Jimmy and Tom continue their good times and chats with more of Justice League Unlimited. What will they do when they get to the end of it all? I don’t know. But they have a ways to go yet, as with here when they discuss the episodes “The Cat and the Canary,” “The Ties that Bind,” and “The Doomsday Santcion”.
“The Cat and the Canary”
When Black Canary’s old mentor Wildcat gets involved with a bad crowd, she recruits Green Arrow to help.
jimmy: I don’t know anything about Wildcat. Is this consistent with his comic book characterization?
tomk: He’s a Golden Age hero. His origin story is he was the heavyweight champ who got inspired by Green Lantern comics to put on a catsuit and fight criminals. Some stories claim he has nine lives. And he has trained just about every street-level hero, including Batman, on how to box.
jimmy: So, outside of joining Super Fight Club, pretty consistent.
tomk: Oh yeah. Cranky old man hero.
jimmy: Like Watson, but with fighting ability.
tomk: I’m older than Watson.
jimmy: But not as cranky.
Or as much fun to make fun of.
tomk: Ok, Impossible, you get away with it this time.
tomk: But hey, how about that Wildcat? He’ll punch out the Atomic Skull to prove a point, and that guy usually fights Superman.
jimmy: And he was winning too.
tomk: A good right hook can do a number on all kinds of people. Pressure points are pressure points no matter how strong someone is.
Heck, there was at least one other Superman foe in the group.
jimmy: Was it high cholesterol?
OK, there’s the bug man Hellgrammite, who mostly fights Superman. Green Lantern foe Evil Star, a cosmic powered bad guy who can make endless copies of himself in minature and other energy-based powers was there. One of the Extremists, Tracer, a Sabertooth knock-off, ripped the net in half. And I think we saw Bloodsport, another Superman foe, and the Sportsmaster, a powerless guy who uses sporting equipment to commit crimes and usually battled the Golden Age Green Lantern.
Atomic Skull has been a couple different characters, though the one I remember best was some poor guy who thought he was an old movie serial hero named the Atomic Skull.
He was less a villain as a guy who ran around doing stuff without knowing he was radioactive.
jimmy: I don’t know anything about these guys. At least I’ve heard of Bloodsport:
tomk: Well, if we try Young Justice next, we’ll see a lot of Sportsmaster.
jimmy: He sounds swell.
tomk: He fought the Green Lantern with a hockey stick.
jimmy: Sounds like it would be effective.
tomk: Well, that one did have a weakness against wood.
jimmy: That’s sad and makes sense.
tomk: Also, like, half of Superman’s regular foes are guys with no real powers but just build large weapons and robots and stuff.
jimmy: You know, I never really thought too much about that before. But it’s probably a good thing that there are not dozens of villains out there that can go toe to toe with Superman.
tomk: Bad enough Batman has dozens that can make him pause.
jimmy: Make Batman pause or Superman pause?
tomk: Joker makes everyone pause.
jimmy: Imagine the mess Joker would make if he had Superman’s powers.
tomk: There’s worse. There was a late season episode of Superfriends when the Penguin got Superman’s powers. Oh, and then there’s the Emperor Joker story…
jimmy: I was wondering if you’d bring Emperor Joker up.
tomk: You set me up.
Though, to be fair, it wasn’t that the Joker had Superman’s powers for that one…
jimmy: No. But my point was more that if all these villains had the powers at levels near Superman, the DC Earth wouldn’t last very long.
tomk: Like that time in the comics when the Phantom Zone emptied out and all those Kryptonian attacked the Earth, taking out most of the superheroes and forcing Superman to team up with Lex Luthor, Bizarro, the Parasite, and Metallo?
jimmy: Sure. Like that.
tomk: You smart.
jimmy: I collect things.
tomk: Then again, maybe Superman wouldn’t have needed to do that if he just teamed up with Wildcat.
jimmy: Heh. It looks that way.
Though after punching a radioactive skull numerous times, he might not have any hands in the next episode.
tomk: Eh, he wore gloves. Probably lead-lined.
Or he should have.
jimmy: He smart too.
tomk: Save that for the TNG chat.
jimmy: Right. I’m crossing the streams. So, we finally get a Black Canary/Green Arrow team up, and learn Ollie ain’t too subtle with his checking BC out at the Tower.
tomk: Well, she wasn’t too subtle in getting his help.
jimmy: She trusts him…for some reason.
tomk: I’m sure she sounded familiar to you.
jimmy: Not that I noticed. Though probably should have by the sounds of it.
tomk: Hold on. I got a picture of her.
jimmy: Really? No I didn’t even notice. We like her.
