Smallville returns with its first new episode since December tonight, and will feature the triumphant return of James "Captain John" Marsters as Brainiac. Marc McClure, who played Jimmy Olsen in Superman: The Movie, appears as Dax-Ur, a Kryptonian who was responsible for the creation of Brainiac in the first place. Now he lives a solitary life on Earth with his plants and loves to gaze off into the distance while melancholy music plays. Watch two more sneak preview clips after the break, and get ready for maximum spoilage.

We can't help but feel somewhat sad for poor Marc McClure. The guy has to play the hapless dork Jimmy Olsen in several Superman movies, and then Smallville rolls around. Season after season of the show goes by, and he sees Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, and even the freaking voice of Terence Stamp appear in the show. More than that, they've got Superman III (shudder) star Annette O'Toole playing Martha Kent. But does poor Marc get a call? No. Finally, Season Seven. His big shot in the spotlight. Hooray! We imagine the call went something like this:

Marc? It's your agent, Morty. You'll never guess, but the Smallville folks called up today, and they want you on the show. Yes, I know! It sounds great, doesn't it? What'll you be playing? Oh, you're Dax-Ur, a sort of dorky Kryptonian who created Brainiac, a good-looking robot dude who destroys worlds! Hmm? Yes, yes, you're Kryptonian. What's that? Do you fly around and punch the crap out of people? Um, no. You've given up all of your powers and you wear a blue kryptonite bracelet... hello? Marc? Hello?

Sadly, it doesn't look like Marc will be returning to the ranks of Smallville, based on the clip below. But if you're going go, why not go in style? Having Brainiac shove his massive Terminator 2 liquid metal-style finger deep down into your neck isn't the worst. Plus he can download your brain with that same finger, which is pretty useful, and probably a fun party trick. Bizarro with his crystallizing face in one corner, and Brainiac with his phallic finger in the other. Set up a keg, and you're good for at least six hours.