January 24, 2022

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Going Through The DCAU Part Ninety

Jimmy and Tom get to the penultimate JLU entry with the episodes "Patriot Act," "The Great Brain Robbery," and "Grudge Match".

Here we are, Jimmy and Tom are on the penultimate entry for their DCAU walk-through…you know, unless they decide to add some more shows to all this.  That could happen.

Regardless, this time around we have three more episodes of Justice League Unlimited.  This time around, the guys are covering “Patriot Act,” “The Great Brain Robbery,” and “Grudge Match”.

“Patriot Act”

General Eiling gives himself some superpowers and heads off to Metropolis to bring down Superman!  Unfortunately, the only heroes there are a few without any superpowers…

jimmy:  That JK Simmons sure loves his super hero properties.

tomk:  He smashes it every time.

jimmy:  No doubt.

tomk:  And you got your motorcycle riding cowboy back for one more.

jimmy:  He needs a new motorcycle now.

tomk:  Eh, he lost one before.

jimmy:  I hope he’s got a sponsor.

tomk:  He said he was a country singer, so he can maybe afford custom built motorcycles.

jimmy:  Maybe he’s Garth Brooks?

tomk:  He’s Vigilante.

Anyhoo, how did you like this episode featuring both the Seven Soldiers of Victory and the Newsboy Legion (plus Spy Smasher)?

jimmy:  I’ll be honest. Both of those were lost on me. I know it started as an homage to Captain America and then morphed into the Hulk.

tomk:  Ok. Which one do you want explained first?

jimmy:  Seven Soldiers.

tomk:  You would ask for the longer one first.

OK, here goes…

The first DC superhero team was the Justice Society, an all-star team set up primarily to promote their second string heroes.  Sure, Superman and Batman were said to be members who could show up to help out at any minute, but they rarely did.

The second team, based more around the third string heroes, was the Seven Soldiers of Victory:  Green Arrow, Speedy, Crimson Avenger, Shining Knight, Vigilante, the Star-Spangled Kid, and the Kid’s adult sidekick Stripsey

Sound familiar?

jimmy:  They were the ones in this show!

tomk:  Yes, they were!

jimmy: And the Newsboy Legion?

tomk:  That I can explain a lot quicker since I have done so once already.

jimmy:  A lot of heroes put a lot of kids in mortal danger.

tomk:  It’s why child services in the DCU is so lax.

jimmy:  Who’s going to argue with Batman or The Guardian?

tomk:  I dunno.  Zorro?

jimmy:  Too soon.

tomk:  How about Captain America?

jimmy:  He’s just as guilty as the rest of them. Bucky?  Hello?

tomk:  Right, so who knows better why it’s a bad idea?

jimmy:  So should Batman if we’re going down that road.

tomk:  Batman never lost anyone to Nazis.

jimmy:  No, but he lost a kid.

tomk:  The kid came back.

So did Bucky…

Man, these are terrible examples.

jimmy:  Maybe that’s why child services is lax..they know the kids come back.

tomk:  Well, this is depressing…ever read Grant Morrison’s take on the Seven Soldiers?

jimmy:  I know I read some of it, remembering it is another story. But wasn’t it like Zatanna and Detective Chimp and such?

tomk:  Well, one of those.  Morrison’s concept, which actually borrowed a lot from their Justice League work and the Seven Soldier’s first Silver Age appearance as a lost team from Earth-2, had the idea of seven lesser-known superheroes who defeated a great evil as a team…without ever meeting each other for the most part.  The line-up was a new Shining Knight (who turned out to be a teenage girl in disguise), the Manhattan Guardian (complete with his own Newsboy Legion), Klarion the Witch-Boy, Zatanna, second Mr. Miracle Shiloh Norman (yes, there was a second one), the Bulleteer, and Frankenstein.

jimmy:  They needed a monkey.

tomk:  That series included, over seven separate mini-series and two extra-sized framing issues, all the New Gods, celebrity mermaids, superhero fan conventions, the ghost of the Vigilante, Grundies used as slave labor by underground Puritan societies, a Teddy Bear King, hero groupies, subway pirates, radioactive magic dice, evil fairies, and the Phantom Stranger dropping off groceries.  If there isn’t a monkey in there somewhere, I may be surprised.

jimmy:  And no monkey’s in this episode either.

tomk:  You got Captain Nazi and Spy Smasher instead.

jimmy:  That Captain Nazi’s a jerk.

tomk:  Well, he is a Nazi.

jimmy:  Fair point.

tomk:  He usually fights Captain Shazam.

