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The Phoenix Gate

Comment Room Archive

Comments for the week ending June 27, 2021

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Yeah, that could work. And I think monarchy rules usually have the heir become the new king immediately after the old king's death, even before the coronation (hence, the king is dead, long live the king, and that Pratchett joke about kingons and queenons), so it could be an extension of that, or some sort of - the king and the land are one, the king and the queen are one, the king and the heir are one, deal? Of course I know we probably won't get an in universe anthropology course or anything, but it is the sort of thing that makes me curious.
Karrin Blue

KARRIN> It might have started as a way to emphasize continuity from one heir to another. When you think about it, the Crown Prince is kinda the King-In-Training.
"You never completely have your rights, one person, until you all have your rights." -Marsha P. Johnson

"I believe that Superboy's comment about Cadmus is a callback to Artemis' line from "Revelation" after they engage the Injustice League except she and Kaldur are minus their weapons. "Ugh, I feel naked. And not in a fun way.""

Yes, I know, but Artemis was referring to having sex, generally considered a fun way to be naked. Until we got to Overwhelmed, and the reveal of the Cadmus breakout, what 'fun way' would there be for Superboy to be reminded of Cadmus? Especially when, at the time, we thought the last time he was there involved him getting the shot kicked out of him, having to consign his clone-twin to psychic sedation, all the Genomorphs being recaptured by Lex, and Luthor giving him the dual gift of 'awareness Lex is his father' and 'a dangerous steroid addiction.' So it's a line that makes much more sense now than it did then.

And, yes, it's there for the plot to have the red herring - but in universe, obviously Markovia must have a very long history of giving the heir the exact same honor as the king, and not giving any other family members an address at all, which is pretty weird. So I've been wondering if that's to foreshadow some kind of odd history with the royal family that explains that quirk.

Karrin Blue

And it just occurred to me that I left the DC Profiles spot blank. Whoops.

Doctor Simon Ecks, known as Doctor Double X (and not to be confused with the Genomorph Dubbilex) was a Batman villain from the early days of the Silver Age. He discovered a way to make one's aura take a separate, physical form. Not exactly the most well known character and he was treated as a forgettable joke even within the comics.

When you return to your unobservable but empirically determined dimension of origin--tell them CARL SAGAN sent you.

KARRIN> My guess is it was an intentional bit of misdirection to make us think Gregor was the real master mind behind Bedlam.
"You never completely have your rights, one person, until you all have your rights." -Marsha P. Johnson

Thanks Todd, always appreciated.

Karrin> I believe that Superboy's comment about Cadmus is a callback to Artemis' line from "Revelation" after they engage the Injustice League except she and Kaldur are minus their weapons. "Ugh, I feel naked. And not in a fun way."

This is just my head canon, but I like to think DeLamb wasn't exactly shy about his political ambitions before he suddenly decided he was cool being head of security. And anyone who was paying attention found that really suspicious.

As for the Highness bit, I also think that the "Highness" is Markovia is reserved for the King and the King-to-be. Which is why Count Vertigo calling the other person on the phone "Your Highness" and his remarks on Gregor was a red herring.

When you return to your unobservable but empirically determined dimension of origin--tell them CARL SAGAN sent you.

That's true, and I think there are a couple small countries whose reigning monarchs were styled as dukes. But I still want to know if the king and prince having the same address, and the rest of the family having none at all, is foreshadowing something. It just seems odd, is all.
Karrin Blue

KARRIN BLUE - [You know, I still wonder if there's something going on with that 'Your Highness' thing. For one, it's odd that the King and crown prince share a title, and that other members of the royal family apparently don't have forms of address at all, but also that the title they share is 'Highness' - as I understand it, Highnesses are usually subordinate to Majesties.]

I've read that, in the case of the English monarchy, kings were originally addressed as "Your Highness", and "Your Majesty" didn't become a form of address towards them until the early Tudor period (either Henry VII or Henry VIII). Of course, Markovia (apart from being a creation of DC) is a different country with its own history, so that might not apply here.

Todd Jensen

You know, prior to the treason and all, I wonder how bad an impression old Freddie made on his nephews, that they'll only refer to him by his last name and don't trust him at all. Especially when the immediate family seems to have been quite loving. I wonder if Victor didn't trust him much either, but he was too embedded with the security forces to remove. Maybe they were banking on him not being willing to harm his own sister?

I think the heroes being a bit rusty is probably down more to the needs of the plot, but then again, Artemis has been off the team for a while (though almost definitely keeping up her training, as she did in the s1-s2 gap, and I've been assuming Nightwing sometimes asks her to help with two-man jobs, as he was originally planning to before the king and queen were killed and they had to expand the crew - either way, probably not getting into combat often), and Nightwing has either been operating on his own or with other Bats, so I could see him falling back into his s1 problem, of being so used to working as a team that didn't have to talk that he... forgot he had to talk. So who's to say, I guess.

In other miscellaneous stuff, I still love the "Maybe he just likes kids?" "Yeah, you're probably right." "Really? I was kinda joking." bit. Dick's definitely not back in the habit of being on a team yet. Also, I still think it's interesting how Catherine Cobert groups Lightning in with the rest of the protest resignations, even though his was unrelated - did she do that on her own initiative, or did one of the League tell her that's how it happened?

I remember a bit of confusion at the time about Superboy's 'This place reminds me of Cadmus, and not in a fun way' line - what fun way would there be to remember Cadmus? But in retrospect, after episode 25, I guess he would have at least one fun memory of that place.

You know, I still wonder if there's something going on with that 'Your Highness' thing. For one, it's odd that the King and crown prince share a title, and that other members of the royal family apparently don't have forms of address at all, but also that the title they share is 'Highness' - as I understand it, Highnesses are usually subordinate to Majesties.

Also, man, Jace was creepy enough watching this for the first time, but knowing everything really does make it worse. Especially going from this to how the season ends...

Karrin Blue

BISHANSKY - Thanks for the link. It was certainly an impressive-looking ad for the Goliath action figure. (And I glimpsed what looks like a Demona action figure as well.)

MATTHEW - Thanks, also, for the latest review.

Todd Jensen

The mystery's afoot...

Watched "Royal We" today, which brings Nightwing's little team to Markovia, a new character into the fold and a dark revelation into Bedlam. Watching this again I'm reminded on the format several of these episodes had when they premiered. First episode provided the premise, second upped the stakes while ending on a cliffhanger, and third gave the denouement. While there's always something to talk about for each episode, some of them do have a little more meat to them than the others. We do see where Brion's more proactive attitude takes him this episode, but the relationship with him, Gregor and their uncle stays the same (though that's soon to change) and Dr. Ecks proves to be just as awful as the audience believes he is. While there are some twists that show up a lot of the episode is about set up.

We get to see some of the bureaucracy spoken off last time as well as the representatives of Atlantis and Themysicra, Garth and Troia. I still feel it was a shame that their time on the Team was skipped and I still hope for a flashback. But for now they seem to be part of the few voices of reason on the world stage. So one thing that's stood out to me while rewatching this was how much work it must take to ensure nothing gets done. Just a look at ambassadors Baazovi and Gamorra will tell you that they're bad news (especially if Gamorra is under LexCorps' economic persuasion). At the same time, if there's one thing we've learned over the last year is just how bad the perception of doing nothing is when it comes to politics. Setting aside the pandemic, if you look at FEMA's disastrous response to Katrina or the UN's weak response to the Bosnian Genocide, careers and reputations were sunk from that. It must take a lot of twisting and turning to try and spin non-action (like the Rhelasian tsunami response) into a positive.

