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Comment Room Archive

Comments for the week ending May 16, 2021

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It's a great testament to Alex Hirsch's voice actor skills that he provides such different voices for King and Hooty (both of which, in turn, sound just as different from his even better-known role as Stan Pines in "Gravity Falls").
Todd Jensen

Meant for that to be a smile.:-D

Algae> Demona had both for a while, not that they're comparable.

But hey Hooty does serve as an encouragement to get your kid (or adopted human) an education as Eda realized:-#.

And we get a nice bit of Alex Hirsch giving himself a burn with King mentioning the bird tube to have an annoying voice.


TODD> Respect... or fear?
Now I find myself In the wild unknown with the frogs and toads and I'm far from home...

ANTIYONDER - [I really like Hoot.]

After seeing him single-handedly take out Lilith's troopers in such style, I'd say he deserves our respect.

Todd Jensen

Todd Jensen> They should have definitely included a warning before "The Dinner".

Dysfunction with two families and Frog/Toad biogtry.:-D

As an aside, I think The Plantars take the previous attempt on their lives a little too personally.

Kind of like Goliath in "The Edge".


Got my computer fixed (it turned out that the mouse had gone bad and needed to be replaced); thank goodness.

ANTIYONDER - [with a warning within the commercial/promo of some scenes being too intense for possibly some viewers] I've sometimes thought that "Amphibia" should probably bear such a warning for entomophobes (I probably count as one). :) One of the most amusing parts of the show for me is Anne unsettled by: a) how so much of the food in Amphibia is insect-based and b) the fact that she's getting used to it.

Todd Jensen

So thoughts, BTW, on the upcoming show The Ghost and Molly McGee?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-9N-Ycr8U8

Looks cute and fun. Ghost is kind of like the merging of the Ghostly Trio and Master Shake (Yes I'm aware of the casting:-D).


ANTIYONDER> "I really like Hoot"

Well, Law of Averages say there has to be at least one. :P

Now I find myself In the wild unknown with the frogs and toads and I'm far from home...

Count me in as another quite excited for "True Colors."

I don't love Amphibia quite as much as I do The Owl House (which has probably succeeded Steven Universe as my personal favorite ongoing non-anime 'toon), but it's a very solid show and one I'm quite happy to follow to its conclusion.

Personally, I just want one more of these types of shows to crop up so I can start making memes about Amphibia, Owl House, Infinity Train, and Show #4 being the "Western Isekai Quartet." ;D


Masterdramon - [kmc12009 at mymail dot pomona dot edu]
"Straighten up, and give me the life I deserve already! SPOIL ME WITH LUXURY, DARNIT!!!" - Lady Aqua

Algae> Yep. Incidentally with some talk about how both show crews would love to do a crossover with Owl House and Amphibia, some dynamics I imagine:

1. Luz for one getting along with the girls and sharing similar world geek interests (Hard to say if she, Anne, Sasha and Marcy come from the same exact world).

2. Maybe Amity helps Sasha to grow into being a better friend with the latter being surprised by and punching Hoot, then apologizing. With Amity or Eda saying they all tend to take a shot at that bird tube and that he can take a lot of punishment. "I'm a bird of prey, hoot hoot".

3. Eda and Hop Pop trading notes on adopting a human. The latter stating/assuming that Ms. Clawthorne looks pretty good for a woman in her 70s. And he gets the same reception Anne gave when he pressed her on having a boyfriend.

4. Polly, yeah. Probably would buy into King's hype and want to follow in his ways. And maybe using Hoot as her training dummy.*

*I really like Hoot. Just like to suggest some friendly torture jabs is all.


ANTIYONDER> The placement of that disclaimer makes it look like Polly's gonna shiv someone...

Which, honestly, wouldn't be that much out of character.

Now I find myself In the wild unknown with the frogs and toads and I'm far from home...


I think the first link I sent wasn't clear enough.


Algae> Or some LGBT dynamics made clear perhaps?:-D

1. Anne/Sasha/Marcy
2. Grimes and Hop Pop
3. Mayor Toadstool and Toady


ANTIYONDER> "It's just gonna be another goofy episode filled with silly jokes for kids!" -Alex Hirsch
Now I find myself In the wild unknown with the frogs and toads and I'm far from home...

