The 5th Annual “Smallville SuperFest” took place, in Plano, Illinois, on August 18-21, 2016. It featured music, games, and attractions for Superman (and comic book) fans of all ages.
Brad Gardner explained the attendance of last year’s Smallville SuperFest, “[Attendance for last year’s Smallville SuperFest]…was in the thousands, I know. Between [10,000] and 15,000. It was a lot…a lot of people,” and is what he expected. To calculate the attendance, “We just, sort of, see how full the street gets,” said Gardner, who explained his role in this year’s Smallville SuperFest, “My [main job] is a lot of the graphics, that you see around…the Smallville SuperFest posters, and flyers, banners, and things like that. That’s my work.” Gardner became involved with Smallville SuperFest, “When they were first making [‘Man of Steel’], here, in 2011, there were a whole bunch of us that were walking around town, taking pictures of all the Warner Brothers sets. [We were] kind of fascinated with it, and everybody was [calling themselves] the paparazzi, or the ‘Super’-azzi. It was kind of a Facebook thing; we were all posting our pictures on Facebook. [There were] tons, and tons, and tons of pictures, on Facebook, and Mayor Bob Hausler got on Facebook, with us, and he [said], ‘Why don’t we have a meeting, and decide if we want to do a festival, and, what do we call it?’ So, we had a meeting, and we said, ‘Yeah, let’s do it’, and, we decided, we haven’t had a festival, or any kind of a carnival, or anything, going on, in Plano, in years…let’s bring it back.”
“I would say, [we will get] at least the same [attendance], if not [15,000], maybe [20,000 people]. [We’ve] got a bunch of people, in costume, here, right now. [We’ve] got Superman, of course, we’ve got The Flash, Supergirl, Catwoman, Wonder Woman…a whole bunch of [them],” said Gardner, “I think it’s just the draw, of Smallville…we get a lot of people, who are superhero nuts, and they like to come to [events], like this. We’ve got [Superboy], that comes up from St. Louis, every year, and he’s a big attraction…he always has been…he’s a really nice guy…he’s great with little kids…he’s got a great costume, and little kids look at him with the big eyes…he’s really nice to them…[and] relates well [to] them. So, that’s one thing. The Flag Wall, is always one thing. We have had some pretty good music…[we’re] trying to make it better and better, every year.”
“This year, we have the carnival going, too, and that’s the first [year], for the carnival,” said Gardner, “We’re looking at, possibly, better bands…we were getting the bands to come to [Smallville SuperFest], through the [Smallville] SuperFest Committee, and we had one person, who would get all the bands lined up. Once we got a Beer Tent, which was operated by Q-Bar, which is in town, here, they wanted to take charge of hiring their own bands, and we said, ‘Sure, go for it.’ So, they got [a better caliber] of bands to play, and [from] what I heard [on Friday], they were really good. The two bands [that were playing on Friday] were country bands…[they] were awesome. We’re even thinking about going with [bands that are] bigger, next year…we don’t know yet. It’s a big secret.”
“We had a lot of [events], geared towards the [kids]. We’ve got a Kryptonite Jello Eating Contest; you have to eat the Jello through a straw… we had a bunch of kids [participating]…it was just something for fun,” said Gardner, “We just have little booths, where they can putt a ball into a cup, or they can throw a dart…and try to win some prizes…just little, inexpensive prizes.”
Gardner explained how Smallville SuperFest is advertised, each year, “[We publicized this year’s Smallville SuperFest] pretty much the same [way] as we [publicized it] last year; we’ve got some radio spots, we have newspaper…local papers, and just some posters…we kind of keep it local. We put up a lot of pictures, from past [festivals]…this is our 5th [festival], so [we’ve got] tons, and tons, of pictures. We have the Smallville Museum, as a site. Smallville SuperFest has a site. [Facebook is] a great tool…a great thing.” Gardner explained the most effective advertising avenue, “Facebook, and some of the posters…we put posters all around a lot of the businesses.”
“[The Smallville SuperFest posters have] sort of…evolved, a little bit, but not a whole lot; we had the picture of the downtown area, prominently featuring the water tower, and it says ‘Smallville’ on it, and we have modified that, just a little bit, every year. Last year, we said, ‘That’s pretty much the way we want it to be.’ So, we left it like that. We didn’t change much,” said Gardner.
Gardner explained the easiest, and most challenging, aspects of planning Smallville SuperFest, this year, “Going to meetings, once a month, setting up committees, to take care of certain aspects of [the festival]…those were both the easiest, and the most difficult.”
The City of Plano takes care of some of the responsibilities of Smallville SuperFest, “[Smallville SuperFest is] now a [not-for-profit] organization…Plano does help us out, because we [have the festival] downtown, and they’re great, and they offer police protection…[which is] police, all over the place, which is nice, in case there’s a problem. They have helped us with things, like trash pickup, water, electricity…they have allowed us to shut down the streets…you can imagine that we have to have insurance, for [Smallville SuperFest]. So, the City of Plano works with us, to do this,” said Gardner.
“We’re always [in need of] volunteers. The Committee changes; but we’ve got some great new members,” said Gardner, “We ask around…it’s a small town…[if] we’re talking [with] somebody, at the bowling alley, for instance, or, at the library…’Oh, are you involved with [Smallville] SuperFest?’…’How do I get involved?’ or ‘Do you need more help?’ or ‘Would you like to be involved?’…give and take…people [talking] to people.” Anyone who is interested in volunteering for Smallville SuperFest, “[Can] talk to anyone of the Smallville [SuperFest Committee] members; we do have a [website]…smallvillesuperfest.com…they could go on that. It’s a small town, [and] if you ask anybody, they’d be able to help, to help steer you to [one] of the members [of the Smallville SuperFest Committee]. We usually have a meeting…the third Thursday, of every month…sometimes it’s at the library, and sometimes it’s somewhere else,” said Gardner.
There are several committees, which help to run Smallville SuperFest, each year, “We have advertising…people that are responsible for recruiting vendors [for Smallville SuperFest], we have the Logistics Committee, people that get sponsors, and advertising, we have financial committees…it works out pretty well,” said Gardner, “Advertising would be people that would be writing up ads, or writing out the wordage that would go on a poster, or a flyer, we sort of overlap, a little bit, because it’s a very small organization…maybe [copy] for radio ads, [Nikki] Diaz does a lot of that…she’s pretty good at it. I’ve helped out with some of the wordage, on various [publications]. Vendors…somebody is in charge of contacting people, who have booths here, and we’re trying to get [returning] people. The word [about Smallville SuperFest] gets out…there are people, in our group, that are responsible for that. There are people, who are responsible, for contacting local businesses, to try to stir up [sponsorship], and get…money, to do this and that. We have [sponsors], for the Parade, for instance, we have sponsors [for] the band, we have sponsors for the Beer Tent, who happen to be the same, as the bands, which is nice. We have a sponsor for the Petting Zoo, for this, and for that, and the other things.”
Gardner explained what occurs at the Smallville SuperFest Committee meetings, “Somebody will come up with an idea, and we’ll talk it over. We’ll [discuss the idea]…it gets [discussed], back-and-forth…if the majority of [the] people seem to like [a] particular idea, we’ll say, ‘Let’s do that’…usually, we take a vote.”
“With the addition, of the carnival, and we’ve had the carnival here, on two different occasions, this is big, for us, because we did not have the carnival before, so, ticket sales, for the rides…we do get a percentage of the ticket sales, for the rides…that does generate quite a bit more money. This year, for instance, we were able to get the Petting Zoo…we’re trying to get [attractions] for more small children…younger kids. We’re trying to gear [Smallville SuperFest] more towards families, with kids, make it more accessible, and fun, for the kids…more stuff to do,” said Gardner, “[Money to fund Smallville SuperFest was] generated, from the two carnivals, for one, and sponsorship, from another, mostly. We do charge, for booths…we have pretty [inexpensive] prices, for the vendor booths. If you want to sell T-shirts, it doesn’t cost that much, to get a booth.” “[Valley West Community Hospital]…they were a big contributor. Plano Molding [Synergy]…some of the other local businesses, one of the liquor stores, I think, help out with it. Q-Bar has helped out, quite a bit. I think, a couple of the car dealerships, around, have helped out with it,” said Gardner, “We have [T-shirt sales, and] other kinds of things, that we sold [at] our Information Booth…that’s probably the biggest revenue, right there.”
Gardner explained the ticket prices for the Zipline, and Euro-Bungee, at Smallville SuperFest, this year, “I think it was $8, apiece, and two for [$15]. I think the people [who bring the attractions] are the ones that recommend how much the tickets are.”
“[Plans for future Super Cut-Outs are] a secret. I’m thinking about it; I’m the one that did the Cut-Outs, and I’m thinking about it. I [have] an idea for one, that I might do this winter. I’m thinking…I [have] an idea, but we’re [going to], probably, add, maybe, a character, or two. We’ll see,” said Gardner, “This started out, being about Superman, in the ‘Man of Steel’, because, that’s what was filmed in Plano. Now, the Superman movie has expanded into more characters…[there are possible new characters] that I’m thinking of doing.” “I get a big kick out of the little bitty [children]…the little 1-year-olds, and the 2-year-olds, trying to stick their head up, over the top [of the Super Cut-Outs]. Some of [them] have mom, or just a big sister, holding them up, so they can stick their head over [the top]…I get a big kick out of it. Teenagers, grownups…the families, with little kids, are stopping more often [at the Super Cut-Outs], with the little children [participating in the Super Cut-Outs]. It makes me feel good, to see that happen,” said Gardner.
There were several bands, as well as food vendors, at Smallville SuperFest, this year, “[We had] two really good country bands,” said Gardner, “[We have] three or four of [them], the same, as usual; we do have a new hot dog stand…and they’re pretty good hot dogs, too.”
Carolyn Geraci, of Servpro of Kendall County, initially heard about Smallville SuperFest because, “I’m from the [local] area; I live in Yorkville. So, I’ve been coming to [Smallville SuperFest], for a couple of years, and, because the company [that] I work for…is part of [the Plano Chamber], we wanted to help out.” Geraci explained what was involved, in planning her booth at Smallville SuperFest, this year, “[Our visit to Smallville SuperFest, this year] didn’t take a lot of planning, on our part; it was very easy. The people, in general, that come to [Smallville SuperFest] are…very friendly, and nice. We enjoy [being at Smallville SuperFest]…we’ve seen, probably, 10 [people], so far, and we’ve only been here, [for] 10 minutes, and now, that the rain cleared up, and that the sun is coming out, it certainly looks like a lot more people have joined us.”
“[Visitors to our booth consist of] all ages, whether it’s young, or adults, that just want to sit, and relax, and paint. To go with the theme of [Smallville] SuperFest, [we] are doing a lot of Superman, and Batman [painting],” said Kelly Browning, of ‘Arts On Fire’, “I’ve always known about [Smallville SuperFest], ever since it started, and I’ve always come, every year.”
“We had to set up [an] air-conditioned tent, [which probably was] the biggest factor. So, we had to order a new tent, and set it all up, and then, get set up to have half of it as an air-conditioned tent, where we all could be, for the festival. So, [if festival attendees] get too [warm], they can come in, and sit down, and have a cold drink of water, and get cooled off,” said Matt Jackson, of MJ Mechanical, who became “…involved, because of our neighbor…[we] were talking about [Smallville SuperFest]. We were volunteering, last year, then we decided to put up a booth, and a cooling tent.”