Here, he’s just some jerk strapped to a table.

jimmy:  …”Captain” Shazam?

tomk:  Shazamarvel?

jimmy:  Better.

tomk:  Well, it’s clever thinking like that that gets me all the goodies I pass out to clever partners in pop culture discussions.

jimmy:  Shazamarvel!

Jimmy finds a bag of potato chips and cheese dip by his chair.

jimmy:  Woohoo!

tomk: Speaking of associates and partners…Speedy.

jimmy:  Seems an odd nickname for a bow slinger.

tomk:  Like pairing a Robin with a bat-themed guy?

jimmy:  I get your point, but the name Robin doesn’t imply any kind of power set.

tomk:  Well, maybe he pulls a quick bowstring.

jimmy:  That’s all I can think of.

tomk:  Well, I didn’t really want to bring up how bad his hero name was.

No, I wanted to bring up he had the same look and voice actor from when the character appeared on Teen Titans.

jimmy:  Then you should do that.

tomk:  I think I just did.

jimmy:  And now I know.

tomk:  And knowing is half the battle.

Jimmy finds pretzels and a cold root beer by his chair.

jimmy:  This chats keep me satisfied.

tomk:  Not like that General Eiling.

jimmy:  I was impressed he essentially remained himself mentally, and didn’t because Hulk-like.

tomk:  Well, that fits with Eiling’s transformation in the comics.

jimmy:  Which I didn’t know about.

tomk:  Well, during Morrison’s JLA run, Captain Atom’s former commanding officer Eiling had his mind transferred into the body of the Shaggy Man. Shaggy Man was an artificial, indestructible, massively strong thing that looked like Bigfoot. Eiling somehow shaved off all the fur and could fight the entire League all at once.

jimmy:  That Grant Morrison gets around.

tomk:  There was a Silver Age story where the only way to stop the Shaggy Man was to send a second one at him and let them fight for all eternity on an asteroid or something.

jimmy:  Sounds like Amazo.

tomk:  Oh, they all sound like Amazo.

jimmy:  Either way, the Seven Soliders and Newboy Legion are lucky an old lady saved them.

tomk:  She had the power of…common sense!

jimmy:  And at least Eiling was aware of his hypocrisy.

tomk:  For now. Wait til he comes back in season five.

jimmy:  I’ll commence breath holding.

Jimmy gets a bottle of salad dressing by his chair for some reason. Also, a big cake labeled “for the Moose”.

jimmy:  He does enjoy cake.

tomk:  And I enjoy watching flying horses do loopty-loops

jimmy:  No matter how demeaning.

tomk:  Eh, he was the last one standing.

jimmy:  I wonder how things would have played out if Eiling had to take out more than just a balloon of Superman?

tomk:  They would have Phantom Zoned his ass.

Then he and Doomsday would team up to punch their way out.

jimmy:  And maybe Superboy Prime.

tomk:  Let’s not add more whiny jerks.

jimmy:  Fine.

tomk:  Well, did you like this one, Jimmy?

jimmy:  It was good. Hard to go wrong when 3/4 of the show is a fight scene.

tomk:  Plus, another good showcase for lesser-known characters like the Crimson Avenger, the Streaker, Watson the Mind-Taker, and Popeye.

jimmy:  If you’re lucky, the mind is all he takes.

tomk:  Well, we don’t need to worry about that.  Ready to move on?

jimmy:  Are there heroes with super powers in the next one?

tomk:  Yes.

And none of them are Watson.

jimmy:  You had me at Watson.

tomk:  What?  We should ask Watson to come along for the last few?

jimmy:  Umm..no.

tomk:  Good.

What about a brain swap episode?

jimmy:  …is it our brains?

tomk:  Um, no.

jimmy:  Phew.  Ok, let’s do it.

“The Great Brain Robbery”

Magic and science cause Lex Luthor and the Flash to swap bodies!

jimmy:  So you find your brain suddenly in the Flash’s body…do you automatically know how to use all his powers?

tomk:  Luthor is a genius.

jimmy:  Still. That’s a big leap.

tomk:  How hard can “I am very fast now” be?

jimmy:  Concept?  Not very. Controlling it?  Another story.

tomk:  He mostly just ran fast and hit stuff.

jimmy:  Why are you such a Lex defender, Tom?

tomk:  Because he’s smart enough to realize how to use the Flash’s speed in ways Flash doesn’t?

jimmy:  Or ways Flash decides not to because they are too dangerous.

tomk:  See?  Lex doesn’t know.

