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Friday, February 5, 2010: <i>Smallville: Absolute Justice</i>

We'll admit that we were initially psyched about the introduction of more superheroes and supervillains to the mix on Smallville -- it certainly beat the endless, drawn-out love triangles and even the generic "freak of the week" stories of the early seasons. But this... this might be too much. A two-hour special TV movie event, in which Clark discovers that there was a group of heroes before the Justice League -- called the Justice Society -- that nobody has ever mentioned or heard of before now? Even though there were over a dozen of them, they all wore brightly-colored costumes, and one of them flew around on his giant wings? This whole time, Clark, Green Arrow and the rest of the never-seen Justice League have been presented as the first team of superheroes. They can barely put together good superhero outfits that don't involve hoodies somehow, and now it turns out there have been heroes for years? We'd be excited by the introduction of the Society, with its great array of characters, if it wasn't so utterly out-of-the-blue.

In tonight's two-episode-long story, someone is killing the group's members one by one, and the surviving few need to team up with Clark to stop the killer. It's an old chestnut, one that gets used a lot in comics (including Justice Society comics), although this doesn't seem to mimic any one comic book storyline as far as I can tell. The surviving members of the team include second-generation hero Stargirl, alien and/or reincarnated god Hawkman and the mystical Lord of Order called Doctor Fate (who is not a robot, despite his robot voice and clearly electronic light-up eyes in the commercials). Sleep-gas-dispensing detective The Sandman appears to be one of the victims, and The Martian Manhunter, John Jones, makes a welcome return as well, although making him wear his superhero costume is pushing it a bit. There's even a special guest-star: Pam Grier plays Amanda Waller, the head of a secret military organization who's known in the comics for her antagonistic dealings with the super-powered community. Whether Jackie Brown can save this two-parter from being a cheap-CGI snoozefest remains to be seen -- even with all the new costumes running around, the show still features a lot of shots of people's heads having long, drawn-out, pause-filled conversations with each other. On the bright side, Lois Lane is only in one of tonight's two episodes! Now that's what I call absolute justice!

Smallville: Absolute Justice airs tonight at 8/7 C on the CW. For more, possibly less-sucky options, check out our Week in Preview!

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