“Director Ralph [Torres] was involved, in [our attendance at Smallville SuperFest this year]. He’s the president of our group,” said Robert Lawrence, of the American Legion Riders. Lawrence became involved in Smallville SuperFest because, “We’re local people…[located] in Sandwich, [Illinois]. We…got a booth. We were invited, to come down, and participate in [Smallville SuperFest].” “We’re trying to promote…help [to] veterans. All of our fundraising events…all of our proceeds…we try to help [all] local veterans, and even worldwide veterans, and, also, our biggest event, is the Legacy Fund. [The] Legacy Fund…all [the proceeds] go to [people], who are in the military, who are deceased, for their children, to attend college,” said Lawrence, “[We have been at Smallville SuperFest for] 3 [years].” Lawrence expects to see “Probably [2,000] to 3,000 [people at our booth this year]. A lot of people [visit our booth], out of curiosity, [wanting] to know what our group is all about, and what we do for people. People come by, especially veterans, and veterans’ families. [They] make donations, [because] they know the [money is going to go] to the veterans.”
“We’ve had [customers], as young, as a 2-year-old…all the way up to seniors…[who] come, and get information,” said Dain Conway, of Jamberry, who initally heard about Smallville SuperFest because, “I live in Plano…we moved [to Plano] about 4 years ago, which is just about the same time [as] the first [Smallville] SuperFest.”
“We have a [game], where the kids can give us a token, and then they get [a frozen treat],” said Marlene Andoe, of the First Baptist Church booth. Andoe initially heard about Smallville SuperFest because, “[The people filming the ‘Man of Steel’ were] looking at our church…when the movie was [being filmed],” and became involved with Smallville SuperFest “Through the church…they asked for volunteers.”
“We have the birdies, that have to go through a little net, or get stuck in the net, to earn a prize…and the prizes [are] candy [or other items],” said Omar Espinosa, who is “…helping out through St. Mary’s Catholic Church.” Espinosa became involved with Smallville SuperFest because “We live in Plano,” and expects “Maybe 50 people [at his booth], but hopefully more.”
“[Participants] just walk around; they purchase tokens…it’s one token, per game, per try, which is a quarter…30 for $5…[it] keeps the [festival] going…Saturday’s a big…day, for kids,” said Yvonne Needham-Gibson, of the American Legion Auxiliary, “[The booths are donated] for free. [The Smallville] SuperFest Board makes them, builds them, brings them down, [and] sets them up. We purchase the toys [that] we hand out. Some people hand out candy; we chose some toys. The [Smallville] SuperFest Committee made all of [the booths that are at Smallville SuperFest this year], and all of the [not-for-profit] organizations are allowed to run [them]. We run [the booths]…we supply the prizes. We keep the tokens, [and] turn [them] in, for a .0025 donation, back. We can either donate [that] back, to [Smallville] SuperFest…we have chosen to donate ours, back, to the…fund for all [of] the disabled veterans.” “We’re glad [the Smallville] SuperFest Committee does all this work. They really work hard, all year,” said Needham-Gibson.
“[The titles for each day of Smallville SuperFest are] one of those [ideas] we [discuss] at the meetings, and we like to have some kind of a ‘theme’ going on, and in our brochures, and time schedules. It’s [kind of] nice, to set aside, certain different things…[for Plano Pride Friday]…they have a football game [going on], so…they have Plano Pride…to tie in, with the school, and get the kids involved, here, too. Also…we gave awards out, to some of the police members, that have done [an] outstanding job…put their life, on the line, for some of our [residents]…somebody broke into a burning house, [and] saved a [child] and a [mother]. Things like that…that are above, and beyond…those are heroes, those are real heroes. So, we try to have a superhero recognition, that’s kind of part of the being proud, what’s going on [in Plano]. [Saturday] is [Super Hero Day]. Superheroes, basically…I think we called it that, because we’ve got the cosplay people here, today…[we’ve] got a bunch of people dressed up like Wonder Woman, and the characters…basically, that’s what that’s about. We’ve got a couple more people, that we’re going to recognize, [on Sunday], at the Closing [Ceremonies]…and the Parade, and all that stuff, too…so, it’s all [part of Public Service Recognition Day],” said Gardner.
This year’s Smallville SuperFest featured a series of attractions, including the A&A Amusement Carnival. “[Nikki Diaz was] involved with [the A&A Amusement Carnival]. I know [Nikki] did a lot of research on it, and they seem to be pretty good. [They had good rides]; they seem to [have] modern [rides and attractions]. They [seemed like] great folks. [The A&A Amusement Carnival is] one of those ideas we’ve [discussed], and somebody says, ‘Oh, I know where we can get a carnival’, and, we wanted to, somehow, make our festival a little bigger, and a little more exciting, and a little [bit] more [of] a draw, for people, and just have more fun…and, a carnival…how can you not have fun, at a carnival? So, we jumped on that [idea]. The carnival [went from] Thursday, until Sunday. The rides…I think they sell tickets, for $1, a ticket; each ride takes so many tickets, or you can get wristbands, for [a] day…I think, also, they had [a deal], available, a whole weekend pass,” said Gardner, “I saw a lot of families with young kids…the kids were [anywhere] from 2 years old, to strollers, to teenagers…young teenagers.” Gardner explained the possibility of having the A&A Amusement Carnival, at Smallville SuperFest, next year, “We don’t know, at this point, but it sounds probable…I will say, most likely. If they are satisfied with the results [of the A&A Amusement Carnival], and want to come back, I don’t see why we wouldn’t have [the A&A Amusement Carnival] back.” “Well, this is our first year, to have a carnival, at our event. We’ve always wanted to make the event bigger and better, and the [carnival is] allowing us to do that. By having a carnival, we were able to generate more funds, to do other things, at the event, so, it’s part of the process, to make Smallville SuperFest bigger, better, and more attractive, for people to come [to],” said Mayor Bob Hausler, who is the “Mayor of the City of Plano, otherwise known as Smallville, U.S.A.” Mayor Hausler became involved with Smallville SuperFest, “Back, 5 years ago…really, about 6 years ago, I formed a committee, and the committee started the festival of Smallville [SuperFest], 5 years ago.” “We had to figure out an area [that]…would be suitable, for the carnival, and that, and go through the logistics of how the traffic flow was going to be, and to, also, work with the carnival, as far as the [division] of the [revenue], and to get that extra funding for [Smallville] SuperFest.” “I think, [depending on the weather], we will have several thousand, that will attend the carnival. We also had a carnival, [through] the same company…we had a carnival, back in May, of , which was the first time, for that, too, and it was also to generate funds for…[Smallville] SuperFest,” said Mayor Hausler, “We are planning on [having the Carnival], again, next year, and, hopefully, we’ll generate enough funds, to be able to do more things at [Smallville] SuperFest.”
Another attraction was the Batmobile, “The Batmobile, we rented from [the Volo Auto Museum]…it’s one of 12 replicas of the Batmobile, which is the 1966 version…that was on the Adam West Batman TV show. It’s one of 12…[I] heard it was a 1961 Lincoln experimental car, and [a gentleman], out of California, I believe, made the first one. He made a whole lot of those crazy cars…he did the Munster-Mobile, a couple of different Munster-Mobiles, a variety of other customized [items],” said Gardner. “The Batmobile was brought in, from the Volo Car Museum, in Volo, Illinois. The Batmobile, that we have, is actually a replica, of one of the original Batmobiles, that they have up there, on display. This one is a replica that the Museum rents out, for different events,” said Mayor Hausler. There were also DC Character Appearances, “That’s new this year,” said Mayor Hausler.
There was also a Beer Tent. “[We were] working with the Q-Bar, to make sure, that, for the safety of our citizens, and that, and security, so [that] there’s no underage drinking. Our whole mission, of Smallville SuperFest, is to have a [family-oriented] event, so we want anything that involves any alcohol to be strictly limited to [people who are] over 21 [years of age],” said Mayor Hausler.
The Smallville Museum was also a part of this year’s Smallville SuperFest. “The [Smallville Museum] hours are the same; we have changed some of the displays, and added some new features, for it, to the Museum. If you [have] seen the display on the windows, that was new this year. It’s a pretty neat attraction, too, the [Smallville] Museum,” said Mayor Hausler, “…in the Museum, right now, [are] our props, from the buildings that were destroyed. We have props, from the train, that went through the Sears building, we have the gas pumps, that exploded, in the beginning of the fight scene. [Also], the new display…is actually the story of the ‘Battle of Smallville’, and, so, I think [that] anyone that appreciates the story of Superman [will] really like the way that we have that displayed. [The current Museum props will] be in there, for, probably, several months, and then, we’ll rotate things around. That new display, that I mentioned…it’s a permanent display, that won’t change.”
“The last time I checked in our guestbook, we had visitors from 7 different countries, and 28 different states,” said Mayor Hausler, “[The feedback from the Museum has] been positive feedback; the people that have come, and looked around [the Museum]…they write comments in our sign-in book, our guestbook, and most of the comments are all very positive, and are happy that we have the Museum the way it is.” There are additional train stops planned, in future years, “There has been progress. The state has released the funding for that. So, eventually, hopefully, this time next year, we will have 4 additional stops, and that line [will] go from the Quad Cities, to Chicago,” said Mayor Hausler.
This year’s Smallville SuperFest also included Cruise Night, “Cruise Night was an event that we had on Main Street. That was [run by] a group, that organizes those types of events, and invites people with their vintage automobiles, and trucks, to come in, and have [them] park along the street, for our guests to see,” said Mayor Hausler. There was also a Bike Safety Rodeo, “The Bike Safety Rodeo is something that our police department does. They set up a mini town, with streets, and then they teach our young bike riders the safety aspects of riding a bike,” said Mayor Hausler. Smallville SuperFest began with a Boy Scout Community Breakfast, on Sunday morning, “That’s something that our Boy Scout troop volunteered to do; they do that, as a fundraiser. They cook the breakfast, and then serve it. It’s a [really] nice community event,” said Mayor Hausler. Fishing with the Mayor was also at Smallville SuperFest, this year, “[Fishing with the Mayor is] an event that I have been doing for several years now. We invite families, whether it be the mom and dad, and their kids, or…grandparents and grandchildren. We invite [them] to our Foli Park, [which] has a fairly good-sized lake, [at which] we have fishing. We provide all the equipment. The adults don’t need any type of a license; we get a waiver, from the state, for that. The kids get nice prizes, and, something that just encourages kids…a lot of times, they catch their first fish there, so it’s really a neat time,” said Mayor Hausler.
There were also Old-Fashioned Carnival Games: “The Old-Fashioned Carnival Games were added, I believe…2 years ago. This is, I think, the 3rd year. This was an idea, that was given to us by one of our [former Smallville SuperFest] Committee members, and it’s been carried on [for] the last…this will be the 3rd year. It’s old-time carnival games, basically, and each booth is operated by one of our [not-for-profit] organizations, in town, whether it be a church, or another [not-for-profit], where it gives them an opportunity to have a presence at [Smallville] SuperFest, but also, generate a little bit of revenue, too,” said Mayor Hausler, who also explained the Villain’s Jail, “The Villain’s Jail…our local Rural King store sponsors that. It’s really a nice feature; they’ve been doing that, for several years now, and it’s another way to generate funds for our [not-for-profit organizations].” Crowe’s Auto Car Show was also at Smallville SuperFest, “That is a car show…Crowe’s is one of our local automotive repair shops. They organize that car show. It’s really a nice feature, for our downtown, [on Saturday]. It’s something additional, to attract families, to our downtown, here,” said Mayor Hausler. Sherry’s Café Pancake Eating Contest, Mayor Hausler explained, was another event, “Sherry’s Café is one of our local restaurants, in our downtown. They have this pancake eating contest, and that’s another one…it’s kind of an old-time type event, but it’s something that’s to attract more people, toward our downtown, also, to [feature] their restaurant, as far as their participation, in [Smallville] SuperFest.” There was also a Kryptonite Jello Eating Contest, “That’s something, that was an idea that one of our Board members came up with, several years ago, and we’ve been doing that for several years. It’s kind of a fun-type thing that we do…we usually do that, [on Sunday] before our closing ceremonies,” said Mayor Hausler.
