Jimmy and Tom are back, working their way through the DCAU. Right now, that means Justice League, and this time around, that means the episodes “The Brave and the Bold,” “Fury,” and “Legends”.
“The Brave and the Bold”
The Flash and Green Lantern join forces with one talking gorilla to battle another talking gorilla!
jimmy: I know he was being shot at…and he stopped to save some people from falling debris…but didn’t it seem to take the fastest man alive way too long to catch a speeding truck?
tomk: Well, he only looks fast.
jimmy: What does being really fast really buy you? Creating the tornado to move the debris might be a good example, but otherwise…he’s not super strong or anything. And before you say that Batman is not super strong, the Flash is not Batman.
Seems like all he’s really good for outside of delivering your pizza on time is going back in time and mucking things up. (Not that that happens here, it just seems to be a common Flash occurrence.)
tomk: You know, things hit harder at high speeds.
jimmy: This is true. Go on.
tomk: Like the opening episode of The Boys.
jimmy: I haven’t seen it.
tomk: Or how Grant Morrison’s Flash utilizes advanced science to point out how dense anything is at near the speed of light, allowing him to punch a White Martian once and send the guy to the other side of the planet.
jimmy: Ok, ok, Flash is awesome.
tomk: I think the Flash at this point in the series, the producers and writers haven’t figured him out yet. Kinda like Superman being powered down. The only difference is the Flash has a character arc that shows him growing over time and becoming more than a comic relief idiot.
jimmy: I hope so.
tomk: Would I make something like that up?
The things I don’t make up seem to cause you more problems.
Speaking of things causing problems I don’t need to make up, since this is clearly a homage to Flash/Green Lantern team-ups, check out this actual panel from the first time Hal and Barry teamed up on their own:
jimmy: “Special feeling,” eh?
tomk: That may or may not be the same issue where Hal’s friend and almost-sidekick Tom Kalmaku said he’s filled with awe at the sight of Hal charging his ring in the skintight bodysuit.
jimmy: At least no one talked about their boner.
tomk: Not even John or whatever Flash this is.
jimmy: One would assume that it’s Wally with them going with more modern and diverse versions of some characters and comic Barry had been dead for like 15 years.
tomk: Whoever this guy is, he has weird dream sequences made up of a lot of old Barry covers.
jimmy: Yeah, that was probably the best part of the two episodes.
tomk: What? You didn’t like Flash offering the villain a banana?
jimmy: Everyone knows you don’t feed the lab animals.
tomk: Especially the ones that can hide while being bigger than the average human. Those are the smart ones that probably hate bananas.
jimmy: Gorillas are good at hiding. Have you ever seen one around the city? I rest my case.
tomk: All the time. You just gotta know where to look.
jimmy: Tom: Gorilla Hunter.
tomk: First place to look: the zoo.
jimmy: That’s cheating. That’s just where they display the ones that are not good at hiding.
tomk: Next place: Starbucks.
jimmy: They do enjoy lattes.
With their global domination.
tomk: Also, gorillas love brownies.
I think Solovar was working undercover in this story while looking for Grodd.
jimmy: As a brownie?
tomk: A very young Girl Scout is an odd way for any large male ape to go undercover.
I think he was a barista.
jimmy: I know the beginning was played for laughs, but it did seem a bit silly that Gorilla City became completely visible and the Cop-Apes flew out on their hover bikes, were like “oh shit…humans” and flew away.
tomk: Oh, and how would you react if your city was deliberately hidden from human view for millennia was suddenly maybe spotted by two humans?
jimmy: Well, two things. One, if their tech was that advanced, they didn’t know the humans were there already?
And two, in all that time no one ever flew into the city the way the Justice League did when they didn’t trust Batman’s engineering skills?
tomk: Batman knows best.
No ape can hide from Batman.
jimmy: Or from Bat-Ape.
tomk: No Bat-Apes here. He’s busy trying to stop a guided missile with his almost bare hands.
jimmy: That’s…probably difficult.
tomk: He is Batman. He will try, and maybe get a reward for it this time.
jimmy: This is true. Batman can do pretty much anything.
tomk: I mean, he found a hidden city full of gorillas and one chimp named Dave.
jimmy: Dave’s not here, man.
tomk: Yeah, he’s in Gorilla City.
jimmy: Does he have a headband that protects against psychic attacks?
tomk: Nah. He’s an unemployed accountant.