jimmy:  Or care.

tomk:  Possibly both. He played Dr. Fate’s helmet like a bongo.

jimmy:  Haha.  That he did.

tomk:  He also didn’t know who Wally West was.

jimmy:  Why would he?

tomk:  See?  He’s not so smart. But Wally knew even less names.

jimmy:  Yeah, Wally came off a bit dumb here.  You’d think he’d know who these villains were.

tomk:  His first impulse was to run away until he saw he didn’t get very far.

jimmy:  And was exhausted.

tomk:  Lex needs to do more cardio.

jimmy:  Apparently.  And…be a more attentive lover.

tomk:  Tala has terrible taste in men.

jimmy:  She seemed to like Flex…Lash?…you know who I mean.

tomk:  He was nicer.

jimmy:  Her previous boyfriends were a gorilla and someone that treats her like trash.  It didn’t take much.

tomk:  She did seem disappointed at the end. She should probably talk to Harley about bad boyfriends.

jimmy: I think I’d take Lex over the Joker though.

tomk:  Really?  I’ll remember that.

jimmy:  Neither is great, but Joker’s a bit more crazy.

tomk:  Well, we’ll see how it goes for Tala.

jimmy:  That sounds very foreboding.

tomk:  Maybe she’ll turn Lex around. Better than Magnet Guy could.

jimmy:  Not likely.

tomk:  Dr. Polaris wears a stupid helmet and has a magnet on his chest but somehow thought he was real leadership material.

jimmy:  The dumb ones usually do.  Like how they told fake Lex about his plan that he couldn’t remember.

tomk: All I know is they went back to Casnia again. Wonder Woman’s friend there sure knows how to stay in the news.

jimmy: Any publicity is good publicity.

tomk: They really need to keep the supervillains out though.

jimmy: That’s a general rule for most places.

tomk: It works for Newfoundland.

jimmy: We do keep the super villains out, no doubt.

tomk: The Moose is obviously doing his job

jimmy: He is the best at what he does.

tomk: Taking over a speedy guy’s body?

jimmy: That’s only the 3rd best thing he’s good at.

tomk:  Oh my.

I hear he’s a fantastic drummer.

jimmy: 2nd best drummer Canada ever produced.

tomk: Who’s better?  None I have heard of.

jimmy:

tomk: Oh yeah. That guy.

jimmy: “That guy.”  Pfft!

tomk: Do I look like Jonathan Newman, able to name drummers off the top of my head just by glancing at an overturned bucket?

jimmy:  No?

tomk:  Not really.

I know Ringo Starr.  That’s it.

jimmy: That’s more people than The Flash knows apparently.

tomk: He probably knows plenty of superhero drummers.

It’s the evil ones he forgets.

The ones who don’t wash their hands.

jimmy:  That was funny.

tomk: Well, part of the reason this episode was made was because Bruce Timm and Co. realized Clancy Brown and Michael Rosenbaum were both excellent mimics and could copy each other.  The other reason was they remembered Rosenbaum played Lex on Smallville.

jimmy: I did notice that as well after the mind switch.

tomk: Also, the heroes figure out what happened pretty damn fast. The bad guys?  Not so much.

jimmy: Fate tells them immediately.  Also, Lex doesn’t try to hide it while Flash pretends (horribly) that he IS Lex.

tomk: Which makes it more amazing only Grodd figures it out.  And Grodd don’t care.

jimmy: Grodd was in the “mindstream” when it happened, so I think he was more aware than figured it out.  But he hates them both, so you’re right, he don’t care.

tomk:  And that’s kinda funny that way.

jimmy: I also have a feeling he doesn’t know the information about Brainiac that Lex was trying to get and just rolled with it when he knew Lex didn’t have it.

tomk: I suspect if he did, he may not want Lex getting Brainiac back because, let’s face it, that is literally only good for Lex Luthor and exactly no one else.

jimmy: Well, Brainiac too.

tomk: Brainiac don’t care.  He’s an emotionless machine with no interest in anything but accumulating knowledge.

jimmy: Is he emotionless like Data?

tomk: No.  Data has childlike wonder and curiosity.  Brainiac has childlike cruelty and literalism.

jimmy: So…I should uninvite Brainiac from your birthday party?

tomk:  I would.

jimmy: Hmm. Now I’ve got a lot of orange flavored motor oil to get rid of.

tomk: Did you invite the Red Tornado?

jimmy:  I will now.

tomk:  Problem solved.

jimmy: Oh Tom, you’ve done it again!

tomk: It’s what I do.  I know to try and look out a window when I switch bodies with a supervillain.

jimmy: Does that happen much?

tomk: I swapped with Watson once.

jimmy: And by “look out a window” you mean while trying to “jump out a window”.

tomk: Well, I didn’t want to die.

jimmy: What did Watson do with your body….wait…I don’t want to know.

tomk: Fortunately, my crew saw it right away and locked him up in a straight jacket.

jimmy:  Your…crew?

tomk: You don’t have one?

jimmy: No.  :disappointed:

tomk: Not even the Moose?

jimmy: I would say I’m more his crew than vice versa.

tomk:  Ah.

