Continuing our collection of Best Episodes from DC Animated Series from Batman: The Animated Series, Justice League and now Justice League Unlimited. This series picks up after the three part episode Starcrossed and explores the depth that Bruce Timm and Paul Dini has created. Many of the heroes here have been introduced in the previous series, this time many of those heroes return and all new characters from the DC Universe also make their first appearances in this show. We were given a fulfilling story arc to Supergirl after her appearance in Superman: The Animated Series, as well as giving us arcs for new characters like Green Arrow and Black Canary. This series broke new ground and gave us a great filling between Justice League and Batman Beyond, while also tying up loose ends from both series. Making this series crucial to the entirety of the DC Animated Universe.
Also Read: 10 Best Justice League Episodes
Season 1, Episode 2: The Man Who Has Everything
One of the first episodes in the series, this one brings together the Trinity with Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. It’s Supermans Birthday, Batman and Wonder Woman travel to the Fortress of Solitude to bring him a gift. When they arrive, they discover Superman is paralyzed and has a strange plant attached to him. While they investigate, we are taken into the mind of Superman where he wakes up on Krypton next to his wife, Lana Lang. Batman and Wonder Woman are then greeted by the cosmic warlord, Mongul. Who was last seen in the first season of Justice League, when Superman and Martian Manhunter were trapped on the planet War World and humiliated Mongul in front of his people. Now he has returned to exact vengeance on the Man of Steel, and turn Earth into his new War World. While Wonder Woman tries to survive the brutality of Mongul, Batman tries to figure out the origin of the plant remove it from Superman. At the cost of our greatest hero being taken from the false reality that he has so desperately craved, and the family he has always wanted.
Season 1, Episode 3: Kids Stuff
Morgaine Le Fey and her son Mordred return and have stolen the amulet of power, but this time Mordred betrays her mother and keeps the amulet for himself. Tired of being told what to do by adults he banishes all adults from earth into another dimension, including his mother and the Justice League. Now Le Fay must request the help of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern to stop her son and return all adults to their realm. However, the only way to get the heroes back is by having the play by the rules Mordred has set and turn them into children. Now as young teenagers, they must find their way to the castle Moredred has created and fight off their adolescent mentality to overcome the young sorcerer. Luckily, they are given the assistance of an unlikely ally in the baby form of Etrigan the Demon. But with the power Mordred possess, can the heroes overcome him and restore order to humanity.
Season 1, Episode 10: Dark Heart
An episode that became a bit of a game changer to the series, a strange machine protected by an army of mechanical spiders is discovered in the middle of the desert. When the military is sent to investigate this strange object, they are quickly outgunned by the mechanized spiders who continue to multiple and even evolve into more dangerous weapons. Unable to hold them off, the entirety of the Justice League come to aid in the fight. However, the uncontainable swarm of spider bots become too much to handle even for the Justice League. In a desperate attempt to gain an upper hand, the Martian Manhunter uses the Watchtower to channel all its power into a cannon that can blast a trench around the machine and hopefully keep them contained. Now that they have managed to buy themselves for more time, Superman travels to Boston to recruit the help of Ray Palmer AKA The Atom. The only thing left to do now is hope a weakness can be discovered before these machines take over.
Season 1, Episode 12 & 13: The Once and Future Thing
The episode that showed us the interconnection between the other DC Animated Series. The Once and Future Thing was split between two episodes, which at the time was something the producers decided to change from the original Justice League. When a thief named Chronos creates a way to travel through time, he decides to travel to the present and onto the Watchtower to steal some of Batmans technology. Chonos is caught and tries to escape but is followed by Batman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern to the old West. There they meet the Sheriff, El Diablo and Jonah Hex. The heroes decide to team up and search for Chronos and just as they are about to capture him, they travel through time again to the future. In the future they meet an older Virgil Hawkins (Static Shock), Terry McGinnis (Batman) and Rex Stewart (Warhawk) who is supposedly the son of John Stewart (Green Lantern) as well as an older Bruce Wayne. Now the future and present Justice League take a shot at taking down Chronos and returning back to the present. Two episodes that gave the DC Animated Universe more depth in its comic book history, as well as presenting us with the connectivity of previous series.
Season 1, Episode 16: The Doomsday Sanction
After the Justice Leagues first confrontation with Amanda Waller, Batman decides to pursue Ms. Waller and warn her of any future secret government programs she might be holding. Waller explains to Batman how the world must be prepared for a day where the Justice League might go rouge. After the appearance of the Justice Lords in our reality and the sudden exposure of the weapon in the Watchtower, Waller realized that a rouge League could potentially happen someday and instead of waiting for it to happen she made preparations for it in the form the Cadmus Program. Following after, Waller decides to cut Dr. Milos funding for his projects which includes the confinement of Doomsday, who was previously lobotomized by Lord Superman in the second season of Justice League. Healed from his wounds, Doomsday escapes and sets out on his mission to kill Superman. While the League are working on evacuating and containing a volcano that is about to erupt, Doomsday arrives to battle the Man of Steel. In an effort to kill Doomsday, a missile is launch that could potentially kill Doomsday, Superman and the people near the volcano. Batman races to try and catch the missile with a Quinn Jet while Superman holds of the monster.
