A Look at ‘Justice League Unlimited’ – Part Two

In 2007, Conor took a look at Superman: The Animated Series. If you missed it, you can check out parts one, two and three. (Be forewarned, as the articles were imported from the old version of iFanboy.com, many of the graphics are missing and some of the formatting is wonky.)

In 2008, Conor examined the follow-up series, Justice League. If you missed that too, you can check out parts one and two. And now, as promised — the event two years in the making! — Conor takes a look at the final Bruce Timm DC Animated Universe series: Justice League Unlimited!

Part one can be found here.

Season One – Part Two

The Cat and The Canary – While out on patrol, and engaging in a fantastic fight scene, Black Canary finds out that her supposed partner partner Wildcat (awesomely voiced by Dennis Farina) is taking part in illegal no-holds barred Meta-Brawl organized by Roulette. She’s not happy. Later, back in the satellite, Green Arrow and Black Canary meet sexily, then spar in the gym sexily, and then Green Arrow agrees to help Black Canary investigate this Wildcat mystery. Black Canary is genuinely concerned for her friend Wildcat and Green Arrow is genuinely jealous of her concern. Over at the illegal fights, Black Canary pleads with Wildcat to quit. But he won’t! He feels important in the ring as opposed to being a part of the Justice League where he feels old and useless. Canary tells Wildcat to chose the Justice League or the fights and Wildcat chooses the fights. Black Canary offers herself up to Roulette – she’s willing to take on Wildcat in the ring on the condition that if she wins, Wildcat gets banned from the ring and returns to the Justice League. Green Arrow pleads with Black Canary not to fight but she won’t relent so he drugs her with a trick arrow and takes her spot in the ring. Wildcat beats Green Arrow mercilessly in the ring and Green Arrow appears to be dead. Horrified over what he’s done, Wildcat quits the fights for good. But wait! Green Arrow is really alive! He used a metabolic stasis arrow to fake his death! That dude has arrows for everything. All’s well that ends well: Wildcat returns to the Justice League and Black Canary and Green Arrow go for coffee in the Justice League commissary.

Best Moment: Black Canary’s fight with a group of thugs in the opening of the episode. Exciting and excellently choreographed. Possibly the best of the season.

The Ties That Bind (AKA Miracles Happen) – Based on a story by Jim Steranko! With the help of Oberon and Big Barda, Mr. Miracle rehearses his latest and greatest escape trick. It involves being tied up and locked in a metal suit that is frozen solid from the outside and then having a giant train dropped on top of everything. Of course he escapes: he’s Mr. Miracle. In the post escape afterglow Mr. Miracle and Barda notice that Oberon is missing. He’s been kidnapped by Granny Goodness! Granny wants Mr. Miracle to break Kalibak out of the prison he’s being held in on Apokolips. Mr. Miracle goes to enlist some help from his Justice League buddies. Mr. Miracle wants Superman but he’s busy on a mission in deep space so they’re stuck with– hey, it’s The Flash! Remember him? One of the original seven members of this Justice League? He’s totally on this show! It’s his first substantial appearance, and it’s only been, like, 15 episodes! So The Flash, Mr. Miracle, and Big Barda storm the hellish prison and spring Kalibak and then face an escape through traps, scary guards, and really, really bad memories from Scott’s childhood spent in said prison. They make it out but there’s still a matter of freeing Oberon from Granny Goodness. Luckily J’onn J’onzz was secretly tagging along on the mission the entire time.

Best Moment: The Flash and Elongated Man playing Brawl-N-Box and complaining that no one in the League respects them.

