135 of 142 people found the following review helpful
Several SPOILERS here.
Well, the ride had to end sometime. JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON is the culminating season to this excellent animated series and serves to put a capper on the DC Animated Universe, which consists of BATMAN: T.A.S., SUPERMAN: T.A.S., BATMAN BEYOND, STATIC SHOCK, and ZETA PROJECT. While the current THE BATMAN and LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES continue the tradition somewhat, these new shows do not follow the same continuity.
This "second" season is, technically, the third season of JLU (or, even more comprehensively, the fifth season of JUSTICE LEAGUE) as JLU's "first" season dvd set actually contains Seasons 1 and 2. Hopefully, that wasn't too confusing to follow. Anyway, this dvd set offers the final 13 episodes in glorious wide screen and continues to showcase lesser lights from its expanded superhero roster (Hawkman in two episodes, the Warlord, Deadman, Green Arrow, the Huntress, etc.) as they are teamed up with several of the original seven founders.
Several episodes pay homage to CHALLENGE OF THE SUPERFRIENDS by updating the Legion of Doom, a haphazard collection of supervillains put together to combat the JLU, which then becomes the season's major story arc. Yes, there's even a Hall of Doom here. And, when we aren't privy to Gorilla Grodd and Lex Luthor engaging in power plays as they vie for the leadership of the Legion, we get to see highly diverting, self-contained episodes such as "Chaos at the Earth's Core" (I used to collect the Warlord), "Flash and Substance" (featuring a Bats/Flash team-up), "Patriot Act" (which salutes the Seven Soldiers of Victory and, in a way, resuscitates the defunct Cadmus Project), and "Far from Home" (on her 21st birthday, Supergirl, with GL and Green Arrow are transported to the 31st Century and meet the Legion of Super-Heroes).
Meanwhile, the superb "The Great Brain Robbery" (which has Luthor and Wally swapping minds) is a favorite Legion of Doom episode of mine. The Legion of Doom storyline, by the way, climaxes with the last two episodes, "Alive" and "Destroyer," as the writers throw out all the stops and bring back powerhouse villains Brainiac and Darkseid. By the way, the monumental clash between Superman and Darkseid is a must-see.
In my opinion, there isn't a lot of bad moments in this season (or in the entire series, come to think of it). Like a reviewer already mentioned, the disappearance of the Martian Manhunter for a significant portion of the season and the somewhat inconclusive resolution to Shayera and GL's often turbulent relationship are two which fall more in the negative category. And whatever happened with Batman and Wonder Woman's flirtations? Also, I wish the Blue Devil or Blue Beetle had been featured in a show (after all, Ted Kord's best bud, Booster Gold, starred in his own episode). On the positive side, the stories and the animation continue to be amazing. The stellar voice actors maintain their high quality work as they consistently add depth and resonance to their characters. Much as the Batman, as voiced by the iconic Kevin Conroy, and the Joker, by the versatile Mark Hamill, have been firmly embedded in my brain, so, too, now, are Michael Rosenbaum's Flash, Phil LaMarr's Jon Stewart, Maria Canal's Hawkgirl, Carl Lumbly's J'onn J'onzz, Susan Eisenberg's Wonder Woman, and Clancy Brown's Lex Luthor. George Newbern ends up being pretty good as the Man of Steel, but I still prefer Tim Daly. Sorry.
What started out, innocently enough, in 1992's definitive BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES has, over the course of 14 years, expanded into an animated universe in which so many significant DC costumed players have made an appearance. It's been such a sweet ride. I just want to state that never in my wildest dreams did I expect the JUSTICE LEAGUE (UNLIMITED) to be this good and this addictive. Thinking back, I probably was basing my expectations on the fun but ultimately shallow and juvenile Hanna-Barbera's SUPERFRIENDS. This current reincarnation offers so much more in terms of depth, emotion, story, scope, and creativity. The characters in JL and JLU are multi-layered, have inter-personal exchanges and conflicts, and do change and grow like real people (Hawkgirl being a prime example); the writers (Paul Dini, Bruce Timm, etc.) did such a fantastic job of making the viewers care for their product, the sum of 91 sincerely produced episodes. I'll miss the Justice League on television very, very much. Just thank goodness for dvds, huh?
80 of 87 people found the following review helpful
I tell my wife that I buy the Justice League season-releases for myself AND the kids. But it is me who sits most captivated in front of the TV with the kids as the episodes roll.
Shushing the kids so I can hear "cartoons" on TV is the joke my wife likes to make. I quickly correct her, "Justice League is NOT 'cartoons.' It's an 'animated series.'" This clarification for some reason always seems to bring on even more chuckles over a bottle of wine with friends than it does clarify the matter.
