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DVD Review: Justice League Unlimited – Season Two

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After four great seasons, Justice League Unlimited – Season Two brings us the final 13 episodes of this spectacular series.  I know that sounds weird, so let me explain. As any good fanboy knows, JLU is a continuation of the original Justice League, which ran for two seasons. But the Justice League Unlimited – Season One DVD actually contained the first two seasons. Add it all up, and you get four seasons on DVD that already exist prior to this last hurrah.  

Growing up, I loved Super Friends. Looking back, the animation and story lines were pretty bad, but hey, it was the '80s. I still get a kick out of watching episodes here and there, especially the Challenge of the Super Friends. The Legion of Doom rocked.

What we have in JLU – Season 2 is a new millennium version of Challenge of the Super Friends, but much more smartly written.  In the first episode, Lex Luthor is rescued from prison by Grodd’s new villainous organization, the Legion of Doom, setting up the plot for the season.

Highlights include:

  • Green Lantern, Stargirl, S.T.R.I.P.E. and Supergirl teaming up on a mission where they meet The Warlord, a new hero whom many viewers wouldn’t know, but comic readers will surely recognize.
  • The opening of a museum dedicated to the Flash; bad guys attack and Batman and Orion lend the Scarlet Speedster a hand.
  • “The Great Brain Robbery,” which is a fun episode that has the Flash and Luthor inadvertently switch bodies. What’s cool about this is that the Flash is voiced by Michael Rosenbaum, who plays Luthor on Smallville.
  • “Far From Home,” a bittersweet episode written by Paul Dini, where Supergirl is abducted into the 31st century to aid a futuristic group of superheroes and is destined to never return.    

In the final two-parter of the series, "Alive" and "Destroyer," the writers throw out all the stops and bring back powerhouse villains Brainiac and Darkseid.  We get a great Darkseid vs. Superman battle and see why you shouldn’t mess with the S! The big three — Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman — all have a spotlight moment as this series winds down.   

Part of what makes this series so great is the stable of top-notch writers: Dwayne McDuffie, a comic book writer who wrote a good number of episodes throughout the show's five year run; J.M. DeMatteis, who wrote the Justice League comic in the mid-80s; Geoff Johns, who is one of my favorite comic book writers; and Paul Dini, whom to me, is the greatest writer of “The Animated Series” line (Batman, Superman, Batman Beyond) and responsible for the best Batman ever, voiced by Kevin Conroy. In addition to the writing, this series marks possibly the last time Conroy, who played Batman from the show's inception to just last year, lent his vocals to the Dark Knight.  

DVD extras include:

  • Cadmus Exposed: Bruce Timm, co-creator of “The Animated Series” universe,  and others discuss the entire Cadmus storyline.
  • Justice League Chronicles: Series writers, producers, and directors discuss their favorite moments among final-season episodes.
  • Music-only track of the episode "Destroyer," with an on-camera introduction by Bruce Timm.

This is a must-have for any comic fan, especially if you’re into DC Comics. Justice League was more than just a cartoon series, it had many cool characters:  B-, C-, and D-list characters who made cameos or guest starred, and voice talent that you wouldn’t believe.  But all good things must come to an end, I guess.  

Grade A

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