Superman on Television

Justice League: Episode Reviews

Season 4 - Episode 1: "The Cat and the Canary"

Reviewed by: Barry Freiman

Green Arrow meets "The Cat and the Canary" - Big 7 Nowhere to be Found

After an exhaustingly long hiatus - well, a week anyway - the JLU returns with its second season premiere. For the first time since JL's debut four years ago (!), there's neither hide nor hair of any of the seven original JL'ers - but for a brief, one second, screen appearance by Martian Manhunter. As with JLU's first season premiere, Green Arrow makes the scene. Oliver Queen (a.k.a. Green Arrow) meets and begins falling for Black Canary. Black Canary genuinely falls for Green Arrow too, but also uses his feelings for her to manipulate him into helping her rescue her mentor, the Wildcat, from himself.

Superman villain, the Atomic Skull, makes his animated bow. The Atomic Skull is one of the rare examples of a Superman villain's post-Crisis incarnation actually being decidedly superior to his pre-Crisis incarnation. Pre-Crisis, the Atomic Skull was essentially an irradiated ex-S.T.A.R. Labs employee. Post-Crisis, his metagene activated when the gene bomb exploded during the DC Invasion of the early 1990's and he believed himself to be his movie serial idol and imagined Superman as the villain. Here, he's depicted like a modern Blight, Batman Beyond's main nemesis voiced by Sherman Howard (Lex Luthor on TV's "Adventures of Superboy" live action series).

Geoff Johns' creation, Roulette, is the villain spinning the wheel of mayhem this episode though Wildcat doesn't need anyone but himself to further the demolition of his morality. He's jealous of meta-humans and makes himself feel better by participating in a meta-"Fight Club" run by Roulette.

(Note: This Wednesday, on "Smallville", I understand the Metropolis University recruiter who recruits Clark for the football team on "Recruit" is named "Geoff Johns" making this "Geoff Johns Week" in DCU America. Coincidentally - or not - one Geoff Johns-penned comic and another Geoff Johns-penned trade paperback come out this Wednesday too. C'mon DC, change the initials already to "GJ Comics").

Other DCU villains that I spotted -- Bloodsport, Electrocutioner, Evil Star, Hellgrammite, and Big Sir. If you spotted any other villains, write in and I'll credit your keen ability to spot evil in next week's review.

On the SFMWNS, this episode earns three out of five speeding bullets for its Superman based villains. Plus, Geoff Johns got his start in the entertainment medium as an assistant for "Superman: The Movie" director Richard Donner. Welcome to the GJ Universe.

Next week, Michael Rosenbaum makes his debut as the Flash on "JLU" alongside Mr. Miracle and Big Barda. The Flash comic book is currently written by Geoff Johns of course.

Have a happy GJ week and - Peace out.

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