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Synopsis "Fury Part Two"
Previously in Part One: Aresia had a difficult childhood. She had escaped from the civil war that engulfed her homeland, but lost her mother when the refugee ship they were on was torpedoed by pirates. Aresia clung to a makeshift raft until fate washed her up on the shores of Themyscira, island home of the Amazons, where she was discovered by Queen Hippolyta. Aresia was adopted by the Amazons and was raised alongside Hippolyta’s daughter Diana (the future Wonder Woman). The adult Aresia secretly left Themyscira and hired a team of mercenaries to steal the ingredients she need to create toxin that would kill only men. Superman, the Flash, Green Lantern, and most of the men in Gotham City had already succumb to the toxin by the time Batman and Hawkgirl returned from Themyscira with the truth of Aresia’s origin.
Aresia’s toxin causes havoc as it spreads through Gotham City’s population. Many of the men it effects are driving cars or working machines when they they’re effected so there are a great number of automobile accidents, fires, and emergencies. Additionally, all the male fire fighters, doctors, and paramedics have fallen sick leaving their female colleagues stretched thin across the city. Aresia assays the chaos with Tsukuri and Star Sapphire. Sapphire questions her actions, but Aresia replies, “Look around you! Man’s World is filled with greed, deception, and cruelty. I’m going to change all that. Today we women take control.”
Out in the City, the Batman saves a boy from a burning building who Hawkgirl then takes to hospital. Wonder Woman apologizes to Batman for not believing that an Amazon was involved, but their conversion is cut short by an out of control bus. Batman pulls the unconscious bus driver free, but the Dark Knight collapses moments later. Wonder Woman takes the Batman to the Watchtower. J’onn J’onzz concludes that the illness is an allergen, not a virus, but he has not been able to isolate it. Hawkgirl and Wonder Woman return to Gotham City to look for Aresia. To Wonder Woman’s discomfort Hawkgirl points out that Aresia is just taking the Amazon’s anti-men philosophy to its logical conclusion.
The Gotham City emergency services seem to have finally brought the immediate situation under control, but a helicopter approaching Gotham General has collided with power lines that were obscured by smoke. Wonder Woman and Hawkgirl save the pilots, but are surprised when Star Sapphire appears to aid them. She explains that she can’t go along with Aresia’s plans and that Aresia and Tsukuri are at a nearby United States Air Force Base. Earlier, Aresia and Tsukuri broke into the Air Base and were about to steal a bomber when they were confronted by Queen Hippolyta. Aresia refused to back down and had Tsukuri captures Hippolyta. They have just finished loading the bomber with Aresia’s chemicals when Star Sapphire, Wonder Woman, and Hawkgirl arrive. However, Sapphire’s “defection” is revealed to be a ruse to draw Hawkgirl and Wonder Woman to Aresia. She offers Wonder Woman a last chance to join them, but the offer is rejected.
During the fight each of the heroes and villains gets knocked down, but none of them stay down long enough to sway the fight. Aresia then reveals her trump card – Tsukuri holding a dagger to the bound Hippolyta. A single look between Hawkgirl and Wonder Woman is enough for them to agree to rush Aresia, but Star Sapphire snipes them in the back before they get close enough. The villains leave Hawkgirl and Wonder Woman unconscious on the floor of the hanger and take off in the bomber. Upon awaking, Wonder Woman flies to catch-up with the bomber while Hawkgirl returns to the Watchtower with a sample of Aresia’s allergen – with it J’onn maybe able to create an antidote. However, when Hawkgirl contacts the Watchtower she discovers that J’onn had also fall ill.
Aresia plans to fire missiles carrying her toxin into the upper-atmosphere where the winds will carry it to every part of the Earth. Wonder Woman eventually catches up with the bomber, forcing it to descend. Aresia tries to compute the missile’s coordinates for their new altitude while Star Sapphire heads outside to fight Wonder Woman. Sapphire’s energy bolts keep Wonder Woman contained until Hawkgirl ‘s arrival. Wonder Woman rips a cannon from the bomber and hurls it at the distracted Star Sapphire. The force of the cannon hitting her knocks out Sapphire and drops her into the ocean some distance away from the bomber. Hawkgirl leaves the Javelin on autopilot and flies across to the bomber. Her wing is clipped by a luck shot, but Wonder Woman saves her with her lasso.
Hawkgirl and Wonder Woman confront Aresia. She shouts that “The men must be destroyed.” But, Hippolyta corrects her and reveals that without a man Aresia would never have made it to Themyscira. Aresia would have died when her refugee ship sank if it had not been for the ship’s Captain pulling her into a makeshift raft. He kept her safe until they washed up together on Themyscira, but the stain was too much for his heart and he died. He is the only man buried on Themyscira. Aresia is not swayed by Hippolyta’s argument and throws her out of the bomber. Wonder Woman and Aresia fight while Hawkgirl saves Hippolyta and drops her off on the Javelin.
Afterwards Hawkgirl flies back to the bomber and damages each of the bomb bay doors. They cannot open to release the missiles, but it is too late to stop the missiles from firing. Turning tail, Tsukuri abandons Aresia and escapes in a rocket powered jet back. However, Aresia refuses to leave or to stop fighting Wonder Woman. She throws a console at Wonder Woman that knocks her through the bomber’s wind shield and carries her clear of the craft. Moments later the missile rockets fire destroying the bomber, the allergen, and presumably Aresia. Hippolyta prays that “May the gods grand Aresia peace at last.”
Later, the League recover Aresia’s notes from her hideout and use them to create an antidote. Hawkgirl and Wonder Woman agree that Aresia was mistaken, but are nevertheless glad that she never met the Flash.
Star Sapphire – she’s only a henchwoman, but she’s got so much more personality than the actual villain.
Just how many times are characters knocked out in this episode only for them to be up and running around seconds later.
Many people feel that War World is the weakest story in season one of Justice League, but personally I think its Fury. What War World has that Fury lacks is a solid b-plot. In War World that b-plot is Hawkgirl and Green Lantern’s quest to find their friends, but nothing comparable exists in this episode. Instead we’re left with a very weak main villain and a by-the-numbers plot. Its all just a bit too monotonous.
This episode runs with so many Saturday morning cartoon clichés that it is painful to watch – from the “What’s so great about Men?” / “Don’t knock them until you’ve tried them!” combo of Wonder Woman/Hawkgirl to the, “but wait, you don’t know the whole truth” revelation from Hippolyta. The final scene is particularly bad with the “I’m glad we found the antidote” bit and the Flash’s flat punchline. Even the animation and voice acting is flat in that scene – it’s almost as if everybody knows its poor so they’re just aren’t going to try and make it look good.
I certainly thought that Part One of Fury is a hell of a lot better than Part Two. I quite liked Part One, but the little character moments and florishs that made it insteresting are missing from this second installment. That could be because Dwayne McDuffie was handling the script writing in Part One, but not in Part Two. Stan Berkowitz, who wrote this episode, also wrote War World, and I think he was very unlucky to be saddled with writing the scripts for the weaker concepts in Season One. He also wrote Season Two’s A Better World and Superman TAS The New Kids in Town so he is fully able to produce excellent material when given a strong concept to work with.
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