave the past behind and become the hero who is, and through a journey into the past and future. Clark knew that on this very day, an abandoned nuclear reactor was going to blow up just outside Metropolis that could destroy the city and also that while this happens, Lois would be in a helicopter that experienced problems and would fall off the roof of the Daily Planet. Clark awaited in the elevator so that he would bump into his younger self who was still only 24 years old and had not yet become Superman. He said he knew to be here because the same thing happened to him when he was 24 and when he met his future self. Also, he told his younger self to go to the roof to save Lois while he went to contain the blast. After the event, Clark was able to have more self-belief and finally let go of his past, visiting Jonathan's grave. After professing his love for Lois for the first time, he began to float in the air while dancing with her. (Homecoming)

Rule Earth

"I know my destiny, and it's here. I've seen it. Dr. Fate has seen it, too. And Jor-El has sent me on trials to prove it. I finally know who I am and what I'm meant to do here on Earth." – Clark, to Chloe Salvation

The message in Clark's spaceship suggested that his Kryptonian destiny was to rule Earth:

"On this third planet from this star Sol, you'll be a god among men. They are a flawed race. Rule them with strength, my son. That is where your greatness lies."

This is also what Zor-El suggested to Clark when he was resurrected by Clark using the blue crystal.

Clark rejected this destiny, and often struggled against what he felt was Jor-El's efforts to push him to embrace his destiny as a tyrant. Eventually, it emerged that Jor-El actually wanted to help prepare Clark to save Earth from the coming of Brainiac and Zod, suggesting that the message in the ship did not truly mean that Clark was supposed to take over Earth but instead simply meant to protect, and that Clark interpreted the message incorrectly. This message could also refer to what Doctor Fate said about Clark leading the present generation of heroes and inspiring mankind. The Legion of Super-Heroes reveal to Clark that he is the reason Earth learns to welcome and accept alien immigrants in the future. The message could have also been refering to Clark ruling the Kandorians as Tess Mercer believed it was Clark's destiny to lead The Kandorian army.

Balancing his Kryptonian and human side

"I know that it's because you have the whole last son of Krypton thing weighing on your shoulders. Okay, but thats why you got me," - Lois to Clark, Homecoming

For most of his life, Clark was afraid of his Kryptonian side, but multiple events and interactions with other Kryptonians, such as Raya, Dax-Ur, among others lead Clark to eventually embrace and accept his Kryptonian heritage and destiny. In Season Seven, he met his cousin Kara, who told him more about his mother as well as having three personal interactions with his mother, through uncovered memories from his and Kara and a recording meeting his mother himself.(Memoria, Kara, Lara, Blue, Abandoned) In Season Eight and Season Nine and Season Ten, his relationship with Jor-El greatly improved over time, especially with meeting and seeing who Jor-el is as a person, through recordings and memories of his life as well as his clone dying in his arms. (Relic, Memoria, Abyss, Beast, Savior ,Kandor (episode), Abandoned, Prophecy, Finale) Clark always went to Jor-el when he was in the form of Kal-El's ship, the Kawatche Caves and the Fortress of Solitude for advice on things such as information on alien matters sometimes asking him for aid in overcoming problems and facing particularly challenging foes.

Clark has come to realize that the circumstances surrounding his destiny affect a greater circle than his small hometown, and seemed torn on exactly when he will continue his Kryptonian training, but had clearly decided to embark on it in the near future. However, when he reunited with Lana in the fall of 2007, he abandoned these plans and declared his intent to attempt to make a "normal" life with her on the farm. In the episode Action, Clark walked away from the red cape he received from Rachel Davenport and followed Lana into the house, effectively rejecting his destiny. About a year later, Clark finally realized that he had been holding onto a life that hadn't existed for years and decided to "get in the middle of the action," and so joined the Daily Planet as a reporter. After the death of Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane's mysterious disappearance, Clark decided that he wanted to become a better hero and decided to accept his Kryptonian side, declaring that "Clark Kent is dead."

