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Kyle Cushing is the fire chief of Smallville, Kansas and husband of Lana Lang. He was one of Morgan Edge’s Subjekts but was returned to normal by Superman.

Early Life

Kyle's family immigrated from Mexico to America. When they moved to Smallville, his father changed their name from Cortez to Cushing.

Kyle went to Smallville High School alongside Lana and Clark Kent. When Lana broke up with Clark she began dating Kyle and the two eventually married and had two daughters. When he left school he joined the Smallville Fire Department, eventually rising to fire chief.

Smallville fell into economic depression as the traditional industries that drove the town disappeared. Kyle held conservative views and resented the loss of Smallville's way of life as people left the town to pursue other opportunities rather than stay and try to improve it. In his experiences as a firefighter he saw the worst effects of the town's decline on its citizens on a regular basis and turned to drink to cope. His relationships with his wife and daughters, particularly Sarah, were extremely strained. During this period he had an affair with a bartender named Tanya, but broke it off when Sarah attempted suicide.

Season One

Kyle believed that Morgan Edge's plans to reopen the disused Shuster mines in town would be the cure to Smallville's economic woes, and campaigned tirelessly for the city to grant Edge the mining rights. This brought him into conflict with Lois Lane, although the two did develop a grudging mutual respect as they recognised that each wanted what they thought was best for the town.

Edge was granted the mining rights, which Kyle's advocacy was key in securing. Edge chose Lana to head up operations in Smallville, much to the Cushing's surprise. While Kyle was proud of Lana he had expected to be rewarded with a job for his work on Edge's behalf. Edge appointed Lana to run a "leadership training scheme", and heavily implied she should recruit Kyle to the program. As she believed that the program was a cover for something sinister, Lana kept Kyle out of it, telling Kyle that while Edge respected him personally he had no interest in employing him.

Sarah considered auditioning for a musical revue at school but was afraid to do so due to severe stage fright. Kyle helped her select a song and promised to accompany her on his guitar during the audition. However, before the audition he had a chance encounter with Edge's assistant Leslie Larr, who told him Edge was interested in hiring him, contrary to what Lana had told him. Depressed at the seemingly lost opportunity, Kyle got drunk and missed the audition, and Sarah told him to never promise her anything again.

Hoping to improve himself so he would not let his family down again, Kyle approached Edge and asked to be entered into the program. He was exposed to X-Kryptonite to give him Kryptonian powers and made the host of a Kryptonian consciousness. Kyle would remain in control of his body for most of the time until the alien consciousness was "activated" by a high-pitched signal, at which point the Kryptonian would take over while Kyle remained unaware.

Kyle and Lana attended the revue and Sarah's performance partner Jordan Kent did not appear. Kyle accompanied her on his guitar as promised and Sarah was able to successfully perform on stage. During the next performance by Avery Phan, Edge activated some of his henchmen, including Avery's mother Emily, sending them to attack Lois Lane. Emily abruptly got up and left without a word and Kyle followed her, claiming he would find out where she was going, although in truth he had been activated too.

Under the control of the Kryptonian consciousnesses Kyle, Emily and another man went to the Kent Farm. Emily and the third man attacked the farmhouse directly, but were held off by Lois' father Sam Lane. Lois and her son Jonathan Kent retreated to the barn where Jonathan had stored a cache of anti-Kryptonian weapons stolen from The Stranger. Kyle followed them in, claiming to be there to help and asked Jonathan to give him his gun. When Emily and the other man burst in, Jonathan shot them but Kyle blasted the gun out of his hands with his heat vision and attacked them. Fortunately Superman arrived just in time and punched Kyle out of the barn. He did not follow the attackers and went back to check on Lois and Jon, so Kyle and the others escaped.

Kyle woke up in a field with bruised ribs and no memory of anything that had happened since he had left the school. He went home terrified and told Lana that he had signed up for Edge's program and had no idea what had happened to him that night.

Sarah assumed Kyle was drunk and stormed out when Lana defended him. As Kyle and Lana were talking, Lois came to the house, which activated the Kryptonian consciousness within Kyle. He attacked them but Lois overpowered him with a chunk of Kryptonite. Kyle was held by the Department of Defense and tortured for information with Kryptonite, eventually giving up the location of the transformation chamber.

Jon Kent took Sarah to see Kyle, and the Kryptonian consciousness mocked her, telling her that her father was dead. Using the Eradicator, Superman created a wave that restored all the Subjekts to normal and Kyle reunited with Lana and Sarah.

Kyle felt deep regret for lobbying in Edge’s behalf, and apologised to Lois for how he had treated her. He believed the townspeople would blame him for what happened, which was proven true. Lois interviewed him about what had happened when he was brainwashed, and he told her that he had been able to briefly fight the programming, but he had felt that his family would be better off without him and eventually surrendered to it. Their home was vandalised by angry citizens, but Lana and Sarah both assured him that they would get through the difficult time together, and the family bonded in adversity.

Kyle became disillusioned with Smallville after the town turned on his family so quickly and easily, even suggesting that they move away. Lana wanted to stay but eventually agreed when she realised others involved in inviting Edge to the town planned to place the blame on their family. While Kyle was clearing his things from the fire station a firefighter he had recruited and mentored asked him to stay, but he felt that he could not. Kyle eventually received an offer to replace the fire chief in Bristol County two hours away from Smallville, and with no other choice he and Lana decided to relocate. When they told their daughters Sarah chastised them for giving up on Smallville, and called Kyle a hypocrite for abandoning the town after years of complaining about others doing it, then stormed off.