Anyway, indeed the kids sit captivated too. The Justice League stories are very well put together with a lot of detail. I'm not sure that my kids (age 3 - 7) appreciate or understand all of the emotion (sometimes pretty deep), heroism (of course), betrayal and just great story telling that goes into these Justice League productions. But rest assured, Justice League Unlimited is definitely for kids too.
First there are Seasons 1 & 2 of Justice League. Then came 26 episodes of Justice League Unlimited in Season 1. Season 2 is perhaps the final compilation of Justice League Unlimited that contains the last 13 episodes that started last fall and ended in spring of 2006. You get:
1 - "I Am Legion" Say hello to the Legion of Doom.
2 - "Shadow of the Hawk" Friends with Hawkgirl...what's not to trust?
3 - "Chaos at the Earth's Core" Warlord of the rings.
4 - "To Another Shore" Wonder Woman and The Viking Prince.
5 - "Flash and Substance" A night at the museum.
6 - "Dead Reckoning" Carnival of souls.
7 - "Patriot Act" General Eiling goes AWOL.
8 - "The Great Brain Robbery" The great role reversal.
9 - "Grudge Match" Ultimate Fighting championship.
10 - "Far From Home" There's no time like the future.
11 - "Ancient History" The Hawkgirl soap opera continues.
12 - "Alive!" Houston, we have a problem.
13 - "Destroyer" Our heroes ride off into the sunset.
It is not necessary to have viewed the previous Justice League Seasons to fully comprehend and enjoy Justice League Unlimited Season 2...but I highly recommend it.
There are hours of entertainment on all of the Justice League releases...and no dang gong Cartoon Network commercials! Well worth the purchase price.
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on December 13, 2006
Yesss, it's about dad-blasted, dag-nabbin' time WB got off its fat bum and completed this awesome series on DVD. These are the final 13 rip-roarin' episodes, including some of the best ones of the series. At long last, this overgrown kid will have at least one complete series in his DVD collection.
I can't say I have a single favorite episode. Two of the saddest ones to me are "Far From Home", which involves an unexpected twist with one of my favorite characters, and "Destroyer", simply because it is the very last episode. It's also one of the best because of the incredible fight between Superman and Darkseid. Supes finally gets to throw down all of his restraints and let it all out. Don't you know he's wanted to do that for a looo--ong time. "Grudge Match" is a great one, too. Talk about the ultimate chick-fight -- oh yeah! I kinda thought the ending might have come out similar to the race between Superman and the Flash in an episode of Superman TAS. That one was a tie. Canary vs. Huntress - ehh - flip a coin.
Overall, I give the series itself five stars for its great story lines, dialogue, and animation. Obviously, I can't rate the packaging and features until next March. I've already pre-ordered it. I can hardly wait. I'll consider it a very late Christmas gift to myself.
28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2007
I'm REALLY gonna miss this show......The final episode "EPILOGUE" from the last JLU collection (supposedly the original JLU series finale) gave an already excellent closure connecting JLU's Cadmus plotline with the whole Batman/Batman Beyond mythos......Fanboys all over were rejoicing at the production of one more JLU season collected here (which is actually Season 3 - how did Warner's marketing get so confused about this?)....
Everybody loves to hate the bad guys, or at least we're always curious about how they think & live so dangerously! The formation of the Legion of Doom was a real treat, as we see evil geniuses Grodd and Luthor butt heads to claim leadership. I just can't get over how Clancy Brown's delivery of Luthor gets more deliciously devious - both he and Powers Boothe's Grodd had arrogantly witty lines - ultimately revealing their individual hubris' as the most exploitable shared flaw among all great villains. Just recall Grodd's expression before being blown out of the airlock, or Lex's horror when he sees a reconstituted Darkseid instead of Brainiac - all too precious moments of comeuppance, indeed!
The voice casting / direction / performances in these shows have been near-perfect, so much so that I'll miss hearing them on air after years of familiarity. The great Kevin Conroy IS the Batman of all eras, absolutely as irreplacable as Clancy Brown. And Michael Ironside's Darkseid can really cast a shadow on anyone's day- albeit I thought he needed just a wee bit more volume / reverb to exude more of the biggest bully in the Universe! I wonder who else from the STARSHIP TROOPERS movie they can cast in these episodes (Mr.Brown & Mr.Ironside were in it!)?
