Superman Homepage reviewer Marc Lax reviews episodes from the “Justice League Action” Animated Series, airing on Cartoon Network.
Check out his review of the 39th episode of Season 1 in a mysterious creature abducts Batman, Mr. Terrific, Lex Luthor, Calculator, and Brain to put them to the test to discover the smartest among them.
Originally Aired: October 7, 2017 (U.S.)
Written by Geoffrey Thorne and John Semper
Directed by Doug Murphy
Kevin Conroy as Batman (voice)
Hannibal Buress as Mister Terrific (voice)
Ely Henry as Calculator (voice)
James Woods as Lex Luthor (voice)
Oliver Vaquer as Mr. Mind (voice)
Jim Ward as The Brain (voice)
Rating – 3 (out of 5): At a maximum security prison a giant robot breaks through security and finds Lex in his cell playing holographic chess. Lex doesn’t seem to care what the robot wants and casually leaves with him. But not before pocketing the weapon he used to create the holograms. Meanwhile The Brain and Calculator are kidnapped as well. At the Watchtower Batman and Mr. Terrific are trying to piece together who might have taken the three villains when the same robot crashes the Watchtower and proceeds to attack the two heroes. Mr. Terrific uses his T Spheres to try and find out what is happening and winds up stranded on a desolate planet with Lex, The Brain and Calculator. Batman soon follows. It seems a mysterious being who appears as a giant pair of glasses wants to pit the smartest humans on Earth against each other and see which will survive his deadly traps. First using a car chase where the “contestants” use a colorful sphere to activate the cars. The last one to cross the finish line losses and is taken out of the game for good. Batman and Mr. Terrific use their ingenuity to win while Lex uses his tech to come in third. Behind him is Calculator who runs The Brain off the track making him the first to be eliminated. He’s quickly taken off the board and placed in a floating red cube. The others are then presented with floating disks. The object is to follow the path to two floating red disks. Seems fairly easy but the red disks keep changing along the paths. Our heroes figure out the pattern and Batman is the first to win. Calculator becomes the next casualty while Mr. Terrific makes a misstep and becomes the next loser. Leaving Lex to win beside Batman. Lex and Batman now have to play one last game to determine the “winner”.
This is a somewhat clever plot pitting some of the greatest minds of the DC Universe against each other. Though I never felt Calculator was such an ingenious villain the others are worthy opponents. As it’s mentioned several times during the episode, Mr. Terrific IS the third smartest person in the world. Batman of course is a brilliant detective and scientist and is usually the smartest man in the room, although Lex is an intellectual genius so it’s a toss up I suppose. The Brain… well he’s a brain so he’s got that going for him. As I’ve said there is some cleverness to this episode but the villain’s main objective falls flat. Basically it’s the brilliant mad scientist just trying to be even more brilliant. But it’s still entertaining watching our heroes and villains get to the endgame.
Lex and Batman’s final challenge is a giant chess game which of course has Lex boasting that he’s never lost a game. But with all that boasting he uses his weapon to cheat and wins the game. Batman is then taken out and given his own floating red cube along with the others to watch the final confrontation between Lex and our mysterious villain. And who is this giant pair of glasses who’s causing all this trouble? Mr. Mind of course! That green wormy villain who has given SHAZAM (Captain Marvel) a lot of problems throughout the years. After having his robot subdue Lex Mr. Mind’s plan is to leave his small worm of a body and take Lex’s, which would also increase Mind’s intellect. What Mr. Mind and Lex didn’t figure on is that Batman and Mr. Terrific had a plan all along. Using his T Sphere tech Mr. Terrific figured out how to escape his red cube prison. Batman knew that Terrific had some kind of plan and was playing Lex until the plan was put in motion. Batman lost on purpose and was released from his prison by Terrific. The heroes then get a jump on the villains and of course win the day. Sounds a bit more confusing than it actually is.
A decent episode. It was nice to see Mr. Mind who’s always been an intriguing villain and I like the way Mr. Terrific has been portrayed. Batman and Lex being the last two to fight was pretty obvious but it’s fun watching Lex be outsmarted. A good use of all these characters and I enjoyed their interactions. This show does know how to mix it up.
Check out the “Justice League Action – Episode Reviews” Contents page.