The Doomsday Sanction – Lex Luthor has announced his third party candidacy for President of the United States and Amanda Waller isn’t too happy about it. Neither is Batman. Let the unlikely team-up begin! Waller tells Batman that Project Cadmus was developed after Superman told the government of the parallel universe where The Justice Lords ruled supreme. She can’t be having tyrannical superheroes with orbital satellites equipped with super powered fusion lasers in her universe! In a neat little parallel scene, the original seven Justice Leaguers (even Sheyara!) meet to discuss Project Cadmus just as the Project Cadmus braintrust (Waller, Professor Hamilton, Hugo Strange, Dr. Milo, General Eling, and Tala) meet to talk about the Justice League. Waller isn’t happy with Dr. Milo’s work and she’s pulling his funding and kicking him off the team to be marginalized in some dead end desk job. Dr. Milo isn’t too happy about this and returns to his lab where… lobotomized-by-The-Justice-Lords-Doomsday is being held! It would seem that Doomsday was grown from a sample of Superman’s DNA and engineered to be his superior and brainwashed to hate him. Well, now Milo has a new target for Doomsday: Amanda Waller. But Doomsday’s not interested in hating Amanda Waller he only wants to hate Superman and he kills Milo on his way out the door to prove just how much he means business. Doomsday finds Superman (and the rest of the League) trying to stop a volcano from destroying some charming local villagers of the island of San Vocaro. They fight in the volcano. Waller freaks out that Doomsday is loose and orders General Eling to destroy him. Eling unleashes a kryptonite laced nuclear missile on the island. Wow. Even Waller thinks that was going a bit too far. Batman races from the satellite to intercept the missile. Batman manages to magnetize his ship and grab the missile out of the air and redirect it out into the ocean where it explodes. Oh, yeah, while this is going on Superman and Doomsday are beating the crap out of each other. Wonder Woman saves Superman’s bacon and they capture Doomsday and bring him to the satellite for interrogation about Project Cadmus. Doomsday doesn’t know anything but he does promise to escape and kill them all. Superman zaps him into The Phantom Zone. Batman berates Superman and Wonder Woman about acting like The Justice Lords. Batman sees Lex Luthor’s possible presidency as the first step towards the Justice League becoming The Justice Lords (that’s how it started in the other universe) and he’s none to happy about it.

Best Moment: Batman surprising Amanda Waller in the shower. Yes, really.

Task Force X – Written by Darwyn Cooke! On his way to the electric chair, Deadshot is saved from execution by Colonel Rick Flagg. He’s being recruited into the Suicide Squ– I mean Task Force X! Deadshot joins Captain Boomerang, The Clock King, and Plastique. Their job? Break into the Justice League satellite to steal the Annihilator armor from “Hawk and Dove.” They pose as Justice League support staff (they have a huge support staff!) and infiltrate the satellite, evading scanners and enduring awkward elevator rides with Leaguers. Deadshot and Plastique cause a radiation leak diversion (which leads to a mass evacuation of the satellite, like in The Hunt For Red October!) while Captain Boomerang and Colonel Flagg swipe the Annihilator armor. Making their escape they, of course, meet resistance from a bunch of third string Leaguers: Vigilante, Atom Smasher, and Shining Knight, and then J’onn J’onzz. Normally this would be an unfair fight, but they have the Annihilator armor. Plastique sets off a bomb covering their escape (and possibly killing herself in the process) and Task Force X brings the Annihilator to Amanda Waller. J’onn and Green Lantern sniff out the Cadmus spy on the Justice League support staff and J’onn wants to erase his memory. Green Lantern thinks it’s a bit too much (more shades of The Justice Lords!) and convinces J’onn not to. They realize they can’t trust anyone on the staff as the camera pulls out and we see the hundreds of support staff on the satellite.

Best Moment: The elevator ride with Deadshot, Plastique and Green Lantern.