You and the Moose. Got it. I’ll alert Cousin Minka.
jimmy: There’s enough of us to go around.
tomk: I’ll ask the Ms.
jimmy: Hmm…maybe we should move on.
tomk: OK, in all seriousness, Baccarin at the time was probably best known for the TV series Firefly, and it was noted a lot of her costars and actors from other Joss Whedon-produced shows got voice work on JLU. In fact, one such co-star, Gina Torres, voiced Vixen. You might remember Torres best as Superwoman in Crisis on Two Earths or maybe how she used to be married to Lawrence Fishburn.
jimmy: I don’t. But I do know Baccarin has some serious geek cred on her resume.
tomk: Even if she married Ben McKenzie?
jimmy: He’s got some geek cred too…even if he’s forgettable.
I should really watch Firefly.
tomk: If you should, you should. I’ve never seen it.
jimmy: Me neither. But I did watch Serenity. Which makes no sense.
tomk: Now, Wildcat was voiced by the late character actor Dennis Farina. You probably know his face better than his name. His biggest movie role was probably as antagonist opposite John Travolta’s smooth gangster in Get Shorty.
jimmy: I’m familiar with him. Good casting.
tomk: And for the villainous Roulette, we have Virginia Madsen, last seen by me with a supporting role on the DC Universe Swamp Thing show that got canceled for…reasons.
jimmy: Her, I do not know. The name sounds familiar though.
tomk: Well, she was a bit bigger years ago. She was the female lead in Candyman for one.
Looks like she’s been working constantly. Maybe you’ve heard of her brother Michael.
tomk: And no speaking parts for any original member of the team.
jimmy: Speaking is overrated.
tomk: Speaking is helpful in many diverse situations. Like running a podcast.
jimmy: I don’t think any Justice Leaguers have a podcast. Maybe Booster.
tomk: Nobody had a podcast when this was new.
jimmy: What about now?
tomk: Now? You don’t listen to Superman, Starfire, J’onn, and Lobo’s Aliens Among Us podcast?
jimmy: No. But now I want to!
tomk: Well, that would involve their speaking.
Though that might not be as fun as metabrawl.
jimmy: Nothing is more fun than a metabrawl.
tomk: When do you fight the Atomic Skull again?
jimmy: February 9th.
tomk: Good luck. Wear the special gloves.
jimmy: With not many episodes left, do we get any further development of the BC/GA relationship?
From here, if you see one, the other is probably nearby.
With at least one big exception.
jimmy: That’s ominous.
tomk: It may be. But we won’t get to that one for a while.
jimmy: Until we do then, anything else to add here?
tomk: I dunno. Green Arrow apparently still has a phat wallet.
jimmy: How rich is Ollie? Not that that is why Canary brought him along.
tomk: Possibly Batman rich.
jimmy: If you’re gonna be rich, be Batman rich.
tomk: Not Luthor rich.
jimmy: You think Luthor is richer than both?
tomk: Ollie maybe. It’s more on how you use the money.
Put on a Bat suit and beat up evil clowns? That’s good.
Lose your hair and rave about illegal aliens? That’s bad.
jimmy: But the ravings come with a free frozen yogurt.
tomk: That’s good.
However, the frozen yogurt contains a trip to Apokalips.
jimmy: That’s bad.
tomk: But you get some new faces and the return of a character we haven’t really seen in a while.
jimmy: Can we go watch it now?
“The Ties that Binds”
Mr. Miracle, Big Barda, and the Flash go on a rescue mission to Apokalips!
jimmy: A bit of meta conversation with Flash complaining about being one of the original Justice Leaguers, but being ignored in Unlimited.
tomk: Hmmm. Interesting observation. But he’s back now!
jimmy: And featured! (Only because Superman was off in deep space.)
tomk: Someone had to go with Mr. Miracle.
tomk: No. Barda. Don’t mess with characters Jack Kirby based on his wife.
jimmy: Did he invent the Boob Tubes too?
tomk: Boom Tubes…hmmm, either your autocorrect is going a little nuts, or you got boobs on your mind today.
jimmy: I’m just following Flash’s lead.
tomk: If the Flash jumped off a bridge, would you follow his lead then?
jimmy: If the Flash did it?
tomk: You’d be fit to be tied, a simple escape for the likes of Scott Free, the one and only Mr. Miracle.
jimmy: Good thing he escaped being shackled, put in an iron suit, frozen and having a train dropped him from a helicopter…in rehearsal.
tomk: He’s that good. During the real thing, there might be a stampede of wild elephants thrown in as well.
jimmy: Does he perform and get paid for these escapes?
tomk: I believe so.
jimmy: I would hope so.
tomk: Darkseid doesn’t generally pay anything.