With the death of Jimmy, Lois' sudden disappearance and Davis Bloome becoming evil, Clark accepted his Kryptonian side in order to become a better hero. (Doomsday) However, Jor-El told him that he still sees himself as a human. Clark decided to wear his Kryptonian family crest to remind himself he has a different destiny. (Savior) He also used the Mark of El crest as a way to spread hope among the for the people to be inspired by and embraced the shield as his own, even going as far as viewing himself as an extension and representation of the family crest himself, even going as far as willing to reveal himself as the Blur again in order to protect the Shield and Jor-el.(Rabid, Idol) With the return of Lois, Clark began to reach out to her more as the Blur which for a time helped filled the emptiness inside himself. However After the fight with John Corben, Clark realized what was the use of saving humanity when he couldn't relate and decided to re-join the Daily Planet as Clark Kent again and is reunited with Lois. (Metallo)

Clark saw his relationship with Lois as a solid anchor to humanity that was greatly strengthened (Pandora). When he was accidentally transported to the future year of 2017 in which he got to interact with both future Lois and Clark, He saw that he was able to balance his responsibilities as both a Hero to the world and husband to Lois. (Homecoming) Clark admits to Lois that she makes him feel human. (Scion)

True love

"You are a perfect fit for Clark. You inspire him." – Martha, to Lois, Beacon
"I want you to know me completely with no secrets. Because you're the One. You always will be." -Clark, to Lois, Harvest
"I can't live in a world where you don't love me." – Clark, to alternate universe Lois, Luthor
"I see your fate, Lois Lane. You are the one he will need. He is the one you will need. [...] The savior...the one who will heal us all...the sentient power." – Dr. Fate, to Lois, Absolute Justice

Even before he was aware of his alien origins, Clark always felt like an outsider and longed to find acceptance. Clark believed he had found this in Lana Lang, the girl next door he loved since his childhood growing up in Smallville. When he entered his freshman year in school Clark tried to integrate himself more into Lana's life, first becoming her friend and confidant to eventually becoming her boyfriend. However, there was always an obstacle in their path. Still, Clark maintained the idea that he and Lana belonged together and kept that hope burning until one tragic day when their individual destinies separated them forever.

Chlana's Final Kiss.png

Clark and Lana's final goodbye.

Clark eventually did find his true love in the form of Lois Lane. Although their relationship did not start off romantically, there were always signs (starting from the first few episodes in which she appeared) that they were destined to be together. Their relationship started off with them usually butting heads and bickering. However, despite this, they were always shown to care about each other even though at first not romantically (although there was always a degree of physical attraction between them). Their relationship blossomed into friendship and they eventually became colleagues at the Daily Planet. When they became work partners, their true hidden feelings for each other began to manifest and Clark and Lois fell deeply in love and their relationship flourished
Clois crossfire

Clark and Lois share a passionate kiss.

as they strengthened each other. When Lois learned of Clark's secret, she encouraged him and offered all the support she could to him without revealing her awareness of her discovery until he was willing to share it with her. When Clark revealed his identity to Lois he saw how much of a lighting rod she was to him and how she would go to great lengths to protect him. Clark decided to ask for her hand in marriage, assured that no matter what they face, as along as they were together they could overcome any and all obstacles in their way.

In the Comics

Smos-149

Superman declaring that it was Krypton that makes him Superman, while Earth makes him Clark Kent.

Superman's wedding

The Wedding of Lois and Clark

Born as Kal-El on the dying planet of Krypton, his beloved parents Jor-El and Lara placed Baby Kal-El in a spaceship to travel to Earth where he would be adopted and raised by Jonathan and Martha Kent, who named him Clark Kent who grew up in the small town of Smallville, Kansas. Jor-El and Lara die as the spacecraft barely escapes Krypton's fate. The explosion transforms planetary debris into kryptonite, a radioactive substance that is lethal to superpowered (as by Earth's yellow sun) Kryptonians. At very young age, Clark discovered he had extraordinary abilities and thanks to his upbringing by the Kents provided him with strong moral values, Clark decided to use his powers for the good of Humanity. The Kents teach Clark to use these powers responsibly to help others and fight crime. Clark used his powers to aid others while still a youth, operating privately as "a rarely-glimpsed American myth - the mysterious 'Super-Boy'". For a number of years, Clark went on global journey learning more about Earth and it's many cultures all the while using his powers covertly to help people and prevent or thwart disasters. Clark keeps his powers secret in order to keep his family and friends, who might be endangered by his criminal enemies. In order to use his powers to help humanity, Clark creates the alter ego of Superman, named that way by his future Co-Worker and Wife, Daily Planet Reporter, Lois Lane. A number of elements are added to each identity to keep them distinct enough to prevent the casual observer from matching them. Superman wears a characteristic red and blue costume with a letter "S" emblem and a cape. Clark Kent takes to wearing glasses, styling his hair differently, changing his body language, significantly altering his voice, and wearing looser clothing and suits that hide his physique. Clark Kent moves to Metropolis and takes a job as a reporter at the Daily Planet, where he meets his friends and co-workers, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, and Editor Perry White. Superman becomes the subject of frequent headline stories written by Lois, and the two become romantically attracted to each other that eventually leads up to Clark revealing his true identity to her followed by their blessed marriage.