The Balance – While Tala tries to find the right magic spell to remove the weakness from The Annihilator armor stolen in the last episode, her old mentor Felix Faust (imprisoned in a mirror) tricks her into casting a spell that has them swap places. Tala ends up in the mirror and Felix escapes and inhabits The Annihilator armor. Meanwhile, up in the Justice League satellite, The Flash pulls the ol’ “invite two former friends who now hate each other to dinner at the same time” trick to get Wonder Woman and Sheyara to patch things up. It doesn’t work. Wonder Woman storms off and runs into J’onn J’onzz who has his hands full dealing with the three magical members of the team, Dr. Fate, Zatanna, and Etrigan The Demon (wow, they just let anyone join, huh?), who are writhing in pain and babbling about the the gates of Tartarus swinging both ways and the balance being out of whack and tipping towards chaos. I’m sure that’s unimportant. Hermes appears in front of Wonder Woman with a message from Zeus: she is to head to Tartarus at once to defeat Felix Faust who has used the Annihilator armor to attack the city and dethrone its ruler, Hades. She must restore balance! She grabs her shield and instead of taking her sword she breaks in lets herself into Sheyara’s room to “borrow” her magic-disrupting mace. Everything gets awkward when Sheyara walks in on her and decides that instead of calling Carol in the Justice League HR department she is going to accompany Wonder Woman on her mission. They arrive at Tartarus and, after a brief mother-daughter bicker session, Hippolyta imbues Wonder Woman’s armor with its full power. Apparently, because Wonder Woman stole the armor to join man’s world, its full power was never unleashed. One of the first new tricks that Wonder Woman discovers is that her lasso compels those who are tied up with it to tell the truth. Huh. I guess it didn’t do that before. They grab Hades and there’s a big brawl and Felix Faust is defeated. Wonder Woman and Hipployta patch things up. And Wonder Woman and Sheyara decide that while they don’t hate each other anymore, they’re still not friends.

Best Moment: Tala getting tricked into letting Felix Faust escape with a spell whose true meaning even I saw coming and I am in no way trained in spell casting.

Double Date – Written by Gail Simone! The Huntress is in trooooouble. She went to go kill mob boss Steven Mandragora, who was once her mob boss father’s enforcer who killed her father and mother in a bloody power grab. Instead of invading his bedroom and shooting his bloated body full of arrows she ends up shooting a bunch of pillows under a blanket. Oh, that old trick. If that wasn’t bad enough, J’onn saw the whole thing (he’d been watching her)! She’s crossed the line and now she’s fired from the Justice League! She has to turn in her identification card, fill out some paperwork, and attend the exit interview with Carol from HR. On her way out of the satellite, Huntress hears The Question muttering about Cadmus and is intrigued. She tells him that she has info on Cadmus that she’ll happily give up, if he helps her find the Steven Mandragora. (She’s lying.) The problem is that the mob boss has turned state’s witness and is being protected by Green Arrow, Black Canary, and King Farraday until he testifies. The Question and Huntress set off to find Mandragora while Green Arrow and Black Canary bond over having to provide security duty for a scumbag. Then Mandragora escapes federal custody while Green Arrow and Black Canary are busy fighting The Huntress and The Question. After some harsh words of warning from Green Arrow and Black Canary, The Huntress and The Question head off to find Mandragora with Green Arrow and Black Canary in hot pursuit. They track Mandragora to the docks (it’s where all mobsters eventually end up!) and there’s a big fight and Huntress finally gets Mandragora where she wants him. But when Mandragora’ young son shows up she realizes she can’t do to Mandragora’s son what he did to her. Damn! This being a hero thing means you can’t get the good kind of revenge! The Question reveals that he helped The Huntress because he likes her and she kisses his blank, featureless face which, to be honest, is kinda weird.

Best Moment: The fantastic fight between the two couples. They really excel on choreographing the martial arts fights on this show.

Clash – Batman, Metamorpho and Elongated Man fight Parasite and he’s kicking their butts and they need help! J’onn calls on Superman but he’s busy. (Again!) So the newest Leaguer, Captain Marvel, flies in to help. Superman arrives after Marvel has subdued Parasite and is suspicious of the newest Leaguer. The press seems enamored with this earnest new super hero from Fawcett City who thinks its swell that Lex Luthor is running for President. The next day, the original seven Leaguers call Captain Marvel into the conference room because the headline on The Daily Planet reads “Captain Marvel Endorses Lex Luthor for President.” They’re pissed off! No more talking to the press without clearing it with the League first. Meanwhile, Lex Luthor is up to something: he is creating his own urban paradise city – Lexorcity! Between Lex Luthor running for President, this new Lex city, the theft of weapons grade Kryptonite from STAR Labs, and everyone in the Justice League (even Batman!) loving Captain Marvel, Superman is a bit on edge. Superman, begrudgingly, shows up at the unveiling of Lexorcity. He overhears Lex Luthor and one of his minions talking about a “device” being “in place” and he thinks he spots a bomb underneath a playground. Captain Marvel shows up (he was already there as Billy Batson) to help and Lex claims it’s an experimental fusion engine that runs on Kryptonite. (You know what? It may not be a bomb, but that seems kind of like a dangerous thing to put under a playground.) Superman thinks Lex is lying and Captain Marvel tries to get Superman to calm down but Superman has had enough of this guy – it’s time they fight! Their battle is epic and LexorCity is almost completely destroyed in the process. Great, Superman. The people didn’t trust you at all by the end of your own show and this is not helping. In front of the cameras and the assembled press, The Atom confirms that the device was indeed a free power generator and not a bomb. Whoops. Captain Marvel quits the Justice League because they don’t act like heroes anymore. Superman starts to feel guilty until Batman reveals that “they” set-up him. Who’s “they”? Well, it’s revealed to us that “they” are Lex Luthor and Project Cadmus.

