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 Luthor, the Joker, and the Injustice League have captured Batman. Joker wants to kill him immediately but Luthor wants to use him to destroy the rest of the Justice League. While Batman is confined, Luthor learns how to open Batman’s utility belt. Using Batman’s transmitter, they board the Watchtower and plant a bomb inside of it. While Batman is confined, he begins manipulating Luthor’s henchmen. Someone from Luthor’s group warned the Justice League about the bomb, before it went off, and saved the Watchtower and the League Members. Luthor blames Cheetah for this after watching security footage of her kissing Batman.
After the bomb attempt fails, Batman gets into telepathic contact with Martian Manhunter. When the Justice League arrives, we learn that Ultra-Humanite has built a suit of armor for Lex that uses Luthor’s blood poisoning to power kryptonite beams. We also learn that Ultra-Humanite is the one who betrayed Luthor. He attacks Lex just as he gets the upper-hand against Superman. We learn as the episode ends that he betrayed Lex in exchange for a gigantic grant to the public broadcasting channel he likes, in his name but from Batman, that plays programming about the arts.
THE EXTRA DUSTY RECAP:
Batman has about ten different kinds of restraints on his body and he is under a spotlight. Joker enters the room with him and wakes him up by slapping him across the face.
Batman: Joker. I should have known you’d be in on this.
Joker: Really? I must be falling into a rut.
Joker turns to talk to Lex Luthor and complains that Luthor plans to leave Batman alive. Luthor says he will stay alive until they do not need him anymore. Joker puts an arm around Lex and advises him to kill Batman now. Lex, in turn, punches him in the ribs and tells him to leave if he does not like his decisions. Joker leaves.
Joker: And they say I’m crazy.
After Joker leaves, the other villains are staring at Lex as though they agreed with Joker. Lex reminds them, angrily, that the restraints are made of pure titanium and that Batman is under a stasis field that will prevent the Martian from locating him.
Luthor has Batman’s utility belt. He tells Batman that he must has some kind of pass key that he can use against Batman’s friends. He asks where it is and Batman replies, smiling, “guess.” Luthor has Grundy attempt to open it and the gigantic zombie is electrocuted.
Joker: I told you…
Luthor: Shut up!
Lex tells the others to bring the utility belt upstairs and promises to get it open. Sapphire picks the belt up using her beam. Luthor orders Humanite and Grundy to watch Batman.
As soon as they are alone, Batman asks Grundy how much money he is being paid. He asks if it as much as Humanite. Batman tells Grundy that he should be paid more than Humanite for all he has had to put up with.
Humanite: More than me? Preposterous.
Batman: Is it?
Humanite sits down to read a newspaper while Grundy’s face grows angrier.
Lex is working on opening the tool belt from a lab in their lair. His first attempt results in a small explosion and without success. Sapphire states that just because he will not live to see old age does not mean the rest of them do not want to. Suddenly, they begin hearing a banging sound from the other room. Lex recognizes the sound as Humanite fighting Grundy.
When he enters the room, Grundy has Humanite pinned to the ground, punching his head. Luthor commands both of them to stop it. They do and say sorry, but not before Grundy hits Humanite on the head one more time with a smile. Lex walks over to Batman.
Lex: You did this, didn’t you?
Lex tells Cheetah to take over. He also tells her that if Batman causes any more trouble to gag him.
After they leave, Lex bends over in pain, clutching his chest. The Shade suggests that maybe they should get paid now. Luthor tells them to get out as he has work to do. Humanite remains behind and tells Luthor that he does not look good. Lex says he needs to buy more time and asks Humanite if he can help. Humanite says that he can but that it will cost extra.
Inside the Watchtower, Copperhead is being interrogated by Superman and The Flash. It is not going well. Superman picks him up and holds him against a wall.
Superman: Copperhead, when are you going to get some sense and tell us where Luthor is.
Copperhead: Ooh, this must be the part where I get so scared that I spill my guts.
Superman: I’m warning you.
Copperhead: What are you gonna do boy scout? Short my sheets? Give me a wedgie?
Superman lets him drop to the floor and calls for the guards to take him back to the holding cell. As Copperhead leaves, Flash tells Superman, sarcastically, “that went well.” Superman replies by asking how Batman does it.
In the bad guy lair, Batman and Cheetah are talking about her background in science.
Batman: And then what happened?
Cheetah: My research opened whole new worlds. There was so much to do…
Batman: But so little funding.
Batman deduces that she did not have enough for research subjects so she used herself.
