The Justice League have to fight all kinds of evil, and Jimmy and Tom will be there to…talk about what they saw.
Yes, more of that as the guys cover the Justice League episodes “Injustice for All,” “Paradise Lost,” and “War World”.
“Injustice for All”
If Superman can put together a team, so can Lex Luthor!
jimmy: Batman sure seems like a full fledged member of the Justice League in these episodes.
tomk: What makes you say that? J’onn calling him a valued member of the team or the fact he saves the day just with his mouth?
jimmy: Cheetah enjoyed it.
tomk: Joker? Not so much.
jimmy: Great to see Joker back. Lex was so happy about it he stole his color scheme.
tomk: You mean Lex wore his Silver Age jumpsuit?
Besides, Joker was the only one there working pro bono.
jimmy: Yeah, I know the costumes and armor a very buff at times Luthor wore were authentic to the comics, I just thought it was funny that everything was purple and green, same as the Joker.
tomk: I think it used to be an unwritten rule that heroes wore red and blue and villains preferred purple and green.
jimmy: That can’t possi-ble be true…
tomk: Just ask the Hulk!
jimmy: He’s unglamorous.
tomk: Not everyone can pull off purple pants.
jimmy: Yeah. Keep those purple pants on, Hulk!
tomk: Well, Grundy is sort of Hulkish.
jimmy: He is. And…money hungry?
tomk: There may be a reason for it.
Also, Mark Hamill voices Grundy if I remember right.
jimmy: You appear to be right. I never noticed.
tomk: Grundy isn’t listed in the closing credits, so his voice must be coming from someone already listed as someone else.
jimmy: Probably why I didn’t notice.
I almost always pause at the cast list.
tomk: Usually you get a surprise or two in there. But hey, the Injustice Gang.
In an episode we might call Lex Luthor’s Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Gang.
jimmy: LOL, that’s awesome.
tomk: Truthfully, this is my favorite two-parter from the first season. Three things make it great: Luthor’s extreme frustration, Joker being Joker, and Batman pretty much saving the day just by talking.
jimmy: I can agree with that, though I thought it was weak that he ended up at the mercy of Luthor near the beginning and was only “saved” by fluke.
tomk: He was still a little woozy from Copperhead’s venom and didn’t know Joker was involved yet.
jimmy: I thought it was before Copperhead bit him, but I could be wrong.
tomk: Oh, yeah. That. I’d have to rewatch that scene.
I thought you meant when Joker clobbered him with a bag of rocks.
jimmy: I thought about that too, and Copperhead getting the drop on him. But, I guess he doesn’t have Spider-Sense…
tomk: It was a chaotic mess. You had a cat-woman of a different kind, a woman shooting beams out of her forehead, a snake man, a zombie made of petrified wood, a genius ape-man, and some dude tossing shadows around. Missing something is almost understandable.
Besides, you can tell how frustrated Luthor is by how much his one eye twitches.
jimmy: You try dealing with all those incompetent super villains.
tomk: I would argue the Ultra-Humanite is very competent.
jimmy: He’s competent at milking Lex’s money, that’s for sure.
tomk: He made that Iron Man suit to keep Kex alive!
jimmy: And 10 years from now Lex will save us from Darkseid!
tomk: No comment.
But the Humanite, a villain that predates Lex, never wanted to leave the prison.
jimmy: He kinda had it made.
tomk: A friend from an online chat group at the time these were new called him a “furry Fraiser”.
jimmy: Wasn’t he in X-Men?
Keep in mind this episode came out in 2002. Unless you were a big Iron Man fan, the idea of armor keeping someone alive didn’t necessarily make a person think of Tony Stark, so Ultra-Humanite, a character from the comics known as a mad scientist who switches his brain into different bodies (including one that was a giant albino ape thing), did something that we didn’t automatically connect to the MCU.
jimmy: I’ll be honest, I had no idea who Ultra-Humanite or Shade were.
tomk: Both are Golden Age villains. The Humanite today mostly battles the Justice Society but he started out as a bald mad scientist fighting Superman. Keep in mind Lex Luthor had hair in his earliest appearances.