Best Moment: Superman saves a plane from crashing into Metropolis and while he does we get the theme song from Superman: The Animated Series.

Question Authority – Superman and Captain Atom stop Mantis (a third stringer from Apokolips) from destroying Metropolis by sending him packing through a Boom Tube. Lois Lane asks Superman for an “interview… one-on-one” and they fly off together and there are more sparks between them in that one scene than there were in the entire three seasons of Superman: The Animated Series combined. (Seriously, they were like brother and sister on that show.) General Eling shows up and tells Captain Atom that he is being reactivated in the Air Force. What will Captain Atom choose — the Justice League or the United States military? Meanwhile, Superman takes Lois for a picnic on top of a bridge and she tells him that he and the Justice League are starting to act like bullies and that the public is starting to wonder about them. Elsewhere, The Question and The Huntress are up to no good. No, it’s not more weird blank face kissing, they are investigating the link between Lex Luthor and Project Cadmus. Also, Professor Hamilton gives Lex Luthor a physical and he reveals that, for reasons unknown, not only does Luthor have the body of a 20 year old but there is no trace of cancer in his body. No more awkward chest plate for Lex! Days later, The Question cracks the encryption on the data that he and Huntress stole from a Cadmus terminal and finds something disturbing in a file called “President Luthor.” He starts to see the steps leading to the Justice League becoming the Justice Lords beginning to play out in their own reality. The Question runs out to “stop it from happening” and The Huntress watches a video on The Question’s computer (from the alternate Justice Lords reality) where Superman kills President Luthor in the Oval Office. On the satellite, The Question confronts Superman about the Justice League’s similarity to the Justice Lords, and the dark path they seem to be headed down. The Question then heads over to Lex Luthor’s office. (Which has a giant shark tank! I like Lex’s style.) He had decided that he has to kill Luthor in order to save the Justice League from becoming the Justice Lords. Unfortunately for The Question, Lex Luthor’s body seems suspiciously strong. In the course of the fight, Luthor reveals that he doesn’t even want to be President, he just spent $75 million dollars on a fake campaign to annoy Superman. (Awesome.) Subdued by Luthor, The Question is tortured, rather harshly, for what he has learned from the Cadmus computer. Meanwhile, The Huntress confronts Superman. The Question has been missing for a week and she’s worried. Superman agrees to (unofficially) help The Huntress infiltrate Cadmus to find The Question. There he discovers Professor Hamilton working with Cadmus, and Hamilton compares Superman to Lucifer. That’s harsh, Hamilton. Superman and The Huntress bust out The Question and are confronted by Captain Atom who is now back with the Air Force and assigned to protect General Eling (and by proxy, Cadmus). Cliff-hanger! The first multipart story!

Best Moment: The confrontation between The Question and Superman in the secret original seven conference room. Shades of Rorschach and Dr. Manhattan.

