August 8, 2004

TV Review: Justice League Unlimited

The second episode has come and went, and I am pleased to say that it was a good episode, but there are a few things that I wish were different. I will also mention up front that I think the voice of Superman is different than in previous series, I can't quite put my finger on it, but it seemed different, a little less bass. Anyway, this episode featured three of our beloved Justice League members, three of the originals, Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman.

The episode is titled "For the Man Who has Everything." and it is primarily a Superman tale. It follows Batman and Wonder Woman as they go to visit Superman at the Fortress of Solitude, only to find him immobilized with a strange plant attached to his chest, and bad guy Mongul roaming the halls. Before the battle gets going, we cut to Superman, or more precisely Cal-El, waking up, He is back on Krypton, with a wife and son, working as a farmer. Back to the Fortress, we learn that the plant puts you into a coma like trance wand feeds you images of what it is that your heart truly desires. The reason for this is Mongul needs him out of the way to continue his plans for conquering the Earth. Of course, Batman and Wonder Woman will have nothing of it. While Wonder Woman battles Mongul, Batman works on removing the plant, inadvertently transferring it to himself. Needless to say, Mongul gets what's coming to him and the heroes save the day.

Apparently this was a translation from a storyline from the comics, I am unfamiliar with that story, but from what I have read it is very highly regarded. It actually reminded me of an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, I forget the name of the episode but it finds Captain Jean-Luc Picard trapped by a probe, and while trapped he lives out an entire life on some planet, where he is married and has children, before being freed and returned to the Enterprise. It is a device used many times, but is always effective in showing the audience other sides of these characters. In this instance we get to see what Superman would be like if he never left his home planet and there was no Superman. We also see a rather aggressive side of our hero, once freed from the plant, he unleashes a large dose of aggression on Mongul for forcing him to live that dream and having to give it all up, reminding him of the loss of his parents.

The think I didn't like about the episode is that this is no longer Justice League, it's Justice League Unlimited. Being only the second episode, it should have included one of the myriad new characters just glimpsed in the first episode. Outside of that, there isn't a lot to complain about. The story was good, characterization was good. It was interesting to see these other aspects and emotions of Superman.

Not a bad start to the show, hopefully we will get more of the other characters on the scene in the next episode. I also think that this series screams out for 60 minute episodes.


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