There was a Zipline, “The Zipline…that’s an original event. [This will] be the 5th year, for the Zipline. We’ve always said that, ‘Smallville SuperFest: we had Superman flying down our Main Street, and we’d like to let everyone know that experience,” said Mayor Hausler. The Euro-Bungee returned, “The Euro-Bungee is another popular…ride, that our residents enjoy. It’s kind of jumping around, on…bungee cords, that rotate around. It’s kind of a unique ride…I think our residents enjoy [the Euro-Bungee],” said Mayor Hausler. There was a Twisted Mister Balloon Artist, “That person is a resident, in the city, and he really makes some unique designs, with balloons…I’d welcome anyone, to come visit us, and see the unique animals that he [makes],” said Mayor Hausler, who also explained the Extrication Demo, “That will be held, in our west parking lot, and we’ll have our local fire department…do that demonstration. That will be held [on Sunday].”
There was a Multi-Denominational Worship Service, “That will be [on Sunday], also. We have that ceremony; [in one of the parks] in close proximity, to the Main Street area, and to the festival area. We have several of our churches, that participate in it…it’s a service,” said Mayor Hausler. There was a Bluegrass Session, “We have several local residents, that are members of different bluegrass bands, and they have organized that event. It is a really nice event,” said Mayor Hausler. A Fire Truck Demo, and Touch-A-Truck, also took place, “That’s something that we do, after the Parade. We have several of those vehicles, in the Parade, and then, as they go through the downtown, they peel off, where most of our residents are, and most of the visitors to the city are, and those vehicles, that are Touch-A-Truck participants…they will be parked, and then, the children, and the grandchildren, parents and grandparents, can go over, and actually touch the trucks,” said Mayor Hausler, who also explained the Ice Cream Social, “The Ice Cream Social will be [on Sunday], and we’ve been doing that event…I believe this is the 3rd year, for that. That’s another idea, from one of our [Smallville SuperFest] Committee members, and we feel that that’s something to bring back the older, more vintage-type feel for [the] festival…make it more [family-oriented].”
The Smallville SuperFest Parade took place on Sunday, “The [Smallville SuperFest] Parade…that’s another event, that we’re trying to make bigger and better, and, [with] the extra funds, that we were able to generate, we have been able to add some things, that were actually paid for, through the [Smallville] SuperFest Committee. We’re having the Shriners, in the little cars…that’s something that we actually had to pay for. Then, we have other vehicles, and attractions to the Parade, that, I think, a lot of our residents will enjoy,” said Mayor Hausler. A Costume Contest also took place, “[The] Costume Contest…we’ve been doing that, since the start of [Smallville SuperFest]…5 years now. Before our closing ceremonies, we have people, that would like to dress up in different costumes…they don’t have to be superheroes…they can be villains, also. We encourage people to do that…[and] dress up…and then, they’re awarded prizes, for the best costume,” said Mayor Hausler.
This year’s Smallville SuperFest also featured multiple people in costume. Charlee Soffer, who volunteers as Superboy, and Superman, became involved with Smallville SuperFest when, “I found out about the festival in 2012, and I heard that there was no one [available] to be in costume, to volunteer to take pictures, and I wanted to come by, to make sure there was.” Soffer explained how he initially became a Superman fan, “I first got into Superman in ‘Smallville’, from watching Christopher Reeve, as a boy. I also remember, around that same age, [that] I had a pair of Superman pajamas, and that was really big fun for me. Later on, [during] my middle school [and] high school days, that’s when I found out about the [TV] show, ‘Smallville’, and I started watching it [again] on television, and [that] was a lot of fun for me, seeing a different view of the story, and how it related to a more modern [take]. I’ve been a fan [all my] life; I just love it to death.” “I grew up, with Superman, as a child, and then I [kind of] got away from it in my [teenage years], and then, when the ‘Smallville’ [TV] show was probably halfway through [the entire] series, I started [watching the previous episodes that I had missed], and I just kind of fell in love [with it] all over again, and started getting back into everything, once again,” said Colleen Egan, who had multiple roles, in Smallville SuperFest, this year, “[Sunday], I was Lana Lang, as I was 5 years ago. [However], today, the costume is a little bit modified. So, instead of being a cheerleader, I’m now a soccer player, and a field hockey player, [while] still wearing the school uniform.” Egan became involved with Smallville SuperFest because, “Mister Charlee Soffer [asked] me, 5 years ago, when we met, at a different convention. He was coming [to Smallville SuperFest], he was volunteering his time to be Superboy, for the very first [Smallville SuperFest], and the first time we had met, he had asked me if I would join him as Lana Lang, because he just [had] noticed that I had red hair, and would make a good Lana Lang, and I said, ‘[Well], that sounds like fun.”
“[Two favorite characters, in my family, are Batman and Superman]. So, I was just [kind of] brought into it,” said Elijah Cann, who “…generally, [helps] volunteer, a lot. I’ve helped, almost every year, with the kids’ booths, that we set up, for games…I was helping [to] build those. I’m just helping [with Smallville SuperFest’s] character meet and greets.” Elijah initally became involved with Smallville SuperFest because, “My mom, actually, loves to take pictures, and we were taking a lot of pictures of the ‘Man of Steel’ movie, and we ended up getting in a group, that [consisted] of [Nikki Diaz], and a bunch of other people, that wanted to start [Smallville SuperFest], and that’s how I [became involved in it].” Elijah became interested in his character because, “I dress up, in cosplay, as Green Arrow, and I like most superheroes, because most of them…are an underdog story, and I always enjoy those.” “My dad was always [very much into the superheroes], as was my mom, so we just kind of grew up watching all the superhero stuff,” said Olivia Morris, who, “Just like [Elijah], I helped volunteer, a little bit, setting up the kids’ [attractions], and just cosplaying.” Olivia became involved in Smallville SuperFest because “[Elijah] brought me.” “I’m Felicity Smoak, [because] it kind of goes along with his character, because the Green Arrow is Oliver Queen, and Felicity Smoak is, like, a character he’s with, in the TV shows,” said Olivia. “Just the [nostalgia] of the movie,” said Brenda Christensen, whose daughter has a Paparazzi jewelry booth. Her daughter initally found out about Smallville SuperFest online, and Christensen became involved with Smallville SuperFest “…By coming, and watching, the Water Fights, then, my daughter, having the booth.” “I’ve always watched Superman, growing up,” said Browning. “The [1970s/1980s Superman] movies,” said Espinosa.
Elijah explained his first memories of Superman, “I think one of my earliest memories is…Christopher Reeve’s version, of Superman. When I was little, my grandma ended getting me [a giant toy], that was as tall as I was, and I used to take [that toy] everywhere, and people used to think [that] it was…another person, until they saw [that] it was…a toy. I really loved that.” “My whole [family is] into [superheroes], so I’ve been watching it, for a long time,” said Olivia. “Watching it on TV…the Superman movie, on TV…Superman cartoons, and all [of] the characters, and stuff,” said Christensen. “I grew up with [George Reeves], when I was a kid,” said Geraci, “…sitting in front of the…10-inch TV, and we thought it was an IMAX. It was fun, and of course, it was in black-and-white. It was just fun…you were glued, to [Adventures of Superman]; you didn’t miss it.” “The movies that came out in the [1980s],” said Browning. “Probably, back, when I was a child…back in the [1950s],” said Jackson. “[My earliest memories of Superman are] back from, probably, the first Superman movie, back in the…[1970s]. It’s been around [my] whole life,” said Conway.
“I think the two men that created [Superman]…they were immigrants, themselves, and, so many comics, of the time, were showing men going to strange places. It showed a strange person, going to a normal place, and it kind of shows that, not underdog, but just, outsider, kind of a feel. His real battles…he doesn’t really get challenged by other people; [his] morals, and values, are, themselves, challenged, instead,” said Elijah, as he explained why he thinks Superman appeals to so many people. “I think…maybe, because he’s just an average, everyday person, to other people, but he’s actually [Superman], too, so he gets to kind of see what it’s like to be a nobody, and to be everyone’s icon,” said Olivia. “Superman is a superhero; he saves people,” said Christensen. “I think the fact that [Superman] could relate to all [of] the kids, and he was not only, a superhero, but, he was just genuinely, a good person,” said Geraci, “I think he [comes] across, as genuinely being honest, and forthright, a truthful person, and one who is willing to help others. Isn’t that kind of what we look for, [and] try to aspire to, in ourselves?” “Superheroes, and comic book superheroes, in general…[are appealing],” said Browning.
Elijah explained his favorite Smallville episodes, “I love [the ‘Smallville’ TV show]. I would either say [that my favorite is] the first episode, or when he first gets the Red Kryptonite ring…because the Red Kryptonite ring episode shows how he could be a bad person, and how he isn’t choosing to be like that.” “I think the [episodes], with Green Arrow, are really cool. I really like the show,” said Olivia.
“My favorite Superman character…[is] the [1990s] Superboy, [because] I loved that he had that leather jacket, and the red [clothes]…I really like that. If I was [going to] go from the TV show, [it’d] be Green Arrow,” said Elijah. “[If going from the TV show], it’d probably be Green Arrow, or Superman…[it was] really cool. I’m big into all the superheroes, so… I don’t, necessarily, have a favorite, but I think they’re all really cool,” said Olivia.
If he could be any Superman character, “[I would be] Green Arrow, because…not just for the money, because he’s a billionaire, but, I love that he…he’s just an ordinary person, that [was] put through trials, that he chose to make better of, instead of just kind of giving in, and just, giving up. He chose to persevere through it, and, wanting to be that extra bit of good,” said Elijah. “I think Felicity Smoak would be a really cool character to play, because she’s just really tech-savvy, and just, she is who she is,” said Olivia.
“I really like Jason Todd, as [Robin]. I really like him; he didn’t always fit the regular [Robin],” said Elijah, of his favorite supporting characters. “I like Lois Lane, too…I think she’s really cool, and she helps Superman [to] be more human,” said Olivia.
“To go on the Marvel side of things, I would probably go with the ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’, but, [for a TV show], I would definitely go with ‘[Green] Arrow’,” said Elijah, of his favorite movie inspiration. “Well, I like the Superman ‘Man of Steel’, and [‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice’]. ‘Suicide Squad’ [is] also really good, too,” said Olivia. “‘Man of Steel’ is my favorite,” said Browning.
“I like Batman Incorporated…the whole series, of that…I really like [that],” said Elijah, of his favorite comic.
“[I would like to meet] the guy who played the [teenage] Clark Kent…he actually came [to Plano], and gave us the key that they used in the movie. He seemed like a really cool guy. So, I’d try to meet him,” said Elijah.