Hunter’s Moon (AKA Mystery in Space) – In the Justice League satellite, Vixen tries to get frisky in a closet with Green Lantern but he’s not having it. It’s inappropriate! And unprofessional! Meanwhile, The Justice League receives a distress call in space involving trouble at a Nth metal mine and — HEY! WHAT THE EFF HAPPENED TO THE SUPERMAN/CAPTAIN ATOM CLIFFHANGER?!? … OH. APPARENTLY, THIS EPISODE ORIGINALLY AIRED BEFORE “QUESTION AUTHORITY” BUT FOR SOME UNKNOWN REASON IT’S AFTER IT ON THE DVD SET. HURM. J’onn J’onzz sends Vixen and Sheyara to respond to the distress call in space and Green Lantern is pissed. And rightfully so. You never want your current girlfriend hanging out with your ex- girlfriend. Never. As Vigilante, Vixen and Sheyara head out in a ship towards the distress call we see that the call for help was faked by Thanagarians. (And we are left wondering if the there is a worse Leaguer to send on a space mission than the six gun toting, no-super-powers-having Vigilante.) The ship arrives at the settlement and Sheyara sense trouble: their scanners are showing no Nth metal on the planet whatsoever. When Sheyara, Vixen and Vigilante investigate they discover that the Nth metal mine is a fake and they are suddenly attacked and their ship destroyed. The Thanagarians reveal themselves and tell Sheyara that her betrayal led to Thanagar losing the war and Sheyara’s (other) love Ro dying in battle. (Man, Sheyara betrayed everyone!) Vixen, Vigilante and Sheyara flee into the jungle with the Thanagarians in hot pursuit. Lots of fighting ensues and Sheyara tries to give herself up to save Vixen and Vigilante, but they won’t have it. They defeat the Thanagarians and return to the satellite. Green Lantern runs up to greet Vixen and Sheyara and they blow him off, heading to the commissary to get a drink and make fun of Green Lantern and his taste in movies. SEE?! THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOUR GIRLFRIEND HANGS OUT WITH YOUR EX.

Best Moment: When I realized that a heavily drawling Nathan Fillion was voicing Vigilante.

Flashpoint – Ah, here we go. The Superman/Captain Atom cliffhanger resumes! Captain Atom controls red son radiation in order to give Superman a pretty good fight. But, c’mon. He’s Superman and Captain Atom is mostly lame so it ends pretty quickly. Back up in the Justice League satellite, as The Huntress finally gets to see behind The Question’s mask (Really? And they’ve been dating for how long?) Superman is starting to realize that The Question might not be so crazy and paranoid after all. But even still Superman is acting like an angry tyrant, or so says Green Arrow during a fascinating debate on the merits of the existence of Cadmus with Superman and Supergirl on one side, Green Arrow on the other, and J’onn J’onzz and The Flash uncomfortably in the middle. Superman advocating violent retribution against the U.S. government is kind of terrifying. Things go from bad to worse when someone (Lex Luthor) takes remote control of the Justice League’s satellite’s super fusion canon and blasts the hell out of a Cadmus facility, and the resulting shock wave blasts the hell out of the surrounding idyllic city in New Mexico. It’s one of the more shocking scenes I’ve ever seen in a mainstream cartoon. As you might imagine, the President of the United States is not too happy. J’onn explains that they weren’t responsible for the attack, and the President seems to believe him, until he talks to Amanda Waller who is argues that it’s time for Cadmus to take down the Justice League. On the ground, the Justice League shows up to help with the devastation in New Mexico and, despite getting to share a co-ed changing room with Black Canary, Green Arrow is not too thrilled about being a Justice Leaguer anymore. Amanda Waller gets sick of waiting for the President to make up his mind on the Justice League, so she unleashes Supergirl Clone Power Girl and hundreds of clones of The Ultimen and tells them to take down the Justice League.

Best Moment: Even after pummeling Captain Atom into unconsciousness (and even though he tried to stop Superman, The Huntress, and The Question from escaping Cadmus) Superman takes Captain Atom to the Justice League satellite infirmary because “He’s Justice League.” And he’s Superman.

