Alan Ritchson and Justin Hartley in Smallville by Michael Courtney/The CW
Get ready for the return of the Justice League. When
comes back in September, the Super Friends reunite to search for Clark Kent, who went missing in May's season finale after tussling with Lex Luthor at the Fortress of Solitude.
creators Al Gough and Miles Millar have departed (and are currently producing the
movie), so four of the series' longtime producers have taken over for Season 8. "Luckily [Al and Miles'] voices are still talking to us in our heads as we're breaking stories," says Kelly Souders, who is running the show with Brian Peterson, Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer. "Their visions come to us all the time, so I think they did a great job of preparing us for this day."
One of the first things the new quartet did was lock in
for at least 12 episodes as Green Arrow/Oliver Queen, a fan favorite who appeared frequently in Season 6 and once last season. He'll start this new chapter by gathering Aquaman and Black Canary to rescue Clark.
will reprise their roles, as will
, whose Martian Manhunter also appears in the opener, titled "Odyssey."
This season's theme is "double identities," Souders says. "It's about the Superman identity emerging as Clark Kent tries to maintain a normal life - or the appearance of a normal life." To that end, he takes a job at the "Daily Planet," right across the desk from Lois Lane (Erica Durance).
"The camaraderie as they work side-by-side that everyone loves from the DC Comics and all the Superman lore is going to come to fruition this year," Souders says. "The two of them are thrown together in some unfortunate situations for Clark. She becomes a little bit of an obstacle to him saving the world, when he's on a deadline." -