Quotes

Jor-El: Put him inside, Lara. Our time has passed. The hourglass is empty.
Lara: What if they don't love him?
Jor-El: Lara, his destiny is set, as is ours.
Lara: Good-bye my sweet, Kal-El.
Season Three, Memoria

Jor-El: On this third planet from this star Sol, you'll be a god among men. They are a flawed race. Rule them with strength, my son. That is where your greatness lies.

Jor-El: Your mortal journey is over, yes, but your eminent destiny is too important to sacrifice. You will return with all your natural gifts. Unfortunately, this rectification does not come without a price. The life of someone close to you will be exchanged for yours.
Season Five, Hidden

Cassandra Carver (to Clark) More than once, I've touched people, and I've seen such pain and despair. But then you appeared and the pain was gone. I think that's your destiny: to help people, to save them from fear and darkness.
Season One, Hourglass

Jor-El: Fear not, Kal-El... I am Jor-El, your father... I am his memory, his will. I am to fulfill his promise and guide you all the days of your life. You are the last son of Krypton. When you traveled through the cosmos, you carried the hopes and dreams of your people. They now live through you, Kal-El... It is time for you to accept your destiny... By the setting of the sun Sol you will return to me. Your destiny will be fulfilled. Your thoughts are not a mystery to me, Kal-El. But these people have served their purpose. It is time to leave them... You must let go of your past. I will guide you to your future... You have no choice, Kal-El.
Season Two, Exodus

Virgil Swann: You won't find the answers by looking at the stars. It's a journey you'll have to take by looking inside yourself. You must write your own destiny, Kal-El.
Season Two, Rosetta

Jonathan: Clark, you choose your own destiny. Nobody can decide that for you, son.
Season Two, Exodus

Clark: I'm just wondering if that's why I was really sent here: to change destiny. What if I make a wrong choice and I'm not there to make it right?
Season Three, Hereafter

Joseph Willowbrook: One who denies his destiny can bring about as much pain and suffering as your greatest enemy.
Season Three, Talisman

Jonathan: You can be the world's greatest hero or its most mild-mannered citizen, but the only person who can write your story, is you.
Season Three, Talisman

Lionel: I believe that we're put on this earth for a reason, Clark. Our task in life is to find out what that reason is. Sometimes, we can't do that alone.
Season Three, Legacy

Clark: I am Kal-El of Krypton. It is time to fulfill my destiny.
Season Four Crusade

Martha: (to Kal-El) Destiny? That's Jor-El talking! He did this to you-- I want my son back, give me back my son!
Season Four, Crusade

Chloe: Clark, with all that you are able to do, I just can't help but think your destiny is more than just milking cows and raising barns.
Season Four, Recruit

Clark: Destiny is another word for not having a choice.
Season Five, Mortal

Lana: I'm sorry it has to be this way, Clark. But we don't always get to choose who we are. Sometimes our destiny leads us to places that we don't want to go, and there's nothing we can do about it.
Season Five, Thirst

Lionel: I've tried to tell you, I am not your enemy. To reveal your secret would change your destiny.
Season Five, Mercy

Raya: Pain is part of anyone's journey, Kal-El. You can't escape it. You must accept your destiny.
Season Six, Fallout

Clark: Mom, I know how much you love me, and how much dad... But I've always felt different. It's because I am. And Raya was the first person I ever met who could really understand that. And I don't think I ever really thought about what I lost. A family, a whole race of people, who were just like me. For the first time, I'm ready to stop running from who I really am, from my destiny.
Season Six, Fallout

Clark (to Kara): One of the most important things that my adoptive parents taught me is that we shape our own destiny."
Season Seven, Lara

Zor-El: Kal-El, the blood of the House of El runs through your veins just as it does mine. As much as you want to deny it, your destiny is to rule. And we can do that together as a family.
Season Seven, Blue

Lionel: Kal-El is following his own destiny. I will do nothing to stop his course.
Season Seven, Blue

Clark: In a weird way, he may have been right. Maybe I have allowed myself to become weak, caring too much about everything, everyone here.
Martian Manhunter: You've learned a lot from your time in Smallville. These people have made you who you are.
Clark: They won't always be here. Losing Lana has made me realize no matter how close I get, someday they'll all be gone. And all the time I've spent ignoring my destiny, trying to be something I'll never be: human.
Season Seven, Bizarro