On the nature of twists, I like the fact that while Dr. Ecks is an immoral, mad scientist willing to kidnap children experiment on them and sell them into slavery, he lacks any common sense and criminal edge. It practically has to be spelled out to him that bringing a member of the royal family to the heart of their operations was a dumb move. Can't seem to understand that a young man coming from a family of ardent opponents of meta-human trafficking would find his methods reprehensible and can't even put two and two together that Dr. Jace has her own agenda, even while she's enacting it. A good reminder that being intelligent and being smart are often very different. But on the subject of Bedlam, we see that Count Vertigo has returned and he's worse than before. While he's never really hid his monstrous nature before, what with holding the world hostage and trying to assassinate his niece, before he tended to at least have some semblance of grace. Without his previous social trappings there's nothing to hold back his true nature and a bad man just got a lot more dangerous. Plus it looks like he's gotten smarter, knowing when a tactical retreat might be in order when coincidences start to pile up.

One thing I noticed while watching this episode was that there seemed to be a bit of...let's say rust on our heroes. We've seen them do better in previous episodes not just physically but tactically as well. Last season Artemis managed to hold off Black Beetle alongside a disguised M'gann for a short while and here she fails to properly knock out three lowly henchmen (though she wasn't using her bow and her priorities were focused on someone else). Nightwing may not be rushing off quite like he used to, but I also noticed was certainly taking his time when two of his team members lost contact (and I'll cover the dark implication of that later). Heck, even Jeff and Superboy forget to watch their Sixes after barely escaping from Vertigo and Plasmus. I don't know how active some of these heroes have been since the time skip, but we all know they can be better.

Some Final Thoughts: We get our first look at some of the powers from Halo, the purple seemingly bringing her back to life and red creating a shield, I'll cover how her powers are different later on. One neat little touch was when Jeff and Conner were bugging the cameras to obscure their faces using the same tech Dick used when he was an agent for Spyral. Here's where Greg Cipes reprises his role as Beast Boy, I was a little curious on that but I heard somewhere that Logan Grove retired from acting and joined the Naval Reserve. Incidentally, Garfield's PSA loses some of its impact when he randomly turns into an eagle at the end, really takes you out of it. Oh, and anyone surprised that Jeff was able to walk after that spill? It looked like that rock hit something vital.

Acting MVP: Once again I have to give the whole cast credit for their performance, but I must admit I didn't even recognize Mark Rolston as Sumaan Harjavti. Guy has a lot of range that he doesn't always get to show. And Grey Griffin I think was perfectly cast as Troia.

DC Profiles:

Favorite Lines:

Garfield: On the Engager, if Klamulons capture our crewmates we move heaven and earth to find them. But this year alone, over 16,000 child and teen abductions have been reported worldwide, due to the illegal trafficking of meta-humans. Please, watch over your children. And if you see something, scream something. [Garfield shapeshifts into an eagle which screams for emphasis while the words "It's What You Know" pop up]

Sumaan Harjavti: Of course, the Atlantean ambassador supports the League. It's led by an Atlantean and a Themysciran. But why has no Bialyan hero been invited to join?
Troia: When Bialya produces a hero who isn't a wanted criminal, perhaps the League will consider her or his candidacy.
[There's some laughter within the council]
Sumaan Harjavti: Wait. That statement is an outrageous exaggeration!
Troia: Meaning it is largely accurate.

Brion: Doctor, you recall our last conversation?
Dr. Jace: I do. But this path, this quest to activate your own metagene. Is it really wise, Brion? Perhaps your safest course is to simply step aside and place your faith in Gregor and your uncle.
Brion: The safe course has brought us to these crossroads. Sister missing. Parents[i/] dead. Something daring must be done if I am to save Markovia.

[Conner grumbles]
Jefferson: Uh, did you just growl?
Conner: This place reminds me of Project Cadmus. And not in a fun way.

Conner: Vertigo!
Count Vertigo: That's [i]Count
Vertigo to you peasant!

Count Vertigo: A meta-human. Did not see that one coming. Otto? Fetch. Or you know, just kill him.

Brion: What? What are those?
Dr. Ecks: Those are the metamorphosis pods. I like to think of them as cocoons, where caterpillars go to-
Brion: Die?!
Dr. Ecks: [chuckling] I was going to say, to become butterflies. But the process can be a bit...hit or miss. [A young girls face can be seen floating in the Tar as if to demonstrate]
Brion: You're traffickers! Stealing sick children from a children's hospital!
Dr. Ecks: [defensively] They're not all sick.
Brion: How many children have you taken?! How many have murdered?!
Dr. Ecks: You're upset. I understand. But allow me to explain-
Brion: NO! I want no part of this! I was a fool to come here. Gregor and I will shut you-
[Brion is suddenly hit with the Vertigo Waves and he collapses]
Count Vertigo: Do you really know how your brother would react? More people are fine with this sort of thing than you'd imagine. [tosses Ecks an injector gun] Sedate him.
Brion: [weakly] Stop. I order you to- [Ecks injects Brion with a sedative and the young prince passes out]
Count Vertigo: What. Have. You. Done?
Dr. Ecks: I thought...
Count Vertigo: You thought you'd expose our operation to the Royal Family? [growls] Drag him in here.
Dr. Ecks: I'm a doctor, not a pack mule.
Count Vertigo: You're an idiot who put our entire syndicate in jeopardy. So first, you'll pod the prince. And then, you may attempt to talk me out of killing you.

When you return to your unobservable but empirically determined dimension of origin--tell them CARL SAGAN sent you.

Just dropping this off:


Greg Bishansky
""When Demona wipes out humanity, I hope she starts with the Demona Apologists." (Saving them for last so they can grasp the truth is nice too, but too little too late.)" -Matt

A tip of the hat for the final episode of TBS's Conan, which in the early days had some Team Coco antics crossing over with Young Justice in the form of the Flaming C. After all these years, did he ever get invited to join the League? d:
Gus: "I always forget you're there." Hooty: "I forget I'm here toooooo."

It's appropriate that we got a mention of Oberon and the events in "The Gathering" today, since it's Midsummer Day. (Last evening, I even rewatched "The Mirror" on DVD partly to observe Midsummer's Eve, partly because I hadn't watched anything on my DVD player for a while, and didn't want it to atrophy from lack of use.)

Jurgan's mention of the English dub that renamed some characters after the Marx Brothers reminded me of an English translation of one of Goscinny and Uderzo's Asterix series, including a scene where Asterix gets into a sword fight with a Roman ex-soldier. In the French original, the characters quoted from a scene in Edmond Rostand's "Cyrano de Bergerac". The English translators, recognizing that an English-speaking audience might not get that, changed it to quotes from the fencing match between Hamlet and Laertes in "Hamlet".

Todd Jensen

Before it was announced that Deborah Strang was playing Granny Goodness my own head-casting was for Kate Mulgrew. Partly because of her performance as Flememth the Witch of the Wild from Dragon Age and partly because of the "Crazy Janeway" gag that came up in SF Debris' reviews of Voyager.

