Wellingverse Dual-Identity Development:
Clark's iconic Superman years, that destination era we know does in fact begin with Smallville's final hour, can be glimpsed at a few rare points through out the series ("Finale" obviously included). This isn't even taking in account how we did get the Man of Steel's early years, a point still before fully mastering flight for keeps and first donning a certain full-fledged suit. This final era of Smallville that does get into the pre-named Kal-El's dual-identity begins half a dozen eps into Season 8, spanning from the unofficial "Prey"/"Identity" two-parter all the way until the series finale. You'll see how Kent goes from a cooler post-Crisis-esque cub reporter in the background to a somewhat nerdier pre-Crisis-esque reporter working his way up, the entire Clark/Lois/Kal-El dynamic, how Kent first encounters several more mythos foes as his alias, etc.
Then from there:
Season 10's "Finale" -- May 13th, 2011: As the present-day events of Smallville wind down with Clark's 'journey over destination' coming to an end, Kal-El of Krypton at last makes his final transition from a mere 'Hero of Metropolis' in the shadows to 'The World's Greatest Hero' shining bright in the sun, showing himself to the general public for the third and clearest-as-yet occasion for a pair of super-saves that truly need this turning point.
Season 9's "Salvation" (Interpret it as a dream or genuine vision) -- December 22nd, 2012 or January 1st, 2013: We catch a look at Lois and Clark's lives only a year and a half following the global threat of Apokolips, showing how effective Clark's somewhat nerdier 'Metropolis Clark' disguise has become over the years.
Season 10's "Homecoming" -- October 15th, 2017: Courtesy of another look even a few more years into the future, we see in 2017 how solid the balance Lois and Clark construct in the final season lasts and how simple the Glasses concept really is in spite of Kent not wearing them for 99% of his cooler cub reporting days, Superman continues to endure in the never ending battle against evil.
Season 10's "Finale" -- November 5th, 2018: At least one more year later, we see in 2018 how at least one other character is doing following the series finale's present-day events while Lois and Clark's relationship still blooms stronger than ever before, meanwhile Lex Luthor reaches his own interesting destination.
(At some point in Kal-El's upcoming iconic years, it's very safe to assume this universe's Supes will also face his own 'The Death of Superman' conflict involving a certain Kryptonian beast, as evident from Season 8's prominent arc and where that year's finale leaves things off)
Season 1's "Hourglass" & Season 4's "Scare": Lex Luthor WILL become President of the United States and while Clark WILL ultimately defeat him some day, this destiny won't be fulfilled without consequence, black glove and all.
Season 3's "Hereafter": Years off into the distance, Lana still holds on to the purified Kryptonite necklace given back to her by Clark so long ago (keep an eye on her very last ep!), passing away an old woman warm in her bed.
Season 1's "Hourglass": Rather it will internally burden Clark or not in his coming years, he WILL out-live most of his loved ones and this includes obviously his Earth father, his Earth mother, Pete, Chloe, and of course Lana (though Lois, Perry, Lex, and James Bartholomew Olsen aren't included).
Season 3's "Hereafter" & Season 9's "Absolute Justice": Kal-El's final fate is reminicent of his final moments in All Star Superman, soaring through a massive celestial expanse with his cape billowing in the solar-like winds until he finally settles upon a bright light that envelops him.
Going off all that, for what was always intended as a prequel-esque 'journey over destination' origin story, we actually got far more insight into Clark's iconic Superman years than I'd have personally ever expected. Hell even in counting spoilery non-flashforward references to said era in eps like Season 8's "Legion", Season 9's "Absolute Justice", plus Season 10's "Booster", we know so much about what lays ahead for Clark. Superman will get the 'Key to the City' very soon after his clearest showing to the public and around the same time as a major interview with Lois, Kal-El will herald in an all new Silver Age of heroism for the Justice League that even the JSA's Golden Age couldn't match, plus alien life immigrants will eventually be welcomed with open arms as never before possible thanks to his inspiration.
Wellingverse development of superpowers:
Super-Strength -- Season 1's "Pilot": Clark developed this offscreen as a toddler (according to Season 2's "Vortex").
