Featured Screen Shot
The Joker: With so much power at my finger tips some might call me a control freak. Others, just a freak.
October 1st – The peace and quite of a Metropolis street is shattered by the sudden eruption of a mutant thorny vine from beneath the side-walk. The writhing vine is small at first, but it coils around itself and rapidly grows to skyscraper size. Not only is its size unnatural, but the vine is animate and sprouts flower/arm like tendrils which throw police cars around. The “test” is watched from afar and is declared a complete success by Count Vertigo and his Injustice League (Poison Ivy, Black Adam, Wotan, Ultra-Humanite, the Atomic Skull, and the Joker).
At the Cave, Robin is sparring with Aqualad when Miss Martian and Superboy walk past. Robin gossips that they a couple and asks Aqualad if they should tell Artemis and Kid Flash, but Aqualad tells him that it is none of their business. Batman then arrives and orders the computer to display the national news. The plant creature has reappeared in Metropolis and is bigger than ever. Superman and the Justice League are attacking the plants, but the vines contain trace amounts of a Kobra Venom variant – a trail that links them back via the Brain’s animals, to Kobra and Bane’s formulae, and the Cadmus Project. It is now abundantly clear that unrelated criminals are cooperating with each other in some kind of “super villain secret society”.
Robin accesses the Cave’s computer and announces that the Metropolis attack was only the beginning. Other cities – including Gotham City, Paris, Star City, and Taipei – are also under attack. However, his satellite signal is interrupted by a global broadcast by the Injustice League. Count Vertigo demands a ransom of 10 billion dollars or the cities will be destroyed. Robin guesses that the Injustice League were behind everything they’ve faced so far. Batman says the Justice League will handle the actual plants and assigns the Team to hunt down and eliminate whatever system is controlling them. Kid Flash is disappointed as he thinks he’s being sidelined until Artemis points out that they’ll probably be coming into direct conflict with the Injustice League.
Zatara’s magic locates a site of concentrated sorcerous activity suggesting Wotan’s presence in the Louisiana Bayou. Captain Marvel, who had been hanging around the Cave, is eager to join the Team, but Batman tells him that he is needed elsewhere. They return to Gotham City where the Batman uses the Batplane to spray herbicide on the creature, Captain Marvel then throws a large part of its mass into space while Zatara’s magic burns more of it away. The plant responds by releasing Joker’s lethal laughing gas. The Joker is controlling the plants from the Injustice League’s HQ, but Poison Ivy is concerned by the strain all this activity is placing on her “baby” (the giant vine that is acting as control hub for all the rest). The Ultra-Humanite and Wotan help care for the vine while the Atomic Skull pumps more power into it.
The Bioship’s approach toward the Bayou is detected by the Injustice League’s sensors. Kid Flash is interested in why Aqualad brought a duffel bag along and is told that it contains “Plan B”. Miss Martian is suddenly overcome by waves of dizziness and disorientation transmitted to her through the Bioship. It is protecting them from the worst of Count Vertigo’s attack, but the living ship can only take so much and drops it’s invisibility. Black Adam spots the Bioship and punches it into bayou where it is grasped by more of Ivy’s mutant vines. The Team bail out as the ship sinks, but are met on dry land by Vertigo and Adam. Aqualad orders Miss Martian and Robin to vanish into the swamp and fulfil the mission objective while the rest of the Team keep the villains busy.
Meanwhile, the Justice League are spread out around the world fighting the mutant vines. The Paris Vine had engulfed the Eiffel Tower and is being fought by the Martian Manhunter and Aquaman. The Taipei Vine has overwhelmed a nuclear power station causing its reactor to under go meltdown, but Captain Atom is on hand to absorb its energy. Vines grapple the Star City Bridge and are fought by Red Arrow, Green Arrow, and Black Canary. The Joker is controlling each scenario in parallel, a talent he ascribes to his multiple personalities. He commands the Star City Vine to attack a school bus, but Green Lantern Guy Gardner is on hand to catch it. Other heroes helping the Justice League include Blue Devil in Taipei, Plastic Man in Gotham City, and Icon and Rocket in Paris.
