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Clark Kent's training

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S9 9-00039

Clark training in the Fortress of Solitude.

Clark Kent's training has been a major goal of Jor-El for years, and has driven much of the plot of Smallville over the seasons. The training has been to prepare Clark for his destiny: To save Earth from Brainiac & General Zod and to become the planet's greatest protector.[1]

Jor-El spent years trying to get Clark to start training for his destiny, several times using coercive methods to force Clark to train or punish him for not training. (Exodus, Covenant, Arrival) In recent years, Clark has been willing to resume his training, but Jor-El has asked him to put it aside for the time being: First in order to keep a watchful eye on his cousin Kara (Kara) and, more recently, to say goodbye to Lois Lane. (Savior)

Powers and Abilities

Kryptonian technology, through the training sequence, is capable of transferring or transmitting vast amounts of information at once in which Clark Kent processes. Clark learned how to read and interpret the Kryptonian language after he inserted the Key in the keyhole in the Kawatche Cave's actavation wall. In doing this, a burst of energy shot through Clark, giving him the ability to read his own language. (Rosetta)

It appears as if there a certain safety mechanisms built into his training, as seen when Chloe enters the Fortress while Clark is training, which activates a snow storm inside the Fortress but Clark manages to save her. (Arrival)

Such training and tasks can also create "mental trials," one of which Jor-El uses with Clark in attempt to help him learn how to fly by having him jump off of a virtual Statue of Liberty, but gets interrupted when he thinks of Lois Lane. (Savior)

Season Two

On Clark's 16th birthday, Jor-El began speaking to Clark through his spaceship, announcing that "The day is coming." Later, Jor-El summoned Clark to the storm cellar and told him to leave Smallville. When Clark refused, Jor-El burned the symbol of the House of El on Clark's chest, stating that, at noon the next day, Clark would leave Smallville or hurt the ones he loves most.

Season Three

Three months later, when he resolved to bring Clark back from Metropolis, Jonathan Kent went to the Kawatche Caves, where he placed the Key into the cave wall and made contact with Jor-El. Jor-El made a deal with Jonathan: If he gave Jonathan Kryptonian powers to bring Clark home, Jonathan would deliver Clark to Jor-El when it was time for him to fulfill his destiny.

A year after that, Jor-El released "Kara" from the Kawatche Caves. Kara convinced Clark to come with her to the caves, but as they prepared to leave, Jonathan arrived with evidence that Kara was once Lindsey Harrison; Jor-El had been using Lindsey to lure Clark to him. When Clark refused him, Jor-El vaporized Lindsey and hit Jonathan with a bolt of energy, threatening to kill him if Clark didn't comply. To save Jonathan, Clark entered the portal in the cave wall and was transported to a pocket dimension where Jor-El brainwashed him as Kal-El of Krypton, an obedient version of Clark who vowed to uphold his destiny.

Season Four

Three months later, Jor-El returned Kal-El to Earth, where Kal-El began searching for the Stones of Power, using the full extent of his powers. Kal-El's crusade was cut short when Martha Kent used black kryptonite to free Clark from his Kryptonian persona.

Season Five

Clark training 2

Clark's training sequence in Arrival.

After Clark reunited the Stones of Power and used the Crystal of Knowledge to create the Fortress of Solitude, Jor-El told him that he could not return to Smallville, but he must instead stay in the Fortress and prepare to save Earth from the coming of Brainiac and Zod. He began to train Clark, but was interrupted when Clark saw that Chloe Sullivan, who had been transported with him to the Arctic, followed him to the Fortress and was freezing to death. When Clark begged him to let him save Chloe, Jor-El initially forbade him to do so but acquiesced, telling Clark that he must return to the Fortress before sunset or there would be consequences. When Clark failed to return, Jor-El took away his powers.


Season Six

Raya and Clark discuss how he hasn't begun his training. Raya's death kickstarted Clark wanting to start his training.

Season Seven

A couple of years later, Clark approached Jor-El about beginning his training, and Jor-El had him start with his cousin Kara, telling him to watch over her as she was the daughter of Zor-El and couldn't be trusted.

Season Eight

After the Fortress had collapsed due to the Orb transforming it back into the Crystal of Knowledge, Clark couldn't begin his training. Clark later retrieved the Crystal of Knowledge and recreated the Fortress. Jor-El told Clark to stop the "Ultimate Destroyer" Doomsday. Later, when Chloe was infected with Brainiac, Clark took her to the Fortress for Jor-El to remove Braniac form her body. After his removal he corrupted the Fortress and took it over. Brainac then commanded Davis Bloome to come to the Fortress where he would complete his transformation into Doomsday. After Doomsday attacked Metropolis, Clark discovered that Jimmy Olsen died because he had insisted on not killing Davis Bloome. Afterward, he declared that "Clark Kent is dead" and resolved to embrace his destiny.