I honestly didn't really care too much about the Hawkgirl / Hawkman soap opera - I thought Hro Talak in the Starcrossed movie was a much more compelling character delivered onscreen. I also agree that J'on J'onzz
was lacking in appearances, but I guess that was all set up for the finale. I wish Captain Marvel had at least one last cameo during Darkseid's invasion - if Supes & Luthor could put aside their differences for an episode or two, why not Billy Batson? Two hilarious Flash episodes, Grudge Match, and Far From Home were definite payoffs for the fanboys......I'm gonna miss all the ups-&-downs, laughter & some tears (again, anybody recall the ending of Starcrossed??), and all the heroics that these shows brought out in the last 5 years......
I only have this final JLU season recorded in DVD-R, so I cannot be overly technical on their quality.....But in terms of great storytelling, action & characterizations in the superhero genre, this is as fleshed-out as it can be for all audiences to enjoy, much better than most live-action movies of any kind nowadays! Now, maybe Bruce Timm & Co. can do an origin movie about the JLU in the Batman Beyond era (prequel to The Call episodes, I guess?) ?? I can never wait for Justice to be served in the here & now.....and hopefully beyond!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Producers/writers Bruce Timm, James Tucker, and Dwayne McDuffie thought that season four would be the end of the series; however, Cartoon Network, which broadcast the show, gave the go-ahead for thirteen more episodes, making for a fifth and final season. Thus, the creative team pulled out all the stops and delivered stories that were tightly woven, brilliantly animated, and superbly acted by regular performers, as well as featured players.
These are some of the most entertaining shows of the five-year-old series.
Acting-wise, Kevin Conroy has had close to twenty years providing the voice of the animated Batman and he knows the character backwards and forward. Kudos should also go to Clancy Brown's "Lex Luthor," Michael Rosenbaum's "The Flash," Carl Lumbly's "Martian Manhunter," Susan Eisenberg's "Wonder Woman," and Maria Canals' "Hawkgirl." And one cannot overlook the contributions of recurring actors and their characters: CCH Pounder ("Amanda Waller), Michael Ironside ("Darkseid"), Powers Boothe ("Gorilla Grodd") and J.K. Simmons ("General Eiling").
The best episodes on the disc are the homage-to-things-past "I am Legion," the delightful "Flash and Substance" and its similarly constructed "The Great Brain Robbery," the reflective "Patriot Act," and the two-tiered punch of "Alive!" and "Destroyer," both which bring back favorite villains Darkseid and Brainiac.
Though billed as a "children's show," there are hints of bestiality, sexual innuendo, political correctness gone overboard, and bloodless battles that feature implied decapitations and/or deaths in massive explosions.
Thus, this isn't your father's "Challenge of the Superfriends" and it may require parental guidance should some questions arise about the characters' actions.
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
The second (well, actually fifth if you drop Unlimited out of the title) season of Justice League Unlimited sadly ended up being the last of the excellent DC animated series. These final 13 episodes sees the villainous Legion of Doom uniting against the JLU, and reaching a catastrophic conclusion. The original Justice League members; Superman, Batman (still voiced by the great Kevin Conroy), Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkgirl, and Martian Manhunter, are all here, as well as other Leaguers like Green Arrow, Supergirl, Black Canary, Huntress, and Hawkman, are all here, as well as villains like Lex Luthor (still voiced by the excellent Clancy Brown), Darkseid, Gorilla Grodd, Killer Frost, Toyman, and Dr. Polaris among others. The animation is still awesome, and there's even a bit of character development among the villains to boot, which is simply wonderful. As the season, and series, reaches a close; it becomes apparent that like the Batman animated series before it, Justice League Unlimited was a show ahead of it's time. If there's any negatives about this collection, it's that some characters are downgraded (Martian Manhunter disappears throughout most of the season) but the good greatly outweighs the bad here. With numerous odes to classic DC comicdom, as well as the Superfriends cartoon, Justice League Unlimited goes out with a bang.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2007
I'm a little surprised by the glowing reviews for this collection. After the terrific Cadmus arc from the previous seasons, season 2's (actually season 3's, but I digress) Legion of Doom idea, while cool in theory, often comes off as silly, anti-climactic, and contrived.
In regards to the first point, don't get me wrong--a little silliness is okay. Flash swapping minds with Luthor is pretty funny. But Luthor rocketing the legion's entire headquarters into space? Uh, yeah. Or Luthor somehow figuring out how to take control of the Justice League's female members' minds? Right. (By the way, if he could somehow manage this, why not just take over the minds of all the League's members and call it a day?)
And the series definitely ends on a somewhat anti-climactic, farfetched note. As if Darkseid's resurrection was not stretching the limits of believability already, his so-called defeat by Luthor and the ridiculous anti-life equation was simply puzzling and laughable. Deus Ex Machina, anyone?