Season 1, Episode 25: Divided We Fall
Using Cadmus technology, Lex Luthor attempts to revive the android Brainiac. But thing change when Brainiac emerges from the body of Luthor, who has remained dormant in Luthors body this whole time. The League try to fight the Luthor/Brainiac Hybrid, but he manages to escape and breaks into a Cadmus facility that contains the same robots from the episode Dark Heart. Brainiac downloads their technology to his database and is able to replicate their nanotech abilities to manipulate the remaining spider bots and create an entirely new body for Luthor and Brainiac to inhabit together. When the League find them, they are already fully bonded and must face duplicate Justice Lords that Luthor/Brainiac has created. However, our heroes continue to face defeat against this powerful new enemy. The only chance they have of saving humanity, is by the sacrifice of one of their own to put a stop to Luthor and Brainiacs reign. Providing us with one of the most intense and emotional episodes of the DC Animated Universe.
Season 1, Episode 26: Epilogue
Originally, there wasn’t supposed to be a second season of this series which is why this episode was made, to wrap up the universe. Taking place in the future, this episode explains the origins of Terry McGinnis and the involvement Amanda Waller had in Terry becoming the new Batman. Waller explains that she saw Bruce get older and older with time, and she knew the world needed a Batman. So in effort to keep the legacy ongoing, she found a couple with the exact psychological profile of Bruce Waynes parents. So while Warren McGinnis believed he was getting a flu shot, what was actually happening was nanotech was being used to rewrite his reproduction material into a copy of Bruce Waynes and creating the son of Mary and Bruces DNA. But to follow through with creating a Batman, the Phantasm was hired to kill Terry’s parents but backed out last minute. However, we know Terry’s father ended up being killed by the Jokerz in the end making it fate that would put him on the course to be the heir to the cowl. An incredible episode that brings a satisfying conclusion to Batman Beyond.
Season 2, Episode 8: The Great Brain Robbery
Lex Luthor is back, this time he is on a desperate quest to reform with Brainiac just like he did before in the episode Divided We Fall. Luthor continues to fail at every attempt, but there is one other genius who might hold the key to knowing how to resurrect Brainiac and that is Gorilla Grodd. Luthor puts together a plan to use a machine and enter the mind of Grodd to unlock his information, at the same time Dr. Fate is using the Flashs mind to reconnect with Grodd so they can locate the whereabouts of the Secret Society. Unfortunately, the two minds swap bodies, putting Flash in Luthors body and Luthor in Flashs body. The Watchtower goes on total lockdown as the League tries to capture the speedster. Meanwhile, the Flash while in the body of Lex Luthor tries to come to terms with the circumstance and how to maintain a low profile as the leader of the Secret Society. A bit of a humorous episode, this one is always so entertaining to watch as the League try to stop the Fastest Man Alive and the Society try to figure out what is wrong with their boss.
Season 2, Episode 9: Grudge Match
After Roulettes underground Meta Brawl is destroyed by Black Canary, Green Arrow and Wildcat. Desperate to get her Meta Brawls going again and make a profit, she request the aid of Lex Luthor to help fund her fights and possibly lend a few big name super villains. Instead, Roulette decides to create an all-female Meta Brawl event and rather than the use of villains, they will use sonar to control female superheroes. When Black Canary and Huntress have a confrontation with a group of thugs, Huntress notices that Canary isnt her usual self and is slightly lacking in her skills of combat. She stalks Canary in hopes to figure out what is wrong with her, and follows her to a massive stadium. Huntress enters the arena undercover, and discovers that Canary has been participating in the new Meta Brawl ran by Roulette. Canary is put into a cage with Fire, the Brazilian superhero and nearly kills her in battle. Huntress confronts Canary after the show and tries to talk to her, but is attacked by her. After a manipulating device is found on Canary, she snaps out of the mind control she was under but her and Huntress are both captured by Sonar and forced into the next fight night against Vixen, Hawkgirl and Wonder Woman. Can they survive the onslaught?
Season 2, Episode 13: Destroyer
After Lex Luthor spends the entire season trying to resurrect Brainiac, he accidently brings back the Lord of Apokolips. Darkseid has returned after being defeated by the hands of Superman in the second season of Justice League. Desperate to defeat the Dark God, Luthor turns to the only ones who could possibly fend off Darkseid. Now the Secret Society and the Justice League must work together to beat Darkseid and save humanity. The Justice League call upon every member to fight the invasion of parademons while Batman, Superman and Luthor take on Darkseid. The entire episode is massive on scale as the League tries to fight off Parademons surrounding the world. We get some of the best moments in the series within just one episode with the return of Martian Manhunter and moment Superman decides to “let loose” his true power on Darkseid. At the same time Batman shows no fear to face off against Darkseid, showing audiences the tenacity of Batman. Showing us that no matter how high the threat level is or how powerful someone might be, he will stop at nothing to protect the people and keep the promise he made to his parents. Giving us a pulse pounding and satisfying conclusion to Justice League: Unlimited.