January 22, 2022

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Going Through The DCAU Part Eighty-Two

Jimmy and Tom make some headway with Justice League Unlimited as they look into the episodes "The Greatest Story Never Told," "The Return," and "Ultimen".

Tom and Jimmy seem to be getting these out faster these days.  Is it because the episodes are so good that they can’t wait to see more?  Or is it because they’re shorter stories?  Or even that they’re getting closer to the end and can’t wait to get there?

I don’t know.  I just put up the transcripts.  Regardless, the guys are back with a discussion of the Justice League Unlimited episodes “The Greatest Story Never Told,” “The Return,” and “Ultimatum”.

“The Greatest Story Never Told”

While the entire Justice League tackles a major threat, Booster Gold has his own problems while handling crowd control.

jimmy:  Poor old Booster, never gets a break. Except for the whole saving the world and getting the girl thing.

tomk:  And a talk with Batman!

jimmy:  Well, that you don’t want any part of.

tomk:  But Batman is awesome!

jimmy:  When he’s not combined with Superman and Wonder Woman.

tomk:  That’s three times the awesome!

Just ask the Green Lantern!

jimmy:  He wasn’t even green!  I’m with Booster on that one.  That kid needs a slap.

Or ants in his pants.

tomk:  That kid wasn’t the only one for some reason.

jimmy:  Well, the last one we call flirting.

tomk:  Booster is better off without her since she’s voiced by convicted felon Lori “Aunt Becky” Loughlin.

jimmy:  She was a fine upstanding citizen until that Booster Gold came along.

tomk:  So it’s Booster’s fault?

jimmy:  Probably.  He does that.

tomk:  And here I thought he was getting better…

jimmy:  Not until he talks to Batman.  Or will that make things worse?

tomk:  Batman will probably know about Black Hole Man by then and give Booster a present.

jimmy:  Just don’t let Booster give Batman a present.

tomk:  Maybe they can go halvsies for Superman’s next birthday.

jimmy:  Booster can’t afford that.

tomk:  That’s Booster’s problem.

jimmy:  And that’s exactly why he’s come back in time. But it looks like he skipped over money and power and went straight to women.

tomk:  Well, woman.

jimmy:  For now.

tomk:  I don’t think Aunt Becky is the type to tolerate multiple girlfriends.

jimmy:  She’d bring that wormhole guy home and uncollar him.

tomk:  That’s awfully dark.

jimmy:  I smell spin-off!

tomk:  That’s how Deep Space Nine was born.

jimmy:  I never knew DS9 was a Justice League spin-off. Interesting.

tomk:  Dang.  Wrong chat.  But yes.  Booster is secretly O’Brien.

jimmy:  O’Brien’s a bit smarter and more humble than Booster.

tomk:  He also looks older, so it’s not current Booster.

jimmy:  And lost or doesn’t have his accent. Time travel is weird.

tomk:  Clearly a paradox at the proper interval can make someone Irish.

jimmy:  Isn’t Booster’s whole schtick a paradox?

tomk:  Only if you forget to carry the two when you do the math.

jimmy:  Who forgets the 2?  The 1 maybe…

tomk:  Well, someone forgot Booster and Skeets during that whole mess. That’s two right there.

jimmy:  Why do none of them give Booster anything useful to do?

tomk:  Crowd control is important.

jimmy:  Right. “Important.”

tomk:  You want people panicking in the streets and not saving ants?

jimmy:  No?

tomk:  Someone had to help that woman give birth. Robo-Fry wasn’t cutting it.

jimmy:  I guess crowd control is important.

tomk:  Told ya.

jimmy:  I should have known better.

tomk:  You’re still learning. It’s OK.  Have a gold star for humility.

jimmy:  

tomk:  And how about that Plastic Man?  You never see the guy, and this is the only episode to mention him.

jimmy:  And apparently he’s not as good a stretchy guy as Elongated Man.

tomk:  Elongated Man actually is a good detective, often described as second only to Batman. He wasn’t treated like a silly character until the League had its own silly period…corresponding to the period Booster joined the League.

I think I am seeing a pattern here.

jimmy:  He didn’t need to be a detective here. Just do the most amazing off screen move the league has ever seen.

tomk:  Pretty much everything happening off-screen was amazing.

Or so we have been led to believe.

jimmy:  It was an interesting framing device to hardly show a fight against a foe that took the entire League to barely bring down.

tomk:  And the Dark Lord Mordru is one the biggest baddies DC has, a sorcerer who has taken on and taken out whole superteams like the JSA and (mostly) the Legion of Superheroes.

jimmy:  In a way, he gets screwed in this appearance. They do hype him up as this big bad that they need the whole League to take out, but he gets very little screen time.

tomk:  I don’t think he ever has any spoken dialogue.

jimmy:  He needs a new agent.

tomk:  Like Booster’s?  Or Ralph Dibney’s?

jimmy:  Probably Ralph’s.

tomk:  Well, despite having somewhat recognizable actor Jeremy Piven voicing him, Ralph doesn’t really get an episode of his own.