Soffer explained the inspiration, for his costume, this year, “This year, I had a lot of inspiration from more than one …for her Hawkgirl [costume], first off, obviously, [the] Legends of Tomorrow, I love Brandon Routh, but I don’t have an Atom costume. [In order to] still match [the Hawkgirl costume], I actually brought [the costume from] ‘Superman Returns’, so I could still technically be Brandon Routh, with Hawkgirl. So, that’s how I beat around the bush. I also brought my Henry Cavill Superman [costume]; I also brought my Christopher Reeve Superman [costume], which [I am wearing] right now. I also brought [my Nightwing costume] for the Batmobile, and, while this actually came as a surprise, and this is one of my favorite moments…[Saturday], I was honored to wear a George Reeves [Superman] costume, made by the legendary Keith Howard. Keith Howard is a superb George Reeves impersonator and expert. Not only did I get to wear [the] George [Reeves] suit in front of the Batmobile…to me, they [originate from] the same era…they should have had a TV special together…that was a very surprising highlight. It was a lot of fun.” “I have a Hawkgirl costume, and I wore that one [on Saturday]. I created [the Hawkgirl costume] new, this year. I did have the wings [for the costume] here, last year, and just [kind of] wore a basic black shirt. What inspired me to [portray] Hawkgirl was…we were at the Metropolis Superman SuperFest, and friends of ours had these gorgeous wings that expand out when you pull [cords in the costume], and I’ve always loved them, every time I see [our friends] wearing [them]. We were just standing there, talking about [the wings], and they said, ‘Well, we are selling this pair’, and I was like, ‘Really?’, And so, on the spot, I bought [the wings] that day. I had nothing to wear with them, but I bought them, and [then] I said, ‘Well, I guess I can be Hawkgirl; I can make a Hawkgirl costume.’ So, finally, this year, I came up with the Justice League Unlimited version of Hawkgirl, [in which she wore] a black and yellow costume, and, so, that inspired [my costume this year]. That inspired the costume for Hawkgirl, that I wore [to Smallville SuperFest] this year,” said Egan. “The [Green] Arrow TV show; [the costume I’m wearing] is the season one costume. I made the pants [for the costume], but the [jacket is] just kind of a leather jacket,” said Elijah. “The [Green] Arrow TV show, as well. Felicity Smoak…she, just, is very classy…[and] professional…so that’s what I did,” said Olivia.
“I made the pants [for] my costume, and then, the jacket was from a costume that I used, but…the pants were getting [bad], so I had to remake the pants,” said Elijah. “I bought mine; I didn’t make any of it,” said Olivia.
Soffer explained how people reacted to his costume this year, “The reaction I was nervous about the most was…[the] George Reeves costume, because, not only have [I] never worn it before, but I feel [that] I haven’t done enough research to actually try to stay in character. I love George to death; I just haven’t seen as much of his work, so, I was little nervous, but a lot of people said [that] I did very well. They loved the suit, and I know that he posed with a very high waist, and he had his shoulders up really high, so [I] always tried to stay with the [barreled] chest, and it’s a little hard, because I’m not barrel-chested, but I got a really good reception from it, and a lot of people recognize it as [being] from the TV series, so, it was a lot of fun. My second favorite was probably when I put on Nightwing, to the Batmobile, because [half of them were] like, ‘Um, who are you?’, and, after I explained it, they were all crazy about it…people get curious about cosplay…so it makes it fun.” “This is [kind of] similar to the past; they always have expected Lana…some variation of Lana, the costume has changed…every year. I’m always Lana when [I’m at Smallville SuperFest], but it’s always some different version. People always say, ‘Oh, that’s great, I love the new top!’, but the Hawkgirl [costume] has gotten a lot of [attention]. People love it, the kids love taking pictures with it, and so, for me…[it makes me] part of the Justice League. So, it definitely has been a crowd [pleaser],” said Egan. “A lot [of] little kids, that watch the TV show, or read Green Arrow comics, really like the costume,” said Elijah. “[Due to the fact that] Felicity [Smoak] is a little bit more…popular…in the TV show, not a lot of people recognize me [as Felicity Smoak], but it’s really cool, when you have those people that come up, that are really huge fans of the show…and actually realize who I [am portraying]. I think that’s really cool, and they seem really surprised,” said Olivia.
“[If I went as a different character] I would probably go as The Flash. I also like his story, especially in the TV show, that he has right now, where, again, it’s not always fighting the people…it’s more of his moral compass…where it’s going,” said Elijah. “I’d probably be [someone] like Wonder Woman or Catwoman. I think [those would] be really cool [characters],” said Olivia.
Elijah explained the easiest, and most challenging, aspects of portraying his character, “The [most difficult], for me, is that the [Green] Arrow, is supposed to be a very serious, [person that doesn’t smile], and I really love to smile. So, that’s really hard for me. [However], the easy part is interacting with kids, because I really like kids…they’re cool.” “[None of the aspects of portraying Felicity Smoak] are really that [difficult],” said Olivia.
Soffer explained his Connor Kent Costume, “I do want to get back into [1990s] Superboy, Connor Kent; I just have not made it yet. I have the suit, ready to go…[that] I haven’t gotten altered…but when I do, I’m going to have it ready…it’ll be just like 1993, all over again.”
Egan explained the plans for her female Green Arrow costume, “The closest I’ve come to a Green Arrow [costume] is…I had a Thea costume made. In the new show, ‘Arrow’, [Green Arrow’s] sister, Thea, becomes a character that, in the comics, is, either, known as ‘Speedy’ or ‘Red Arrow’, and she, now, in [Arrow] has a costume, and she’s part of the team, so I did get one of those [costumes] made. I’d eventually like to get the female Green Arrow [costume] done one day. [I would like to wait to] wear it in the way that [corresponds with the way in which] I want to have it created. The current [costume] that I had done, for Thea, which is [kind of] similar to what Oliver wears, in ‘Arrow’, but it’s a red and black costume…that [costume] I feel comfortable wearing now, because it’s not as formfitting as the idea that I have for the female Green Arrow [costume].” Egan also explained how Annette O’Toole inspired her this year, “There’s a scene, from Superman III, when they’re at their reunion, and I think it would be really awesome…the dress that she wore and, [Clark Kent] just wore…a suit…that would be easy to find…to have the dress made…it’s a yellow dress that she wore, when they danced to ‘Earth Angel’. I just love that scene…it’s…when they first see each other, for the first time, since high school. I’m inspired by that [scene], but I’ve also been inspired by her, from Smallville. As far as Lana [Lang] and Clark [Kent], together, I have this inspiration of [kind of] recreating that scene from [‘Superman III’].” Egan explained how the ‘Smallville’ TV show has inspired her, this year, “I’ve always [portrayed] Lana, when I’m [at Smallville SuperFest], and I [have portrayed] other characters, too. When I originally [portrayed Lana], 5 years ago, and, in the years following, I was Lana Lang, as a cheerleader…this year, still [adhering to] the Smallville High School theme, in [Smallville] season one, [I was inspired by the episode] where [Lana Lang] decided to quit the cheerleading squad, and when she was having a conversation, with her aunt, about it, she just said, ‘Well, I want to try other things.’ [Lana] didn’t go on, to [participate in] other sports, in school, but I tailored… [my costume is] still the same colors, and theme, and very similar to the cheerleading outfits that I’ve worn, but it’s like a field hockey look, and a soccer costume now. So, I can kind of tie in ‘Smallville’, to [justify] changing it, because she did say [that] she wanted to try new things; I just picked my own new [modifications to Lana Lang’s costume], [that] she was trying. So…I could still keep the theme, and come [to Smallville SuperFest], and still be the Lana Lang, here.”
“I’m getting a new costume for the [Green] Arrow; I’m getting the season four [costume],” said Elijah, of his costume for next year’s Smallville SuperFest. “I’m not sure what I’m going to do; I might dress up as Felicity [Smoak], again, or I might actually look into getting a costume…to be like Wonder Woman, or Catwoman, or something…or Black Canary,” said Olivia.
Soffer explained his thought about the first season of the ‘Supergirl’ TV show, “I love it! I think the Supergirl show is great, it’s good to see a Kryptonian on television again…and…with Superman coming in. One of my favorite episodes, from Supergirl, that I enjoyed the most, was the [reference] to ‘Superman III’, when they debuted Red Kryptonite in her universe. The scene where she’s flicking the peanuts…I think that went very well. One thing that really caught my eye is how [the] WB’s TV show, for their TV network…they always try to pay homage to some of the older comic book covers, and the shows. With Supergirl, and Green Arrow, with the boxing glove arrow. I love it when a TV show pays [homage] to the fans, because the fans deserve it, and Supergirl has done that…[another example is] Jay [Garrick], and Barry [Allen], on ‘The Flash’, with the doubles.” “I love it. I’m happy to know, now, that…it’s switching over to the CW [TV network]. So, it’s [going] to be great to see…the possibilities are endless with the [crossover episodes] the other CW [TV network] shows have done…that’ll be exciting to see, with Supergirl,” said Egan. “I, actually, really liked that show. I thought it was really cool, especially when they brought [The Flash] into it…I thought that was really cool, and just, the actor, herself…she’s really a cool actor, I think. She plays a good Supergirl,” said Olivia.
“I like all the actors, and actresses, [on the Supergirl TV show], and I think it’s cool that they bring in Lois Lane’s sister…I think that’s [kind of] cool,” said Olivia.
“[I’ve] enjoyed the whole [season]. I can’t really think of one episode that I really liked, more than the other [episodes]. It’s a storyline that [kind of] flows,” said Egan. “[My] favorite episode, would be the one with [The] Flash, because I think that [one is just] really cool,” said Olivia.
“As far as the Supergirl universe [is concerned], when they tied it in with the CW [Network], before they moved it from CBS. I like how they went with the multiverse theory, because that’s something they heavily rely on, given…with [The] Flash coming into the mix. In a nutshell, when [The] Flash came into the mix, that opened up a whole new world, because they can [have access to] parallel Earths. I think that’s where they were able to escape, into [the] Supergirl [universe]. So, not only did that help a lot, but I think that’s going to be able to help them expand on it. One thing that I would like to change, or see, is Supergirl, and the new TV cast, Tyler [Hoechlin], who’s our Superman now. I would like to see them have matching suits. Now, I know that, in the first season of Supergirl, they actually [cast an] actor from St. Louis, my hometown, as Superman, to be his silhouette…I wish the logos, on the uniforms, would both match, [because] I feel that they both look different…they should be cousins, with the same logo,” said Soffer. “I wouldn’t change anything, because the way they portrayed [Supergirl]…I’m very pleased with the way [that they have portrayed Supergirl], because a lot of the way, whether it’s a costume that you see girls wearing these days…to me, she seems like a very modern-day version of Helen Slater. Her personality, the way she dresses…she’s not…portraying [a more mature character]. I think she’s a very good role model, [on] the TV show, ‘Supergirl’, for kids today, and even for adults…everything that they’ve done with [the Supergirl TV show], I think, has been great,” said Egan. “I don’t think I would actually change anything [about the storyline of the Supergirl TV show], but I like that it’s being moved to the CW [television network], so it can be more incorporated [into] the rest of the CW shows, so that she can be brought in [to] that, which, I think, is going to be really cool,” said Olivia.
“[Superman is] supposed to be in [the Supergirl TV show], so I think that’s going to be cool…to see him [in the show],” said Olivia, “[I would like to see more storylines about] how [Supergirl] would interact with her cousin, Superman…I think [that would] be [kind of] cool to see.”
“[The second season of ‘The Flash’] is getting really, really good. It’s very addicting, because the writing is [done] so well. They [dig] very deep [into] their history; they know exactly what [storylines] they’re going to go with. It seems like every episode gets directed by [a different person], so they keep the same storyline, but…they like to mix it up. That’s what they used to do [in] Flash comics, back in the day. They’re keeping [a] good tradition; I like it,” said Soffer. “The whole storyline blows me away. Prior to watching the show, my experience with [the] Flash was, mostly, just watching [Justice League Unlimited]…the animated versions…or in the animated movie, with [the] Flash, in it. So, to see the in-depth nature of everything that’s possible with [The Flash]. I did not know about his powers of…being able to…break into ‘Earth-Two’…how they mix it up with the whole ‘Earth-Two’…and the characters from there, and then going back, and the speed force being able to go back in time, and see things that happened…the way that his mom really died…the opportunity to be able to change that, and then…I think it’s phenomenal. It keeps me entertained, all the time; I’m always learning something new with it, and I can’t really compare it to anything, as far as prior Flash [storylines], but, now I’m a Flash fan, because of the show,” said Egan. “I thought [The Flash TV Series] was really cool, too. I liked where [the storyline] went…it’s a really cool show,” said Olivia.
