Erica Durance and Tom Welling

It took 10 years for Smallville's Clark Kent (Tom Welling) to finally become Superman — but it took a run-in with one of his greatest foes to get there.

The series finale opened on an intriguing flashforward into the future, as Chloe (Allison Mack) read her son a Smallville comic that told the story of Clark Kent's transformation into Superman.

Let's take a look at how that came to be:

The future Man of Steel is inching closer to his destiny, but first he has to contend with a fiancée who doesn't want to walk down the aisle. Lois (Erica Durance) is scared that she is keeping Clark from being the world's savior. At the same time, his mother, Martha (Annette O'Toole), is trying to convince him not to lose sight of where he came from — both Krypton and Smallville.

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Meanwhile, Tess (Cassidy Freeman) is visited by Granny Goodness (Christine Willes), who wants to save her from the coming Apokolips. Valiantly saying she would never turn to the dark side, Tess sets off on a mission to warn the superheroes, but is foiled by Lionel Luthor (John Glover), who kidnaps her.

Once Lois and Clark realize they are truly meant for each other, the pair walks down the aisle, surrounded by their loved ones, including Martha, an apparition of Jonathan Kent (John Schneider), Chloe and Oliver (Justin Hartley) — who is under the control of Darkseid and the prophecies.

After Clark and Lois exchange their vows, Chloe notices the wedding band Oliver is handing to Lois to put on Clark's finger is actually gold kryptonite. An all-out battle between Clark and Oliver ensues, ruining the couple's wedding. Clark tells Oliver he refuses to give up on him, knowing there is still goodness inside. Oliver is able to overcome the darkness, and destroys the ring — just as the Apokolips has arrived.

After Clark receives Tess' message of the incoming Apokolips, Jonathan appears to Clark, saying he's now ready to face Darkseid. Clark is scared because Darkseid nearly defeated him before and knows his weaknesses. Jonathan insists that Clark needs to turn to Jor-El to guide him. Martha, unaware of Jonathan's appearance, shares the story of finding Clark in the field when he was a baby — he was the miracle they prayed for and now the world needs that same miracle.

Clark goes in search of Tess, who is close to fulfilling her own destiny as a Luthor, according to Lionel. Lex (Michael Rosenbaum) has finally pieced together the best bits of each clone to create a masterpiece. The only thing Lex needs now is a heart, and because Tess hid Conner (Lucas Grabeel) so well, it's her heart that's being donated. Tess is able to escape captivity and shoot Lionel in the chest. As she leaves, Darkseid arrives to offer Lionel a deal — his soul for Lex's life.

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Clark tracks who he believes to be Lionel to the Luthor mansion, but it's Lex who greets him, explaining that they will both be great men because they have a destiny as enemies. Lex implores Clark to save the world from Darkseid so their story can begin. One slight glitch for Lex? He'll never remember this or any of his memories of Smallville and Clark Kent. As he later skewers Tess with a sword, she reveals her last dying act was to plant a neuro-toxin on him, essentially erasing his every memory.

Lois boards Air Force One to warn the president that nuking what they believe to be a meteor, but is actually a planet, will kill a third of the Earth. It turns out they already know this, and would rather sacrifice some for the greater good. Lois begs them to wait, that heroes like the Blur will save them.

As Clark prepares to return to the Fortress, he comes face to face with Darkseid, who has taken over the body of Lionel. Darkseid knows Clark will be able to vanquish the darkness, so he must kill him. Tossing him like a rag doll across the barn, Clark's consciousness is suddenly transported to the Fortress, where he sees visions of every trial he's been through. Jor-El tells Clark it's time to embrace his destiny.

Coming back to his body, Clark stops himself mid-air, and instead flies straight through Darkseid and to the Fortress, where Jor-El greets him. Clark honors his biological father with the realization that his strength comes from accepting his Kryptonian past, but Jor-El tells Clark to also hold onto his memories of Smallville. Jonathan appears to hand Clark the infamous supersuit as Clark flies off to save the world.

Before ridding the Earth of Darkseid's Apokolips, Clark flies to save Lois' plane from going down. And as Clark flies into Apokolips, she grabs a handheld camera on Air Force One to interview the president, cementing her place in history. As Clark pushes the planet away, he shines a light upon the world, removing the Omega symbols.

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"And that was the day the boy turned into Superman," Chloe tells her son as she closes the comic book.

We're back in the future as Chloe tucks her son in, with his bow and arrows not too far away, and makes a call to her cousin, Lois. Over at the Daily Planet, intrepid reporter Lois Lane is sent into a tizzy as she prepares for her wedding while juggling Perry White's many demands -- as he yells, "Great Caesar's ghost!" -- and doling out advice to the new Jimmy Olsen (still fittingly played by Aaron Ashmore.) As a television nearby blares the news that Lex Luthor has been elected president, Lois and Clark are finally ready to get married ...  but maybe not today; he has to run to save Metropolis first.

And so Smallville comes to an end, giving fans nearly everything they asked for and more. From tights and flight to the full-fledged legendary hero, Smallville brought Superman alive — and it was worth every minute of the 10-year wait. Every bit an ending as it was a beginning, Smallville flew off on a sky-high note.

What did you think of the finale?