May 14, 2006

Finale Report: Justice League Unlimited - "Destroyer" - Series Finale

This version of the DC universe started 14 years ago with the debut of Batman: The Animated Series, it moved onto Superman: The Animated Series, and it moved to Justice League, and it has culminated in Justice League: Unlimited. Each series has its own charm, and together have really made an impact on the animated world of comic book adaptations. Well, enough of that, I am sure you are interested in what happened in this final episode.

The episode opens with the Secret Society of Super Villains arriving at the League's orbiting base of operations. They are led by Lex Luthor who warns of the coming of Darkseid. Lex suggests a joining of forces in order to combat the oncoming threat. Superman, and the rest of the League, are a little dubious, but recognize that if this threat is indeed coming, they will need as many combatants as possible.

Shortly after their union was formed, the battle began. Portals begin opening over major cities around the globe. The heroes and villains pair up and are transported to these hot spots all over the planet where these flying warrior things swarm about, while larger ships destroy large chunks of real estate.

Wonder Woman and her team battle the hordes at the the Great Wall of China. While the battle rages, there is a surprise participant who throws his weight in with the side of right. An elderly man says he wants to help, Wonder Woman turns to tell him to get to safety when he turns into a dragon and shows just what he is capable of. The dragon transforms again, revealing the Martian Manhunter. Flash is fighting Paris, and Green Lantern has his team. Each are fighting for their lives and lives of everyone around the world. They soon learn what the plan is, Darkseid's forces are drilling into the core to open up fire pits to bring about the apocalypse.

The main battle takes place in Metropolis. That is a battle tended to by the trio of Superman, Batman, and Lex Luthor. They have the simple plan of fighting the littly guys until the boss shows up. In short order, Darkseid arrives with his plans to destroy all life on Earth, and his more specific plans for Superman. The fight between these two is gigantic. But before their fight can get off the ground, we must find something for the other two to do. Batman becomes the first to avoid Darkseid's omega beam, but gets knocked out in the process, taking him out of the battle. Meanwhile, Lex Luthor gets spirited away by Metron, who I am not terribly familiar with. He takes Lex to a place that may hold the source to Darkseid's destruction.

With them out of the way, we get a great speech from Superman about how he always has to hold back, for fear of hurting someone, and how now, with Darkseid, he has no qualms of showing his true power. This battle was excellent, although I do question Superman's speech. He is still on Earth when decides to let go, and presumably there are still inocents around, correct?

Anyway, when Superman has his back to the wall with Darkseid ready to strike the final blow, Lex returns. Metron had taken him to The Source Wall (was that Galactus in there?), where Lex obtained the Anti-Life Equation, something that Darkseid has been searching for, when not destroying worlds. It turns out that Lex presumably sacrifices himself in order to stop Darkseid and his attack, but giving him the Equation.

The Earth is safe once again. The show ended with the benevolent league giving the remaining superviillains a 5 minute head start, followed by cameos of just about every character that appeared in the series. The adventure continues.

I have not seen every episode of the series, but I have enjoyed just about every one. The animation is always first rate, there is some great direction and writing. Sometimes the fight choreography just floors me. This episode was no different. It is sad, knowing that this universe has now gone dark.

If you are a fan of the superhero genre, this is a must see.


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