“[The] one thing that I would love to see, the most, is, when they incorporated Jay Garrick, from ‘Earth-Three’, and his resemblance to Barry’s actual father, from that same Earth…I knew exactly [why] they were doing [it]…they were expanding [the] role of speedsters. I’m a big fan of a speedster, from the future, called John Fox…he’s also in ‘The Flash’, issue One Million, and I believe it’s the 953rd Century of the Justice League. So, I hope [that] they incorporate The Flash, of the future, John Fox. That would be really fun to see, on the screen,” said Soffer. “With Flash, Arrow, and Legends, they [have] done so [many] crossovers. I would like to see Flash use his speed force, to go back in time, and go into Central City, and save Laurel Lance, and bring her back from the dead. That’s what I would like to see happen. Killing off Laurel Lance, [from] Black Canary…that’s the one thing about ‘Arrow’, that I’m [just] stunned about. That’s what I would like to see with [The] Flash. So, I’m hoping [that] they’ll do that,” said Egan. “Mine, as cliché [as it is]…with me dressing up as Green Arrow…is the one with [Green] Arrow, in it,” said Elijah. “I liked the mash-up, with the [Green] Arrow, one, too…I thought that one was really cool. I like the ones where he goes back in time, and has to learn how…like the butterfly effect…you can’t change things, otherwise, it’ll change what happens, in the future. I think that was really cool,” said Olivia.
Elijah explained what he would change about ‘The Flash’ TV show, “[I would change] the cliffhanger, when he went back, and saved his mom.” “[I kind of agree with Elijah’s answer]…that’s going to really change where the [storyline] goes. That’ll change everything…I’m really interested, to see the new season, and what happens,” said Olivia.
“I really like Grant [Gustin]…as The Flash, and I like Joe [West]…the police officer that is his nonbiological father. I really like them,” said Elijah. “I really like Grant [Gustin], too…he plays a really good ‘Flash’, and I like Caitlin Snow…I think she’s a really cool character,” said Olivia.
Elijah explained what he’d like to see, in future episodes of ‘The Flash’, “I think it’d be cool, if they ended up mashing up the three shows, all-in-one, to have to fight the Reverse-Flash…Malcolm Merlyn…I think it’d be cool, if all the villains teamed up, against all the heroes…have like a little mini Justice League fight…that’d be cool.” “I think that would be cool…bringing in all the shows, together…and I think it’ll be cool, to see The Flash, or the [Green] Arrow…be with Rip…Legends of Tomorrow…that’d be really cool, because he’s a really cool character, and I think they’d all get along really well,” said Olivia.
“If they could add Firestorm more, in it, that’d be cool. I think that would, again, just be kind of trying to get the metahumans together. It’d be cool, if they actually had the metahumans, have an organized group, instead of just kind of randomly [disobeying] the law…if there was actually an organized group of metahumans,” said Elijah. “All the characters [in the TV shows] are really cool. I think they do the shows really nicely, and I really like [them],” said Olivia.
“[My favorite Superhero show] is Green Arrow. I just really like it, because…the reason, I like his character…it’s just kind of an underdog story,” said Elijah. “[My favorite superhero TV shows] would be the [Green] Arrow, and, probably, [The] Flash…because I think he’s really cool, and I like the actor, in general, because he was in shows like ‘Glee’…he was really good, in those,” said Olivia.
“To just throw a random curveball [into] the mix…I think it’d be really cool, to have all [three of those characters] in a Doctor Who episode,” said Elijah, if he could create a crossover episode. “I think it’d be cool to have Legends of Tomorrow…Rip…him meeting The Flash, or… [Green] Arrow…I think that’d be really cool,” said Olivia.
Elijah explained his favorite spin-off shows, “I know they had a Cisco spinoff, like a miniseries, that they showed.” “They did the spinoff, with all the minor characters, like the White Canary…I thought that was cool…doing Legends of Tomorrow,” said Olivia, “I think it’d be cool to have a new Batman TV show. It’d be really cool to have Robin, or Red Hood…I think [that would] be really cool.”
Elijah explained his favorite portrayal, “I really like Chris Evans, that plays Captain America. He is a very, very good Captain America, in my mind.” “I like Henry [Cavill], as Superman. I thought [that] Christian Bale was a really good Batman. I liked that one,” said Olivia. “I think it’s very possible, [to] relate to a character, like Superman, and some of the other heroes, as well, because, when [you] think about it, they’re people…things happen to them…and they realize, ‘Well, I have a job to do…this is not a matter of choice…this is a matter of what I was destined to do’…how they carry themselves…what they do to make sure [that] the city they love, and the people they care about, stay safe, is very admirable. It should be relatable [for] a lot of people. People come from many walks of life, and what’s so beautiful about superheroes, and the media, is [that] they can portray that same story, as every superhero has their own origin,” said Soffer.
“I met the teenager that played [Clark Kent], when he was giving the Smallville [SuperFest] Committee the key that they used in [the movie]. [The actor] seemed really cool, and down-to-earth,” said Elijah. “I’ve actually never met any superhero actors, or anything, before. I think it’d be interesting to meet them…I think it would be really cool, but I haven’t ever met a famous actor, or anything, before,” said Olivia, “I would want to meet Grant [Gustin], who plays [The] Flash, [because] I think [he’d be] a really cool person, to me.” “I would love to see Annette O’Toole, in general, just because I haven’t met her yet. At previous festivals, like when we went to Metropolis…I’ve actually met, [and] spoken to, Aaron Smolinski, and…Diane Sherry [Case], and I am friends with Aaron [Smolinski] on Facebook, and we’ve messaged back and forth a couple [of] times, and, in talking with both of them, telling them about Smallville SuperFest, and letting them know that they haven’t started doing any [kind of] celebrity appearances yet, asking them if they would be interested in coming [to Smallville SuperFest]…and they said that they would be interested. So, knowing two people already, that would be interested in coming, I would like to see the two of them make an appearance here,” said Egan, “I think John Shea would love to come, too. When we met John Shea, at Wizard World, we were talking to him about Metropolis. We told him about, ‘Yeah, there’s a real Metropolis, Illinois, and they have a Superman Celebration.’ He’s like, ‘[Oh, wow,] yeah, yeah, have them contact my agent; I’d love to come there.’ Sure enough, 2 years later, he made his way [to Metropolis, Illinois]. [Since] he was so interested in coming [to Metropolis, Illinois], I really think that he’d like to come [to Smallville SuperFest], too. I’d love to see John [Shea], again, for the third time.” “I definitely agree with [Colleen Egan/Lana] on bringing Annette O’Toole. I think anything that they could tie in, [as] a [Smallville-related] guest, would be wonderful, Aaron [Smolinski], and…Diane Sherry [Case], included. One thing [that] I would also like to see is [for] them to get some TV show guests [at Smallville SuperFest], because I know that a lot of guests who filmed TV [shows] a lot, whether their off-season or not, they love to meet the fans, and [attend] conventions, and for them, it’s not more [work to attend] a convention, or festival, it’s an escape, from what they’re doing, so they can meet the people who get to watch them on television. I know [that] some of them would love to come here, and see the ‘Smallville’ from the silver screen. I think [that], aside from us meeting them, I still think [that they would] have a blast, themselves,” said Soffer.
“I would [have] him go back to Smallville, more, so we could have more of an incorporation with the [Smallville SuperFest],” said Elijah. “I think [having Superman visit Smallville more often]…having them visit, like in the movies…have him visit home, a little more [often] than he does,” said Olivia.
If Elijah could tell an actor, or actress, that he admired, anything, he would say, “Thank you so much, to Christian Bale, [for] letting me grow up on those Dark Knight movies, [because] that was really, really fun.”
This year’s Smallville SuperFest coincided with the release of “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”, which premiered on March 25.
Soffer, who volunteers as Superboy, and Superman, explained his impression of the ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’, prior to it’s premiere in theaters, “Upon first seeing the trailers, [there] was a lot of hype. They try not to give…too much away, in the trailers. Obviously, if they put too many plot holes in the trailer, then you can, basically, figure out the movie, and you won’t have to see it. The way they advertised, [‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice’], they kept it mysterious, but, at the same time, it didn’t reveal too much [about the movie]. The shot of Wonder Woman…it was just the perfect shot, because you didn’t know how she got there, or why she was there, but you knew she was there. The same thing [applies] when Ben Affleck was in his armored Batman suit, facing against Henry [Cavill]; the trailers [were] very well done, and they knew exactly what to show you [from the movie], but not too much. All [of] the fighting scenes were very good, too; they picked a really good couple [of] shots, from the fighting scenes, that actually mimicked the graphic novel, from Frank Miller, which I liked a lot, too.” “I didn’t put a whole lot of thought into [the trailers], other than just enjoying them, and realizing that there’s going to be a lot of action. I remember when I saw ‘Man of Steel’, and when I put too much thought into [the movie], the first time, when [the movie] came out. This time, I didn’t [put too much thought into the movie], and I just sat, and watched the movie, and enjoyed it. So, when I watched the trailers, it was just, ‘Oh, cool’…a lot [of] action, and I didn’t really put a whole lot of thought into [the trailers],” said Egan. “I figured [that] it was going to be a lot like the video game…[in Justice]…because they showed parts of Batman’s dream, when Superman comes, and unmasks him. I figured it was kind of going to be a take, on that video game, but it didn’t end up being that,” said Elijah. “From the trailers, it was really interesting, because you actually kind of had to look at this, because…in [‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice’], Gotham and Metropolis are twin cities…it was really interesting, because, in the trailers, Batman protecting this little girl from the destruction that Superman and General Zod were [creating], and that was really interesting, to have to find out [why] he was that close to it…was he just visiting Metropolis? In the movie, it shows that [Wayne Tower] gets destroyed. It was interesting to find out that they were twin cities, [because] it’s different than any other portrayal,” said Olivia.
“I knew it wasn’t going to be a carbon copy of ‘The Dark Knight Returns’. They still had very similar elements, that I saw in the movie, that I didn’t know…were still going to be there, but, I wasn’t expecting, like I said, a perfect replica, as they were [going] to throw Doomsday [into] the mix. So, I knew Doomsday was going to be in the fight, and I was hoping for a lot of action, I was hoping that the fight would be well-coordinated, but not over the top. I got most of what I was expecting,” said Soffer. “What little I knew about Superman and Batman meeting [for] the first time, by watching the animated movie, and then I remember, ‘Smallville’…I think it was when ‘Smallville’ ended, and [‘Smallville’] went into the comic books…the second volume had them meeting for the first time, and they were, somewhat, enemies, then. So, I just kind of realized [that] I didn’t know how it was going to play out; I remember thinking, ‘How are they [going] to portray Superman being this bad person to Bruce [Wayne]…what’s going to happen, to make him think that Superman is bad for the world, and to make them enemies, in the beginning?’ I just remember thinking that, because I didn’t know enough about it, other than what little I saw about them being enemies, for the similar reasons that happened in the movie,” said Egan.
Soffer explained what he did to prepare for the premiere of ‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice’, “I was actually visiting my fiancée, in Washington, D.C. I was supposed to leave toward the end of February…I originally came for Valentine’s Day…and then…we spent [St. Patrick’s] Day together, and then I realized, ‘I’m just [going to] stay another week, so [that] we can see the movie together.’ So, like I said, [we] made the suit [at the] last minute, in about a week…she helped me…she took me to stores…we researched everything. The logo, for the cape, and the shirt, is from her old Helen Slater suit, and, after we had this [suit] built, we wanted to see [‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice’] early, so I called about 20 movie theaters, and, I [got tickets to] a pre-screening on the 22nd [of March]. It was great.” “[We] were at a toy store, because we were waiting for the movie to start, and they had glasses, that made it look like you were wearing Superman hair, and then there was a Batman mask, and a Joker, and we ended getting those, to wear to the Premiere,” said Elijah, “I saw it on the premiere, and then, I saw it the next day, and I saw it a week ago, I believe.”