Super-Speed -- Season 1's "Pilot": Clark learned how to do this offscreen when only six years old (according to Season 4's "Transference").
Super-Endurance -- Season 1's "Pilot": Clark first realized the true depths of his inability to feel pain when hit by Lex Luthor's porche.
Bullet Dodging/Deflecting -- Season 1's "Rogue" & "Hug": Through a combination of his developing Super-Speed and Super-Endurance, Clark learned he could not only dodge bullets, but endure their impacts as well.
Super-Leap (or Super-Jump) -- Season 4's "Lucy": Spontaneously mastered how to do this when needing to save Lois Lane and her sister, though Clark had prior pulled off some very impressive jumps ("Pilot", "Duplicity", "Insurgence"), this was his biggest yet and now an ability all its own.
X-Ray Vision -- Season 1's "X-Ray": Learned how to do this under the guidance of his parents (would always be a X-Ray perception following "Jitters").
Heat Vision -- Season 2's "Heat": Learned how to do this under the guidance of his parents.
Telescopic-Vision -- Season 3's "Slumber": Spontaneously developed this ability while once searching for a threatened Lana.
Super-Hearing -- Season 3's "Whisper": Learned how to do this under the guidance of his parents.
Hand-Heat Emission -- Season 5's "Reckoning": A one-shot ability never seen of again, Clark masters the ability to emit an unusual amount of heat from his hands within an alternate timeline.
Super-Breath -- Season 6's "Sneeze": Learned how to do this with the help of best friend Chloe Sullivan.
Arctic-Breath -- Fortress Training: A variation on Kal-El's Super-Breath, learned during the full extent of Jor-El's Fortress Training, first hinted in Season 9's "Rabid" and then fully shown off in "Upgrade".
Micro-Vision -- Fortress Training: Kal-El doesn't show off this ability until far later in Season 10's "Masquerade" when it most suits to use it, though my guess is the Training's full extent would've been the best time he learned it.
Fully mastered for keeps in the final hour, but there is much gradual progress to that point through the span of ten years.
Season 1's "Metamorphosis": Easter-Egg 1
Season 1's "Tempest" & Season 2's "Vortex": Easter-Egg 2
Season 2's "Rosetta": Easter-Egg 3
Season 4's "Crusade": Easter-Egg 4
Season 7's "Veritas": Training Lesson 1
Season 8's "Doomsday": Easter-Egg 5
Season 9's "Savior": Training Lesson 2
Season 9's "Salvation": Easter-Egg 6
Season 10's "Lazarus": Easter-Egg 7
Season 10's "Supergirl": Training Lesson 3
Season 10's "Homecoming": Easter-Eggs 8 & 9
Season 10's "Collateral": Easter-Egg 10
Season 10's "Finale" (Part 2): Embraced!
Wellingverse Phantom Zone Summary:
The Phantom Zone is a separate 'world' entirely its own dimension, created by Jor-El at some point following 1966 to replace Krypton's death penalty and give Krypton's (along with the rest of the universe's) most lethal criminals a place to live some kind of lives. Certain criminals get subjected to a 'Phantom'-izing process depending on the severity of their crime, a process where their corporeal forms are destroyed and a Phantom-form of their essence is left to be sent to the Zone. In the most severe of General Zod's case, his process was particularly severe, his punishment seeing fit that the only way he could get Kryptonian abilities under a Yellow Sun would be if he took over the body of someone already with those powers (unlike Faora).
When one is sent to the Phantom Zone, a glass shard forms that leaves the exterior observer to look upon them as though they are there for eternity, as happens to Clark and Kara. In truth within this interior, the stay is rather short as the shard is a mere transition to the true center of the Phantom Zone, a desolate wasteland where you have eternal daylight under two suns, the corporeal never physically age or starve (though they can still be killed), and as far as I can tell the exterior shard of your image only goes away if you escape the Zone. As the Phantom Zone's two suns are neither Yellow/young-enough in nature, any Kryptonian sent there will immediately lose his or her powers, though presumably other aliens with differing abilities can keep them.
