Desiree Atkins (birth name Allison Sanders) is a one-shot villainess appearing in the WB/CW television series Smallville, serving as the main antagonist of the Season 2 episode "Heat."
She is portrayed by Krista Allen, who also played Maitreya in The X Files episode "First Person Shooter."
Desiree was born Allison Sanders in Smallville, Kansas. On the day of the meteor shower that devastated the town in 1989, she was having sex with her boyfriend when the meteors hit. Exposure to the Kryptonite radiation from one of the meteors, combined with the fact that her own pheromones were at high levels, gave her the ability to produce a pheromone mist that could entrance a male to do her bidding. Allison then used her pheromones to make her boyfriend kill her parents so she could inherit their fortune. As an adult, she married a rich man and got a job as a schoolteacher. After one of her students murdered her husband, she, like before, inherited a large sum of money. Unfortunately, she lost the money in bad investments.
In the summer of 2002, Desiree met Lex Luthor at a business summit. They fell in love, most likely because of her Kryptonite pheromones, and decided to get married after just a few weeks of dating. Desiree found employment at Smallville High School as a Biology teacher, and her attractiveness and revealing style of dress caught the attention of every male student, including Clark Kent, who kept stealing glances at Desiree while the class was watching a video on sexual reproduction. Clark's sexual arousal triggered his first burst of heat vision, which caused a fire in the science lab.
Clark put the fire out, impressing Desiree, whom he was surprised to learn was romantically involved with Lex and even more surprised to be invited as best man to Lex and Desiree's wedding later that evening. At the Luthor Mansion, Desiree was asked to sign a pre-nuptial agreement for Lex's father Lionel, but she used her pheromones to get Lex to tear up the agreement. She and Lex were then wed.
The next night, Desiree visited Clark in his loft, where she tried to seduce him and use her pheromones on him, only to find that they had no effect on Clark. She feigned worry about her husband finding out and begged Clark not to tell Lex about what she did. Investigating, Clark learned Desiree's birth name and that she was originally from Smallville. He then went to talk to Lex, only to find that Desiree told him that Clark came onto her. Lex, angered and very much under Desiree's influence, ended his friendship with Clark and ordered him to leave the Luthor Mansion. Clark passed Desiree on his way out; now aware of Desiree's true nature, he resolved to get to the bottom of everything.
Desiree then spoke with Lex, who confronted her about her birth name, but she again used her pheromones on Lex and persuaded him to cut ties with his friends in Smallville. This led Lex to unceremoniously close down the Talon on account of supposed negligence on part of Lana Lang (Clark had accidentally caused a fire while with Lana at the Talon). After hearing about Lex closing the Talon, Clark confronted Desiree with his suspicions that she somehow talked Lex into closing the hangout. Desiree then told Clark that she could control anyone she wanted, especially his parents, and Clark vowed to find a way to get through to Lex and put a stop to Desiree. That night, Desiree poured gasoline on her own car and set it aflame so she could falsely claim to the police that she saw Clark set her car on fire; this leads to Clark being put in jail for arson.
Later, Clark's father, Jonathan, comes by the Luthor Mansion to speak to Desiree, who is skinny-dipping in the pool. She climbs out and correctly guesses that Jonathan has come to speak to her about Clark. Jonathan confirms this and hands Desiree a towel so she can cover her nakedness. Desiree claims to the farmer that his son is troubled and that the fires he's supposedly responsible for are a cry for help. When Jonathan protests, Desiree brings him under her thrall.
Sometime after that, when Lex facetiously asks if she's planning to kill him after she tries to get him to sign some life insurance papers, Desiree opens the door to reveal Jonathan with a shotgun. Jonathan, under Desiree's control, attempts to shoot Lex, who realizes that Desiree is doing something to make him do that. Clark, having escaped from jail, arrives and saves Lex from being shot. When Desiree tries to flee, Clark uses heat vision to heat up the door handle, causing Desiree to burn her hand.
Desiree is later apprehended by the authorities, and her marriage to Lex is annulled.
- Krista Allen previously played a character with powers similar to Desiree's in an episode of the television series Mutant X.
- Desiree is similar to Poison Ivy in Batman & Robin. Both are villainesses with pheromones that can enthrall men to do their bidding. Both turn two friends (Batman and Robin, Clark and Lex) against one another.