The Justice League of America 1997 CBS Pilot

Way back in the days before YouTube if you wanted to see something like this you had to drop twenty bucks on a grainy VHS bootleg at comic con or other establishments of dubious distinction. Which is how I saw this: the 1997 pilot episode of Justice League of America, ordred by CBS and (shockingly) never picked up for series.

We talked about it on this week's Pick of the Week Podcast, and if you haven't seen it for yourself, now's your chance (who knows how long it will stay up on YouTube).

I love it. It's so, so, so very bad that it swings back around to good. And it must be seen to be believed.


Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

Part Six

Part Seven

Part Eight

Part Nine


  1. People were paid to do this.

    Can we find out which exec killed this?  I want to kiss him/her.  TV execs catch a lot of flack, but this is one case were they deserve some credit. 

    Is that Martian Manhunter or The Mask?

  2. it burns

  3. my brain hurts…

  4. Stilll better than Smallville.

  5. Haha, I’ve seen this before.

    Fun Justice League fact: The Atom is played by the voice of the Crypt Keeper.

  6. I saw that back then, and I thought it was horrible. It’s even worse now. lol

  7. About as cringe-worthy as most of Smallville. 

  8. I love it when the door is jammed, and the Green Lantern picks up a crowbar! Ah, that’s just silly.

  9. NO.

  10. I saw this years ago. Still love the fact that a green David Ogden Stiers=Martian Manhunter. If they had painted him on MASH, I bet that show would have been a classic.

     For some reason, I always think Matt Frewer was in this, but then I recall that he was actually in the Generation X TV movie that came out around the same time.

  11. Although my personal favorite doomed pilot has to be the one for Wonder Woman:

  12. That’s oscar material compared to the 70’s "Legend of the Superheros" show:

  13. Yeah, but at least Legend of the Superheroes had Marsha Warfield, and the follow-up Roast had Ed McMahon…and the terrifying love combination of the Atom and Giganta.

  14. Can’t wait to watch it.

  15. Or dear lord.  Barry Allen seems like a complete imbecile.  Guy Gardner?  Where do you begin?  Ugh.

  16. It’s glorious!

  17. Maybe, MAYBE if it was a kids’ show, in the same TV block as Power Rangers… maybe!

  18. If Heroes was this kind of bad, I would still watch it.

  19. I wish this was made purely because we could have had more episodes to laugh about.

  20. I hate that i can’t watch youtube at work. man when i get home its on

  21. I am reminded of the 1994 Fantastic Four movie when I watch this.


    The best thing about this pilot is definitely the bargin bin Halloween store costumes the Justice League wears, and that J’onn, Flash and Atom are super chubby.

  22. This was awesome. I loved how they essentially forced Ice to become a superhero and begin risking her life for everyone. Man, what a bunch of bullies.

  23. Ok….the same writiers should be hired to do


  24. Banana + Split = Genius.

    And that’s the best Guy Gardner interpretation I’ve ever seen. Lets petition the network for more. 

  25. I only watched part one, but I agree with Conor: it’s so bad it’s good.

     I’m still not watching the rest though; not even my time is that worthless.

  26. Tom Katers must have cried for weeks after seeing Barry being an unemployed freeloader.

  27. I’m three parts in and half to get to some work for tomorrow.  Some thoughts so far:

    Is that…is that Guy Gardner singing opera…?

    Barry Allen is Italian…awesome!

    And they change into their costumes…from backpacks.

    They had awesome phones in the 90s.

    So now it’s like Friends, but with super powers…

    Hopefully, these’ll stay up and I can manage to catch the rest of it.

  28. It’s not that…..Oh okay it’s horrible.

    But to be honest, I didn’t mind it at all. It is one of those ‘so bad, it’s good’ type of projects. It is a pilot so it isn’t ment to be perfect right off that bat…..That probably still doesn’t help this out in any way. I think there should be another go at this for a JLA show. Cause Smallville showed a JSA team can work brilliantly, so why not the JLA?

  29. umm… why is the Flash all Pudgy?…(part9) Why is Guy using a metal crowbar to pry open the door?

    I’ve seen better costumes at my daughter’s Halloween Party!

  30. @conor I’ll never forgive you for this!!!!!!!!!!!

  31. What is seen cannot be unseen.

  32. I’m more familiar with the characters now then when i first saw this in high school…which would probably make it worse, and therfore better…  Man, the physics of suckiness is a hard thing to figure out.  Perhaps familiarity will, in this case, breed an enjoyable contempt?


  33. I’m wondering if Miguel Ferrer has ever turned down a part…

  34. Thanks for uploading! Will watch later have to go to school.

  35. sorry everyone…i love it

  36. Wow….those costumes were/are horrible. Go to any decent size comic convention and you can find people who have made better costumes for the same characters.

  37. Miguel!

  38. Couldn’t help but laugh at the Green Lantern costume and the overweight Martian Manhunter

  39. why does every one hate on smallville

  40. Now I’m going to have nightmares tonight … MUST … STAY … AWAKE …

  41. This is fantastic in its ridiculousness and ridiculous in its fantasticness!!

  42. You are all lucky that you can watch this for free. I had to pay $20 for a crappy VHS bootleg copy that was probably five generations down from the original.

  43. @conor I feel your pain.  I still have a bootleg VHS copy of the Roger Corman Fantastic Four movie I paid $20 for at a con in the 90’s.  I don’t think I ever bothered rewinding it.

  44. LOL I laughed the whole time….Thats awesome. 

  45. HAHA! The flash lost his ears!

  46. Justice League pilot vs. Original Fantastic Four movie. Go!

  47. Anyone else think it is uncomfortably similar to ‘No Heroics (UK)’?

  48. I rather enjoyed it! So much more fun than the likes of Smallville and Batman Grimaces.

  49. I would love to see the Corman FF movie if someone could post it on this site too.

  50. o my god!

  51. i remember watching this on the tv aaaaaages ago.

    i remember thinking "i like these characters in print… why are they so goofy?"

    i remember having fun watching it:) 

  52. @Gray No Heroics is supposed to be funny.

  53. Whoa, whoa. Ray, when the geiger counter is ‘off the charts’ that means DON’T PICK UP THE ROCK WITH YOUR BARE HANDS!

    I can take a fat J’onn J’onzz, a slacker Barry Allen, and a weird looking Guy Gardner but I can’t take a careless Ray Palmer.