So the Season Two finale of Amphibia's airdate is announced and with a warning within the commercial/promo of some scenes being too intense for possibly some viewers: https://mobile.twitter.com/DisneyAPromos?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1393566286974754818%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=

Masterdramon> I guess it's because his Batman being made darker is an exaggeration of who he is, whereas Superman doesn't really feel like what Supes fans want for the character if that makes sense. Basically making him Super Dark Knight.

Watchmen by him is actually a guilty pleasure. I think that's due to Snyder liking the source material even if it's for the wrong reason. You know that he thinks the tone is the appeal over competent writing and that Rorschach is supposed to be someone we relate to (Moore actually surprised readers took to him).

He may miss the point on the story, but he does like it, whereas he's expressed lack of interest in numerous comic stories with Superman, Batman and the JL.


Antiyonder: No need to apologize LOL, I'm the one who launched into a rant over a meme. Guess I've just been keeping that one bottled up for too long.

Definitely not interested in going to bat for most of Snyder's oeuvre (especially since I haven't seen more than half of it). I like his Watchmen and Man of Steel a whole lot, and have mixed feelings at best about everything else I've seen.

Batman v. Superman has a lot of individual elements and performances that I enjoy (I think I may be the planet's only fan of Jesse Eisenberg's Lex), and a thematic throughline I find interesting, but they're drowned out by bafflingly dumb decision after baffingly dumb decision, as well as a version of Bruce Wayne that so incredibly misses the forest for the trees in interpreting the character that I'm kind of stunned THAT isn't the element that seems to get the most blowback. And as for the "SnyderCut"...well, I think it's a considerably better film than the incoherent mess that is the theatrical version of Justice League, but that really isn't saying much. Cyborg's real good in it tho.

So nah. There are many perfectly legitimate reasons to dislike Zack Snyder's DC films and the influence his directorial style has had on the "brand." I happen to personally agree with some and disagree with others, but I try not to get too much heartburn if other people don't share my opinions on fiction.

Still, I try to approach all criticism I do in good faith, and for me that means couching that criticism in the text itself and not the version that makes for the punchiest meme.*

* (Unless that meme is straight fire. Obviously. Exceptions must surely be made when a dunk is achieved that is suitably epic.)

Masterdramon - [kmc12009 at mymail dot pomona dot edu]
"Straighten up, and give me the life I deserve already! SPOIL ME WITH LUXURY, DARNIT!!!" - Lady Aqua

Masterdramon> Yeah sorry about the comment. If I may give a serious take, O think the problem is that it arguably the point of the Kent's is to explain why this guy who could be the next General Zod would be compassionate towards those without power. Might as well have taken a cue from the radio show and just had him coming to Earth as an adult if they aren't going to be there to raise him to learn altruism.

Matthew> I do enjoy the occasional stuff outside my usual optimistic preferences so I guess my problem with Snyder is that the films were indecisive.

Something like Gargoyles where it's more serious, but still optimistic, even fun can work.

Watchmen can even work with levity in it.

Snyder's films felt like going between Waychmen and Silver Age type levity at times.

If the idea for example was for Jonathan and Martha to be well as he perceives how real people to behave*, why would they be so kind and caring to this alien orphan?

Also showing that Metropolis had a new 9/11 look, but still trying to end the movie in a happy fashion.

Or like BvS where despite Superman not being well regarded as other continuities has a funeral held in his passing.

Like DC wouldn't let their iconic heroes be that dark so he had to put in some tender moments or happy ending.

Not sure he is a good writer, but if Snyder just did what Moore did and made a film with JL analogues his story would at least feel less mixed.

*I mean if he is a closet optimist definitely doesn't show with gems like a Batman movie needing the character ahem assaulted in prison, killing an agent named Jimmy Olsen for laughs or berating people who didn’t like his Batman being kill happy.

Heck another recent point brought up speaking of his Bats. He was willing to kill Superman under the possibility that he might become a threat to humanity and even allow for some casualties.