Within the Phantom Zone, only two exits exist, both backdoors that can only be accessed by a Kryptonian with blood from the House of El. The first backdoor was created by Jor-El and is out in the open somewhere in the Wasteland, its exact location only his former assistant Raya and a handful of Zoners know of (unknown if Zod knows of this specific exit by the end of the series). The second backdoor was created by Jor-El's brother, Zor-El having hid this exit within a Fortress-resembled 'cave' of the Zone in spite of some of the Zoners eventually learning its location. This other exit had its power source destroyed, thanks to both the final form of Zod for removing its crystal and Kal-El for destroying it.
While there are only two ways out of the Phantom Zone, there are many ways to get sent there. One such way involves a special bracelet created for Zod and his followers before the destruction of Krypton, it will instantly open a portal when thrown and the closest Kryptonian will be 'called' to it in a nearly irresistible pull. The only flaw of this method is the crystal will be destroyed once the person is sent to the Zone, so this can only be done once if you have just one bracelet. Brainiac once sent Kara to the Phantom Zone presumably thanks in part to her own bracelet, though that's a kinda vague can of worms hard to talk about and if this is the case, her bracelet remained fine.
Ways for Clark to send someone to the Phantom Zone. At first he would use a small 'S'-shaped Phantom Crystal (the first we see of the iconic logo in Smallville) given to him by Raya, its faults being it couldn't send any corporeal beings to the Zone and it could be destroyed if attempting to use on an extremely powerful Phantom. In addition was Martian Manhunter's red Phantom Crystal which like Raya's, didn't appear to be able to send corporeal beings to the Zone (J'onn had to kill the first one he helped Clark defeat) and this was eventually left in the care of Clark after Kara had been given it by J'onn.
After that crystal's destruction, Kal-El still had one way to send someone to the Phantom Zone and this method could send a corporeal being there, he just hadn't tried it since this was left to him some years back. A Black Crystal created by Brainiac and my guess is since it was left in the Fortress of Solitude, it remained dormant within the palace's Mother-Crystal (reformed when the Fortress collapsed), making it capable of sending someone to the Zone if programmed in a manner not intended. After the Fortress' reconstruction, the Red Crystal's destruction, then through a link with the Fortress' technology, Clark could use this Black Crystal to create a portal just as Brainiac had at the climax of Season 5's "Solitude". Sadly this crystal could also be destroyed as happens near the very end of Season 8.
Clark's final definitive way of sending someone to the Zone, all bets seem to be he and Jor-El create an all new 'S'-shaped Phantom Crystal during the full extent of his Fortress Training (done by at least the first time we see him in Season 9's "Kandor"). Chloe once mentions the possibility to him of sending certain aliens to the Phantom Zone in the middle of Season 9 to which he doesn't deny, but Kal-El only wishes to go this far as a very last resort. Upgraded to be more powerful than the prior two Phantom Crystals, this one can send corporeal beings to the Phantom Zone and unlike all other methods, is more discreet in not leaving an exterior shard behind.
In Smallville, Clark Kent is sent to the Phantom Zone three times. The very first time was still during his confusing early 20s as he was having his first conflict with Zod, while the second time would be at the very start of his dual-identity's first year with Lois Lane. Kara Kent was also sent to the Zone between these two occasions, leaving with Clark and Lois during the latter. Lastly the Man of Steel went to the Zone one more time near the end of the series, surprisingly with the unwitting assist of Green Arrow as they barely made it out alive.
Within the Phantom Zone exists at least three other surviving Kryptonians by show's end (Raya having escaped before her demise and Nam-Ek being killed by her), the merged General Zod, the original Faora, and Atheyer. Rather Faora takes over Atheyer or the body of a male companion of Zod's is anyone's guess, but it's confirmed by Jor-El in Season 7's "Persona" she never escaped in the Season 6 premier, as all of the Phantoms/Zoners were dealt with by Clark and he never came across her.
Compiled and Written by SilentDues, big Smallville expert.