But this also happened:
jimmy: Even surprised the Bat…for a split second anyway.
tomk: Mildly surprising Batman is one of Diana’s lesser-known superpowers.
jimmy: Have they ever hooked up? I know there is great mutual respect and friendship there, but I can’t think of any occasion, even in Elseworlds, but you’re better versed in DC lore than me.
tomk: Well, during Joe Kelly’s JLA run, they came very close.
Diana eventually decided, in an issue showing various alternate futures on whether or not they hooked up (the last being an eternally youthful Diana taking care of an elderly Bruce), that they were better off as friends and that was wonderful. Bruce just makes a face that says “Not the friendzone!” but agrees.
jimmy: Even Batman can’t avoid the friendzone.
tomk: But can the Flash get that far?
jimmy: Not quite. Though he did impress those ladies after he saved them and before they tried to kill him.
tomk: Well, pulling two women out of the way of a speeding truck will temporarily do that.
jimmy: Worked for me.
tomk: What else works for you? I can find more Grodd scenes from Legends of Tomorrow…
jimmy: Grodd was better here than in that Legends clip.
tomk: You just hate you that Legends clip.
jimmy: Hate is a strong word.
tomk: You prefer something like this?
jimmy: I think it is the whole “psychic talk without moving his lips” thing that gets me. I mean, I can understand it, but it seems like a cost cutting measure.
tomk: The real cost-cutting measure on The Flash is when Grodd, offscreen somewhere, takes over someone’s mind and talks through their mouth.
Though Clancy Brown was the first victim that way, and he did a good job somewhat playing an ape in a human body with just his face.
jimmy: That’s ’cause Clancy Brown is awesome.
tomk: Well, duh. But he’s not in this episode.
Instead, we got a very by-the-book military guy in John Stewart and a goofy womanizer with no skills in the Flash.
jimmy: Sounds like the making of a buddy cop sitcom.
tomk: Sounds better than that Silver Age panel I posted higher up the chat.
Or anything involving talking animals.
Well, depends on the animal. Grodd’s one of my favorite supervillains.
jimmy: I don’t know much about Grodd outside of the whole psychic ape thing.
tomk: Well, he’s a genius psychic ape, and sometimes writers remember he’s a wild animal that doesn’t have to be overly civilized if he wants to.
tomk: Not here. Here he has the smooth voice of Powers Booth, who you may remember from Deadwood.
jimmy: Yes. Yes, I do.
tomk: Good. You get a good star.
tomk: Did you recognize David Ogden Stiers as Solovar?
jimmy: I had to look up who that was if that answers your question.
tomk: Solovar or David Ogden Stiers?
jimmy: The latter.
tomk: Well, if you had to look him up, I’m guessing you didn’t recognize him.
Maybe if you saw his other Justice League role:
tomk: You didn’t know about the attempted live action Justice League prime time show?
jimmy: I guess I did not, surprisingly.
jimmy: Oh. My. God. I wish I still didn’t know about it.
tomk: It must be my new thing in teaching you about the horrible, horrible things that exist in the world.
jimmy: Can you just stop that?
tomk: I’ll try but make no promises if I don’t know what you don’t know.
jimmy: Well, I know that Krull sucks, so we don’t need to learn about that.
tomk: I also knew that.
jimmy: 6/7 Geeks knew that.
tomk: The 7th might as well but won’t admit it. You know why the ladies don’t dig the Flash? Because he loves Krull.
tomk: Still, I think it’s nice that even this early the show has established clear personalities for the different members of the League. Silver Age JLA stories had all the heroes as basically being the same person. And the Flash-Green Lantern friendship, established between Barry and Hal, became so traditional DC actually retconned it so Jay Garrick and Alan Scott were also somehow best friends, and every Flash and Green Lantern since then tends to do some kind of frequent team-ups, though the 90s showed Wally and Kyle, initially, did not get along very well as a change of pace.
jimmy: Well, Wally is Watson’s favorite character, so he is probably a jerk.
tomk: They can’t all be Spider-Man and Daredevil.
jimmy: Or Spider-Man and Human Torch.
tomk: Or Spider-Ham and Porky Pig!
jimmy: Best of swines.
tomk: But can Flash and GL become that tight?
jimmy: You would know better than me. After this pair of episodes, I would say “no”. But, I guess they all need to start somewhere.
tomk: Flash did stop Grodd by himself.
jimmy: By lobotomizing him.
tomk: At least he’ll eat his bananas now.
jimmy: Or will he? Duh dun DAHHH!!!
tomk: Well, before he teams up with the aborted TV version of the Justice League and the talking cat, did you have anything else to add?
jimmy: You had to bring up the talking cat again, didn’t you?
tomk: Which seemed worse? The cat or that Justice League thing?