Panic in the Sky – We’re now in full-on continuous story mode. Professor Hamilton has given Supergirl Clone Power Girl complete mental control of The Ultimen who are now mindless automatons. They obey her mental commands. Before heading off to battle, Supergirl Clone Power Girl turns back and hugs Professor Hamilton and says “goodbye, daddy.” It would be a touching moment if everyone involved wasn’t so evil. The original seven Justice Leaguers minus The Flash (on the ground helping) and Batman (mysteriously absent) meet and decide that they’ve fucked up royally and should turn themselves in to the authorities until it can be proven that the fusion laser canon was fired remotely. En route to surrendering they contact The Flash, who agrees to turn himself in as well, and Batman who basically says ha ha, you must be joking. The original Leaguers (minus Batman) turn themselves in to the U.S. military while the rest of the league works to figure out what happened with the fusion canon. Unfortunately, it’s hard to investigate when you’re under attack. First a major barrage of LexCorp missiles hit the satellite. But they’re not ordinary missiles: instead of exploding on impact, they drill their way into the satellite and once inside they open up to reveal a cargo of Ultimen! The invasion has begun! The fight is on! It’s the Justice League vs. The Ultimen! Meanwhile, Batman sneaks his way into Cadmus, knocks out General Eling and confronts Amanda Waller. He tries to convince her that Lex Luthor was the one responsible for firing the fusion canon a New Mexico. Waller is loathe to believe anything bad about the man secretly funding her entire operation… but she’s suspicious. As the epic battle on the satellite rages and Supergirl and Power Girl have their showdown, Amanda Waller, Professor Hamilton, and General Eling do some digging and realize that Luthor has been playing them all along. He’s been stealing their technology for his own nefarious ends: he has used Cadmus tech to turn Amazo into a super powerful immortal body for his consciousness to live in… forever! It’s a good thing Batman sussed it all out! Lex reveals that the real purpose of Cadmus was twofold: ruin Superman’s reputation and give Lex Luthor superpowers. As Batman quickly and painfully learns, Lex seems to already have the superpowers thing locked down, and all seems lost until Amanda Waller shows up and melts Lex’s new body. She’s also brought the original Justice Leaguers with her. Should be no problem to take down Lex now, right? Well, one problem. Lex’s body is ripped apart (ick!) to reveal Brainiac! (That explains the download his brain into Amazo thing.) It’s been Brainiac all along!

Best Moment: It’s a long moment, but the entire fight between the Justice League and the army of Ultimen on the satellite is fantastic. Every Justice Leaguer gets a moment. All 600 of them.

Divided We Fall – We learn that Brainiac has been laying dormant inside Lex Luthor’s body, subtly influencing his actions. Way back in Justice League when Brainiac kidnapped Lex Luthor and made Lex build him a new body, he infected Lex with a nanotech copy of his programming and had slowly been taking over his body ever since. Gross. And so the fight is on! Brainiac and the giant robotic tentacles that emerged from the LexCorp building have the original Justice League on the ropes. The tentacles are everywhere and growing, much like the fabled kracken! Brainiac subdues the Justice League and painfully begins to download all of the unique information stored in their bodies. (Does the human body have a USB port?) J’onn frees himself and then the rest of the League and Brainiac retreats to the the LexCorp building, which begins to crumble, revealing the source of all the tentacles: Brainiac’s ship. The Justice League dispatch the ship with little-to-no trouble mostly because it was all a diversion while Brainiac/Lex make their escape in the sewers. Despite the fact that there’s an evil robot inhabiting his body and talking out of his stomach — seriously, this is gross — Lex sees an opportunity to further his agenda. They head to Cadmus and assimilate the spider alien technology from “Dark Heart” to create a Brainiac/Lex Luthor amalgam body know only as… BrainiLex! (Okay, that’s what I called him.) The original Justice League heads to Cadmus and puts out a distress signal to the rest of the League. But with the teleporters down and the transport ships destroyed by The Ultimen, everyone on the satellite are trapped and those in New Mexico won’t get to Cadmus in time to help. It’s up to the originals to stop BrainiLex. He uses the nanotech to create powerful robot versions of the Justice Lords to fight back. The Justice League dispatches the Justice Lord robots and face BrainiLex. He takes out the League one by one until only The Flash remains. BrainiLex finds The Flash in the same position he was in in the alternate reality where his death at the hands of Lex Luthor led to the Justice League becoming the Justice Lords. The Flash escapes and runs around the globe to build up momentum in order to hit BrainiLex at supersonic speed from all directions. He hits him over and over again until finally grabbing BrainiLex and holding him while supersonically vibrating. An explosion occurs and when the smoke clears, Brainiac is gone and only Lex Luthor remains. The Flash crackles with lightning bolts and staggers towards the team before disappearing. Lex Luthor takes credit for finally killing The Flash, just like in the alternate universe. Superman grabs Lex and his eyes light up red. Is this the birth of The Justice Lords?! No! Superman relents and does not kill him. A swirl of energy appears and The Flash calls to the League from within the Speed Force. The rest of the League works together to pull him free. Some time later Superman addresses the entire Justice League, the press, and the people of Earth. He announces that they are dismantling the satellite and disbanding the Justice League. But Green Arrow is having none of it! He says the world needs the Justice League and the Justice League needs Superman. Superman agrees, but the Justice League will be moving out of the satellite  and back down to Earth. It’s time to reconnect with the people. This was the most satisfying episode of the entire first season, mostly because we got to see the original Justice League in action again together.

