DVD REVIEW: Justice League Unlimited – Season One

Unlimited episodes! Unlimited Heroes! Unlimited Fun! Warner Bros. is breaking out the whole DC universe in a whopping 26 episodes of the best toons ever...
The idea was to simply tell some good stories utilizing small groups of differing DC heroes combining with the original series characters—and to have loads of fun along the way. Not only was this a good mandate, but it produced some of the best episodes to date, especially the humorous ones. While the general focus of the storylines is the intriguing, two-season long “Cadmus arc” involving a government conspiracy formed to combat the ever-increasingly powerful Justice League, there are some hilarious episodes showcasing the writers talents at their best. Personal favorites are:

"The Greatest Story Never Told" – Considered to be a bit of a glory hound, Booster Gold is relegated to crowd control as the big guns battle the powerful Mordru. However, Booster gets a shot at the big time when he chances upon a sentient black hole that threatens to swallow everything in its path. Will success at this task get him noticed by the League? More importantly, will it help his fans to finally differentiate between him and Green Lantern?

"This Little Piggy" – When the powerful enchantress Circe transforms Wonder Woman into a pig, Batman engages Zatanna to help change her back, but the porcine princess runs off and it will take more Justice Leaguers, and a poignant musical performance from the Batman to bring her back.

"Kid Stuff" – Mordred, the spoiled son of Morgan Le Fay, magicks all adults into an another dimension so he can rule a planet of kids. So, Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman and Green Lantern get turned into tots in order to combat the brat. Further romantic revelations occur between Wonder Woman and Batman in their youthful state.

Not only do the humorous episodes abound in this set, but some of the best storylines and dramatic tales are told, discussing serious themes and questioning deep dilemmas. Personal favorites are:

"The Return" (episode 8) - The unstoppable superandroid Amazo (from Justice League Season 2: "Tabula Rasa") returns from deep space and vengefully targets Lex Luthor, who has "turned over a new leaf." The full might of the JLU is set loose for the first time as the heroes attempt to nullify Amazo. Meanwhile, it's up to Luthor and the Atom to come up with a weapon to save the day. When they finally connect, they end up with a deep discussion on “the meaning of life”.

"Clash" (episode 7) - Capt. Marvel ("Shazam!") is the JLU's newest and most innocent recruit. But Marvel's naive, optimistic outlook constantly irks a disenchanted Superman, and this eventually results in a brutal, drag-down battle royale between the Man of Steel and the Big Red Cheese. Luthor co-stars as the main catalyst for Superman's ire. Marvel ends up giving a much needed tongue-lashing to Superman, but who was REALLY right in this situation?

"For the Man Who Has Everything" - Batman and Wonder Woman drop in on Superman for his birthday in the Fortress of Solitude, only to find that Mongol has also crashed the party with an alien parasitic life-form that has Superman living a Kryptonian fantasy in his own mind—rendering him helpless. Will WW and Bats be able to detach the thing from Superman and defeat Mongol at the same time, and more importantly, will Superman want them to?

That last dramatic episode in particular was very touching, as Supes has to tell his only son that he doesn’t believe in him in order to break the parasites hold upon him. And these aren’t the only good episodes! They’re all good! I haven’t even mentioned the final story “Epilogue” a critically acclaimed episode that reveals a previously undisclosed Batman Beyond story.

Here’s the breakdown:
JLU Season One:
1. Initiation
2. For the Man Who Has Everything
3. Kid Stuff
4. Hawk and Dove
5. This Little Piggy
6. Fearful Symmetry
7. The Greatest Story Never Told
8. The Return
9. Ultimatum
10.Dark Heart
11.Wake the Dead
12.The Once and Future Thing: Weird Western Tales
13.The Once and Future Thing: Time, Warped

JLU Season Two:
1. The Cat and the Canary
2. The Ties That Bind
3. The Doomsday Sanction
4. Task Force X
5. The Balance
6. Double Date
7. Clash
8. Hunter's Moon
9. Question Authority
11.Panic in the Sky
12.Divided We Fall

My only criticism is that the set is short on special features. Special features include: "And Justice for all": The process of revamping the series with new characters and a new creative direction; "Themes of Justice": Choose your favorite JLU musical theme audio tracks; Creators' Commentary on "This Little Piggy" and "The Return".

All said and done, I heartily recommend this set. You get everything you want. Unlimited Heroes. Unlimited Episodes! Unlimited Fun!

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