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Dave Bautista's Smallville Role (That You Likely Forgot) Explained

It's almost easy to forget that The CW's beloved teen Superman saga "Smallville" was on the air for 10 full seasons. And it's even easier to forget just how many major Hollywood talents made their way through the series' cast during its 217-episode run. But for those who have forgotten, that list includes names like Amy Adams, Lizzy Caplan, Adam Brody, Evangeline Lilly, and Cobie Smulders. And yes, you can count Dave Bautista among that illustrious crew of "Smallville" guest stars as the pro wrestler turned Hollywood A-lister pulled a one-off gig during the show's sixth season.

Fans might easily be forgiven for missing Bautista in the credits of that "Smallville" episode, as he booked the job under his WWE ring name Batista, but the actor's imposing physicality is unmistakable throughout his appearance. Bautista put that physicality to excellent use in the role of Aldar, a cold-blooded killer who faces off against, and very nearly devours, young Clark Kent when they throw down in the ports and back alleys of Seattle, Washington.

If you're wondering how he managed that seemingly unfathomable feat, it's because Aldar is a powerful alien being with a murky past that includes a stint in the Phantom Zone. That prison was, of course, concocted by Clark's Kryptonian daddy, Jor-El, to house the worst of the universe's evil doers. So Aldar's incarceration confirms beyond doubt that he was not a foe not to be trifled with.

Bautista played a Phantom Zone escapee with an unceasing taste for bone marrow

We don't get much of Aldar's backstory during his "Smallville" appearance, which is decidedly on the brief side. In fact, the storyline that leads Clark Kent into his near-fatal showdown with Aldar is pretty much the secondary plot in the episode. But it remains a vital one in the season's overarching narrative as it eventually leads to Clark's first real encounter with J'onn J'onzz, aka Martian Manhunter.

For the record, it's that character who saves Clark from what was shaping up to be a grisly death at the hands of Aldar, who has a tendency to rip his foes apart with his bare hands and feast on their bone marrow. Unfortunately, Aldar is neither seen nor heard from again after J'onn takes him down, so we never get concrete details regarding how he's able to throw Clark around like a rag doll, which would seem pretty important given Clark's status as the series' Superman-in-the-making.

That said, we do know that Aldar somehow found his way to Earth after Clark opened the Phantom Zone gateway to make his own harrowing escape, and it's a safe bet that the brutal ways in which Aldar feeds his ghastly culinary craving played a significant role in his cosmic incarceration. Whatever the case, given that Aldar could more than hold his own against the super-powered Clark, it seems an egregious oversight to have dispatched him so abruptly and with such finality. That's even more true when you account for where Bautista's career was headed.