Clark: According to the Legion, I will accomplish things so legendary, I'll be known throughout the galaxy.
Lana: And you're not sure that you'll be able to live up to that. Clark, there is no doubt in my mind that you will. Just do it on your schedule...not theirs.
Clark: Well, did they happen to mention anything about your place in history?
Lana: A little. But the way I see it, it doesn't really matter. Our destiny is not written in some books in the future. We write it ourselves.. everyday.
Clark: The question is... what do we write next?
Season Eight, Legion

Doctor Fate: Your fate is utterly binding. You are of value, Clark Kent.
Doctor Fate: The hope for tomorrow that your alien friend spoke of, you are that hope. I have seen it.
Clark: Because you see the future?
Doctor Fate: I see everyone's fate... but my own. Sometimes that scares me. But when I see the future of someone such as yourself, I believe in tomorrow again.
Clark: When you saw my fate, what did you see?
Doctor Fate: You will lead this generation as Hawkman once led ours.
Clark: You sound like a group I met from the future. They hinted at my destiny, but they were as vague as you are.
Doctor Fate: Then let me be specific. Although Lex Luthor is your ultimate opponent, you will triumph over him.
Clark: Lex? Lex is dead.
Doctor Fate: And when you show yourself to the world, it will be a different age than ours, Clark a silver age of heroism that will start when they look up into the sky at you with hope for tomorrow. You will help everyone embrace it.
Season Nine, Absolute Justice, Part 2

Clark: I know my destiny, and it's here. I've seen it. Dr. Fate has seen it, too. And Jor-El has sent me on trials to prove it. I finally know who I am and what I'm meant to do here on Earth. I'm not leaving.
Season Nine, Salvation

Lois: I guess there's so much chaos out there, people are just desperate for something to give them hope. Now more than ever, the world needs someone to believe in.
Clark: I think I know where this going.
Lois: Hear me out, Clark. Okay, I wasn't a big fan of Ollie's coming-out party, and I used to think that it was best for you to stay in the shadows, too, but maybe someday soon, you'll have to step into the light. You can be a symbol to inspire everyone that this planet could be a better place.
Clark: I'm not sure anyone's ready to believe a stranger from a strange land.
Lois: If they know the real Clark Kent, then I am sure the rest of the world will believe in you as much as I do.
Season Ten, Harvest

Lara: My son, I only had the joy for knowing you a few weeks. I wish I could be with you always to guide you and protect you.
Jor-El: We don’t have much time.
Lara: My dearest Kal-El, our love will always be with you. I can already see you carry within your father's independent spirit.
Jor-El: But, more importantly, your mother’s never-ending bravery and her compassionate heart.
Lara: Your father tells me that the new world you're journeying to, Earth, is full of complicated beings capable of great emotion. My wish is for you to live a full and wonderful life, but I need you to know that you were born of a great love. And, your brilliant father has devised a way for you to carry on that love without us.
Jor-El: The ship that I designed to carry you to your destiny can only hold one Kryptonian, one who has so much potential, so unlike your father.
Lara: No.
Jor-El: Your mother and I cannot come with you, to do so would burden your innocent soul with our frailties and failures. But you have within you the best of both of us, and I am sending you with all of my knowledge and none of my ego or regrets. They will die with me here on Krypton. Whatever trials I put you through, I will never lose faith in you.
Lara: (Whispers to Jor-El.) Quickly, before it's too late. We may not have been able to save our planet...
Jor-El: But we are confident you will become Earth's greatest savior. And never doubt that, just as you're a part of us, we will always be a part of you. Farewell, my son.
Lara: Farewell.
Season Ten, Abandoned

Oliver: To the happy couple who has finally figured out what we’ve all known for a very long time now. You two are Destined to be together. {Oliver addressing Lois and Clark}
Season Ten, Icarus

Notes

  • The Legion of Super-Heroes revealed that Clark is the reason that aliens are accepted on Earth in the future. (Legion)
  • Doctor Fate saw Clark's fate when Clark touched him. Clark learned from Doctor Fate that he would lead the current generation of heroes and that he would be the hope that Earth needed. (Absolute Justice, Part 2)
  • Indirectly to Clark's destiny of becoming Superman, Lex Luthor, Lana, Lois and Chloe are the only ones in the series who get to say Superman. (Lana in Pilot, Lex in Reaper, Lois in Shield, and Chloe in Finale, Part 2).


Destiny in Smallville
Characters Clark KentLex LuthorLois Lane
Relationships Clark and LexClark and Lois
Visions Clark Kent's visionLois Lane's visionCassandra Carver's vision

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