Oh I certainly know the original "The Day the Earth Stood Still." I even read the original story the movie was based off of.

When you return to your unobservable but empirically determined dimension of origin--tell them CARL SAGAN sent you.

One of my favorite examples of localization was El-Hazard. Jinnai named his bug minions after members of a Japanese comedy troupe. "Faithfulness" might have meant keeping the names, but very few Americans would get the joke, so they changed it to "Groucho, Chico, Harpo, Zeppo, and Gummo." At the other extreme are overly literal subs, like naming the vampire in Hellsing "Arucard" instead of "Alucard," when that's in fact a mispronunciation created by the Japanese dialect.

"MATTHEW - Yes, that's a good point. Something that they understandably glossed over (or the cast would have had bigger issues than just trying to stop Oberon from kidnapping Alex)."

Oberon may be capricious with the way he interprets his law, but I think even he would consider killing innocent bystanders to be "interference." I tend to assume, as Greg would say, that the magic compensated somehow. Magical airbags, perhaps. A similar thing happened in the original Day the Earth Stood Still. The aliens turned off all electricity on Earth for one hour as an attempt to scare the humans, but it was stated that there was an exception for medical equipment, planes in mid-flight, and any other cases that would cause harm.

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

Aldrius: Oh don't get me wrong, my nostalgic fondness for Digimon: The Movie (and particularly its soundtrack, whose eclectic mix of delicious 90s cheese is still a mainstay for car rides to cons to this day...I probably SHOULDN'T be able to recite the Digi-Rap from memory, but I absolutely can). I just won't pretend it in any way holds together as a "film." Of course, Our War Game is so good on its own that it's an enjoyable watch under any circumstance, but otherwise...woof.

I'm definitely a proponent of dub scripts being able to play a bit faster and looser when it's in service of creating a better product...within reason. In comedies in particular, a 100% direct translation will often lack the "punch" of the original, simply because Japanese and English are very different languages with very different senses of comedic timing. A good adaptive scriptwriter will know how to tweak the lines here and there to deliver a version that achieves the same impact as the original, even if the literal words used are a little different. Changing out the 2chan memes from Steins;Gate to similar ones a Western audience would be more likely to get, for example; when Kurisu starts speaking in fanfic lingo and TV Tropes, it gets across much more easily the central point - that she's inadvertently outing herself as far more of a nerd than she claims - than any translator's note could.

Then there are the things a great adaptive scriptwriter can do to actually IMPROVE on the original work. Such as the more authentic accents and 20s gangster lingo added to Baccano!, or Beck simply being a better experience with singers who are native English speakers. But probably the strongest example personally is J. Michael Tatum's script for Romeo X Juliet, which punches up the very safe and staid original with more flowery, Shakespearean language and numerous added quotes from the Bard himself. To the point where a large amount of the adapted script is in iambic pentameter - run that against the need to still match the lip flaps, and what he accomplished with that dub is nothing short of astounding.

Netflix's Evangelion dubs definitely run into the "overly literal translation" problem, though to be perfectly fair to the many talented people working on it, that was hardly their fault. Many of the more egregious decisions, like "Third Children" instead of "Third Child," were at the direct insistence of Studio Khara, which interfered with the dubbing process far more than is typical.

That being said, I'm not personally as harsh on it as some others for two reasons. One, that it was actually the first dub of the show I ever saw (I only really got into anime in the early 2010s, by which point the ADV dub was all but impossible to watch legally, so Netflix's re-release was my first exposure to the classic outside of general Pop Cultural Osmosis). And two, that I find Casey Mongillo's Shinji an absolute revelation who completely recontextualizes the part, and so I feel the dub is worth existing for the sake of their performance alone. And much as I rag on Studio Khara's overbearing interference, I kind of doubt a non-binary actor would ever have been chosen for Shinji had they not conducted the auditions completely blind.

Similarly, the Viz cast are the only Sailor Moon cast I've ever actually heard (beyond YouTube clips of some of the OG dub's more hilarious "waitnototallycousins!" moments), so it's a lot easier to slot them into my head then someone who may have been following the franchise from the beginning.

Karrin: Before Josh Keaton gave his one line as "Red Hooded Ninja," I know my head-casting for Jason Todd-16 was Johnny Yong Bosch. He's got such a bombastic voice that it's surprising to me he hasn't been in more superhero works...and I'll admit that the idea of a former Power Ranger being in a Greg Weisman production has a perverse appeal to me.

Similarly, before Michael-Leon Wooley turned out to be reprising Darkseid-16 from Brave and the Bold, my pick was Peter Jessop. Mass Effect fans who have heard his Sovereign voice will understand why.

I did totally call Deborah Strang as Granny-16, though! Years before YJ: Outsiders was a thing, I threw that out as an absolutely terrifying and yet profoundly fitting choice, and all my RL friends can attest to how much I cheered when I first heard "Gretchen Goode" speak and realized I was right.

Masterdramon - [kmc12009 at mymail dot pomona dot edu]
"There may be a place for me in this man's soul. Not because of what I may receive, but for something of worth I may have for him." - Casca

Aldrius> I knew Digimon had a lot of actors from Fox Kids' circle which is why you got folks like Barbra Goodson and the late, great Robert Axelrod. Interestingly enough, when Netflix's Voltron first came out my local paper did an interview with him because he was originally a native of San Jose.

Dream casting? Oh boy, that's a can of worms right there. I always wanted to see Greg Ellis take a crack at Jason Blood with maybe Fred Tatasciore as his counterpart Etrigan the Demon. After his performance in Rebels I'd like to see Freddie Prinze Jr. try his hand at Hal Jordan, Olivia d'Abo as a Wonder Woman villain like Veronica Cale or Circe. Honestly, there's so many both for DC and actors I wanted to see in Gargoyles we'd be here all day.

When you return to your unobservable but empirically determined dimension of origin--tell them CARL SAGAN sent you.

Aldrius> Mona Marshall I remember first hearing as Betty Brant in the solo Spider-Man show from the 80s which had the similar designs and shared music with Amazing Friends. And these were my earliest viewings on Disney Plus last summer.

@Matthew - Digimon just had huge casts of really different characters, the cast list for Digimon is actually huge, even for an anime; and is pretty much a who's who of serious acting veterans of the time. Barbara Goodson, Kirk Thornton, Tom Wyner, Edie Mirman (who's in a lot of those ghibli disney dubs), Philece Sampler (who was in Korra), Lex Lang, Neil Kaplan (who was the villain in the new Voltron show on Netflix), Mona Marshall (who was a student of Daws Butler). And then there were some folks (like Reisz and Seth) who really were just there for a little bit and then went on to other careers.

It's also one of the few shows where Tom Weiner (Wyner) got to play a goofy television engineer, instead of a dramatic villain, so there's that.

The Digimon Movie's weird. I think outside of the obnoxious Kari narration, the first two parts of the movie are mostly adapted fine. I think that's mostly because the films are so visually-oriented that they're kind of hard to mess up, but there's some good stuff in them I think. The music was actually done by the Tel Aviv symphonic orchestra, which is pretty cool. Even the licensed music I think mostly works, even if it's very of-it's-time.