And there are other numerous disappointments. Both Superman and J'onn are nearly absent through most of the season, Batman's intriguing relationship with Wonder Woman is ignored, and far too many villains are apathetically killed off in what is little more than a throwaway scene.
On the plus side, I did enjoy the Hawkman saga, most of the Flash episodes are enjoyable, and the Legion of Superheroes story is good (although can you really see Kara giving up her own time period for, um, Braniac 5?!). But in the end, this season is not nearly as well-planned and envisioned as its predecessors.
And shoot, considering how well the previous season finale conclusively ended the series up to that point, season 3's plethora of unanswered questions and loose ends is almost unforgivable.
Anyway, anyone owning the other seasons might as well grab this one too, as it's still entertaining material. But if anyone is expecting this set to be of the caliber and quality of previous installments, he will likely be disappointed.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 1, 2007
Who couldn't love this series? Besides being arguably the finest action cartoon conceieved, it features the greatest pop culture icons out there. Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, the Flash, and over 50 other DC Universe characters each with their own quirks, strengths, and weaknesses. The series alternates from absolutely hilarious to deeply serious, each episode is a gem in and of itself. The only problem with the series is that it ended far too soon. Highly recommended to all people of all ages.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
As they admit in the DVD extras on this set, the creatives behind Justice League Unlimited (and, in several cases, the animated DC Universe going back to Batman: The Animated Series) really didn't expect this season to exist. It shows a little - how do you top "Star-Crossed" (the finale of the Justice League series) and the Cadmus arc (JLU Season 1 and the creator's intended finale for the whole shebang)? The answer is that you don't, but that doesn't mean that this set isn't a whole lot of fun with some moments of genius.
The animation has grown in leaps & bounds (pun intended) since Batman, and the CGI that began to show up in JL: Season 2 is more seemlessly integrated than ever. The voice cast is astounding, even for the already impressive roster who have worked on Batman, Superman, Batman Beyond and earlier seasons of this show. Clancy Brown really steals the show as Luthor, though, especially with his laugh-out-loud performance in "The Great Brain Robbery". The writing is up to snuff, especially considering that they weren't shooting for the gravitas of the two previously mentioned Justice League finales. In addition to Brain Robbery, there is a lot of fun to be had in eps like "Flash & Substance", "Grudge Match" and the villian showcase "Alive!". And the two Hawkman shows, "Dead Reckoning", "Far From Home" and personal favorite "To Another Shore" excellently inject some pathos, develop characters and tie up some plot threads from the overall continuity of the universe.
The extras are slight but informative (which has become the norm for these WB releases), and worth it just to watch Mark Hammill geek out discussing Cadmus, a season he wasn't really involved in. Basically, if you've ever enjoyed any of the cartoons that lead up to this set, you'll enjoy this. The second best season of JLU is better than most animation out there.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 22, 2007
Or Justice League Season 5, depending on your viewpoint. Thoroughly captivating. Most stories focus around a DC character previously not seen on tv, including Viking Prince, Deadman, the Golden age Hawkman, and others.
This was an excellent way to wrap up what I call the Kevin Conroy voice artist continuity of Batman appearances (which ran from his own series in the 1990s, to guest shots in Superman & Static Shock, the Batman Beyond series (which is also well worth buying) and Justice League. Sadly the Wonder Woman/Batman romance is abandoned half way through the previous season, but the fans have written many sequels on the fanfiction site.
Although still dating Vixen, Green Lantern still manages to draw Hawkgirl's attention away from Hawkman (to my disappointment, I must say. Hasn't John Stewart been busy enough with Katma Tui and Vixen?
Darkseid returns in the last two episodes for the final fight with Superman, wrapping up a conflict which ran from Superman's own show into well-written sequel in Justice League season 2: "Twilight". Luthor forms a new secret society or Legion of Doom, making this season an obvious re-invention of 1978's Challenge of the Superfriends.
Loads of DC characters to enjoy. Great complex serialized storyline.
If you enjoyed the Legion of Super Heroes appearance in Superman: New Kids on the Block (TAS), you'll love the way they return with more characters in this DVD set's "Far from Home." Supergirl's disappearance from the 20th century is handled much more positively than the way she died in the 1986 comic "Crisis on Infinite Earths." I won't spoil the plot, but you'll love it.
At this point, I hadn't written my letter to Warner about the decline in soundtrack music quality and ridiculous exaggeration of the difference between men's and women's bodies in all their DC cartoons. They did listen though. Check out the Legion of Super Heroes show on tv (which I also suggested to be a series in that letter), and the fantastic music opening Season 5 of Teen Titans will hopefully be available on DVD soon too.
THIS IS A MUST TO OWN, EVEN IF YOU DON'T READ THE COMICS.