BvS even still tries to make him look good, so why is that continuity's Joker not dead? Definite threat and can't be too hard to find.


Thanks Todd, you're probably thinking of the Ma'alefa'ak, which in the show is a predator native to Mars. But that's something for season 3.

Now personally, I'm not a fan of of Man of Steel or really Zach Snyder's work in general. I feel that he's more flash over substance which is why I think his movies are lacking in some critical parts of making for a good film, like meaningful dialogue.

Remember, young or old, rich or poor, friend or foe. We're all in this together.

Todd Jenson> Yeah kind of funny, BTW, that the YJ episode of the same title was reviewed by Matthew when Amphibia's delayed episode also has that title. Actually thought about that first.

But anyway, [SPOILER] And here I thought you were going to indulge my ship joke for a moment, but sometimes it feels like they make some moments that have those vibes.
Though apparently Matt Braly said there will be some LGBT representation next season. [/SPOILER]


Posting from the library computer again, since my computer issues have not been fully resolved.

ANTIYONDER - Good point about "Amphibia" and [SPOILER] the different goals of Anne's friends [/SPOILER].

MATTHEW - Thanks for the review of "True Colors", though I barely recall anything about it. I did notice the "Barsoom" reference; I haven't read the John Carter books or seen the movie adaptation, but I've heard enough about it to recognize it. (I recall a mention, somewhere, of another Martian name in the "Young Justice" universe echoing "Malacandra" from C. S. Lewis's "Out of the Silent Planet", though I can't remember the details at present.)

Todd Jensen

Greg: Well, I'm certainly not eager to get into an internet argument with someone I admire so heavily, much less one that's entirely tangential to the topic at hand. I'll just say that I disagree, stridently.

Now, I'll admit that a good portion of my affection for Man of Steel is entirely personal. I saw it on what was a very painful day for me (with the news in question arriving literally as I was waiting in line for tickets), and it managed to lift my spirits in a way I genuinely appreciated.

Still, on balance, I consider it the best live-action Superman movie by a country mile, though that's mainly through sterling lack of competition than anything else. But I fully acknowledge that view is in the decided minority, and I've made my peace with that. I'm not interested in convincing people that it's some unsung masterpiece (it isn't, though I stand by it being a good film), merely that I find this particular criticism irking. Especially as I'm considerably more ambivalent about the rest of the films that followed (personally, I find Zack Snyder's interpretation of Bruce Wayne significantly more objectionable than his Clark Kent).

"Man of Steel is a poor film because it chooses to frame so much of Clark's backstory in the context of fear of the 'other' and general alienation rather than focusing on why Clark would choose to become Superman" is a fair criticism, and even one I'd agree with to an extent, even if I think the movie's other merits end up making up for it. "Man of Steel is a poor film because Jonathan says let kids die" is, to me, silly and reductive.

But hey, that's just like, my opinion man. ;)

Masterdramon - [kmc12009 at mymail dot pomona dot edu]
"Straighten up, and give me the life I deserve already! SPOIL ME WITH LUXURY, DARNIT!!!" - Lady Aqua

Masterdramon - I cannot disagree with you more. If you're talking nuance, then the nuance there is that Jonathan is at best ambivalent about Clark being a hero. That the need to protect his secret supersedes all other concerns in Jonathan's mind. It is anathema to every true version of Jonathan Kent I've ever read or seen, and seems inspired by the truly awful interpretation of Jonathan from Smallville.

I'll admit that my hatred of Man of Steel knows no bounds. NO BOUNDS. But you saying that this one argument is specious seems crazy to me. The Jonathan Kent I know always put his values first, which is how Clark learns to do that. He should have said something like "Great Job. Now we need to be careful, cuz this could have blowback." But the fact that the conversation even began with a reprimand (or implied reprimand) sets the tone before we ever get to his... "maybe."

Greg Weisman

Antiyonder: Not to venture too far off topic, but that casual misreading of that Man of Steel scene (and the fact that it took off as a meme) is a particular pet peeve of mine.

The way the scene goes in context is...

CLARK: I just wanted to help.