Have you read Tom King’s trippy Mr. Miracle mini-series?
jimmy: Only like the 1st issue or 2. It’s on The List.
tomk: Well, you are off to a fine start on your list.
jimmy: I kind of forgot about it to be honest, and haven’t been reading many comics of late.
We might have to downgrade you to Jimmy Unlikely at this rate.
tomk: Ok, so, we did get Michael Dorn back as Kalibak and Ed Asner as Granny Goodness.
jimmy: Ed Asner as Granny always makes me laugh.
tomk: And yet, there was also the voice of Virman Vunderbar.
jimmy: Which was?
tomk: Arte Johnson was a cast member on the 60s sketch comedy show Laugh-In. His best known character was a German soldier who called people “dum dums” and said things looked very interesting but stupid. Virman was played like an evil version of that character.
jimmy: Before my time.
tomk: Before mine too, but there is a thing called reruns.
Besides, I watched this episode with a woman I dated before I met my ex-wife, and she laughed hysterically at every line Virman spoke because of that casting.
jimmy: Yeah, I never saw the reruns either.
tomk: What have you seen?
jimmy: Well, this episode.
tomk: How about those two Fox Fantastic Four movies? Not the one where they may or may not have gone into space, but the one that actually got a sequel?
jimmy: I’ve seen those.
tomk: Then you may recognize actor Ioan Gruffudd who was Mr Fantastic and Mr Miracle.
jimmy: I wouldn’t have noticed, or known his name, but I do remember him from FF.
tomk: He is the guy to get for all Mister heroes.
jimmy: Apparently. Mr. Sinister next I guess…though not a hero. Stretch his chops.
tomk: There’s also Mr Mind, Mr Banjo, and Jimmy Olson’s alias of Mr Action. Of course, Mind and Banjo are villains…
jimmy: Maybe that’s why we never see the guy anymore. He ran out of Mister Heroes
tomk: I think he’s stayed busy. He’s Welsh, so he might just be working in the UK.
jimmy: Probably starring in The Exciting Adventures of Mr. Britain.
tomk: You have a problem with Mistah B?
tomk: Good. Have a crumpet.
jimmy: Man, these chats are plumping me up.
tomk: You could always race the Flash for exercise.
jimmy: You’re right! I could!
He may or may not be faster than Superman, so I might have a chance!
tomk: Are you faster than Superman?
jimmy: At running? No.
tomk: At something else?
jimmy: So…Apokolips hey?
tomk: Place sure went to hell without Darkseid.
jimmy: I’m not sure what it says about the place that it was essentially taken over by a parody of a German solider.
tomk: Not entirely. He was at war with a fat old woman for control.
jimmy: I was going to include her too, but Granny does seem like something of an ass kicker.
tomk: Both Virman and Granny are more behind the scenes manipulators.
jimmy: Who like to trap little kids in shrinking boxes.
tomk: It’s amazing how much a lack of Darkseid can actually make a place worse…
jimmy: And look at all the wasted cake.
tomk: Eh. It was sugar free.
jimmy: Ugh. Let the parademons have it then.
tomk: Imagine how much worse a sugar high parademon is.
jimmy: That’s why Granny only lets them have Nutrasweet.
tomk: Well, regardless of what Granny does or doesn’t give those monsters, were you happy to see an episode that played up so much of Kirby’s work and brought back the Flash?
jimmy: I don’t know a lot of Kirby and there’s probably a reason Flash has been regulated to the sidelines. (Suck it Watson!)
tomk: Well, Mr. Miracle had a very Kirby-ish look in this one, as did the death traps and the like.
Barda being there was a nice addition. Oh, and it was the same voice actress from Barda’s appearance in Batman Beyond.
jimmy: Always nice to have a little continuity.
tomk: Well, they brought back the actors for Kalibak and Granny, so it only made sense.
