By ImperiousRix 3 Comments
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Perhaps one of the most epic cartoons of its or any other time, Justice League Unlimited represents everything I love about comic books, cartoons, and cartoons based on comic books. While some might prefer Batman: The Animated Series or the original Justice League as the best of Bruce Timm's animated DC Universe, I've always maintained that JLU is the best. Essentially, the idea was to take just about every DC comics character you can think of, and putting them onto one big team and create some of the most unique stories ever told. This was 39 episodes of pure awesome, showing off characters and storylines that you didn't know needed to be given the spotlight. But man when that spotlight was shone, this series did indeed shine.
So you can probably tell I really really like Justice League Unlimited. After watching the series through for about the third time, I think I feel fully prepared to create a countdown devoted to one of my favorite things EVER. Hell, this was supposed to be a Top 10, but because I love it so much, I've expanded it into a Top 15. So, without further ado, here are the Top 15 Justice League Unlimited episodes, numbers 15-10.
15. Episode 1: Initiation
What better place to start than... well, the start? "Initiation" introduces the audience to the idea of this giant super team of Justice League Unlimited, not to mention the awesomeness of Green Arrow. Seriously, I'm not sure which came first, my love of Green Arrow in comics or my love of him in this cartoon, but between his dry quips and tough guy attitude, he's just a lot of fun in every episode he's in. He, Supergirl, Green Lantern, and Captain Atom take on a nuclear juggernaut hellbent on destroying the non-descript Asian nation that created it. There's a good amount of emotion and cautionary tale-spinning, but what really puts this one into the top 15 is the action. Our JLU heroes get busted up pretty bad, but still manage to save the day. Definitely a great way to start a series.
14. Episode 30: To Another Shore
More Green Arrow in this episode (get used to it, because I love that guy). But really, the star here is Wonder Woman. She gets quite a few episodes to shine in this series, and this is one of her finest, andher reading of a viking poem at the end is actually really touching.Here, the newly formed Legion of Doom is attempting to unearth the corpse of the immortal Viking king, Eric, in an attempt to gain the secret of his invulnerability. This episode, too, is a lot of bang bang action, but it's good all good stuff. What really puts it over for me is the fact that Martian Manhunter actually leaves the JLU's Watchtower in this episode and throws down. The inclusion of the hokey, but thoroughly entertaining King Faraday is just the icing on this great episode.
13. Episode 34: The Great Brain Robbery
Part of JLU's charm and awesome status revolves around its humor. This is one episode that leans heavily on the laughs, and it really works. By some really convoluted means, Lex Luthor and The Flash end up switching brains. Now, each of them are stuck in the other's base and while Flash is just trying to survive his masquerade as Lex, Lex/Flash goes straight to tearing apart the JLU Watchtower. There's action, but the jokes really upstage it. It's just hilarious the way Flash thinks Lex talks in the third person, and how Lex's girlfriend, Talia, is enjoying the newfound "energy" and "enthusiasm" he is displaying *wink wink*. By far, the funniest line in the episode comes from Lex/Flash, though. When he's chased into a bathroom, he muses that he can now unmask the Flash and see who he is. After removing Wally's mask and staring into the mirror, Lex/Flash frowns and simply states, "... I have no idea who this is". Classic.
12. Episode 25: Divided We Fall
This makes the list simply because it's the original 7 members of the Justice League all going up against Braniac. The one negative about JLU is simply that the original 7 would only occasionally be featured and NEVER as a single unit. Here, they're all featured and kicking some ass. That's about it, but isn't that really all you need?
11. Episode 14: The Cat and the Canary
The episode that started the romantic subplot between Black Canary and Green Arrow, there's actually a lot to this episode. Besides the tension between Arrow and Canary, it focuses mainly on Wildcat, a former boxer turned superhero. Poor Wildcat feels as though his old age and lack of superpowers is keeping him out of the action, and has instead moved to taking his talents into the world of underground super-powered fights known as Meta Brawl. Now, it's up to Arrow and Canary to get him to come back to the team. It's actually a pretty heartfelt story about a man who has been fighting all his life, and can't accept the prospect that he might not be able to anymore. The way this story ends is actually really clever, and pretty unexpected.
10. Episode 35: Grudge Match
This episode actually ties into "The Cat and the Canary", as its the return of Meta Brawl. Down on her luck, Roulette (founder and booker of Meta Brawl), decides to start kidnapping JLU heroines for a brand new bloodsport called Glamor Slam. Basically, a bunch of JLU heroines get pulled in, and its up to Batman protege and all around bad ass, Huntress, to snap these ladies out of it. The highlight of the episode is a big five woman smackdown as Hundtress, Black Canary, Vixen, and Hawkgirl all face off against a mind-controlled Wonder Woman. That fight is probably the most well-choreographed, well-animated, and most thrilling fight in the entire series. It can easily turn anyone into a fan of any of these ladies.
Next time, we'll get into single digits and get into even more awesome episodes of this fantastic series. Until then, hopefully this inspires you to check out some of these episodes yourself or, if you're already a fan, to comment about your own personal favorites.