Meanwhile, Tom Everett Scott and Billy West reprised Booster and Skeets for The Brave and  the Bold. 

jimmy:  Wait, Skeets was Fry?

tomk:  Yes.

jimmy:  Cool.  What year does Futurama take place?

tomk:  The year 3000.

jimmy:  I was hoping it was before Booster’s time so that it would be a logical progression and tie in.  :slightly_smiling_face:

tomk:  Keep trying, Jimmy. You’ll get there yet.

Regardless, I hope you learned an important lesson about…something.

jimmy:  I learned that crowd control is important!

tomk:  Is that how you met the Ms or the Moose?

jimmy:  Yes.

tomk:  Good man. Maybe next time you can meet my Cousin Minka.

jimmy:  Deal!

tomk:  Anything else to add about Booster, Jimmy?

jimmy:  Not this go round.

tomk:  Well, how about we see the return of some folks we haven’t seen for a while?

jimmy:  It’s the end of 2020; almost everyone is a folk we haven’t seen for awhile.

tomk:  Well, then, what if it was AMAZO?

jimmy:  Well, then, that sounds AMAZO-ing!  Umm…I mean, yeah, let’s watch the next show.

tomk:  And it has such an inspired title.

“The Return”

Professor Ivo’s android is coming back to Earth…and he has a special target in mind…

jimmy:  I didn’t see Elongated Man stepping up and saving the day in this one.

tomk:  No, not this time.

He stayed home this time.

jimmy:  One hit wonder.

tomk:  Nobody on the League hit anything more than a foul ball this time.

jimmy:  And Luthor saves the day by pitying Amazo.

tomk:  Well, almost.

Even a good Lex is still a condescending jerkass.

jimmy:  That may be so, but he builds a hell of a barbershop.

tomk:  I think comic book Nick Fury had something like that once.

jimmy:  OR Nick Fury or New SLJ Fury?  Because if it’s the new Fury, the jokes just write themselves with him and Luthor.

tomk:  Original, not Extra Crispy.

jimmy:  Dang.  Well, Steel made the joke anyways…and he’s another one that shouldn’t talk.

tomk:  Steel doesn’t own a barbershop. Or go to one.

Unless he shaves his head.

jimmy:  The latter was my point.

tomk:  Besides, no one would ever look for Luthor there.

jimmy:  It makes perfect sense.  I’m also impressed he could build such an elaborate tube/tunnel/multi barricade door underground lair with no one noticing.

tomk:  Especially when n Metropolis. You’d think Superman would have seen something.

jimmy:  Or at least heard something.

tomk:  He was at home washing his tights.

jimmy:  At the Fortress of Solitude?  For like 2 years?

tomk:  Well, he did have to rehab his image.

jimmy:  And spends a lot of time in the Watchtower.

tomk:  That’s where J’onn stays these days.

jimmy:  He probably doesn’t have a home otherwise.

tomk:  That’s just sad.

jimmy:  Perhaps, but likely true. He has no family. Spent last Christmas at the Kent’s. If he did have like a secret identity and an apartment or something to maintain appearances, he’s likely abandoned those.

tomk:  Some comics suggest he actually has many secret identities.

jimmy:  As a shapeshifter that makes perfect sense.  At least he’s not living in Dr. Fate’s basement.

tomk:   As far as we know.

jimmy:  How did you feel about the ending.  This was clearly setting up a future storyline, similar to the Power Girl one.

tomk:  It made me wonder what the episode title referred to. Was it Amazo’s return?  Luthor’s?  Shiera’s?

jimmy:  Ohhhh….

Good question!

tomk:  Because Hawkgirl’s been missing herself for a while, and Luthor is rather important.

jimmy:  Maybe it is all three.

tomk:  All were momentous in their own way.

Also, Kyle Rayner returned, but we probably don’t need to worry about him.

jimmy:  And Oa returned!

tomk:  And then it was returned.

That must be what the title meant.

jimmy:  That whole thing made no sense.  “I put it in another dimension because it was in my way.”  He’s in space.  He couldn’t have flown around Oa?

tomk:  Luthor beat him by talking. Intelligence may not be his strong suit.

jimmy:  Batman should have talked to him.  We’ve seen him defeat villains that way as well.

tomk:  Batman sat this one out.

jimmy:  Was he home washing his tights?

tomk:  That’s Robin’s job. Kids have to have chores.

