Guardian, Part 1
Series  Season 11
Number  1
Writer  Bryan Q. Miller
Pencils  Pere Perez
Cover  Gary Frank (print)
Cat Staggs (digital)
Inks  Pere Perez
Colors  Randy Mayor,
Chris Beckett
Lettering  Saida Temofonte
Assistant Editors  Sarah Litt
Editors  Kwanza Johnson
Publication Date  May 2, 2012
Previous Story: None

Next Story: Guardian, Part 2

Smallville: Season 11 #1 is the first issue of the print edition of the DC Comics comic book series.[1] The issue collects the first three chapters of the Guardian story arc, originally released digitally.[2][3]


  • Story
  • Television Series Episode Guide


What happens after Clark puts on the costume? Can he keep his Super-Secret quiet?



Lex watches Superman fly his morning route.

Clark Kent took to the air in the suit his mother made, finally passing the trials of his Kryptonian father, Jor-El, and becoming the hero he was destined to be. He saved the Earth from impending destruction by pushing the planet Apokolips out of orbit and back into deep space, but not before some were able to spot creatures on the surface of the hellworld.

Six months after the event now referred to as "Contact", photographic evidence proving the existence of alien life adorns the internet and newspapers like the Daily Planet across the globe, instilling a mixed sense of concern, wonder, and fear. In Metropolis, though, the city has never felt as safe, and each morning the citizens rise to catch a glimpse of their savior, now known as Superman. After a quiet night on patrol, Oliver Queen, a.k.a. the Green Arrow, is one of them, met by his waking wife Chloe on the balcony of the Watchtower.

Across town, Lex Luthor, head of the newly rechristened LexCorp, awaits Superman's morning flight as well, explaining to his new assistant Otis that it gives them all a sense of normalcy. As Superman zips by on schedule, Lex notes that he's made changes to his costume: Gone are the red trunks, replaced by a red belt trimmed in gold with a gold buckle. Blue-gray bands now run lengthwise along his sides from under the arms to his boots. The crest of the House of El on the cape is now in dark silhouette with all yellow removed.


Superman and the Cosmonaut shake hands.

Aboard the Russian Federation Space Platform Korolyov in orbit above Earth, a number of cosmonauts monitoring space for signs of alien life are suddenly attacked by a ribbon of energy. As debris punctures the cabin, the tether of a cosmonaut spacewalking is broken, sending him floating out into the ethos. He's rescued by Superman and returned to the station. Superman reseals the cabin, repressurizing the air and restarting the artificial gravity.

As the cosmonauts thank him in Russian, Superman admits he doesn't know the language but promises to learn it. One who speaks English tells him he's the spacewalking cosmonaut's son's hero and the cosmonaut would like to get his autograph for the son. Superman tells him his son already has a hero worth looking up to, his own father. He leaves, telling them no thanks are necessary as he was just doing his job.


Clark and Lois in their apartment.

At home with Lois, Clark showers and brushes his teeth, talking with her about the energy ribbon - or "aurora" - that attacked the space station. As he then makes breakfast, he asks if they should return the wedding presents they received. Lois states that the wedding was postponed not cancelled, so they shouldn't have to. He notices that the 'S' shield on the Superman t-shirt she slept in doesn't look right and she mentions that it seems no one can draw it the same way twice, also given that he's just altered his suit. Clark explains that he's put lead in the shield of his new suit to protect himself from being shot with Kryptonite bullets. As they lament their independently busy lives - he with saving the world, she with becoming a pre-eminent reporter - Lois mentions that the Russians have already announced they will be commissioning a statue of Superman to commemorate his saving of the space station. Clark expresses his discomfort at the hero worship, but Lois assures him that it is inspiring people, just as he wanted to do with the suit. Clark states that he'd like to finally tell the world that Superman is an alien. Lois counters that with all of the concern brought on by the pictures of the aliens on Apokolips, it might not be the best time, especially with Lex Luthor making such noise about it in public.

Lois discourages Clark from revealing he's an alien.

Lex meets with Lois' father, General Sam Lane, at LexCorp to discuss his public expressions on the lack of response by the military during Contact. Lex explains that the country needs to defend itself just as the Russians have now done by placing the Korolyov in orbit, that Lane needs to push through contracts with the Secretary of Defense to get the LexCorp Guardian orbital weapons platforms built. Lane admits the military believed the Russian station was just a privatized research lab and that there's a fear that weapons in space could easily be turned on the planet. Lex asks how Superman can be viewed as any less dangerous and what is the world to do if he decides to turn his back on it or prove a threat. Lane answers that as soon as he has cause, he will deal with Superman.

Clark and Lex - S11

Lex and Clark meet again.

Later, Clark buys a copy of the Daily Planet from a newsstand and runs into Lex. Lex says that he sold the company because the newspaper has become more tabloid than news source. Clark counters that his sister Tess ran the paper very well and Lex laments that she committed suicide. To Clark's surprise, Lex calls him by name and says that they were friends when they were younger. When Clark asks about the condition of his memory, Lex admits that he doesn't recall their friendship but saw various press clippings that featured the two of them in the past. From that, he feels their friendship must have been pretty significant. Lex tells Clark he's disappointed in the world he "came back" to and that he'd like to make it better. Clark lets him know that he's aware of the rumors about LexCorp's plans for space launches, impressing Luthor. An alarm

Tess appears to Lex

rings out, and as Lex turns to explain that Clark will just have to come to LexCorp's press conference to learn more, he finds that Clark has vanished. Someone mentions that Luthor has a talent for making people disappear. Somehow recognizing the voice, Lex finds Tess standing behind him.

Oliver fights off a group of crooks.