Vertigo and Black Adam subdue the members of the Team that are fighting them, but Vertigo recognises that two of them are missing. Robin and Miss Martian have found the Injustice League’s headquarters and the central vine that is acting as a control antenna for the rest, but are discovered by Poison Ivy and the Ultra-Humanite. Wotan creates cage to contain the rest of the Team as Black Adam flies them back to the Injustice League’s base. However, the Bioship has regenerated and Miss Martian uses it to clobber Wotan causing him to drop his spell and the captured teens.
The heroes are briefly reunited, but face the combined might of Ivy, Adam, Vertigo, and the Ultra-Humanite. Count Vertigo is worried when he notices that Robin is missing again, but Ivy senses the danger to her Vine too late. Dozens of Robin’s throwing discs detonate, destroying the control vine and cutting its signal to the mutant vines. The mission objective is a success, but the rest of the Injustice League are now free to concentrate their reprisal attacks on the Team. Vertigo commands “Kill them. Kill them all!”
Wotan’s sorcery brings the Team to their knees. Aqualad shields Miss Martian for a moment and tells her “Plan-B”. She telepathically commands the Bioship to deliver Aqualad’s duffel bag to him. Inside it is the Helmet of Fate and its appearance causes Wotan to pause. Kid Flash – who had his own experience wearing the Helmet (“Denial”) – calls out to Aqualad not to put it on, but its too late. There is a blaze of light and Aqualad is transformed into Doctor Fate. The Doctor’s intervention shifts the balance of the battle and keeps Wotan from hurting the others. Nevertheless, its still a pitched battle with the Joker looking to carve Robin, and the others cooperating to knock down Vertigo.
The battle is decided by the arrival of the massed Justice League. Together they push the villains back into a circle and force them to surrender. The Joker alone refuses and uses his remaining connection to Ivy’s mutant vines to blanket the area in his Joker gas. Batman decks the Joker, but its Aqualad – still as Doctor Fate – who destroys the gas before it can cause harm. Kid Flash is furious that Aqualad was allowed to put on the Helmet of Fate and fears that he’s lost his friend forever to Nabu, the Lord of Order who inhabits it. However, Nabu agrees to relinquish Aqualad after help from Kent Nelson’s spirit.
Batman describes the Team’s performance as satisfactory and says that they have successfully neutralised the super villain secret society which had been acting against them. However, this scheme has merely been another part of the Light’s plan. The Injustice League were a set of proxy villains designed to distract attention from the Light, the real super villain secret society, and its members Vandal Savage, the Queen Bee, the Ocean Master, Ra’s Al Ghul, Lex Luthor, Klarion, and the Brain.
- The guest stars.
- The School Bus that gets attacked in Star City has “Metropolis School District” on the side of it.
- What will somebody as powerful as Wotan or as insane as the Joker do when they realise that they’ve been used as puppets by the Light? Or, do some members of the Injustice League realise their role in this charade?
A great episode which showed the team operating collectively again – as compared to last episode’s squabbling. The Justice League is shown facing a very credible threat and the Team are sent on an absolutely critical mission with regard to it. It shows Batman’s faith in Aqualad’s Team, but it also served to show YJ in their place – they’re powerful enough to find and disrupt the control vine, but are not powerful enough to take down the assembled Injustice League. I like it that the status of the Justice League is maintained, it serves to give YJ a defined position and role in this version of the DC Universe.
I was quite impressed that they managed to get Brent Spiner and Alyssa Milano to voice characters as part of an assemble and not just as single leads. I found Spiner’s Joker to be different than I was expecting. Mark Hammill’s Joker (from Batman: TAS and DCAU) is a very strong character who revels in his insanity and laughter where as Kevin Michael Richardson’s Joker (from The Batman) was more of a tough guy. Spiner’s Joker feels a lot more serious and less jovial than Hammills, there is a greater degree of menace in his performance, but not quite the same level of banter.
Apart from the Joker and Ivy the Injustice League are just cyphers who could have been replaced with any number of guest villains. Yet that may have been the point – they were always meant to be a distraction for the Team, a throwaway bunch of wannabe’s sacrificed by the Light. The massing continuity is generally handled well and it felt that this was one of those episodes, like “Targets”, that the season arc pivots around. The only down side of this was the cringworthy information dump where, as a group, the voice artists relate off the Light’s former activities yet seem to forget to include any intonation in their delivery.
|Character Site||The Captain's Justice League Homepage||Jason Kirk||3.5/5|