He is a drummer.

jimmy:  Exactly.

tomk:  If nothing else, you saw how dangerous the Flash could be if he wasn’t a nice guy like Wally.

jimmy: Like, if he was a reversed Flash?

tomk: Was he running backwards?

Or worse?

jimmy:  Lol

tomk: Well, the League didn’t really learn anything, Lex didn’t get away with anything, Tala saw how her boyfriend could be better, and only Grodd was really all that amused.  Did I miss anything?

jimmy: Lex knows but doesn’t know who Flash is.

tomk:  That about covers it.

jimmy:  Time to move on?

tomk: Looks that way.  Would you prefer something for the ladies?

jimmy:

tomk: That’s one weird gif, Jimmy.

jimmy: I think it’s a young Grodd.

tomk: Getting ready for a date with Giganta or Tala?

jimmy: Probably before their time.

tomk: Well, I was thinking the return of the Huntress, Black Canary, and Roulette with her “Meta Brawl”.

Oh, and a blink-and-you-miss-it Nightwing cameo.

jimmy: I better keep my eye out then!

tomk:  Shall we?

jimmy:  We shall.

“Grudge Match”

Roulette starts up Meta-Brawl with a new twist, one that gets the Huntress’s attention.

jimmy:  Foxy Boxing: Justice League Edition.

tomk:  Um…yeah.

jimmy:  Hey I was going to open with a pudding or jello joke, so I think I was pretty restrained.

tomk:  The women should just be glad it was Luthor and not Watson behind it all.

jimmy:  So Lex can hack into the Justice League comms and mind control any member of the league…and the best he can come up with is to have the female league members fight so he can skim some money?

tomk: Well, he has to keep it lowkey so Batman won’t notice.

jimmy: Having Wonder Woman almost kill the rest of the League’s females is hardly low key.

tomk: That was, um, the back-up plan.

jimmy: It made for a good episode that Jenny would probably love, but when you dig into it it makes no sense.  And how much exactly is Lex skimming off the top for the take to be worthwhile for him and Roulette?  And with that kind of tech, he could have taken control of any one member of the League and had them rob a bank…or the supplies he needed.  Or, you know, sent someone from his Society to do the same.

tomk: It was about getting Sonar out of the Hall of Doom for a while?

That guy doesn’t shower.

jimmy: Sonar.  The guy I never heard of until now.

tomk: Old Green Lantern foe.  Man with a tuning fork gun.

jimmy: He held his own against Black Canary.  Until he didn’t.

tomk:  That could describe a lot of people. Even you.

jimmy: I’d be more worried about Green Arrow since I wouldn’t be trying to repel Black Canary.

tomk: Too many potential comments here.

jimmy: Only one potential comment from Canary: “Get lost, creep.”

tomk:  

jimmy:  Very true.

tomk:  I mean, you might be able to get somewhere with Vixen or Hawkgirl after the concussions they surely got fighting Wonder Woman.

jimmy: Wonder Woman wasn’t chewing bubble gum nor taking names.

tomk:  She was taking a nap.

jimmy: She almost sent everyone else to a permanent nap.

tomk: Well, they were a lot more exhausted than they should be.

jimmy: True, but they ain’t taking Wonder Woman anyway.  I was surprised they all couldn’t hold her long enough to pop off her communicator though.

tomk: Or get Black Canary to short them all out with a canary cry or something.

jimmy: Hmm.  Maybe they are immune to that, or she would have destroyed her own when using her powers maybe. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

They must be pretty adaptable to survive Fire turning to fire, etc.

tomk: Well, whose going to hold Wonder Woman down long enough to dig something out of her ear or wherever it is?  And don’t you volunteer.

jimmy:

tomk:

jimmy: Minutes or seconds?

tomk: Well, I gave you the benefit of the doubt.

jimmy: It’s foolish, but I appreciate it.

tomk: Not as much as Vixen and Hawkgirl appreciate not being dead.

