Superman on Television

Justice League: Episode Reviews

Season 4 - Episode 10: "Flashpoint"

Reviewed by: Barry Freiman

The Flash Has a Point in "Flashpoint" - But Then, So Does Cadmus.

In "Flashpoint", the continuation of the Cadmus arc, the Flash aptly sums up what sets the DC pantheon of heroes apart from virtually all other literary heroes: "People need us, we help them." It is wholly irrelevant to the JLU that they're seen as having caused the destruction from which they're saving people. DC heroes don't need credos about power and responsibility to motivate them to do the right thing. Doing the right thing - a thankless task - is its own reward, like flossing daily.

In fact, it's the League's idealism toward their commitments that Lex Luthor has so brilliantly warped to turn public opinion against them. The heroes are mostly blind-sided by the notion that there are humans out there who sense fascist overtones to a super-sized, ultra-powerful JLU.

Why would anyone doubt the altruistic motives of 50-some odd super heroes and heroines who offer to help, no strings attached? In a world of super-heroic ideals - a Silver Age - they wouldn't. But this is the real world where classic heroism - doing good for good's sake - is immediately suspect.

It's not surprising that many are comparing parts of the Cadmus arc to the seminal 1987 comic book series, "The Watchmen". Who watches the Watchmen? Well, according to Superman, those who do good don't need to be watched because, well, they do good.

Except there are degrees of good and evil. Just look at the League's so-called adversaries in this morality tale. There's Lex Luthor, evil incarnate, a true architect of manipulation; then Amanda Waller seems to represent how a misguided sense of justice can itself cause evil; and, on the far end of the scale is Emil Hamilton, whose motives are borne of fear and yet whose end results - namely Galatea and the "Super Friend clones" - are clearly evil.

On the SFMWNS, this episode earns four out of five speeding bullets. Superman's attitude may not surprise me, but it does disturb me. I also found it a bit disturbing that the League's weapon may not have caused casualties at Cadmus but the animation makes it pretty clear the weapon caused shock waves that leveled highways, homes, automobiles, and presumably, therefore, people.

Next week, the Cadmus arc climaxes. Secrets are revealed. And there's "Panic in the Sky", an episode that shares its title with a classic episode of the 1950's "Adventures of Superman" and a major post-Crisis Superman saga in the comics. Things that make you go "hmmmmm".

Till then peace out.

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