One Major Superman Power Clark Developed Off-Screen

Smallville’s Clark usually developed his abilities one by one every season, but one major power was cut and later added to his arsenal off-screen.

Smallville typically devoted entire episodes to Clark (Tom Welling) getting his Superman powers, but one ability in particular was cut and added to his arsenal off-screen. Fans never got to see Clark learn his freezing breath power, which is a power that he often used to save lives and fight villains in DC Comics.

Clark getting his powers one at a time became a bit of a tradition for the Superman prequel series. When the show started, Clark only had access to his super strength and speed, but as the series progressed, his power set lined up more closely with the Big Blue Boy Scout from the comics, movies, and cartoons. Over the course of the first three seasons, Clark picked up his X-ray vision, heat-ray vision, and super hearing. In a season 6 episode, Clark acquired his super breath, which is his ability to blow powerful gusts of wind from his mouth. Arguably his most iconic ability – flight – eluded him throughout the series, but was finally dealt with at the end of the final season.

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Another classic Superman power Clark had in Smallville was his ice breath (also known as arctic breath), which he used a few times in seasons 9 and 10. But the show never revealed how he learned it. That being said, the series did originally plan to do an episode about it earlier in its run. According to an official companion book, the plan was for Smallville season 4 to continue the trend set by the first three seasons and give Clark his freezing breath. Titled “Cold”, the episode would have seen Clark develop a cold, with one of the side effects being that Clark would have accidentally frozen objects with his sneezes.

If that plot sounds familiar, that’s because the scrapped episode plan was eventually retooled into Smallville season 6’s “Sneeze”. The big difference is that the freezing breath was swapped for super breath. When Clark sneezed, he blew the door off his barn and caused other humorous accidents, until some advice from Chloe (Allison Mack) helped him gained control over it. Clark figured out that the amount of air he could produce from his lungs was strong enough to cause all sorts of effects, including blowing out fires and clearing up the weather.

It’s not clear why “Cold” was cut, but it’s likely that season 4 just didn’t have room for it, and that it was decided later that super breath and the ice breath didn’t each need their own individual episodes. Regardless of the reason, it’s disappointing that Smallville didn’t give the freezing breath the same introduction and level of focus that it gave his super hearing, x-ray vision, and heat-ray vision. Since Smallville was a coming-of-age story about Clark becoming Superman, one of the most fun parts of the series was watching him adjust to each of his abilities, one by one. Instead, fans just had to assume that Clark somehow discovered a variation of his super breath on his own time.

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