JONATHAN: I know you did, but we talked about this. Right? Right? We talked about this! You have...! Clark, you have to keep this side of yourself a secret.

CLARK: What was I supposed to do? Just let them die?

*several beats of silence*

JONATHAN: Maybe...there's more at stake here than our lives or the lives of those around us. When the world...When the world finds out what you can do, it's gonna change everything. Our...Our beliefs, our notions of what it means to be human. Everything. You saw how Pete's mom reacted, right? She was scared, Clark.


JONATHAN: People are afraid of what they don't understand.

For whatever reason, a ton of people latched onto "Maybe" as if that was the answer to Clark's question, as opposed to being the segue to the rest of Jonathan's line.

That genuinely mystifies me. Because even seeing it for the first time in the theater 8 years ago, I had no trouble comprehending the scene. It was beyond clear to me that the silence was the answer to Clark's question, which was essentially rhetorical. The only possible answer to "What was I supposed to do? Just let them die?" is "Well yeah, obviously not," they both knew it, so Jonathan changes the subject.

To read it the other way requires taking the material in such bad faith that Jonathan must somehow be a child-hating sociopath, as opposed to the flawed but decent paternal figure he's presented as throughout the entire rest of the film.

Now, there are of course many complaints one can levy against Man of Steel as a film, some weightier than others. But that this one took on such legs that it's still a punching bag 8 years on is something I genuinely will never understand.

Wheeeeeew...rant over. Back to regularly scheduled YJ discussion, LOL.

Masterdramon - [kmc12009 at mymail dot pomona dot edu]
"Straighten up, and give me the life I deserve already! SPOIL ME WITH LUXURY, DARNIT!!!" - Lady Aqua

Stealing 40 cakes? That's as many as four tens.
And that's terrible!

Remember, young or old, rich or poor, friend or foe. We're all in this together.

Matthew> "And for all his talk about making Lex miserable we see that not only was Lex not miserable (as the bomb missed a vital part of their operation) but was fully expecting something like this."

Of course. Setting teens on ice, stealing 40 cakes and dealing with setbacks is a regular Tuesday (or Saturday in this case?) for Mr. Luthor.

"Jonathon "Pa" Kent needs no introduction being that he and his wife Martha were the ones to find baby Kal-El and raise him as their own."

That said, for those who first saw him in Man of Steel, he doesn't usually advocate letting kids on a school bus drown just to preserve his son's secret:-D.


And this is why you don't work with loose cannons.

Watched "True Colors" today which sees Arsenal officially joining the Team and a return to the covert-ops style of episode, though not for very long. More than anything this is an episode that sets up a lot of future plot points: the Reach and LexCorp's agricultural plans, the arrival of Green Beetle, Arsenal's less than stellar debut with the Team, Jaime's desperation to avoid the future by getting rid of the Scarab, Lex's plan for the rescued kids, Sportsmaster and Cheshire's revenge against the Light and the Light's plans on fixing Aqualad. It is interesting that the Light foresaw Sportsmaster's betrayal or at the very least anticipated that someone related to Artemis would want payback and took the precaution of getting Deathstroke in. And I can't help but think that Sportsmaster's intentions probably expediated their plans of restoring Kaldur back to working order.

As Mal predicted, Arsenal ended up being the Team's responsibility and problematic is just the start of things. In many ways Arsenal represents some of the problems each of the original Team members had when starting out. Like Robin, he's not clear in his communications, like Kid Flash he's needlessly reckless, like Artemis he feels the need to challenge everyone and like Superboy he's arrogant in his own skills and tech and doesn't exactly have a team player mindset. Now admittedly he and Nightwing don't have the best start with Arsenal insulting their base of operations and Nightwing rather coldly telling him off for not being a senior member. It's easy to overlook but this has got to be a sore subject for Roy considering that if it wasn't for his eight years on ice he would've been a senior member long before Dick was. While his weaponry does make him effective in the field especially against Black Beetle, they wouldn't even have to face him if he hadn't detonated a bomb for sheer pettiness. And for all his talk about making Lex miserable we see that not only was Lex not miserable (as the bomb missed a vital part of their operation) but was fully expecting something like this. It's probably Roy's self-serving memory telling him that his new arm meant he managed to get the drop on Lex rather than the fact that Lex was prepared for Roy's poorly-thought out revenge scheme. Tim's decision not to report Roy's behavior is definitely going to come back and bite them, there's a reason Batman evaluated their performance to have them recognize their mistakes as well as encouraged their strengths.

