Justice League Unlimited: Season Two – 3 and ½ Stars (out of 5)
After peaking when the show was re-launched as Justice League Unlimited Season One, which included wrapping up most of the storylines and putting a coda to end the series, the show was renewed for a final 13 episodes. Since all the large story arcs had been played out, Season Two would be about Villains, unfinished business, Villains, traveling to new parts of the DCU including Central City, Skartaris, and Nanga Parbat, and, did I mention, Villains. Superman would finally cut loose, Batman would crack a joke, the Flash would take on his rogues gallery, Lex Luthor would search for Braniac, Hawkman would (finally!) show up, Supergirl traveled to the future to meet the Legion, Darkseid returned, oh, and there was this new storyline based of the Challenge of the SuperFriends and the Legion of Doom.
The two-disc set of Justice League Unlimited Season Two, although it has it moments, is a bit of a letdown after the terrific Season One (read that review). Although the short run provides some fun moments, and some of the show’s most humorous episodes in ”The Great Brain Robbery“ where the brains of Lex Luthor and Flash are switched to hilarious results and ”Flash and Substance“ which features the Flashes Rogues Gallery including the Mark Hamill reprising his role of the Trickster from the old Flash live-action TV show (you can read that review too). This final season is more about showcasing the villains of the JLU universe than the heroes.
If we don’t get the big story arcs like Cadmus, we do get the Legion of Doom (even if they aren’t refered to by that name) complete with their secret base in the swamp. There’s also the sheer insanity of Grod’s ultimate plan (that I’m sure teh monkey would approve of). Of course the series puts it’s own spin on the group as it finally dissolves into anarchy as the factions for Luthor and Grodd battle for control. Here’s why a super villain group could never really last.
Fans of the show have come to expect insights and small in-jokes over the series, and this final 13 episodes are no exception. ”Patriot Act“ provides just such an episode where the also-rans of the league (Shining Knight, Vigilante, Stripesy, Stargirl, and Green Arrow) are called on to stand-in for Superman at a parade in Metropolis. After they are attacked two more reserve members show up to help against General Eiling who has taken a DCU version of the Super Soldier Serum and become a Hulk-like monster. Super bonus geek points for those who can figure out 1) who the two reinforcements were and 2) what these seven heroes have in common, and why they were chosen for this episode.
There are a couple of extras on the two discs worth mentioning. The first is an interview with Mark Hamill and the producers of the show discussing the Cadmus storyline from Season One of JLU. The second group of extras are short commentaries from parts of three different episodes (just one act of each) including “The Great Brain Robbery.” There’s also a separate music only track for the final episode of the series ”Destroyer“ where Darkseid attacks Earth.
Though the series ends on somewhat of an anti-climactic note, there is plenty to enjoy here including the introduction of Hawkman (complete with the Geoff Johns origin story) in ”Shadow of the Hawk,” and Supergirl grows up and grows into her destiny when she travels into the 31st Century to meet the Legion of the Super-Heroes in ”Far from Home.” No, it’s not the best season of the show, but there’s plenty here for true fans to enjoy.