But yeah, the third movie (which is not great to begin with) was adapted extremely poorly. Though Nimoy didn't even want to adapt the third movie.

I love Sailor Moon, but it's another case of me being super-attached to the hack-dub version. I might give the new adaptation another chance, because I was mainly put off by the goofy-looking CGI in Crystal, which I think they eventually improved/did away with. I've also actually met the Toronto cast of Sailor Moon a bunch of times, so I feel a bit of brand loyalty to my fellow Canadian actors.

Also, I think this is maybe just a me thing, but I find modern anime dubs are a bit too... slavish? Trying to get the exact meaning of the conversations down rather than making an entertaining product. FMA vs. FMA:B is a decent example, where I think Brotherhood's script is super slavish, but is also a bit clunky as a result. Where FMA's script is a lot looser, but I think flows a lot better overall.

Evangelion too. The new Evangelion dub sounds super awkward to me, while I think the original End of Evangelion dub is pretty much what an english dub for an anime SHOULD be. (a few moments of over-self-induglence aside and some weird, what I believe were last minute casting decisions)

What do you guys think?

As for dream casts... it really depends on the interpretation. For Slade -- I think the Teen Titans' version with Ron Perlman left such an impression on that character I never really want to hear anyone else in the role. But I also think the Teen Titans version of that character is just a super strong take on Slade/Deathstroke. (NOthing against Tatasciore or Hertzler or Rolston or anyone else who's played it).

On the subject of Tom Wyner, I think he'd made a fun Ra's Al Ghul, but he's retired. While I was watching Castlevania, I thought Graham McTavish might have the right energy for the part of Ra's.

I think McCartney's Nightwing is pretty perfect, but then I also think the YJ Nightwing is just kind of a perfect interpretation of the character. Andrew Francis (Girl Who Leapt Through Time, ) I think has the right energy for what the role calls for, and I'd love to hear that too.

I always really wanted to hear Tim Curry's Joker. (Which exists! somewhere) but I've never had the chance.

I think Arthur Burghardt should just work more (though he's also retired) and he'd be great as Darksied or any other big, over the top villain.

Alex (Aldrius)

I saw some of those designs earlier! I didn't know he was the character designer, but now I can absolutely see his trademarks in the designs.

I wonder if any of the CritRole crew took roles on YJS4, come to think of it. I'd kinda love to hear Ashley Johnson as Raven, or Liam O'Brian as Ragman.

Actually, come to think of it, who are you guys' dream castings? Not necessarily for YJ, just DC in general. I still can't believe Ron Perlman's apparently never been cast as Darkseid, and - thanks to a friend who's been telling me about Green Lantern - I can't get the idea of Patrick Page as Atrocitus out of my head. I'd also (to go back to Critical Role) love to hear Taliesin Jaffe as Shade (he is the executive goth, after all.) Also, for some reason, the idea of AJ Michalka as Supergirl popped into my head, and now won't let me alone.

Karrin Blue

Mr. Weisman I want to ask. Why do we keep getting time jumps for Every new season of Young Justice?
John Harris - [jonshaeharris at gmail dot com]

In other news: Young Justice's lead character designer Phil Bourassa was announced to be the lead character designer for Critical Role's upcoming animated series. You can find it here:


When you return to your unobservable but empirically determined dimension of origin--tell them CARL SAGAN sent you.

Anyway, watching Sailor Moon on Hulu and will later this week/month watching Crystal.

Masterdramon> https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/boards/206-comics-and-graphic-novels/79448429/955335096

Found this gem after rereading Legion of Super Heroes in the 31st Century #6.


Ah, Digimon. My introduction to a lot of anime mainstays like Richard Epcar, Derek Stephen Prince, Paul St. Peter, Mary Elizabeth McGlynn and of course Steve Blum.
One thing I noticed looking back on the series was that since they were working with a small acting pool, those involved in the series really were given the chance to show off their flexibility. Tamers had Steve Blum play like four or five major characters in that series alone.

When you return to your unobservable but empirically determined dimension of origin--tell them CARL SAGAN sent you.

Aldrius: Well it isn't a straight binary divide between "anime dubbing" and "union work" - there is a SAG-AFRA payscale for foreign dubbing, though I understand it's one of the lowest rungs on that scale. Most union dubs are films rather than TV shows (as one might expect, the NYAV and Disney dubs of top-tier Ghibli, Shinkai, Hosoda, etc. films are all union), but there are exceptions; Demon Slayer is a prominent recent example of a union dub, hence why Steve Blum and Crispin Freeman both show up in it.

Still, it's true that the great majority of TV anime dubs are non-union projects, especially as both FUNimation and Sentai Filmworks (and before them, ADV Films among others) are located in Texas which is a right-to-work state. Even in LA, most of the prominent anime dub actors are either 100% non-union or have fi-core status (letting them work in both non-union and union projects, but not having the benefits of being voting members of SAG-AFRA).

Don't think the original Code Geass anime was a union project (I believe Steve, Crispin, Roger, Mary Elizabeth, etc. were all still fi-core at the time but not 100% sure) but I'm fairly certain the movie was. It had multiple actors (Rich Sommer, Jared S. Gilmore) who are full SAG-AFRA members and have never done anime dubs previously to my knowledge.

Fun fact since you mentioned Digimon: I've heard the union successfully petitioned that Digimon: The Movie (a hatchet job of messily stitching three completely unrelated movies/OVAs together, with especially huge chunks cut out of the third) was such a substantially different product than the source material that the actors involved had to be paid at the scale of an original production rather than a foreign dub. Possibly apocryphal, but the story's always amused me.

Masterdramon - [kmc12009 at mymail dot pomona dot edu]
"There may be a place for me in this man's soul. Not because of what I may receive, but for something of worth I may have for him." - Casca

For the record, I know it's useful short-hand but Ocean Group is *one of* the recording studios in Vancouver, but it isn't the only one, just a weird pedantic pet peeve of mine. And David Sobolov, Michael Donovan and David Kaye unfortunately moved their families to LA probably close to a decade ago due to the lack of work in Vancouver.

Jennifer Hale has dual citizenship, but I don't think she's lived here since she was a small child. I'm not sure how much she even identifies as Canadian. (Though her biological father was a NFLD elder and environmental activist here)

A lot of the time if say, Funimation or Bang Zoom or what have you are using a Canadian (Vancouver-based) cast, it means they've outsourced most of the recording TO a Vancouver studio. Which doesn't really cost them anything AFAIK. That's what they did for the new Inu Yasha series and Black Lagoon: Roberta's Blood Trail.

I dunno if Code Geass was a union project. I think most anime dubs are done in some weird union grey area where the actors don't get in trouble but they're not making their typical union rates for doing an anime dubbing project. I know there were union issues when they were going to dub Digimon Adventure Tri and I believe that's why Edie Mirman, Michael Reisz and Lara Jill Miller didn't reprise their roles for it.

Apparently it was done by "Magnitude 8" which closed in 2015. (Which is around when Ocean & Blue Water stopped doing anime dubbing too)

I also wasn't aware Dragon Prince was voice-produced in Vancouver. But looking into it... that seems to be the case. That's sort of a weird case because they're still using *a lot* of LA talent. As opposed to MLP which really only uses Tara Strong as far as LA-based actors go (who is a dual-citizen anyway). That explains a lot, though, because I never thought Dragon Prince really sounded like an LA production.