The arrival of Green Beetle shakes things up more than anyone can imagine. For starters, he's an original character created for the show, then there's the fact that the one person who knows the most about the Reach, Bart, has no idea who this guy is. It's funny that the creation of this character followed some logical questions on Greg's part. If the Reach sent Scarabs to other planets, then it stands to reason that some of the more more well known aliens would have Scarab scouts as well. This isn't something that's mentioned a lot in the comics, but different species with Scarab technology can be quite potent. Now a Martian with Scarab tech is pretty scary but it doesn't cancel out the inherent weakness to fire. Also easy to forget what M'gann said back in the day, that Martian telepathy doesn't work on technology...

Some Final Thoughts: I can't help but wonder if there might be some form of resentment from Sportsmaster towards Black Manta. Back in season 1 you could say they were pretty equal in rank, both of them personal enforcers of the Light and privy to knowledge other members weren't. But Black Manta rose through the ranks while Sportsmaster stayed where he was; maybe it was by choice, maybe not. Either way, I don't think Manta earned the respect he had for the other members of the Light's leadership. Green Beetle's real name B'arzz O'oomm is a pretty obscure reference, even more so after Disney's adaptation of John Carter crashed and burned. Green says that Jaime's story is probably not unlike his, an archeologist that discovered the Scarab during a dig. When in fact his story more closely resembles Dan Garrett the first Blue Beetle who discovered the Scarab in an expedition to Egypt. If you're familiar with Jaime's story in the comics then you probably know what the additive is. Before this episode came out I had no idea what a pluot was, doesn't sound like my kind of fruit though.

Acting MVP: Kevin Grevioux actually gets to show some comedic chops with Black Beetle's one-liners but I also have to give it to Masasa Moyo for her performance as Sharon Vance, she does the vacuous corporate mouth-piece scary good.

DC Profiles: Jonathon "Pa" Kent needs no introduction being that he and his wife Martha were the ones to find baby Kal-El and raise him as their own. Fun fact: because of the Superman movie, a lot of people believe that he died while Clark was a teenager and that inspired him to become Superman. In fact, he lived well into Clark's superhero career. One thing I'd like to see is how Conner was introduced to the Kents, maybe they helped Clark and Conner settle into the brother relationship they now have.

Favorite Lines:

Sharon Vance: Our next stop is the pluot orchard. That's right! Pluots, in April!
Tim: Time for a bathroom break.
Bart Allen: I went before we left. [Jaime yanks him aside] Ah, dude, they don't have pluots in the future.

Vandal Savage: State your grievance, Sportsmaster.
Sportsmaster: The Cape Canaveral op. Manta's son, Aqualad, killed my daughter Artemis... without my permission. As the Light's enforcer, I expect reparations.
Lex Luthor: We grieve at your loss and offer substantial monetary compensation.
Sportsmaster: And normally, I'd be fine with that. But this goes to the heart of my rep. Word gets out I took a payoff, I look like a cheap punk.
Vandal Savage: Then what do you expect old friend?
Sportsmaster: You know the code: an eye for an eye. A kid for a kid.
Black Manta: No one touches my son!
Vandal Savage: Agreed. The death of Kaldur'ahm is a non-starter.
Sportsmaster: Fine. If the minnow's under the size limit, I'll go fish for the whale. [Hurls a shuriken at Black Manta which is shot out of the air by Deathstroke] Deathstroke! I see you didn't waste any time hiring my replacement "old friend."
Vandal Savage: Fortune favors the prepared.
Sportsmaster: You don't say.