The Shade was a Flash foe, but in the 90s he became more of an antihero in James Robinson’s excellent Starman series as an immortal gentleman thief with shadow powers who played at being a supervillain in the 40s out of boredom.
jimmy: He seemed to be pretty powerful.
tomk: You know, until in this version someone snaps his staff in half.
jimmy: I hate when that happens.
tomk: No comment.
But when Grundy drags Cheetah away, aside from a shot of her in the back of the police van, we never see her again. In the entire run of series.
jimmy: Funny you mention that, saw this quote from Bruce Timm yesterday: “It was a mistake — she was supposed to be dead — the implication being that Grundy ‘[pulled] a Lenny’ on her.
Well, my co-producer James Tucker kept saying we should bring her back, [and] I kept saying, ‘No, she’s dead, she has ceased to be, she is an ex-Cheetah’, and, lo and behold, someone pointed out that she was in the paddy wagon — all in one piece, apparently still breathing — at the end of “Injustice for All”, D’oh!
So, James got his wish: she’ll be back in Justice League Unlimited. Don’t know how she got away from Grundy, though.”
tomk: If she’s in Justice League Unlimited, I don’t remember seeing her.
So, maybe Timm also got his wish.
jimmy: There was a comment too that Copperhead is also in the back of the paddy wagon, though he was already in police custody.
tomk: They were probably just driving them all to the same metaprison for supervillains.
jimmy: That…makes sense.
tomk: I make all kinds of sense.
Just like Batman who realizes that a gang only working for money can be easily bought.
And he could have escaped at any time.
jimmy: Not before a make-out session…
tomk: Or just enjoying himself tricking Grundy into starting a fistfight.
jimmy: No offense to Batman, but probably not that difficult.
tomk: Hey, Luthor only hired the best there was at what they did. “Outthinking Batman” was not one of the hiring criteria.
But did you know the Joker could beat the Flash and Wonder Woman?
jimmy: Anyone could defeat those two!
jimmy: Umm…well, maybe not Forbush Man.
tomk: What about you and the Moose?
jimmy: The Moose, maybe. Me…no chance.
tomk: So, not anyone?
I won’t even ask about Ryan or Jenny or Halbrook or Greg or Watson.
jimmy: Those guys can’t beat anyone. Well, maybe Jenny could.
tomk: A bunch of them went to a Disney park without us. They might have gone there to escape the Justice League.
jimmy: Though to stop being silly, if you were going to bet on anyone taking down 2 super powered heroes, it wouldn’t be the Joker.
tomk: True. Luthor does come in close with his new power suit, but “Et tu, Humanite”.
jimmy: So, in the end, the real winner is the one with the most money. Sounds…very true.
tomk: If only real billionaires were more like Batman.
jimmy: They should. Lazy billionaires.
tomk: Well, at the least, we’re starting Lex Luthor’s involvement in future Justice League storylines. He’s not going anywhere.
Joker, sadly, only has one really big appearance left.
tomk: He’s despicable.
jimmy: But oh so entertaining. Maybe they felt they overused him in BTAS. Or that he really isn’t a match for the JL by himself and doesn’t play well with others in a super villain team-up.
tomk: Or, the Bat-Embargo.
jimmy: Not to use Bat-villains?
tomk: Or Bat-related characters once Justice League Unlimited rolls around, Batman himself is the sole exception.
DC decided that they could only use the characters on so many different shows at once. So, the Nolan films and The Batman got priority over Justice League.
It’s why Dick Grayson’s Robin only appeared on The Batman after Teen Titans ended.
Basically, it forced Bruce Timm and Co. to be a little more creative in what bad guys they could use, bringing in some lesser DC foes that otherwise might not have appeared anywhere. There were a couple exceptions, but Joker and the rest stop appearing on Justice League. And that includes Alfred.
jimmy: That’s interesting. Though I do think there’s probably a bit of “the Justice League shouldn’t be fighting Two-Face” at play as well.
tomk: Oh, sure. But what if Two-Face were the mastermind behind a bigger villain group?
jimmy: Perhaps. But thinking about it now, I don’t think the Bat villains ever really join teams. They work together at times, but never anything like an Injustice League or Legion of Doom. I could be completely wrong.
tomk: You could, and I would know and will not say.
tomk: Would you rather I tell you?
jimmy: I would not.