Best Moment: The Flash taking out Brainiac. Of the original Justice Leaguers, The Flash really did get the short shrift this season (him and J’onn) so it was nice that he got to save the day.

Epilogue – Despite the fact that the last episode was a true season finale in every sense, we’ve got one more episode whose title serves multiple masters. 65 years in the future a shadowy man dressed all in black breaks into a highly secure compound. That man is an older version of Terry McGuinness (the future Batman from Batman Beyond) than we’re used to seeing. The highly secure compound is the home of a very old Amanda Waller. As Terry and Waller chat over green tea we get a series of flashbacks to Terry and Bruce Wayne fighting, Terry breaking up with his girlfriend, Terry quitting the Justice League, Terry finding out that he’s a clone of Bruce. (Sort of — Bruce used illegal Cadmus technology to rewrite Terry’s DNA to match Bruce’s. The same tech that was used on Tim Drake in Batman Beyond: Return of The Joker.) Terry is majorly pissed at Bruce for that last one. Waller tells Terry a story of the Justice League fighting a new Royal Flush Gang and its super powerful member named Ace who can bend reality to her will and was currently using that will to wreck havoc. After consulting with Amanda Waller, Batman agrees to kill Ace. But when it comes down to the actual killing, he won’t do it. He’s Batman, after all. He talks Ace into fixing reality before her imminent death (her powers were killing her). This heartwarming story does not sway Terry. He’s still pissed at Bruce. Waller then reveals to Terry that Bruce didn’t overwrite his DNA with Bruce’s, she did. Waller saw Batman getting older and slower over the years and knew that something had to be done because the world needed a Batman. She initiated Project Batman Beyond. She secretly collected Batman’s DNA and under the guise of a flu shot she had Terry’s father injected with a nanotech solution that began the process of rewriting the DNA that he passed on to his chid upon conception to match Bruce’s. She hired someone (Andrea Beaumont) to murder Terry’s family in the same manner that Bruce’s were, but the assassin couldn’t do it. Waller tells Terry  that even though he is technically a clone of Bruce, he is more like his son and he can still be his own man. Terry goes off and reconciles with his girlfriend and makes plans to propose to her. He reconciles with Bruce. He dons the Batman suit once again and heads out into the night.

Best Moment: “Not remotely what I meant.”


Next week — The second season of Justice League Unlimited!


  1. It wasn’t Selina Kyle, Conor, it was Andrea Beaumont!

  2. @Tork: Oh, right. I have totally forgotten everything about that movie.

  3. My favorite, FAVORITE moment of this entire show occurs in Divided We Fall.

    Right after the Flash disapears into the Speed Force, Supes holds a smug Lex by the throat and begins to toast him. Wonder Woman runs to stop him but Batman stops her from doing so, grim determination on his face.

    This moment speaks volumes about Batman as a character and his understanding of Clark and the whole situation. If someone else stops Superman from killing Lex, Clark will always doubt his own resolve, as will everyone else watching (including Waller). However, he knows Clark well enough to know that, even as tempted as he is, even in such a dire situation, Superman would never kill a man in cold blood. It’s a beautifully subtle moment that honors the development of these characters in their respective shows as well as the gowth of their relationship in JL and JLU. Brilliant television.

  4. Divided We Fall is one of my favorite episodes of anything, ever.  That scene with Wally standing over Lex crackling with lightening is incredible.