On censorship: Disney, and in particular ABC were extremely strict back in the day when it came to content in cartoons. The creators of Reboot have some *wild* stories about their SnP rep (who they lampooned in the talent show episode). So it's really amazing that Gargoyles got away with as much as it did.

Alex (Aldrius)

One thing that's also important to remember is that there are a fair amount of actors with dual citizenship, Jennifer Hale being one such example. And of course, some actors leave where they previously worked for more opportunities, like the aforementioned Laura Bailey and Travis Willingham.
When you return to your unobservable but empirically determined dimension of origin--tell them CARL SAGAN sent you.

Ah, Scott McNeil, the Canadian Steve Blum.
"You never completely have your rights, one person, until you all have your rights." -Marsha P. Johnson

ANTIYONDER - One additional dark moment in "Pinocchio" (alongside your comment that the Coachman is one of the few Disney villains never brought to justice) is the scene whee they're loading up the donkeys, one of them starts crying and speaking in a human voice, and the Coachman says "Hey, he can still talk! Take him back and load him up later!"
Todd Jensen

Yeah meant to say Drummond.

Copy-Vegeta was actually Brian Drummond, for the obvious casting gag. ;)

Netflix's The Dragon Prince is another mixture - mostly Ocean actors, but with LA-based Jack DeSena as the lead Callum. Another situation, like with Tara Strong in MLP, where the lead was considered separately by the showrunner(s) from the pool they were casting the rest of it with.

The hilarious thing in the Quibble Pants case is that by the time Alice Oswalt got to appear in the show, she was - per her father - no longer into MLP very much. Still adorable, of course.

Masterdramon - [kmc12009 at mymail dot pomona dot edu]
"There may be a place for me in this man's soul. Not because of what I may receive, but for something of worth I may have for him." - Casca

Masterdramon> Plus Scott McNeil for one did voice work in Funimation's dub of the original FMA and voiced Copy-Vegeta in Dragonball Super.

It's been just a favorite think of mine to spot that kind of mixed casting though.

Like during Michael Dorn as the titular character of the Street Fighter episode "The Warrior King", Lawrence Bayne I believe of Nelvana as Raven in Heritage.

Or heck say Levi Stubs as Mother Brain and Frank Welker as Game Boy in Captain N The Game Master which was mostly the Ocean Group, though the crossover with Lwgend of Zelda had the Nelvana VAs in the mix.

On the flipside voicing Lobo in YJ is Ocean Group member David Sobolov.

Perhaps the most equal amount of two sides all being US and Ocean Group voices to my knowledge is:

1. Camp Candy (Had John Candy in the lead role)

2. Mucha Lucha

3. My Little Pony 2017 Movie due to Hasbro using the Ocean Group, but having some celebrity casting. Including Tara Strong from the show as well.

And as an aside while the show is mostly Ocean Group VA and Strong, you had John de Lancie as Discord, Weird Al as Cheese Sandwich [SPOILER] Mr. Pinkie Pie:-D [/SPOILER]*, Patton Oswalt as Quibble Pants*, Maurice LaMarche as Chancellor Neighsay, William Shatner as Grand Pear, Felicia Day as Pear Butter and Rachel Bloom as Autumn Blaze.

Even Oswalt's wife Meredith Salenger as Clear Sky and their daughter Alice Oswalt as Wind Sprint which for those not in the know are stepmother and stepdaughter while their characters are mother and daughter while Patton's character is the potential spouse and step parent.

*[SPOILER] https://www.instagram.com/p/B3km0pbFOLd/?utm_source=ig_embed&ig_rid=f247cd46-3293-4c8b-bd8c-1837b85ba2ee&ig_mid=54FA87AF-6DD0-48D5-B3B7-C11EAD78FE6B [/SPOILER]


"Darkness" and "grittiness" are narrative techniques, nothing more or less. And like all narrative techniques, they can be used well, or used poorly. Just comes down to the strength of the storyteller.

I do tend to prefer when Greg is able to tell less "constrained" stories; the PG-13ish world where the Gargoyles/Bad Guys comics and YJ: Outsiders live is a nice, comfortable middle-ground where death, sex, and serious political issues can be addressed frankly as parts of the world, without getting overly lurid or exploitative for pure shock value.

There isn't a lot of that middle ground in Western Animation in general, which is almost wholly stratified between family-friendly shows with TV-Y7 as the core demographic, and over-the-top "adult" comedies that run in large part on their ability to offend. And while both the latter (Daria, The Boondocks, Rick and Morty, Futurama, etc.) and the former (too many to possibly name but among them Gargoyles, Avatar/Korra, Steven Universe, Adventure Time, and Gravity Falls) have produced some of the best work in the medium, it's nice to get a change of pace once in a while.

T'is probably why I wound up gravitating to anime so much when I became a young adult, because there's simply so much more variety in genre, tone, and target demographic to be found there. An animated sports drama about a depressed young man rediscovering his feelings of self-worth through figure skating (and incidentally falling in love with his male coach along the way) simply isn't the type of thing anyone in the U.S. would pay to create 12 episodes of...and definitely not the kind of thing that'd become the biggest hit of its season.

But I'm digressing. I do absolutely admire storytellers like Greg who are able to tell deep, meaningful stories within the constraints of their medium, and the broadcast standards that inherently come with it. Goliath's personal character arc (and Demona's parallel descent) become significantly less powerful if you do not frankly and explicitly acknowledge the Wyvern Massacre for what it was, and the show (plus its amazingly understanding S&P) deserve all the kudos that can be offered for not shying away from that truth. Sure, it's "easier" when a whole bunch of smashed gargoyle corpses don't leave any of those pesky blood or guts, but still: opening your "kids show" with the wholesale slaughter of around a hundred sapient beings is pretty ballsy.

On the other hand, there are also times when those same constraints can even improve a story, though that really requires a very deft artist at the helm. A YJ: Outsiders-level S&P probably would've allowed them to explicitly say the Magus died instead of using euphemisms about "resting," but the writing is so strong that it feels naturalistic and poetic instead of forced. You get the in-universe sense that Katharine and the Magus are talking around what they know to be his fate, rather than that the language has been policed out-of-universe (much as I adore nearly everything about Avatar, it had this problem on occasion, with some very awkward phrasing to avoid saying "kill" or "die" in certain contexts).

Now, switching gears from that (longer than I anticipated) diatribe...

Karrin Blue: Lelouch of the Re;surrection is a bit of a special case, admittedly. Not only did they get a butt-ton of reprises from folks who began in anime but have largely moved on to other media since (Troy Baker, Laura Bailey, Kate Higgins, Yuri Lowenthal, Liam O'Brien, Crispin Freeman, Roger Craig Smith, Travis Willingham, Steve Blum, Mary Elizabeth McGlynn), but even managed to get a couple who'd entirely left acting for years at that point (Amy Kincaid and Kim Mai Guest). It was a union dub at a much higher rate than is typical for a series these days, and made for a truly transcendent experience as a huge fan of the original. Now if only I could find the blu-ray for something less than scalper prices...