I can’t remember something specifically, but I do remember feeling that these episodes had that depowered Superman you said people were complaining about.
tomk: Maybe how Lex almost escaped in the opening scene despite being chased by half the League?
jimmy: Could be. Maybe he was just weakened by being dosed in kryptonite for the first 5 minutes. Oh wait, he wasn’t.
Speaking of, Batman causally slips Lex’s size changing kryptonite into his utility belt and no one mentions it after. Hmmm.
tomk: He’s Batman. You don’t question that guy.
jimmy: Not if you know what’s good for you.
tomk: Well, this one was fun, and Cartoon Network originally held it until almost the end of the season. Which was weird because there’s another two parter down the line they aired first which featured most of Luthor’s gang like they already knew each other but they only meet here.
tomk: I don’t know what happened unless they figured they should save a stronger story for later.
jimmy: Could be. It was a good pair of episodes. It means we watch a lot more per article, but I’m liking these multi-part stories.
tomk: They usually work out. Season two is stronger than season one overall as they’re still working out the bugs, such as Superman’s power levels.
jimmy: It’s been a strong start regardless.
tomk: I agree, but it only gets better once season two rolls around. But maybe you’d rather a Wonder Woman-focused story.
jimmy: By Wonder Woman do you mean Batman?
tomk: Well, no. Did you have anything else to add as Lex Luthor becomes the League’s primary enemy?
jimmy: Given our talk about Bat-villains potentially being outclassed by the League, and powerless Lex becomes their main adversary.
tomk: Lex is smart. S-M-R-T.
jimmy: Heh. That helps. So, Wonder Woman, eh?
tomk: Well, sure. She might want to go home and talk to her mom about, you know, stealing her weapons and costume.
jimmy: That’s probably not going to go well.
tomk: Probably not. Let’s find out how bad it gets!
Wonder Woman returns home to Themyscria, but she finds Felix Faust is already there!
jimmy: I keep trying to come up with some clever opening about “The Mascara” but have failed miserably.
tomk: You can’t set foot there anyway.
jimmy: You can’t tell me what to do!
tomk: Zeus said so.
jimmy: Oh, well, that’s different then.
tomk: No one asked Hades though.
jimmy: Would you?
tomk: I’m no god.
jimmy: Are you sure?
tomk: Yes. I’m not voiced by John Rhys-Davies.
jimmy: Too bad. He’s great.
tomk: Yes. He’ll play Ryan in Gabbing Geek: The Animated Series.
jimmy: And Freddy Kruger as Watson?
tomk: Him or Larry the Cable Guy.
But hey, Wonder Woman.
jimmy: Poor Wonder Woman. Can’t catch a break on the old homestead.
tomk: Not her problem anymore what with the whole banishment thing going on.
jimmy: Exactly. What’s their problem? She only just saved them all from a life as statues.
tomk: How long have you been the Flash?
jimmy: Since my late 30s.
tomk: So, next week?
Speaking of…Flash sure doesn’t have much luck with the ladies.
tomk: Lousy Canadian exchange rate…
He maybe should not hit on Amazons.
jimmy: Seemed to work for Steve Trevor.
tomk: Might want to hold off on Steve for now.
jimmy: That sounds ominous.
tomk: As ominous as Hades having a relationship with Hippolyta?
tomk: Because this episode predates Diana’s New 52 origin where she became Zeus’s daughter.
jimmy: I like the “she was made out of clay” origin.
tomk: The new one fits a Greek mythology backstory, and I don’t think they ever give her one here, but that is a good origin.
Point is, they could be suggesting Diana is Hades’s daughter.
jimmy: Could be or are?
tomk: The series never says.
But I’ll bet they would know if they asked Batman with his Bat-paternity test.
jimmy: Which is just Batman looking at the three of them and giving a thumbs up or down.
tomk: Hopefully, if true, Diana does not have Hades’s tongue.
jimmy: That’s probably what started all this trouble in the first place.
tomk: No comment.
jimmy: Or, you know, Diana off gallivanting with the Justice League and not home protecting her mother and sisters.
tomk: More accurate there. Who knows what she would have done if she’d been there to assume statue duty too!
jimmy: Possibly prevented statue duty for the majority of the island inhabitants.
tomk: One more Amazon might not have made that much of a difference. And who else was gonna smack around Superman?
jimmy: She seemed to be the only won that managed not to get herself Medusa-d.