Black Beetle: I may not move as fast as you, meat. But my Scarab processes faster than even you can run. Let alone think. [Black Beetle is hit from behind by a rocket by Arsenal who turns his attention to him, only to be pelted by tomatoes by Impulse] Now that's just a waste of good fruit.
Impulse: No. That's just a distraction. [Arsenal hits Black Beetle with his arm's laser but his armor immediately repairs from the damage]
Black Beetle: Any more tricks, meat?
Blue Beetle: Just a few! [Hits Black Beetle with a plasma bath, doing nothing]
Black Beetle: Aaaah, nothing like a warm plasma bath to calm the nerves...and clean off the tomato stains. [Blue Beetle fires his sonic cannon but Black Beetle counters with his own] Seriously? The fruit hurt more.

Impulse: Did a quick recon. Want the options? Cornfield or cornfield?
Robin: Cornfield!

Black Beetle: Warrior, you dare attack me? You Scarab rejects are coming out of the woodwork tonight!

Nightwing: Thanks for the use of your barn, Mr. Kent. Until we check out this Green Beetle, we can't afford to bring him to our H. Q. Lost too many of those already.
Jonathan Kent: Well, he's not the oddest thing we've had in this barn.

And of course...

"Now that's a rutabaga!"

Remember, young or old, rich or poor, friend or foe. We're all in this together.

Todd Jensen> Don't forget that also complicating matters in Amphibia is [SPOILER] All three girls having lets call it what it is. A lovers spat:-D. Different goals that two of them keep from each other and Anne. [/SPOILER]

Sorry, that was me. It's been too long since I last posted from the library computer.
Todd Jensen

Mty computer's still in a mess, so I had to log on from the library computer (thankfully, the local library is open again, if in a limited fashion).

Thanks for another review, Matthew. I'm afraid I don't have anything to contribute to it. (I am glad, though, that the episode preceding it, which you reviewed last week, wasn't the last; based on what you said about it, it would have been a strange way to end the series.)

My computer problems prevented me from participating in last weekend's discussion of "Amphibia", but I'd like to add a few belated comments on it:

1. I really like it too.

2. I'm also sorry that the Season Two finale was delayed, and am looking forward to its finally appearing.

3. I'm impressed with how both it and "The Owl House" have handled "person from our world enters another world" in terms of getting home. A few decades ago, there was a cartoon based on the "Dungeons and Dragons" game - Michael Reaves wrote a few episodes for it, by the way - which used such a concept. One of the writers - not Reaves - said in an interview that the idea didn't fit a television series because the leads had to constantly fail in their attempts to get home, so that the series would continue. "Amphibia" solved it by [SPOILER] having one big portal device - the music box - which needed to be studied and re-activated, producing a big plot arc - plus an especially effective touch about the rift between Anne and Hop Pop over his hiding it - all the more effective in that it spilled over to the following episode - kind of like how the "Failsafe" episode in "Young Justice" was followed up by the leads in therapy over it in the next episode. [/SPOILER] "The Owl House" solved it by [SPOILER] having Luz choose to stay and learn magic, always able to go home but just deciding not to leave yet - until the season finale, when she has to sacrifice the portal home and now is genuinely trapped. [/SPOILER]

4. I enjoyed Keith David's role in "Amphibia" as well, and certainly recognized his voice.


Matthew> As a reminder there were two FCBD books. Just that the second one was a sampler shown in full in a later issue (somewhere between 16-18).

Algae> It was from the Free Comic Book Day issue.
Remember, young or old, rich or poor, friend or foe. We're all in this together.

MATTHEW> Huh... dinne know 'bout that one.
Now I find myself In the wild unknown with the frogs and toads and I'm far from home...

<Algae One of the tie-in comics featured a ship that looked like a Runabout.
Remember, young or old, rich or poor, friend or foe. We're all in this together.

Matthew> Also fun fact, Kevin Michael Richardson did the role of Despero in Batman The Brave and the Bold "The Eyes of Despero". Different continuity unlike when he took over as The Big Man, but doing another role David did.

MATTHEW> "Despero's ship resembles the ships used by the Jem'Hadar from Deep Space Nine."

As a hardcore Niner, I got an immediate chuckle outta that back in the day.

Algae X
Victory is life!

Two bases lost in the span of a week.