In general, of course, it's a lot easier to convince a now-union actor to come back (especially if they'll have to do it fi-core) for reprising an old role than for something new entirely. Hell, to take Antiyonder's example, Dameon Clarke comes back for Cell and only Cell, and even then always does so under an alias. He didn't come back for Scar in FMA: Brotherhood (leaving it to be recast to J. Michael Tatum, but I'm never going to object to more Tatum in my eardrums), and I sort of doubt that if Younger Toguro ever shows up in dubbed media again, that we'll see him there.

But then, you never know...FUNimation did bring back nearly the entire Ocean cast for Yashahime, so we're clearly playing with some very different rules in the age of remote recording...

Antiyonder: "Pandemic binges"...man, it's so wild to me every time I think that there are people out there who had less work during the pandemic, LOL. The wonders of healthcare employment - never was a time that I stopped going into the office across the past year-and-a-half. It sometimes makes me feel like I'm completely out of touch with where the majority of the country is at, culturally.

Combine that with the timezone difference, and y'all always seem to have the best discussions while I'm smack-dab in my workday. ;D

Masterdramon - [kmc12009 at mymail dot pomona dot edu]
"There may be a place for me in this man's soul. Not because of what I may receive, but for something of worth I may have for him." - Casca

Matthew> Actually, Tara still looking pretty young makes sense to me - stress can definitely make a person look older, but I think in kids, it can also stunt growth, delay adolescence, and who knows what getting dunked in Tar does to a preteen's development. Plus malnourishment, hard physical training, that sort of thing.

Though, interestingly, I did see a quote from George Perez about her original design being meant to look babyfaced and 'almost eleven' so that the eventual twists of the Judas Contract would be more shocking - so I wonder if her show design is meant as an homage to that, even when most of the context has been changed?

It does make me wonder what her s4 design will look like - honestly, it's a small thing, but I kinda hope she stays a pipsqueak. Mostly because I have a simple sense of humor, and Terra being the shortest member of any Team she's on - even by the point where she's one of the more experienced members - is pretty funny to me. Especially compared to her brothers - if anything, Brion looks way older than 17. Maybe the twins stole her height in the womb...

If we're talking about Disney shows going dark, I still have to tip my hat to Gravity Falls. Weirdmaggedon is the obvious one, but then there's things like the demise of the Lumberjack, or the shapeshifter. Or shows like Generator Rex, where 'New York might get nuked to stop a zombie apocalypse' is a threat in the second episode, and the entire city of Kyiv, Ukraine got monster-fied and had to be cordoned off.

Karrin Blue

And yet Weisman and crew's Young Justice manages to still mix the serious/dark with fun pretty well (even the episodes made for streaming and/or DVD only*).

If the main two's books could do that generally, I'd probably be able to take chances a little more without hesitation.

*And again 3rd Season is available on DVD:-D. It and the entirety of Hey Arnold were my first pandemic binges.


Oh when I covered "Misplaced" I was sure to mention that. Considering only Zatara, Batman and Red Tornado (and eventually Captain Marvel) were around to confront the sorcerers, the rest of the League was running themselves ragged trying to control the chaos.

The big problem was that the children world had every few heroes capable of doing things the adults could, like fly. So there was undoubtedly a lot of kids dying that night.

When you return to your unobservable but empirically determined dimension of origin--tell them CARL SAGAN sent you.

Incidentally I feel Pinocchio gets overlooked in these discussions even when Gargoyles is unknown to some parties

Pleasure Island Stagecoach takes children away and the title character gets free cause of his Cricket.

Nothing to suggest that the villain in question is stopped or that his other victims will return to normal and go free.

That said, I'd add Misplaced from YJ there with The Gathering. Imagine babies yet to be born separated from their moms, kids in the emergency room.

Hell look at that scene from the adults point of view who were distracted by their disappearing child(ren). Now on the children's side, can we be sure that all young heroes or good Samaritan teens were able to save all kids in a moving vehicle or say airplane? Yeah some kids are dead for sure:-(.


Thinking about it now the episode with the largest death toll is probably "Grief"

MATTHEW - Yes, that's a good point. Something that they understandably glossed over (or the cast would have had bigger issues than just trying to stop Oberon from kidnapping Alex).

Of course, Disney's animated series still manage to do things like this at times, despite having a more light-hearted style of imagination ([SPOILER] Marcy's fate in "True Colors" is one of the obvious examples [/SPOILER]).

Todd Jensen

I guess it was more implied than shown. But can you imagine what would happen if the entire island of Manhattan suddenly feel asleep all at once?
When you return to your unobservable but empirically determined dimension of origin--tell them CARL SAGAN sent you.

Aves> True. He generally mentioned the BSP at the time being real understanding of his choices and that even with them going over the story first he still hadxtp convince them to allow Future Tense.

To me, the envelope doesn't get much more pushed than "Future Tense."

MATTHEW - One question about your review of "Princes All" that I forgot to ask earlier. You spoke of Greg pushing the envelope in such "Gargoyles" episodes as "City of Stone" and "The Gathering". I can definitely see where he did that in "City of Stone" (Demona shattering petrified humans, Duncan's fiery death), but which parts of "The Gathering" did you have in mind when you included it? (Oberon getting withered by the blow from Petros' iron harpoon was the one moment that came to mind.)
Todd Jensen

It's so trippy to see Station 8 is still around, I haven't been here in 20 years. Been rewatching the show for the first time in a long time. Made me nostalgic

Karrin> I imagine Brion got the "What's it like being 16 minutes too late?" a whole lot, when I first saw that scene I was rubbing my temples going, "Read the room Cat!"

And yeah, the picture of Tara does look a bit older than how she'll appear proper in the show. If anything, I was expecting her to look older after the abuse she endured over the last two years.

When you return to your unobservable but empirically determined dimension of origin--tell them CARL SAGAN sent you.

I actually kinda dig the new "darkwear" suits. Always thought it was a little weird that the Team was supposed to be the League's deniable covert ops unit when Aqualad, Robin and Kid Flash were already mini-celebs in their own right.
"You never completely have your rights, one person, until you all have your rights." -Marsha P. Johnson

Well then I'm probably just unaware of some of his Funi roles:-D.

But yeah some arguably go back and forth, some go to Western Animation entirely and some might occasionally revisit the company if they favored a particular role like Dameon Clarke voicing Cell in DBZ Kai, and Laura Bailey as Tohru Honda in the recent version of Fruits Basket.


No, Troy Baker's still doing work for Funimation - in 2019 he was the dub voice for Schneizel in the Code Geass movie (also, somehow I missed the many times he's been Batman, plus that he's the Joker in the new Long Halloween movies. That's what I get for speed-reading.)
Karrin Blue

Unlike some such as Kyle Hebert I don't think he's gone back to it, Baker was at the beginning a Funimation VA. Did some movie based villains for DBZ, and brief but I first heard of him as the Black Organization member Gin in Episode 1 of Case Closed (Detective Conan).

OMG I have not seen this show since I was a kid. I loved it. Brings back memories

John of

John Jackson - [jkoenzuraida at gmail dot com]
John Jackson

Troy Baker is an extremely veteran voice actor - I think he's most known for his video game work (Joel in the Last of Us, Booker in Bioshock Infinite, Revolver Ocelot in Metal Gear 5), but his animation voice over work is a close second. In addition to Grimes, he's been Greed in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, a variety of Marvel characters (including Hawkeye and Loki more than once) - and the Joker twice (once in Batman Unlimited and once in the Arkham Origins video game.) Personally, I think I heard him first in the Generator Rex cartoon, where he plays Van Kleiss, the primary antagonist and also the guy with the best personal theme.
Karrin Blue

Forgot Baker did voice Ecks in the first ep of the Season, and yeah you hear a bit of his Grimes in the Doc.