That Superman/WW fight was cool.
tomk: Did you figure out what was going on before they did?
jimmy: Yes, well before. You?
tomk: Well, seen it before, so yes.
jimmy: Yes, but the first time?
tomk: Don’t recall. Possibly no.
jimmy: Well, luckily they figured it out before killing each other.
tomk: Superman was the only one dying there! He done got his ass handed to him!
jimmy: He better hope they power him up soon.
tomk: Maybe they can make the Flash less useless too.
jimmy: Nobody can help with that.
Interesting that in a story about Diana needing help to save her island full of women that doesn’t allow men, there is no help from Hawkgirl.
tomk: J’onn could take a female form.
jimmy: That was my next comment. Yet, he never does.
tomk: Ah, the 90s:
jimmy: …maybe it’s better he didn’t…
tomk: I remember that storyline. Two parter by Peter David, and it was played for laughs.
jimmy: Not surprising.
tomk: But I do remember an Elseworlds two parter where some weird space plague wiped out all the world’s men except for Superman and Lex Luthor. Themyscria became a place of importance and Lois Lane was pregnant. Superman would visit but respected the Amazons enough to basically float a foot above the ground at all times. Then Luthor came out of hiding and flew there in his body armor and landed on the beach as loudly as he could.
jimmy: Sounds about right.
Y: The Last Man: DCU.
tomk: Unfortunately, it was really L: The Last Man.
jimmy: Because Supes is an alien?
jimmy: Back on point, WW is not much of a cat burgler.
tomk: That’s why she fights Cheetah so much.
Did it surprise you that Batman can track an evil wizard and know better than to pick up the Eye if Agamotto?
jimmy: Nothing Batman does surprises me. Unless it is having trouble with foes he shouldn’t for the sake of the plot.
tomk: What if he started smiling and cracking jokes?
jimmy: …yeah, add that to the list too.
tomk: My brother had a collection of Batman short stories. One had him going undercover as an aspiring stand up comedian to catch the Joker, but he wasn’t funny. The story’s narrator helped Bruce become funny which was good because Joker’s trap was to figure out which comedian Batman by seeing who wasn’t funny.
jimmy: I think I read that too.
tomk: You read a great many things.
But it does look like Diana won’t be going home again anytime soon. Still, the episode does work well as a Wonder Woman showcase. In fact, the series so far has been setting things up to focus largely on one Leaguer over the others. Hence we got that GL space opera, an Aquaman-centric introduction, and we could argue “Injustice for All” was both Batman- and Lex Luther-centered. Here, we got Wonder Woman in a story that could only be told with her backstory.
jimmy: True. Supes, Bats and Lex hardly need to be showcased. Let the new kids have some attention.
tomk: Like that kid Diana rescued in the opening scene?
jimmy: Wonder Girl?
tomk: Oh, you picked up on that too?
tomk: Her mom did call her “Cassie”.
jimmy: I blame Dr. Manhattan for her absence.
tomk: I think Bendis brought her back in the new Young Justice series.
tomk: Yeah, there she is on the right.
jimmy: Looking more like a teen hero than a bombshell.
tomk: You mean she’s really young and out for justice, not some kind of underage eye candy? What was DC thinking?!
jimmy: It’s typical. You see lots of sexualized images these days of characters like Spider-Gwen and someone will eventually come along and comment, “uh, guys, you know she is like 16 right?”
tomk: I’m not sure many artists can draw too much in the form of distinctive body types. I mean, all the guys in the Justice League are the same blocky shape, and the women aren’t much different.
jimmy: Agreed. I wonder that a lot. Even with good artists. Like, if you changed the color of their clothes and hair, Gwen could easily be MJ and vice versa, etc.
tomk: Not so. Gwen wears a headband.
jimmy: Lol. And Malibu Stacy has a new hat!
