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"Absolute Justice, Part 1" is the eleventh episode in the ninth season of Smallville, and the one hundred-eighty-fifth overall. It aired on February 5, 2010 as part of the full-length movie Smallville: Absolute Justice.


A man named Sylvester Pemberton tracks down Chloe and tells her he knows about her team of superheroes and needs their help. However, before he can explain who he is, he is attacked and killed by Icicle. Clark and Chloe's investigation leads Clark to the former headquarters of the Justice Society of America, where he meets up with Doctor Fate, Hawkman and Stargirl.


→ see also Category:Screencaps from episode 9x11


Sylvester asks Chloe for help.

Chloe leaves a café while trying to call Clark, but only gets his voicemail. As she leaves him a message about bringing the team together, the power in the vicinity goes out. She sees a mysterious figure on the building above her and runs into an alley where she meets the man. He says his name is Sylvester Pemberton and they're both trying to put a team back together.


Chloe in the "dumpster of doom"

He tells her he knows about Watchtower and says that he and his friends were a team first. When the air temperature abruptly drops, Pemberton throws her into a dumpster, telling her to stay down. The dumpster starts shaking and Chloe hears a battle going on outside. When she tries to see what is going on, huge icicles tear through the dumpster. When it's over, Chloe gets out and finds Pemberton lying on the ground, mortally wounded. She calls for help, but he warns her that whoever attacked him will go after the others and repeatedly says the word "Check" before dying.


Courtney meets Clark

Clark arrives at Met Gen to find Chloe being treated for frostbite. He explains that he's been busy helping the Kandorians find their place among other humans, but Chloe doesn't believe that's possible. She notices the police officers collecting Pemberton's equipment and copies the data from Pemberton's phone. Clark observes a distraught teenage girl but when she realizes he's a reporter, she mistakes his concern for an interview and storms off. Chloe reports that Pemberton's last call was to a man named Wesley Dodds and sends Clark to talk to him.

Dodds is asleep in his apartment in front of his television. He dreams of Pemberton and his adversary in their battle. Waking up, he ponders over a gas mask. He puts it on and turns to see Pemberton's murderer standing in the doorway, who calls Dodds "Sandman". The eyes in the gas mask covering Dodds' face freeze and shatter.


Clark finds Sandman dead.

At Watchtower, Oliver meets with Chloe. He notes that she has been keeping an eye on him too while trying to bring their group back together. She hacks into the hospital's video surveillance and tracks down the ID of the girl who had argued with Clark: Courtney Whitmore. Chloe tells Oliver she needs him to get Pemberton's light staff. Clark arrives at Dodds' apartment only to discover his dead body. The letters 'JSA' are written in blood next to the body.

At the hospital, Chloe meets with Emil Hamilton who is examining Dodds' body. Emil confirms that Dodds was murdered like Pemberton, with ice, but the ice had some human DNA, which means a metahuman was behind both murders. Emil questions what 'JSA' means and Chloe suggests it's a calling-card from the murderer. Chloe then leaves to help Clark who is going through the newspaper archives.

Alone in a room, the killer lays out photos of a number of individuals on the floor. He crosses off the photos of Pemberton and Dodds and then picks up a photo of Courtney.


Chloe and Clark investigate the JSA.

Clark and Chloe go through the Daily Planet's old records and find files on Pemberton, Dodds and eleven other criminals, along with an old film, which they play. They see each of the people arrested by the police. Pemberton is one of them; he was charged with stealing from his own company. Though he had no previous criminal record, Dodds was also taken into custody. Also arrested were Al Pratt, a physics professor, for assaulting police officers attempting to arrest Dodds; Ted Grant, a heavyweight champion; Jay Garrick, a research scientist charged with fraud and resisting arrest; Alan Scott, a broadcast CEO, for aiding and abetting; and Abigail Hunkel, an elderly woman. According to the files, they all tried to take the blame and exonerate each other. Chloe reads about the evidence of jury tampering and missing witnesses, and that eventually none of the convictions held up. Chloe tells Clark to go warn Carter Hall, one of the men on Pemberton's call-list, while she continues the research.


Kent Nelson talks about needing Clark.