I'll talk of the episode later, but Brian among several characters in the season is voiced by newcomer to the cast Troy Baker who in Amphibia is the voice of Grimes.

I haven't seen Season Three of "Young Justice", and I'm not sure yet when I'll get the opportunity. I had picked up on Ana's fate, though, which definitely brings home the darker aspects of the season that Matthew brought up - and in an effective way; it's not "dark for darkness' sake", it's about a super-hero horrified that he's taken a life, and still more horrified at learning that the "monster" whom he killed was actually a terrified young girl who'd been turned into a monster by someone else.

The title, "Princes All", sounds like a quote from sonething, though I don't know if that's the case or not.

Todd Jensen

Once more, into the breach...

Yeah, on the whole, I generally prefer the more colorful earlier costumes - but it is what it is. S3 definitely seems to have had some budget shortfall issues (the ubiquitous still-picture montages and all), but the quality of animation is tied very closely with budget, and I'm not really surprised DC brought the show back only to give it the equivalent of a shoestring and a turkey sandwich. Disappointed, but not surprised.

I actually was a bit more involved with the fandom as these episodes were airing, so I have some clearer memories of my reactions at the time. Specifically I remember thinking that Batman taking however many Leaguers and leaving was one of his most short-sighted moves - all the reasons the League was formed in the first place, sharing intelligence and resources and being able to assist each other in catastrophe events, still exist, and not having a shared infrastructure or (in a world where fighting evil so often includes piecing together disparate bits of information found months and hundreds of miles apart) shared intel would hamstring absolutely everyone. In fact, I think I remember saying at the time that the only way I'd believe that the characters thought this was a good idea was if it was a show for the cameras, and that they'd continue working together behind the scenes.

...well, I think I should at least get partial credit for that one.

Ah, the Markovs. I don't think it's any secret I love this take on their family drama - in general I love complicated sibling relationships in fiction, and I've been wanting a good take on these siblings since Teen Titans '03, so this subplot ended up being one of my favorite bits of the season. You know, I know that Brion's interview with Cat is foreshadowing for the end, but I have to figure that he's been asked the 'so you missed being King by less than half an hour, huh?' question by every new person he's met his entire life, right after they go 'hi, nice to meet you.' I'd be getting pretty tetchy about it too.

I have to second you on wanting to know where exactly Markovia is. We know it's next to Vlatava, but anything else... who knows. That map Nightwing pulls up in his HUD doesn't help - I still can't make heads or tails of what all those lines mean, or connect them to any particular neighboring countries. Presumably it's landlocked? Not that that narrows it down any.

It's only a quick moment, but I do like (in a sad way) the shot of the king and queen at the end, where we can see that they spent their last seconds reaching out to each other. They seemed like good people - but that made them inconvenient, too.

Also - this is a small thing, but does the picture of Tara on the news seem older than she should be to anyone else? We know she's 15 in October, so that stock photo has to have been taken when she's 13 or possibly 12 - the portrait in the bedroom looks closer to her baby-faced final design, but the news one always looks to me like she must be wearing a pound of stage makeup. Though I suppose it's probably just that her actual design hadn't been finalized by the time they needed that image to be locked in - I remember an anecdote about how, in S1, not all the Light designs had been finished by the time the first two episodes were being animated, so the glow-silhouettes were a useful way to hide that.

Karrin Blue

We take the first step into a darker world...

Watched "Princes All" today and with that comes a lot of big changes. Kaldur has now taken up the mantle of Aquaman, M'gann no longer appears green in her Miss Martian identity, CloneRoy now goes by Will, Barbara now goes by Oracle, Apokolips have begun their campaign against the galaxy, the League has broken and everyone has new character models. I know they switched things for the third season with three different studios being used unlike the previous two used for the last seasons. Honestly? I still prefer the old models. Several character models look like they came from the New 52 movies Warner Bros. was churning out for the last few years and I wasn't exactly a fan. They looked like they were rushed through in order to get the movie made quickly. Still, I know how expensive Young Justice was to animate and I much prefer a third season with recycled assets to no third season at all.

As I mentioned when these episodes first premiered, we taken a really dark turn. Greg really pushed the envelope in Gargoyles with things like "City of Stone" and "The Gathering." Here he doesn't have the kid gloves anymore so trauma and death is shown in all of its horror. Now, I'm not a fan of edgy darkness for darkness' sake, it's rarely worked out well in the comics, killed a lot of interest in DC's reboots and pretty much sunk what interest there was in the animated New 52 movies. But unlike the animated movies which used violent death as shock value, here such death causes the characters to pause and consider what's happened. Black Lightning's powers stop working as a result of accidently killing Ana and he quits heroics all together because of the guilt. And the knowledge that children all over the world are being transformed into such monstrosities then used as weapons has sent shockwaves inside the hero community.

The nature of the split within the League is a complicated one. The League has done well working alongside the UN but how do you reconcile that when it's being controlled by a member of the Light? I mean, when you can't even rescue people from a tsunami you have to wonder, is all of this worth the bureaucracy? And yet, the fact that Batman has no problem not only up and leaving with all of his sidekicks and taking a huge chunk of the League without telling anyone else is incredibly self-centered. At best it looks like he doesn't care that he's blindsiding his teammates when he declares that he and his associates are becoming vigilantes. At worst, it looks like he's shoving the burden of public responsibility, a burden he once shared with others, onto his former friends because they wouldn't take orders from him. I'll get more into this once we get to "Antisocial Pathologies" but Jefferson did have the right idea about him and his untrustworthiness. He was right about the League being democratic in their approach, heck that was one of the thing I really liked about the League in this series, that everyone had an equal voice at the table. How that will change remains to be seen.

And finally, we have the situation brewing in Markovia. Which makes sense considering how much the country factored into the comic book "Outsiders." There's a lot or real world parallels not just in the human (or Meta-Human) trafficking but the refugee crisis with Qurac. But here we get a good look into the dynamic between Brion and Gregor, Brion active, and Gregor reactive. Whether it's with the the Meta-Human trafficking, the fallout of their parent's murder, or their distrust with their uncle. We also get a bit of foreshadowing too, such as Brion's anxious desire to fix things that are wrong, his growing displeasure over Cat Grant continuously pushing his "born too late" button or Gregor's more passive attitude. It's a shame that their parents were cut down so soon, an unfortunate truth that those who strive to do good in the world are so often cut down by those who would do bad.