Watched "Cornered" today which builds up on the theme of Earth being brought to the attention of the galaxy as focus shifts to the crumbling relation between the League and the public as the Reach's influence grows. And of course Despero showing up and wrecking the Hall of Justice. The Reach and their Ambassador mark a different kind of conflict for the series and one that our heroes aren't used to dealing with, Public Relations. Last episode the Reach were able to beat the heroes to the punch by revealing themselves before the Team could and now they're revealing the hero's secrets in order to cast them in a bad light. The Ambassador himself is a also a different kind of central antagonist, Lex is a guy you love to hate but the Ambassador you just straight up hate. So unbearably smug and conniving that by the end of the episode you just want to see Captain Atom punch him right up into the stratosphere.

Despero marks kind of a middle ground in terms of antagonists for the season, undoubtedly dangerous but able to be taken down given the right circumstances. The problem of the episode being that these aren't the right circumstances as most of the Team and the League's heavy hitters are cut off from the conflict, Zatanna neutralized early on and M'gann in a bad spot since last episode's revelation. But it also highlights several of the Team's strengths as well, Mal's quick thinking and willingness to put himself in danger helps buy the others time to regroup. And Superboy? Well...he's gotten his bell rung by the strongest villains and heroes in his time, kinda like Lieutenant Worf in Star Trek. But one thing that's often overlooked is that stubborn nature of his allows him to get back up again no matter how often he's smacked down and even repay those injuries. Again, like Worf.

The fallout of the Reach's arrival, the affect on the abductees and the revelation
of what Impulse told Blue is explored further here. I like that once more we see Black Canary using her counselling skills on the kids, many of whom were likely imprisoned for months. This is something that will be explored later on but I do have to mention Virgil's testimony and as bad as things were for him he was lucky enough to have his Meta-Gene activate as other kids weren't so lucky. And I can't help wonder what would've happened with Nightwing if one of the abducted Team members wasn't a meta or if the Reach wasn't interested in the teens who already had their Meta-Gene activated...

Some Final Thoughts: Fun Fact: When Despero made an appearance in the series Justice League he was voiced by Keith David. As the wiki pointed out, Despero's ship resembles the ships used by the Jem'Hadar from Deep Space Nine, and I can't believe I never noticed that before. While innocuous at first, the decision to keep the abductees at STAR Labs will take a darker turn later on as Virgil wonders aloud when he'll be able to just call up his family and let them know he's okay.

For a series that emphasizes secrets and lies, it's a little surprising that Jaime would toss that out, spill the beans on Impulse and ask the League to get the Scarab off him. Mal taking on the role of Guardian was to be expected since Jim retired from the part but still interesting considering DC tends to focus on his other superhero identities. And finally we see the steps of M'gann and Conner rebuilding their relationship at the end of the episode, as well as the deterioration of her and La'gaan's.

Acting MVP: Phil LaMarr totally steals the episode, L-Ron is delightfully obnoxious as this kind of robotic fly you want to swat away and unbearably obnoxious as the Ambassador who you want to see taken down a peg.

DC Profiles: L-Ron (named after L. Ron Hubbard) was a robot who occasionally served as an assistant to the Justice League International and actually had his mind swapped with Despero.

Despero is a recurring foe of the Justice League and one the more dangerous enemies. Possessing strength that allows him to battle multiple Leaguers at once and mental abilities that have only been matched by Martian Manhunter. Curiously, he's often depicted in his more humanoid form rather than the hulked out version here which can transform into.

Favorite Lines:

Blue Beetle: Tye!
Scarab: Hold Jaime Reyes! The Tye Longshadow does not know us in this form.
Blue Beetle: Time to stretch! Yep, gotta keep limber.

