In the world of The WB's ''Smallville,'' there's only one thing more threatening to young Superman than kryptonite: creative lethargy. But have no fear -- Lois Lane is here! Played by Canadian newcomer Erica Durance, Superman's future lady love arrives in Smallville during the Sept. 22 season premiere as a sassy college frosh, investigating the apparent death of cousin Chloe (Allison Mack). ''It's the mythic jolt we needed,'' says executive producer Alfred Gough, citing a need to spice things up between Clark Kent (Tom Welling) and Lana Lang (Kristin Kreuk). ''[The couple] went from I hope they get together to Sweet God, enough already!'' While Superman's movie overlords (that is, Warner Bros.) have forbidden romance from taking flight during Lois' 13-episode stint, there will be some intimate encounters: Her meet-cute with Clark finds the teen of steel in his birthday suit. ''Hello!'' says Durance, 26, who despite inexperience has fan-girl cred. ''I read a lot of comics growing up,'' she says. ''My mom used to say, `Would you please read a book?' She was worried where I was going in my life.''