Smallville: ‘Absolute Justice’ Review & Discussion

Published 5 years ago by , Updated February 6th, 2010 at 11:53 am,

ab justice Smallville: Absolute Justice Review & Discussion

After months of anticipation, the two-hour Smallville television event that everyone has been waiting for is now upon us as Hawkman, Star Girl and Dr. Fate teams up with Clark Kent, Green Arrow and Martian Manhunter to track down a killer before it’s too late.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock that has no internet or television, you’ve  heard something about the Smallville television event “Absolute Justice” in which The Star-Spangled Kid/Skyman, Sylvester Pemberton, seeks out of the help of Chloe and her band of superheroes, all while Lois Lane is dealing with the evil Amanda Waller and the secret government agency, Checkmate. The episode is written by DC Comics (and fan-beloved) writer, Geoff Johns.

No wonder this is a two-hour event – there’s no way you could squeeze this many DC references into a single 60-min episode. Even I had to dust off my DC Comics Encyclopedia to make sure that I wasn’t missing anything.

Still, I had to at least miss a couple of fanboy references and I’m sure that the readers will make sure to tell me in the comments, there’s no doubt that for a fan of Smallville or comic books in general, “Absolute Justice” is a must-see event.


While “Absolute Justice” started in the typical Smallville fashion, it quickly became apparent that in terms of storytelling that this episode would easily become one of the best, if not the best, episode of Smallville in its nine years of being on the air.

jas 2 Smallville: Absolute Justice Review & Discussion

It was a wonderful to see that guest characters could be on Smallville with a backstory that’s more than the normal “guess who just happened to come to Metropolis.” In the months leading up to this television event I was worried that maybe the costumes wouldn’t work or that the story would be bland. Luckily, the manner in which the Justice Society and its Golden Age DC characters were handled exceeded above and beyond all of my previous expectations.

There were so many names being dropped and characters being referenced that I challenge anyone to watch this without hyper-focusing on every name being mentioned wondering if you happened to miss someone. (Was that supposed to be Thomas Jagger impersonating Clark Kent to drop off the Checkmate package to Lois Lane?)

Who would have thought that as the episode concluded that I would be happy with watching a Justice Society television show each week? One more thing that pleasantly surprised me was only wonderful Dr. Fate was. Some characters don’t make the transfer from print to television that well, but like Green Arrow, Dr. Fate easily stole the show.

Still, the episode was not without its faults. When the Lois Lane/Checkmate storyline kicked in it completely took me out of the story and made me wonder if the writers had originally written this plot in or if someone thought it would be great idea to crowbar in some foreshadowing to the ninth season finale.

jsa 3 Smallville: Absolute Justice Review & Discussion

Continuing with the Checkmate conundrum was the “big bad” of this episode. Icicle wouldn’t exactly have been my first choice as antagonist, especially when they decided to cast such a poor actor to portray the son of Dr. Joar Mahkent. His mannerisms were extremely odd and for the most part, the only way I could justify him making it this far with his “revenge” plot was because that’s what the writers decided. It certainly wouldn’t be because he has a formidable foe.

Final Thoughts

Overall, “Absolute Justice” was a wonderful glimpse back at the Golden Age of DC comics with more than enough nods to keep comic book fans busy searching through their mental Rolodex of superheroes while maintaining a wonderful storyline that could easily be enjoyed by those that aren’t so comic-literate.

jsa 11 Smallville: Absolute Justice Review & Discussion


Before everyone starts yelling at me, I know that I passed over some things. Yes, it was great to see Martian Manhunter get his powers back and I have to admit that I got goose bumps when we saw glimpse at the fate of Clark Kent.

But, were you as happy with “Absolute Justice” as I was? Do you agree with me about Icicle and Checkmate?

Did you catch all the superhero nods and references?

TAGS: Smallville
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  1. I am soooo ready for this. :)

  2. Cant wait no longer!

    Smallville rocks!

  3. Wow….
    First thoughts are, as usual, the action was lacking. The costumes were borderline cheesy but they worked. The hints of Apocalypse????? Could we be seeing Darkseid making an appearance???? Could it be a codename for Doomsday coming back fro Round 2??? Very interesting the way they teased a LOT of DC lore. Now if they'll just pick up the ball and run with it we've easily got another good 3-4 seasons worth of material with or without clark. I liked the way they handled the whole “Why didn't anyone know about the JSA?” It definitely had a Watchmen feel to it and was a decent storyline overall I thought.

  4. For the most part I was very happy with the show. but there was too many commercial breaks and they were way too long. the show was like 80 min max (if we are lucky) the rest was commercial. LOVED all the DC refrences. Geek-gasims a plenty. great casting for Amanda Waller. want Clark in his suit or at least closer to it. this suit is too rebirth (aka way to early 90s). defanitly want this on DVD so I can look at all the toys Carter Hall has in his house. Was suprised how mush screen time Alan Scott recived. suprised that some of the other got none.