    Following that up with the Batman Beyond capper was like putting an extra layer on an already iced cake. 

  5. @CaseyJustice – Well said.

  6. Theres a Nightwing Cameo in The Cat and the Canary episode. You see him next to the gargoyle statues when Canary is driving into Bludhaven.

  7. i love how the ending of epilogue mirrors the start of batman the animated series

  8. I really love the Epilogue episode.  I think it speaks volumes about Batman as a character.  This whole season was really great, and the second is just as good.

  9. and with Superman looking for the Justice League to reconnect with the people, he makes them walk america!

  10. Man I wish they still made this show…

  11. I have absolutely no complaints about anything they did in the JLU series.  Definitely best moment for me in this part was at the end of "Task Force X" where Colonel Flagg tells Deadshot he’s not done with his duties:

    Deadshot : "What’s Waller got on you?"

    Flagg : "Not a thing.  Some of us don’t have to be blackmailed into serving our country."


  12. This season had some of my favorite epsides in it, i loved all the subtle comic ques like after Platique’s apparent death Captain Atom picking up her body and showign concern hinting to their comic counterparts relationship. Moments like that made the show for me

  13. Reading this was almost as entertaining as watching the episodes. Bravo! Can’t wait for the next installment.

    Also, the Rorschach/Dr. Manhattan comparison in "Question Authority" never occurred to me before. Nice catch.

  14. that final fight with the Flash taking out Brainiac was so epic I watched it three times in a row and I kept being awed every time

  15. goddammit now I want to watch this shows all over again 🙁

  16. Can we all admit that Waller, despite her shortcomings, is a bad ass. Can’t remember, but didn’t she call bats “rich boy?”
    and we finally see the flash as the flash-another baaad mf

  17. On the list of quotes from fiction I want to say in real life situations, "Welcome Justice League.  You’re just in time for the end of the world" ranks probably just below "Tell me who you’re working for!!!"

  18. "The plastic tips at the ends of shoelaces are called Aglets. Their true purpose is sinister."  I couldn’t stop laughing…

  19. No animated movie that DC produces could ever match JLU.

  20. @ultimatehoratio – They could match it, but they haven’t yet.

  21. I believe the flashbacks/black and white sequences aren’t actually flashbacks but a sort of "What if?" going through Terry’s head. Also the whole episode was/is intended as an epilgoue to the entire DCAU since they didn’t think they were going to get renewed for a third season (the DVD set is actually season 1 and 2 of JLU)

  22. @FarSide0013: I’m curious as to why you believe the flashbacks aren’t actually flashbacks. I saw no indication that they were "what if?" scenes. They matched up exactly the the events being told.

    As for the seasons, everywhere I looked from the DVDs themselves to Wikipedia show two seasons (the show was on two years: 2004-5, 2005-6).

  23. Dwayne McDuffie stated in an interview they’re imaginary scenarios.  It’s why Superman is calling for help on a case as opposed to call wondering why Terry’s quitting the League and  declaring "Batman is dead".  Or why Dana doesn’t bring up the fact that he just pretty handedly broke up with her.  Or why Bruce doesn’t bring up the fight in the cave, more cranky he was out late.  It’s all Terry coming up with various  scenarios on how to deal with what he’s figured out.

    Fun fact: the last scene is a mirror of the first scene of the first BTAS episode in reverse.  Timm and Co thought it was the end of the series so they wanted a nice cap to the DCAU.

  24. @Tork: Well then they did a pretty poor job of making that clear. I watched the episode twice and never had an inkling of it.

  25. Yeah, I didn’t catch until someone else pointed it out but once they did, it makes sense.  It’s pretty subtle, indeed.

  26. @smeeeeee: The Nightwing cameo as Black Canary is driving into Bludhaven is in "Grudge Match". Unless they did the exact same shot in "The Cat in the Canary" and I somehow missed it.

  27. One of my favorite moments is in "Question Authority" when the Question explains why him killing Lex Luthor won’t do anything to harm the Justice League because everyone knows that he is the "crazy one."

    Also "Epilogue" is pretty much the best episode of the show ever.