Hi! Welcome to my episode-by-episode recap of, and reaction to Justice League. There will be no spoilers beyond the current episode. As is my custom with recaps, I will give you a short summary recap followed by a long and
unnecessarily helpfully detailed version. My reaction will follow at the end if you just want to scroll past all of the recap.
If you want to see my prior Justice League episode reviews, click HERE:
THE QUICK AND CLEAN SUMMARY:
Lex is captured by the Justice League – in part due to a health crisis that hindered his getaway. In the hospital, Lex is told that he has terminal blood poisoning. Sometime later, in prison, Lex and Ultra-Humanite – a criminal in the adjoining cell – escape prison and put together a team of villains. Lex wants them to destroy the Justice League and pay them for their services.
Sometime later, Humanite stages a hostage situation. When the Justice League arrives, they spring the trap. The hostages are in fact Lex’s team of villains. They are not up to the challenge of beating the Justice League, though. Later, Batman arrives alone to the place where they are regrouping. He had planted a tracking device in Lex. Unfortunately for Batman, the Joker arrived earlier and clued Lex in that Batman is following him. They lay a trap for Batman. As Batman spies on the other villains from above, they know he is coming. Joker sneaks up behind Batman and knocks him out.
THE EXTRA DUSTY RECAP:
The episode begins at LexCorp. Lex, holding a glowing green rock, says that this is how it ends. He says he has been carrying the rock around for years, waiting for just the right moment. Now that said moment is here, though, he says he almost feels a little let down.
Superman is lying on the floor in apparent agony. Lex asks if he has any last requests. Superman wants to know how Luthor got weapons through customs to terrorists.
Lex: A gift here, a bribe there. When money talks, people listen.
Superman stands up and says that it sounds like Lex will have company in prison. Lex, surprised, runs closer to him with the glowing green rock and Superman appears unimpressed. Lex shouts that it can’t be and Superman shapeshift into Martian Manhunter.
Batman enters the room and tells Lex that he is usually more careful. Green Lantern, not far behind, says that Lex is going down hard. Martian Manhunter comments that this is the end of Lex’s image as a benevolent business man.
Martian Manhunt: The end of an era.
Lex: [pulls handheld device from his pocket] The end of your era, maybe.
A device in the room begins firing lasers at Manhunter, Batman, and Green Lantern. Lantern covers the three of them with a shield made by his ring while Lex flees in a miniature jet. Superman arrives and gives chase. Lex fires a missile at him and hits him. While Superman recovers, Lex begins having a health emergency and starts failing at his piloting. Superman recovers just in time to catch Lex’s jet before it crashes into a car. He carries the jet to a clear area, pulls the door back, and finds Lex groaning in pain inside.
Lex wakes up in a hospital bed. Superman is in front of him with a doctor. Superman introduces Lex to Dr. Patel. Lex says that whatever he told the Martian will not stand up in court. Superman replies that none of that matters. Dr. Patel tells Lex that he had a seizure and asks Lex if he has ever had one before. Luthor does not reply. Patel goes on and says that his tests indicate that Lex has a rare form of blood poisoning. Lex says that this is impossible. Superman tells Lex that the chunk of kryptonite that Lex has carried around for years caused the problem. Lex blames Superman. Lex asks Patel about the treatment and the doctor tells him that there is nothing he can do and that the condition is terminal. Superman offers Lex whatever assistance he can provide and Lex tells him that he has done enough.
Sometime later, in a prison cell, Lex is being kept awake by his neighbor’s loud opera music. He pounds on the wall to the next cell and asks its occupant if he can die in peace. He gets no response. He pries open a reception box on the top of his television and begins doing something with the wiring.
In the neighboring cell, we find Ultra-Humanite, an intelligent albino gorilla. As he says that the singing is exquisite, Luthor interrupts his broadcast and speaks to him through the television.
Luthor: Humanite! How can you stand that caterwauling?
Humanite: Music is one of the meager pleasures I am allowed in here.
Humanite tells Luthor a little music might improve his disposition and Lex replies that there is nothign wrong with his disposition. Humanite replies that this is not what he has heard. Lex admits that he needs the albino gorilla’s help and he offers to make it worth his while.
Sometime later, prison guards wheel food to Humanite’s cell. He tells them that he is feeling a little under the weather an asks if they can wheel it in. Theyguards look at each other. One of them says that he is a model prisoner but says that they should not take chances. He pulls a club free before entering. As they push the food cart forward, they trigger an electrical discharge that knocks both of them out. Humanite hops up, picks up one of the guards, and carries him to the retinal scanner that unlocks Lex’s door. Humanite holds open his eyelid and frees Lex. The two criminals are finally noticed, fired upon, but they flee the prison yard and run away into the dark.
Batman is in the Batmobile when he hears a dispatch that Ultra-Humanite and Lex Luthor have escaped from prison.
Luthor and Humanite are being chased by police. Lex uses dynamite to destroy a pursuing police car AND set a neighboring building on fire. He tells Humanite that this should keep them occupied. Batman arrives to the burning apartment building as it is being evacuated. He calls for immediate backup. He hears a girl from a top floor of the burning building. He uses a grapple gun and goes through the upper floor window and finds the girl. She tells him she is scared and he replies that she will be alright. As Batman is holding the girl, the building begins collapsing around them. Hawkgirl arrives and flies them both down to the ground.
Hawkgirl: I’m used to being thanked when I save someone.
Batman: I’m not used to being saved.
A moment later Superman and the Flash arrive. They could not pick up the trail of Luthor and the Humanite.
Flash: No biggie, it’s just two guys. How much trouble could they give us?