tomk: Gwen is probably using the band to keep a wig on. She’s been bald as a cue ball since she turned seven.
jimmy: Gwen Luthor.
tomk: Well, we may have said everything there is to say about Hades, Felix Faust, and Amazon gratitude that doesn’t always seem very grateful. Did you have anything else to add?
jimmy: They should give Wonder Woman a break. Especially since she saved them all…from a “man” no less.
tomk: Rules are rules. The men got a nice laurel.
jimmy: Yeah, we wouldn’t want to change the rules.
tomk: Gods made those rules. Probably Hades.
jimmy: They must be perfectly fine and reflective of modern times then.
tomk: Right. Because once the Amazons had busted out those laser-guided drone strikes, we would have known who was reflective of modern times as they all used Faust’s ashes to line the communal outhouse.
jimmy: Uh, right.
tomk: The Amazons aren’t know for their modernity.
jimmy: But you know who is? The focus of the next episode.
tomk: Iron Man?
jimmy: …umm…yes? I was taking a stab in the dark there.
What if instead we check out a Superman-centric story while getting an appearance from the one big Superman foe who didn’t appear in Supes’ solo series?
tomk: He’s an Aquaman foe.
jimmy: Then I guess we better find out who it is you’re talking about.
tomk: We can and we shall!
Slavers capture Superman and the Martian Manhunter, selling them into gladiatorial combat on War World!
jimmy: That’ll learn Mongul for destroying Coast City!
tomk: And enslaving a whole planet with no food or jobs.
jimmy: Food and jobs are overrated.
tomk: Well, sure, if you don’t care about eating or earning money.
jimmy: Do you?
tomk: Generally, yes.
tomk: I would be gator chow on War World.
jimmy: I’d probably die en route.
tomk: Or I’d die when the asteroid exploded.
jimmy: Well, you’re not Superman. Or a shape changing martian…that I know of.
tomk: You called me a robot once.
jimmy: That doesn’t sound like me. 🙂
tomk: Must have been some other Jimmy Impossible then.
jimmy: Well…that’s still true. 🙂
tomk: Doesn’t much matter. Draaga can beat well-armed blobs with just an axe.
jimmy: He almost beats “not powerful enough” Superman.
tomk: Well, this was an adaptation of a 1989 Superman story. So, there’s that. Plus, Mongul somehow avoided appearing on Supes’s solo show.
jimmy: Adaptation, eh?
tomk: More or less.
jimmy: Or do you mean it is an adaptation of Gladiator?
tomk: No. Superman went into space, ended up a gladiator on War World under Mongul, embarrassed Draaga who wore Superman’s S as a sign of shame, and eventually Superman defeated Mongul.
jimmy: I think that all happened in Gladiator.
tomk: Even the S-shield?
jimmy: Pretty sure. It’s been a while since I watched it.
tomk: Jor-El really hated the Joker in that one.
tomk: You’re remembering all kinds of things now.
jimmy: This chat has been a kind of awakening. Like when I remembered why War World’s atmosphere affected J’onn.
tomk: Why was that?
jimmy: …ummm…you know…the reasons.
tomk: You said you remembered why.
jimmy: Did I? I don’t remember.
tomk: It’s right up there!
jimmy: Sure, Tom. Sure. Anyways…
tomk: You could have just said it’s a plot device.
jimmy: That’s the reason!
tomk: Cripes, Jimmy. Just say it next time.
jimmy: That’s no fun (or aggravating).
tomk: You probably like getting gassed with the winged girl who works in GG’s accounting department.
jimmy: Cheryl? Yeah, she’s the best.
tomk: Watson keeps filing the wrong paperwork with her.
