Johns & Frank Aim for 'Surprising and New' in Latest "Batman: Earth One" Volume
Smallville event “Absolute Justice” hit this week, and the long-awaited appearance of the Justice Society definitely got people talking.
It probably goes without saying that this post contains episode spoilers.
Eric Stettmeier of Toyriffic thought the episode surpassed his expectations:
The JSA were extremely well represented, their reason for fading into obscurity was well established, and their reasons for reappearing equally so. The episode had “Easter-eggs” galore, including Ma Hunkel – yes MA freaking HUNKEL! No one but Geoff Johns would have slipped the original Red Tornado into the mix like that. Her brief moment on screen (only in civilian guise unfortunately) sent shivers down my spine. And it didn’t stop there. Checkmate, Amanda Waller, mention that guys like Ted Grant (Wildcat) and Alan Scott (Green Lantern) are still out there, and one final line referencing The Suicide Squad – this episode contained enough seed material to keep Smallville going for another decade!
Lady Momus of Super Critique enjoyed the episode with some reservations:
I love that they got Daniel from Stargate as Hawkman, although I really wish they hadn’t gone with such a scratchy voice. He’s a good actor, but the voice made it hard for me to take him seriously. And it’s strangely appropriate that they got him to do the part, considering that Hawkman’s known for being reincarnated, and Daniel was best known for dying and coming back to life.
I like that they included Stargirl, but I spent the whole time bashing the portrayal. For one thing, she’s supposed to be 16, and if that actress was 16, I’m Queen of England. At least she’s skinny and short, so as long as you didn’t look at her face, you could almost pretend she was 16.
While Michael from Bad News From Outer Space thought it was “Dullsville”:
I just felt the storytelling was rushed and muddled. It was all about the JSA and not the Smallville regulars. It truly was a JSA pilot episode. There were a few cute bits, like Hawkman and Green Arrow getting on each other’s nerves (name calling and acting like 12 year olds being a superhero team-up tradition). Lois meets Dr. Fate and tells him, “Nice helmet.” “Thanks,” Fate quickly responds. Early on there were some Super-Friends jokes too. But there wasn’t much more to this episode.
There was no true sense of wonder to be had in the whole two hours; early episodes of Smallville were able to accomplish this. It all seemed like a response to cash in on the retro-heroes seen in the Watchmen movie; the opening credits of that film was heralded by everyone, regardless of how they viewed the movie itself. The Incredibles also did the “government hunted us old heroes out of existence” story as well, so there was no new ground covered in “Absolute Justice.”
So what do you think?