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original airdate: 01/18/07

Smallville kicked it into Super-gear this week. Not since the finale of Angel with Angel and crew striding forward to meet the hordes of Hell have I wanted to cheer at my TV. (Much to the embarrassment of Kim.)

Yes, boys and girls, the “Justice League” was formed last night. Led by Green Arrow (Oliver Queen), the charter members of Smallville’s JLA are Aquaman (Arthur Curry), The Flash (Bart Allen), Kent and … Cyborg (Victor Stone). Aroou? I missed the first Smallville episode with Cyborg so I was caught off guard on this one. I was expecting the Martian Manhunter (featured in a recent episode). I do see the appeal of Cyborg, what with the high tech atmosphere presented in Smallville, having a character that can hack any computer/security system makes life much easier for the script writers and keeps the show current.

The show starts with the reappearance of The Flash, adding to his hero resume by saving Chloe from a messy rendezvous with a bullet. Turns out Flash is working “with” Oliver Stone (Green Arrow) jacking data from multiple Luthor Corp installations. ‘Green leather boy’ is hot on the trail of the mysterious ‘33.1 Project’, Luthor’s mysterious project that keeps swallowing up various “enhanced” individuals for study and other nefarious purposes.

Before you can blink, Flash is captured and Kent seeks out Oliver’s help only to find the Green Arrow (in his Mac equipped headquarters) has already recruited Aquaman and Cyborg and are hot on Luthor’s trail. Chloe (oh how I love thee, let me count the ways) quickly sets them on the right track and fifteen minutes of superhero goodness ensues.

The proto JLA frees Flash, outwits Luthor, and blows his (PC equipped) lab of Super Hero evilness to smithereens. That’s right. Clark Kent agrees to the destruction of several million dollars of real-estate. Any long term watcher of Smallville will realize that this is a seminal point in Clark’s maturation process. Yes, our favorite little boy scout is getting all grown up. The scene with the five heroes striding away from the exploding Luthor Corp facility will bring a big silly grin to even the most jaded fanboys.

Luthor has some wonderfully villainous scene chewing moments, there seems to be no further ambiguity about where Luthor stands on the cosmic Good/Bad scale. There was an especially chilling moment where he labels the JLA a ’terrorist organization’ in double speak that would have made the Bush administration blush.

It was slim pickings for you shippers out there, with only the inevitable breakup of Oliver and Lois. Lana was away is Paris the entire episode (glee).

Not all is perfect for Fanboys. Clark has some mysterious business of his own to resolve so the JLA strides off into the sunset, on a mission, without Clark. But they leave with the understanding that there is more to come.

Ron Talbot

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