That night Sarah ran home and told her parents that Jordan had been kidnapped by Morgan Edge and that Sam Lane was injured. They drove back to Sam’s wrecked truck, helped Jon and Sam out of the car and patched up their injuries. They took Jon and Sam back to town and found the townspeople protesting the DoD. Faced with the choice to either leave or stay and help, the Cushings decided to stay. Sam asked them to help convince the people of Smallville to evacuate. While the Cushings were fleeing the city, energy waves being generated by Edge struck the town. A building was set on fire and Kyle ran in to rescue a woman trapped inside, winning back the respect of the town. Kyle was offered his job back and the family remained in Smallville.

Season Two

Over the next three months, Kyle worked to get sober while Lana ran for Mayor of Smallville against Mayor Dean, who had tried to scapegoat their family for what Edge had done to the town.

Emily Phan warned Lana that Mayor Dean was digging into their family's past and had been asking questions about Sarah. Lana and Kyle were worried that Dean would reveal Sarah's suicide attempt and cause her to backslide into depression. However, Sarah assured them she had overcome the problems that led her to try to kill herself and she was not afraid. While they were out at dinner Lana and Kyle encountered the Mayor and confronted him, and they both mutually agreed to leave each other's children out of the campaign. However, he also implied that he would reveal Kyle's alcoholism on the campaign trail. Stressed and shaken by these events, Kyle returned to the bar he used to frequent and met up with Tanya. He did not have sex with her, but simply wanted to unload his problems on her.

Tanya repeatedly tried to call him, eventually coming to Sarah's quinceanera party to talk to him. She admitted that she had confided in a friend that they had had an affair and she suspected that her friend may sell the information to Mayor Dean. Sarah and Jordan overheard them and when Sarah had to dance with Kyle she had a panic attack and ran out. Kyle and Lana followed her, and Sarah told Lana what she had heard.

Kyle stayed away from home that night, and came back in the morning to beg Lana for forgiveness, telling her that he still loved her as much as he did when they first met, but Lana asked him to leave. Later that day Lana went to the firehouse and told Kyle that she was no longer sure if she loved or even knew him anymore, and that he had ended his affair to prevent it hurting their children but not to prevent it hurting her. She asked Kyle to move out. Although Sarah was hurt by his actions, she eventually decided to maintain their relationship and so Kyle and Lana agreed to a tentative co-parenting arrangement.

Kyle moved into an apartment but did not take his possessions from the Cushing's house, as doing so would mean admitting that the separation was not short-term. A month later, on the day of Smallville's mayoral election, he was injured while fighting a fire and taken to hospital. The hospital staff called Lana despite Kyle instructing them not to and she and their daughters came to see him. Kyle insisted he was fine and was discharged but Sarah went to his apartment to keep him company, and saw its bleak, barely furnished state. Sarah collected Kyle's things from the Cushing's house and took them to his apartment, hoping to make his new home more comfortable. Kyle initially resisted but he eventually agreed. While they were unpacking, Sarah told Kyle how Jordan had been distancing himself from her, and Kyle told her that his and Lana's marriage had failed because he had not put her first, and advised her that she deserved better. That night Sarah returned and told Kyle that she had broken up with Jordan and asked to stay the night.

Two days later he met up Lana for breakfast, but she seemed distracted and left abruptly, asking him to pick the girls up from school. He suspected that Lana may have started dating and that evening asked Sarah if she knew anything. Sarah told him that Lana had disappeared for six hours the previous day, but also told him that if he had questions about Lana's personal life he should ask her himself. Kyle also learned that Sarah had gotten into songwriting and was working on an album. That evening he took her to an open mic night at Tanya's bar and convinced her to try out her material in front of people.

The next day, Sarah came to him and told him that Lana had found out and was upset even though Tanya had not been there, and believed that they had been keeping secrets from her. Kyle went to Lana's office to smooth things over with her, and found her stressed and worried. Lana told him it wasn't about him taking Sarah to Tanya's bar but because she felt overwhelmed by all the secrets in her life and worried that every choice she had made recently was the wrong one. Kyle assured her that she was a good person and he trusted that she always had the best intentions. He suggested that they and their daughters have dinner together and Lana agreed.

A few days later a second, red, cube-shaped sun appeared in the sky, which the government claimed was a rare optical illusion. The people of Smallville were understandably sceptical and Lana called a town hall meeting to discuss it. She asked Kyle if he believed it was better to know that something terrible was coming or to remain blissfully ignorant. Kyle told her that it depended on whether she was trying to protect others or herself by not telling the truth. He admitted that he hadn't had the courage to admit the truth about his affair to her, but he believed that she was strong enough to deal with the consequences of sharing a terrible secret.

Lana called a town hall meeting and told the townspeople that their world was being forcibly merged with another and Superman had lost his powers and would not be able to help them. The people did not believe her and George Dean tried to use it as an opportunity to undermine Lana, despite Kyle's attempt to defend her. Superman appeared personally and told the townspeople that everything Lana said was true and the people should listen to her. Lana told everyone to go home and shelter with their families.

After the meeting Lana asked Kyle to take Sophie home while she looked for Sarah, who had gone off with Jordan Kent. She said she would meet him back at the house, allowing him to return to the family home. Shortly after Lana and Sarah came home, Kyle was pulled into the Inverse world as the worlds merged. After searching for hours he stumbled across Lois Lane from his world. As the people of the other world disappeared around them, he told Lois that he deserved what was happening to him because of his affair and broke down crying. Lois told him he did not deserve to be alone and he was transported back to their world in the middle of a crowd of people from both worlds. He saw Lana and the girls in the crowd and they reunited.

Superman was able to undo the merge and restore the world to normal. Kyle hoped for a reconciliation with Lana but she told him that, although she would always care for him and he would always be a part of her life, they could never go back to how things were. She told him that he needed to stop hoping that they would be together again one day.

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