Clark Kent and pals return for a kryptonite-packed, twist-laden second season of the WB’s pre-Superman drama "Smallville," which flew onto store shelves May 18 in a handsomely packaged six-disc set.

The show, from exec producers Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, reaches its creative stride in its sophomore season. Not only do audiences get a slew of new baddies and character insights, but also a long list of firsts in the life of Clark Kent (Tom Welling).

Season two begins literally where the first season’s cliffhanger finale left off. Helpless as usual, Clark’s longtime love, Lana Lang (Kristin Kreuk), whirls above the small Kansas town in her truck, caught in the eye of a twister. Clark somehow manages to rescue Lana (does he actually fly, perhaps?) and, in effect, sets off what will be a season chock-full of new abilities and even some personality transitions.

In season two, Clark discovers he has heat vision (episode 2, "Heat") and then learns that red kryptonite turns him into an ultimate rebel (episode 4, "Red"). Clark also finds out that there is actually someone else on earth (Dr. Virgil Swann, played by guest-star Christopher Reeve) who knows about his home planet (episode 17, the superbly done "Rosetta"). If that’s not enough, season two also marks a milestone in Clark’s life as he divulges his secret to his best friend Pete (Sam Jones III).

The DVD includes all 23 episodes, as well as a handful of illuminating featurettes. They include a special effects lesson, deleted scenes, gag reel, commentary (on select episodes) and "The Chloe Chronicles," in which the titular Torch reporter herself (Allison Mack) conducts documentary-style investigations of some of Smallville’s bizarre happenings.

DVD Grade: A-