Cheetah: And now I’m a freak.
Batman: That’s not what I see. I see someone who was willing to give up everything for a cause she believed in.
Cheetah: How do you know so much about me?
Batman: Let’s just say cats are not the only ones who are curious.
Cheetah comes close to Batman and says too much curiosity can be dangerous. Batman tells her that he likes danger. When she asks if he really does, he replies for her to try him.
Upstairs in the laboratory, Joker remarks that Cheetah has been down there with Batman for too long. Lex, still working on the belt, tells him that there is no way he will leave Joker down there with Batman. Joker asks where his sense of fun is and tells Lex that it will not cost him a cent. Luthor sends Humanite. Humanite asks if he can send Grundy, instead, and Lex tells him to just do what he says.
Lex powers on a machine and Batman’s tool belt opens. He dumps its contents onto the lab table. Joker gleefully begins picking up Batman’s things and asks what Lex is looking for. He throws a Batarang that explodes. Lex tells him to be careful. Finally, Lex says he has found what he is looking for. He holds up something that looks like a key fob.
In the next scene, Sapphire has put the bad guys in a protective pink shield and is flying them to Watchtower. When they get close, they push the Batman’s keyfob button and the Watchtower doors open.
As they approach, Martian Manhunter sees them and makes an announcement about intruders over the Watchtower intercom. As J’onn flies through the Watchtower, the room goes dark. When the dark is lifted, Grundy is holding a club and Martian Manhunter is unconscious.
Sometime later, Superman, Flash, Hawkgirl, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern are gathered together. They note that they have not heard from J’onn since he sounded the alarm. Hawkgirl says something is wrong up there, she can feel it. Green Lantern says that they should go up there and investigate.
Joker wheels a television to Batman’s holding area. He promises to show Batman, live and in color, the end of the Justice League. Batman tells him not to make him laugh. Joker flips on the television feed of the Watchtower.
Joker: It’s no joke. There’s a surprise hidden in your little clubhouse. And once your chums get there… ka-blooey!
Humanite, who is watching Batman officially, gets up and leaves. Joker notes that he is going to miss the show and the sequel. When Batman asks about the sequel, Joker tells him that once the bomb gets his friends, Joker gets Batman.
The Justice League jet arrives at the Watchtower. Flash finds J’onn unconscious on the ground. Superman says that he will take J’onn to the medical bay while the others search for Batman. The camera pans away and we see a suitcase with a blinking red light inside.
Lex is watching the feed of the Watchtower and saying that the explosion will happen any minute. Cheetah appears to be sad about what she is now apart of.
In the medical bay, the other heroes tell Superman that Batman and the shuttle are gone. Wonder Woman suddenly gets a call and says that this must be Batman.
Wonder Woman: I beg your pardon? Where?
Wonder Woman tells the others that someone – not Batman – informed her that there is a bomb on the Watchtower. Superman says that the call came from a secure line so the threat is serious. They spread out to find it. They look around and cannot find it initially. However, Green Lantern uses his ring to detect a thermal pattern of footsteps. This leads him to the bomb. He calls for Flash. The fastest man alive says that he’s on it. We see the shuttle bay doors opening, and Flash running toward them with the suitcase, just as the explosion occurs.
In the laboratory on the planet, Luthor sees an explosion and believes he has succeeded. However, when the smoke clears, the Watchtower remains. He shouts that it’s not fair and that they should be cosmic dust. The other bad guys get up to leave. Luthor begs them to come back and says that they can still win by luring the Justice League to their hideout. He offers to double their pay but they continue to leave. At the last moment, as the door is closing, he offers to triple their pay. The door stops closing.
On the Watchtower, Martian Manhunter wakes up. He says that Grundy, Star Sapphire, and The Shade attacked him. When Wonder Woman asks how they could have gotten in, Lantern replies that the only way they could have done so is with Batman’s transmitter.
In the interrogation room where Batman is confined, Joker stars at the television, with the Watchtower still visible, and says that they ruined the punchline. He breaks the television.
Joker: But I can still have my fun. [Gets out a knife]
As he stands close, Batman headbutts him to the ground. Joker gets up and says that was not funny. Just then, Grundy grabs him by the arm and says Luthor does not want Joker alone with Batman.
Joker: Come on, Grundy old pal, what’s a couple of knicks between friends?