A woman who looks and moves like a Cheetah arrives at an old seemingly empty building. She sniffs the air and attacks a man in a snake costume. He tells her to go easy and introduces himself as Copperhead. He says that he is here about a job. She replies that she is here for the same reason. She asks if he is the one who called her and he says no. He stands very close to her and suggests that they might work together… closely together. Up close, we see that the human face inside the snake costume has fangs and a forked tongue. She swipes at him and he hits her in return, knocking her backward into someone else. Cheetah looks up at a gigantic well-dressed Zombie.
Zombie: Nice kitty. ::pats her shoulder::
[Cheetah swipes a paw at his hand]
Cheetah: Hands off!
Zombie: Agh! No one hurts Grundy.
Grundy, Cheetah, and Copperhead begin brawling. Grundy is enormously strong but not as agile as the other two. Just then, a man wearing a top hat, sunglasses, and a wand enters the room. With a save of his wand, the room goes dark. The other three stop fighting.
The newcomer introduces himself as The Shade and says he will do worse than turn off the lights if the other three do not stop acting like ignorant unruly children. As he is telling the other three that his night stick is more than enough to handle the other three, a flash of pink light pulls the night stick from his hand.
A woman flies down from above and says that he is less than nothing without his night stick. Holding the night stick, she looks around.
“Common criminals, is this what I have been reduced to?”
Lex Luthor answers her. He is with Humanite.
Lex: Criminals, yes. But common they are most certainly not.
Luthor greets Cheatah, Sapphire, Grundy, and the Shade. Luthor tells the group that each of them is best in the world at what they do. He also states that they will be paid well if they can perform one simple job – destroy Superman and the rest of the Justice League.
On the Justice League’s Watchtower, The Flash is bragging to Hawkgirl about how he had the flames out before the firemen stepped out of their trucks.
Hawkgirl: That’s fast.
Flash: [shining his fingernails on his costume’s chest emblem] Fastest man alive.
Hawkgirl: Which might explain why you can’t get a date.
Batman interrupts their banter to tell them that Humanite is on the news for holding hostages in the Metropolis Federal Building. As Humanite is speaking with police, the Justice League arrives. Inside, Batman pulls a hood from the head of a hostage and tells a woman that she is safe now. The woman was Sapphire and she replies that Batman is not safe.
Grundy attacks Green Lantern while Superman fights Humanite. As Superman sees Grundy arrive, he is shocked. He is more shocked a moment later when Sapphire zaps him in the back. As Superman shakes off the blast, Grundy begins attacking him. Batman is facing both Cheetah and Copperhead at the same time. As they fight, Luthor watches from above saying that he will enjoy this.
Just then more members of the Justice League arrive. Luthor’s group puts up a good fight but is no match for the Justice League. The Shade uses his night stick to help the bad guys escape and they succeed in getting away. However, Copperhead does not get away.
Flash: Look! We still got one of them.
Superman: But they got one of us.
Batman is on the ground and in bad shape. He was bitten by Copperhead.
On the Watchtower, Martian Manhunter announces that the poison antidote is working. Superman welcome Batman back as he wakes up. Batman immediately asks about Luthor and the others. Superman tells him that everyone other than Copperhead got away. He says he is going to interrogate him now. Batman tries to rise to go with him and Superman orders him to stay where he is, given that he almost died. Batman is angry but he relents.
Once Superman is gone, Batman gets off the bed and goes to a Watchtower computer. Martian Manhunter follows him and tells him he should be resting.
MM: I know this must be hard for you, feeling vulnerable. You’re the only one of us without special powers but you don’t need to prove yourself.
As J’onn is telling him that he is a valued member of the team, Batman stands and says that he is taking the shuttle.
Batman: Unless you want to try and stop me.
In their bad guy lair, Luthor is criticizing his team. The Shade tells him that he gets what he pays for. As Luthor begins to threaten them all, Grundy grabs him by the neck. Luthor tells him to do it and that Grundy could save him from months of bed pans and feeding tubes. He also says that this guarantees none of them will ever see a penny from him.
Grundy tells Luthor that he is crazy and drops him. The door is kicked in.
Joker: And what’s wrong with that? It’s done wonders for me.
Luthor tells him to go. Joker asks Lex how he could have the party without him. Luthor orders Grundy to get rid of him and Joker Joker sprays a gas in Grundy’s face, choking him. After Grundy collapses, Joker puts an arm around Lex and tells him that he needs him. Lex scoffs but Joker pulls a tiny bat shaped tracking device from Lex’s collar.
Joker: I know how The Bat thinks.
Batman arrives in the building, alone. He sees a blinking dot on a handheld device. He walks closer to it and spies the evil bad guys gathered around a table from a distance. As Batman watches them, Joker approaches him from behind and hits him in the head with a bag filled with rocks. Batman falls a great distance and lands on the table in front of the villains below.
High up above, Joker laughs maniacally.
TO BE CONTINUED
Here is our set-up for The Injustice League. This also seems to be the story arc where we justify Batman’s inclusion (financial backing notwithstanding) in The Justice League. So far, at least, Batman appears to be the weakest member. I suspect, though, that he will shine in Part 2.
This episode was relatively… adult. Lex gets a terminal diagnosis. Hawkgirl makes a joke about how The Flash being “the fastest man alive” is hindering his love life. Lex Luthor casually sets an apartment building on fire. Copperhead makes a relatively sexually aggressive come-on to The Cheetah. The Cheetah… is naked? Kind of? Batman almost dies.
From a story standpoint, we do not really know where this one is going just yet. Therefore it is hard to judge it. Luthor could not have really thought this group could take down the Justice League. By the same token, Batman going into the evil guys’ lair, alone, seems… not smart. I suspect that there are deeper layers to these plans.
I am glad that Joker has arrived. Mark Hammill’s take on the character is just perfect for animation.