Season Nine

CKssavior

Clark training in the Fortress.
(click for animation)

Clark retreated to the Fortress to leave behind his past and finally began his training with Jor-El. When Clark was on duty in Metropolis and saved a monorail train, he spotted Lois on the train, learning she was safe after he had thought she had died in Doomsday's attack on the city weeks ago. When he resumed his training, Jor-El challenged Clark to a mental challenge of trying to fly by jumping off of the Statue of Liberty, but Clark was unable to fly. Clark then asked Jor-El why he couldn't fly and believed he was granted the same powers as other Kryptonians, but Jor-El told Clark that his body was the same as other Kryptonians and that his mind was holding him back because either he still believes he is human or somebody is holding him back. Jor-El suggested that, to fully fulfill his destiny, Clark cut all contact with his human life. Currently, Clark is trying to harness the ability to fly. Jor-El stated that, in order to fly, Clark must clear his mind and heart. So by Season 10 Kara has already taught Clark how to clear his mind, all he must now do is clear the doubt and fear from his heart in order to harness the ability to fly.

Not long after, Jor-El gives Clark the ability to hear other's thoughts in an effort to teach him to hone his Kryptonian intuition and learn to not allow humanistic assumptions inhibit his destiny.

Later, during an awkward discussion with Chloe about his sex life, Clark admitted that, through his training with Jor-El, he has learned to manage his powers better than before and therefore is no longer fearful of harming a sexual partner with no special abilities.


Season Ten

Clark faced his final trials in the form of Darkseid's Planet coming towards Earth. Clark remembering Jonathan’s final words of guidance, Jor-El intervenes and shows Clark with images of his trials over the past 10 years that he has always had the power inside of him. Jor-El tells him that this is his final trial and that he is ready to seize his destiny. Clark reawakens in the present, floating in the barn staring down Darkseid. He finally embraces his powers and flies into Darkseid, casting him out of his vessel as well as destroying it in the process.

S10e22-013

Jonathan presents Clark with his suit

At the Fortress of Solitude, Clark is embraced by Jor-El’s presence. Jor-El tells him that his journey has come to an end and that he is proud of him for embracing his heritage and who he is. He tells his son that he is the only one that can lift the darkness from the Earth. He returns the Superman suit to the surface and gives Clark his final words of wisdom, to not forget that even though he has Jor-El’s blood, he must remember his time in Smallville and his Earth parents and friends that made him a hero. Jonathan presents Clark the suit and tells him to always hold on to Smallville. Clark takes it and with a nod to Jonathan, soars into the sky with his suit on and his red cape blowing in the wind.

S10e22-015

Clark saves Air Force One

Clark arrives just in time to save the now out of control Air Force One from crashing. He appears to Lois and nods to her, telling her that everything is alright. As he flies off to stop Apokolips from crashing into Earth, Lois takes a camera and after introducing herself, begins to interview the President. Oliver watches on amidst the crowds of Metropolis as the red and blue blur from Clark’s cape flies into the sky and moves the planet away from Earth. Oliver smiles with pride as the people are freed from Darkseid's control thanks to the efforts of his friend. Clark throws the planet into space and faces the world as he embraces his destiny as Superman.

Quotes

Jor-El: Kal-El, you have come far. One journey has ended. A new journey is about to begin. Welcome, my son.
Clark: I thought Krypton was destroyed!
Jor-El: It was, but here in your Fortress of Solitude, the geography of our planet has been replicated for your training.
Clark: I know there's a lot I can learn from you, but I have to get home. That's where I'm needed.
Jor-El: The meteor shower is only the precursor. A dark force from Krypton has been awakened, Kal-El, and its sights have been set on Earth.
Season Five, Arrival

Clark: What do you want me to do?
Jor-El: You must do as I tell you. Study with diligence, for that is the only way to save this planet.
Chloe: Clark! Clark, can you hear me? Clark!
Clark: Chloe!
Jor-El: Kal-El, you must continue your education. You cannot stop.
Clark: She's my friend! She needs help! No, I won't let her die!
Jor-El: Each time you let your emotions guide you, the fate of the entire planet is at risk. That is your weakness, Kal-El!
Season Five, Arrival

Clark: Please! I'm begging you!
Jor-El: Very well—under one condition: Return to me before the yellow sun has set.
Clark: I'll be back. I promise.
Jor-El: Do not fail me, Kal-El, for the consequences will be grave.
Clark: You have my word.
Season Five, Arrival

Clark: I haven't been the best son.
Raya: Your father was hard on himself, too. He felt guilty that he couldn't save Krypton. His only redemption was sending you to save Earth.
Clark: Save it from what?
Raya: Extinction. Your civilization is going to destroy itself, just like Krypton. You should know this. It was part of your training.
Clark: I haven't started my training. Now the Fortress is damaged. Jor-El tried to warn me, but I didn't listen. I mean, how could I trust someone who brought so much pain into my life?
Raya: Pain is a part of anyone's journey, Kal-El. You can't escape it. You must accept your destiny.
Season Six, Fallout