Soffer explained the advice that he would give to someone, who is seeing ‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice’ for the first time, “I would tell them to watch ‘Man of Steel’, first, and then, after they’ve seen ‘Man of Steel’, I would tell them, ‘Remember, this is not the same Batman, and Superman, [that] you see in the comics.’ …I would tell them to keep an open mind, with a modern twist, because that’s what they’re trying to do. They’re trying to make [it] modern, and relatable, and they’re trying to [make] it more acceptable, to the public, because the public needs to make sure that, they cannot only understand the movie, but [that] they can relate to it, and become fans of it. They can see themselves enjoying the movie, and waiting for the next sequel, and the next one, and it was very well written, to make sure that people can get into [the movie], straight from, whether they’ve been a fan forever, or just for 5 minutes.” “I would tell them, definitely, if they haven’t seen ‘Man of Steel’, to see ‘Man of Steel’. In addition to that, I would say, watch, or read…watch the ‘Doomsday’ animated film, it’s just called ‘Doomsday’, and…read about the comic series, online, from the [1990s]…’The Death of Superman’, because, had I not known who Doomsday was…I would have been, like, totally confused, by [‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice’], the way that [the film] ended. I wouldn’t even have understood what [Doomsday] was. I would suggest seeing [earlier incarnations], but, definitely, of course, ‘Man of Steel’,” said Egan.
“Something that, I think, would stand out, for [someone seeing ‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice’, for the first time], would be…they wouldn’t know that, the character, who is Wonder Woman, would be Wonder Woman, and I think that would catch [them by] surprise, like, ‘Whoa…that’s Wonder Woman!’ I think that would catch them, off guard. I also know that they would find the characters of Aquaman, Wonder Woman, in addition [to]…Cyborg, and [The] Flash…I think [that] they would find that to be [surprising], as well, because, they wouldn’t be able to realize, ‘Wait, they are actually making the Justice League!’…that would stand out to most of them…[it would] be very [exciting], but, on a second note, I also think they would be…confused by…Doomsday…but it’s still understandable. They were trying to make it a little different, but also, keep it relatable,” said Soffer, as he explained what he thought of “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice”. “I’m thinking about myself, and the first time I saw [‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice’]. One of the things, that [really caught] my attention, and it kind of was like, ‘Oh, wow, cool!’, is when all that research was being done on…the metahumans…when we got these little glimpses of [The] Flash, and Aquaman, and, so, I’d say, for the average fan, getting that glimpse of ‘Okay, [the] Justice League is coming together,’ I think that…[is the thing] that would stand out, most, for someone…like my mom, who is a major Superman fan…she loves Superman, but the Superman she knows is strictly from Christopher Reeve and Smallville. The one thing, that stands out the most, for her, is the fact that, ‘[Oh my gosh], Superman dies at the end, at the hands of this creature, [that I am not familiar with]…how is Superman dead?’ Me…not knowing [the storyline]…that was me, [5 or more] years ago…I would have probably felt the same way, because I wouldn’t have understood, because I [would not have been] up on my Superman history, and my Smallville knowledge…what I learned about Doomsday, from Smallville, [and] at the movie, ‘Doomsday.’ I think [‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice’] would mean two different things, for two different kinds of fans,” said Egan.
“I really liked it, but I didn’t like when they showed the Justice League folder, on the computer. They have different actors playing The Flash, and I really didn’t like that, because I really like Grant [Gustin] as The Flash…I think he fits that part really well,” said Elijah, who has seen the movie 3 times, “I really liked it. [I’ve] been hearing a lot of good [things], about the 3-hour version, but I haven’t [been able to] see it.” “I really liked the movie, in general; I thought it was really cool,” said Olivia, “I really enjoyed the movie. I watched it, not that long ago, actually…I thought it was really cool. I liked how they had that house…it’s…in Plano…it was Batman’s house…I think it was really cool, that they had that house in there…that was one of the things, that we noticed, and we were like, ‘Wait, that’s that [house]!’” Olivia explained her favorite part of the movie, “I like the fight in the end [of the movie], where they brought in Wonder Woman…I thought that was really cool, to see her, in there, and then, how Superman sacrificed himself. I think it’d be interesting, to see if he did die, because I don’t think they would’ve killed him off, but, yeah, I thought that was really cool.” “My grandkids [saw ‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice’], and they loved it,” said Geraci. “It was pretty amazing…all the technology, [available] today, and how they [made] the movie, and made [it] so realistic,” said Lawrence. “It was great…[a] great movie,” said Espinosa, who has seen the movie twice.
“Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” incorporated scenes from “Man of Steel”. “It definitely shed light on why Batman became overzealous, [about] Superman’s intentions, and how he was confused about what [Superman] was doing here, and why [Superman] was here. Thank goodness [that] that all panned out, because they’re friends, now. It was good to see [what] Superman was up to, and how he thought, ‘Okay, to me, this doesn’t look like he’s here to help.’ They had to show that [part of the movie], in order for people to understand why Bruce [Wayne] was lost, and driven the wrong way, as Alfred would put it,” said Soffer. “I love that [scene], because, when the movie started that way, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is so cool…they’re actually beginning the [movie]…this already happened in ‘Man of Steel’…now, we’re just seeing it, from [Bruce Wayne’s] perspective, and this moment, is the defining moment…[Batman’s] first time, seeing Superman, and, probably, the only thing going through [Batman’s mind] is, these two aliens, from some other planet, that are here, destroying the Earth, and, obviously, the one called ‘Superman’ must be evil, too. To me, that’s how they tied ‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice’ into ‘Man of Steel’, and it was a very creative way to do it. Here we are,  years later, after the first [movie], and we’re seeing a scene, that we’ve already seen, but from a completely different perspective,” said Egan.
“I think the style of the movie was very good; a lot of people had mixed opinions, regarding the 30 minutes of footage, that [required] it to be rated ‘R’. It got a little bit of flak, but, in my [opinion], that is a storyline that’s very, very deep, and DC comic book [core], and I think that type of movie should have been expected from the get-go. The movie, itself, [and] the final result, came out very [well], and [contained] elements that [provided insight into] its true nature, to some of the older, more [favorite] stories of Batman and Superman’s rivalry, and it still brought something new to the plate, that can blend it in with the more modern universe. So, I think the best of both worlds was put [into the movie], and they did it to the best of their ability, which is all we can ask for,” said Soffer.
“Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” featured multiple superheroes, “I thought it was a good decision. I understand how they wanted [to] tease [about the fact] that they were bringing the Justice League [into the picture], how they, so to speak, had research of metahumans…Cyborg, The Flash, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman…they want to bring [those characters into] the movie, and [let them become known characters]. It wasn’t too much, in my opinion; I do feel, that the movie, could have easily been broken up, and the movie, easily, could have been shortened. [There are] two ways to look at it. I still think [Wonder Woman] had a pivotal role; many people believed [that] she could have waited for her debut, other people thought [her debut] was perfect timing. I thought it was good; I thought it was well done. [Wonder Woman] was one of the first people who helped form the Justice League, and I felt that her presence was [definitely] needed. Her, and her action, with Bruce [Wayne], definitely seemed to fit well with the story, and they found a good way to blend in her character to that world of Batman versus Superman, as she was just in the middle of it all,” said Soffer. “I think three [superheroes in the movie] was enough. They did [incorporate Wonder Woman] in as…her alter ego, because she…[and Bruce Wayne were both investigating the same situation]. [Batman]…not knowing [that] it was [Wonder Woman], until the end, and when she showed up, and they were both like, ‘Hey, is she with you?’, ‘No, I thought she was with you.’ So, that was cool. I think she was more effective, [as Wonder Woman], in this [movie], not so much as Wonder Woman, when they had her in costume, as much as she was, as the character that she played…doing the investigating [of what was going on]…what Lex [Luthor] was involved with. The fact that she’s this historical figure, that they show in the pictures…from [the past]. They found that picture of her, that old Amazonian picture…’This is you…you would be [in your 70s].’ I think that was more effective, for this [storyline], than just, ‘Oh, look, Wonder Woman showed up at the end of the movie!’ So, I guess, in that case, [Wonder Woman] being in [the movie], too, was effective, but, it was mostly, I think, about Batman realizing that Superman isn’t the enemy that he thought [he was], and them finally [working together]. I guess, in the end, obviously, they’re not friends at the moment, because there is no Superman, so we think…but, we know that he’s going to come back, and [that] the Justice [League is] going to start. I think I enjoyed [‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice’] more, the second time, because I was able to catch [elements of the film] that I didn’t quite [understand],” said Egan. “Yeah, I think it worked very well with The Avengers movie,” said Elijah. “Yeah, I think it’s really cool, having them together, because DC hasn’t done a whole lot of mashup movies, so I think it’s really cool that they have started to do [that],” said Olivia.
“The musical score was really well done; at times, when Henry Cavill was in the scene, where he was…Superman, they incorporated his theme song [into the movie]. Batman’s theme…was well done, and I hope to hear more of it, when I finally do get to watch ‘Suicide Squad’, because I haven’t yet. Wonder Woman’s theme…that seems to be a good favorite; a lot of people like how they have the very heavy, [high-octane], high-energy rumbled, tribal-type theme, the warrior cry, so to speak. Wonder Woman’s theme was very well written, and I think they did a very good job with [it]. We’re going to hear a lot more of that, in her movies, so it’ll be exciting,” said Soffer.
‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice’ premiered in theaters with a rating of PG-13. An ‘R’-rated version, with additional footage, was also released, on Blu-ray. “I, actually, haven’t [seen the ‘R’-rated version] yet; I was waiting for my lady, to go see it, as I will never see a movie, from the new DC Universe, especially one with Superman in it, without [Lana]. [Egan] is my Amy Adams; I’m her Henry [Cavill]…so I won’t [watch the movie] without her,” said Soffer, “I think [that] the rated ‘R’ [version] is definitely okay, because [there are] a lot of examples of a movie, [which] just has one little thing [in it], and because [there was] that one little thing…it’s like,'[Nope], it has to be rated ‘R’…’Does this need to be in the movie?’…’It has to be in the movie.’…’Well, then, it needs to be rated ‘R”. [However], otherwise, it’s a perfect PG-13 movie, and a lot of people can understand that. Obviously, ‘Deadpool’ fans understand [it], more than others. ‘Deadpool’ has a different nature, of [its] history. You have to base it on the context of that story. Their story, as I mentioned earlier, it’s very dark and gritty, and, for Zack Snyder, I can understand, in order for it to be rated ‘R’, he wanted that 30 minutes, to put that movie together. So, for true fans, who want to dig into it [deeply], they can understand the [movie] rating, and they understand that it’s there for a reason, because it helps tell the story, on a deeper level.” “The fact that [‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice’] was PG-13…it allows parents who want to take their kids to see it, [and] be introduced to Superman, for the first time, and even, still, it’s obviously much more dark, and violent, than the [original movies], from the [1980s], of course. [However], if they’re [going to] base their choice on what the rating is, they have that ability, because that’s what was presented in the theaters, and then, the rest of the people, who want to see the [‘R’-rated version], because [there are] things [that Soffer was mentioning], that happened, like the whole storyline, ‘The Death of Superman,’ which we actually did see in the movie, and then [there are] people, that have seen the movie, that don’t even know that that’s what it’s about, because there’s that whole storyline, from…the [1990s], that was called, ‘The Death of Superman’. I don’t know if [the additional scenes in ‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice’] are going to be because of that violence, or if it’s going to be more [storylines] between Lois and Clark. There are some people, who probably had some [concerns] with [more mature content in the movie], but, for those of us who want to see Zack Snyder’s version, because it is darker…it’s a new era. It’s just like the Batman movies; the millennium lair became darker, than [in Tim Burton’s version]. I think it’s good, that both options [of ‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice’] are available,” said Egan.