Oh, and our old pal Dick Miller as Oberon, the short friend to Mr. Miracle.
jimmy: You sure that wasn’t Pip the troll?
jimmy: Ok. Good. Another Kirby character, I assume.
tomk: Yeah. He’s a little person who is a close personal friend to Mr. Miracle.
He’s human, not a New God.
jimmy: How did he get mixed up with Mr. Free?
tomk: That I don’t know off-hand, but I suspect when Scott first got to Earth, he probably joined a circus and met Oberon there.
It’s like asking how you got mixed up with the Moose, I am sure.
jimmy: Except I was the one already in the circus.
I cannot wait to read your memoirs.
jimmy: I better start working on them.
tomk: Impossible Tales won’t write itself.
jimmy: Damn. That’s a great title.
Was the Xbox or whatever it was called a Kirby-ism, or something new?
jimmy: He always was before his time.
tomk: Like when Captain America punched out Hitler before America entered the war?
jimmy: Can’t say I knew that.
tomk: Well, you do now.
jimmy: I knew about the punch, but not that it happened before they entered the war.
tomk: The punch is famous. That cover first appeared in March of 1941. Pearl Harbor didn’t happen until the following December.
And the US probably didn’t really get into the war until 1942.
jimmy: In the Marvel timeline, what year does Steve Rogers become Cap?
jimmy: Sounds about right.
tomk: And the Flash knows the most important way to win any fight is to always make sure you get the green one.
jimmy: He did turn out to be useful.
tomk: Keeping a planet full of dangerous immortal beings in constant conflict with each other is a Martian priority.
jimmy: J’onn wasn’t too concerned with helping.
tomk: Not right away. It was a fake out!
tomk: Like an escape trick of some kind! Distract the audience and then pull out a surprise!
Though since the first time I saw this one, I think I would have preferred J’onn’s final line to have been “I am the green one.”
jimmy: Yeah, that’s a good line.
tomk: Well, this was a good episode. Do you have anything else to add?
jimmy: Not much. It was good to see Flash get his due, simply from the standpoint of being a forgotten founding father of the League.
tomk: Well, good. Because we got someone up next who really has it in for Superman.
jimmy: Superman’s landlady?
jimmy: I’m stumped. Let’s go have a look and find out.
“The Doomsday Sanction”
Batman looks into Cadmus while Doomsday attacks Superman!
jimmy: I’ll never get used to a talking, logical Doomsday.
tomk: Well, good thing he went to the Phantom Zone then.
jimmy: Batman wasn’t too happy about it though.
tomk: They left him alone in the dark. He’s allowed to be grumpy.
jimmy: This seemed to have overtones or at least setting up a Tower of Babel type story.
tomk: Or something. You’ve seen the Cadmus board of directors at least.
jimmy: Board goes round…board goes round…
tomk: It was a nice effect.
Though we don’t see Hugo Strange again. Or, for obvious reasons, Professor Milo.
jimmy: I found it went on too long. Once around the room would have been enough.
tomk: Jimmy Impossible: one man fighting a lone war against round tables.
jimmy: Nah, I just thought it could have been shortened.
tomk: Oh, well, you just wanted a fight in the middle of a raging volcano.
jimmy: Not me. But good thing the two combatants and their clothes were impervious to the lava.
tomk: And that Wonder Woman stayed away. Molten rock is her biggest weakness.
jimmy: That seemed to be more Superman’s call.
tomk: He knew where she was needed.
jimmy: With Flash…getting another high profile gig.
tomk: He’s important.
The Question produces groaning.
jimmy: Haha, yeah, though he’s never shown.
tomk: It is the first time he’s named.
tomk: But he gets results, dammit.
jimmy: That’s all that matters.
tomk: Batman just breaks into women’s bathrooms.
jimmy: That was a bit creepy. Maybe it was to catch her off guard, but still.
tomk: He at least handed her a towel.
jimmy: Thank Jeebus.
tomk: Not that the Wall can be shaken down by getting into her bathroom or calling her hotline.
jimmy: “Hello Mr. President.”