jimmy: Just when they were starting to get along.

tomk: Well, they still get along. They have “almost died fighting mind controlled Wonder Woman” in common now.

jimmy:  More acceptable to talk about in mixed company than Green Lantern’s underwear drawer.

tomk: John has enough problems.

jimmy:  Did the original Meta-brawl take place in Bludhaven, or did it not really say?

tomk:  I do not recall.

jimmy: I guess Nightwing was too busy pretending to be a gargoyle to lend a hand.

tomk: He wasn’t allowed to do more than that. Silly corporate permission rules…

jimmy:  A bit surprising they showed him at all.  It’s not like the episode had to take place in Bludhaven.

tomk:  Bludhaven is more corrupt than Gotham. Anything goes there.

jimmy:  More corrupt than Gotham is hard to imagine.

tomk: See how much Batman gets done by himself?

jimmy: Nightwing is no Batman. Except when he is.

tomk: He arrived later.

jimmy: Huntress and Canary had it all clued up by then. And Question was still describing what he was wearing.

tomk: There wasn’t enough activity by the Freemasons to interest the Question.

jimmy:  He was also sick from eating all of that mystery ice cream flavor.

tomk:  Well, there was a lot of that going around. Probably a good thing Huntress forcibly resigned from the League.

jimmy: She could rejoin if she wanted.

tomk:  Eh, maybe it’s for the best.

jimmy: How many Gotham vigilantes do you need really?

tomk:  A lot apparently.

jimmy:  In the Justice League, I mean.

tomk:  Oh, well, just the ones that get along with Batman.

jimmy:  So…just Batman.

tomk:  Pretty much.

jimmy: Does Lex realize he is talking out loud “to himself” when talking to Brainiac?  The other are obviously aware he is doing it.

tomk: Better question:  does he care?

jimmy: Hmm.  That might be a better question.  And “no” is probably the answer.

tomk:  Lex doesn’t care what the peanut gallery thinks.

jimmy:

tomk: Eh, those kids get better results.

jimmy: You know who’s to blame for all this?

tomk:  Watson?

jimmy:  No. The exact opposite of Watson. Mr Terrific.

tomk:  How do you figure?

jimmy: He should have detected that someone had hacked the comm system. That all the female members were going off grid and congregating in the one place.

tomk: J’onn would have taken care of that.

jimmy: That’s what I’m thinking.

tomk: But that would require J’onn to care.

jimmy: You don’t think he does?

tomk: I just don’t know anymore.

jimmy: Maybe he looked into the future and saw his role in the Snyder Cut and lost all faith in humanity.

tomk:  That sounds like a very depressing possibility. Have a cupcake.

jimmy:  Thanks.

Female Super Hero Fight Club doesn’t seem to be invoking much chatter. Maybe because there wasn’t a lot to it besides that. Mostly a bunch of fight scenes.

tomk: Well, Roulette got her ass kicked and Huntress proved she cared.

jimmy: Just don’t tell her about your orange socks.

tomk: I don’t have any.

jimmy:  The Question does.

tomk: He likes to live dangerously.

jimmy: And have socks that don’t rhyme with anything.

tomk: Is that what we’re reduced to talking about for this episode?

jimmy: LOL.  We could talk about how stupid Luther’s plan was again.

Ok, how about if he could only take over the women…why not send Wonder Woman after the JL instead of having her fight for money?

tomk: I think he just wanted some people to go away and leave him alone.

jimmy: He does still need to fund his MBGA (Make Brianiac Great Again) experiment, but he could have put those brain controlled Justice Leaguers to much better use.  It couldn’t have all been just to get Roulette to bugger off.

tomk:  That’s what I just said.

jimmy:  Was it, Tom?  Was it?

tomk:  Yes.

jimmy:  If you say so.

tomk:  I do.

Ready to move on?

jimmy:  We could talk about orange socks again.

tomk:  No.

We have a final batch of episodes left to finish off Supergirl’s, Hawkman’s, Luthor’s, and the Legion of Doom’s story arcs.

jimmy: That’s a lot of bows to get tied.

tomk:  Well, it’s four episodes.

jimmy: Is that all we have left of the series?

tomk:  Yes.

jimmy: Dang.  Guess we better get to it.

tomk:  In that case, let’s visit the future.

NEXT TIME:  Tom and Jimmy are finally finishing off Justice League Unlimited and possibly the DCAU as a whole with the episodes “Far from Home,” “Ancient History,” “Alive!” and “Destroyer”.

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