I’ll go with the cat…but I’m not happy about it.
tomk: Well, Grodd is evil. He’ll team up with all kinds of horrifying things.
jimmy: But probably not “next week”.
tomk: No, probably not. Ready to move on?
jimmy: I am.
tomk: Well, let’s go to my least favorite from the first season.
jimmy: That’s a glowing endorsement.
tomk: It has no talking cats.
Wonder Woman and Hawkgirl must work together when a rogue Amazon knocks out the world’s men!
tomk: Hmmm. Maybe not the best pair of episodes to watch during a pandemic.
jimmy: It’s funny how perspectives can change. If we watched this a month ago, we wouldn’t have batted an eyelash at the premise. But now of course it is very topical.
Kind of like I watched an old Simpsons recently where everyone got the flu from a juicer they all ordered from Japan.
tomk: So, you’re saying Themyscira is in Japan? I had no idea.
jimmy: That’s not what I was saying, but sure.
tomk: Cool. I thought it was closer to Greece.
But before we go much further, I know I said last time this was my least favorite story from season one, but it isn’t. I then looked over the remaining episodes and there’s one left that I like even less.
Mostly, the problem for me here is the disease doesn’t make a lot of sense.
jimmy: Especially when J’onn catches it.
..or I guess Superman for that matter.
tomk: I mean, I don’t quite understand how widespread it is. Is it only infecting one (nameless) city? Could J’onn have saved himself if he shifted to a female form?
And yes, why does it infect the alien men?
jimmy: I think it was just the city (Gotham?) but the gambit at the end was to shoot it into the atmosphere and infect the world.
tomk: It’s not a well-thought out plan.
If the men are all dead and gone, besides the fact that there’d be corpses everywhere, where do new women come from?
tomk: Huh. You may have put more thought into this than Aresia.
tomk: By the by, these episodes aired before “Injustice for All” when the show was new, so I saw Shade, Grundy, Copperhead, and Star Sapphire as a gang before Luthor recruited them in a much better pair of episodes.
Oh, and Grundy is an undead creature often said to be made of swamp matter, maybe even petrified wood, so he should also be immune to the disease.
jimmy: I did wonder that about Grundy when watching. And yeah, that does seem odd if you watched them out of order as aired.
tomk: It was a little weird when “Injustice” finally aired. My DVD set had them in the right order when I got them.
jimmy: Yeah, I am watching on Blu-ray and they have matched the order you’ve been following.
tomk: That’s because Justice League does have some continuity going on.
You should watch them in the correct order, though season one is mostly just to let the audience get to know all the different characters.
jimmy: Why were they aired out of order?
tomk: I have no idea. My best guess is they put “Injustice” later near the end of the schedule to close the season out on some of the stronger episodes.
jimmy: That would make sense.
tomk: “Fury” actually has a plot that reminds me of an episode of Superfriends.
jimmy: I have almost no recollection of Superfriends.
tomk: You…may not be missing much. But the episode in question had a female supervillain who hated men. She mind-controlled the female population of the world, giving them all these eyebeams that teleported all the world’s men to the villain’s hideout, and yes, that included Wonder Woman and the female Wonder Twin. Once in the hideout, the villain turned the men into computer data. Superman got away because mind controlled pawns are stupid and they zapped a statue of him instead, so he was able to rescue the other male Superfriends, fix the women, and then everyone took care of everything.
jimmy: Zapped a statue. Shakes head
tomk: The statue did have color. Maybe they just failed to notice it didn’t move. They might have also missed the Wonder Twin’s pet space monkey.
tomk: Well, you knew that much. That Gleek thing managed to avoid getting captured and contaminated by this-and-that all the time.