“No, it’s me. Batman.”
tomk: Depending on the president, I’d rather talk to Batman.
jimmy: There’s presidents you’d rather talk to than Batman?
tomk: President Batman.
jimmy: Which, to my knowledge, has surprisingly never been a storyline.
tomk: Nope. Just Lex Luthor.
jimmy: But even broader than that we’ve seen Cap run for President and at least one President Superman. But yes, some nice continuity with Luthor running for Prez…which, when watching this episode, gave me some “this is awfully familiar to real life” chills. But somehow with worse hair.
tomk: Something wrong with Joe Biden’s hair?
jimmy: More the outgoing fiasco.
tomk: Well, you did remind me that there was a President Superman story.
jimmy: And this guy:
tomk: Everybody gets to be Superman on some alternate Earth. Except for Zach Snyder. He never got Superman.
jimmy: Damn right.
tomk: Also not getting Superman? Doomsday in a raging volcano.
jimmy: I’m surprised Doomsday couldn’t be reasoned with.
tomk: Or bargained with? Did you think Doomsday feels pity or remorse?
jimmy: No. He was cunning enough to agree to Milo’s demands to get himself freed. That he even needed to be freed is another story.
tomk: I would think the people who made him knew how to secure him.
jimmy: I dunno. This is a creature that can go toe to toe with Superman and whom they had to fire a nuke at in hopes of stopping. But he could be restrained?
tomk: We’ve seen characters restrained with power drainers before. Granted, Doomsday’s powers are best described as instant evolution.
jimmy: Yeah, I just find it hard to believe that a creature that can punch Superman through a volcano could be restrained that way.
tomk: There you go, thinking logically again…
jimmy: I really gotta stop doing that.
tomk: It gets you in trouble for some reason.
jimmy: So this is not the last we see of Cadmus I’m sure.
tomk: Well, they do have a lot of bad guys there. I mean , they recruited Tala, a demon woman sorceress who traditionally battles the Phantom Stranger.
jimmy: I’m sure she won’t be an upcoming problem.
tomk: Wait til she springs Doomsday from the Phantom Zone!
jimmy: Wouldn’t surprise me either way if we do or do not see Doomsday again.
tomk: Would you want to see him again?
jimmy: Meh. He’s pretty one dimensional. Just a force of nature directed at Superman.
tomk: He said the same thing about you.
jimmy: He’s not wrong.
tomk: You just prefer Batman as a hero. You saw him take out a nuke by ramming it with his own jet.
jimmy: His dropping out of a satellite, entering the atmosphere and getting their before Captain Atom (who never seems to show up first or last) was a bit laughable.
tomk: Are you laughing at Batman?
jimmy: Batman? No. The writers? Maybe.
tomk: The writers were wrong to make Batman look badass?
jimmy: Well, no, that part still works. 🙂
tomk: Well, good. You haven’t gone completely insane.
jimmy: Only slightly mad.
tomk: Angry mad, crazy mad, or Doomsday mad?
jimmy: Hmmm…the middle one.
tomk: You had to think about it, so not too crazy mad.
jimmy: I said “slightly”.
tomk: Well good.
Say, Jimmy, do you watch the closing credits for these episodes?
jimmy: Sometimes. But since they seem to be a preview of the next episode I’ll sometimes skip them or just focus on the actual credits. Why?
tomk: Oh, for the reason you just mentioned. Previews of future episodes and all.
jimmy: Yeah. I know it’s lame, but I like to know as little as possible going into each episode. I like that they changed the opening credits from doing the same thing, but I can’t tell you when that started as I usually didn’t watch them. 🙂
tomk: But you watch previews for TNG…
jimmy: I know. It’s a struggle between my completionist side that wants to make sure I watch everything and my no spoilers side. One difference with TNG is that I’ve seen them before, even if I don’t remember much about them.
tomk: So, you have an answer for everything, huh?
jimmy: Oh, I can answer. How good it is is another story.
tomk: Interesting concept. Does it hold water, Judges?
The judges like you today.
jimmy: And I like them right back!
tomk: That’s sweet. You’re the anti-Doomsday. You bring love, not violence.
tomk: Well, did you have anything else to add to this one, Jimmy?
jimmy: I do like the light continuity of having Cadmus build to something throughout the series, but you knew that.
tomk: Yes. In fact, maybe the next episode would be more from the POV of some Cadmus agents.
tomk: Well, it may be more about a certain….squad.
jimmy: Well then. Now we’re talking!
tomk: Shall we see what that’s all about?
tomk: OK then.
NEXT TIME: Tom and Jimmy aren’t done yet! Be back soon for their discussions for the episodes “Task Force X,” “The Balance,” and “Double Date”.
Sweet Home “Episode Five”
Noteworthy Issues: The Amazing Spider-Man #62 (July, 1968)
The X-Files “Home”