As an alarm blares at the Port of Metropolis, a crew of thieves raids a shipping container. An arrow zips through the air and slices through the bag of one of the thieves, spilling its contents. The crew looks up and atop a stack of containers is Green Arrow. They open fire as Arrow sommersaults into escape. Tracking after him, Arrow springs from behind some containers, firing bolts from dual crossbows that tangle one of the goons in a line between them. He dives behind a concrete Jersey barrier as the others approach, mentioning they are surpised to see the now married hero out fighting crime, and then mock Chloe, which enrages Oliver.


Clark saves Oliver.

Ollie nocks an arrow, calculates a trajectory, and fires it into the air. The crooks think he's missed until the arrow pops in the air and showers them with green stun pellets. He's surprised by one of the goons who has climbed on top of a stack of containers and trains an RPG launcher on the Emerald Archer. Before Ollie can react, the goon fires. Just before the RPG strikes him, Superman zips into the area and stands in front of it, shielding Ollie from the hit and the explosion.


Clark and Oliver after stopping the criminals.

Superman knocks the crew out and ties the bunch together around a pole. A short time after, Ollie and Clark, now in street clothes, watch as Metropolis PD comes by to apprehend the thieves. Ollie's a bit surprised Clark didn't stay in costume to greet the police, joking that Superman is "all about standing around, shaking hands, kissing babies..." As they walk off, Clark retorts that Superman has never kissed a baby. When Ollie asks if Clark Kent has, Clark mentions an exploding baby from his past. When Ollie exults about not having to experience such things when the Queens move to Star City, Clark expresses surprise that they haven't left yet. They were supposed to have left but the hold-up is on his wife, Ollie says.

Chloe and Lois notice a ship in the debris.

At Watchtower, a frazzled Chloe complains about the lack of speed of the computer as she attempts to access the databanks of the Korolyov. Lois comes by with coffee and asks wha`t has Chloe so stressed. She explains that she's trying to find out just what was the energy ribbon - or "rift," as she refers to it - that Clark saw in space. When Lois refers to her "forever-fiancé", Chloe apologizes for her Oliver being married while Clark and Lois have yet to be. Lois assures her that they will get married when the time is right, when the world is in less danger, Clark isn't trying to save it, and Lois isn't busy reporting on the danger and Clark's saving the day. Chloe commiserates, acknowledging how tough it is when Oliver is rebuilding Queen Industries while going out and being a hero, as she's busy taking care of Watchtower and setting up a similar hub in Star City while working her day job as a reporter for the Star City Gazette.

As Chloe thanks Lois for the coffee, the computer completes accessing the systems on the Korolyov. With the camera feeds now online, Chloe rewinds to the incident with the rift and the debris that smashed into the station. Lois and Chloe are both shocked to see something floating amongst the debris: a spaceship.


  • The title refers to LexCorp's Guardian orbital weapons platforms.
  • The title also refers to Superman being the protector of Metropolis and the Earth.
  • A guardian is one who guards, watches over, or protects. Also, one who is legally responsible for a person or property incapable of acting for or protecting themselves.


  • Superman's costume has changed since Finale, Part 2.
  • Lois and Clark live together at their apartment.
  • Chloe is referred to as "Chloe Sullivan-Queen". Chloe and Oliver were married in Fortune.
  • Lois mentions that her and Clark's wedding wasn't canceled but postponed. The two were set to marry in Finale, Part 1.
  • General Lane was last seen in Ambush.
  • The General was unable to attend Clark and Lois' wedding because of his role in the military keeping his focus on alien "contact."
  • With the help of press clippings, Lex knows of the friendship he once shared with Clark. Lex had his memories erased in Finale, Part 2.
  • Lex informs Clark that Tess Mercer "took her own life." Lex murdered Tess in Finale, Part 2.
  • Tess appears to Lex on the street. She was last seen in Finale, Part 2.
  • This marks the second time Tess has died in a season finale and resurfaced in the subsequent season premiere. She died in Salvation and woke up in Cadmus Labs in Lazarus. Following her death in Finale, Tess has resurfaced in Guardian. However, Tess' status remains unknown.
  • Clark mentions to Oliver the "exploding baby" that he and Lana found together in Ageless.


  • Lois uses a laptop from WayneTech. This is one of the many allusions to Batman threaded throughout the series.
  • The Newspaper and Coffee Vender who previously appeared in the episodes Infamous, Warrior, Sacrifice and Luthor, portrayed by Joe Maffei, is given the name Frank in this issue.
  • Clark saving the Russian cosmonants, is similar to Superman saving the cosmonants at the beginning of Superman IV:The Quest for Peace.

Variant Covers


  • In the TV series, Chloe worked for the Star City Register after she left Smallville. In Guardian, it was mentioned that Chloe worked for the Star City Gazette.
  • The name of the Russian space station is spelled Korolyov early in the story but spelled Korolyev on the Watchtower computer screen when Chloe is trying to access the camera databanks.
  • Though it was established that only one cosmonaut spoke English, another was seen thanking Superman in English, even though he had just been speaking to Superman in Russian.


  1. The Source: Announcing Smallville Season 11 DC Comics
  2. DC Comics Launches Smallville Season 11 TVGuide
  3. Batman, 'Smallville' lead DC Comics' digital charge USA Today

Previous Story:
Finale, Part 2 (TV Episode)
Next Story:
Smallville: Season 11 #2
EpisodesSeason 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6 · 7 · 8 · 9 · 10

Minor CharactersSeason 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6 · 7 · 8 · 9 · 10

Screencaps: Season 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6 · 7 · 8 · 9 · 10

CategoriesMain Characters · Relationships · Villains

ComicsThe Comic · Season 11 (Guardian · Detective · Haunted · Argo · Olympus · Alien · Lantern · Chaos · Continuity · TBA  
  Specials: Effigy · Valkyrie · Hollow · Titans · Harbinger)

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