Superman on Television

Justice League: Episode Reviews

Season 5 - Episode 11: "Ancient History"

Reviewed by: Barry M. Freiman

It's Not "Ancient History" Till the Winged Lady Sings

A pre-Christ inter-racial, inter-species, adulterous love that's supposedly destined to transcend time and space? Even in a world of winged aliens, magic rings, and gentleman ghosts, the resolution of the Green Lantern/Hawkgirl relationship strained credibility. I think Geoff Johns did the best he could with only one 22-minute episode in which to wrap up the biggest unresolved emotional plot point for any of the heroes in the JLU. Given the last two episodes are reserved to end the Legion of Doom arc - admittedly entertaining but certainly less melodramatic than John and Shayera's soap operatic romance that turned into a triangle and then a rectangle - it's a shame another episode couldn't have been devoted to fleshing out the story especially the nature of the Hawks' past life relationship.

Had I written this episode, I might have had the Absorbacron alter Carter Hall's memories so that he would believe his other-life self came to Earth married to Shayera but that they really came to Earth as partners in law enforcement (like the Silver Age Hawkman and Hawkgirl). My version would have Carter in love with Shayera even in their past life but with Shayera free to be with the past life John Stewart. I'm far from a prude but I was unmoved by past Shayera cheating on her husband just because he was, in essence, too busy at the office to give her a kid.

Then the villain of the piece could have been Hath Set who somehow could have been reincarnated from Carter's genetic material when he first touched the Absorbacron. We'd still have been left in basically the same place - with John and Shayera begrudgingly aware of what destiny has in store for them and with a Hawkman left to find his real place in the world.

Back in "JL" season two premiere "Twilight", Hawkgirl joked that maybe they should be called the "Just Us League" because they were all outcasts and exiles - with that in mind, it would have been an interesting place to leave the Hawkman character if John Stewart - initially wary of Carter - invited Hawkman to join the JLU to help him find his place. Shayera would overhear that which would leave her in a more hopeful place than John Stewart's "I'm staying with Vixen" line.

Next week is the beginning of the end. It's the penultimate episode of the "JL" franchise - "Alive" - and it returns the Legion of Doom storyline to the forefront, particularly Lex's use of the group's resources to find Brainiac. To paraphrase "Superman: The Movie", he finds... somethin'. I ain't sayin' what it is. Just trust me.

Peace out.



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