Featured Screen Shot
Synopsis "Legends Part One"
The Justice League battle a 8-story tall, green-and-purple robot in the heart of the city, but they are unaware that it is being remotely controlled by Lex Luthor – revenge for his earlier defeat at their hands (“Injustice For All“). The League manage to dent the robot’s armour, but Hawkgirl, GL, and J’onn J’onzz are knocked unconscious in the battle. Superman breeches the robot’s armour giving Batman the opening he needs to destroy its engine with a well placed batarang. The failing robot topples towards the unconscious Leaguers, but it is momentarily held aloft by the Flash’s whirlwind. The robot and everything in a sphere surrounding it – including Hawkgirl, GL, J’onzz and the Flash – vanishes in a blinding flash of light.
When Flash and co. awake they find themselves in an unfamiliar alleyway with the smoking remains of Lex Luthor’s robot. However, they cannot contact either Batman or Superman. J’onn tries reaching out to them telepathically, but he collapses after he’s overwhelmed by a vision of a nuclear Armageddon. They spread out to look for their friends and it quickly becomes clear that they are no longer in Metropolis. People, buildings, and vehicles seem to be from the 1950s, but the local newspaper (the “Seaboard City Time-Picayune”) confirms that the date hasn’t changes. The Flash doesn’t recognise the name Seaboard, but they do recognise the sound of a burger-alarm and race to stop a nearby robbery.
A flamboyant local criminal, the Music Master, is stealing a Stradivarius violin from a music shop. Green Lantern blocks his escape, but he’s surprised when the Music Master refers to him as the Green Guardsman. The Music Master escapes, but not before Lantern manages to snatch the violin from him. Seaboard City’s resident superheroes then arrive. The don’t ask questions and assume that Lantern and the Flash are criminals as they are still holding the stolen violin. Hawkgirl and J’onn arrive with two new local heroes. Green Lantern is stunned when he recognises one of them. The brawl between the two groups intensifies much to the delight of a watching blond-boy. However, it is only when the Flash saves the child from falling debris that his speedster counterpart realises that they’re fighting fellow superheroes and not supervillains.
The two teams retire to the local heroes mansion headquarters where they introduce themselves as the Justice Guild of America (Catman, Black Siren, Green Guardsman, Tom Turbine, and the Streak). The boy who the Flash saved was Ray Thompson, a junior justice guardsman – their sidekick of-sorts. However, the jollities of the introductions are cut short when J’onn has another painful vision. The attitudes of the Justice Guild are a little old-fashioned for some of the League to understand. Black Siren wants Hawkgirl’s to help prepare snacks for the men, but Green Lantern asks her to play along in trying to gather more information. He then explains to the Flash that he recognises the Justice Guild from the comics he use to read as a child. Their adventures taught him how to be a hero, but he is at a loss to explain why they have now come face-to-face with people he believed were fictious.
Tom Turbine explains that there is a continuum of parallel worlds, each vibrating at a different speed. When the Flash absorbed the energy from the exploding robot he accidentally created a rift in the dimensional barrier that transposed the Justice League into the Justice Guild’s Earth. J’onn explains that the comic book writers on their own Earth must have had a psychic connection to events on the Guild’s Earth and that they were unwittingly recording the Guild’s adventures. Tom explains that he’s been tinkering with a transdimensional gateway that should be able to send the Justice League home, but he hasn’t yet been able to find a suitable energy source.
The Justice Guild’s enemies, the Injustice Guild, have also noticed the Justice League’s arrival. The Music Master, Sportsman, Doctor Blizzard and Sir Swami argue about who will defeat these new heroes. Sir Swami proposes a wager. Whoever stages the most extravagant crime will have the honour of devising a plan to destroy the Guild and League. The local police arrive at the Justice Guild’s headquarters to deliver a letter from the villains – the Injustice Guild challenges the Justice Guild to expect a crime spree based on the four classical elements (earth, fire, wind, and water). The League are preplexed as to why criminals would tip off the authorities, but they happily agree to help the Guild. The Streak then gives them Justice Guild decoder rings making them honorary members of the Justice Guild.
The two teams of heroes then pair up, one hero from each team.
- Green Lantern and the Streak find the Sir Swami stealing a ruby (fire element). His magical blasts keep them at arm’s length until he dives into a phone box. They run to pull the door open, but by then he has vanished in a puff of smoke.
- Hawkgirl and the Green Guardsman find the Music Master stealing a priceless antique flyer from the Museum of Flight (an air based crime). However, the Guardsman prevents Hawkgirl from simply knocking it out of the sky. He tells her that the flyer is irreplaceable and that they’ll have to use their wits not violence. Two window-cleaners in an aluminum cradle are knocked from a building by the passing Music Master. The Guardsman’s powers have no effect on the aluminum cradle so Hawkgirl has to save them on her own. She then goes after the Music Master alone, but he knocks her unconscious with a blast from his accordion.
- Seaboard City’s Mayor is about to unveil a new fountain (water element) when Doctor Blizzard attacks. The Flash and Black Siren trade cold based quips with Blizzard, but even they are hard pressed to avoid his razor sharp icicles and chilling blasts. They think they have him defeated, but the Flash is distracted when he has to save a bus full of nuns from hitting a TNT truck. Blizzard freezes the Flash and Siren in a solid block of ice.
- The Sportsman makes off with the Seaboard City Clay (earth element) Tennis Court Championship trophy as his crime. But, he’s pursued by Catman and Ray in the Catcycle and from the air by J’onn J’onzz. The Catman leaps on the truck driven by the Sportsman and is hanging on to the front grille until saved by J’onn. Suddenly, J’onn’s debilitating headaches return and he drops to the ground. He sees an image of a ruined and bombed out Seaboard City before passing out. Catman is forced to break off the chase to turn back to help J’onn.
When Hawkgirl recovers from the Music Master’s attack she finds herself in a peaceful graveyard on a hill overlooking Seaboard City. There is a line of five graves that are over grown with vines. Hawkgirl feels compelled to look closer and is horrified to find that they are actually the graves of the Justice Guild, the same heroes that are currently helping them save the city!
Nuns on a bus heading for a TNT truck.
The Green Guardsman’s ring doesn’t work against aluminium so he can’t catch the cradle, but he could have caught the window cleaners themselves far sooner than Hawkgirl.
I don’t know how people who have never heard of the Justice Society feel about this episode, but I think its one of the best. We never really saw the differences between the Eart’s played up in the comics. In the comics, the Society were usually depicted as being older than the League – their parent’s generation – rather than their contemporaries. By changing that, by making the Guild and the League contemporaries, the cartoon is able to show us the Guild as they appear in their prime.
The 1950s Earth reminds me of the film Pleasantville (which I must admit if one of my favourite films) and I like the way they didn’t totally gloss over the difference in attitudes between then and now (the accepted sexism in the Guild and the Streak’s line to Lantern). Those really did exist in the JSA’s stories. Wonder Woman, the first female member, was often listed as just the team’s secretary.
|Character Site||The Captain's Justice League Homepage||Jason Kirk||4.5/5|