Clark goes to the museum where Carter works. Carter finds Clark observing all the artifacts and tells him that the museum is permanently closed. He wants to know why Clark is there, so Clark explains that Dodds and Pemberton were both murdered. Clark notices a man behind Carter, mumbling to himself and clutching a bowling bag in his arms. When Clark asks who he is, the man mumbles, and says his name "was" Dr. Kent Nelson. Carter says he's very sick, while Nelson continues to whisper nonsense. Clark pursues the matter of Pemberton, and Carter denies talking to him, saying he ignored his calls. Clark looks at Nelson again, and x-rays his bag and sees a helmet inside, which turns to face him. Carter tells Clark they have nothing more to say, so Clark leaves. After he leaves, Nelson tells Carter that the helmet says Clark could help, but Carter says that they only help themselves, like they’ve always had to.


Oliver finds Courtney.

As Oliver is informing Chloe via cellphone that the staff is missing, he sees Courtney walking down the street with it. He approaches her and she points the staff at him but hesitates when he tells her that two men are dead. Nelson appears and activates the staff, making himself and the girl disappear.

Oliver and Chloe track down Pemberton's car. Oliver prepares to break into the car, but Chloe just opens the unlocked door. Inside the glove compartment, Ollie pulls out a diary with info on all of them, showing that Pemberton knew the identities of Oliver's team. Chloe figures that Courtney must know too.


Dr. Fate returns.

Nelson takes Courtney to the museum, where Carter takes the staff from her and tells her to go home. Courtney insists that they have to do something before someone else gets killed. When Carter refuses, she questions whether she will have to go to another team for help, but Carter says that this generation isn’t a team. She argues that if he had done something when Sylvester asked, then Sylvester wouldn't be dead. Carter walks away, so Courtney asks him what Shayera would have done, stopping Carter in his tracks.

Clark meets with Chloe, who has located a former metahuman villain named Joar Mahkent, the Icicle, who is now in a psych ward at Met Gen.

Carter, Nelson and Courtney are in a conference room where Carter tells Nelson that they need him. Nelson is frightened and doesn't want to, but Carter insists that, although his morality may have wavered, Nelson's never did. As Nelson approaches the bowling bag, he admits he wishes he could remember his life before Dr. Fate. He believes he had a family and a wife named Inza, but he scared them away. Carter reassures him he didn't drive all of them away. He opens the bag and takes out a golden helmet, which he calls 'Nabu'. The helmet suddenly wraps itself around his head and transforms him into Dr. Fate. Courtney smiles as Dr. Fate greets Hawkman. Carter opens a hidden compartment, revealing a winged harness, a mace, and a hawk mask.


Dr. Fate using his powers on Joar.

Clark and Chloe arrive at the psych ward to learn that Mahkent is in a vegetative state. They see a golden light coming out of his room and enter to find Dr. Fate standing over Mahkent. Clark grabs him, which causes Dr. Fate to see Clark's destiny. Dr. Fate tells him that he is of value, but that Chloe is following the same path Dr. Fate does. When Clark asks who he is, Dr. Fate calls him his friend and teleports him away.


Stargirl fights Icicle.

Chloe calls Green Arrow from Watchtower to report that Clark is gone. Green Arrow is searching for Courtney and finds her in Suicide Slums in a star-covered costume. When he realizes she's acting as bait, he jumps down into the street, but she tells him to leave. The killer arrives and begins a fight with Stargirl. He knocks Green Arrow down and then attacks her. She attacks with the energy staff and their two weapons clash, throwing them off their feet. She runs for the staff just as he shoots icicles at her, but Green Arrow deflects them with an arrow. The killer gets away and Stargirl is furious that she missed her chance at him. A winged figure flies down from the skies, grabs Green Arrow, and flies away.


Hawkman warns Chloe and Green Arrow to stay away.

At Watchtower, Chloe is trying to contact Green Arrow when he comes crashing through the window. The winged figure then appears at the window and says to stay out of their business, before flying away.


Chloe cleans Ollie up

Chloe is tending to Oliver's wounds when he makes sarcastic remarks that this mysterious team of vigilantes are very good at what they do. This makes Chloe says that a bunch of retired supervillains are capable of beating them so easily and maybe her idea of tighter teamwork with the League is just a hopeless idealistic fantasy. Oliver says she shouldn't count them out just yet, and he shows Chloe an ancient shuriken he took from Hawkman while in his clutches. Chloe realizes that a museum is their enemies' headquarters and that is probably where they are holding Clark captive. Oliver suggests they get some reinforcements, and a call is made to Detective John Jones.