Raya: The Fortress was a storehouse for all the knowledge in the universe—at least all that we had. How could this happen?
Clark: I'm sorry. I don't know how to bring it back.
Raya: Your father wouldn't have given up so easily.
Clark: I haven't given up. I don't know what else to do. I've tried everything.
Raya: Everything except the training your father wanted for you.
Season Six, Fallout

Jor-El: Kal-El, my son. You are distracted. When you decided to return to your training. I assumed you were ready.
Clark: I've been coming here for weeks. I've done everything you asked, why are you questioning me now?
Jor-El: Until today you had focus. You had cleared your mind and heart of those who had kept you tethered to the human realm.
Clark: If there's anything that's keeping me tethered, it's that I still can't fly. Have I not earned the same powers that Kara has?
Jor-El: Your powers lie within you Kal-El. Your physical composition is no different then your cousin's.
Clark: Are you saying it's all in my head?
Jor-El: You still see yourself as a human.
Clark: You're wrong. I gave up everyone I cared about. I gave up everyone who was important to me. I wear the symbol of our family crest everyday to remind me that I have a different destiny.
Jor-El: Perhaps you tried to move on too quickly. The test of a true hero is to struggle with feelings of loss and overcome them, not to avoid them. Something or someone is holding you back.
Clark: No, I've come this far and I'm not looking back. I can do this.
Season Nine, Savior

Clark: Isn't it time to move beyond these mental trials?
Jor-El: Your determination is strong, my son. But just as your passion will be your greatest strength, so too, will it be your greatest obstacle.
Clark: Jimmy died because of me and I can't afford to let another mistake like that happen. You sent me here to fulfill a destiny. Tell me what you need from me.
Jor-El: Kal-El, you do not need me to tell you what is standing in your way, you already know. And you know what you need to do.
Clark: I have to say good-bye to her.
Season Nine, Savior

Clark: Jor-El. Reading people's thoughts. You said my trials had begun. Is this one of them?
Jor-El: I've planted within you the seeds for this trial, designed to self-manifest when most needed. An event must have happened to trigger it, some kind of error or mistake in judgment.
Clark: I don't understand. I saved everyone in that factory.
Jor-El: Assumptions are flaws inherent in the human instincts you have adopted, but they are beneath you. What you have yet to nurture is your kryptonian intuition.
Clark: You shouldn't underestimate humans.
Jor-El: Neither should you. Being able to discern why humans truly behave as they do will help you to better protect them. This ability is only temporary. You must learn to focus Kal-El. Perception can be the difference between life and death.
Season Nine, Echo

Chloe: Okay, so not that I haven't seen enough of Clark Kent's private... life tonight...
Clark: I don't like where this is going.
Chloe: You took Lois on a romantic getaway to some sort of a bed-and-breakfast. And while I doubt that the whole breakfast part poses any problem, I seem to recall you having some concern about the beds — and non-powered people — and what would happen in the beds with the non-powered people...
Clark: Okay, stop!
Chloe: Thank you.
Clark: My training with Jor-El has helped me to manage my powers better. Let's just say that I'm in control. Of everything.:Season Nine, Escape

Clark: Jor-el! I know that told me to save Zod, but I won't! Not if means leaving everyone I promised to protect and my destiny is here on Earth, if everything that you've trained me for was for another purpose then it was a waster cause I'm stay!:Season Nine, Salvation



Clark: These were my trials.
Jor-El: Your final trial is upon you, my son. You are ready. Seize your destiny.:Season Ten, Finale, Part 2

Jor-El: Your journey has come to an end, Kal-El.
Clark: I shouldn't have tried to push away my Kryptonian side. My strength is accepting it -- accepting you.
Jor-El: You honor me. A father's pride cannot be measured in words, but know that I'm proud of you, son.
Clark: You have no idea how long I've waited to hear you say that.
Jor-El: We have been down our long road, Kal-El -- one paved with difficult trials. Those trials are behind you now. Any father can only hope that he is one day humbled by the feats of his son. But it is your soul, Kal-El, of which I am most proud. You -- and you alone -- possess the courage, the determination, and the compassion that will be required of you to life the darkness from the Earth. (returns the suit to Clark) I ask you to remember one thing. Your abilities may be of my blood, but it is your time in Smallville, with Jonathan and Martha Kent and all the people there, that made you a hero, Kal-El.
Jonathan: Always hold on to Smallville. (hands the suit over to Clark):Season Ten, Finale, Part 2



Notes

  • In Superman: The Movie, Clark begins his training at the Fortress when he is 18 years old and trains for 12 years.

References

  1. This was explicitly stated in Arrival, Fallout and Lazarus.

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