Grundy tells him no way and Joker leaves, calling him a party pooper. Batman thanks Grundy and asks for some water. Grundy agrees. As soon as Batman drinks the water, Batman sprays it from his mouth upward at the device creating the stasis field. He immediately asks J’onn, in his mind, if the Martian can hear him. We see on the Watchtower that J’onn does hear him and now knows where he is being held.
In the laboratory, Humanite is conducting an experiment on Lex which he says is designed to stabilize Luthor’s condition. Just then, Grundy enters the room to tell them that “Batman broke that static thingy.”
Luthor gets off the table now wearing a metallic breastplate. He tells the villains not to panic.
Lex: We’ll be ready for them as soon as we get rid of the traitor.
Lex goes on to say that the only way the Justice League could have learned about the bomb is if one of them told them about it. He says that their hideout has surveillance cameras. He plays the video of Batman kissing Cheetah and tells the others to get her. She avoids them and gets to the door. Joker is on the other side of the door though.
Joker: Hello, kitty. [electrocutes her]
Luthor tells Grundy that the pretty kitty is all his. Grundy drags her away and Cheetah shouts that it was not her.
Martian Manhunter points to their hideout from outside the building. He tells the others that Batman is definitely inside. Latern suggests that they may try to use Batman as a shield. Martian Manhunter says “not if I can help it” and phases below ground before the others can stop him. He appears in the place where Batman is being held. He attempts to free Batman but is electrocuted as Batman is yelling at him “don’t!”
Outside, Hawkgirl says time is up and now they do it her way. The Justice League breaks down the door and the fight begins. Just as the Justice League gets the upper hand, Lex appears in a new metallic suit. He can now fire kryptonite beams from his hands.
Lex: Why so surprised Superman? It’s a basic rule of business. Turn every weakness into a strength.
[blasts Superman with beam]
Lex: Of course, that’s a lesson you may not live to appreciate.
Humanite: Neither will you, Lex. [blasts Lex with energy beam]
Lex: Et tu, Humanite?
Joker sees how things are going and decides it is time to run. He says aloud though that he has one piece of unfinished business. He sneaks down to where Batman is being held and finds the restraints… unoccupied.
Joker: No fair, how did you get free?
Batman: I could have escaped any time. But I thought I’d stick around to keep an eye on you clowns.
Sometime later, the Injustice League is cuffed and being taken into custody. On his way out, Humanite asks Batman if he will keep their bargain. Batman tells him that he will.
Batman: Double what Luthor is paying.
Sometime later, back in prison, Humanite is listening to opera at loud volumes. Lex is covering his ears and shouting that Humanite will pay for this. At the end of Humanite’s program, we hear a message from his television.
“This program was made possible by a grant from The Ultra-Humanite and viewers like you.”
Thus ends our fun little two part episode. The storyline consequences of this are: 1) Batman’s value to the Justice League is more firmly understood, 2) Lex Luthor has terminal blood poisoning, and 3) Humanite helped to treat his blood poisoning by helping Lex use the condition to power a metallic suit that shoots kryptonite laser beams.
Regarding point 1: Batman has no super-powers. However, he can out-think the other members of the Justice League. He’s supremely gifted at psychological manipulation. His ability to out-think the other members of the League overcomes his physical limitations in most instances. Does he need the occasional flight help from Hawkgirl? Yes. Is his more vulnerable to poison than the others? It seems so. Can he (alone) manipulate all of the members of the Injustice League even while tied up? Also yes. Is he the best interrogator in the Justice League? Apparently so. I suppose criminals believe he might actually and purposefully inflict some broken bones whereas they do not believe the same from any other Justice League members. They probably should believe that Hawkgirl would break some bones though.
Point 2: Lex has a terminal condition. I suspect we will revisit this point in future episodes as it was not entirely wrapped up here.
Point 3: Lex now has a suit of armor – powered by his own terminal illness – that makes him somewhat of a physical match for Superman. I don’t exactly understand how his new suit works. I suppose somehow the blood poisoning (toxic amounts of kryptonite in his blood stream maybe?) powers it. Does this also help to de-toxify his blood? Maybe.
My primary gripe with this episode is that Martian Manhunter had to be dumbed down a little bit to power up Batman. Why? If we’re being honest, Manhunter’s telepathy powers are superior to Batman’s psychological manipulation skills. He needed to act irrationally (running into danger, twice, and not using his telepathic powers to his own advantage) to make Batman look comparably more powerful. I think the episode could have worked just as well if the point was that they need more than one person with skills like those.
All in all, this is a good two-part story arc, particularly if you’re a fan of the Bat. I also always enjoy seeing Mark Hammill’s Joker on screen.