Black Canary: Virgil, I know you've been through a lot but I'd still like to ask you a few questions about your abduction.
Virgil: Well here's one, why am I on camera?
Black Canary: To make sure I remember what you say. I'm speaking to everyone to provide counsel but to also find out exactly what happened. And hopefully gain insight as to why the Reach chose you.
Virgil: I don't know why they chose me, but I know they wanted to break me.
Black Canary: Why do you say that?
Virgil: [picks up a paperclip and starts playing with it] The tests. They started out small, little...static shocks, but they kept upping the juice. Till it felt like I was being...eaten by lightning. Still, I was one of the lucky ones. The alien creepazoids didn't seem to like the results they got from some of the other kids. Kids I never saw again. Look w-when can I go home? My family's probably worried sick.
Black Canary: It won't be long. For now, i-if you'd wait in the hall.
[Virgil tosses the paperclip down and the others spill out of the cup and cluster around it into a ball]

Mal: Nice. Perfect cover for our new digs. On the outside, I mean it's down right nasty.[Cut to the interior]...And it's nasty on the inside too.

L-Ron: Greetings and salutationisms, Earth champions! I am L-Ron. Majordomo to the great master and you are my prisoners.
Captain Marvel: This is Plastic Man's April Fool's joke, isn't it? Okay Plas, heh, you got us.
L-Ron: No, I have you. [L-Ron activates a pyramid force field which envelops the Hall of Justice] Though, not for myself of course. Rather, I hold you at the behest of my master who seeks to prove himself against Earth's greatest warriors. [Despero teleports in front of Captain Marvel and Zatanna and immediately kicks Captain Marvel into the Hall's atrium] Let the cage match, begin! No fooling!

L-Ron: Allow me to introduce my master...the warlord, DESPERO! Gladiatorial champion of ninety-two star systems (working on ninety-three now). He has come to this backwater planet seeking a challenge to prove his superiority to all life forms. It's quite the complimentism, you really should feel honored.

Blue Beetle: What'd you tell her, ese?

Impulse: About you betraying mankind and causing the reach apocalypse? Heh heh. Nada, amigo. See, I have no idea what actually turns you. For all we know, the league finding out, could be the very thing that makes it happen. So I say, we say nothing to no one.
Scarab: This is good. Now kill the Impulse so he cannot change his mind.
Blue Beetle: [to Scarab] Keep quiet!
Impulse: Exactly. Stick with me, Blue. I'll keep you from feeling the mode.

Guardian: Your fight is with me, alien. I am Earth's Guardian. Its greatest champion. Its secret champion.
L-Ron: He is not listed in the Krolotean database, master, but their records may be incomplete.
Guardian: Miss Martian, take the others and leave. This is my fight alone.
Miss Martian: [Telepathically] Mal, what are you doing?
Guardian:[Thinking] Keeping ugly busy, at least until you and Superboy get a better idea.
Miss Martian: uh-As you command Guardian.
L-Ron: Did you see how she bowed to him? [gasps] This "Guardian" must be Earth's true champion! Finally master, a battle worthy of your prowess! [Despero growls in satisfaction]
[In the elevator Superboy regains consciousness]
Superboy: What happened? Where's Mal?
Guardian: [Thinking] About to play the most important game of keep-away in my life. So, how about you guys figure out a plan B? Fast. Alright, freak. I could incinerate you with a look but you hurt my friends. So I'm going to teach you a lesson instead!
L-Ron: Use cautionism master. We don't know this one's abilities.
Guardian: Strength of the Earth and power of all mankind, I summon you! [Despero and L-Ron pause, looking confused] Well, I'm waiting. Give me your best shot. [Despero charges towards him and Guardian vaults over him, sending him through a wall] Thank you Black Canary.

L-Ron: Cheaters! Sneaks! Frauds! You will all suffer for your crimes! [His body unfolds a whole arsenal. Then Billy Batson leaps atop of him]
Billy: Let's try this again. SHAZAM!

Black Canary: Beetle?
Blue Beetle: I'm sorry. I've been hiding something, but I can't... I just can't.
Impulse: [Rushing in] Uh, blue, blue, blue. What happened to keep quiet?
Scarab: Stop Jaime Reyes. This is a tactical error!
Blue Beetle: No, time for the truth. Impulse says that some time in the future I betray earth and bring on a Reach Apocalypse. That's not a future I can live with. So whatever it takes, get this Scarab off me.

Remember, young or old, rich or poor, friend or foe. We're all in this together.

First, in the name of insomnia and end of semester crunch.
Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]