  6. IT WAS AWESOME!!!! Really hope they continue using the JSA!!!

  7. The show played out well. It still feels like they're cutting the budget to tight on the effects and costumes. I hope they ramp things up. This is way to good of a show to go away because the producers got greedy.

  8. This Episode was Epic. My fave character portrayal was Dr. Fate. It started off slow, but you got a chance to watch the members of the JSA develop. The developing relationship between “The New Gen” was also really good. The episode delivered in almost every way. Bringing in Amanda Waller and Hinting at Lex's Return made room for alot of potential upcoming story arcs. One of the best parts to me was the some of the Shared Dialogue between the Chars. A lot of great lines in this episode

  9. “Think of me as your parole officer, but with a mace.”


  10. this is the best smallville ever

  11. I would have really, really like to have seen this done with:

    A. People who can actually act

    B. A director that knows how to direct actors

    C. A script that isn't written at the level of a soap opera

    I *know* Michael Shanks can act, but the lines the poor guy was given to say made me cringe almost every time he opened his mouth. And who told him he had to emulate Christian Bale's Batman gravel voice?

    The ice kid: Worst. Actor. Ever.

    Pam Grier… wow… major bad/overdramatic line delivery.

    And to get on the geek side of things – Hawkman's wings are decorative? I'm not a big DC Comics' guy, but since when? I thought he flew through wing power and that the wings were attached to his body. (I could be mistaken about this, but it's what I remember from when I was a kid)

    I also got a kick out of everyone converging on Ice Boy at the end and every single one of them targeted his indestructible Dr Fate helmet when he had no protection at all on the rest of his body. Duh.

    The best thing about the episode was Dr Fate. I liked the character, the helmet and even the costume, but that was about it.

  12. Is there going to be an encore presentation? I had to work and dont have tivo!!!!

  13. Unbelievable! I don't know what was better: Manhunter flashing green and saving the day, the mention of Lex being alive, or Hawkman being the most badass superhero in the history of tv.

  14. The CW doesn't generally do encores and unfortunately they don't show episodes online on their site. Don't know where you might find it.

  15. Hey Vic just to answer your question about Hawkman's wings. They are detachable. They're actually made of Nth metal. I could have gone with a better looking breastplate for his costume but other than that I was a happy geek for the most part

  16. Please show this episode again. I've been waiting for this for the longest and then the DC, Northern VA, and Southern Maryland area gets hits with a a snow blizzard and of course my satalite went out not to mention power next. Please show again. A lot of people missed this due to inclimate weather…

  17. i loved it because it was so intense. i felt bad that Captain America is dead and Dr. Fate, but i hope that the Justice Society of the old and the new justice society join all together and become the new JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA!

  18. i wished clark wanted to just do a new justice society and recruit, batman and robin, soon. hope it doesn't end or have a long break and made us wait until late jan. 2010 but wished every episode is 2 hours long.

  19. well… seeing as it's FEBRUARY… lol

  20. Who Was the guy that played the Older version of Clark, in the scene where Lois was telling about her morning and She is speaking to a Clark Kent, with glasses and the Mild Mannered Look. But Thats Not Tom Welling? does any one know who that actor was, or better why that scene was in there!!

  21. Is Dean so far away from memory now, then? I have to believe that “Lois and Clark” line Lois tossed off a bit later had Johns giggling as he wrote it in!

  22. Well yeah, definitely, Im sure he was. It was a great scene and it caught me off guard.. there were so many easter eggs and subtle images in this episode it was crazy. By far, an Epic Episode. One of the Best!

  23. that was a weird scene I just figured it was a coworker that happened to look like him.

  24. Anybody else find it odd they showed two promos for Absolute Justice DURING Absolute Justice “Justice Returns Feb 5th !”


  26. its not captain america. it was starman or starspangled kid, eitheer way it was a mix of both characters

  27. Wherer was the action? In two hours of show all we got was 30 seconds of Clark doing about nothing… heat rays out of his eyes. Wow! now that is exciting! Clark could have taken the Ice Man on himself. Didnt need any help. I applaude the developers for going to the old school of thought for their ideas, but Smallville has gotten to be so cheesy, so predictable, that is makes it difficult to watch( for this 46 yo). I, like many others, am just WAITING for him to learn to fly. Its been 10 years… Come on , Tom, there is only SO much life in this series before it will be cancelled… buck up and learn to fly!

  28. Hi. You can watch online here or here

    Loved the episode regardless of the cheeziness :-) Can't wait for more!

  29. Hi. Check out the links I posted above to see where you can go watch online.