"Smallville" producer Brian Patterson revealed at Comic-Con this weekend that despite the "no tights, no flights" rule that has previously defined the show, Clark Kent will be donning a costume for the very first time in the upcoming ninth season of the show, as he begins "the last stage" in the process of becoming Superman.

But rather than suiting him up the traditional red and blue outfit usually synonymous with the Man of Steel, Patterson says they'll be going for something a little darker, in fitting with the theme of the season, which is "Clark's darkest hour."

"It's kind of based on a couple of pieces of mythology of when he died, and his Doomsday fight in the comics, and the costume he wore after that," said Patterson, referring to the black and silver costume Superman wore after returning from the grave in 1993.

No word on whether Clark will also be sporting a killer mullet, as he did in the comics during his original resurrection.

Patterson and producer Kelly Souders added that they aren't approaching Season 9 as the last season, and that despite the costume Clark isn't to start flying until he "embraces the role of Superman," a moment that is likely to mark the end of the series.

General Zod will also be back to cause more problems for Clark, although he'll be returning as Major Zod, a past version of the villain who arrives with a score of Kryptonian troops from the bottle city of Kandor -- a plot point intended to dovetail with the recent "New Krypton" crossover arc in the Superman family of comics, which was written in part by author Geoff Johns.

Even better for comics fans, Johns just announced on his Twitter that he''ill be writing an episode for the upcoming season of "Smallville" titled "Society," which will involve the Justice Society of America -- another title he's written for DC Comics.

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