“[I attribute the theatrical success of ‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice’ to]…the curiosity, and the anticipation, of finally seeing [Superman and Batman] fight, on-screen. I believe people have been waiting [for] that, for a long time, and, well, the whole world was excited, and that’s why it did so well,” said Soffer. “[I attribute the theatrical success of ‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice’ to] intrigue. People already love Batman, because of the [movie reboots], over the past turn of the century. I think it’s a combination, of Superman and Batman fans, coming together, [because], you already have your Batman fans, out there, [who] have been waiting…to see Batman, on the screen, again. Of course, Superman fans have been waiting…now that ‘Man of Steel’ is out, they’re, of course, going to go to the next [movie], which would be ‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice’, so, I think it’s probably a combination, of the two characters, together, and you’re getting all those fans,” said Egan. “[I attribute the success of ‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice’ to] the marketing [of the movie],” said Espinosa.
“I think [‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice’] carried over the storyline, from ‘Man of Steel’, very well, as a lot of people commented that [it] seemed [that] Superman didn’t smile enough, and Batman was too angry…they have to actually factor in…you have to actually try to step into the character’s shoes. Henry Cavill’s character, of Superman, not only has he been through a lot, but he has a lot of weight on his shoulders, from everything he’s had to deal with. The fact that, by the end of the movie, he was willing to make the sacrifice, he was willing to stop Doomsday,” said Soffer. “I think that it carried over really well. When it started off, it kind of started off…in the middle of the fight between Superman and Zod, so you have Bruce Wayne, driving down the street, so it starts off, in the middle of the main battle. So, I like how they tied it in, to where, now we’re seeing that fight, from [Bruce Wayne’s] perspective, which was already happening, which, of course, we didn’t know, because the movie hadn’t come out yet. So, I like how they tied that part [of the movie] in. I never knew a whole lot about how they originally met. I thought [that] the [‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice’ movie]…it was very active…there was so much going on, and because I didn’t have that prior knowledge…it took me [watching the movie] the second time, to even understand, and kind of follow, some of what was going on, because there was so much going on. And, I guess, had I known a lot of those origins, of things that were going on…that’s how ‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice’ started…it started [that way] so it kind of flowed well, in that [respect],” said Egan.
Soffer explained how he thought ‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice’ would lead into the next Superman movie, “I think the storyline, for the ending of Superman, was well done. I knew [that] they were going to [include] Doomsday. I, personally, think Doomsday did not have enough of his look from the [1990s]. He had more…[blunt] protrusions…more bone shards…and he had a lot more hair. I do like how, when they were fighting Doomsday, on and on, how he kept evolving, and they did, eventually, show him growing the bone structure that he was known for, in the comics; I [just wish] that they had done more of that. I feel that, maybe they’re trying to use Doomsday more, in the future…I thought [that] it should have been just for [a] Superman sequel, not a stand-alone Justice…prequel. At the ending of the movie, it was still as accurate, to the comics, as in the mid-[1990s], [when] he first died…it was more, of just a heavy coma, because they couldn’t [detect] his heartbeat…so, they thought he was dead. I think the same might happen, in the movie. As I’m predicting, he wasn’t really just dead; his body was just recovering, at such a low rate, [that] they couldn’t tell if he was alive, or not. That’s my prediction; and I think, from what [we’re seeing in] the solar radiation, is pointing [toward] that.” “…It’s probably because I know the whole, ‘The Death of Superman’ storyline. Of course, when you see that dirt move, at the very end [of the movie], on the top of the casket, you realize…[however], I know [there are] people, out there, that are like, ‘How did he even die, in the first place?’…people, who don’t know the whole Doomsday history…the history of him, and Doomsday, they wouldn’t understand, why he could possibly die, and…because I know that, I am able to see how it ended…knowing the Doomsday/Superman [storyline], the whole thing, is that they’re both destined to kill each other. When [Superman] did die, I knew that it wasn’t the end, because I knew about [Superman] coming back, and the way he’s come back, before. I’m wondering, if it’s just like what [Soffer] said, that [Superman’s body is] recovering, or, I’m wondering, is it going to be something similar to the Doomsday animated movie, where one of the…robotic characters…the Kryptonian robots, that kind of float…the one, from the animated film, ‘Doomsday’…came, and found, Superman’s body, and nursed him back [to health]…going to come from the ship, because the ship that was on Earth, had those robots in it. So, is one of those [robots] going to be involved with continuing his rehabilitation, and bringing him back, or, are they going to, maybe…is Lex [Luthor] going to, somehow, clone Superman? Are they going to make that part of [the next movie]? I didn’t know, if they were going to, kind of, go that route, or not, or if it’s just going to be that he’s going to just be [in a dormant state]…for a long [time]…months…a year…recovering. Something has to happen…he either has to be exposed to the sunlight, to heal…or do whatever it is [that] the Kryptonian robots do, to bring him back. I understand [‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice,’] ending the way it did,” said Egan, “[Superman] is, definitely, going to come back, somehow. I’m thinking about, ‘Smallville,’ and every time [that] Clark is exposed to the sun…it’s like an immediate healing. I kind of like having no clue [about] how they’re going to bring [Superman] back, but I know how they could [bring him back], and, so, I kind of guess [that it is] going to be one of the three things, [to which I was just referring].” “I think they’re going to have the Justice League [band] together, but I think it’s going to kind of be, like in the comics, when Superman dies [at the hands of Doomsday]…I think it’s going to be a big [revelation], by, either the midpoint of the movie, or the end of it…there’s going to be a big fight, and they can’t do anything, and [then] Superman comes in, and helps,” said Elijah, “I would like to see [Green] Arrow get introduced, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. I would really like to see [The] Flash, Grant [Gustin], from the TV show, but, I think the [movie is] still going to be good.” “I think the Justice League will be a really cool one to see, because I do think they’re going to bring Superman back, and I think it’ll be really cool to see the Aquaman movie. I think that one’s going to be really cool, and I think they should make a Joker and Harley Quinn movie…I think that would be really cool,” said Olivia. “The next [movie] will be all the superheroes, all together,” said Theresa Miller, of Shelby’s [Laredo Hospitality].
Soffer explained what he thought of the sales of ‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice’, “I think people are going to buy the Blu-ray, more, [because it’s the] most modern version. It’s high quality, and they want to be able to see their heroes, in the best form possible. If it’s new, if they can see every detail…they want to see [the movie] in [high definition].” “Going with the newest technology, in film…that’s actually tangible. For people, like me, who love to have a tangible movie, I buy Blu-ray, when I’m buying a new movie, because I have [a] Blu-ray player, and it’s probably 70 percent [Blu-ray], versus 30 percent, now, because [the] Blu-ray [format] has been around long enough…it takes several years, for the new technology, to become the most popular. I would just attribute it to the fact, that it’s just…time. Give it another 2 years, or so, and if nothing else has come out, aside from Digital, that replaces Blu-ray, it’ll probably be like 80 or 90 [percent], to 20, or 10 [percent]. It’s just because Blu-ray is such a good quality, and you can get a lot of good deals, now, with Blu-ray, where the Blu-ray disc comes with the DVD,” said Egan.
Soffer explained the special features, from the ‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice’ movie, that he would like to see, “I’m going to use an example. I’m a big fan of MythBusters. So, at the end of every show, most commonly, one of the five, or depending on which team it is, would say, ‘Would you like to know why we did what we did?’, and, ‘Why we had to do, what we did?’, and they would, basically, promote a segment, that would explain all this. I think, based on certain laws, between what can be done, from comic books, what can be done on film, and what part of a superhero’s history they can make happen, on-screen, and what might get too complicated, I really would like to see them incorporate a segment, and a feature, that could explain that to the fans. There are some key issues, that I know fans would like to know, ‘How come [this] was this way, but not that way?’, just as a generic way of putting it. [It would] be a way, of DC, basically, just breaking down the music to the fans, and saying, ‘This is what we [have], this is what we had to deal with, and this is what we ended up with.’ Showing the process, or, at least, explain to [the audience] the reasons, behind the magic…I think you would have a lot more fans sympathize with the [team], because that is a giant workforce, for such a beautiful, long, production, and people deserve to know what work went into it. I think they might even appreciate it more, rather than question [it].” “Maybe some of the historical [Superman information]…not, so much, just for me, which I would watch, anyway, but some of the stuff that would probably make certain aspects of the movie, that are confusing, make more sense. Like, if somebody wanted to…understand the history of Superman, and Doomsday, or, ‘The Death of Superman,’ from the 1990s, so they would realize, ‘Oh, that’s why they [did that].’ So, for those fans, who only knew the Christopher Reeve movies, who never [read] comics, and [comic-cons], and getting involved with the characters…people…who like Superman, they like Batman…but they have no idea why [‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice’] ended the way it did. I, too, would be interested, [because], just to have the knowledge, so, maybe, some…historical little exclusives that come… with [the] DVD, or [Blu-rays, sometimes],” said Egan.
“I’d like them to incorporate more of the Superman family. I’d like to see John Henry Irons, Steel. I would like to see Connor Kent, Superboy. I would like them to [reach out] to more Superman villains…Brainiac, Toyman…Metallo…the list goes on…Bizarro…there are so many different people, that they can cast, for other movies. I hope that they incorporate more of his deep storyline, [because], yes, the Golden Age [was] a little campy, but there are some elements, from the past, that they can incorporate [into] more movies, in the future, and, expanding on that, not only would it be good for the fans, but I think it would be good for the franchise. Plus, it would get more traditional Superman…we could see Henry [Cavill] smile a little bit more, and, maybe they’ll remember his trunks,” said Soffer, of what he would like to see, in the future of Superman movies. “I definitely agree with [Soffer], with all the different kinds of villains. There are so many villains, that I never would’ve known existed, [had it] not been for learning about [them], in 10 years of Smallville. I got introduced, to so many different characters, and then…it would be, also, neat, because, now that they have the ‘Suicide Squad’ movie, out, I think it might be neat…if the movie…introduced…[if they’re] going with a Justice League scenario, for the next movie…[if in future movies], maybe, they even…crossed over with the ‘Suicide Squad’ movie that’s out, and brought in some of those villains. It would be neat to see them…do that kind of crossover, and see how they portray him. Are they…strict villains, that they are, or are they going [to] make it a little bit more [of] a gray area?” said Egan. “I liked it; I thought it was good…the ending…I didn’t like, too much…but…all in all, I think that there’ll be another sequel, maybe, to that,” said Mayor Hausler, “I’d like to see another sequel, where our city, Plano, is used again…as Smallville…I’d like to see a sequel, involving us, and using our downtown, as Smallville.” “I think it’d be interesting, to bring Supergirl, [into] the [movie]…I think it’d be interesting to see that…bring her in,” said Olivia.