That said, maybe Diana should have a chat about her mom for the whole exile thing. Turns out the Justice League and Felix Faust weren’t the first men to get to Themyscira.
jimmy: It’s like an Obi-Wan “Darth killed your father” kinda thing. Actually, it’s not really like that, it’s just straight up omission of information.
tomk: Maybe that information would have made Arisea less of a fanatic.
jimmy: Maybe. Though the actions of one man don’t make up for all the rest.
tomk: When did the Amazons take over your side of the chat, Jimmy?
jimmy: I’m just saying what’s in their newsletter.
tomk: Yeah, and Hippolyta probably also left off how the sea captain didn’t die of a heart attack, but that the Amazons murdered him for stepping foot on their magic island.
Though speaking of Hippolytas, I suspect the episode title comes from an old Earth-2 hero, Hippolyta Trevor, daughter of the Golden Age Wonder Woman.
She went by “Fury”.
jimmy: Surname Trevor, eh?
tomk: Earth-2 heroes were allowed to marry their love interests.
tomk: The Fury that still exists appeared in Neil Gaiman’s Sandman run as Hippolyta Hall.
jimmy: I haven’t read it.
Jimmy, I don’t know what to say to that.
jimmy: It’s on The List.
tomk: OK, good enough.
But this show didn’t use Earth-2, so Earth-2 heroes were sometimes snuck in as bad guys.
jimmy: I did read a lot of Earth-2, but of the more recent variety. Not the older pre-Crisis stuff.
tomk: The New 52 version?
jimmy: I would have thought it was pre-New 52, but I guess that’s what it was.
tomk: Was Alan Scott a gay man and Jay Garrick something of a dumb jock?
jimmy: Yeah. And the big three were dead.
tomk: Yeah, that was the New 52 version because they brought back the multiverse but the JSA no longer existed on Earth-1 or Earth-0 or Earth-Prime or whatever world the main DC line was set on.
Hmmm, all this Justice Society talk makes for a good segue unless you have something else you want to toss out there, Jimmy.
jimmy: Not really…now I’m intrigued what we’ve segued to…
tomk: It’s a good one.
Green Lantern and some of his teammates are blown to another world, one where the legendary Justice Guild of America protects Seaborn City! Or do they…?
jimmy: Slightly different beasts, but this reminded me of Black Hammer.
tomk: Interesting observation. The Justice Guild was actually supposed to be the Justice Society, namely the Golden Age versions of the Flash, Green Lantern, and Atom plus Wildcat and Black Canary. But to use any character, they needed DC’s permission, and that meant DC editors read the script and thought it was making fun of the JSA, so they said no. They didn’t realize it was a tribute, not a parody.
jimmy: Yeah, it was pretty clear it was the JSA. Especially Alan Scott.
With regards to Black Hammer, which itself is a tribute to silver age Marvel and DC, it’s been a while since I’ve read it, but I’m pretty sure the scene where they go to the library and all the books are blank is (intentionally or not) homaged.
Man, that sentence is way too long.
tomk: It may be, but it’s an interesting idea: how strong is the psychic? He can only recreate reality so much.
jimmy: Or he doesn’t have the knowledge to fill the books.
tomk: Or he doesn’t care.
jimmy: That too. Probably not anybody poking around the library prior to this.
tomk: And now it looks like they can’t.
But the world there was basically set up for Ray to have his fun…and that was it.
jimmy: Ray. shakes head
tomk: Ray, some DC fanboy who never grew up and thinks the world revolves around him, complaining about anything new. I’m sure that doesn’t sound like anyone we know or know of.
jimmy: Definitely not. No one I know.
tomk: Just don’t ask Ray about Doomsday Clock.
jimmy: So, did the real people not age for 40 years?
Ray was that strong.
tomk: Also, it was an alternate reality. The rules were different. Now those people have to live in a barren hellscape with no sign of vegetation to grow food with.
jimmy: Yeah, the Justice League didn’t exactly leave them in a great position.
tomk: They didn’t see to mind. And the bad guys were gone.