Then again, all those heroes hitting Amazo with everything they had was all for nothing. Amazo just plowed through Superman, Orion, Dr. Light, Starman, STRIPE, Fire, Rocket Red, Red Tornado, Supergirl, Steel, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Ice, a host of Green Lanterns, a fleet of Justice League ships, Luthor’s defense screen, and still found the Atom’s microverse. Someone should have just talked to him.

jimmy:  Is there any stopping Amazo?  That’s two episodes now where the good guys won because he decided to stop.

tomk:  That…is a good question.  Maybe there are things out there he can’t counter.  Dr. Fate didn’t even try, so maybe magic could do something.

jimmy:  Good question about magic.

tomk:  And maybe the GL Corps’ full blast would have done the job.  I mean, half a planet is better than none.

jimmy:  Seeing they couldn’t stop him from “destroying” Oa, I have my doubts.

tomk:  They weren’t trying as hard.

See, if they blew up half of Oa instead of building a wall…

jimmy:  Typical Green Lantern Corps. Building a wall to keep aliens out and then refusing to admit defeat after they’d clearly lost.

tomk:  That sounds like a political allegory.

jimmy:  Does Amazo return again?

tomk:  One more time. But he’s Dr. Fate’s newest roommate right now.

jimmy:  I guess we’ll have to wait and see how that works out.

tomk:  Why?  You wanna see what’s up next now?

jimmy:  It wasn’t a segue, more of a question and statement.  That said, did you have anything else to add?

tomk:  Not really.  This one is more of a big action episode that ends when Luthor uses philosophy.

You?

jimmy:  Not overly.  And the last scene overshadows must of the unstoppable android killing machine action from a continuity stand point anyway.

tomk:  And you do like the continuity done right.

jimmy:  I do!

tomk:  How about an episode that not only advances the overall plot, bringing in an important character going forward, but that is also a Superfriends tribute?

jimmy:  You had me at tribute.

tomk:  The last word in the sentence?

jimmy:  You can’t win them all.

tomk:  Well, let’s see if the League can pull off a win after Amazo made them look like a bunch of chumps.

“Ultimatum”

A new young hero team, the Ultimen, seem to be taking the world by storm.  But there’s something not quite right about them…

jimmy:  It’s easier on us for our watch-through, but sometimes I miss the old Justice League everything is a two-parter approach. This episode seemed like it could have been fleshed out more.

tomk:  Would you believe much of it is fleshed out later?  This is long form storytelling now.

jimmy:  Not surprised. Especially with that Evil Dr Hamilton showing up.

tomk:  More importantly, Unflappable Amanda Waller shows up.

jimmy:  That was one of a few things made me feel like I missed an episode. Especially when Wonder Woman said to the Ultimen: “We keep running into you.”

tomk:  Nah.

They kept running into their Super Friends equivalents:  Samurai, Black Vulcan, Apache Chief, and the Wonder Twins.

jimmy:  That’s what I meant.  Anyway, the Wonder Twins homage was the most painfully obvious. I’m not all that familiar with Super Friends so the others didn’t resonate with me much.

tomk:  OK, so, Hanna-Barbera had the rights to the Justice League, but they weren’t allowed to punch anybody or anything.  Anyway, to make the League/Super Friends a little racially diverse, HB invented a few new superheroes.  There was Black Vulcan, an African American with electrical powers that they probably used because DC was having issues with Black Lightning’s creator and creator rights and stuff.  Samurai was Japanese and could turn into wind, turn invisible, or in some rare cartoons turn into fire by saying the Japanese words for those things.  And Apache Chief could turn into a 50 foot giant by saying the Apache words for “big man”.

Best video I could find, and it also included the Latino Super Friend El Dorado.

jimmy:  Apache Chief sounds familiar. As was the look of their headquarters.

tomk:  Well, the Hall of Justice does get reused a bit.  Scott Snyder had it as their HQ in his JL run.  It appeared as the UN building in Kingdom Come.  And it’s been used in other cartoons.

You probably remember Apache Chief from stuff like this:

jimmy:  Haha, possibly.

tomk:  And since HB created those characters, they could use them in other cartoons without asking DC first, unlike, say, the regular members of the Justice League.

Oh, and that wasn’t limited to Apache Chief.

jimmy:  Lol

That voice sounded familiar…

tomk:  The last one?  You mean Phil “Green Lantern John Stewart” LaMar?

jimmy:  Exactly.

tomk:  Well, they don’t call you White Fish for nothing.

jimmy:  That made me lol in the clip.

tomk:  It is a good line.

Also, Aquaman was in this JLU episode because, well, the classic Super Friends line up was Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Robin, and Aquaman.  Plus whatever kid heroes like the Wonder Twins were just hanging around.

jimmy:  I guess Robin was home washing his tights.

tomk:  Well, he was on Teen Titans.