Mayor Hausler explained what he thought the biggest attractions would be, at this year’s Smallville SuperFest, “I think…what most people have interest in, so far, I would say…the Carnival [has] attracted a lot of people. [However], the Batmobile, I think, has been the focus, and I think that’s been the main [attraction], so far. I think [Smallville SuperFest has] grown, quite a bit, this year, and I think we’ve learned a few things, just by what we’ve added, to this [year’s Smallville SuperFest], so, we may be taking a few things…there may be different additions, may be switching things around, but, the most popular things, like the Carnival, happen, whether it be Superman memorabilia, or Batman [memorabilia]…things that attract…the people, who like superheroes…we still will be doing that, as long as the [festival is] going.” “In the schedule for…[Smallville] SuperFest, this is the first time they’ve had events on Thursday, because the carnival actually did open [on] the evening prior. So, it expanded a lot more, for Plano. Aside from that, there was a ‘test run’…with the carnival, coming in May, earlier this year. [The carnival] was so well-received, because a lot of the town folk [in] Plano explained that it’s been years, and years, since they’ve had a carnival. To see a carnival again, after decades in the city, [it’s] just so uplifting. Having [the carnival], with the [Smallville] SuperFest…it [was of] a great help,” said Soffer. “For a majority of the public, I’d say that they added the carnival, because there was a huge [increase] in attendance, because of that. I would say the fact that they got the Batmobile [to Plano]. The Batmobile has been [a] huge hit, and just, the flock of people…all the photo [opportunities]…[it’s another] festive…attraction [at Smallville SuperFest]. The kids love to have the photo [opportunities], with Superman. [Charlee and I] were like little kids, [on Saturday]…we’re all posing, in front of the Batmobile…we were even joining in on the fun, too,” said Egan. “We have the new Petting Zoo, this year, the Kids’ Booths are always fun, [we’ve] got a new carnival, that is really big, on the other side of the tracks, we [have] bands…it’s generally, just a good time,” said Elijah. “I [think it’s really] cool, because…I know a lot of people came for Whiskey Romance, [because] I saw a lot of people wearing the Whiskey Romance shirts, which is a band that played [on Saturday] night, and then, I think a lot of people probably come for the carnival, and then walk around [at Smallville SuperFest], and see all the cool [attractions], and then, probably end up getting hooked, meeting all [of the] superheroes that walk around,” said Olivia. “I think, this year, they have a lot more events…for the children,” said Christensen, “I think…the carnival attractions, but they have very good bands, here, too.” “I’ve been seeing, [on Saturday], a lot of [people in costume]; they’re walking around, [Saturday], like Batman, Robin…I think that’s pretty neat,” said Christensen, “I think, [that], because [‘Man of Steel’] was filmed [in Plano], I think that it’ll always be a Plano event.” “Well, I think it’s the people; people always make it successful. The [food is] wonderful, they have wonderful bands…I think it’s the people out here, that make [Smallville SuperFest] so successful. You just enjoy being around them, and the kids love it, and that creates the excitement,” said Geraci. “Lots of good bands, and lots of new additions, with the Carnival, pony rides, and the Petting Zoo, and the Batmobile being [at Smallville SuperFest]…[has] been a new addition, this year,” said Browning. “Probably, the [Batmobile], and then…the balloons…for the kids…the games,” said Jackson. “I think [that] the small community atmosphere…the safe atmosphere, the rides, all [of the] information that is available to the people, in the community, that might be new to the community,” said Lawrence. “[The biggest draws] definitely [would] be the Carnival. I think a carnival always [brings] in the kids…I’ve seen a lot more teenagers,” said Conway, “I think small businesses [will contribute to the growing success of Smallville SuperFest].” “…The Petting Zoo, and the rides…[Smallville SuperFest has] never [had] those before,” said Andoe. “The [‘Man of Steel’] movie, and then the people that live around here,” said Espinosa, “I think [that] the marketing that they do, inviting people, around the communities [that surround Smallville SuperFest, are the biggest draws].”
Mayor Hausler explained plans for celebrities and special guests, “We’ve talked about it, at our Committee meetings, and that’s a goal, for the future, to, one day, be able to do that.” “I think it would be awesome, if we could get Henry [Cavill] and [Ben] Affleck, to come [to Smallville SuperFest]…that would be really cool, maybe [do a little play fight], in front of the flag, that we have…that’d be awesome,” said Elijah. “I think it would be really cool, to have Superman and Batman come [to Smallville SuperFest], too, but I also think it’d be really cool, to have Stephen [Amell] and Grant [Gustin], come out, [who] play [The] Flash and [Green] Arrow. I think those two would be really cool, to have come out…in full costume, so no one actually knows that it’s necessarily the actual actors…I think that would be really cool,” said Olivia. “[I would like to see] Batman,” said Lawrence.
Charlee Soffer (Superboy/Superman) and Colleen Egan (Lana Lang) were engaged at Smallville SuperFest, in 2013. “Step two is [Colleen Egan and I] living in the same time zone,” said Soffer. “[Charlee Soffer and I]…go back and forth, and see each other. The goal is, for me, to find [a job, locally]. There’s also the possibility of, depending on how long it would take me to find career work [locally],” said Egan.
Soffer explained what he thinks he will most be remembered for, at this year’s Smallville SuperFest, “I know [that] I’ll definitely be remembered for my help, as Superboy, [because] I want to make sure that there’s someone here in costume, every year. Another thing, that I think, is just…the people here…it’s so welcoming…you really just feel like home, when you come here, and I just can’t stop smiling, even on a bad, rainy day, which was [Saturday] afternoon, for a few hours. I [was still] having a blast. I was still having a blast, and I usually try to mix it up…I’ll wear a different suit, I try to keep it interesting, because I know people would recognize the same suit, if I wore it every year…they would say something…the same with Colleen [Egan]. We usually try to mix it up, to where she [portrays] a different superhero, on Saturday…maybe, one year, I can get her to dress as Supergirl with me…I think that [would] be a fun weekend.” “The Hawkgirl [costume], because that was kind of a debut of that [costume]. [The people at Smallville SuperFest] might remember the Hawkgirl [costume], because it was new, but I am always going to be remembered, here, as Lana [Lang], with Superboy. So, and that would probably be the case, every year,” said Egan. “My costume,” said Elijah.
“Aside from the celebrity guests…I would actually like to see comic book…artists…I think artists, or writers, would go a lot better…that’s something [that] I would like to see, because, people are comic book fans, too. I would like to see that, in…future years,” said Soffer. “I would like to see them get to a point, where they decide to go with, ‘Hey, let’s try this celebrity appearance…,’ even, if it’s just starting with one person, or two…that aren’t, so much…current movie, and TV, big names, but they are big names, [because] they’re not on television, currently, but, they’re big names, from what they have done, but, because they’re from the Superman historical archives, so to speak. They might be able to [invite] folks, like that. I think it would bring some more attendance, that would be coming for Smallville SuperFest, versus just coming for the rides…coming for that down-home feeling. The rides are great; it’s an attraction, and it brought business,” said Egan. “Maybe, some more vendors,” said Christensen, “Maybe some movies, shown at night…some Superman movies, for kids to come to.” “I think I’d like to see some more games; I think that would be fun, for the kids, and adults, to play. I think they would enjoy that. I know [that], in the evening…the young people, and [others] like the music, but I think kids like to play a lot of games, and I think that would be a great idea,” said Geraci, “Of course, it’d be terrific, to have a name, artist, as far as the music goes…a big-name artist…that’s a big draw…that would be superb, and I think that would be great, because music does draw all ages, and, it would be nice to see some good, down-home country music out here.” “[I would like to see], maybe, water games, maybe like a bowling-type [game]…kids like to do things, like that,” said Geraci, “I’m hoping [to see it become] larger. [Smallville SuperFest] has [a] very hometown feel.” “[I would like to see more] vendors,” said Browning, “[Smallville SuperFest has] grown, so much, this year. [I think it should keep growing, based] on what has happened this year.” “[I think the biggest attraction is] probably the Zipline,” said Lawrence, “I think that, the way that the event is [run], and how successful it is, and how happy people are, with what goes on in this community. I just think that, being in a small town, tight-knit and [a] friendly atmosphere, that everyone feels welcome here.” “I just think, every year, [Smallville SuperFest] improves, and gets better and better. I just think it’s [going to] attract more people, just [being here] year, after year,” said Lawrence. “I think [I would create] some sort of [a] sandbag challenge…something [for the adults],” said Conway. “[I would create a] car show, a bigger car show,” said Paul Blythe, of the First Baptist Church. “I would do…a beanbag competition,” said Espinosa, “[I would like to see] more booths, more people, more vendors.” “Hopefully, [Smallville SuperFest] grows. We want to see [Smallville SuperFest] grow…double what it is, right now,” said Espinosa. “[I would like to see it], at least continue, what [it’s] doing…definitely have more participants. As long [as Smallville SuperFest] keeps growing,” said Needham-Gibson, “I think they’re doing a really, really great job.”
“For the future, of the fandom, of Superman, I think the kids, and the families need to know, first, and foremost, that, obviously, Superman is here for Truth, Justice, and the American Way, but he, also, is just, a downright good person. He promotes the goodness of every single civilian…and their best possible form. He represents the entity of what everyone can be, as long as they’re always good, and they try their best. I think that’s a message [that] everyone should know,” said Soffer. “I’d like to say [that I’d want to teach future generations]…the history [of Superman]. I grew up with Christopher Reeve, as Superman. He was [the] first Superman that I ever knew. I still didn’t know the history, prior to [the movies in which Christopher Reeve starred], and I didn’t know anything about George Reeves, or any of the old serials. I didn’t even really, at the time, as a kid, read the old comics or anything. For me, it was mostly live-action television. [However], in this generation, because Superman has changed so much in the new movies…not knowing the previous history, even as far back as Christopher Reeve, I feel that [future generations are] missing out. If [future generations] love Superman so much, when they’re watching ‘Man of Steel’, and [‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice’]…if they like it enough, to go back and watch some of the older [incarnations]. I would like to see the future generations learn the older [incarnations], because [there is] more of the grassroots, and the origins of Superman, because a lot of people don’t [understand] it. Even in the [‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice’] movie, the [events] that happened in that [movie], or even ‘Man of Steel’…people that I have known, that have watched those, and only those…they’re confused by the storylines. If they knew some of the origins, even something as simple as watching ‘Superman I’ and [‘Superman’] II, or even some of the comic storylines, that I think they would appreciate the storylines more, because some of the [storylines] in [‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice’ have] occurred…[it has] occurred, but people don’t understand how, and why, Superman could die, at the end of a movie, unless they knew some of the previous history,” said Egan. “The ideals…of Superman, [aren’t] just him; everyone can be Superman, if they just try to be a good person, I think,” said Elijah. “You can be ordinary, but you can also be extraordinary,” said Olivia. “He’s just an icon, and he’s just a good guy, that helps people,” said Christensen. “[I would like to teach future generations] about the values that he represented,” said Geraci. “To be good…to help people,” said Miller.
“I think everything is good. I know that they want to use Smallville more, when they film more movies, so, my only [thought] is, ‘Fingers crossed, DC keeps using Plano, because it’s a very good Smallville, and I think it fits in well.’” said Soffer. “[Plano] is where it started…[Charlee and I] feel like this is one of our second homes…it started here, and Plano deserves it, and they should be Smallville, all the time, when they’re doing these movies. So, anything that happens in Smallville, this is where it should be,” said Egan. “Everyone can be a superhero; it’s not the powers that define the person. You can just as easily have any superhero, in a comic, be a bad person. It’s what they end up doing, with their power, that defines them. It’s the same way, for people,” said Elijah. “You don’t have to be a superhero…I’m not dressed up, as a superhero, but, yet, [they] help save the day, in the [TV] show. I just think…you don’t have to be a superhero, to be important,” said Olivia. “[Smallville SuperFest is] just a very good family event,” said Christensen. “It’s an enjoyable day [on Saturday], out here. Come on out, it’s gorgeous right now, it’s a beautiful afternoon,” said Geraci. “Come out; check it all out,” said Browning. “It’s a great festival; Plano has a lot to offer. [Plano has] a hometown feeling,” said Jackson. “I want to thank the City of Plano, and all the vendors, and everyone, for this great event,” said Lawrence. “Just have fun, and enjoy,” said Miller. “I think it’s good, for Plano, to have [a festival], like this,” said Andoe. “Have a great day; bring your kids for the weekend…and have fun,” said Needham-Gibson.
“We welcome you, to come here, to our city, and we have a great festival…it’s getting bigger, and better, every year, and there’ll be a lot of surprises, next year. We’re working hard, to make it a very enjoyable event, for everyone,” said Mayor Hausler.