Baptism of Fire

Oliver Queen's gang had degenerated into mindless brutality. What had started

out with good intentions eventually led to abuses of justice. This change

happened over time as some members of Oliver's gang, including Helena

Bertinelli, 'Black' Canary, and Arthur Curry, became frustrated with the

criminal justice system and decided to take the law into their own hands.

Because of their harsh methods the press dubbed the group 'The Agents of



This change in methodology caused a fracture in the group. The most outspoken

critic of these changes was Jordan Cross. Jordan's concerns were soon echoed by

Kyle Tippet, and finally with Bart Allen.


Victor Stone was deeply concerned with the drastic measures the group would

sometimes take in deterring crime in Metropolis. Yet he also believed that a

split would destroy everything they had achieved as a group. He regretfully

decided to support Oliver.


Oliver soon saw himself in the middle of a dispute. As a group Oliver's gang had

done some very heroic things. And yet they also did many things that he came to

regret. He hoped to convince Jordan, Kyle and Bart that the good they did

outweighed the bad.


Jordan, Bart and Kyle were unconvinced by Oliver's argument. The press echoed

their concerns. In the course of ridding Metropolis from violence and

destruction they had created even more violence and destruction.

They decided that if they were going to fight crime they would not do it by

breaking the law. Together they headed to Smallville, hoping that Clark Kent

would join their cause.


When they confronted Clark and told them of their intentions Clark was puzzled

what he should do. He faced a decision that would change his life forever. He

wondered what advice his father Jonathan would give him. He spent days debating

what to do. He spent many hours on the phone talking to his mother in

Washington. He also spent hours at his father's grave, hoping for a sign. He

eventually became convinced that joining their group, which they referred to as

the Justice League, was the best thing he could do to help humanity, and that

his father would be proud of him.


Jordan, Bart and Kyle were elated to hear Clark's decision to join the League.

Clark decided that as a member of their group he would be known as Kal-El.


They felt that now they were strong enough to implement some of Jordan's plans

for stopping Lex Luthorís continually expanding corporate empire. They began to

conduct a thorough surveillance of Luthorcorp activities, and did whatever they

could to impede Lex's projects.


When Lex discovered that a new supergroup had been interfering with his

operations, and that Clark was a member of this group he made plans to meet with

Clark alone, to make a 'truce'.


Unafraid, Clark agreed to meet Lex. Lex asked Clark to put an end to this group,

and tried to convince him that any suspicions of illegal activity were



Clark was furious. He told Lex of things he had seen and heard that had proved

to him that Lex wasn't telling the truth.


Lex was also very angry, but he kept his cool. His eyes glowered at Clark with a

cold fury. He pressed a button and doors opened all around the room they were

standing in.


From out of the darkness Clark recognized Tina Greer, Mikail Mxyzptlk, Bizarro,

Molly Griggs, Dr. Helen Bryce, Jeff Palmer, and his sister Amy Palmer-



Lex stood up, still glowering at him. He told Clark to tell the League to stop

or he'd have them all killed, including Clark himself.


Clark's brave facade faded. He came to the sad realization that his former

friend was now his enemy.


Tina Greer stepped forward. Clark saw her press a button on the table, and a

door opened to an exit. Tina told Clark that he should leave before she killed

him herself. Clark stared at her for a moment, still shocked that Lex would let

her kill him. He then turned around and walked toward the exit. From behind

himself Clark heard the sound of laughter. Their laughter echoed in his ears as

he slowly walked away.