Regardless, I did a quick look up for this episode and apparently it got a lot of fan complaints about Superman’s power level. How did you feel about it?
jimmy: I think I made a comment about it above. He definitely didn’t seem very super.
tomk: But this episode is about the kind of person he is. Strength is only part of that.
jimmy: Yes, it works well in that regard. But I agree with the detractors that he doesn’t seem powerful enough.
tomk: True, but I think it’s worse in other episodes. Here I can speculate that he’s been weakened the same way J’onn was but not as badly.
jimmy: That’s possible. And they were both in the asteroid explosion. And he got, you know, eaten by an alligator.
tomk: That’s not good for anybody. Plus, teleportation really looks like it could mess a person up.
jimmy: Yeah…that was weirdly drawn.
tomk: Like how many tattered cloaks are just lying around for people to use as a disguise?
tomk: You’d probably be selling them from a stall at the farmers market. Possibly with Cheryl.
jimmy: Well, we’d need some way to pay for the food we can’t get.
tomk: I told you not to move to Mongul’s planet.
jimmy: You were right. Again.
tomk: Mongul sounds a lot like Eric Roberts anyway. No planet ruled by an Eric Roberts soundalike ever works out.
jimmy: Have there been others?
tomk: Sure. There’s the hellhole planet where this takes place:
jimmy: What…the fork…was that?!?!
tomk: Another evil planet run by a monster that sounds like Eric Roberts?
jimmy: At least that one has food.
tomk: Does it have jobs?
jimmy: Hard to tell. It definitely has school. And terrible, terrible acting and effects.
tomk: War World has good effects, and martians in the crowd can do some good acting as long as their shapeshifting holds.
jimmy: Speaking of, isn’t J’onn’s Martian Manhunter humanoid form a shapeshift from his natural form? He seems to have no trouble holding that one.
tomk: Yeah, well, John left Earth without charging his ring!
Or, you are very right.
jimmy: It happens now and then.
tomk: Yeah, but you only just learned honor comes from how you live, not how you die.
jimmy: A very Superman point of view.
tomk: You gonna live your life like that?
jimmy: As opposed to 1/4 mile at a time?
tomk: That’s no way to live. You might have a son no one told you about.
jimmy: But think of the adventures!
tomk: Like if some blonde woman with bad dreadlocks kept spouting half-assed philosophy to your face?
Also, your co-pilot would be the talking cat.
jimmy: Maybe we should get back to Justice League…anything not to think about that talking cat again.
tomk: It is indeed a disturbing universe.
jimmy: Where’s Thanos when you need him?
tomk: He killed John Wick’s dog.
jimmy: Yeah, so we won’t be seeing him again. Unlike Mongul (probably).
I actually am not all that familiar with Mongul outside of the whole destroying Coast City during the “Reign Of The Supermen” storyline.
tomk: He’s generally just a big alien conqueror known for ruling War World and one really memorable Superman story that comes up in Justice League Unlimited.
jimmy: I knew he’d be back!
tomk: You’re on a roll with this smart statements about all things Mongul.
jimmy: The Gladiator comparisons are very apt, but this was based on a story that predates the movie I believe.
tomk: It doesn’t predate real gladiators.
jimmy: I dunno. Superman has been around for a long time.
tomk: Ancient Rome?
jimmy: Hey, you never know.
tomk: Well, that sounds impossible. So, obviously, it comes from you.
Well, J’onn probably predates the Romans…but he was more Lois Lane than Manhunter this episode.
tomk: Diana may predate the Romans too, but she’s nowhere to be seen here. She’s probably on a date with Batman.
jimmy: I was thinking about that, well, not Diana dating Batman, but how the show only features a couple of the Leaguers at a time most episodes. I wonder if there is any rhyme or reason to it, or just using who they think makes sense for a particular storyline.
tomk: Probably the latter. This isn’t really a story for Batman or the Flash.
tomk: Did you have anything else to add about this one, Jimmy?
jimmy: I’ve been struggling. Good episodes, but not a lot of meat for discussion. Mostly Superman being Superman.
tomk: Well, you know, Paul Dini wasn’t really working on the show, but he would write one story a season. Would you like to see how he handles, say, a Flash/Green Lantern team-up?
It’s that or something involving a talking cat. Like Garfield.
jimmy: Flash/Green Lantern? Yes. Garfield? Yes. That Talking Cat abomination? Hells no!
tomk: Flash/Green Lantern, and a totally different talking animal it is!
NEXT TIME: Tom and Jimmy are talkin’ justice and a lot of leagues. Come back soon when they cover “The Brave and the Bold,” “Fury,” and “Legends”.