A forgotten legacy

Clark awakens in what appears to be an abandoned museum and he goes around pulling off dust-covered sheets to find it filled with a rich legacy of long-forgotten items belonging to a generation of vigilantes, who Clark discovers were a team of superheroes named the Justice Society of America.



Guest Starring[]





  • The first part along with the second half, originally called "Legend", is regarded by The CW as a single episode having the number 11 so that Season 9 has a total number of 21 episodes. This is reflected on the DVD which lists "Absolute Justice" as a single movie-length episode with no breaks (i.e., "to be continued" or "previously on" statements).
  • The original title "Society" refers to the Justice Society of America, or JSA, a DC Comics superhero group. They are the first team of superheroes in comic book history, and they preceded the Justice League by a generation.


  • Antagonist: Icicle
  • Major Zod does not appear in either part of Absolute Justice. Also, Lois Lane and Tess Mercer do not appear in this first half. This is the second time this season that only 3 main characters have appeared in an episode and the fifth time in the entire show. The other four times are Legion, Power, Requiem and Idol.
  • This episode was originally titled 'Society' before the decision was made to air Smallville: Absolute Justice as a two-hour movie.
  • This episode has the largest number of superheroes in a single episode, including five JSA members, four members from Oliver's Team, as well as an additional five JSA members introduced by flashbacks.
  • This episode introduces the term 'metahuman' to the Smallville universe.
  • When Doctor Fate touches Clark, we see the iconic Superman cape flying in the air, in reverse of the shot that was seen in the Season Three episode Hereafter when Jordan Cross touched Clark in the corridor of Smallville High School, confirming that Clark Kent's ultimate destiny is to become Superman.
  • Sylvester Pemberton died on December 8, 2009 and Wesley Dodds died on December 9, 2009.
  • In the video of the JSA being arrested, Alan Scott is wearing an old style Green Lantern ring, which is later seen in the museum where Carter Hall works.
  • This episode started out very similarly to Justice: it zooms into a building with Chloe on the phone, she is confronted by someone, and then is rescued.
  • This episode marks the second time an episode has no scenes set in the town of Smallville.

In Other Media[]

  • This marked the first live-action appearances of Dr. Fate and Stargirl.
  • This was the third live-action appearance of Hawkman. The first being the Legends of the Superheroes TV Specials in 1979, portrayed by Bill Nuckols. The second was a 1997 Baby Ruth commercial portrayed by an unknown actor.
  • Sylvester Pemberton's appearance borrowed heavily from the Jack Knight Starman, including the use of the Cosmic Rod.
  • Chloe is shown leaving Radu's Internet Cafe, a cafe in the ground floor of a tall building. Radu's was a coffee shop that often appeared in Green Lantern comics; Kyle Rayner frequented the coffee shop and designed the logo for Radu's business.[1]
  • The identity is never established of the dying woman whom Wesley Dodds is holding in his arms in the video clip. As the original intent was for Black Canary to be in the two-parter (with her mother having been a member of the JSA),[2] it is possible that she is supposed to be Dinah Drake (the original Black Canary).

An unnamed woman dying in the arms of Wesley Dodds.


  • Erica Durance, Brent Stait, Brittney Irvin and Alessandro Juliani all guest starred on Stargate SG-1 which starred Michael Shanks.
  • Michael Shanks also guest starred on Andromeda which starred Brent Stait.
  • Jim Shield, who plays Sylvester Pemberton, also played Ryan's stepfather James Gibson in Stray.
  • When broadcast by RTÉ 2 in Ireland, this pair of episodes were listed as their original titles "Society/Legends", instead of "Absolute Justice".
  • "Absolute Justice" is the only two-word episode title in the entire series.




Chloe: (leaving a voicemail for Clark) This is Chloe with message number one-too-many. I know trying to lead a contingent of Kryptonians looking for a new lease on life is putting a lot of weight on your shoulders and I don't want to add to that but I'm still trying to set up an official meeting with our supergang. We're playing too fast and loose. We need to start taking this more seriously.

Clark: Yeah, we've been playing phone tag.
Chloe: Uh, no, phone tag implies two people. I've been playing phone solitaire. Not nearly as much fun.

Chloe: So the killer was some kind of metahuman with an icy touch? Well, that explains my Arctic ride in the Dumpster of Doom.

