While we hope and pray that the rumor about Darkseid appearing in the next season of Smallville has no basis in truth whatsoever, the fact that the makers of the CW's most frustrating hour of television have already made Brainiac into a schoolteacher points towards it being real with the Source's very own flaming finger of fate. But is there a way to put the personification of pure evil (and probable inspiration for Darth Vader) into Smallville without it sucking? We look at the possibilities and spoil you some more under the jump.While Smallville has a long and shameful history of taking classic DC characters and, well, screwing them up - Brainiac, anyone? Zod? - it doesn't necessarily have to be that way. Sure, the show may not have the flamboyance or budget to bring Darkseid to the screen in the way that we'd all want to see him, but that doesn't mean that they can't come up with a version that doesn't make fans run screaming from their televisions. This is how we'd do it: Steal from today's comics. Okay, actually from a couple of months' ago, but it's close enough. As part of the opening of Final Crisis (and, actually, in the Mister Miracle series from a few years back), Darkseid is shown as "hiding" in human bodies. Sure, his godlike presence tends to cause them to burn out very quickly, requiring a lot of replacements, but a succession of threatening guest-stars is probably cheaper than having someone come up with a believable way of bringing his traditional stony-faced, purple-clad look to the small screen. Keep him lowkey. More than even Lex Luthor, Darkseid doesn't get his hands dirty; he has an endless supply of minions to do all the messy jobs for him, and they'll all happily die for him. But when it comes time for the inevitable showdown, remember that he's no slouch when it comes to either a fight or melodramatic rhetoric when either are absolutely necessary.
Remember that Darkseid thinks big, but acts small. The basic idea of Darkseid is very, very simple: He wants to eradicate all free will in the universe, and replace it with his will, and there's something on Earth that will make that possible. So, if he does appear on Smallville? He'd better not be someone who falls for Chloe and then decides to get even when she decides that she'd rather hang with Jimmy, is all I'm saying. But don't take that to mean that he's all about the grand gestures; Darkseid prefers to do things so that no-one notices. Like Final Crisis's kidnapped children, or Forever People's funpark that doubles as a torture chamber. He's creepier and more meticulous than most Smallville villains - and in a genuine way, not a Lionel Luthor smiles to himself while drinking a glass of whiskey kind of way.
There is, to be honest, no reason why Darkseid couldn't work well on the small screen - His methods and, thanks to Final Crisis, disguises are well within network budgets, after all. But what worries us more than anything else is the almost inevitably bad decisions made by Smallville's producers and writers when it comes to coming up with ways of bringing fan-favorites into their show (turning unstoppable monster Doomsday into a hunky medic, for example?). So much so, in fact, that it's almost a given that, if we do see Darkseid come up against a young Clark Kent, he'll have become a goth teenager working at McDonalds who has a crush on Lois and likes to wear a lot of black while sneering at everyone. Consider this a challenge, Smallville staffers: Give us something approaching the real Darkseid: A new god worth Superman's time - and our own.