Some Final Thoughts: So we see that Nightwing's break from the Team has gone on longer than expected. Actually, one thing I liked about this episode was how it showed the characters post-season 2. Artemis has settled into a quiet civilian life with Will following Wally's sacrifice. M'gann and Conner have patched things up and are now engaged, and the League are still trying to salvage the reputation by assisting the galaxy against Apokolips. Feels like a good continuation. And I like how Nightwing goes about choosing his teammates, Artemis who he knows can be counted on for covert. Superboy, who's grown the most of any member of the Team and Jeff? Well that's something to discuss for another episode. Markovia is something of an oddball geographically, DC tends to paint it as an Eastern European country, but showed it being close to Belgium or Switzerland. The series uses Latvian as the Markovian language, but the influx of Quraci refugees makes me think that it could be closer to the Middle East, quite possibly in the Balkans. And there's going to be more piled on in later episodes to confuse the matter. Since they've moved to streaming platforms, episodes no longer have commercial breaks, meaning more to each story. So don't be surprised if these go on even longer; there's just going to be so much more to talk about.

Acting MVP: This is another episode where everyone was giving their all and the episode is great for it. But I have to give a special mention to Grey Griffin as Ana/Plasma. Her brief but heartbreaking performance not only sets the tone for the episode but for the season as a whole.

DC Profiles: Jaculi (named from the mythical serpent Jaculus) was a Quraci terrorist with the ability to move in short bursts of speed. He was a brief foe of the Suicide Squad and was killed as unceremoniously as he was here. He was the creation of the unfortunate time when Middle Eastern terrorists were starting to be made into fodder for different media. A shame, a Middle Eastern speedster had interesting story potential.

(Please note that I'm trying to transcribe words through hearing alone as series captions only depict things as "Foreign Language." Any misrepresentations are purely accidental and attempts to find proper translations have turned up zero results.)
Favorite Lines:

Ana: [weakly] Otto...Otto.
Henchy: None of that now.
[Ana looks over and sees the bodies placed in the morgue before passing out, when she awakens she finds a strange device placed on the back of her neck and she's been placed in a glass cylinder]
Dr. Ecks: Initiating, Tar Protocol.
[Ana looks down and sees a strange tar substance start to fill up in the chamber, she begins panicking]
Ana: Otto! Otto kur tu esi? [the tar continues to fill as the process is overseen by two shadowy figures] Palidzet! Palidzet! Palidz- [her attempts to escape fail and she's submerged in the tar. A DNA helix is depicted transforming]
Dr. Ecks: Meta-Gene activated, let's see what we've got...
[A barge door opens and Ana now transformed into Plasma sees Parademons fly past her and join the battle already underway on the planet Rann. The control chip activates causing her pain and she's forced to leap from the ship, landing near a nearby Rannian soldier who's splashed with loose plasma and dies from the intense scalding. Plasma looks around at the chaos, seeing Adam Strange and Alanna, Superman swatting Parademons out of the air with a tree, Parademons are being healed with a Father Box. Ice freezes a Parademon and the control chip activates, driving Plasma towards Ice. Above, Wonder Woman notices.]
Wonder Woman: Ice! Look out! [Ice manages to create a barrier of her namesake, but Plasma begins melting through it]
Black Lightning: No worries, Ice. [He shoots a blast of his namesake knocking Plasma back] I got you covered.
Wonder Woman: Lightning, don't let that thing touch you!
Black Lightning: Kinda figured. I'll just zap ugly here into dreamland for a while. [He blasts her once again which causes her heart to start beating more intensely and erratically. Plasma staggers toward Black Lightning in pain, her monstrous roars replaced with child-like gasps until her body solidifies and she falls over, dead.] What...just happened?
Superman: I...don't hear a hearbeat.
Black Lightning: No, no, no. That wasn't enough juice to kill anything. [The rest of the heroes converge] It cannot be dead.
Alanna: She. It is a she. Or was. Scans indicate heart failure, and I'm reading a female, approximate age, fourteen Earth years.
Black Lightning: Earth years?!
Alanna:...Yes. I'm sorry. But this is a human girl...A child. From Earth.

Batman: Perhaps it's time to acknowledge that the League has outlived its usefulness on Earth.
Black Canary: Batman-
Wonder Woman: That's overstating things, don't you think?
Batman: No, I don't. And I'm offering an alternative.
Aquaman: If your alternative is to disband the League, I think you are forgetting all of the good we do.
Batman: Did. Past tense.
Aquaman: Present tense. The League has its difficulties. I acknowledge that. But we still have a positive impact. And we are an important symbol for truth and justice worldwide.
Green Arrow: Kaldur, symbols are great, but-
Batman: But all that matters is the mission. If the UN is a roadblock to that mission, then we remove it by removing the League.
Wonder Woman: Bruce, please.
Aquaman: You are a founding member.
Batman: I'm sorry. But, I hereby tender my resignation to the Justice League.
[The League looks on shocked, at the statement, Green Arrow stands]
Green Arrow: So do I.
Black Canary: Ollie!
[The holographic displays for Plastic Man, Batwoman, Hardware and Katana flash the words "Resign" before disappearing, the Flash looking back and forth in confusion]
Black Canary: This was a plan. You, Batman and the others, you arranged this in advance.
Green Arrow: You should leave with us Dinah. We can do a lot of good this way.
Black Canary: Well, you're off to a fine start. You knew I wouldn't be part of blindsiding Kaldur, so you kept me out of the loop.
Green Arrow: I'
Black Canary: If you're leaving, leave.
[Batman and Green Arrow depart from the conference room]
Jefferson: I swear I wasn't a part of this. But I came here today to...resign in person. I felt I owed you and the League that much. It's just...I can't do this anymore. I'm sorry.
Aquaman: I understand. [Jefferson also leaves] We will have to issue a statement.
Wonder Woman: You mean disown them.
Aquaman: Yes, so the League will not be held responsible for its former members' actions.
[Outside the conference room, Batman and Green Arrow approach the Team, Robin grasps Wonder Girl's hand]
Batman: It's time. [Arrowette and Spoiler get up to leave]
Wonder Girl: Time? Time for what? [Robin frowns and let's go of Cassie's hand and follows the others] Robin? Tim! Where are you going? [Batman spots Jefferson also leaving]
Batman: Join us Jeff. I think we want the same things.
Jefferson: The same things? Really? Batman, I just resigned from the Justice League. And at least their leaders were elected democratically. I want nothing to do with...Batman Incorporated. The truth is, I don't trust you. Especially after what you pulled in there today.
Kid Flash: What? What did he pull?
[Static goes up to Jefferson in concern]
Jefferson: I'm sorry Virgil. Maybe you can find a new mentor. One who's...less damaged.
Kid Flash: Will someone please tell me what's going on?
Aquaman: Perhaps Dick had the right idea.

Dick: Hey, Roy. I mean, Will. Will. Sorry, still not used to it.
Will: Well, Richard. I mean, Dick, who are you here to recruit this time?

Dick: Um. Just a reminder. This is a non-super-suit op.
Conner: I never wear a super-suit.
Dick: Sorry, pal, [points to Conner's shirt] this counts.

Jefferson: No. Forget it. Don't even start.
Dick: It's an entire Meta-Human trafficking syndicate that we can take down in one night. When it's all over we go our separate ways.
Jefferson: I can't.
Dick: I know what happened on Rann, Jeff. But we can make sure something like that never happens again.
Jefferson: You're not hearing me. I'm not sayin' I won't, I'm sayin' I can't. My powers, they're not working. [A few sparks fly from his hand as proof] I'm useless, broken.
Dick: I came for the man, not the powers. You're still a hero, and I sill need you on this.

When you return to your unobservable but empirically determined dimension of origin--tell them CARL SAGAN sent you.