Sylvester Pemberton: Technology today makes hiding a whole lot harder, Miss Sullivan. When someone like you reaches out and plugs into so many outlets, someone else is bound to pull out one of those cords and follow it back to the source. You're lucky a friend did it first.
Chloe: Friends? Friends don't sneak up on each other in a dark alley.

Oliver: Where are the other SuperFriends?
Chloe: Still waiting for them to ring me back. See, this is why I keep asking everyone to come up with some sort of standardized trouble alert. The team needs structure.[3]
Oliver: Is that what we're lacking? You're really on a kick lately. Personal phone conversations... bank records... Amazon wish list.
Chloe: Big sister's watching.[4]
Oliver: Is that my e-mail? Chloe, I'll have you know that those messages between me and Canary were purely platonic.
Chloe: Can we skip your virtual love life and actually focus on the job here?

Chloe: I couldn't find anything online beyond Sylvester Pemberton's rap sheet.
Clark: Maybe they didn't want anyone else finding it.
Chloe: They? "They" who?

Kent Nelson: Red, white, and blue. Two betrayed. Stars and Stripesy, stars and stripe. Sandman doesn't dream anymore. Is Mister Terrific still terrific? I don't think so.
Clark: Who's that?
Kent: Who is that? Who is that? Kent Nelson. Dr. Kent Nelson. But the doctor is out. He's gone bowling.

Kent: He doesn't. Tick-Tock. The Hourman's run out. The Atom is split. No, he doesn't. He doesn't, Nabu, so stop whispering.

Oliver: "Star rocket racer." What do you suppose this was, their getaway car?

Carter: You shouldn't have dragged Sylvester's sidekick into this, Nelson.
Courtney: I'm not his sidekick. I'm his protégé.
Carter: You're a little girl. Your stepfather must be worried sick. Go home.
Courtney: I read Sylvester's coroner report. There was frostbite around the bullet wounds, but no bullets. It's him, isn't it?
Kent: Jack Frost nippin' at our toes.

Clark: What are you doing to him?
Doctor Fate: Your fate is utterly binding. You are of value, Clark Kent. But you... (looking at Chloe) you walk the same path I do, Chloe Sullivan.

Oliver: 10 to 1 says pigeon man's got Clark locked up in a birdcage somewhere. I don't know who the hell these people are, but they sure don't like us. Ow!
Chloe: I thought you said it didn't hurt.
Oliver: I lied.
Chloe: You're lucky he didn't drop you from 10 stories up.
Oliver: I don't feel lucky. As much as I hate to admit it, these people really know what they're doing.
Chloe: Don't you think it's sad that a secret society of retired supervillains can actually come out of the mothballs and tear us apart like this?
Oliver: They know everything about us.
Chloe: Yeah, and we don't know anything about them. Maybe it's time I gave up on bringing the band back together. Maybe this has all been a lost cause.
Oliver: Don't give up on us yet, Chloe. We may be a bit dysfunctional and hard to wrangle at times, but when the chips are down, we're always there.

Hawkman: This generation will make the same mistakes the last one did... like the one before that. Obvious by how you've skipped your homework, you don't even know who we are.
Clark: You don't know who we are either. But none of us here are the bad guys.
Oliver: You sure about that? The winged warrior here threw me through a window.
Hawkman: I hope I didn't make you cry.
Oliver: Drop the mace, Conan.
Hawkman: I will... on your head.
Oliver: Bring it, Big Bird. Just for the record, you started it.
Hawkman: I'll finish it.

Green Arrow: Red, white, and blue. Loud and proud to be an American. Nice.
Stargirl: Well, at least I'm proud of something other than myself.
Green Arrow: What's that supposed to mean?
Stargirl: I know what kind of hero you are, Green Arrow.
Green Arrow: Is the masked cheerleader really talking down to me?

Icicle: Who are you supposed to be, sweetie? The new Star-Spangled Kid?
Stargirl: It's Stargirl. Say "cheese."


  1. Radu's Coffee Shop
  2. "KryptonSite Interview: Geoff Johns Talks Absolute Justice!" - Kryptonsite
  3. This dialogue is a direct reference to the SuperFriends TV show that aired on ABC from 1973 to 1985. The term SuperFriends was first coined by DC writer Gardner Fox in the early 70's. It was intended to be a more child-friendly version of the Justice League.
  4. This dialogue is a direct reference to Brother Eye.

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CategoriesMain Characters · Relationships · Villains

ComicsThe Comic · Season 11 · Miniseries