Those shows did not cross over…directly.

jimmy:  Not like the Justice League needs a Robin.

tomk:  Not when it has an Aquaman!

jimmy:  He never needs to wash his tights!

tomk:  Kids hate chores.

jimmy:  So, you know what my memory is like…is this the first time we’ve seen Waller and Lord?  (That sounds like the hosts of a top 40 radio show.)

tomk:  Yes on both, though Max Lord does not return.

jimmy:  Until Christmas 2020.

tomk:  Actually, on the subject of Waller…that’s actress CCH Pounder playing her (and the electrical Ultiman Juice), and Pounder actually could have played Waller in live action back then.

jimmy:  I can definitely see that.

tomk:  She’s played Waller in a couple of the direct to DVD movies, too. Great casting there.

jimmy:  Until the New 52 put her on Weight Watchers.

tomk:  Well, yes.

Of course, if you were listening, you heard it wasn’t STAR Labs behind it all…it was something called PROJECT CADMUS!

jimmy:  I noticed that!  Duh dun daaa!

tomk:  See, here you thought STAR Labs went bad, and it didn’t.  Some other clandestine organization you never heard of before was responsible.

jimmy:  But Hamilton still works at STAR, so that may be even worse.

tomk:  Why?  Because he had to take a second job after STAR had some budget cuts?

jimmy:  Won’t somebody think of the super intelligent!?!?

tomk:  Brainiac?

jimmy:  And the eggheads at STAR.

tomk:  Not Bizarro?

jimmy:  Bizarro am not intelligent.

tomk:  So, he is?

jimmy:  No.  Stop using your Bizarro logic against me!

tomk:  It’s not my fault that Bizarro keeps blindsiding everybody.

jimmy:  Bizarro fly good.

tomk:  Bizarro and Giganta (plus Grodd) were all part of the Legion of Doom on Superfriends, you know. Or don’t.

jimmy:  I did not.

They really Super Friends this one up didn’t they?

tomk:  

I think that was the whole idea. The Ultimen’s initial earnestness that made Aquaman grumpy, the way the two Wonder Twins seemed inclined to screw up more than the others, that was all Superfriends stuff.

jimmy:  Aquaman can fly?

tomk:  Only in the opening credits.

Or when Superman tosses him around like a sack of potatoes.

jimmy:  We’re well aware Superman is a jerk.

tomk:  On the subject of Not-Jerks: Long Shadow made enough of an impression that when Young Justice did its own versions of the Super Friends characters, they named the Apache Chief character Ty Longshadow.

jimmy:  It helped that he could use Wonder Woman as a reference on his resume.

tomk:  Yes, for whatever short amount of time he has left.

jimmy:  If they could move their memories from body to body, it wouldn’t make much difference how often they got new ones. They’ve already shown they can implant memories.

tomk:  Well, to the public.

jimmy:  I’d be happy with a healthy body upgrade right about now.

tomk:  But that’s you. Wind-Dragon clearly had different ideas. Plus, how good are these kids if one tried to drown Aquaman?

jimmy:  Yeah, that wasn’t the brightest. One tugged on Superman’s cape too.

tomk:  And another just opted to mess with Batman. .

jimmy:  Never mess with Batman.

tomk:  I dunno. Waller appears to have gotten away with it.

jimmy:  Time will tell. She is historically one of the few characters who is not afraid of him. And apparently knows his secret identity.

tomk:  Waller’s whole thing is she doesn’t get intimidated by anyone.

The fact she’s an overweight, middle-aged woman with no discernible physical skills and only her attitude is what makes her great.

jimmy:  Unless you’re launching the New 52.

tomk:  You keep saying that.

jimmy:  Slack has gone off the rails for me, so I’m not sure what I’ve said in this channel at this point.

tomk:  You keep saying that.

jimmy:  Well I’m rubber and you’re glue!

tomk:  That you’ve never said before. Have a cookie. It’s warm from the oven.

jimmy:  Nom nom nom

tomk:  Well, like a pathetic loser getting backhanded by the King of the Seas, you may have said all you have to say here.

jimmy:  Have you?

tomk:  I will point out that this is the first of many episodes written by Dwayne McDuffie, whose episodes are usually part of something bigger as seen here with more cloned heroes and Amanda Waller’s presence.

jimmy:  Those veteran comic writers might know a thing or two about long form storytelling.

tomk:  Yes, they might.

And you gave me a segue.

jimmy:  That’s what friends are for.

tomk:  So, how do you feel about an episode that features the entire League against an alien threat with a special focus on the Atom, has the first appearance of a character voiced by an Oscar winning actor you would know very well, and was written by Warren Ellis?

jimmy:  How’s that for selling it?!?

tomk:  I could also add it’s a very action-packed episode.

jimmy:  I was already in!

tomk:  Then let’s go.

NEXT TIME:  Tom and Jimmy will be back soon to finish off season one with “Dark Heart,” Wake the Dead,” and the two part “The Once and Future Thing”.

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