By the by, said bad guys were stand-ins for the Wizard, the Icicle, the Fiddler, and the Sportsmaster.
jimmy: These stand ins seemed much more capable than their real counterparts. Seemed like the JL/JG lost every fight to them.
tomk: That was how the old Silver Age stories went. The bad guys would escape or outright win once or twice but then the goods guys would prevail in the end. Even on a Sunday.
jimmy: Even on Sunday?!?
tomk: Even Sunday.
jimmy: There were also more than a few nods to the Adam West Batman series.
tomk: And I know how you feel about that show.
jimmy: The nods didn’t bother me (much), they were fitting.
tomk: And if you join the a Guild, you get a cool ring and Black Siren serves cookies.
jimmy: Don’t tell Hawkgirl.
tomk: Maybe Flash should help instead. He got captured too.
jimmy: Man, Flash never comes off great in these episodes. He accidentally transported them to the parallel Earth. The kid he saved, while it did buy the graces of the Guild, was the story’s main villain. Plus he gets captured in a block of ice…from which we’ve seen him escape from a similar situation before.
tomk: But he has those useful bits on the side of his head!
jimmy: Well, they finally had a purpose.
tomk: It’s Batman-level planning for when you find yourself tied to the side of a blimp.
jimmy: He wishes he was Batman. (Don’t we all?)
tomk: Well, they left Batman behind. That’s why it took three of them to put the clues together.
jimmy: Batman would have been there 5 minutes, gave a disappointing groan and then be like “parallel Earth, that little kid is an evil psychic, Flash, get ready to take us home.”
tomk: He might have done something to stop the evil psychic first.
jimmy: Well, that is why he said for Flash to “get ready”…
tomk: You must be half-Batman to have a plan like that one ready.
jimmy: Maybe I am, Tom. Maybe I am. (I’m not.)
tomk: Well, I’m pretty sure you aren’t an evil Neil Patrick Harris.
jimmy: Maybe I am, Tom. Maybe I am. (I’m not.)
tomk: You may be a lot of things apparently (but aren’t).
jimmy: That’s true. I think you said these were your favorites of season one? Or up there at least.
tomk: It is. It’s a great tribute to the JSA. It has a legitimately shocking ending where the Guild members more or less die. There’s a great guest cast. It actually goes from silly to serious quite well when the time is right.
What did you think?
jimmy: I can agree with all that. And the twist once Hawkgirl found the graves wasn’t seen coming.
tomk: Yeah, that was something. I watched the second part for the first time with Gabbing Geek fan Bianca Horkan. She predicted Tom Turbine was evil because he seemed to be squinting all the time. Neither of us saw that coming.
jimmy: Haha. I did wonder about him squinting and then figured he was just drawn that way, but he does show his pupils at times.
tomk: He looks like the original version of Billy Batson’s Captain Marvel.
jimmy: Who was he a stand-in for?
tomk: Al Pratt, the Golden Age Atom.
He was mostly a short guy who could fight well. But at some point he developed an atomic punch power.
But even if we talked NPH, the rest of the guest cast is pretty cool for nerds and geeks the world over.
jimmy: Well, there’s William Katt.
tomk: He was, perhaps, the Greatest American Hero ever. Take that, Superman.
jimmy: He can’t believe it himself.
tomk: He should.
But if we look over the rest, there’s Ted McGinley as Tom Tubrine, American Werewolf in London David Naughton as the Streak, and Stephen Root as Catman. Root can famously dodge wrenches, traffic, and balls.
Black Siren was voiced by Jennifer Hale, a professional voice actress who will play a couple villains in future episodes.
As for the bad guys, there’s Corey “Brainiac” Burton, weird German actor Udo Kier, Michael McKean, and Jeffrey “Don’t look up what happened to the real Mr. Rooney” Jones.
jimmy: Impressive. Most impressive.
tomk: I get the impression they went all out for this one.
jimmy: Definitely had a season finale feel. For the most part minus the Trinity though.
tomk: Well, it was a tribute to a bygone era and style.
But we still have two more two parters, both with guest heroes, and then the big three part season finale.
jimmy: Will any of those guest heroes attempt to make Hawkgirl bake cookies?
tomk: No. They won’t be able to get away with it.
jimmy: Yeah, I wouldn’t mess with Hawkgirl either.
tomk: What about J’onn? Would you mess with him?
jimmy: Only with nuclear holocaust visions.
tomk: Hmm. You may be a better man than the first guest hero.
jimmy: Should we see who that is?
tomk: I believe we should. And unlike the last time I said this, this one really is my least favorite story of season one. It was bad enough that I forgot all about it before.
jimmy: Oy vey!
NEXT TIME: Tom and Jimmy will be back soon. Be here when they cover the episodes :”A Knight of Shadows,” “Metamorphosis,” and “The Savage Time”.